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#164691 - 07/04/07 01:40 AM dissociation
Kid A Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 85
(I reposted this here from another topic)
I often dissociate and am torn and confused about what I can do when this happens. Yesterday I was in a group setting when I really became spacey and totally detached from the conversation as if I was watching a movie. This got me to become very sad which in turn made me feel much younger and feeling younger made me sad because it reminded me of why I first had to use dissociation: to pretend that the abuse wasn't real. So I am confused about dissociation because when it happens I want to hang out in it and see what its all about. It puts me closer to the child that was abused and further from the mask and shell I created for the world to see in order to hide. I want to explore my dissociated states because it puts me closer to the piece of me that was vulnerable yet safe before the abuse.



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#164758 - 07/04/07 04:01 PM Re: dissociation [Re: Kid A]
Dewey2k Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/22/05
Posts: 3069
Kid,

I can't really offer any advice to you, because I've never experienced this kind of thing on a regular basis. If you have a counselor, it might be best to ask them. Perhaps someone else here has some experience they could share.

I'm sorry I don't have more to offer.


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#164785 - 07/04/07 07:52 PM Re: dissociation [Re: Dewey2k]
healing_inside Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/28/05
Posts: 2005
hi Kid A,

This link below to the Sidran.org web site i got from the MS web site so it is a good web site. The link points a info on dissociation and DID.

Please don't use this info to diagnos yourself, but just for info only. Maybe this info could be a starting place to talk it over with your T.

Hope this helps.


http://www.sidran.org/sub.cfm?contentID=33§ionid=4

_________________________
I can't come to the phone right now, I am out living my life

*** WoR Retreat Alumni - Alta 2005 ***

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#164789 - 07/04/07 08:08 PM Re: dissociation [Re: healing_inside]
Still Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/16/07
Posts: 6446
Loc: Right Here!
My T and MD call my DID rather "severe." (I hate hearing that word "severe.")

Anyway, their big concern with any Dis-state is my being in danger. Danger from other people, cars, traffic, things, etc. When I dis-out, I'm as vulnerable as can be.

If your Dis-state is the same, you may want to conder the dangers.

_________________________
Straight to DVD - again

The Aftermath Video

Fun With Terror !

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#164813 - 07/04/07 10:17 PM Re: dissociation [Re: Kid A]
thecoopstah Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 07/19/04
Posts: 589
Loc: massachusetts
I'll have you know "dissociating" can be very frightening and can spook you enough to the point of losing touch with reality.I can tell you that when you reach this heightening of the physche and go to a place where you're not used to it has the potential to bring your sense of self to levels you may not be ready for.Although we have no control of when and if we detach only that we can somehow find a place where we "feel safe".I encourage you to try do all you can to be gentle with yourself and take time to process this otherwise you could be going down a road where you might not want any part of.I'm a survivor and only in the last 5 years has been rough and emotionally i was so distressed i,too "dissociated" and literally saw myself sitting in a chair with my head down and floating over myself as i was looking down.I have been fortunate to only experience this 3x and quite frankly i'm all set if i never go through this again in this lifetime.Finally i wish you comfort and tenderness this site and the beautiful people have to offer.Utilize this to any length you can imagine afterall you can never have to much support.God bless you and always remember we're here for you to listen and encourage and most of all simply "BE" and nothing will ever change that fact.

Coopstah

_________________________
" You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have "

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#164838 - 07/05/07 02:35 AM Re: dissociation [Re: thecoopstah]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Kid A,

I can see why you would want to explore your feelings when you diss out, but remember that this state of being involves creating a fantasy situation. It's an escape from reality, and while it will connect you with the tools you were able to find as a kid to keep yourself safe, it won't connect you with the Little You himself. Dissociating is all about escaping from issues, not facing them. That's something we had to do when we were boys, but now I think it's better to face things the way they really are. That's the only way to lay down a solid foundation for our recovery.

