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All posts for the month January, 2016

ME, DISSOCIATE?

Published January 10, 2016 by Nan Mykel

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.”

Funny Obituary (Mine)

Published January 6, 2016 by Nan Mykel

BABYPI_2

     Retired prison psychologist Nan Mykel passed away last week at the age of 79*, with her boots on. As reported in a recent interview, she said her workplace had expanded from a small prison to embrace the entire county of Athens, Ohio, where she had lived since 1980.
    Whether it was volunteering at the local public access television channel in Athens where she produced Kaleidoscope, a weekly show, caretaking her 6-page Word Press blog or squeezing out words for the library’s poetry and writing groups, her mind remained in a frenzy, searching for new ways of looking at things.
     It is reported that even on weekly trips to Gallipolis, where she took her Downs Syndrome daughter to lunch Sundays, she drove with paper and pen on the car seat beside her to capture elusive poetry ideas. (Now that she’s gone that illegal practice can be recorded).
     Nan was of the old, old school, growing up in a world of mechanical typewriters. The advent of wires, cords, connectors,  monitors, mice and internet passwords caught her unawares and it was with grim determination that she cautiously inched her way into the computer age. Once on its threshold, she rushed to self-publish three books, which comprise her legacy, along with the refurbished hp and other “stuff” that occupied her home office.
     Rumors that she was not a good housekeeper are apparently true, as we discovered on our post-mortem visit.
     Incidentally, as an aside, the germ of this obituary was conceived on the Nustep machine at Heart Works in Athens, Ohio, the day after her first and last poetry group session.
     And now it can be told: her password, which is etched on her tombstone, was “hairballs”.
*She was always cagey about her age. She could have been 80.

A Second Dream Awakening

Published January 4, 2016 by Nan Mykel

Christmas morning about 5:15 a.m. my unconscious woke me up again, but there was no obvious purpose in it.  This time it took the form of one very loud ring, like that of the old-fashioned telephone.  To date it haas utilized three loud knocks, a doorbell, a regular phone ring and even my cell phone. Have I got a creative unconscious or a bug in my ear?!

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