We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez

Throwback Thursday: 12-05-2021 Dissociation, Unreality, and Avoidance
This week on We Need To Talk With Kris Godinez, Kris talks about the trauma response of dissociation and unreality and pretty much normalizes that response for survivors of trauma.


Kris Godinez  00:02

Hello and welcome to We Need To Talk with Kris Godinez podcast. I’m your host Kris Godinez, licensed professional counselor. I help people get out of, and stay out of, toxic relationships. This podcast is for informational and educational purposes only the views and opinions stated herein are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the ACA, the APA or any other therapist for that matter.

I want to thank my sponsor betterhelp.com. They are an online therapy company. Whether you are in the US or international. They will set you up with a qualified licensed therapist. PhD level or Master’s level. If you are interested in more information, go to betterhelp.com/krisgodinez.

Kris Godinez  01:01

Okay, so, today we are talking about dissociation, dissociative disorders, identity disorders, other disorders, unreality and avoidant, avoidant personality disorder. So, basically, all of these are based in trauma, every single last one of them, you don’t just suddenly start dissociating for no apparent reason. So, you really want to understand that, why, the why you’re doing this, why you’re dissociating, why you’re checking out why you’re maybe dissociative identity disorder, having other personalities come in and take over, or avoiding things. This is all a trauma response seriously. So, if you are having any of these issues seriously, go get with a good trauma therapist and start unpacking the trauma. So, let’s start with the first one. So okay, and this is from the Mayo Clinic. Dissociative disorders are mental disorders that involve experiencing a disconnection and lack of continuity between the thoughts, the memories, the surroundings, the actions and the identity. People with dissociative disorders escape reality in ways that are in voluntary. I mean, this is not this is, trust me, this is not anybody that would be like, oh, yeah, I wanted to dissociate No, thank you. It’s a scary thing that has happened. And the unreality part of it, which I’m going to get into in a minute, is really scary, because you realize it’s happening. And it’s really kind of frightening. So, okay, dissociative disorders, usually developed as a reaction to trauma and to help keep difficult memories at bay. So, remember, the memories are not just cognitive memories, it’s not just what we’re thinking. It can be somatic as well. So, somebody can get triggered into dissociating by a smell. So, remember, this is the same thing, this is the same thing as all the other triggers, right? So, it’s PTSD. Think about PTSD and PTSD, we avoid things that remind us of the trauma, if something triggers us, and it can be anything, it can be a smell, a sound, a taste, you know, anything a voice, it can be somebody that looks like the abuser, it can be anything can be a tone of voice, it can be anything that will trigger the dissociative episode. So, so it’s, it’s, it’s with trauma. So, get with a good trauma therapist, symptoms ranging from amnesia, so meaning, you check out you don’t even remember stuff. So, for example, you’ve been being abused, you’ve got family and friends who see you’re being abused, they ask you to go to lunch with them, and they tell you, hey, you’re being abused. But the cognitive dissonance between what the abuser is filling your head with, and what the family and friends are telling you is too much. And the person just checks out, doesn’t even remember having lunch with the family or friends, and would rather go back to and believe the abuser because the cognitive dissonance I’m not saying you’re enjoying the abuse. What I’m saying is, is that the incoming information from the family and friends, which is the truth, and the BS that’s being shoved into your head from the abuser are conflicting. And that causes cognitive dissonance, and the person will literally, the stress of it, will literally make them just amnesia. Check out Oh, did I did I have lunch with them? I don’t remember having lunch with them. I was supposed to have lunch with them. Did I have lunch with them? And that’s why because the person they had lunch with was telling them that the abuser was abusive. So yeah, so um, that is amnesia, you know, they’ve just gone all the way to alternate, alternate identity. So that would be dissociative identity disorder, where other parts of the person come forward to handle it. Whatever is going on, um. Okay, so the Symptoms range on, you know, amnesia to alternate personalities depend on the type of dissociative disorder, you have, time of stress, can temporarily times of stress can temporarily worsen symptoms and make them more obvious. So obviously, you know, when somebody’s stressed out, that’s when they’re going to dissociate. So, with this whole pandemic stuff, and with all the unrest and everything going on, there’s been a lot more recognition of people being in dissociative states, because it’s been very stressful. And so, and of course, here we are coming up on Christmas, and we just got done with thanksgiving. We are in Hoover season OMG, I cannot believe how many Hoover’s are going on! I hear from people every day going, Wow, am I glad you talked about that, because my ex who I haven’t heard from in five years suddenly sent me a text, that’s stressful, that’s stressful. Because here you think, you know, you’re, you’re cruising through your life, it’s Christmas, you’re doing your thing, you’re all happy you’re cooking, you’re you know, making stuff and doing presents and you know, whatever. And then all of a sudden, from out of the blue, you get broadsided with a text or an email, or God forbid, they just show up and want to talk or want to whatever. So, here’s the thing, guys, if somebody shows up to your door, and you don’t want to talk to him, you don’t even answer the door. You don’t even let them know your home. It doesn’t matter whether they know your home or not. You don’t answer the door, if it’s your abuser. Tip toe back, it’s like that Men at Work song. What was that Men at Work song, where they’re talking about the landlord’s hearing them anyway. So, but yeah, it’s like just you don’t have to answer the door, you don’t and you don’t have to pick up the phone. And you don’t have to, fill in the blank. Now, of course, something that we were talking about in one of the Q and A’s is that the abusers will call from different numbers. So, a call from friend’s numbers, they’ll call from a new phone number, they’ll call from whatever. So as soon as you realize that it’s them hang up. And somebody said, Well don’t answer numbers you don’t recognize Well, that’s great. Unless you’re in a position where you have to pick up the phone. You know, like, you know, working in my industry, I have to pick up the phone because, you know, sometimes people don’t leave messages. So, I need to talk to them in person. So, and unfortunately, I get a lot of spam. But you know, you just hang up. So anyway, if it’s them, you just hang up, you don’t engage, you don’t encourage you don’t. Nothing you can you give them nothing. So okay, so yeah, this is the time of year where there is a lot of stress. Treatment for dissociative disorders may include talk therapy, psychotherapy and medication.

