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Dissociating Through Life: A Reflection on Trauma

At the end of 2022, I spent two weeks in a Trauma Disorder Unit at a mental health facility. I had been to Mood Disorder units before, but never one specializing in those with trauma.

At first, I didn't think I belonged there: "My trauma really wasn't that bad, do I really need this?" In the unit, we all spoke a lot about dissociation. In my head, I was thinking, "but I don't have a dissociative disorder, I don't dissociate that much." Then I learned about grounding and staying grounded and practiced grounding techniques...and I realized how often I actually dissociate.

As I was growing up, I knew my home life was...for lack of better wording... not the same as everyone else's. Thinking back, I can feel the pressure, the fear, the need to walk on eggshells around my dad. I also remember my mind being focused on my schoolwork and being able to make the grades that would get me a college scholarship. My mom drilled that need into me. I saw it as a way out of the hellhole I was in.

I was lucky enough to have scholarship opportunities available to me when it was time to go. Of course, I had to ensure that I was in an on-campus living situation that helped me feel comfortable. At some point while being on this wonderful campus around people that I felt understood me, my brain snapped. I always describe the sudden onset of depression as all the trauma I experienced catching up to me.

So many questions circled my mind: "Why did this happen? Why am I not happy? I'm at college, why am I not happy? What is this cloud hanging over my head? What do I want to do with my life?"

I had been so focused on getting out of my traumatic situation that I didn't even know who I was or what I really wanted to do.

When I got to college, out of survival mode, I began to stop dissociating and I started to really feel. On the Trauma Unit they said that grounding and being more aware can be so painful and uncomfortable. When you are dissociating you are distancing yourself from the situation or information, you are making yourself numb so that you can survive.

I used to think that when I went to college, I stopped dissociating entirely. Once I was on the Trauma Unit, I realized that wasn't true.

After dissociating for most of my life, it didn't even do what I needed it to do. I still remember the trauma, I still remember the hurt, but I can barely remember the good times. My trauma is still here.

And I am not just my trauma, I am not only the pain I have endured and survived. This is something I have to actively work on.

As the Mental Health Workers on the unit said, this can be uncomfortable...but it's a step I want to take. I want to remember my life and be able to reflect on it and learn from my experiences. I can't do that if I'm stopping myself from experiencing it fully. That's how I learn about myself and find out what I truly want and who I truly am.

And I can't do that if I'm dissociating.

#PTSD #BPD #Trauma #Dissociating #Dissociation

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How to stop dissociating / staring at nothing for hours, unmoving?

In the last few days I've skipped over chunks of time, doing nothing. And I don't mean the 'doing nothing' where you're scrolling social media or re-watching a comfort tv show. I mean sitting, staring at the wall, not seeing the wall, not really knowing what you do see, but all of a sudden you decide to check the time and 2 hours have passed. You're not even sure if you were blinking. You don't know where you went. You don't feel... anything. Your arms aren't even there. You're looking at them, but they don't belong to you. YoUr arms don't look like that. Soon someone will notice your absence. You'd better move. Move. MovE. MOVE! ...And you're awake again.

What is this?
How can I fix it?

#Depression #Dissociating #numb #empty #PTSD #losingtime

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What’s the strangest or most interesting thing one of your alter has done without your knowledge?

So, I woke up this morning and saw that one of my alters (I suspect who it was, but I’m not sure) decided you rent “Hannibal” on YouTube. I went to my YouTube app to watch some videos and saw I was halfway through the video. 😂😂😂 My alters seem to come out more when I’m intoxicated (which I was after a couple of bourbon and Cokes 😂), or when I’m tired (which, I was, seeing as it was about 5am when I was trying to get some sleep). I never know what they’ll pull and it makes life a little more fun and interesting (when the alters are not being cruel and insulting). Looks like I’m starting my day with “Hannibal”. 😂😂😂 Anyone have any alters do something weird or crazy like that? #DID #DissociativeIdentityDisorder #Weird #Wacky #WhatWillTheyThinkOfNext ? #alters #Dissociating



Last night was really hard. I had a really bad dissociation while with my partner. I suddenly couldn't feel my entire body. I couldn't speak. I couldn't tell them what was wrong. I couldn't do anything but cry. At one point I was kicking my legs hard. It took me a good 30 minutes at least to get out of it. After my body just feel sack of potatoes and I was so physically drained. I had run ice packs over my skin to bring myself back.

Today I have been really numb and had to push 7 hours of draining work. I am glad the weekend is here but I am already anxious about it happening again. When I get numb like this my self harm urges build strong. It's been a while since I acted but there have been more close calls lately. I don't know what caused it and I hate that. I know how to ground myself but not knowing the cause is really scary.