Just some thoughts.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#165000 - 07/05/07 10:42 PM Re: dissociation [Re: roadrunner]
Kid A Offline
Member

Registered: 10/17/05
Posts: 85
The subject of dissociation, even on this site, seems taboo, and I can understand why. When I began realizing with my therapist that I highly dissociate I freaked out that I was CRAZY, the kind of feeling that would keep anyone up at night. I was able to fall asleep by realizing that even if I had Dissociative Identity Disorder, I wasn't crazy. That said, I don't have DID but dissociation is all on a spectrum. My confusion comes because my dissociation allows me to sometimes tap into a vulnerability and innocence that got shelled over with the abuse. I guess my question more specifically is; isn't that vulnerability a good thing to get back in touch with. To me its the feeling of having a soft body and a soul that is not completely hardened, numb, and depressed to the world around it. I like when my soul feels this way, but the dissociation itself can be disorienting and isolating. I guess I am trying to take what I can from when I dissociate and bring it back to my more ordinary state of consiousness. To connect and negoitate the reality of a childs innocence with the wisdom of a survivor's knowledge of this hostile world.


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#165008 - 07/05/07 10:54 PM Re: dissociation [Re: Kid A]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
Kid A,

Dissociation isn't discussed as much as other topics here, but I don't think it's taboo in any way. You should feel free to talk about it. I - along with many others - have done the same in the past when we needed to do so.

You ask:

Originally Posted By: Kid A
I guess my question more specifically is; isn't that vulnerability a good thing to get back in touch with.


I certainly think so. When I was a young boy I used this as a means to protect myself from what the abuser was doing: I would "go" to something on the wall and then make my way to a corner of the ceiling and curl up there - I wasn't the boy all those things were happening to "down there" in the room. Acknowledging this helped me to see how defenseless and frightened I was, regardless of how I responded physically to the abuse. As you say, when we ponder these things we learn more about how innocent and clueless we really were.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#165068 - 07/06/07 07:54 AM Re: dissociation [Re: roadrunner]
ecb Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/04/03
Posts: 205
I recently was discussing disassociation with my T. I had a couple of panic attacks at work, and I would disassociate until I could get my shit together.

I was worried that it was a bad thing, but he said that I was using it as a tool to get past my anxiety when I am not physically in a place to deal with it.

I guess it's a coping mechanism like anything else and the problem is when its an inappropriate reaction or one that is no longer serving its purpose or creating problems.

It was an interesting take on it for me anyway because I had always seen my tendency to disassociate as a weakness...


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#165078 - 07/06/07 09:31 AM Re: dissociation [Re: ecb]
MemoryVault Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 03/01/07
Posts: 693
Loc: NJ
I've always been grateful for dissociation -- it feels like a special protection--like some captain in your mind's control room shouts "Shields Up!", and you don't get blasted.

I haven't really thought about what it's like before but this is what it feels like to me...

Something that feels threatening happens -- a real tragedy happens, someone's angry at me, or something about work, or something sexual -- I get tense and flustered.

Then, the switch flips and I suddenly feel very calm. The emotions are there, but they no longer have anything to do with what I say or do. I see my face--I get very aware of every muscle, like I can watch my own expression, and manage it by remote control. I'm talking, but I feel like I'm writing a>

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#165081 - 07/06/07 09:58 AM Re: dissociation [Re: MemoryVault]
pain4ever Offline


Registered: 04/05/01
Posts: 1032
Disassociating with me is a bit different than what you guys describe. I too get very detached from my body, Its like i am hovering over but have no control. My problem when I disassociate is my anger. I turn into my 6 year old self...except he has control over a 6'3" 275lb body...completely scary! I have never physically harmed a person during it but I normally end up punching things and I hurt myself. Can you imagine a tourchured, angry and vengeful 6 year old in that big of a body. I am terribly bad at saying the meanest things possible while disassociated. I can remember bawling at the things I was saying or said....I normally dont remember it but the terrified looks in my partner's faces say it all. I find myself in a closet somewhere in the fetal position when I snap out of it. I know at that point that I normally am in big trouble because of the things I did. Last time was over 18 months ago...I found two doors ripped off their hinges....4 holes in the walls....and yet again...boxers fractures on my right hand.

I cant figure out if my disassociation is caused by my anger or if the anger is a result of the disassociation. I went through a ton of therapy in how to keep my anger under control, since then I have not disassociated out.

Either way...I want to tell you. It is not perminant. You can control it. It can be fixed.



_________________________
Peace and Tranquility all depends on your frame of reference.

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#171017 - 08/04/07 11:20 PM Re: dissociation [Re: pain4ever]
inthegrass33 Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 107
I hear you on the fist through walls. I used to punch myself in the face too.

