No Place Like Home

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Since coming face to face with my past, my system has been “jacked up”. This is my technical term for “too much going on for me to comprehend using logical thought processes”. Part of my confusion comes from my many parts. My parts come from using dissociation as a defense mechanism, but it is important to note everyone has parts to some degree. Sometimes, it is difficult to identify which part needs attention and integration. But that identification is important to my healing journey.

While I have that adult part who wants to make responsible decisions when faced with life, I have other parts who are not quite so interested in making convenient and logical choices in the present moment. I have parts that live in the past. I have parts that want to resolve the past by repeating it. And unfortunately, my parts don’t agree. In some cases, they vehemently disagree. And so things get a bit “jacked up”.

You see, there is this inner child part who is convinced that all those who have hurt her should apologize and “make it right”. And to be fair, she is right. That is exactly what should happen … in a perfect world. But it isn’t likely to happen. And waiting for the perfect world is a waste of time. Yet she waits. But through years of therapy and integration, she is starting to trust there might be another way to resolve her trauma, slowly but surely.

But then, there is the inner escape-artist. She’s not interested in apologies. She’s not interested in waiting for others to do the right thing. She’s not interested in others at all. She wants to hide away from the world because that is the only way to avoid the inevitable pain that comes from relating to other human beings.

She is the part who will leave a relationship before it gets scary. She is the part who hates schedules or anything that must be done every single day. She is the part who loves to travel far away from home as often as possible. She is the part who feels trapped most of the time.

My desire to escape has magnified significantly in the past week and I have come to realize that the escape-artist is in charge. And because I am so creative, escape can come in many forms. Of course, my favorite method is dissociation which can manifest on a continuum. Sometimes, I find myself daydreaming about being somewhere else while making breakfast. Sometimes, I am writing a blog post in my head while taking a shower. This kind of dissociation happens to most people and it isn’t overly damaging if I can remain aware of it.

But it can take a turn for the worse. So, when I sense that lightheaded feeling, I have to take action. I will talk to someone nearby. I will look at the trees to help ground me. I will list out my current activities to remind myself of where I am. I do what I can to come back to the present moment and I try to understand the triggers that sent me away.

But my escape can also take physical forms. I have spent most of the past week thinking about and looking for a vacation getaway for my family. You may be asking what is wrong with that. Everyone needs a vacation. But I know what I am up to. I will spend a ton of money to go someplace far away only to discover that I can’t escape myself. Then, I will spend most of my time there trying to be someplace else.

I have noticed my increased interest in the houses for sale in small towns. I seem convinced that I can escape my past if I move to a place where nobody could find me. But I know that I belong where I am. I love it here. And my kids love it here. I know I don’t really want to move. But I keep looking. I feel like Julia Roberts in that hard-to-watch movie during which she escapes her violent husband by pretending to drown. But there’s a major difference. I don’t live with an abuser anymore. My only abuser is in my head.

And yet I run. Or I plan to run. Maybe I just run on the inside. I live my life in constant escape-planning mode.

It’s exhausting.

And it fixes nothing.

But more importantly, it is futile.

If I constantly try to escape, no place will ever feel like home,

not even home.

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21 thoughts on “No Place Like Home

  1. Oh my goodness! This is what I am doing. I am constantly looking at houses in small towns and making unrealistic plans to move. Or shopping for used motorhomes on the online classifies and making unrealistic plans of leaving everything behind.

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  2. Elizabeth,
    Thank you for wiring this on behalf of all my parts! As one with poly-fragmented Dissociative Identity Disorder with no therapy or help here, “hearing” your journey helps ours trudge along less alone, misunderstood and afraid. We’re so thankful for your beautiful sharing!

    We can relate to vacations, after all that is was dissociation means to many others around us right? A vacation in the head?? *sarcastically said* It’s no vacation to us! The problem is we all know no matter where we go, so does the root of our pain. These choking roots are deep! We need a vacation to nourish those parts broken and dismayed. Moreover, A place where we can process it all, regain strength for the battle ahead and NOT look in the rear view mirror. I hope you find that place!

    I wish we could employ a fail safe button when things get to overwhelming and stressful.. one that teleports us to a place of peace, quietness of mind and love with the click of the “ruby slippers” , even if just for a moment…our vacations and home would truly feel like our home away from the homes were chocking roots began.

    Love and Peace to Your many beautiful parts,
    ~K and Destany’s House

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    • I am so happy my writing is helping and I am so sorry you don’t have help there. While I am not diagnosed with DID because I very rarely lose time since the abuse has stopped, I can relate to everything that is written by those with DID. And I love the idea of teleportation (although I might use it too much). 🙂 Peace to your parts as well.

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      • Thank you for your kindness Elizabeth, we would use the teleportation too often as well! 😉 Being jacked is no fun! I call it hi-jacked! Best to you always! Keep sharing and inspiring! ~K and Destany’s House

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  3. My escape artist finds her escapes in a busy schedule. She fills our time with activities that keep us away, physically and mentally. My children suffer because of it and I have to be so careful. I look at my calendar some days and have no idea how it got so full. I try to stay in my life manager part as much as possible but those others just seem to take over whenever they feel like it. And depending on who is in control, home is not a safe haven but a place filled with angst. Thank you for sharing, Elisabeth.

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      • Thanks for another great post. I’m always planning a move…I’ve moved a lot all my life and lived in nearly 40 different homes in 40 years. I’d always assumed it was a habit from childhood…but I can see that it actually is an escape and probably was for my parents too.

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      • I have moved more than I thought I would considering how much I dislike it. My parents didn’t move much, but my grandparents were practically nomads. There were times when they lived out of an RV.

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  4. Thank you so much, Elisabeth! Your posts reflect my thought processes to the letter, and for that I am both grateful and relieved. I have mastered filling up my schedule in order to escape, even if temporarily. I feel like I’m always on escape-artist mode….I’ve made so many plans to move away from home, it no longer feels so. And even though I know how exhausting keeping myself so busy is, the weight it has on me, I cannot bring myself to slow down because then I fear my “jacked up” parts will take over…it’s like I try to keep myself from thinking. 😦

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  5. What an insightful article. I can very well relate to the inner escape artist.this was I as a teenager. I still hate routines and daily chores and dream about traveling. But got better in not escaping relationships. Dissociation is still a problem.I keep these conversations in mind with people I hardly know in person. I was not aware it was escapism till reading you!daydreaming has almost stopped after giving birth to my son last year. It was strongest in my pre-teenage and teenage years! Mm I need to understand my escape artist self more:-)

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