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#354004 - 02/18/11 12:54 AM is this dissociation?
jurek Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 130
Loc: New Hampshire
In another thread the topic of dissociation came up and it got me thinking - do I dissociate and if so, how much? I know that I do not have separate selves with different names and complete identities. But I have had some strange and hard to describe experiences that I'm thinking might be a form of mild dissociation. They've always puzzled and worried me, so I'll risk trying to describe them without hopefully sounding too vague.

There is this unique feeling that I get in very specific circumstances I'll specify in a minute. The feeling is of suddenly feeling removed from the world, like it's suddenly become unreal. I can still see what is going on but it seems like its on a screen and I am no longer part of it. This scares me because I am afraid that I will do or say something that will reveal that I have left the scene and that will cause something bad to happen.

The first time I ever noticed this was when I was in my early twenties riding a bike in New York City. I was a bike messenger, which was a very fun job smile
Well I was riding next to a trailer truck going slightly faster than me so my visual field was filled with a slowly moving and fairly blank surface. When the truck finished passing me, I happened to glance over and see the scene switch from slow moving simple surface to a rapidly moving scene with lots of visual complexity. This instantly gave me the feeling of disconnect I just described. It lasted for a minute or so and then slowly faded. This same thing happened on one or two similar occasions.

A second situation where this has happened has been in the classroom in front of a class where for no obvious reason I occasionally slip into the same dreamlike state. I kind of mentally grit my teeth and try to carry on as if nothing is different and eventually the feeling fades. A similar thing has happened on occasions where I've had to speak in front of large numbed of people. Bright all over lighting, the "fishtank" like ceilings full of fluorescent lights in some classrooms make it worse.

Please forgive my ramblings if this doesn't make much sense, but the DID-NOS mentioned in another thread got me thinking. I'd appreciate any feedback.

One good thing about this very painful recovery process is that I really feel like I am getting to know myself much, much better than ever before.

George

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-jurek

Jurek ogorek, kielbasa i sznurek, kielbasa uciekla, Jurek do piekla!


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#354005 - 02/18/11 01:24 AM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: jurek]
redsox046 Offline


Registered: 09/06/10
Posts: 56
Loc: BOSTON
Sounds like dissociation to me. A similar experience happens with me every day. Some questions you might want to ask yourself after the next time it happens that might help figure out when and why it happens are...., what was i thinking about when it starter?,What was going on?,Who, if anyone was there? What were they doing?,What emotions was I feeling?,What has spacing out protected me from?. Working on grounding techniques such as naming objects in the room, naming something you can hear, see and feel around you, putting your feet flat on the floor and using ice on your neck. Facing your feelings is an important part of healing and dissociation can be a huge blockade to getting to them. You'll get through this!!!
God Bless,
Nick


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#354006 - 02/18/11 01:46 AM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: redsox046]
jurek Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 130
Loc: New Hampshire
Thanks Nick! I'll watch it more closely next time it happens.

G

_________________________
-jurek

Jurek ogorek, kielbasa i sznurek, kielbasa uciekla, Jurek do piekla!


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#354025 - 02/18/11 10:16 AM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: jurek]
jls Offline


Registered: 03/06/09
Posts: 1142
I just wanted to comment on your experience while cycling. I too used to be a bike messenger (in Toronto ON) and often experienced the kind of sensation you described. I'd be zipping in and out of traffic, moving at very high speeds, yet not fully connected to everything around me. In retrospect I attribute it to not being able to be aware of the "full picture" for being on a bike while among much larger vehicles is akin to being a small mammal trying to survive in a forest full of dangerous predators. In this way one can only spare the mental energy to be aware our immediate proximity to danger i.e. what’s in front of us, behind us, beside us and, equally important to the cyclist, what’s underneath us. Think too much about the greater “forest” rather than your immediate surroundings and you’re done for. In some ways this serves as a useful analogy for our experiences as kids. As kids who went through abuse we could not move beyond our immediate surroundings and grow like we should have due to being overly focused on the dangers that threatened us close at hand. As adults, for a lot of us we are still there. Just my thoughts.

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Love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.


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#354030 - 02/18/11 10:57 AM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: jls]
Daniel_forgotten Offline


Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 479
looks like it i think. some of us switch into bad alters when riding a bike. well 2 of them. we found out why, it's simple, it was related to childhood. sometimes it just happens, sometimes a time of the day and its particular light can trigger it. it's a good idea to take note of what was going on when it happened. a dr. taught us something that can keep you grounded: ask yourself some simple questions: what day is today? what year is it? what is your name? what's your partner's name? You can also count. another trick is to think laudly -if you know what i mean- like, I'm sitting on a brown chair, i can hear an helicopter, the wind is cold on my skin, etc.

hope it helps somehow




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#354038 - 02/18/11 11:35 AM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: Daniel_forgotten]
jurek Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 130
Loc: New Hampshire
@jls Thanks that's a really interesting way of putting it. My experience with biking in the city was one where I could put my usual hyperawareness to good use. You get used to watching everything that's going on around you, not just the cars, trucks and pedestrians but especially the drivers, always making split second decisions about whether they know I'm there and what they are going to do next. In that context, the sudden perceptual shift might just overwhelm my brain and send me inside to a "safe" disconnected place, which is not really that safe in heavy traffic. And to think I never wore a helmet in those days!

@daniel Thanks for the suggestions about how to reconnect. I may have in the past instinctively done something similar. It's disconcerting to be in the middle of lecturing about some topic in philosophy like "how do you know that you are not just a brain in a vat who is deluded into thinking that there is a real world out there" and then to suddenly feel like I am a brain in a vat. Thinking loudly! Perfect way of putting it, I'll remember that fore sure.

Thanks! You guys are awesome!
George

_________________________
-jurek

Jurek ogorek, kielbasa i sznurek, kielbasa uciekla, Jurek do piekla!


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#354040 - 02/18/11 12:00 PM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: jurek]
michael Joseph Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
what was that?

oh where am I?

all the time
I dissociatate

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Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

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#354041 - 02/18/11 12:01 PM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: michael Joseph]
jurek Offline


Registered: 08/23/10
Posts: 130
Loc: New Hampshire
LOL

_________________________
-jurek

Jurek ogorek, kielbasa i sznurek, kielbasa uciekla, Jurek do piekla!


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#354042 - 02/18/11 12:06 PM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: jurek]
Daniel_forgotten Offline


Registered: 02/07/09
Posts: 479
lol


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#354095 - 02/18/11 09:39 PM Re: is this dissociation? [Re: jurek]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Jurek,

Environmental conditions like lighting are definitely situational triggers. I had my first glimpse at a memory of the abuse I went through when I was driving and the sun was very bright.

The reason I understand now is because abuse when I was 4 was in a studio with a big skylight. The bright sunlight coming into that skylight was the trigger to remember. The guy was using a large studio camera. It was probably a movie camera, but I didn't know what that was then.

Another situational trigger I still haven't figured out was being in hardware stores. Being in a hardware store was somehow a subconscious signal.

I think I mentioned being in a long hallway without windows. This would trigger me into being 12. That may have been a neurological thing and not a trigger.

Allen


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