“During an experience of abuse, your resourceful young self used coping strategies to try and protect yourself from the pain. These behaviors served you at the time. They were your army of protection against the abuse.
However, when you continue to use these behaviors as an adult, you become your own eternal jailer. These strategies, which I call the 4 D’s, keep you locked up inside the invisible cage of abuse. They are the bars that make up the four walls of the cage. They keep you boxed into abuse.”
I know this well. It mirrors exactly my experience, and the 4 D’s sound very familiar as well. I adapted to my childhood by developing the only behaviors available to me, but those behaviors don’t work well in the adult world. I had to learn new behaviors to prevent from hurting myself. Survivors would do well to appreciate those defense mechanisms for they were, but also recognize the damage they can do now, and learn new skills.