Post #8: Checking out

Today in therapy, we talked about checking out – like when do I do it? What prompts me to just check out of a conversation? 

I wrote that sentence and want to check out of this blog post.


But seriously. A lot of people who have experienced trauma in their lifetimes check out. It’s a way to deal. It’s a defense mechanism. It’s a way to self-soothe. Here are some of the instances I know I check out:

  • When I give support to someone and the conversation goes circular i.e. the support feels bottomless and they keep wanting more. 
  • When I’m trying to share something of substance and I get a surface response in return.
  • When I’m overloaded with sensory interaction; like when I’m in a bar and it suddenly gets loud because of music. I can’t really conversate over that. It exhausts me.
  • I get triggered for some reason.

I also think it’s important to say that I’m an empath and pick up people’s feelings and energies very quickly. I’ve had to do some serious work to create psychic boundaries to manage that. Otherwise, other people can just take me down. 

I’ve been working on becoming more present – in my body, in my mind, in my work, in my relationships. Because I’ve been missing out on life. Holding it in, keeping myself back from fully participating. I’m not sure where that actually originated but I think that’s why I initially became a journalist – because I could observe. Way safer to observe and write about it than actually participate. 

Working on it. 


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