There are two systems of self-awareness, one is the ability to keep track of our selves from the current moment to the past, the other keys into the present self and checks in with it in the present moment. One is autobiographical, the self that assembles a public, coherent story, the other is based in physical sensations of the moment. If the situation is felt to be safe and not rushed, the moment-to-moment self awareness is able to find the words to communicate the immediate experience. These two ways of knowing are located in separate parts of the brain. The challenge when these two parts of the self are disconnected is one receives more attention than the other, leaving unfilled explanatory gaps between what happened and the felt consequences. A woman undergoing an evaluation following a suicide attempt and temporal lobe epilepsy explained why she had committed suicide, she spoke in a matter-of-fact manner about her being diagnosed at five, losing her job, and faking it. When asked what it had been like for that five year old to be told that something was wrong with her brain, it forced her to check in with herself. She had no ready-made answer to this question. She responded by saying that her father saw her as a defective child, that he wanted nothing more to do with her. Having to manage by herself, she was forced at an early age to pull herself together and survive situations she was not prepared for. Then, the physician asked her how she felt now about that little girl with newly diagnosed epilepsy being left on her own. Instead of crying about her loneliness, she responded vehemently saying: "She was stupid, whiny, and dependent. She should have stepped up to the plate and sucked it up" Such passion arose from the part of her that had enabled her to survive, and cope with her distress. The physician acknowledged that it probably helped her back then. Next, she was asked to allow that frightened, abandoned girl to tell her what it had been like to be all alone, her illness compounded by her family rejection. She began to sob and kept quiet for a long time until she finally said: "No she didn't deserve that. She should have been supported; somebody should have looked after her." After that, she shifted and proudly shared her accomplishments, and connected how she felt to the person she is now. Particularly that how she had achieved much despite of the lack of public support.
-Source: van der Kolk, Bessel. "Language: Miracle and Tyranny." van der Kolk, Bessel. The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma. New Yotk: Viking, 2014. 230-247.