I can easily split into a completely different version of myself.

Splitting turns me into a person that has an impossible time separating my behaviors from my personality.

It’s like my emotions completely take over my mind and body and I lose control of my actions.

It feels like someone else is behind the wheel. 

My core self is shoved into the background.

I become irrational and angry.

Frustrated and quick to take it all very personal.

It happens so quickly. It can dwell for so incredibly long.

My fight, flight, freeze response is extremely heightened and surfaces instantaneously..

It means my brain is continuously throwing itself into cycles of fear, self loathing and sabotaging.

Elation to misery in the blink of an eye.

I cancel plans spontaneously.

I distance myself from anyone who loves me because it’s much easier to reject them than to be abandoned. 

At least I’m the one in control that way.

It can be much more intense when I become triggered.

It’s taken me a very long time to seriously attempt to work on my response – not reactions, to my triggers.

It will continue to take a long time to clean up the countless piles of negative coping behaviors inside of me.

I have been in this dark, doomy place since I can remember, and it’s exhausting.

I’ve almost always been able to outwardly cover up my horrible moods and thoughts.

I was, for a very long time, “high functioning”. 

I’m painfully aware of my maladaptive ways, but until lately, I have found myself unable to change. 

I was so scared of what would happen without my splitting defensive skills – what would life even look like?

Who would I be? 

My ability to split is frighteningly finely tuned.

I hide behind my smile.

People won’t ask and don’t know about my pain if I have a smile on my face – if I just act like everyone else.

I can hide my misery in plain sight without question. 

It’s a useful and protective skill I acquired at a young age. 

However, it’s also toxic and isolating.

At its base, it’s a coping mechanism for me. 

If I split on you and suddenly switch from loving you to ignoring you, I’m attempting to somehow preserve myself. 

I have done this since childhood.

Happy to irate.

Joy to depression.

On then off.

Dark then light.

For a long time I called splitting my “fuck it switch”. 

First off I didn’t know it had a name, and secondly because It feels like a literal light switch in my mind that, when it senses any rejection or abandonment or triggers, it surfaces and relies on me having very little control of myself.

Sometimes the ability to fragment my mind like this is beneficial. 

Most of the time I wish my entire system worked completely differently.

I feel as though splitting is directly tied to my last bit of animal instinct – deep in the folds of my brain.

To split is to react. 

There is not much logic to my actions when I split.

I end up putting myself in situations where I have to explain my (usually destructive) tendencies due to drastic and atypical behavior.

It happens so quickly which makes the episodes foggy when trying to recolect later.

One of the most recent splits I had was pointed at my current therapist. She texted me something about a change in one of our usual sessions and I lost it.

I didn’t text back much, it was direct, matter of fact, and utterly negative. 

I responded to her that I was cancelling our next session – which was the next day.

She texted back very gently, inquiring whether I was upset at the changes being made, or if I actually needed to cancel our next session.

It took me a little while to calm down about the situation, and being called out on splitting. 

After a time, I decided she was right and I didn’t really want to cancel my appointment with her, I was just frustrated with the changes being made.

We ended up having a great session that week and began the ongoing conversation to acknowledge and attempt to curb my splitting and fragmented coping mechanisms.

Mind you, that is a mild example of my behaviors.

At the center of my splitting is the fear of abandonment.

I would much rather push away folks before they get a little too close, than be left to be randomly rejected.

Usually, it stems from a “wrong tone” when someone is speaking to me, or a trigger key word that’s said. More often than not, I split and assume the worst.

Throughout my life, I have been in and out of emotionally stifled and unhealthy environments. 

So, I have taught myself to fragment like this as a tool to use when feeling overwhelmed by darkness.

People instantaneously go from friends to enemies.

The all in or all out feeling can last minutes or days.

To me it feels like my intense emotional baggage is being violently thrown around my mind, crashing into other issues that have not been dealt with to create comforting misery.

Splitting is as heavy and painful as it is protective and avoidant.

Becoming aware and willing to change is a lot of that – owning faults and maladaptive behaviors, admitting wrongs, channeling anger so it’s constructive, and so on.

My splitting capabilities are deeply ingrained within me, but that doesn’t mean they can blindly control me anymore.

I’m working on being mindful when listening to others. 

Hearing folks through the “bad tone” or a sensitive word usage.

I had to understand that people are not purposefully trying to hurt me, I’m really interpreting word choices or tones as something much bigger than they really are.

I let so many relationships abruptly and viciously end from my misunderstandings. 

I push people out.

My abandonment issues are deep rooted fears within me. 

Between real life and repetitive night terrors, my mind plays tricks on me.

When I snap out of it and can begin to piece the fragments of my mind together again, I have to live with all of my horrid relationship sabotages. 

Unfortunately, most of the time the relationships I sabotage are not salvageable. 

Splitting is a vicious cycle for me.

My mind tries to preserve itself by auto clicking into a pattern of shutting down while acting out.

It creates blank, empty, isolating timeframes within my memories.

It’s a behavior that I am well aware of.

It’s a behavior that I am actively attempting to rope in.

I am trying very hard to take my emotions in stride now. 

It’s a painful and difficult, lifelong battle for me, but I am slowly gaining ground.


*originally posted 7/30/22*

2 responses to “Splitting”

  1. I think you are a wonderful writer and this takes us into the depths of what it’s like to suffer from mental health issues to the degree in which you explain. People need to read this so they have empathy and compassion that what we may think is scary is actually someone who is terrified themselves. Thanks for articulating this so well.


    • Thank you so much, I appreciate you and your kind words! You’re absolutely correct, my poor behaviors surface intensely when, basically, I’m terrified. Lashing out or shutting down usually has nothing to do with the other person and everything to do with myself. Thank you for your compassion and understanding.


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