Kris Godinez  07:48

You can learn to cope with new and healthy ways to deal with the stress. Okay, so symptoms, memory loss, amnesia, we talked about that certain time periods are just gone. So, for example, a lot of clients that I have when I started asking them about family of origin, they will tell me, I don’t remember from age six to 12. And that to me, boom, that’s a huge red flag. Okay, what happened between six and 12? You know, and there’s usually a trauma and it’s usually a sexual trauma, unfortunately. So, there is a reason why we don’t remember parts of our childhood if there was abuse, if there was trauma. So, and think of it this way, cognitively, little ones cannot cognitively cope with physical and emotional trauma. They can’t they don’t have the cognitive ability to do it. Kids don’t develop that until they’re in like, early teens. You know, so if abuse happened like little, little, you know, that’s going to be probably somatic, you’re going to remember it body wise, if abuse happened between like two and six, and you don’t remember that time period, then that’s something to start investigating with a trauma therapist, if you don’t remember your entire childhood up until age 12. There’s something that went on, guarantee it. So, this is why you want to get with a good trauma therapist, you want somebody who is trauma informed, who understands abuse, who can help you process and work through the trauma without being re traumatized, so that it doesn’t force you to dissociate again. And, um, there’s a lot of modalities out there that help with that. So DBT Dialectical Behavioral Therapy. That’s a great one EFT Emotional Freedom therapy. That’s the tapping stuff. EMDR that’s another good one. But I think you kind of have to sort of remember what happened in order for that to be effective. I’m not sure double check me on that. So um, but there are other modalities out there that help with trauma, it would be a really good idea to get with a trauma therapist and start unpacking the trauma so that you master the trauma and the trauma has not mastered you. Okay, so that, okay, a sense of being detached from yourself in your emotions. So, like, it’s like you’re floating around up here, and this is going on over here, and you’re just not a part of it. And that is a common feeling. That’s also part of the unreality thing that I’m going to talk about in just a second. A perception of people and things being around you as distorted and unreal. That’s the one. So, I am going to share what happened to me in college. So, when I was in college, I was going against every single thing that my parents wanted, or were shoving into my head or whatever. I had toured Europe on my own, backpacked across Europe, went by myself, and of course, my mother was like, oh, you can’t do that! Women can’t do that blah, blah, blah and I’m like, watch me. So, you know, I done that. And I had gone to college, and I was getting my degree and my dad tried to stop me. He was like, No, you’re, you’re the cute one. You’re not the smart one. So, you need to become a cosmetologist. And I was like, I’ll get my cosmetology license, and I’m still getting my degree. So, I still got my degree. So that went against whatever he wanted. So, in 1988, and this is and I know this is the year because this is the year that Beetlejuice came out. I had that. I had a period of time where I felt that unreality it was the creepiest weirdest thing. And it was all trauma based, because incoming information was not matching what mom and dad had shoved into my head. So basically, I’ve been finding my voice, I discovered my courage, I realized I could take damn good care of myself and go to Europe by myself. I realized I could get my degree, I realized I was not just the cute one. I was also the smart one. And one of the smart ones. And it was conflicting, because they were going nuts. They hated it. So, I graduated in 89. Now, my mom did her best to ruin the day, because she never graduated. She never graduated college, so she was jealous. So, prior to this in 88. So, as I’m getting closer to graduating and all of this, um, I started having these episodes where everything felt  unreal.

Kris Godinez  12:38

And it was scary. So, it was like it’s kind of like a psychotic break. But in a psychotic break. They don’t know what’s happening in the unreality dissociative state. You know what’s happening. So, when Beetlejuice came out, and this is this all makes sense, trust me. When Beetlejuice came out, I couldn’t watch it. So, I started to watch it. And I couldn’t because that when they died, they were dead. But at first they didn’t know they were dead. And that freaked me out because that’s how I had been feeling that is the best way I could put it. So, I was having an existential crisis. I was dealing with trauma. I was dealing with all of the abuse for my dad, I was dealing with the abuse for my mom I was dealing with, you know, am I valid? Am I here? Am I real? Am I dead? Am I alive? Are you real? Is this real? What is what you know? So, it’s a really scary kind of dissociation because it’s like things feel absolutely on real. And I remember curling up into a ball on my sister’s floor after seeing Beetlejuice. I mean, I I watched part of it and then I had to leave and just going on crazy. I’m losing my mind. I don’t know if I’m dead or alive. I don’t know if I’m real. I don’t know if you’re real. I don’t know if you know and she was just like, breathe, breathe.

Kris Godinez  14:00

God bless my sister. So, it’s, it’s real guys, the, the unreal. This is real. And it is a trauma response and it’s terrifying. When you’re in the middle of it, Jesus H. Montgomery, it scared the effing bleep out of me. It did because it’s like, I was just like, is this real? Is this not real? Am I real? Am I dead? Am I alive? Am I like, the people in Beetlejuice. What’s going on? You know, and now obviously, after I’ve done a ton of work, I understand it was because during this time period, I was really giving the middle finger to my abusers and I was really going up against the conditioning, the programming, the brainwashing, the lies, the you know, the whole thing and I was doing everything polar opposite of what they wanted, and it was freaking the inner child out big time. So yeah, it is kind of an existential crisis in a way, but it’s trauma. It’s trauma, it’s trauma, and it’s from the BS that we have over here, when we start getting healthy when we start confronting when we start, you know, moving away from that. So how did I deal with that? So basically, my sister God love her, talked me through that episode. And then when I had other episodes, I knew what it was. So, I wasn’t freaked out because well, okay, let me let me caveat, I was freaked out, but I wasn’t as freaked out as I was during that really big first episode. Does that make sense? So, once I started working on the trauma, once I really started confronting mom and dad do not have my back, Dad’s crazy, Mom’s not too far behind God bless her, you know, and really started unpacking the trauma, I really have not had one of those episodes since. So really, it does have to do with getting with a good trauma therapist, getting your self-esteem rock solid, underneath you rock solid. So, you know, rock solid sun comes up in the east who you are. Because what abusers want to do is they want to take that certainty away from us, that is what they do. So, this is why I’m saying if you do nothing else, work on self-esteem, please do something else besides that. But if you do nothing else, work on self-esteem. Because if you have good self-esteem, you know who you are, when you’re dealing with crazies, especially parental units over here that are like, Oh, well, you’re this or you’re that or you should be this or you should be that or bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, bla, it’s really hard to get your footing if you’re not rock solid, and who you are versus who they are. Because remember, they project, they project, they project, they project. So yeah, and if they’re threatened by you, they’ll lie to you, they’ll tell you, you can’t graduate, or they’ll tell you, you can’t own your own business, or they’ll tell you that, you know, whatever. So that’s the unreality part. And that is almost like a psychotic break. It is a psychotic break. It’s just that this time with that kind of unreality, in that particular moment, you know, it’s happening. And that’s, that’s, I think, 10 times worse than if you just had a psychotic break, and it happened and you don’t remember it. Because it’s like, it’s happening, and you remember it, and you know it, because you’re going through it, you know, so I’m sorry if that triggered anybody, but um, but yeah, that’s what it is. And I’ve experienced it. So, you’re not crazy. Let me just validate that you are not crazy. This is a trauma response. It doesn’t happen to everybody. Thank God, I wouldn’t I seriously would not wish that on my worst enemy. That was the scariest time I can remember. So. Um, so yeah, it doesn’t happen to everybody. But it does happen to some people. And that is a trauma response. And that is part of the dissociation that is part of the dealing with the incoming information not matching what you’re doing or not matching what you’re feeling or not matching, you know, whatever. So, you’re not crazy. It’s a trauma response. So really, the biggest thing is rock solid self-esteem, boundaries, get with a damn good trauma therapist and start unpacking the trauma. Will you remember the stuff from your childhood, you may or you may not. And either way, it’s fine. It doesn’t matter.

Kris Godinez  18:15

If you remember, great, if you don’t great, that that’s not the important part, the important part is okay, I know something happened. Not entirely sure what. I am going to work on my self-esteem, I’m going to work on my self love, I’m going to work on my boundaries, I’m going to work on my communication skills, I’m going to work on stress management I’m going to work on Do you see where I’m going with this. And, and if you remember what ends up happening, and this is what I gotta warn you guys about when you feel safe, that is more than likely when you’re going to remember. So, it’ll come out of the blue, it’ll come out of the blue. So, every once in a while, you know, when I was unpacking the trauma, I would remember something that I had completely forgotten. Now I didn’t remember I didn’t not remember full, double negative. I remembered most of my childhood, but there were instances that I did not remember. And then one of them came flooding back and I was like, oh, freak, you know, like what? You know, and then I would have to work on that with my trauma therapist with my therapist that I had in Oregon. So um, so yeah, it Fabian Smith. She was fabulous. I loved her. She was great. I love that woman. Anyway, so um, so it it’s gonna come back in little bits and pieces. It’s not going to be like boom, it all comes back. Although that might happen too, but more than likely, it’s going to be little bits and pieces. As you feel safe as you start knowing who you are, feeling safe, trusting yourself trusting your support group, trusting your therapist, etc. It’s going to start coming back. Okay, hold on. Okay. distorted and blurred since about Identity. Yes. So that’s with the dissociative identity disorder with other aspects of the person coming in to handle things, significant stress or problems in your relationship work or other important areas of your life, inability to cope well with emotional or professional stress. Yeah, I would come unglued over everything going on in college. It’s like if I had a paper to be done, I was a nervous wreck. If I had to do a presentation, I was a nervous wreck. I wasn’t coping. You know, I just yeah, it was it was rough. It really was, um, mental health problems such as depression. Anxiety. Oh, yeah. Suicidal thoughts more in high school. Not so much in college. But yeah, you can have those.

