CTW 1 – 4:45
Final Draft 1
“Sometimes we must lose ourselves to find ourselves:” Why is it important to know ourselves?
This was the motto of the NOLS hiking trip I went on in Wyoming two summer ago, and it has been something that has stuck with me in my life since. To find out who we truly are as an individual, our values, dreams, and deepest fears, we need to strip everything down and restart. We need too, in a sense, get lost. But what happens when you get too lost and can’t make it back? When your young, you start off with the ability to dissociate, because you don’t care about who and what you are. As you grow up, you learn that it is important to know yourself and care about who you are; The ability to dissociate slowly leaves. We get a little tease of our past ability to dislocate with something like a movie, I think that’s why we enjoy “entertainments we tend to get lost in.” People who deal with trauma never lose their ability to dissociate and never learn who they really are. They are stuck in their movie, but it’s no Oscar, instead it’s a nightmare that they can’t wake up from. Clinical psychologist, Martha Stout, provided examples of these types of people in her chapter titled, “When I Woke Up Tuesday Morning, It Was Friday.” Her patients, Seth and Julia, dealt with trauma in their life and lost their ability to see their identity and who they are as individuals. While losing oneself can promote thrill and a sense of rebirth, it can be destructive to our lives because it can lead to a loss of reality and self-harm.
When Seth describes his experiences with dissociation, it shows how losing oneself can lead to a loss of reality. Seth differs from Stout’s other patients as he can recognize individuals drifting off into their own space. He recognizes a colleague in her space and says to Stout, “I knew exactly where she was” (Stout 670). Seth is a successful forty-nine-year-old man whose dissociative condition involves him “doggy-paddling” out to sea. When Stout asks Seth what it feels like, Seth explains that “I don’t change. It’s not that I change. Reality changes” (Stout 670). In other words, Seth says that he has lost his sense of reality. His physical self is still there, but everything...