Unexpected triggering dissociation

Dealing with PTSD for 50+ years, I thought I was beyond dissociative states. In 2010, a police officer's violent outburst left me entirely ignorant of what happened. Witnesses attributed my broken shoulder, ripped rotator cuff to the cop slamming me into a wall. Video supported witness' accounts but I could not remember what happened after LEO raised his voice. (Camera stopped recording video, while audio continued recording).

Involved in the prosecution of a serial pedophile, while filing a report, the police and District Attorney were present. Uncomfortable in a cramped room with four unknown adults staring at me, I requested a change in seating so that each person was within my field of vision (i.e.: not behind me). The Deputy snapped at me to pay attention to the Lt. questioning me and I do not know where I "went" but I complied ~ becoming a four year old scared child again! Four hours later, I have no idea what I may have told them and the recording is not available to me.

Finally, in the above investigation, the Sheriff got angry at me and in front of two reporters, moved aggressively toward me with a red and angry face. I "left" and a friend took my arm and led me out of the building. I had no idea what was going on and thought my friend was acting strange. I do not know why he was angry. The reporters were so frightened they didn't record the audio but caught his behavior on video.

It's been so long since dissociation was a problem, I'd quit paying attention to situations that may trigger splitting but now that I am aware of the problem my old solutions do not work. I NEED to remain present while dealing with some rather serious challenges (law enforcement involved) and knowing angry, uniformed, male, law enforcement triggered the last three dissociative episodes, what can I do to stay in the moment?

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  • I have a Dissociative Disorder and I really feel for your situation. I have some "cop" issues too and I get wonky around them. In the area where you need to testify, do they have Witness Advocates? It may be helpful to have someone with you when you have to face questioning. You sure wouldn't be the only one either.

    Other than that, Mindfulness exercises may be of some help. Good luck.

  • Unfortunately, this town does not have a Victim or Witness advocate but I'm not going out

    I married a police officer when I was too young to know better. He was violent before we were married. I thought it was normal for men to hit women but when that anger turned on my newborn baby girl, I left like a thief in the night.

    30 years later, for reasons I will never know, a deputy knocked me all over the place, breaking my shoulder and shredding the rotator cuff. I was at the courthouse as the advocate for a child; a job I attended to for 15 years without incident. I've never been arrested because I don't commit crimes and I'm not about to argue with a copper. They are bigger than me and they have guns!

    Four years later, I'm dealing with a whole department of nitwits, who bully their way through every obstacle. In small town LA, for 30 years, the cops did nothing when kids ran away and reported horrific abuse (with bodies covered in bruises) and did not make reports when kids said they had been raped. During one investigation, the state found incredible abuse and maltreatment but never filed charges against the pastor who was raping the kids. We were all terrified of him and he told us that no one would ever believe us.

    Seems that old baptist preacher knew something about this town that we did not know! Since the grand jury no-billed the pedophile, more women have come forward.

    I haven't been able to calm my mind enough to sit for five minutes. I swing from debilitating depression to hyper vigilance within minutes. I started Hula Hooping and I love it and don't have to leave my house. It makes me laugh and I'm getting quite good!!!

  • It's so difficult to read what you had to go through!! I'm so sorry you had to experience that and be revictimized by ignorant, obnoxious, heartless brutes. I wish I could have been there with you. I think having someone there with you that you trust is the best advice if that's possible. BTW...you should be SO proud of yourself for requesting a seating rearrangement!!! That took a lot of courage and was fantastic self care. It makes me want to spit in the face of the jerks who mistreated you when you were being so wise and reasonable. I remember how traumatic it was to be in a room of detectives testifying to things I was brainwashed to never utter out loud. I was very lucky and blessed to have 2 supportive and considerate detectives as well as a violent crime advocate assigned to me. Sorry I don't have more advice for you but I send you love, compassion and deep admiration for your bravery and courage.

  • If I didn't know better, I would swear I am living in someone else's soap opera. I will never enter Arcadia, Louisiana without a crime victim advocate. I just will not go there again; NOT ALONE. Several reporting victims were called to appear before the grand jury, seven days before Christmas.

    The investigator made clear that if any of us talked to the media or one another, he had no problem filing contempt charges and picking us up! Yeah, we are witnesses for the state because we were victims of Child Sexual Abuse and rape. This is how they talk to us. He's a fool and I knew better so I contacted the media and anyone else I could think of. The fact a grand jury convenes is not secret unless a judge signed a gag order and I had been served. They must think we are all stupid and can't read! These people are horrid and do not have manners of any sort. As if a grand jury is not stressful enough, the Assistant District Attorney, lead prosecutor, did not even introduce herself. I mean, how hard is it to say, "Hello, my name is Tammy Jump." She did nothing to prepare us and I don't even know what we swore to uphold. I asked for a copy but was told to contact another office that hung up on me!

    One woman has two brain tumors and is on chemo. They would not accommodate her need to take the chemo at 9:30. She didn't testify until around 1:00, so she could have taken her chemo; instead, she had to start the entire chemo round all over again! Although the DA's office flew a victim to Louisiana, they would not pay for her hotel. I had to put it on my card! We were supposed to be reimbursed the day we left, but the accountant was out of town and no Christmas presents this year. First year of my adult life that I did not wrap a single present. BASTARDS!

    The Grand Jury did not indict because they were given 1993 statutes of limitations; limited to 10 years; limited to 30 years in 2012. Again, they are ignorant and the Assistant District Attorney told me in an email, "I don't know anything about rape shield laws." Louisiana has Google, right?

    LA law changed in August 2012 and went into effect June 12, 2014. Anyone between the ages of 18-48 can press charges for child sexual abuse, occurring prior to age 17, and the District Attorney can prosecute. legis.state.la.us/lss/lss.a...

    As it stands today, the new District Attorney is going to review the grand jury process and make a decision about the applicable laws. I am beyond the statutes for child sexual abuse and filed rape charges. This entire fiasco has taken me to the edge and I cannot find a therapist who does not act emotional over my issues. I can't take care of her, so I never went back.

    I appreciate having folks who understand. I just wish I knew what TO DO. Unless I have someone with me, who knows when I slip away, I am terrified because I just leave and my mouth keeps talking. I used to dissociate and experience flash backs to horrific times when my father was in a Paraguayan prison. I was a kid and a coo broke out, guns were going off, no one was killed, but it was scarier than anything I can imagine. Now, I don't flip backward; I just flip and only notice that long periods have passed before I snap back. WTH is wrong with me?

  • First of all...THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! You're the only one in this whole fiasco (and the other survivors) who DOESNT have something wrong!!!

    It's mind boggling one person could go through as much as you have from when you were a child AND now as an adult going through this legal circus full of complete incompetent degenerates.

    I'm so sorry you haven't been able to find a strong and supportive therapist. That is so frustrating and I know exactly what you mean about not being able to take care of them.

    Your courage, bravery, and persistence are utterly inspiring. I pray to God the D.A. opens her eyes to the truth and CURRENT laws so some semblance of justice can prevail.

    You are a warrior and soldier for all of us who have been sexually violated as children. Thank you for your presence of mind (though I know we all lose that and dissociate sometimes) and your brave spirit.

    Thank you for being a light in the darkness

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