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Dissociative inner world

Discussion in 'Dissociation, Depersonalization & Derealization' started by ziter, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. ziter

    ziter Active Member

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    I want to talk about my inner world. This is not easy for me, as it is rather shameful to sort of open up about it. I always get the feeling that people will think I'm completely f*cking insane, if I tell people about it. Oh well. Here goes:

    What I know is that my at times very vivid inner world is dissociative and has always been, really. I know that from conversations with other PTSD sufferers and from session with my T. However, I see some progress here. Or at least, something is different from how it used to be. Six months ago I would dissociate so badly from 'unpleasant' emotions, such as shame, that I would literally hallucinate. My shame has the form of a xenomorph from the Alien movies. And I saw it. In front of me. Standing on the floor. Often. That doesn't happen anymore. Now my 'images' are more like inside my head and only occur in flashes. They are still there, but not as vivid, they are INSIDE my head instead of (at least how I saw it) occupying physical space around me.

    I still picture my therapist as various monsters, like a skeleton or space alien, at times .. My T calls it dissociative anxiety. It does help to talk about it with him. He understands.

    Another thing: I have always assigned various animals or creatures to my emotions. And/or colors. As long as I can remember. Like, my shame is a xenomorph, my anger is a bee, my addiction is Gollum from Lord of the Rings and so on. I remember as a kid when I was homesick, I associated that emotion with rats.

    I was wondering, are there anyone out there who possibly can relate to this?? I have yet to meet one, to be honest ..

    Sincerely,
    ziter

    I should add that this 'mental zoo' of mine has provided me with safety and comfort ... I would feel safe with these creatures .. But it just seems that they don't provide the same level of comfort anymore, or rather, not at all, really ... I guess that tells me that maybe I don't need them as much as I did before. They served me well, for sure!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 13, 2018
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  3. ladee

    ladee All the hard work has been worth it ! Premium Member Donated

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    I'm sure at different points in my life I have named my feelings, and I do use color a lot myself... but I also try to use that in my art work. It doesn't have to make sense to anyone but me.... I don't think or feel you are insane or a freak, you simply found what worked for you to keep you alive..
    The really great thing I read, was that you have made a lot of progress and those images are needed less and less... that is a great thing, and shows how hard you have worked to replace them. So, in the long run, in some ways, it doesn't matter what you created to survive.. I had imaginary friends, I was a very lonely child, asked a lot of questions because I was curious, and simply got on peoples nerves.. but nor was I taught how to socialize... in a way that wouldn't be so obnoxious... no blame, just the way it was...

    I feel we all come up with things that help us, like I said, I used and still do, color to express my feelings when I cant find words.. so in that context, you are not alone... and in the bigger picture, you are not alone either.. but am extremely happy to hear that your imagination, and the things it created for you, are fading into the background.. and I love it that you honor them for being with you when you so desperately needed them... that is sign of some deep compassion....

    And it took courage for you to share this... and to be met with people like myself who understand.... I wish you much success on your healing journey.... and thank you for sharing this... haven't told my imaginary friends, 'thank you' in awhile... so a great reminder...
     
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  4. ziter

    ziter Active Member

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    Thank you for affirming my progress here, and thanks for sharing also!

    When I come to think of it, my imagination is really a great asset to me, besides being a defense of its own. I use it constuctively in therapy also, when talking about past trauma. I can vividly imagine myself comforting the little hurt boy, and it really does help me! So in the end, what might be a symptom of abuse and neglect is also a great tool in healing from it. Funny how things work, really.
     
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  5. ladee

    ladee All the hard work has been worth it ! Premium Member Donated

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    I too use my imagination to cope, practice setting boundaries, ect... it's a good thing... and you are learning to use that beautiful gift to get you further down the healing path... you are amazing and very brave... at least neither of us are alone in our coping skills... that is good for both of us... happy you are here and sharing.... and take care of that little boy.... he is so happy for how far you have come...

    Sending gentle hugs to you today... and onward.... we can do this.... we are not alone !!!:inlove::inlove::hug::hug::hug::hug:
     
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  6. ziter

    ziter Active Member

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    Thank for your support & kind words :) No, we are most definitely not alone. I'm glad I'm not the only one who is using imagination to cope and to heal :) You are courageous too!

    Gentle hugs to you too, and I wish you a splendid day!
     
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  7. ziter

    ziter Active Member

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    BTW. I draw too. Atm, not as much as I really want to, tbh. But I sometimes draw these 'monsters' of mine. Especially the bee and other insects (and spiders) carry deep meaning to me, as they represent a part of my fragmented mind and self that was created very early in my life. Suffice to say, it is not easy to connect with this part of mine. But sometimes drawing helps. And I think I made a minor breakthrough in therapy a couple of weeks ago. I was able to talk about first (and primary) trauma, which of course caused my anxiety to sky-rocket, but I managed to regulate it down again. And now I'm not so scared of talking about anymore!

    *it anymore
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 14, 2018
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  8. ladee

    ladee All the hard work has been worth it ! Premium Member Donated

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    Very good to see that you had a breakthru and the fear will not be so present,,, it's just getting those first words out, to see that nothing happened, and that we are safe to heal... proud of you !!! Keep up the awesome work... and drawing is very grounding for me also.... I don't always have 'words'... so that helps me a lot, to express myself...Love to read good news.. gentle hugs
     
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  9. Angelica53

    Angelica53 New Member

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    I see, taste, and feel colors related to emotions and will often have vivid depictions of animals making sounds in my head that match my emotion. The animals were a way for me to still see and experience emotions in my "inner world" since I wasn't allowed to show or have emotions growing up--it was like I could experience the emotions in a safe way by transferring the images to a zoo like place in my mind.

    The colors that I feel with emotions are trickier in that, once my "inner zoo" couldn't contain all the emotion being felt in a moment it would spill over into the consciousness I have with colors. When I feel like accessing that part of myself when its hard to I sometimes put on Red, by Taylor Swift to access more emotions/see what other colors feel like.
     
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  10. ziter

    ziter Active Member

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    Thanks for sharing this with me :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 26, 2018
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  11. littleoc

    littleoc Making everywhere I go a better place Premium Member Donated

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    I daydream excessively, which is similar in a way. I hear it's very common with PTSD people.

    As for the rest, I know this isn't the same thing but I thought maybe it would interest you about yourself and your own brain. I have synesthesia, and it's all about colors for me.

    Synesthesia is a type of sensation caused by the brain having cross wires -- that is, one sense feeding into another sense. For example, some people might taste shapes, or see sounds, or hear sights, or smell what they touch, in a way no one else does.

    I hear colors, and had no idea that was unusual until later. I can also feel colors emotionally, and I therefore associate people with colors -- which is very complex. I once thought one person I knew was three people (I also have facial blindness thanks to a brain injury probably, unless I was born with it, we may never know) because I met her in three different moods for days in a row. It was so confusing when I met her again and she changed her mood... turns out my three new friends were all one person.

    What I'm saying is that you may have some cross-wiring in your strongest associations, and it may be hardwired after years of surviving whatever you have -- the brain can do some really cool stuff! Maybe you got a super power :)

    But anyway, don't be ashamed. It's what your brain does, and there's probably some reason for it. Maybe it's helping you somehow, like how my color associations help me identify people, places, memories, and emotions. It sounds like a pretty similar concept. I suppose true synesthesia is a born-with thing, but I doubt that's all there would be to it.. :)
     
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