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#212714 - 03/24/08 03:00 PM disassociation?
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
i've heard it talked about before

disassociation

i never gave it much thought
but i just had a bit of a revelation
which may explain some of my anxiety and difficulty in exploring some things

if anybody can describe disassociation to me that would be very helpful, and if anybody can tell me about times when this kind of disassociation has come back to them at a later time by some kind of trigger then that would help me understand

i think i just experienced some disassociation, and it was automatic and it had a very familiar feel and it very much felt like i was back to then

anyway, i'll go and have my icecream now

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#212750 - 03/24/08 06:35 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: king tut]
LandOfShadow Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/11/07
Posts: 684
Loc: Minneapolis, Minnesota USA
From the book "Stranger in the Mirror" I'm reading now: Dissociation (not dis-association, though that's still the same meaning) is an adaptive defense in response to high stress or trauma characterized by memory loss and a sense of disconnection from oneself or one's surroundings.

Dissociation can be a complicated thing. Simply put, it's a kind of spacing out that kids learn to do when abused. Everyone dissociates some, like getting lost in a good book "loosing all track of time", day dreaming "going somewhere else in my mind and loosing touch with reality"or being "lost in thought". There's a question of what exactly someone does, and also how often they do it. It causes serious problems when its extreme and done often, like every day many hours a day, or all the time. Especially when growing up as a kid. Dissociative problems are associated with kids under 5 being abused, especially sexually abused.

More accurately, dissociation is a mental state in which certain thoughts, emotions, sensations, and/or memories are compartmentalized, or split off from conscious awareness because they are too overwhelming, too traumatic for the conscious mind to integrate.

Child abuse, especially chronic abuse starting at early ages, has been found to be related to the development of high levels of dissociative symptoms, which are:

Amnesia : loss of memory for your identity or past. The inability to account for a significant block of time. "lost time", "gaps in memory".

Derealization : detachment from your environment. A sense your environment is unreal or foreign often involving people who were previously familiar to you.

Depersonalization : a feeling of detachment from yourself, your body, detachment from your emotions like a robot.

Identity confusion : Feeling uncertain, puzzled or confliected about who you are. Perhaps a continuing struggle inside yourself to define who you are.

Identity Alteration. : A shift in role or identity accompanied by a noticeable change in behavior, speaking in a different voice or using different names. Perhaps a shift in personality as someone else inside you takes control.

_________________________
Et par le pouvoir d’un mot Je recommence ma vie, Je suis né pour te connaître, Pour te nommer
Liberté

And by the power of a single word I can begin my life again, I was born to know you, to name you
Freedom

Paul Eluard

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#212751 - 03/24/08 06:35 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: king tut]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
Lewis I asked this same question not to long ago. Here is a link to that post which helped me a lot.

http://www.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=209764&page=3#Post209764


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#212757 - 03/24/08 06:53 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: Freedom49]
king tut Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/13/08
Posts: 2469
Loc: UK
Thanks guys that is very useful

I wont talk about exactly what happened here, but i think this was dissociation. It was like you describe, when the mind kind of goes to a different place, and i didn't snap out of it, i would have probably sat there for ages unless somebody hadn't prompted me. It kind of felt safer, in reality i was more vulnerable, but my mind just vacated the building, and it didn't want to come back, and then when i snapped out of it i realised how familiar it was to me, a feeling i had, the tilt of my head, the pace of my breathing. So i think i must have done that before.

_________________________
"...until lambs become lions"

I love you, little lewis, and i will never leave you. We are the same. You brighten my day, and i will make sure that i brighten yours. Hugs and kisses.


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#212764 - 03/24/08 07:18 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: king tut]
Freedom49 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 12/30/07
Posts: 2723
Loc: Washington State
YOu probably did KT. It is fairly common from what I have learned. I tend to do it mostly in the car on long drives.


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#212829 - 03/24/08 09:43 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: king tut]
pufferfish Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
Here are some examples of dissociation in my own life:

When I was in elementary school, my father would yell at the dinner table. Sometimes I would get up and leave the table. I learned to just go into a fog at the table. (I left mentally but not physically). I carried this habit much, much later, even when it no longer fit my circumstances. For instance, I had an interview for a job I really wanted. The Person doing the hiring invited me to dinner. As I sat there at dinner, my mind retreated into this habitual fog. Needless to say I did not get that job. Earlier while in college, I was invited to dinner in order to join a fraternity. I retreated into this fog. Needless to say, I was not invited to join that fraternity (or any other). I had to fight this habit to break it much later in life.

In school during classes, I would "escape" mentally into a dissociative fog. My mind would be far far away as my body sat there in class. The music teacher in 3rd grade wanted to have me be the MC for a little music production. I wanted that desperately, but I had been mentally "absent" and couldn't perform the role.

When sexually abused, I would become "sexy boy". Immediately afterward, I would become "straight boy". I would immediately "forget" the abuse. I developed an amnesia to major abuse. My resistance to abuse was lowered because "sexy boy" would pop in and want it.

I hated myself but kept it a secret from myself. Later when performing in a job situation or musical performance, I would become temporarily someone else who was famous in that area. The funny thing is how that really seemed to work.

Enough for now.


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#212837 - 03/24/08 09:57 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: pufferfish]
ericc Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/04/08
Posts: 1977
pufferfish,

That is very interesting. I don't remember ever thinking about my sexual experiences after the fact, or in my day to day life when it was happening. I am pretty sure I had repressed the memories until I remembered like 5 years later. It is pretty weird, but I have wondered what the heck was going on inside of me back then. I certainly didn't become more 'gay' as best I remember outside of the sexual garbage that was happening, though I know I was messed up. But some of that came from other esteem robbing experiences. Really weird though.

Eric


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#212858 - 03/24/08 10:50 PM Re: disassociation? [Re: ericc]
johnnymike Offline
Guest

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 51
Loc: Central Ohio
When I told a psychologist friend that I disscociated during my adult rape she said I must have begun that as a child. She did not think I would go somewhere warm and peaceful that first time if I had not been harmed before. I hid the information of my rape somewhere in my brain and 10 days later I was sitting next to a friend who is a nurse and all of a sudden I said "oh my God I was raped". She was shocked by this as I was remembering it and verbalizing what had happened.

My memories are very much compartmentalized. I can not access memories as needed sometimes. I remember things that happened but have trouble following a time line. Was it two years ago or ten. I now use the memory of what car I was driving at the time to figure out how many years ago it had been.

Once I was away from my abuser who abused me as an adult I no longer dissociated. What happened next were the PTSD symptoms. A trigger would cause me to get stuck in a mental replay of all the memories. One person would see me and say "all the ghosts are back". I did not know how I looked but he was always right.

Today I do not dissociate and rarely have PTSD symptoms. I attribute this to the passing of time. I still have lots of work to do and need to integrate memories. I want to fill in the blanks.


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