Present I feel like there are two different “being presents”. I think this is the difference between like when you said if you had had the markers out when I first arrived last Wednesday, we would have talked about them and I probably would have been fine, but asking me to intentionally try to be present and use my senses was freaking me out. I feel like you were asking for the more “mindfulness” present, but in describing how it would have been if the markers had been out when I first arrived you were describing the “just” present. Does that make sense?
————-> “mindfulness” present paying attention to what is happening in the moment intentionally but it is also about paying attention to the experience and using your senses. Like, you were asking me about when I tried to be present while washing the dishes, the things you wanted to know were if I was focusing on the temperature of the water, on the way the soap bubbles feel, ext. I think it’s being in your body vs being in your head.
————-> “just” present In the here and now, aware of what is happening, feel connected, more focused on what is currently happening than anything else. Playing with Claire or being really involved with a project is when this happens. This is more focused on what the task is than on how I feel or anything physical. It is still a very in my head kind of thing. Like, with the washing dishes, I would focus on the steps of washing dishes….first you fill the sink with water. Then add soap. Then scrub the dishes with a sponge and the soap…ext, ext.
Bea said this is like being “into” something and that is exactly it. Until recently, I would have considered this to be as present as a person can be.
Sort of present paying attention to the here and now but everything is maybe a little distanced, a little far away, more of a “in my head” feeling. I feel like this is usually where I am, most of the time. Able to function most of the time and seem “fine” but not really present, either
Bea said this is where she believes a lot of people are, most of the time.
——-> I think the “bubble” fits somewhere in here, but it’s not really a far away thing, exactly. I mean it is. But it’s more of a choosing to pretend that everything is okay and to stay on the surface and not feel, plus being far away. And usually using behaviors to help stay numbed. So I’m not sure it really goes on this list, but thought it might help to put it somewhere.
Here but not here floaty, fuzzy feeling, very much living in my head, on automatic. I think this is the feeling I used to get when I was around my parents– the one we both noticed last year after Mother’s Day? I also think this is mostly where I was growing up, because this is what I think of as the “old normal”
This is where Bea says the dissociation is getting to be out of the window, yet I do still function like this.
Dissociation more of what is thought of as dissociation, obviously not here, not in your window. I think there are different kinds of this, too.
————–>Just Frozen Far away, hard to talk, really closed down, this is the “safe” far away. I remember once telling you that if I had to, I could move or sit up, but I would be annoyed and frustrated that I had to. It seemed like you were surprised that being frozen could feel like a good thing. This is the feeling I was talking about then. Everything is so far away and I feel so numbed to most everything and it does feel safe. It feels much safer than the present.
—————>Gone but jumpy Far away, but maybe this is more like your hyper vigilant description. It’s not so safe feeling, there is a lot of anxiety and feeling like something very bad is going to happen, but I have no idea what that something is so I have to be on high alert
—————->stuck in the past Far away, hard to talk, but overwhelmed with memories or flashbacks, or physical memories. This is not safe or okay feeling at all. But because there is more feeling in this state— even if it is past feelings— I think I associate it with your feeling and being present. When I feel like this, I don’t think the goal should be to be present, just maybe getting back to “just frozen” or “here but not here” because the idea of being present is too terrifying.
What Bea calls the retraumtizing state, and the one that should be avoided.
Everything is just off feeling disconnected, off, weird, like viewing my life through an “artsy film filter”, like the world is dancing to one beat and I’m off beat, everything is very distant and nothing feels quite real– but that not real feeling isn’t the usual not real feeling, it’s wrong, and very scary feeling
in shrinky terms this is derealizatiom or depersonalization