I learned a lot while writing FALLOUT: A Survivor Talks to Incest Offenders. I have two points to make in this post.
First, I did an incredible amount of research and am left with a big box full of articles which I Xeroxed. I hate to just throw them away. If anyone thinks they may write on the subject some day or is just curious, please let me know and I’ll send them to you, USA, post-paid.
Second, I learned that I have a slight tendency to dissociate, at least according to John Brier’s definition of dissociation. He and Runtz (1988) questioned sexually abused and non-abused college women and found that the subjects could be discriminated one from the other group by whether they met Briere’s broad criteria for dissociation, which included “reduced responsiveness,” “spacing out,” “derealization” (experiencing things as unreal), “out-of-body experiences” and “lost time.”
Briere describes spacing-out behavior and disengagement as “withdrawal into a state of affective neutrality, where thoughts and awareness of external events are, in a sense, placed on hold.” These periods usually last from seconds to several minutes. The depth of dissociation in these cases is usually shallow. (Briere, 1992, 37-38, Child Abuse Trauma.
I can remember “going inside” myself but never thought of it as dissociation, which perhaps it was.
At the other end of the continuum, of course, are the much more serious examples of DID, or what used to be called “multiple personality disorder.”

About Nan Mykel

I used to think I would be a child prodigy, but then I got old. Formerly I had fantasies of rubbing elbows with cultural and academic leaders but that did not come to pass because I did not become a cultural or academic leader or any other kind of leader, for that matter. I am not even an "Alpha Dog," a term learned from a friend who had to become "Alpha Dog" in order to influence her own pet. (When gazes lock, she never looks away.) For years I expected to become a published author, but in passing I could not avoid the fact that I had little to contribute to the world's bulging dumpsters. I'm embarrassed to report that I also considered my primary process artistic productions powerful, rather than mildly neurotic. Which is not to say that I disrespect myself, only that I am beginning to doubt my potential for making a mark on the world. If I focus on strict self discipline I may be able to keep my garbage removed on a weekly basis, to keep the kitty box changed, the clothes cleaned, the dog watered, fed and walked, but that just catches me up to the starting mark again. When writing I physically grapple with words, wrestling them from their indifference into attempted chunks of awareness. I sit heavily on my chair; I breathe in artificially cooled air; my ear drums note the tap tap of the keyboard and the steady uninterrupted sound of the air conditioner, What is that sound? The roar of the ocean from 30 yards away...Inside, my thoughts are are balls in an electronic game machine, bouncing hither and yon from lever to lever. I am a little grim and intent until I recall a dream related by a black man in the prison where I once worked. He said that when he was a small boy, back home, he dreamed he was standing on his front porch pissing, and that he suddenly found himself pissing stars...
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