My dissociation is ongoing and constant, though. Most of the time, I just sit with it, do everything in the dissociated state. My problem is with people who say, "you're fine. you're perfectly healthy. i wish i had a body like yours."


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#171062 - 08/05/07 08:06 AM Re: dissociation [Re: inthegrass33]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Disassociation is a strange thing isn't it?

I read a de>
_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#171340 - 08/06/07 10:14 AM Re: dissociation [Re: ttoon]
inthegrass33 Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 107
I recently picked up the PTSD Sourcebook. Dissociation means associated content that has not yet been processed, thus my feelings of being not-a-person or not "me" is the result of unprocessed material that is stored in a different way than normal memories. Normal memories are easily recalled, while when trauma occurs, that memory becomes compartmentalized as its own little world, that is highly unstable, just like ignoring a fire is bad, and can make a person feel shameful and stupid for not giving the fire proper attention. When we get flashbacks or nightmares or react to triggers, it is this content that hasn't been processed yet that we are being reminded of. I think about it and PTSD comes as a result of your brain not doing your life's homework. The problem lies in the intentionality of a person's recovery. I am having a hard time because my dissociation from my physical body WILL NOT STOP! Life is constantly a screen for me right now, and below the surface, I know that my brain is reacting to my fear of the dissociation and also, the material I have yet to process.


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#171342 - 08/06/07 10:25 AM Re: dissociation [Re: inthegrass33]
roadrunner Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 22045
Loc: Carlisle, PA
This topic is such an important one for us and looking back it seems to me that everything that's been said has been really valuable. What especially strikes me is that dissociation was a tool we learned in varying degrees and ways as boys and have also held on it differently as adults. I recognize so much of my own experience in some posts here, while others are just not familiar to me at all. It reminds me of how similarly we learned to cope, but at the same time how differently as well.

Much love,
Larry

_________________________
Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking my freedom highway.
Nobody living can make me turn back:
This land was made for you and me.
(Woody Guthrie)

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#171380 - 08/06/07 12:30 PM Re: dissociation [Re: roadrunner]
inthegrass33 Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 107
I have a question. Once the dissociation is no longer needed, is there still PTSD symptoms? I have dreams that are very fucked up and scary to me. I have my anxiety and dissociation even in my dreams. I don't sleep. I get fucking mad during the day, deliberately slamming and yelling and tensing and overally, just being tired of my brain, the fear, the fear of fear, the nothing that life is to me right now all because of an incident.


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#171524 - 08/06/07 09:48 PM Re: dissociation [Re: inthegrass33]
ttoon Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/19/07
Posts: 977
Inthegrass,

I think that is a really excellent question.

"Once the dissociation is no longer needed, is there still PTSD symptoms?"

Since we can not change what we do not ackowledge...recognizing the disassociation...why it is there and what purpose it once served is an important thing.

If disassociation disconnects us from the emotions...then in theory reconnecting with the emotions would certainly relieve the symptoms from PTSD...wouldn't it? By processing those emotions that we had disconnected from?


This thinking lead an awful lot of bad therapists and a lot of well meaning therapists to try reconnecting by putting us back into or having us go through the original trauma all over again...which just sort of revictimizes ya over and over...

I think this is why they call it a "Practice" as far as what therapists do in terms of describing their work. But my attitude is showing so...

What do you think? Will reconnecting to the emotions, processing them, grieving...will that relieve the PTSD symptoms?


Dave

_________________________
checkin out for a few weeks... whistle
02/07/09

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#171650 - 08/07/07 11:14 AM Re: dissociation [Re: ttoon]
inthegrass33 Offline
New Here

Registered: 07/31/07
Posts: 107
PTSD is primarily dissociative, I've read. Dissociated content results in PTSD symptoms such as physical and emotional numbing. I have also recently come to terms with dream patterns, my own avoidance of sleep (which has been ongoing since childhood), and a number of other symptoms I had when I was younger as a result of my incident. So to be dissociated means that you have dissociated memory content that is still seeping through the dam you built to protect yourself from what was TOO MUCH, or too complicated or even not understood yet.

I highly recommend the PTSD Sourcebook. It has put my "problem" into much perspective, to the point that I realize that my constant dissociation is a result of my own (temporary) inability to recognize an experience that I had when I was small.


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