Jennifer Angelina Petro
I’m drifting through the day, getting things done, all the while existing in one of the deepest dissociative spells I’ve been through/with in a long time. The mind is fascinating, isn’t it? As I post this, I am not really here. Not sure where/who I am. I’ve left my body and yet it operates on its own, while I float close to the ceiling like a shimmering reflection of water. I’ve been here many times. Trauma and the subsequent PTSD will do that–at least to me. There are times the ceiling dissolves and I merge with the sound of summer cicadas and the drowsy hum of bees. It’s always unsettling for a little while once I return. My heart races for a few minutes, my breath catches until it settles into its flow, and I wonder: What did I miss? What wisdom has drawn my spirit out for protection, for safekeeping, for a kind of salvation? What wisdom creates a buffer between my spirit and a reality I am afraid of or find overwhelming at that moment? An answer isn’t necessary. I trust in the wisdom and compassion of dissociation. That doesn’t make it a comfortable experience. It doesn’t come without sobbing soon after, and the floor becoming a grounding presence. It doesn’t come without resonances of fear–fear of the returning, and what will happen next, fear of the fragile possibility that I can bloom from my body and never return.