What is Presence?

I have this takeaway from my therapy last week that I am totally fucking up. And it really bothers me. I have been given a 1-10 scale on which to adjudge my level of “presence” at any given moment and record it, what’s happening at the time etc.

The problem is that I have no real idea of what being fully present means. I try to notice, mostly by the engagement of my senses, what I am tuning out. What am I smelling seeing hearing etc.

This is very difficult for me because I have been like this pretty much all my life. Actually I have been very very tuned out. I remember virtually nothing of my life. What I do recall is mostly from seeing pictures. My most vivid recollections are the traumas that happened to me. Not so much.

So I am doing this, several times a day thinking to myself okay where are you? What are you smelling? Anything? Seeing are you paying attention to anything? Then I grab an ice cube or light some incense or eat a Popsicle. If there’s a big difference I write down befores and afters. If there’s no big difference then I am either completely out of it, which I can figure out to some extent, or I figure geez I must kinds be here. And I guess.

I have no idea what these numbers are supposed to be. All I know is that I feel that I am pulling them out of my ass. I really do not want to be doing this what with having a new therapist and all. I want to be totally honest and it feels that I am not being so.

So come Monday I will go to therapy and say okay here’s what I’ve got but I am pulling the stuff out of my ass. I suppose that with time I will form a relative scale of some sort or another. But for now it is a pain.

Being newly co-conscious complicates matters further. It’s a weird place to be. Like two of me are living together at a given time. C tells me that these are signs I am ready to heal. Permission she says. Which feels foreign and scary and totally correct at the same time.

Tiny pieces, she says. This is how it’s done, little pieces at a time. No retrauma, no working too hard. No even when I am
With her. She says you’ve just worked hard enough. Relax.
Which is totally what I need.



  1. Tiger said,

    June 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    What do you mean by “co-conscious”? I haven’t come across the term before–and want to know what it means for *you*, rather than assume that my word-y interpretation would be close to accurate. ❤

    • Splinteredones said,

      June 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      It’s like I am fully here and so is one of the alters. Kinda rather than them taking over they sorta influence me & my thinking.

  2. June 14, 2010 at 6:07 pm

    If my counselor had asked me to do this number thing with my feelings, I would have felt like you do. I couldn’t have done it. I didn’t start to feel my feelings until about 4 years after I did counseling. Tell you therapist what you are feeling. I hate numbers for something like this. They have no meaning for me. I am not a numbers person.

    • Splinteredones said,

      June 14, 2010 at 6:57 pm

      Told her today that I am pulling numbers out my ass. She smiled and we talked abt it. It’s a precursor to having a sense of safety in the world. So when I drift way off I can learn to pull myself back. Actually it’s a pretty good exercise for me, if hard

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