5 thoughts on “How to Compartmentalize Emotional Problems for Peace of Mind

  • April 27, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    Dearest Dr.Sherman, thankyou so much..things are clearer for me now..
    my brother passed last year & is sorely missed..he compartmentalized everything..everything was in place and had a place..he often assisted me,since an early age, to organize & be orderly.we loved mom & didnt drink,smoke or use drugs.We attended church services 4-5xs weekly..
    Charles painfully led a secret life w/favorite females for sexual pleasure..shortly after his death his wife found revealing evidence of this resulting in TREMENDOUSE pain for all who loved him..still mourning, she phoned me several times in hysterics,of how evil & no good he was..& sent his cremated ashes to me.(refusing to bury him)..i was a sounding board ..but i knew his passion for her would live on..
    Charlie worked till his death..he had five homes in her name & helped her develope a six figure successful corporation..they were very active physically & financially in two church parishes..he housed all of her 15 brothers & sisters when they arrived in USA & found them jobs & houses..often overlooking my mom & I for great lengths of time periods..my mother was an accepting soul,she taught me patiences…several yrs ago Charles gave his entire heart & soul & became a soldier for the Knights of Columbus..his path changed..his transformation enlightening..he sensed that he would pass & told me often that he was ready if the Lord called him home…he wore many hats & worked at 10 yrs old; my mother raised us alone, but we were seemed devoted & happy..we all maintained a good work ethic, raising our financial & educational status…still, I wish I knew then what I do now..I pray they are both in peace..
    TY for helping me compartmentalize..

    • April 28, 2018 at 10:31 am

      Hi Cynthia, It sounds like your brother was a very good man in many ways, definitely think of those when remembering him. Everyone has their faults and weaknesses along with their strengths, it does not mean we are evil or undeserving of the love of family.
      Glad I was able to help,
      Audrey Sherman, Ph.D.

  • January 18, 2019 at 9:53 am

    I’m starting trauma therapy for the first time after having other good therapists who helped me in different ways. I have a super awesome therapist, so I have a lot of hope. I’m an intellectual person, which is why I’m on this blog, as you said. I like things explained to me in detail so that I can understand.

    I am an incest survivor. My mother abandoned me when she learned this was happening. Her coping mechanism was to stay away as much as possible, especially at night. This started at age 10 just after we moved. At the same time, I was bullied at my new school, apparently just because I was the new kid. It wasn’t just a few kids roaming around bullying everyone. Every child bullied me physically and or emotionally except for those few who made me feel invisible, prob so they wouldn’t be targeted. Which, of course, I didn’t realize at the time. The teacher blamed me by writing notes on my report card, reprimanding me in front of the kids for defending myself with words or being non-social. I always stood by the teacher on the playground. Once five girls ran up to me and started hitting me. I put my arms over my head and yelled at them to stop. The teacher, MY teacher who was standing less than 10 feet away, sent me to the principal’s office. I asked the principal why I was standing in his office instead of the five girls who attacked me. He said he didn’t know and gave me a warning. The bullying continued through middle school since I lived in a small community. By high school I mostly became invisible.

    With both the incest and bullying starting at the same time and both my teacher and my dad putting the blame on me while being abandoned by my mom as well as the principal and other teachers (throughout the years) I had no reprieve, no safe place, no identity, no desire to live. My compartmentalizing was to put the incest on the shelf to deal with the bullying and vice versa.

    My previous therapist explained compartmentalizing, but not what I was to compartmentalize or why. My new therapist explained everything, but not how to put things together into a category. I can put my mom into a category and then deal with just one thing at a time when I need to, but meanwhile everything is in one box tucked away. I can then pull it down when triggered, for example, when I’m triggered, but then just pull that one thing out of the box, not let everything out of the box. I can do that with dad, bullying, and other life situations. Otherwise I’m being flooded and no wonder I can’t cope or heal. I just realized most of what I wrote based on your article. I wasn’t JUST being abused at home and JUST being bullied at school, there are parallels. Also, I had DID. It was all too much for me. I can see how putting everything re my mom (I hate her the most) into one box but pulling out only the one thing I need to deal with would be like a healthy fragmentation, so to speak. I got fragmented because there was too much and it was really horrible. Pulling out one issue at a time would be like pulling out one book on s shelf instead of all the books. This analogy that just came to me makes the most sense to me since I love books and volunteer in the library shelving books. I do ask a lot of questions in therapy. My new therapist is patient and tries to find different ways to help me to understand, but there is still a part of me that thinks I’m missing a key piece, so I look on the internet. I have to say that this has been one of the most helpful and enlightening articles I’ve read on something regarding healing from trauma. A lot of things made sense to me just now due to me writing this. Thank you so much and God bless you!

  • March 11, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    this was no help

  • May 17, 2019 at 12:52 pm

    Thank for helping me find a starting point to my challenges. Often I stress about my relationships and find myself insecure about my connection with them when we are not together.
    I want to learn how to become more emotionally independent, sure of myself and less demanding of continued validation. This exercise feels like a great first step.

    Thank you


Join the Conversation!

We invite you to share your thoughts and tell us what you think in this public forum. Before posting, please read our blog moderation guidelines. A first name or pseudonym is required and will be displayed with your comment. Your email address is also required, but will be kept private. (Please note that we use gravatars here, which are tied to your email address.) A website/blog/twitter address is optional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *