Dissociation is a strange thing. Strange when you know it's happening, but stranger still if it began when you were a baby, leaving you with no knowledge of what life without dissociation is like.
What Does Dissociation Feel Like?
Like being hollow. There's a shell there, and people see the shell, talk to it, and act like it's you, but it isn't. It's just a mask. A cover. A defense mechanism carefully calibrated over the years. It includes a razor-sharp antenna to read social signals and react to them. It is ready to be whatever it is it needs to be on any given day.
Inside, though, there is nothing more than a great, gaping hollow space. A chasm. A vortex. A bottomless pit. If you look too closely into it, you spin and spin until you separate into a million little particles, becoming an indistinguishable universal substance.
I know where my real self is. She's off over there, to the right, and a little in front of me. At times, I have used dissociation to deal with pain. When I was giving birth, I pushed my pain out to my real self; out to the right and a little in front. Labor become much more bearable out there, away from me.
But who is me? There is not even a me to run away from. There's nothing.
Deep behind my heart in the direction of a fourth spatial dimension, there is another world–the spiritual world. When life gets unbearable, I can take my shell and retreat to that place. Nobody can see me there or shape me to suit their needs and desires.
What Is Dissociation?
Dissociation is not limited to the extreme cases, which are sometimes identified as multiple personality disorder or dissociative disorder.
Mild dissociative experiences are relatively common, with 60 to 65 percent of people saying they have had a dissociative experience, according to a recent study. (Waller, Putnam, and Carson, 1996)
A common dissociative experience is daydreaming. An example of this is when you've driven home, but can't recall the journey.
Dissociation is often used as a defense mechanism when traumatic events occur. People who have anxiety disorders, such as panic attacks, often have dissociative symptoms when the panic attacks come on. It is often considered a coping mechanism.
The Panic Anxiety Disorder Association website describes dissociation or dissociative experiences in different terms, such as:
- Depersonalization: Feeling like you are detached from your body, standing alongside, or having an out-of-body experience.
- Derealization: Feeling as if you or your surroundings are not real. Looking at things through a fog. Feeling as if the ground is moving under your feet. Stationary objects appear to move.
- An experience that may be accompanied by a sensitivity to light and sound. People can feel as if they are losing touch with reality and are going insane.
Like many defense mechanisms, dissociation can cause problems if it kicks in under inappropriate circumstances. Daydreaming while operating heavy machinery comes to mind.
Chronic dissociation occurs when there is sustained trauma in infancy and/or early childhood. Severe abuse can produce the extreme cases made famous by books and movies such as Sybil, but other, more common traumas, such as a mother with post-natal depression, can cause a milder form of chronic dissociation.
Read More From Patientslounge
If dissociation started before the age of nine months, then rather than having a sense that the world is not real, the affected person feels that they, themselves, are not real. It seems that life is taking place behind an invisible pane of glass: everyone else is participating, and the affected person is on the outside, looking in. Their body may be participating, but their soul is absent.
If the affected person identifies with the real self, which doesn't inhabit the body, they can display a great disregard for what happens to the body, and in extreme cases, they believe they can continue living without their body. According to Laing, this is a key component of psychosis.
If the affected person identifies with the body, they often feel empty and hollow inside. Where there should be feelings, there is either nothing or the feelings of the people around them. These are usually people pleasers, the downtrodden mothers, and, sometimes, the most driven and successful business people. If you don't feel the emotional impact of an unbalanced life, you can sustain it much longer than ordinary people can.
How to Discover If You Are Dissociated: Symptoms and Signs
It is a huge challenge for sufferers of chronic dissociation to diagnose their condition. After all, most have never known anything else. Why stop to wonder if something is wrong?
In my case, it took meeting someone who was so empathic she could tell that I was repressing emotions, even though she found it hard to pick up what they were. Once I started on my quest to find out more, it quickly became apparent that I was emotionally crippled. Then, the healing journey began.
The chronically dissociated are survivors. They suck it up, put on a straight face, and get on with their lives. They soldier on, because they feel that to stop, even for a brief rest, could be fatal.
Talking with others, I compiled a checklist of symptoms that many dissociated people have in common.
Although I am not a medical authority, I am a chronic sufferer of dissociation. Here are 20 symptoms I have observed in people who are chronically dissociated:
- You are always cold, especially in the fingers and toes. You wear jumpers even when the temperature is over 20 degrees (73 F). You shiver and huddle while others are completely comfortable.
- Other people describe you as "very conceptual," "cold," "distant," "intellectual," and a person who "lives in their head."
- You feel as if your bodily home is between your eyes, rather than in your chest or around your heart.
- You require a vivid mental fantasy to become aroused (at least for women). You are rarely aroused by touch alone.
- You feel driven, but stopping for a break feels unsafe.
- Having other people around is difficult, because you can't relax.
- Being alone is difficult, because it's intensely lonely.
- You are impatient with people who say they can't do something for emotional reasons. You wonder why they don't just suck it up and get on with it like you do?
- You have difficulty reading nonverbal emotional signals and have hyper-vigilance and hyper-responsiveness toward visual signals.
- You think, analyze, and watch others like a hawk, but do not feel their presence.
- You take several months to bond with newborn children, finding it difficult to empathize with and comfort them.
- You want everything put in words to be precise about exactly what was said.
- You have the ability to remember situations and conversations in great detail, or, alternatively, space out during important conversations and are unable to remember them.
- You often have the feeling people just do whatever they want, but you have to survive.
- You love and repeatedly invoke the quote, "What doesn't kill me, makes me stronger."
- You feel that you never belonged in your family or anywhere else.
- You talk yourself out of being angry when people cross your boundaries, making excuses for them.
- You feel that you have no right to exist, and sometimes doubt whether you do exist.
- You have heavy periods and a lengthened menstrual cycle.
- You feel that anything good in your life is about to disappear.
Recovering From Dissociation
Even the most extreme cases of dissociation and multiple personality disorder can be healed so that the person can reintegrate and reach a degree of normality.
The path to integration requires a deep reconnection with the non-rational, non-linear, physical, sensual, and childlike subconscious mind. For this to happen, the subconscious must be convinced that it is safe to come out of its shell.
For me, the triggering event was trying to work out what I really wanted. My loving friend said, "If your inner child could do anything at all right now, what would she do?"
I tried to think about it. Occasionally, I would get a stirring, that feeling you have when a thought is on the tip of your tongue. But then I would be hit by a wall of panic, and the thought would shatter before it even formed.
