Monthly Archives: October 2016

What dissociation feels like to me

I’m aware this may be different than what I’ve written before. My understanding of it tends to be limited to what I can access in the moment. 

Today, my understanding of my dissociation is as follows: 

My dissociation is varied. When heavily triggered, I lose all memory of a period of time. I have very spotty memories from my childhood, maybe a handful from my entire 18 years before moving to college. I’m starting to regain some of those memories, but they are all trauma memories coming back. 

When I’m less dissociated, it just feels like i’m floating in a grey fog far away from everyone and everything. Sometimes I can’t hear people talking to me. I’m not always aware of the dissociation until someone points it out to me, but there are times I’m very aware. Those times it feels like i’m on autopilot; saying and doing things because that’s what’s expected of me. 

There are times when I’m surprised at my appearance and the fact that I have a body & a face. That used to happen a lot more when I was younger. I would walk past my reflection and stop to stare at it. I needed to study it because I had no clue that’s what I looked like, or that I even existed as a corporeal being… those instances have lessened in severity. I still stare at my reflection at times, but it doesn’t take as long to understand I’m actually a person. 

Regardless of the type of dissociation, I generally don’t feel anything like physical touch, or even pain… Sometimes the dissociation is accompanied by flashbacks, but other times my mind is blank…


What’s your experience been like with it? 


When anger bubbles

I’m finding that I’m really hating myself in a bunch of situations. I’m finding rage bubbles up, or I’m losing my temper, or in letting other people’s emotions influence my own. I’m finding I mirror the attitudes of those I’m around, and a lot of times its crappy attitudes. 

Today, it struck me again how much I dislike myself when I work with a particular colleague. She’s often in a bad mood and expressing it without much restraint. I’m noticing when I work with her, I’m more intolerant and more short-tempered than I’d like. I yell more easily, get frustrated more easily, and become unintentionally rough when correcting the dogs… I didn’t always used to be that way, but it’s happening more now. It’s certainly not her fault,  as I’ve noticed I’ve had times of bubbling rage, but it’s more easily triggered around her…

I need to be more on top of this. I need to be more aware, and return to my center faster when the anger is triggered. I need to be better at the self-control around my anger. I hate to turn into my dad…


The thought of psych meds makes my chest tight

​I’m going to see my pcp about trying an antidepressant again. It’s kinda freaking me out. The last time I was on meds regularly for this, I pretty much lived in one psych hospital or another… I haven’t been that bad since coming off all meds 5 years ago. I really don’t want to get back to that space again. :/

I dunno what’s better; dealing with ridiculous depression and anxiety, or risking another revolving-door hospital experience. Dr C thinks it might work out better this time, especially if I stick to just an antidepressant. But that’s how it started last time… I might plan ahead and insist Dr S not prescribe anything after like 6 months, and nothing other than an a/d… and maybe agree that if I end up hospitalized at any point, we work on stopping the meds immediately instead of tweaking or adding. 


Triggers in random places

I saw this article on my Facebook feed, about a father who sexually abused his daughter several times, but will be spared jail time “for the sake of the family”. I understand the denial and reaction from the family (it sucks, but it’s all too common). What kills me is the court’s validation of that denial (though that doesn’t exactly surprise me either)… I didn’t think I’d have such a strong reaction to it, but it’s hit a nerve. 

I’m angry and crying and so sad…

Some of what the family said to gain leniency for the father are things I’ve heard within my own family growing up. While the circumstances were not the same, the denial of abuse among certain family members took the same path…

My heart is breaking for the little girl in that article. I want to run over and protect her myself, since no one else in her life seems to want to do it… regardless of any “evidence” that the dad will not assault anyone else, the kid deserves to feel safe and supported. She shouldn’t be forced to continue to live with her abuser, or to see him ever again. It’s not fair to her (even if she feels she needs to protect him)… her life will never be the same because of him. She will deal with this the rest of her life. Yeah, she may get to a point where she’s more healed and balanced, but she will be forever impacted by not only the sexual abuse, but her family’s rally around dad… who is there rallying for her? She must feel so invalidated and worthless…

What are they teaching their kids with this, that you can break someone, but as long as you’re sorry it’s going to be ok? Bullshit.

It’s not fair… she deserves so much better.  


More anxiety

My chest is still tight. 

Woke up today… triggered? It’s not exactly the right word for it, because triggered implies more intensity. I was “on”, activated. I started journaling about the story playing out in my head. When I went back to it later to proof read it, it felt hollow and substance-less. I thought I had put more detail, but I guess most of it only played out in my head only. 

