The Black Ball and Lost Time


I’ve been aware of what I’ve called a “black ball” since I was in my twenties.  And what I’m calling a black ball is a concentration of dark frightening emotions that I sensed in my solar plexus.  I knew all along that it was suppressed emotions but what emotions they were and what they were from I didn’t know and didn’t want to know.  I knew it was significant in why I was “messed up”, unable to interact with the world around me in a manner that I saw others do.

One day I had a little peek at it.  It didn’t go well.  I was in my early thirties and at the time participating in an outpatient group therapy on hospital grounds with many others of a myriad of “mental health” issues.  My issue was debilitating depression.  I’m far from that dark time in my life that needed such intervention by both years and by spiritual positioning upon my decision to follow Christ a few years later.  But at that time I needed help and that was why I was recommended for this group therapy.

That day we had broken off into smaller groups.  There was a point that I was asked to speak a bit of my situation and I mentioned the black ball, wanting to speak about it hoping it would help me to do so.  I was asked to describe it and I only began to before I started an uncontrollable deep crying.  That’s all I remember until I woke up in a hospital bed several hours later.  Everything in between was a huge black void save for a few seconds that I was aware of two group leaders who were helping me walk to the hospital a little way across the grounds from the building where the group met.

That was my one and only experience of disassociation to the degree of lost time.  It was also the only time I decided to explore what I call the black ball.  I just don’t go there, although in the last several years I do believe I’m often not even aware of its existence where before I could readily notice the presence of it.

I will continue to seek strength and a new practiced way of seeing myself and my place in this world before I do go explore the feelings there.  I believe they will behave themselves much better then and I will be more capable of sorting out those feelings with a little more distance and a better ability to integrate them.  In the meantime, I’m okay to leave it where it is.


2 thoughts on “The Black Ball and Lost Time

  1. I can relate to this. I’m all too familiar with the “black ball.” I think its roots are in early childhood. A young child hasn’t completely grasped the concept of being a separate being from the parents, and if they are abused or scapegoated, the child feels like they have been annihilated. If it happens often enough, the child grows up occasionally re-experiencing that intolerable black ball or inner emptiness when they are triggered. This “black ball” or feelings of dissociation and non-existence are at the root of C-PTSD and personality disorders. I’m sorry you had to go through this, PG, but this was an interesting post. I still have those episodes occasionally but they are becoming less frequent.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In all my years of reading about psychology and in life I’ve never heard of anyone else describing a black ball within them. That you understood what I meant is awesome, and your description of its origin is something I’ll look into. Usually when it’s set off the annihilation is felt as a panicky feeling and a gut-deep sense of despair, although they are lighter than they were when I was in my 20’s and 30’s.

    I’m sorry you had to go through it, too.


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