Having studied psychology, I was aware that I was watching classic Freudian repression in action. Still, I couldn't force myself to complete the thought. It was as if knowing what I wanted was life-threatening.
Being the driven, determined person I am, I gave it everything I had, including NLP (neuro-linguistic programming), psychotherapy, emotional conversation, inner child work, the Artist's Way program, meditation, sitting at the beach watching the ocean, writing, and exercise.
After a few months, I made my first breakthrough. I encountered someone who was so in tune that they could pick up on how I felt without my having to put it into words. After 45 minutes of having my every move and feeling anticipated, I felt it might be safe to be alive, after all.
At that moment, my true self moved from somewhere out off to the right and in front of me and took up residence around my heart. My skin became intensely sensitive, and running my fingers over a rough stone surface became almost orgasmically sensual.
My ability to empathize sprang into existence, and I was as receptive as an infant. It took a bit of chaotic adjustment before I learned how to dial down my sensitivity and respond like an adult again.
Over the next few months, I went through a process of growing up emotionally. Again, my knowledge of psychology came in handy, because I could identify what emotional age I was, and make allowances for myself.
There were some positives to my dissociative experiences: I wasn't present when a lot of bad parts of my life took place, such as high school. My feeling of self wasn't covered in scars like most people, and whenever I wanted to, I could pick up on how others were feeling with a high degree of detail and accuracy.
Because I only had my intellect, I got very good at observing, analyzing, and picking up on what was happening in someone's subconscious from clues like their posture, word choices, and eye movements.
Most people don't put that much energy into observation because they can feel other people directly. But that was all I had, so I pushed it to the max, a bit like a blind person who learns to click their fingers to echolocate.
Now, I have both: observation and direct feeling. Putting those two capabilities together is pretty awesome, and not much gets by me these days.
What Was It Like?
I won't whitewash this. It felt like walking through the valley of the shadow of death to recover from dissociation. For about three months, going through the door of my therapist's office felt like a death march to the electric chair.
I dissociated because life was terrifying, and the only way to be free is to process that terror. After my first breakthrough, I discovered how to release fear in a way that feels good. That helped. The textbooks call it self-soothing. This was far too passive and peaceful for my experience, but there you go.
The experience of safety–of being seen and responded to appropriately–was also a vital part of the healing process. Don't try to heal yourself on your own. Get help.
By separating ourselves from our feelings, dissociation cuts us off from our deepest selves, but it also cuts us off from all the people around us. We feel we can't trust anyone. But a whole new life is waiting for you if you are willing to put in the effort, a life you can't even begin to imagine. It's a leap of faith, to step off that cliff and trust that it won't kill you, to depend on someone else and let down your guard. Take it.
It's terrifying. But it's worth it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
Questions & Answers
Question: Not sure if I could still ask a question. First of all, thank you, I resonate a lot with what you're writing. I'm in the progress of coming out of dissociation. Right now I feel so sensitive to everything within and around me that it is sometimes so distracting (related to the chaos you described). Do you have any tips on how to deal with this?
Answer: Yes, it's tricky. In the long run, having the CAPACITY to be sensitive is a huge gift. In the short run, we need to be patient with ourselves and keep reassuring ourselves that it's OK, and we can cope with the intensity, and we are big now. Even sometimes visualizing myself getting bigger and bigger until I could contain it all inside. You will make new neural pathways if you just keep sticking with it.
Question: Can you provide more information as to why dissociation starting before the age of nine months has effects?
Answer: It is not that dissociation starts before the age of 9 months - it is that trauma occurs before that age. The sense of self does not develop fully until much later, so there is nothing to dissociate from at that age. What is developing in those first 9 months is a sense of basic trust that it is safe to be alive. If that is disturbed, the fight-or-flight system is on permanent overdrive, which produces various symptoms, and makes us more prone to developing PTSD and stress-related conditions later.
ZooKid on August 24, 2017:
This is the most accurate article on dissociation I've ever read. Thank you so much, it helped me understand myself better. I can't get out of it and it's very frightening, because I haven't been in this state all my life and I desperately want to feel things vividly but I just can't. It's crazy how I relate to ALL of the things you've mentioned about people with chronic dissociation. I'm craving feeling anything and feeling safe. I just wish I knew what to do.
Emma on June 30, 2017:
Hi I'm 20 and I have been dissociating my whole life and just the last 2 years I started having panic attacks followed by generalised anxiety until just recently I have been experiencing these dissociative episodes of depersonalisation/derealization. It came on quite suddenly and at first I thought I was having a psychosis of some sort or that I might be schizophrenic because I simply didn't feel myself or that things around me were real and I couldn't trust my own thoughts or feelings. I even went as far as getting MRIs and bloods etc thinking it was a brain infection. I ended up in hospital after I showed signs similar to having an absence seizure but was discharged within the same night after talking to the doctors who came to the conclusion I was having a dissociative episode. After talking to my GP I finally came to terms that it was a psychological issue and now I'm just started my journey to recovery. This is all in the space of a couple weeks-month. I have this constant intense pressure around my head and random body aches which feel emotional except I can't target where they come from (like heart ache and chills down my neck and spine) but after reading this I discovered they are probably suppressed emotions slowly making their way out? I'm having trouble sleeping even after taking natural sleep aid tablets I still toss in my sleep and wake up unable to go back to sleep. I find I have this constant gut sick feeling which feels something out of a horror movie but I can't seem to target where it comes from. Sometimes I feel a kind of nostalgia like I'm in the body of my younger self and I feel home sick for my old possessions and life. Does anyone have that feeling? It does scare me at times because I feel lost to myself and afraid I'll never return or forget myself completely. At the same time I feel like my body is just trying to get in touch with my inner child to find resolution. I can't find an exact traumatic moment that may have instagated this but rather a life subject to emotional and physical abuse, bullying and general neglect. I think the recent series of panic attacks and anxiety is what more closely led this though. Now that I look back on my first panic attack and all the ones that followed I think it might have occurred because of how emotion wasn't present to me specially my lack of fear for death, and for anyone who has had a panic attack you are really facing death front on.
Anyway I just wanted to share my story if anyone has any advise as I'm just starting my recovery. I'm also wondering does anyone else feel very body numb, like when I touch parts of my body I can feel a heat source but can't seem to feel my skin like its desensitised. :( and I always find myself picking at my face and tummy wondering if I even exist.
Please if anyone has any techniques or advice just to keep a positive mind. I will be starting psychotherapy and seeing a psychologist but I am a bit financially unstable so if anyone has any techniques their psychs have shared please help me out.
