I am always hearing that it is a bad thing to disassociate but I wonder when is stepping back and observing a healthy thing as opposed to dissociating?

You ask such a good question.  Sometimes it seems like a very fine line to me between harmful and helpful disassociation

For me, there's a definite difference in my experience with disassociation. When I'm dissociating, I'm feeling stuck and angry, internalizing the situation and pulling away from everyone. It is a pre-flashback kind of mode that feels negative. My mind puts up a shield and I hide, afraid. Dissociation is a reaction to a situation.

When I'm observing in the moment it is a very intentional thing. I'm focused on something positive. I'm trying to hold back judgment and thought and just "take in" the moment. My body is not tense with that "fight or flight" feeling. And, I'm in control of what I'm doing. I don't mean I'm necessarily being successful at observing, but certainly IT isn't taking me over and leading me down a scary path.

That's the difference for me.

- Lisa

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