Kris Godinez  20:42

Okay, so dissociative amnesia, I talked about that dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder. This disorder is characterized by switching to alternate identities, you may feel the presence of one or of two or more people talking or living inside your head. You may feel as though you’re possessed by other identities, you’re not each identity may have a unique name, a personal history and characteristic, including obvious obvious differences in voice, gender manner, mannerisms, likes, dislikes, etc. One may need eyeglasses, one may not. So yeah, that absolutely. And I’ve seen it several, several times, I’ve had several clients that have had this and I’ve had to refer them to a higher level of care to help them cope with all of that. And again, it is dealing with trauma, it’s unpacking the trauma because there’s a reason that the person has split off because one part couldn’t handle it, but they created somebody who could. So yeah, it just Yeah, it’s it’s really this abusers just, if I could ship every single last one of them to Mars with no oxygen, I think I would, because they make me very angry. I’m very, very angrey no, I am, I just I despise what they do to us, I really do. And it makes me angry. Because also the, the dissociative identity disorder can be terrifying for the person as well, because they know there’s all these different persons here. And they’re all trying to help mostly, although some of them may not some of them may be a representation of the abuser and that’s when they definitely need to get a higher level of care. So, it’s really, it’s really important to get a trauma therapist that understands dissociative identity disorder, if that’s what’s going on, that understands the unreality because that’s a psychotic break and it’s frickin scary, that understands you know, the the trauma we went through you know, and, and in helps us make it make sense. I think that’s the big thing is when we’re being abused, it doesn’t make sense. depersonalization derealization disorder, that’s what I just talked about. This involves an ongoing or episodic sense of detachment and being outside yourself. Observing your actions, feelings, thoughts, from a distance like you’re watching a movie, you know, it’s not real. The other people around you may feel detached or foggy or dreamlike. Yeah, that’s what I experienced. time maybe slowed or sped up. Mine slowed. It was weird. It was really weird. The world may seem unreal, yep. You may experience depersonalization derealization or both. Symptoms can be profoundly distressing and may last only a few moments or come and go over many years. So, I honestly think that if you’re having a continued, continued episode, so like, it’s continuing to happen, that says to me get with a good trauma therapist, start unpacking the trauma, and get some coping skills and, and for me, what saved my ass was my sister because she didn’t make me feel crazy. She validated, she basically comforted me and she acted as the second mom and she was the one that kind of directed me into getting help in college. I, you know, when got a counselor at the, at the, at the University I was at. So, you know, that really helped it did you know and not feeling like I was completely full goose Bozo, you know? So, of course, I tried explaining this to my mom, and she just was like, that’s crazy. I’m like, That’s not helpful.

Kris Godinez  24:14

No, so yeah, so the biggest thing is, is that these are all based in trauma. Now, persistent depressive, I know I’m going to go over a little bit too persistent depressive disorder. dysthymia. So, dysthymia also can come from trauma because we’ve been in this state of fear and panic and sadness and anger and everything for so long. I know I was depressed for a really long time after leaving the house. So, it’s different from major, major depression and so but it has a lot of the same symptoms loss of interest in daily activities, sadness, emptiness, or feeling down hopelessness, tired lack of energy. Low self-esteem, self-criticism, feeling incapable trouble concentrating trouble making decisions, irritability or excessive anger, decreased activity, avoidance of social activities, feelings of guilt or worries over the past, poor appetite or overeating, sleep problems. So, these can also be trauma informed, it’s probably because of the trauma. So, if you’re having any of these symptoms, I strongly, please go get a good trauma therapist, you don’t have to be miserable the rest of your life and you don’t have to be having these episodes the rest of your life, you can work on it, it can get better, seriously, the depression can get better the dissociative episodes can get better. It’s you know, it’s really, it’s just a matter of working on yourself and loving yourself and really unpacking the trauma and putting it back to where it belongs. And getting validation. You know, it’s like there’s a reason people dissociate. There’s a reason people have these, you know, unreality symptoms and it goes back to trauma. So yeah, you’re not crazy, you’re not it’s just a matter of taking care of yourself. And the dysthymia is the same thing. So, it’s not major depressive episode major depressive episodes where it’s like, and you need psych meds to come back up. So, um, but dysthymia is kind of like that. It’s like a low-grade fever. And it’s just always there and you’re just not happy and you’re just not. And a lot of us get that message from our abusers. Don’t you dare be happy! Don’t you dare get it, da,da,da,da,da you know, whatever. So really get with a really good trauma therapist and work on that. Okay, one more avoidant personality disorder, then I swear, I’m going to get to the questions. Okay. avoidant personality disorder is very sensitive to criticism, very sensitive to rejection, to the point where rejection, ooh, it feels like a stab in the heart. It does it just and see, this is where abusers take advantage of that I just….. And this is where they go, Oh, you’re too sensitive. Yeah, we’ll screw you. Sorry. It just so it feels intensely personal, it feels intensely painful. So, criticism and rejection. So, this comes from when we’ve had caregivers that were hypercritical, very rejecting, not nice mean, not constructive criticism. They just criticized for the sake of criticizing because they wanted to hear their own voice and prove how fabulous they were. So avoidant personality disorder is very sensitive to criticism, very sensitive to rejection, it feels very personal, it feels very painful. They feel inadequate, inferior or unattractive, all of which is not true. But that’s what our abusers have shoved into our head avoidance of work activities that require interpersonal contact social activities that require meeting strangers or new activities, fear of looking silly or stupid, extreme shyness in social situations and personal relationships, fear of disapproval, embarrassment, or ridicule. So, these are all trauma responses, you show me somebody who’s avoidant, I’ll show you somebody who got shamed by a parent, embarrassed, you know, publicly shamed, etc, etc, etc. And so, if you had any of those symptoms, again, please go to a good trauma therapist start unpacking the trauma, none of those things are really you. They belong to the abusers or abuser. So,  CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker, it is going to be triggering, however, it’s worth it. So if it gets triggering stop, go do something else. But do come back to it. Don’t just shove it off into the corner and let it collect dust. So, PTSD  CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker, get with a good trauma informed therapist and I don’t care what their modality is, as long as it’s helping you. So DBT CBT so dialectic behavioral therapy CBT, cognitive behavioral therapy.