This page really helped me hearing everyone's stories :) thanks so much everyone xxx sorry for the long read
v on March 25, 2017:
Thank you. you're helping me take my first steps forward.
Marykatd on February 27, 2017:
This is a gift. Thank you. I am a psychotherapist working predominantly with complex trauma, PTSD, and trauma-induced psychological symptomology and pain. Although I have treated and studied dissociation and related phenomena, it has been difficult to understand/create perspective. You are a brave a beautiful soul to share your light and joy in this way.
Stephanie Kunkel on December 31, 2016:
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this. I have been feeling like I was going crazy. After years of abuse and frightening things i have seen, had happened to etc I began disassociating. It was like need to make myself numb in order to endure anymore of this thing called life. Its like if it can happen it will happen to me. I actually believe i am like Job in The Bible as i lost everything too. I also suffer from traumatic braon injury and unfortunately my illnesses parallel in the symptom aspect anyways. It helps to know not alone but im so afraid of facing the abuse i endured and that part scares me. I dont trust anyone because it seems right is now wrong but after reading your article i know i need to seek help. Thank you again.....
I don't really but this on December 28, 2016:
For three months in therapy things were hard? How long did you dissociate? How did you cope with the reality that someone else's actions forced you into a state of mind where you couldn't feel yourself? Your recovery seems a little contrived. I dissociate constantly and when I do become more aware there are generally tears shaking and a great deal of confusion.
Olivia on December 18, 2016:
Hi ! Thank you for writing this article about dissociation and there being a way for healing. Since June, I have been battling living with this condition and had to quit my job. I think isolation and stress is the reason. I wish to overcome but don't know where to start. Therapy and how to ask for support from friends. (I don't have a family available to help). Any guidance would help! Thanks :)
shafiq on December 09, 2016:
This is exactly like I was in 2002/2003 but unlike you I had a bully in my home who wouldn't leave me a lone or wouldn't let me get better.. so things got worse..10000 times worse and now I have complex-ptsd with dissocation that has multiplied by 1000...
Leela on December 03, 2016:
Gosh this was helpful!!!
Kate on December 02, 2016:
Hi, I am fully integrated now and remember every day, never dissociating anymore. I feel floaty when severely stressed but manage it very well and quickly. It was so hard to begin with, the silence and having to deal with everything alone. Now it's easier, but I don't know where to go from here. My personality has drastically changed. I'm the complete opposite of my former self because parts of me weresdo strong in personality. I've been asleep 28 years and I feel like a child. I used to function really well at times, I was obsessive with housework etc. Now I don't care but i want to. I'm glad I don't get ridiculously inappropriate emotions anymore but now I feel so boring and grey. Everyone expects me to be this person I once was but they don't understand I wasn't even aware of my life before now. I literally do not know what to do with my life from here. Anyone have any advice about life after recovery?
Shaun Baxter from Las Vegas, Nevada on October 04, 2014:
Reading this was good for me. I feel most of what you listed as symptoms besides the female body related stuff. It's nice to know that people understand this and I can be more sure about this. I'm in a weird state right now. I'm sort of in between being dissociated and having a small amount of feelings. And that leap of faith you used as a metaphor for leaving behind this defense mechanism was something I already thought of!! Great minds think a like. I feel much more encouraged just by reading this article, but my friends and family don't understand and don't encourage me how I would like. :( It's scary giving in to feeling. I also have been very hyper aware of body language and stuff but I thought I was just delusional and doubted I actually knew what I was thinking but it turns out I'm actually really good at reading people's feelings and stuff just by reading a text they send. As a self hating and self doubting person this really helped me. Sorry for being all over the place, I'm lazy and I think I'm not saying all I want to but yea.
Johnf175 on May 15, 2014:
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Gabor86 on September 14, 2013:
Inspirepub, I'm after a recovery from 2 years of depersonalization, and now processing my traumas. You're saving my life with this article. You're right on point.
I want to ask, what would be your advice if I still want to do it alone? I'm okay with every negative feeling, recovered from panic disorder and DP feelings, I'm okay with pain, not afraid of it.
mike on September 07, 2013:
Helo all, I am the husband of 11 years. my wife has just been diognosed with d.i.d. finaly after so long I have answer to what she has been dealing with and what I have been so confused over. can any one give me some insight on how to be the best husband possable in this type of situation. as one may be in my shoes you will understand the sense of rejection and hopelessness at times. I am searchering for answers and want my wife to experiance the inner peace that she desires. thank u!
anon on June 11, 2013:
this is me well the first half not in recovery from it yet
auspicious12day on September 23, 2012:
An Excellent, informative, helpful Hub.
Enlydia Listener from trailer in the country on October 24, 2011:
Very well written, with excellent description. I can relate to some of this.
Kim Harris on September 22, 2011:
interesting and well written hub, inspirepub. The comments are interesting too! Thanks.
Liu on June 05, 2011:
Thank you for your article and sharing your story. It made me a bit sad and dreamy.
I never could overcome dissociation.
Typically everytime a therapist would try to work with me on this I would dissociate, making any intent useless.
After some months they either gave up or I ran out of money. Then I would try again and it was all the same.
I just cannot see what to do anymore.
Fiona on June 04, 2011:
I've just come across this site and like other's I am very grateful that it is here. I to suffer from this horrendous condition. I am only coming to understand myself better within the last few months than i have in an entire lifetime due to a new counsellor that I am seeing and informed my of my condition. Before that I saw countless counsellor's with none of them helping me any bit and even telling me to pull myself to geather. I just counld'nt understand why I was feeling so panicky and depressed. I am young, pretty, had a job, own car and house, yet I was still miserable. I just couldn't feel.
To day has been a horrendous day for me. The reality of my caregiver's has become very aware to me. Not there reality but mine the truth. I am very hurt because the one person, who I thought was there for me I now see just wasn't, my father. I've just realized that he choose himself over me and my sister's, and it was a counious choice.....that's the part that hurts so much. He played the victim to my mother's chronic schizophrenia yet we had to live with the horror. We looked after him,cared for him, while no one looked after us. pure emotional neglect and abuse. I just hurt so much right now....but at least I'm feeling, this journey is soooo soooo tough, but coming across this site, has given me some ray of hope,
Lloyd on June 04, 2011:
Wow! All of my life I have been alone. Even if all of my family is around me, I am still alone.
