An Einstein Theory as it Relates to Survivor Dissociation
Quote by Albert Einstein
As Einstein theorizes, a human being is part of a
whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He
experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the
rest… a kind of optical delusion of his
He goes on to say; this delusion is a kind of prison for us,
restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons
nearest us. Our task must be
to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to
embrace all living
creatures and the whole of
nature in its beauty.”
When I first read this quote my jaw dropped wide open. I felt a rush from my head to my toes. It was like standing underneath a waterfall looking up through the streaming water into the sun rays above. It filled my being with a momentous opportunity of inspiration.
The level of intensity that this quote had touched upon was not only exhilarating; it was instantaneous and incredibly profound. It spoke to me on so many levels.
Although, I’ve always held the belief that I was one with nature and that somehow, we are all one connected to the universe.
The separation that I experienced was not from the universe,
so to speak, it was a separation within my own being. The disconnection or lack of connection which I experienced
as a survivor of childhood sexual abuse was a severance between my memories,
thoughts and feelings; as well as my mind and body. Thus, resulting in my experiences, being disjointed and
separated, not being integrated into my core being or my sense of self.
A perfect example of this disconnect / re-connect is portrayed in my art in the second and last four stanzas of my poem. “Somehow it just….”.
Art and Trauma Therapy
In fact, I remember the day that I became consciously aware of my very first thought. I was thirty three years old sitting in my therapists’ office. I also remember the day when I was reintroduced to my feelings. In time I gradually learned to reconnect with my body and spirit as well. It was a slow and often gruesome challenge.
Although, unlike an optical delusion of consciousness, (referred to by Einstein in his quote). It was in fact what I learned later in life to be known as dissociation, a survival technique that was ingrained into my consciousness born out of my childhood abuse.
The commonalities or relationship between Einstein’s’ optical delusion of consciousness and dissociation are that they both have the power of disconnecting one’s being from reality. As well, they each create a form of imprisonment.
Dissociation, one of many survival techniques, had encapsulated me, like a cocoon; keeping me disconnected but alive and safe.
Hence, the technique of dissociation that once served me
well as a child, in years to follow became my prison. (I was no longer living in dangerous
situations that required these techniques to survive). It had become maladaptive and self defeating.
I not only had to unravel the layers of the childhood memories that once haunted me, I had to shed the layers of the protective sheaths and start fresh learning new healthy coping skills and behaviors.
As once stated in one of my poems; 31 years lie deeply below, underneath layers in paralyzed rows.
I had to learn for the first time in my life how to trust, how to feel, how to stay connected and embrace that little girl inside of me who’d been held prisoner all these years; shower her with affection and treat her with loving kindness. Although simply stated, might I add, not an easy task for someone whose survival techniques have become ingrained and this is all she knows.
Like Einstein’s theory as it affects the universe, so too does the technique of dissociation affect and arrest a survivor’s development. Healing, however, is possible through love and support. Many thanks to all who have been there for me. My husband, daughters, sisters, friends and therapist. I wouldn’t be here without your help.
May we survivors no longer be deluded and held prisoners in a world of darkness and despair; wrapped tightly, imprisoned in our cocoons. Rather, may we take comfort in knowing that we are not alone; we can free ourselves from this prison by reaching out, developing awareness, compassion and the necessary skills essential to embrace life.
Other Articles by Sage Williams
- As a survivor of child sexual abuse, I learned a creative way to remove
myself from experiencing something to cruel for any child to bear. As a
result there were many psychological effects and problems that
remained. One of the basic losses was semantic knowledge and routine
skills, like reading and writing or better off known as cognitive
This article touches upon and explores the underlying issues of childhood sexual abuse and the depths of the psychological effects that remain for adults abused as children.
- Underneath it all I have come to realize that we are all spiritual beings. In the middle of all the chaos, I learned to be aware of my senses. I learned to not only hear but to listen to what my spirit was saying to me. I learned to trust and to follow. I learned a way out. Delicately intricate, they were unique gifts; like threads of gold, interwoven through a tapestry of the heart. Unique gifts that will be cherished forever, as blessings in disguise or what I refer to as, “Gifts from the soul.” Sage Williams
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