Kris Godinez  29:26

Mindfulness informed cognitive behavioral therapy that’s another one EFT Emotional Freedom therapy that’s the tapping EMDR oh Lord, was forget what that one stands for eye movement rapid desensitization No, eye movement, eye movement, desensitization reprocessing that’s what it is. So um, so it helps move the memories into you know, avoiding the amygdala so that you don’t relive them. So anyway, CPTSD from surviving to thriving by Pete Walker. Don’t not do it. I just did a double negative again. What the heck? Anyway, so but that’s a really good one to start working on the trauma because all of these mistaken thoughts. Think about it, you know, oh, you know, you’re not capable. You’re not beautiful. You’re not smart. You’re not this, you’re not that those are all mistaken thoughts, mistaken beliefs that were shoved into our head by our abuser, put them back on the abuser. Hey, you want to know who wasn’t capable? You’re never going to win parent of the Year award. Thanks for playing go pound sand. Bye, bye. Do you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, that’s what you need to work on. Okay. All right. Whoo. Let’s get to the questions. I think I covered everything we needed to cover. Okay. Fabulous. All right. Um, all right. I read the other day that borderline personality disorder may block others for attention. Or to see if the other will try to prove they love the borderline. I found it interesting thoughts. Oh, I’m not sure I understand the question. I’m sorry. I read the other day that borderline personality disorder may block others for attention, or see if the other will try to prove they love the BPD. Okay, okay. I think I understand your question. If I don’t, please let me know. So borderline is based in trauma, it is. If they get help, they can get better. If they don’t get help, they don’t get better. So, everything is on a spectrum down here, you have traits of okay, down here, you’re starting to get into the malignant end of it. So, some people with borderline personality, not all but some will set up competition. So that, you know, it’s like prove you love me, prove you love me, prove you love me. And the best way I can describe this, and I, I’m pretty sure I talked about it in my new book. When I was going through practicum I had this client that would go on to web sites, dating websites, and post their real picture, but then also post a stock photo of a supermodel, same description, same everything same and then get livid when people went for the supermodel, not them. That it was crazy. It was and it was damaging. And it was a repetition of the family of origin, rejection, it was so yes, when, it doesn’t happen all the time. Now, this was a rare, I’ve never come across it since. And I’ve been doing this for 15 years, almost. So um, so when that happens, that is a repetition of the trauma from the family of origin. Yes, that can happen that they do the whole prove you love me thing. But it’s, it’s rare. I haven’t seen a lot of that. But yes, it can happen. So, there is that. Okay, um, and it’s just a repetition of the trauma, they’re just playing out the trauma again. And if the person rejects them, then that, unfortunately causes them to spiral and rage and do the psychotic thinking and the whole thing. So that would definitely need an intervention that would definitely need they need to go get help. DBT dialectical behavioral therapy that is the most effective modality for Borderline Personality Disorder. That’s what’s going to help them the most because they’ve got the psychotic thinking they do. And it’s scary and it’s sad and if they can work on it, that would be great because they could get better. Absolutely. All right. Can a narc have dissociation. My narcissist mother at times becomes a totally different person still nasty, and she didn’t remember important events are things that really occurred. Okay, let’s talk about abuse amnesia. Narcissists will never admit that they’ve ever had anything bad happened to them in their entire lives. They don’t have amnesia the way we do. So, what they have is, oh my god it, how do I explain?

Kris Godinez  34:22

When a narcissist is being nasty, you will see them have these different moods are these almost different personalities, but they’re not dissociating. And what they’re doing is they’re abusing and they’re enjoying it. And then afterwards, they claim they don’t remember it. That’s their version of abuse amnesia. So no, no, let’s be clear here. Abusers don’t feel, abusers do not have dissociative disorder like we do. Because you have to feel in order to have dissociative disorder. Do you see where I’m going with that people? Do you see where I’m going with that? They don’t feel they have never had a wrong thing in their entire life. They don’t have anything wrong with them. They are perfect.