I have been given many labels but my favorite is "Odd". He's a great guy but, he's just a little 'odd'. I never was able to get an explanation from anybody on what it is to be "Odd" until reading this article. I have turned to many different types of spiritual practices thinking that I would find my answers there. Certainly I did gain great insight by taking different paths and learned many things that most people are too scared to delve into.
Today I had an epiphany on why I abuse drugs and hurt myself physically. You see, I have deeply hurt every single person that I have ever loved. And it wasn't by any one single act. Those hurts were tailor made for each person. My realization today was that I do these things to myself because I do not feel worthy of having a serious relationship with anyone because I will only bring them pain.
I even changed careers from a lucrative programming field to becoming a truck driver. At the time of my decision I had plenty of good reasons that really were just BS but I actually believed them. I now know that this field only served to further isolate me from those I care about.
I wish I had known this about myself many years ago. A lifetime of living with this disorder has resulted in many people being hurt and ultimately my being totally alone at 50 years old. Ironically, aloneness has been my greatest fear all my life and now I am living it, all by myself.
I can say that my spiritual walk has been a journey of enlightenment of many areas of who I am and has taught me how to be a friend and unconditional love. I like the last one though because I put no expectations on people and therefor they cannot hurt me; perpetuating the problem of never getting close to someone.
I cannot put my finger on a traumatic event in my childhood that may have caused this largely because much of my childhood is a blank page. I am told that my father beat me but I have very little memories of this. He was my hero and I always strived to please him even though it seemed I never could. Another thing about my childhood that has bothered me most of my adult life is that I new of sexual acts between two guys without ever having any memory of experiencing them.
Thank you to all that have contributed to this subject. I now know that my next serious path is going to be with a counselor. Maybe there is still hope for me to have some happiness in this life yet.
anon on May 14, 2011:
dont agree with some stuff.
....Locating one's home in one's body between one's eyes, rather than in one's chest, around the heart. ....
but i am badly dissociated /had issues so its not like i can blame you. am also seeking for answers and a return to present reality.
Nolan on March 15, 2011:
Thanks alot for posting this. I have felt like this for as long as I can remember. ALWAYS blanking out, like you described with the car rides home. I feel like I'm only half here most the time. I've always been independent and bottled up my emotions and shit but it has sure caught up with me.
I'm figuring it has alot to do with my parents having a hectic divorce at a young age, growing up in an alcoholic house, having an emotionally abusive stepdad, going through a drug addiction of my own and alot of other horrible things.
I can't really pinpoint what EXACT situations are causing me to dissociate. Whenever I try and force myself to be present and feel my feelings again I always fail. Like you said with a thought or feeling "on the tip of your tongue this" I can feel something beginning to come through and I uncontrollably instantly make it vanish. I really wish I can overcome this dissociation, I've had glimpses of being completely present and in the moment and its absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
We're you basically unaware of what was holding you back too? And have to do some digging with a doctor to figure it out? What kind of specialized doctor would you recommend to see? Or does it vary depending on the cause of the dissociation? If you could get back to me that'd be great. I've thought of all the things that you had mentioned, especially NLP. Kind of weird that you put that up there. Not many people are aware of NLP, at least in my generation. But I guess that's not going to work.
Whether you're able to give me a response or not, thank you. Thanks to everyone actually, it makes me feel better than I'm not the only one going through this.
Laura on February 10, 2011:
Have just had the confirmation (from my therapist) that this is what I have been experiencing for as long as I can remember. Blanking out became a way of life. I had a traumatic childhood, adolescence and trauma as an adult and was sent to a therapeutic community specialising in personality disorders to 'recover', felt more like being dumped! Anyway thank goodness I finally met the right therapist, learned to trust, felt safe and held emotionally. I have had periods of acting out and can deffinately empathise with the dread of going through the therapists door. But I can hand on heart say its worth it. If you are out there searching for help don't give up. I am 40 this year and finally feel like I am back in my body. I feel more alive than ever and can also relate to having to tone down the sensation side of things! Still work to do but reading this article has been wonderful for me. Thankyou.
Jeannie on February 04, 2011:
I've been telling people that I'm an emotional cripple for years. I thought I was the only person using this terminology. I came up with it trying to figure out what was wrong with me. I even told people I didn't feel things like they did. I believe they thought I was kidding. I've often said I wish I could fool myself into thinking I had feelings and that someone had feelings for me. But I never met that person. I lost all of my feelings especially for love when I thought I was rejected at the age of 21. I even had dreams in which the person I had feelings for would always start off being with me and then would leave me for no reason. I had no control over my dreams. I'd wake up in tears, afraid. feeling very lonely and hating myself for not being what he wanted. The only way I could survive was to stop feeling. And somehow I did. I heard the phrase "body dissociation" in a dumb movie and I looked it up on the internet and found this site. I have all of my body parts and recognize them. What I don't have is what is suppose to be inside. For this reason I think is why people especially men don't like me very much. I feel I'm just handy to be around to lend a hand contribute money buy stuff. Which is what I do so that I don't be completely alone. Lately I cry in my sleep again I cry because I'm alone I cry because I'm getting old and I'm not so pretty any more I'm starting to not like me as much again. I don't even want to use my resources for company any more. I feel cheap like I'm buying friendship and attention. I've been this way for the last 40 years. I may be beyond help at this point. I only have a normal life in my day dreams I've laid awake think up making up different situations that always have someone pursuing me for love. It gets so real and I can feel so happy that it makes me smile and laugh out loud and sometimes when I'm really tired help me to sleep. I never had a boyfriend. And that guy I fell for I looked that up to. What I experienced is called infatuation. But then I use to believe in Cinderella, Knights in Shining
Armor Prince Charming I know these are fairy tales but they seemed so nice and that they could be real. I never watched the movie Pretty Woman because now I know it can't be true. I look at all the divorces and unhappy people who are together and it makes me sad. but I know for a minute they thought they were a fairy tale. How nice. This made me think of a saying it goes "the biggest fool in the world is one who can look in a mirror lie to him/herself and believe it" Which made me come up with another saying and that is "As long as there is another living human being on earth its not all about you. I thought that one was clever. I want to share myself and I don't know how. I can count the number of dates I've had in my long life. None of them happened until I was well over 20. I read your comments and think boy am I messed up but I'm not alone. I was physically abused as a child by my mother who did not like me. She'd hit me for what she thought I was thinking. I was raped when I was a 13 year old teenager by one of her friends husband. And again by a stranger in a nasty hallway. You're the first to know. I was humiliated as a teenager in high school by a relative who made fun of me when she saw me in clothes her mother had given me that were hers. I have never been terrorized because my mother took fear away from me. I fight back. I fought even when I knew I'd lose. It became instinctive. I grew to have a look on my face that makes even strangers ask what are you mad at. I can't just smile. I became defensive and I still am today. Someone asked here "will I ever get over a certain incident". Nope. But you can learn to live with it or it can last a life time. I know. Get help NOW.
