Holding Back

Last week at Krav I momentarily dissociated – my partner reached up and swiped my face back to distract me/counter a headlock; I’m not sure how long his hand was on my face – I remember trying to ignore it and then, it’s like everything went blank, and the next thing I knew he was standing up from having pinned me on the floor. This is the second time I’ve experienced this kind of “dissociation”, last time it happened was at Krav as well – being pinned with a shoulder pressed in my cheek.

I’ve always been weird about my face. I don’t like to look at it in the mirror. I don’t like to touch it, and I especially don’t like anyone else to touch it. Not my children, not my husband.

I’ve always assumed it was connected to my trauma in one way or another but never really took the time to think about it. But being that my current mantra is to “be curious” – I started trying to narrow it down. My first thought was the artist, it was him spitting in my face that finally broke me — but then, that indicated that I was already sensitive about my face, because he had done far worse things and I didn’t care, but the face, I did care. So I worked backwards thinking through possibilities but nothing was really fitting.

I let it go.

Then, last night, I laid in bed and brought it to mind again. There had to be a reason for me to dislike my face being touched so much so that withstanding pressure on it caused me to dissociate, twice. That doesn’t happen for no reason. And that’s when it hit me. A memory of someone holding their hand over my mouth. Not violently. But tightly, controlling. I can’t see it happening but I can feel it. Like sitting still in a chair after swinging for an extended period of time, and your body still “feels” like it’s swinging even thought it’s not happening anymore.

I can’t tell if it’s connected to the other memories I have, or if it’s a completely separate memory. But I’m trying to just trust myself, and be open to whatever else comes up.

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