truncate : to shorten by or as if by cutting off
When I was a child growing up in New Orleans, I had a favorite hiding place. Cool and shady, even during the hottest, most humid summer, no one could see me and I could let my imagination run wild. It was under the house.
There, I felt safe. My dad was an angry and abusive man. He drank to oblivion most nights, which was really the best case scenario. On the nights when he drank one-too-few beers, he could become very agitated and physically violent. I was usually the target of his ire.
My mom suffered from schizophrenia. Hiding under the house provided refuge from what was going on inside those four crazy walls.
I’d learned how to “jump out” of my body at a very early age – around two-and-a-half years old. At the time I didn't consciously know what I was doing, but I know now that it was my way of keeping my mind safe while my body was being injured. I was practicing “truncation”.
Truncation might also be called compartmentalizing, which is a widely used psychological analysis. We separate events, thoughts and feelings from the core Self, usually as a way to avoid some type of pain.
Eventually, to become a healthier person, I had to learn to integrate all the hiding places in my world. That didn’t begin to happen until adulthood. Actually, it’s still happening.
Staying present has its advantages. Compartmentalizing – not so much. All of life is happening in this very moment, as I write this. Nothing else matters. I don’t want to miss a thing.
If you were traumatized as a child – in any way – you likely truncate and don’t even know it. If you are accused of not paying attention, of being listless, of not caring…a part of you is likely in hiding.
Integrating all parts of Self is crucial. When I cut energetic cords – the tethers that keep you bound to early childhood trauma – it’s like stepping out into the daylight. You begin your healing journey. You're on the way to becoming FREE and WHOLE.
It’s time to come out from under the house.