Judy K on October 29, 2010:
Wow. Great hub, seriously had no idea this condition even existed! I was looking for hubs on Anxiety and found yours!
Could not help to leave a comment! :)
Always blows my mind how many "diseases" and conditions have got names these days. 30 or so years ago you could probably name them all and know what they are!
Judy from www.remedies-for-anxiety.net
:) on September 03, 2010:
Thank you. Had my first inner child therapy session today because I've been experiencing such anxiety and feel like I've been chasing holistics solutions for months now, and I'm going around in circles, and still feel like I'm disconnected. Finally hope to be getting a good grounding, and understanding that it is finally safe for me to trust myself. I'm not expecting a quick fix, but hope to finally begin to see the woods for the trees.. Namaste xx
illeagle on August 19, 2010:
Very insightful. I thought I had resisted media/social brainwashing better than others and that was the excuse I have been using for my antisocial behavior, but maybe there is a little more to my communication handicaps. Thanks for the words!
Mara on July 25, 2010:
Thank you thank you thank you for posting this!
ella on July 16, 2010:
Your words were the confirmation I needed at this time that the daily battle to cope with and understand dissociation is worth the effort. Your words echo thoughts i have had even words I have written to try and understand the abuse i experienced as a very young child
Eva on July 10, 2010:
Dearest Jenny, and all others who are reading this -
it was so comforting to read this, knowing that the "illness" is indeed curable. I've had traumatic events happen in my life - in fact, my whole life is like a neverending sequence of traumatic events. Never in my life have I felt truly happy, but I always felt like I could handle everything - I just kept my mask on.
About a year ago, someone broke into my house and wanted to kill me while I was locked away in the bathroom, with a man outside trying to break open the bathroom door and destroy my entire house (and myself) - I spent about an hour in agonizing fear before the police came to arrest him.
After this incident, I haven't been the same. I know I have a dissassociative disorder and am in therapy... things start to get better, but it's such a slow process! I'm still very young, I just turned 18, but it feels like there's no way out. I don't have parents (but am very lucky to have incredible friends), but every day is such a struggle... this all-consuming fear that has taken over my life, to the point where buying my own food in the supermarket has become a day-long task.
I feel like there is no way out...
Please, someone, reassure me that this will end.. it feels impossible to live with this condition any longer.
Much love to you all.
Rox on July 09, 2010:
I have the same problem and I can relate to Roberto from 2 years ago. I am going through the same thing-even dropping out of law school. I wish Roberto would reply and tell us how he is coping now.
Enlydia Listener from trailer in the country on May 01, 2010:
Very good article...good to hear it from someone who lived it...I think I am/was dissociative to a degree. would not acknowledge my body sensations.
Clayton on April 29, 2010:
Having been up front and person in a childhood trauma at 5 and having only actually acknowledged and recognised it at almost 50, I'm still trying to come to grips with the child I seem to have lost that day so many years ago. I've survived but healing is not so easy, the stress of attachment / rejection running around my mind is enough for me to not cope. thanks to your post I can see some paths through this (my kids deserve a dad who is whole)
atgny on March 26, 2010:
Thanks for the list of signs, it helped me a lot!!
gelatine on March 01, 2010:
Btw, I was actually googling about dissociation until I stumble on this site. Thanks for your posts, really great:)
gelatine on March 01, 2010:
I hope I find someone who will be able to read through to me too, and so far I think that person is far from reach. That's what I've been hoping for even since this all started that someone who is wise and can see beyond people.
Sage Williams on January 13, 2010:
I absolutely love your hub. You are so right to the point and accurate on everything you have written. You are an inspiration to us all. I suffered with dissociation for the majority of my life and know first hand that recovery is an extremely difficult and enduring process.
I say to write what you know and the rest will flow. This is exactly what you did. Thanks so much for sharing. You are truly an inspiration!
I am new to hubpages and just starting to write about some of my past experiences. In fact, I just wrote a hub on dissociation. I wish I searched first to see other hubs out there. Live and learn.
If you get a chance, check out my new hub with artwork relating to dissociation https://hubpages.com/hub/dissociation-einstein-men...
danielHman on September 06, 2009:
I think I may have a dissociative disorder. It all started when I developed low-self esteem & started smoking marijuana in a conscious attempt to numb myself - funny thing is that as soon as I realised what I had done and felt its effects I wanted back in, thus comes the hard part. I'd felt really anxious and tense for a while - until I started to open up to my friends about my anxieties but now I just feel low, numb and unsure as to who I am. I used to be so akin to my own heart and I have to get back to that.
Does anybody have any suggestions as to how to pull some of those feelings out from under the blanket and onto the radar ? It's such a lonely place to be when you can't connect with others let alone yourself.
waking up on August 30, 2009:
Thank you for your words. They touched me deeply, I had to take a break and have a cry with my dog : ) I'm newly dealing with my dissociative disorder, and life is very different. I've dissociated as long as I can remember. My mom was mentally ill and I became the rock in my family. I'm so excited about the possibilities. I'm gonna go cry some more. Thank you.
searching on July 12, 2009:
Can I ask how you managed to hold together a marriage in all of this. I have been diagnosed with dissociation disorder and been in therapy for over 3 years . I have a very supportive partner who wishes to become fiance but I have been warned by my therapist that we may grow apart through this process. This thought drives me insane!
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on January 27, 2009:
Congratulations on hanging in there, Bonnie - well done.
Enjoy your new life - you deserve it!
bonniew on January 27, 2009:
Hi, It has been a while since I posted. I have been going through that valley, but guess what, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and it is not a train!!! I feel now, life is different and it is richer and better. I am living in the now and having to feel everything, but that means I feel all of the good stuff too. I trust me now. If something or someone does not feel right, I remove myself. I am still healing, but Jenny is right! There is a wonderful freedom and life on the other side. Don not give up or quit. Oh and it has posted me as bonniew, same person as bonniel. do not know how that happened, but i am sure it had something to do with me forgetting my passcode!