The story I woke into left me feeling triggered and on edge. I really wanted to cut. I was aware of the intensity of the desire for the release and balance that comes from it. I was also aware that I needed to try to avoid it… I decided to take a shower.  My usual showers last about 30 minutes on a good day, without that loop that has me feeling unable to get clean… Anyway, today’s shower took almost an hour and a half. I can’t recall any reason it would have. For some reason, I lost an hour in there. And when I was done, I no longer needed to cut. I know I didn’t (I wasn’t bleeding at all), but the desire was abated and my body was a bit sore… 

The loss in time caused me to run late for therapy…

I talked to Dr C about it a bit. She then mentioned something related to family that I had apparently told her previously. I don’t recall telling her anything like that, and I’m not sure I would have necessarily described things in that way, but I believe her when she says it’s something I’ve said to her… that got us onto the topic of dissociation and memory gaps. I expressed my frustration at being faced with more recent episodes of amnesia. I understand the function of it for traumatic events, but this random trigger that somehow connects to the trauma thus leading to dissociation frustrates me. I thought I had gotten to a point where I didn’t completely lose time anymore, but apparently I’m not. I still forget spans of time. Today it happened twice totaling over two hours. The second time happened while shopping after therapy. I thought I had been shopping for maybe an hour, but I had been there for 2.5 hours. Nothing notable happened, but it’s occurrence confuses me. Maybe it was left-over triggering from either the “memories” this morning, or my session with Dr C…

With this sudden increase in noticed loss of time, Dr C suggested I leave pen and paper around in hopes I may journal while checked out. She suggested journaling on my phone may be too complicated in a dissociated state. I dunno. It’s comfortable enough a medium for me… I’ve checked out while trying to journal in my art journal before and ended up just sitting frozen in that position while I was “out”. I’m not sure leaving a pen and paper around would do much. I think i’m more likely to journal on my phone. I know I’ve done that in the past while I was dissociated. Sadly, the app I had used at the time glitched and I lost most of that journaling. I do recall at one point before the app failed that I read several entries I had no memory of writing. Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve found a few entries I don’t recall at all, along with several I’m aware I wrote but cannot feel a connection to. I also know I’ve written quite a bit while dissociated in my private journal blog… none of it looks like anything vastly different than what I remember writing except for the entries that detail the flashbacks and memories; those I constantly have to reread in order to know what they contain. I have the general gist that they describe details, but I wouldn’t be able to recite most of it without reading it. It feels like someone else’s story…

Anyway, I think I lost my point for this post. I feel a bit better though. The anxiety isn’t as crushing after writing for a bit. I don’t necessarily feel grounded, but my chest isn’t tight and twitchy. I still want to cut, but I think I can get myself to bed without giving in. I just hope I can actually sleep tonight. I have work tomorrow. It’ll likely be a 10-hour day again. They are so exhausting, even though they “only” involve camp…

Oh, another stressor; my disability is being reviewed. I think I filled out the form correctly, but I was partially dissociated while doing it. I’m a bit worried I might lose my benefits. I felt weird getting it in the first place, though the providers I worked with seemed to think it was appropriate. I know I don’t have the energy to look for (and accomplish) full-time work. I currently don’t have the emotional head space to succeed at it even if I tried. I feel fake though. I should be able to suck it up and plow through all this. I should be able to be productive in society. I shouldn’t be so lazy and unmotivated… I feel like i’m wasting resources, but Dr C says it’s not a waste. She says having needs and taking time isn’t wasteful… I dunno. I think being so needy is wasteful and a pain in the ass, but she disagrees…

There’s that anxiety again. Guess I should sign off before I send myself into a tizzy over something which I have no control…

Sorry this post is so long-winded. I hope it makes sense and that autocorrect didn’t butcher it too badly because I have no energy to proof read just now…


And now I’m anxious about going to bed…

…will the anxiety ever just go away??

The flopping fish is going nuts in my chest. It makes my shirt dance. 

I’m anxious about going to bed. I know nothing bad will happen, but I’m still having a difficult time packing it in for the night. Every time I think about it, my chest rattles and thuds. 

Instead, I’m thinking of the most complicated way to frame a dimensional paper cut-out I did today. I’m not deliberately thinking of the hardest way to do it, that just seems to be my default. I can’t seem to figure out the easy answers to things untill someone points me in the right direction… so far, no one has done that. I’ve even asked the dogs, but they are more interested in what i’m eating and drinking than figuring out my framing issues…

I long for the day when depression, flashbacks, and anxiety no longer are a struggle. I’m so tired of all this.