I was taught very early on that some parts of my humanity were “allowed”— namely: being sweet, being affable, smiling, showing controlled joy, and being helpful.
And I was taught that some parts were “bad” — namely: feeling anger, feeling afraid, feeling sad, and speaking up when things seemed out of integrity or not life-affirming. THESE were not welcome.
So I learned to hide those parts by denying they existed, or by keeping them secretive — sometimes even to myself.
Sometimes, this proved to be too chronically painful. In order to keep these “bad” parts of me shut away, I had to ignore important messages from within my body.
When an emotion or a thought or an impulse emerged, I would disassociate, numbing myself with food, obsessive thoughts about people I was dating, or my usual go-to — work. My body’s “lights would stay on,” so to speak, but there would be “nobody home.”