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on November 29, 2008:
Alison, we are all pulling for you in your recovery. Catching oneself being disconnected is the first step, and the hardest, and if you are managing it at some point during the day most days, then you are doing really well. It took me more than 30 years to discover that everyone else had all these sensations in theiir bodies that I didn't have - and finding those feelings is a scary as walking through the valley of the shadow of death!
Hang in there, because life gets a whole lot better when you come out the other side.
Alison on November 29, 2008:
Hei, I have also been suffering from dissociation since being sexually abused by two members of my family, a female cousin for a few months when i was 8 years old, then my older brother from the age of 12 until i stopped him when i was 17 years old. I am only now becoming aware of how much this dissociation has affected my life and am trying to get over but seem to slip into the habit without realising it has happened (until half the day has passed.) Its good to read about other peoples experiences and it makes you feel less alone with the problem. Wish me luck!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 16, 2008:
I become very frustrated and impatient, but you can not rush the process...you might miss something and then you would have to continue again. My doctor says i have to stay in this dark space until we get it all...all of the feelings and all of my emotions again.It is painful and scarey...but others before us have gone there and they are well....cry, scream, stomp your feet, pray......but do not give up!
Carla on October 16, 2008:
you are so sweet! Thank you for your words. I am going out now, hopefully this will help me feel better. I get a bit anxious because I am always thinking that I won't feel the people I am with, but hopefully this will change - again. It did once, so hopefully I will find it all again. I am just so sick of not feeling well!!!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 16, 2008:
I wanted you to know that I am having a bad day today. Full of fear and anxiety. My doctor would say good , we are getting somewhere. Says that as it changes i am actually progressing. Some days are unbearable but then i have a glimpse of light and Jenny encourages me and just hubbing you guys makes me feel less isolated. You are not alone in this. I do agree with Jenny that you should return to your therapist and express your feelings. This is a walk where you need a professional hand to hold to get where you want to be. You are moving forward just as i am even though it does not feel like it at this time. Please hang in there.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 15, 2008:
Carla, feelings of loneliness and isolation are very common - because you felt this way as a small child. Talk to your therapist - and in particular explore the feelings you have toward your therapist. Don't worry about upsetting or offending your therapist - this is exactly how therapy is supposed to work.
When you understand these feelings, they will ease up, and you will be ready to face the next round. It will be just as difficult, but at least it won't be the same old same old - it will be something different, which means you are making progress.
Hang in there, keep feeling what you feel and talking about it, especially to your therapist, and you will get there in the end.
It is truly worth it. I know you are questioning whether it was worth it last time if you can "slip back" like this, but trust yourself that this is not a backward step - it is the beginning of a new phase in your recovery.
Just keep moving forward ... you can do this!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 15, 2008:
Hi Carla..I am sorry for your sadness. Let me start by saying i was in therapy for about 14 years before this last episode a little over 2 years ago. My doctor and i worked on everything that we could as "intellectual" Bonnie, but we never got this far or "to the meat of the problem" My doctor is thrilled because this is what she had been waiting for and is thrilled to finally get to the bottom. It would not be honest for me to say that i am as thrilled because this is really hard work and very painful. At times i feel absolutely insane....but i know that i am not and that i was raised by people who did not do right by me as a child. But.....i have to feel all that the little child felt in order to be whole. I know this does not make you feel better but you are not alone. I am sure that Jenny has a lot to say about this as well...and she is amazing....she has recovered....I will too and you can also!
Carla on October 15, 2008:
I am very sad today; I have been in therapy for various years; I recovered, felt good, and then had a hard time, and here I am again...I am brutally disappointed from myself. Old feelings are back, with all my fears, so that I don't know if I feel people, if I don't, if I'm just anxious. And I feel terrible towards my doctor, because we worked hard, and then I blew it a bit...and that makes me feel very lonely..
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 14, 2008:
Well Bonnie, you are right - there is nothing to do but feel things. Trying not to feel is what does the damage.
And then there's my favourite saying - what doesn't kill me, makes me stronger.
You are already incredibly strong - you have survived where others couldn't, and every session just makes you stronger.
Hang in there!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 14, 2008:
Hi Jenny....had a session today...they do not get easier at this point however we are making progress. I have discovered that regardless of how terrifying...i have to feel it! This all leads to integration even when i do not understand the fears or feel totally confused. It is comforting to know this but it does not make it easier. Hopefully this will help some of the other posters...hope you are well....Please feel free to comment and give me some of your pearls and affirmation!
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 13, 2008:
Releasing the fear was a process of having it transform at the base of my spine into a sort of golden energy, which shot up my spine and out the top of my head in an ecstatic sensation. I discovered it when I finally had the experience of someone seeing me and responding to me exactly appropriately - it just started happening, and I only realised after a while that's what was going on.
And yes, not feeling is part of the blocking out process. There is something in those feelings that you subconsciously consider to be dangerous, so you block out anything that might bring up those feelings, even bodily sensations.
I had no idea how sensitive my fingertips could be until I started to recover. And my sex life is just chalk and cheese different now ...
Carla on October 13, 2008:
I read about the body stuff...what about not feeling parts of your body? Or feeling a constant tension in the face?
Carla on October 13, 2008:
You wrote that you discovered how to release fear in a way that feels good...how is that?
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 13, 2008:
Still no email - if you go to our website http://chrisandjennyford.com and put your email address in the contact form, I will definitely receive that message.
And yes, however awful it seems on the way through, it is definitely worth it.
bonniel from North Carolina on October 13, 2008:
Hi Jenny....I miss hearing from you directly.....I know you are busy. I always look forward to hearing your pearls of wisdom...They encourage me. I sincerelyhope that i have a lot to give after this journey! It will be worth it all to feel whole!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 12, 2008:
Critical times if i might add something that i have learned. A lot of our feelings are stuck in the body which is why we might experience pain and strange feelings in different areas. The body is releasing feelings and pain from our past as these feelings become concious. I have and am experiencing pain in different areas. All a necessary part of my recovery. Body work is good and warm soaks in the tub. Any thing that helps the body and mind cooperate with each other. I agree totally with Jenny on experiencing life as it should be.....those strange sensations do resolve.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 12, 2008:
Yes, critical.times, you are describing exactly what I am talking about in this Hub. And yes, not knowing what you feel, or doubting and questioning it, is part of the problem.
I have fully recovered, and Bonnie is well on the path. You have at least taken the first step - recognising that it is happening, and trying to change it.