#PTSD #Dissociating #PanicAttacks #selfharmthoughts


Is disassociating as a passenger in a car during car trips normal or possibly part of my C-PTSD? #Dissociating #CPTSD

I’ve been diagnosed with CPTSD for 9 months and I know I tend to dissociate. I’m on a trip currently and I noticed in the car I kept getting “distracted” with my thoughts or really spaced out and it was hard to get myself to listen to music or turn on a movie. (Also note: I did not drive at all, just a passenger) when I was younger I was avid in watching movies, chatting, playing games etc in the car but now I find it hard to even start those activities I want to do because my head is cloudy with thoughts. It’s different enough but also similar enough to my other dissociation I deal with. Is this similar to the normal dissociation people get when driving (autopilot) or could this be possibly from my trauma?
Thanks for any thoughts!!💛💛💛

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How to feel less lonely when there are no more spoons left?

My #Depression is making me feel so unconnected and lonely, but I have way overspent my #Introvert amount of social-points ánd my #Nightmares have wrecked my sleep to the point I'm #Dissociating (losing time) and #Anxiety is having a field day, plus the extra hurdle of a pandemic.
I think I'm trying to find my way out of a landslide downhill and my brain somehow pointed to this feeling as a handhold, at least until my therapist is back next week.

What are ways you kind people use to connect or counter feelings of #Loneliness when the various batteries are very low?


Trying to Understand

Just getting my thoughts down. I ended up writing this in third party as an observer. This could possibly be triggering or distressing. Please exercise discretion when reading and seek support if needed

#Depression #Grief #Dissociating #ChildLoss #LosingAChild #learningtocope #bloggerthoughts #copingwithadeath #MajorDepressiveDisorder #ComplicatedGrief #grievingmother #griefandguilt #Anxiety #MomGuilt


She grabs a pillow and hugs it. Holding it as if it were a baby. Holding and wishing it was her child. She curls herself around the pillow holding it tighter, tears now flowing freely down her face... Soon Her cries can be heard from outside. Her cries of anguish, despair, raw pain; her cries are a plea to have mercy and stop the pain. She places a hand over her heart and cries louder. Her heart is broken. The cires of a mother who has lost her whole world, is the most haunting sound.

She continues to cry, her throat raw from the cries, her eyes red and swollen. She lays there still holding the pillow. Wishing she could have her child in her arms. She continues to cry for hours but, eventually she falls asleep. Even as she sleeps tears flow from her eyes...

It's night everything has quiet down, she lays down hoping to get some rest. As she lays down her eyes tired from the crying earlier in the day. She is emotionally exhausted. Her mind though doesn't allow her to rest. Her mind runs through all her memories with her son. Her mind gives her doubt and guilt. Maybe she hadn't done enough, maybe she should have been more vigilant, maybe it was something she did, what a terrible mom she must have been. Her mind won't stop, she just wanted some rest. Now she tosses and turns trying to drown out the thoughts. She covers her ears, as to stop the "voices" tell her she wasn't good enough, telling her it's her fault, she was a terrible mother.

The guilt is eating at her day and night. She is exhausted, she doesn't know how much longer she can keep going...

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Estranged land

When you don’t know who you are, when you’re figuring out who you aren’t. No ones got it figured out. Late 20’s, late bloomer, early bloomer, young heart, old soul. Hello Saturn, learning lessons. Damage done early on, trust in others revoked. Trust, now something earned, with a familiar dose of skepticism. Never had community until I fell in love with you, unintentional community, revolved around a watering hole. People in that shell of a space gravitated to us. No one realized how our love sparked that communion. I noticed.

I’m craving the intentional creation and connection of a village, where we work through conflict, are mindful of gossip and heal together. Scrolling through Instagram watching you all seemingly live laugh love & connect. Craving connection yet isolation. We can’t feel for 899 “friends” never mind those we follow. #Dissociating socially, families disjointed. Online we experience communication disguised as connection. Leaving us subtlety more empty than before we picked up the god damn phone. Navigating safely on the outskirts of groups, surveying the horizon for the folks that align with my values, my spirit. Where are you? Are you almost here?

One day, maybe.

Or maybe I’m better off alone.

Is this really home? “God” I think maybe you made a mistake putting me here? “But “god” makes no mistakes.” Whatever. These aren’t my people, this isn’t my home. A beautiful visit to a world tragically miraculous. I feel more connected to this land than it’s dominating species.

I think of ending my time on my time everyday, the only thing keeping me here is the smiles of the few, the purpose in my heart & the fear that I’ll end up back right here. What’s my lesson, what’s my #purpose , until revealed I’ll be here to do my best and serve the rest.

Can I go home now?

#BorderlinePersonalityDisorder #Depression #Anxiety #empath #Ihatelabelsandhashtags