I am thinking about the words that are said by a referee before the start of a boxing match. This is when they say, “Protect yourself at all times.”
Once the bell rings, the two fighters come out fighting. They have trained to do this.
They have trained to do both; protect themselves at all times and yet, at the same time, they have trained to protect themselves while imposing their way upon their opponent.
The sound of the bell is like a switch. Once the bell rings, the fighter becomes a different person. In fact, in order to be successful, the fighter cannot be human at all. The fighter cannot feel, cannot worry, and cannot think, but instead, the fighter has to become an alter ego. The fighter has to transform into a calculating machine.
This is the only way to protect them at all times. They protect themselves from trauma and fear. They remove their emotional side and think based on strategy and plan. This is the only way; otherwise, the fighter cannot defend themselves to the best of their ability.
There is something about this which we overlook. Although not everyone is a fighter or perhaps not everyone enjoys the sport of boxing, each and every one of us understand what it means to have to protect ourselves at all times.
Same as the fighter might hear a bell; we might hear a name or connect to a memory. This is what causes changes in our personality. Maybe this stems from a past experience. Maybe this is from an imposition or due to a violation of boundaries.
This is why we create an image protect ourselves. This is where the layers cover over our true self because at one point or another, something happened that caused us to say, “Wow! I’m never going to let that happen again.”
The truth is there is more to us than just us. I am going to suggest most people have more than one personality, or face, which we show in different places. We have a work face and a game face. We have a home face and an intimate face. We do not and cannot always show all of us to everyone unless we are comfortable. But why not?
I’ll tell you why.
We do this because we have to protect ourselves at all times.
There are people that live with something called D.I.D.
This stands for Dissociative Identity Disorder, which was previously known as multiple personality disorder.
Are we all so different?
Now, of course, this disorder is real. And I do not claim to be educated enough about this disorder to know enough to call myself an authority. However, in the cases I have learned about; the different personalities were used as a means of protection from trauma at a young age.
In their case however, when the other personalities come in, the original personality is in some sort of amnesia like, or blackout minded state, in which they have no memory. This is the mind protecting itself.
I am thinking of this. I am thinking of me and the little me that I used to be. I am thinking about the imposition of others and the violation of sacred and personal boundaries. I am thinking of abuse and not just me, but others that understand this as well. I am thinking of an unwelcomed hand and an unwelcomed attention.
This is what happens after abuse of any kind. This is what happens after moments of personal shame turn inward. This is not limited to anyone with Dissociative Identity Disorder. This is us. All of us.
Some use their smile to defend themselves or their humor. Some use a false bravado. Some pretend and create their life, as if their alter-image as a strong, impenetrable, and successful person can make up for their incomplete or unaccomplished feelings.
The truth is everyone understands what trauma is. And, since our mind is always trying to protect us, this is why we create an alter sense of who we are. This is where ego comes in to create an alter image.
When the bell rings, we have to protect us at all times. This is true; however, this can also be exhausting. This can be draining. This also fuels the depressive firs that burn us and drive us towards anxiety.
This is the very same reason why I had to strip myself of draining people in my life. I had to rid myself from people that I associate the need to protect me from. Of course, not everyone can be eliminated; however, I can create new boundaries. I had to create my own form of safety. This is how I protect me.
After the impositions of life and after the understanding that what happens to us is not a problem of fault, but more accurately, this was just an imposition that created and caused us to think, feel, or react accordingly; once we understand our background as to why, or once we understand the origin of our shame or feeling as if we were a fool and taken advantage of, hurt, or angry, —then we can understand more about us and our personalities.
Throughout our life, all of us undergo a moral injury. At one point in our youth, we saw something tragic or terrible. At one point, we saw an injustice, in which we promised us this would never happen again.
Vulnerability can be a frightening thing. Feeling like a fool; feeling shamed, and feeling like someone took advantage can be crippling if not punishing. Humiliation alone is painful but to be publicly exposed or shamed is downright unthinkable. Fear of being that “One” singled out and abused or shamed or bullied or unwanted is a terrible fear to have
We are very
social creatures. This where we learn our social cues and how we learn to
protect ourselves at all times.
I was listening to an interview with a woman with Dissociative Identity Disorder. She was doing well. The reason why she was doing so well is because she surrounded herself with strong, positive people. This why she didn’t feel threatened; and this way, her other personalities did not need to come out to protect herself.
I learned from this. I learned that whenever I am acting like someone else it is because I am uncomfortable being me. This is when image comes into play. This is where the work on self begins because if we work on becoming comfortable in our skin and when we learn to look at our life’s work from a strategic standpoint and rather than feed from our emotional side of thinking, we utilize our logical thought, this is the best way to protect us.
Otherwise, like the girl in the interview; we are just little kids hoping no one hurts or imposes their will upon us.
I used to read a book called Just for Today that was filled with positive affirmations. Well, here’s my just for today
Today I will
protect myself at all times by understanding yesterday is gone and none of us
life there anymore. Just for today, I will understand what it means to heal. I
will understand my boundaries are.
I will not allow anyone to violate this nor will I violate anyone else as a means of protection or self-preservation.
I can pardon my intruders and forgive myself because fault has no place in this conversation.
The truth is we all know what trauma is. We all know what a moral injury is. Just for today though, me and you, we are going to be beyond this, protected, comforted, and free to live without fear for the bell so we don’t have to fight anymore or protect ourselves at all times
Maybe we can get some rest this way