My experience is that it takes two to tango when it comes to recovery - the problem began when someone did the wrong thing by you at an early age, and it will resolve when you have enough experience of people doing the right thing by you.
critical.times on October 12, 2008:
you wrote "and actually I could trust my own perceptions, after all": what do you mean? My problem in life has been precisely that I don't ever trust what I feel. I think that I don't feel much, and when I do feel something I don't trust it. I also noticed that sometimes I block out positive feelings as weel. It's like if I lament the fact that I don't feel, only to realize that I don't give myself the opportunity, that it's like a mechanism that I am becoming aware of only now, for which sometimes I literally freeze myself. I think I've been cutting myself away from emotional experiences all my life! I am trying to change that, by getting more out of myself, getting in touch with people and slowly doing what I really want to do.
It was interesting to read Bonnie's comments. The whole thing of getting in touch with one's feelings, or just "feeling what you feel" whatever it is, even if you don't understand it with your head. It's just difficult to make decisions if I don't understand what I feel and I don't trust myself...
I would like to ask you if you experience a weird perception of your body - I noticed that in more difficult times I "don't feel it" much.
bonniel from North Carolina on October 12, 2008:
You are right Jenny....if it helps one soul that is going through this then it is a good thing. We are survivors....Today is a tough day...I am in the dark place, Very co concious...I know that it will change...these are feelings that i have to feel, even if i do not understand it. this in and of itself is healing...I sent my email again to you ...see if you got it! Some of the feelings that i feel make absolutely no sense at all and are frigtening....this is the process...or as you put it weirdness. Some part of me understands it but intellectual me does not. I really do enjoy your posts and your encouragement. I look forwared to it! So you are helping this soul! Take care....
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 11, 2008:
I know what you mean, Bonnie - I felt like I was walking into the execution chamber and sitting in the electric chair every session for the first few months.
It does get better.
And if you can get yourself to therapy in the face of that dread, you can get through the rest of it.
I didn't get that email - it is a bit hit and miss emailing through HubPages, I'm afraid, but please try again.
Just keep writing here as well, because there are probably a dozen other people who are too afraid to post a comment, but who are watching what you write and gaining hope and strength from your journey.
If you inspire just one person to overcome their fear enough to start therapy ... what a difference you will have made to that life!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 11, 2008:
Again ...you always know the right thing to say. I had a session last night and again my Dr. thinks you sound great. I hate to say it but I dread the sessions every time I have one......The following days are pretty scarey!!! I sent you an email with my personal email address. Wondering if you received it. I told you a little more about me. I too was married and have a beautiful healthy daughter and a grandson, 1 year old. The hardest part right now is not being able to share a lot of time with them because of my journey. She works for me but I am working at home. I will get the movie and share ny opinion with you! You are truly my role model. My doctor says she is the mother figure and you are my model....I like that. Hope you are having a good day.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 11, 2008:
Bonnie, I am glad to hear it.
I grew up believing that my childhood and start in life were perfect, and if I was unhappy it was because of my own screw-ups. When I discovered that my start in life was actually appalling, I realised that to have accomplished what I had - a happy marriage and three healthy kids, plus a productive working life - was actually a superhuman feat, given that I was essentially operating with one hand tied behind my back (the emotional awareness hand - I did everything with my intellect instead).
Just by surviving and entering therapy, you have already accomplished more than anyone could ever expect. Any progress you make from here is award-winning standard achievement.
We are our own harshest critics.
For you to take one step toward the driver's seat is a bigger accomplishment than Neil Armstrong's "one small step for a man".
Fear itself cannot kill you. Remember that.
If you have never seen it before, rent a copy of "Labyrinth", starring David Bowie. It's a children's story, but the way the girl beats the Goblin King is exactly the way you will beat your fear.
I can tell from the way you write that you have what it takes. Just keep moving forward - that's all you need to do. Stay in motion, and you WILL make it.
And let me know what you think of the movie! :)
bonniel from North Carolina on October 10, 2008:
I always look forward to your responses. You encourage me in ways that you will never know. It is abject fear that keeps me from driving. Just knowing that you have recovered and that I can too keeps me going.....you already know how i feel, the stories are just different. I carried anxiety all of my life, now i know why. My abuse was verbal, physical, and sexual, while a toddler. My mother, we feel, was dissociative as well.She was not there for me...Dissociation allowed me to survive. Thank you for what you do.....and i love hearing from you!
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 09, 2008:
Bonnie, I experienced nothing BUT fear - total, I-am-about-to-die mortal terror - from the moment I started seriously trying to get in touch with my genuine feelings until I had the pivotal experience of being safe which was the turning point in my recovery.
And then I was outraged and furious at my family for pretending that my childhood was "normal" - leaving me with no idea what "normal" REALLY was. Utter confusion. I thought I was insane for a while, but eventually I worked out that I was a sane person born into an insane environment, and actually I could trust my own perceptions, after all. The day I finally realised that once and for all was the day the confusion ended.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 09, 2008:
Misha, it is entirely possible - the trigger for mine was a mother who had post-natal psychosis, but I suspect that any primary care-giver who is emotionally unavailable and behaves unpredictably could have the same effect.
bonniel from North Carolina on October 08, 2008:
Jenny,did you have to experience weird fears, and confusion? If you choose not to answer, i will understand...but it sure would be nice to hear it from you. You sound so positive and affirmative now. I am located in the USA, NC....and i will post a picture soon. I appreciate all of the work you have done...My doctor says you sound just like one of her patients.....and believe me that is a compliment!!!
Misha from DC Area on October 07, 2008:
Umm, well, now you set me thinking. First time I just skimmed the list of symptoms without paying much attention, concentrated more on your journey. Now I carefully read through the list - and - umm - I see myself in more than a half of the items!
Ok, tell me, o mother of Gods, is it mine, too?
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 07, 2008:
Yes, Bonnie, all kinds of wierdnesses will occur - but you just keep moving forward, and sooner or later you will discover the light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 03, 2008:
Thanks Jenny....the most difficult thing is dealing with the co conciousness and their fears. I am having to work from home as driving is a fear right now. Before this I could drive anywhere anytime....now am afraid so others drive me.Again, my doctor says this will all change.It is tough, but I have to trust.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on October 02, 2008:
Good luck, Bonnie - many others have walked the valley before you, and we can tell you that your doctor is speaking the truth. It's as scary as facing Death itself, but you WILL come through to a world more rewarding than you could ever have imagined.
