Compartments for coping

Do you ever separate things into different compartments to help you cope?

I was thinking about how this became a kind of coping mechanism in my younger years.
I won’t think about ‘that’ right now, I’ll think about ‘that’ later. Neat compartments. I’d take the bearable aspect of almost anything, and separate it somehow. I think I often acknowledged to myself what I was setting on a shelf or tucking in a ‘closet’, but in the Scarlett O’Hara sense; i.e. I’ll think about it tomorrow.

For example, I would have friends, but I didn’t like having friends over in my home.  It was easier to arrange the compartment by interacting with my friends outside my home. My relationships with my friends had to be navigated so that I never found myself in a situation wherein the truth of my troubled marriage and unstable world would be exposed. For instance,  I remember when another family invited us to vacation with them. That would have been completely stressful on multiple levels.  I don’t remember details (it’s fogged over), but I’m absolutely sure I would have found a reason that we ‘couldn’t’ accept the invitation.

It makes me sad to remember that.  Now I’d just tell someone the truth.  The older I get, the less I have within me to not just tell the truth.  Life is just too short not to be real.

Still, even when I’m honest with myself about falling back on compartmentalizing, I wonder if it’s possible to have a more integrated in each moment kind of life.  I wonder if that’s a simplistic childlike impossible wish, because even when I’m in a happy moment, part of me is acknowledging that within that same precious moment, somewhere there is a breaking heart, and my heart feels that too.

This entry was posted in abusive husband, abusive marriage, coping, covert abuse, emotional abuse, passive aggressive abuse and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Compartments for coping

  1. myknifedream says:

    I compartmentalize everything in my muddled brain. I actually think I’ve become fairly disassociated?

    PA is on an “I’M TRYING!!” gig right now. He’s trying so very hard to fix our relationship and MY anger issues and MY resentment and MY communication issues and MY… well, you get the idea… Are standing in the way of our blissful loving relationship.

    Last night, well past my bedtime, I was presented with an article that would help me. I can’t even put together a blog about it, yet. My eyes keep rolling.

    Thought you and your followers might… Enjoy?… seeing PA’s perspective.


    • WritesinPJ's says:

      Wow, what a horrible article, and he gave that to you because…?? What did he say when he gave it to you?


    • newshoes123 says:

      ouch… I agree with PJ, what a horrible article!! Obviously he thinks he’s mister nice guy, why else would he give you this article!! My brain is screaming at this chick who wrote the article, “hello, abuse is not ok and totally unacceptable”!!!

      I’ve had the “I’m trying” speach too only to be separated from my stbexpah, believe me, it’s better this way than them finding new and more subtle ways after therapy to continue to abuse you…. Better off and real happy about it!!


  2. newshoes123 says:

    Happy New Year PJ!! yes I’ve done that too and “lied” or “made excuses” that sounded plausible in order to avoid being honest about my relationship with my stbexpah (soon to be ex passive aggressive husband). I also denied to myself what the relationship really was like, it’s been difficult for me to acknowledge that but I stopped “protecting” or “defending” stbexpah because I wasn’t being honest with myself let alone anyone else and everyone else could see what was wrong (even my young kids). I compartmentalized everything because it was easier to deal with in small dozes… except last year when I went into therapy and was brutally honest with myself!!!

    It’s was actually a shock and felt like a slap in the face to realize that I was actually an abused wife in a toxic relationship and being honest with myself was the hardest thing I did. I was mad at myself for quite some time, being honest with everyone afterwards was easy though. I refused to stand behind a man who would continue to abuse me when he knew full well what he was doing and why. I couldn’t accept any of it anymore. So I stopped compartmentalizing. I take things as they come and deal with them as they show up… one thing at a time.


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