Kris Godinez  35:06

So, when they abuse, I will see them get this smirk. The smirk, you know what I’m talking about. They get the smirk, their voice changes, and they say something incredibly nasty. And then they’ll claim they don’t remember doing it. So that is their version of abuse, amnesia. They know damn good and well what they did and they are using that as an excuse to abuse. No abusers know absolutely what they are doing, what they have said, etc, etc, etc. In order to dissociate, you have to actually feel. They don’t feel. So that’s your clue that they’re lying. If their lips are moving, they’re lying. So yeah, they remember they know. You know, my mom used to do that. My mom used to do that she would. My dad not so much, but my mom did that. She would get this almost like, and my sister’s and I talked about it. It’s almost like this other personality but it’s still her. But it’s just snarky, and you know, different kind of it was like this cutesy, cutesy that was the best way I could put it cutesy tone of voice and then she would say or do something where you’re just looking at her going, What planet are you from? Seriously? And then of course a day or two later, she’d be like, Oh, I never said that. Yeah, she did. And then she would even admit when I pushed her. She would admit Yeah, she did remember that. So, do you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, they know damn good and well what they’re doing Don’t you believe otherwise. They absolutely know what they’re doing is called abuse amnesia. So, for us abuse amnesia is literally dissociating. We’re just like, Peace out. Bye. can’t cope, you know, and we just shut down. For them abuse amnesia is I’m not gonna remember this. I’ve got what does it help palpable culpability? No, wait, you know, I can make an excuse and be okay. Do you see where I’m going with that? So yeah, it just, yeah, no, they know what they’re doing. Absolutely. Don’t don’t believe it. Um, yeah, they do now, how do you let go of what the narcissist thinks about you? Okay, that’s hard. It is, I’m not gonna lie to you. Because here’s the thing. In the beginning, the narcissist love bombs, love bomb, love bomb. You’re fabulous. You’re wonderful, I love you, you’re great. You’re the best thing that ever happened to me, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. And then the devalue and the discard starts. And it’s, again, cognitive dissonance. So, it’s like, you said, I was the greatest, you know, and now you’re comparing me to your ex-wife. And you’re doing this and you’re doing that and da, da, da, da, da. So, it’s really hard. Because especially if you’ve been through a several rounds of the abuse cycle, so think of it like a you know, clock and analog clock. So 12 o’clock, is they meet you, they start love bombing. So, three o’clock, love bombing is kind of still sort of happening. But then between three and six, they need to devalue you and show you who’s boss and be abusive. At six o’clock, the abuse happens, the abuse happens up until about nine o’clock, then you have enough of it. And then suddenly, we’re back up to the love bombing again. So, if you’ve been through several rounds of I love you, I love you, I love you. I hate you, love you, love you. I love you. I hate you. I love you. I love you. I love you, I hate you. Okay, that’s the intermittent positive rewards, dog training. Think about it. When we train a dog, we give a treat once every three times, once every six times, until the dog finally goes, Oh, I’m gonna get a treat! I’m gonna… okay, and all you have to do is make the hand signal and they’ll sit hoping to get a treat. So, we do the same thing. So, when we leave, and they’ve gone on a smear campaign, we are still trying to undo all of the cognitive dissonance, all of the intermittent positive rewards all of it, you know, forget you know, dealing with all the love bombing and realizing it was all BS, and then dealing with all the devalue and discard also realizing that is all BS, and then dealing with the smear campaign. So yeah, and their whole goal, remember, this guys, their whole goal is to get in your head. They want to live in your head rent free for eternity, that would make them so happy to know that they are still at the forefront of your mind. So, what you’re going to do is you’re going to just every time they pop up, you’re going to do thought stopping, thought stopping. Well, the first thing, let’s back up. First thing you’re going to do is write a go screw you letter is what you’re going to do. Do not send it you’re not going to send it so what you’re going to do is you’re going to write out every rotten thing they ever did to you. The Good. The Bad, the Ugly, the horrific at the very, very end, you take your power back, dear ex. You know, guess what I figured out your game, you’re a lying sack of doodoo I’m not putting up with this anymore. I’m taking my power back, you don’t get to live in my head rent free anymore. I am raising the rent I am way worth more than what you were! Hello, goodbye. And then you trot it out to the barbecue, read it out loud once burn it, see how you feel. The next thing you’re going to do is thought stopping. So what narcissists are really adept at is getting into your head. That’s what they want. So, they generally are the first thing on your mind in the morning. And the last thing on your mind at night. So, what you’re going to do is thought stopping now this is different from resisting. So, if you resist a thought it’s going to persist. So, in other words, oh, pink elephant taking a doodoo in the corner of the living room. Oh my god. Oh, I don’t want to think about the pink elephant. I’m not thinking about the pink elephant. I’m not thinking about the pink elephant. I’m not thinking about the pink elephant. I’m not thinking about the what the heck am I thinking about the whole time?