Hang in there!
bonniel from North Carolina on October 01, 2008:
I am so excited to have found this....i am in therapy now...that valley.....it is terrifying and my doctor tells me i will come out on the other side whole and better, but i am not there now. you are the fist person that described what i am going through.....thank you so very much for sharing. i would love to hear from you.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on September 02, 2008:
Yes, what you describe sounds like dissociation.
It is terrifying to face whatever it is, but the alternative is to go through life half dead.
It may not seem like it now, but a life worth living lies on other side of that fear. Go and find your feelings. It's worth it.
You already know what you need to do.
Don't wait until you feel better - you won't feel better until you have faced this situation squarely.
My thoughts are with you.
critical.times on September 02, 2008:
Did you have physical symptoms? And what about responsiveness to other people? I feel that in these difficult times I don't manage to interact with people, I feel brutally self aware; I used to be giggly and sensitive, currently I am feeling numbed, like if my emotions don't arise from my stomach anymore, and this is terrifying. With a therapy I had been better if not fine, but with this relational crisis I realize I'm there again, and it seems even worse than last time. By the way: at the time I had no clue of what I had, I read the symptoms you described and realized just now that perhaps that is what I had, and what I fell back into. I am scared to confront my relationship, draw back, feel worse, and get more scared about confronting my relationship. Vicious cicle. I negated my feelings for so long because I couldn't accept (and I still can't) that I was feeling differently in my relationship. I would like to feel better in order to do something about this, because I am very scared to go on my own now. Any suggestions?
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on August 30, 2008:
Yes, I did recover, with some wonderful help from some loving people at just the right times. I am still uncovering little bits of childhood fear and resolving them, but basically I am fully present in life all day, every day, these days.
And it's quite amazing ...
critical times on August 30, 2008:
Did you recover from this? How did you manage?
I think I dissociated a bit for fear of confronting difficult choices in my relationship, and now I feel hollow, have a hard time interacting with people and doing my thing, plus I didn't resolve anything in my relationship. I could cry all day for the mess I put myself in...and all that stuff about choosing, being autonomous, it's so true...so scary...
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on August 20, 2008:
Thanks ajcor - glad it helps!
ajcor from NSW. Australia on August 20, 2008:
An Incredible hub! Thanks for all this information InspirePub - also Sandra R. I loved your ps - I can only benefit from that remark!
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on April 14, 2008:
Roberto,If you are only six months in recovery from drug use, cut yourself some slack. That's a hard road.
And if you're still using alcohol, I hate to tell you but there won't be a real way out until you cut that as well.
Give yourself a year or two of being completely "natural" in your body, and you won't BELIEVE the difference.
And then you will have the stability to start doing some more challenging deep emotional work - I tell you, drugs have NOTHING to offer in comparison with that.
You have so much to look forward to - I can't tell you how much better life is when you can fully feel it!
Roberto on April 14, 2008:
I couldnt have said it better myself. I suffer from depersonalization or derealization - after spending the last few months trying to figure out what exactly has been wrong with me for the past three years, I still find myself stuck between the above two disorders. My condition came about from my natural tendency to overthink and overanalyze, combined with a three year college heavy pothead phase. Endless ruminating and introspection. I eventually got stuck in it, and didnt realize until I entered law school last fall, and quit drugs. I went through hell.
I dropped out, packed up, and left the US, back for home - Lebanon. I spent a couple of months doing squat - other than trying to figure myself out, which frustrated me more, and drew me deeper into it.
Fed up, I left for Nigeria, on a three month stint with a company there. Shocking myself back into reality was the only way out, I thought, and living in Nigeria for three months was definitely going to do that. I am now at the end of my stint, and I think I'm recovering. Qauntifying improvement is so difficult, because its all so abstract.
But I agree with what u said, about how u observe people, because ur unable to 'feel' them. I always thought that once I do recover - or when I do (hopefully) I'll have the best of both worlds. And that I'll appreciate life so much more than your average joe, who has not seen life the way we have.
I'm trying to be postive :)
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on March 24, 2008:
Thanks, guys. It's really good to have such validation from people who are pretty darm awesome themselves. And I really needed it today. Thanks.
Misha from DC Area on March 23, 2008:
You are so productive I can't keep up with all what you wrote :D I keep finding jems that I missed - like this one :)
sandra rinck on March 23, 2008:
ps, I don't buy all that medical mumbo jumbo about something being wrong with me, the best medicine I got was knowing that there was something completely right with me.
sandra rinck on March 23, 2008:
Yeah, I was diagnosised with Biopolar disorder and a was discharged from the Navy because they said I had a personality disorder. My dad said, everyone has a personality disorder. I like what my dad says cause he is really smart, I use to call him wisdom man because he always seemed to know that I was different, not like the other kids when it came to thoughts or views on life, I think he loved it best that I didn't want to be like everyone else, and that always made me feel super duper when other people were trying to make me feel bad.
I feel ya on some of those things and I am really glad you are who you are now. Maybe it doesnt mean much because it's not like I know you, know you, but my expereinces have taught me that people are more truthful when they write down what they feel and think.
:) I wish there were more people like you around, I really do.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on March 15, 2008:
You're both right - there's a lot of this around, up to some point it's a normal part of human functioning.
In our society, though, we do have a lot of people walking around completely cut off from their own internal feeling sensations. I don't think that is the way we were meant to function - I think it's the result of having a high percentage of stressed, isolated mothers.
Hope Alexander on March 15, 2008:
Wow. Great hub, seriously, I had no idea this condition even existed.
Although it is one of those pieces of writing that makes you wonder if something is wrong with you, a little like reading a medical textbook will sometimes convince you that you have brain cluster cancer.
teeray from Canada on March 14, 2008:
I'm sure that what you describe in this hub, Inspirepub, is more common than people admit. A certain level of 'dissociation' occurs with everyone - in the way that people might 'zone out' watching TV commercials while waiting for the show to resume again, 'zoning out' while waiting at a traffic light (this is scary, isn't it?). I think that if people experience a lot of these 'suspensions' they often do not report it, but it may be apparent in other ways...panick attacks, nervousness, etc. I hope that your hub will help people with 'conditions' to seek help. We all dissociate. Some people have more severe and specific dissociations and require a kind of learning in order to live with dissociative disorders. Aren't we mostly disordered in some way, anyway, these days?
I love this hub. You've given people a choice to exercise some control over dissociation problems, rather than be at the mercy of these forever.
Inspirepub (author) from Sydney, Australia on March 01, 2008:
Thanks for the great artwork, Nicole!
Nicole Linde on February 29, 2008:
Thank you for sharing your story, and choosing my artwork to illustrate it :)