Disconnecting to Keep from Feeling…

I had a thought. I believe that when we think our feelings come from other people, we try to control those people so we feel good (and/or stop feeling bad). However, on my walk this morning, I thought about how, while I have tried to control people in my life for that reason, I also tend to “disconnect” from loved ones – to also protect myself from feeling bad. So if I disconnect … or I don’t connect at a deep level … I won’t get hurt “as much” if something happens.

I feel like I did this with my Dad. He was in a nursing home for many years – and while I did visit – it was “only” once a year (C – I visited him once a year; T – It was ONLY once. It should have been more). Anyway – I feel like I mentally and physically disconnected – to avoid feeling the pain of my thoughts (“It’s so sad he’s here in this shape”) – because “out of sight, out of mind”. Disconnected mentally, disconnected emotionally. So I only feel the pain of my thoughts once he’s gone, not throughout the process.

Is this a thing? I feel like I do this as I expect painful feelings. My Mom is in relatively-ill health – and I find myself distancing myself a bit. Almost like I’m disconnecting so the pain won’t be so hard. Not sure if this is “a real thing” or not – but it popped into my head – so I thought I’d ask. Thanks!