Kris Godinez  41:05

The pink elephant! So, what you want to do is, yeah, yeah, I see you, pink elephant. Uh huh. You just have fun pooping over there. Because guess what, you’re not coming in for coffee, because I know you’re gonna stay for breakfast. So, guess what I see you, I hear you. And you don’t get to live here. Rent free anymore. Bye bye now. Buh bye. So, you acknowledge it. But you don’t invite it in. And that’s tough to do, especially in the beginning. Because in the beginning, your thoughts are going to be like, oh, you know, they’re doing this. They’re doing that they’re smearing me here. They’re smearing me there. It doesn’t matter, sweetheart. It doesn’t. I know it feels like it does. But it doesn’t. Because here’s the thing, you cannot control them. You cannot control the flying monkeys. Anyone who is willing to think the worst of you based on what this jack wagon has said, does not deserve to have you in their life. So, you have to remind yourself, they’re gonna say and do whatever it is they’re gonna say and do what other people think of us truly is none of our business. I know. That’s a weird one, isn’t it? It’s like, but, but, but, no, we can’t control it. Even if you walked up to the narcissist and proved that none of what they’re saying is true, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference because they don’t care. They don’t care. They don’t care. They don’t care. They don’t care. And the flying monkeys are in it, because they’re either one of two types. Either the flying monkeys are just ignorant and don’t understand. Or they’re minor narcissists themselves, or they enjoy the drama. They enjoy the drama, they enjoy watching you suffer. So, the best way is to cut them off at their knees. Don’t give them what they want. gray rock, let them go. They’re going to say and think and do whatever they’re going to say and think and do. Is it fair? No. It’s not. It’s not your job to try to control it. All you do is you. Do you. You go be happy, you go live your best life. When you realize who is your friend and who isn’t your friend, your life is going to get much happier. So, anyone who is willing to believe the worst of you does not deserve to have you in their lives. You are worth more than that. So, if this person is smearing you let them, they’re talking about themselves. Think about it. They project, every rotten thing they’ve ever said about you is really about them. They’re projecting because they can’t own their own stuff. If they could, they wouldn’t be narcissists. So, there that is it. I was gonna say something. Um, I was listening to the radio today. I know what’s a radio? Let’s do the radio today. And Hall and Oates came on. And it was the song Rich Girl. And there was a line and I posted about this in my on my page, there was a line that says it’s so easy to hurt others when you can’t feel pain and I was like, oh, man, does that resonate! That’s a narcissist. They can’t feel and it’s easy for them to hurt others because they can’t ever put themselves in somebody else’s shoes. They are not empathic, they are not kind. They don’t have that cog where they can go, ooh, what must that feel like? You know, you don’t have to have things happen to you to understand what that must feel like. And anyone who sits there and goes, well, it hasn’t happened to me, you know

Kris Godinez  44:49

that you’re dealing with somebody disordered. So, for example, if you’re dealing with people and you’re telling them about the abuse, and they just refuse to get it well, it hasn’t happened to me. I don’t understand what you’re Talking about blah, blah, blah, and they don’t educate themselves, you’re dealing with a disordered person guarantee. So anyway, just interesting thought, I don’t know why that popped up, but it did. Um, okay, so yeah, so it’s just going to take a matter of writing and burning letters, constantly doing the thought stopping. And in the beginning, it’s gonna be daily as it goes on. Once a week, once a month, you know, it gets less and less and less and less so. So yeah, and definitely, you’re gonna want to work on that, because you don’t want them to rent space in your head, you just don’t. My brother who is a sex addict, and in a sick relationship with my mother has started calling and texting me. I don’t want to be in relationship with him, what do I do? You just don’t respond; you are under no obligation to have a relationship with anyone you don’t want to. Seriously I have some family members I do not speak to you know, and they may call it all maybe send a text back hope everything is fine, you know, but other than that, I’m busy. Sorry, I’m busy, not available, busy. So, you know, if they keep persisting, and texting and calling and wanting to get together, you could just not answer you can block them. You know, it depends on your level of comfort. So, you could gray rock them, you could block them, you could go no contact, you could go low, low contact, it just depends on what is comfortable for you. So yeah, it’s you don’t have to have a relationship with family members you don’t want to, it doesn’t matter who they are. Here’s the question to ask yourself. If you were not related to this person, would you have anything to do with them? If the answer is no, act accordingly. No, there you go. So that’s always the question to ask when you’re dealing with family. Um, I dissociated at work I lost myself did poorly and disappointed some people years ago, how to let go of the shame associated with that forgiveness. Radical forgiveness, radical self-forgiveness by Collin Tipping. So, here’s the thing. We don’t know how to deal with dissociating until we know how to deal with dissociating. Does that make sense? So, it’s like back in my college days, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what this was. You know, I’m pretty sure I checked out several times when I probably shouldn’t have, you know, so am I going to sit there and beat myself up for not knowing what I didn’t know at the time? No, I’m not. I’m going to forgive myself. I am going to love that little 18-year-old me and say, Hey, little one, you did the best you could do? It’s okay. You know, now you know what to do. It’s all good. Forgive yourself. So radical self-forgiveness by Collin Tipping. wonderful book. I love it. Because that’s the one thing that abusers instill in us is that sense of shame. Oh, you did this wrong. Rub. The. Nose. Rub. The.  Nose. Why? Okay, so this happened. Some people were disappointed, understandable. And it’s in the past, I know what to do different now. I forgive myself. It’s okay. And I can hear everybody out there that’s having a hard time with forgiveness going. Take a deep breath. It’s all good. It’s all good. It’s all good. Forgive, I forgive myself. You couldn’t know what you didn’t know, at the time. I mean, wouldn’t it be great if we all knew exactly what to do? Because if we did, I would be owning a bed and breakfast somewhere and not being a counselor, I really would, because then everybody would already have all the answers. So, but see, here’s the thing, we didn’t know what we didn’t know. And now we do know what we know. And now we can do you know, once we know better now we can do better. It’s that Maya Angelou quote. Once we know better, now we can do better. So back then you didn’t know better. Forgive yourself. It happened. It’s okay. And anyone who’s going to hold that against you, again, does not deserve to be in your life because they’re not your friend. So

Kris Godinez  49:15

when you do the mirror work, if you can do the mirror work, even if you can’t do the mirror, just say it out loud to yourself. I forgive myself for not knowing what I didn’t know. I forgive myself for dissociating, I forgive myself for the unreality. I forgive myself for fill in the blank for disappointing the people. I forgive myself, it’s okay. You want to treat yourself the way a good parent, a good parent, not the ones we had. But a good parent would say or treat you. So, you know, I forgive you. It’s okay. It’s okay. You did? No, it’s okay. So, you disappointed some people. It’s okay. You know better now. You know what to do. It’s okay. Hey, I forgive you say that in the mirror, it’s gonna, you’re gonna cry. guarantee it. Because the first time I did that, oh my God, it was like, Oh my God, there’s forgiveness What the heck, you know and it’s really emotional because we never got that from our family of origin because they were such harsh and critical and mean and you know, rubbing your nose in it and this that the other thing. So, forgive yourself. Radical forgiveness by Collin Tipping, that’s for other people radical self-forgiveness also by Collin Tipping, that’s for us and do the mirror work. Hi, good to see you have a great day. You know what? It’s okay to forgive yourself. I forgive you. And you’re gonna cry, guaranteed It’s okay. It’s okay. It’s okay. Because this is probably the first time you’ve had forgiveness or grace in your life. It’s true. It’s the weirdest thing. It’s like the first time we forgive ourselves really. The first time we cut ourselves some slack. It’s an emotional release, because we’ve had this nastiness hanging over us rubbing our nose and everything when we finally go, you know, and I forgive myself. Whoo. Wow. You know, so forgive yourself. Forgive yourself. It’s okay. It’s okay. All right. Let’s see, um, can forgotten memories suddenly surfaced out of nowhere? And can they also appear in dreams? Yes, absolutely. Yes. So forgotten memories will pop up when we feel safe that I think I talked about that earlier. So forgotten memories will pop up when we feel safe. And remember, our subconscious is constantly if you believe in the Carl Jung, collective unconsciousness, and he was very much into the archetypal dreams stuff. And I just I love that stuff. Because I think it’s valuable. So, when my clients come in and tell me their dreams, I’m like, let’s analyze it, you know, and I’ll write it all down. And we’ll figure out what the archetypes are. And you know, go through it. And they’ll be like, oh, yeah, that meant this about my mom. Oh, this was about my, oh, this was about my, it was great. I love doing that. That’s so much fun. So yeah, I do think dreams are very important. I do. Not everybody subscribes to that. But I do think that the subconscious is definitely working on stuff. And so yes, sometimes remembered stuff will pop up into dreams. Sometimes it’s symbolic of the remembered stuff. So, for example, my dad never raped me. But in my dreams, he was always raping me. But verbally, emotionally. And I think intent wise, he was raping. Does that make sense? So, I would have dreams like that when I was going through my counseling with my therapist in Oregon. And so yeah, those dreams were they were very disturbing, because I was just like, what the, you know, and I’m like, I know, that didn’t happen. So why am I dreaming is oh, it’s symbolic of, and then we would go through and work it through. So. So yeah, dreams are very telling. And they do help us process. So, there is a website called Dream moods that I like to go to, um, and they’ve usually got some pretty good interpretations of common dream symbols and things like that. So, but again, it really is up to the dreamer, what the symbology is. So, if you’re having a certain dream, you have to figure out for yourself kind of what that means. You can be guided by a therapist with that, but it’s good to kind of, okay, well, what does this mean? So, for example, I had a dream one time and I was dealing with a particularly nasty female, about spiders, jumping, jumping, jumping, and I went, Oh, that’s about this female. That’s interesting. So, my dream was like trying to warn me, it was like, Oh, this person’s a spider. Okay, I got it. Okay. You know, so yeah, the dreams are very helpful. Dreams are very helpful. And they and it’s good to interpret it yourself. But if you need a little help dream moods on just Google it dream moods, and they usually have some pretty good interpretation. Sometimes they’re offs. Like one time, I was just reading one of the descriptions. I was like, that’s not what that means.

Kris Godinez  54:13

So, you always trust your own guy. Always, always, always trust your own gut. Okay, let’s see if there are any other questions. No, that is it. All right. My love’s you guys go. Have a great week and I will talk to you on Sunday. Bye.

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