Is it possible to spend years dissociated?

tree

New Here
I was held hostage, and tortured like a human pinyata for the better part of a decade by the police, falsely framed and slandered, after their use for us dried up and to make themselves look like heros, suffered from dissassociation and a broken body for years, feels like you no longer really have a good grip on reality and your mind just shatters. you feel completely scrambled inside, makes one want to just die. Now, my torturers are out looking for others simpletons for their fun target practice with all their sophisticated tools that makes them feel so "special", our country is dying man and the cure has become the cancer. just be kind to your neighbor.
 

ladee

MyPTSD Pro
I have dissociated as long as I can remember. As early as four years old. My earliest memories. Especially if I had been punished for something. I would 'wake up' to hand prints on me or bruises. But having no memory as to how I got them.

It was becoming manageable and not happening as often but for the past year and a half, I am dissociated more than I am present. I find things I do not remember completing. Even here, I read something I wrote and have no memory of writing it.

I have chronic depression. And this past year and a half it is 100 times worse than it's ever been. So, in turn the dissociation is more constant.

Some days it doesn't bother me because I understand as a human I can only endure so much emotional pain, but other times I find it very frustrating because I just get lost when I'm 'gone'. And can't remember what I was supposed to do or be doing.

None of the professionals I've ever had interaction with ever questioned me about the possiblity of DID, so it's just part of how I deal with grief, stressors, being overwhelmed or flooded. Just another lovely gift from PTSD.
 

TruthSeeker

MyPTSD Pro
I guess so. But I can't get rid of the impression of something boiling in parallel, as if everything was stored in a close universe that is neighbouring yours. A bit like hearing your neighbours having a fight through the wall, and certainly not going there to intervene.

And in the moments it pierces it's just a panicking state that makes me want to close the thing even more violently. I try to let my feelings go across me. But then what I don't understand with mindfulness is that their peace for me much feels like my natural state of dissociation.

So I don't know what to do. I don't dare to engage in events that might trigger sequences of senseless actions then feelings sharp as blades. When I do this I'm gone for a week partying and doing god knows what. But it's annoying because before I get in chaos mode, things are agreeable. So I recluse for safety. In the dissociation.

I think I need a hand I can hold to emerge.
I've had to weed out dissociation from low blood sugar from exhaustion and med effects. My T asked me about how dissociated I felt on a scale of 0-100.....and I couldn't adapt my thinking to percent.....but the dissociation scale does.....so I thought about what does no dissociation look like on a simple scale in my case.....
(0) (totally grounded, senses 100%) present in the moment
dissociation just starting (1)-usually vision just starting to blur, eyes blinking trying to clear up the vision, mild dissociation
(2) vision and hearing reduced, vestibulary gait feeling a little less safe , middle of the road -not grounded but still aware and can be functional if there were an emergency-
(3) attention issues in conversation shot, can't remember what I was saying in conversation, highly distracted, knowing something isn't right, not comfortable with something that was said, done, or not comfortable in the setting....but knowing I feel worse and less grounded than before somewhat feeling pulled away
(4), gait/balance problems if I get up, not grounded enough to be safe (not safe to drive or walk across busy streets) and can't seem to get grounded without doing something like get ice, drink something, leave the setting I'm in, don't really want to hear and my hearing is more reduced, with often a sense of tunnel vision that pulls me.... need to flee or feeling it's okay to let go and be pulled away,
(5) giving up and giving in to the pull that takes me away, unable to hear specifics, can't see, smell, or move, but I can remember crossing over or letting go.....but don't know where I am. If I'm called on it....that will pull me back. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it is helpful to have a gauge......because if you can describe it.....it helps to know how well you are doing in gaining control over it and the longer I let it go....the worse it will get. So, yes.....you can go through life on autopilot but I think we may have different levels of dissociation at different times and different levels of autopilot depending upon triggers.
 
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ladee

MyPTSD Pro
If I have any physical problems, I am not aware of them. I am just gone. But I am very aware when I 'come back' that I have lost time. I feel if I had any warning signs or physical things that I experianced, I would be better able to manage or even stop some of the ' poof I'm gone'.
 

StillPen

New Here
I have dissociated as long as I can remember. As early as four years old. My earliest memories. Especially if I had been punished for something. I would 'wake up' to hand prints on me or bruises. But having no memory as to how I got them.

It was becoming manageable and not happening as often but for the past year and a half, I am dissociated more than I am present. I find things I do not remember completing. Even here, I read something I wrote and have no memory of writing it.

I have chronic depression. And this past year and a half it is 100 times worse than it's ever been. So, in turn the dissociation is more constant.

Some days it doesn't bother me because I understand as a human I can only endure so much emotional pain, but other times I find it very frustrating because I just get lost when I'm 'gone'. And can't remember what I was supposed to do or be doing.

None of the professionals I've ever had interaction with ever questioned me about the possiblity of DID, so it's just part of how I deal with grief, stressors, being overwhelmed or flooded. Just another lovely gift from PTSD.
Can relate to your post on so many levels! My abuse wasn't physical, but verbal. I could mentally check out but stay a little bit present at the same time, so I could respond when asked questions. As an adult, it has wreaked havoc on every aspect of my life as I am partially checked out at all times. If I try to bring 'all of me' completely present, I get panicked and start switching (DID). Dissociation experience must be different for each of us. I'm new to the forum, so I think I'll search to see if there is an existing string on what dissociation 'feels like' for others and if nothing is out there, start one.. I would love to hear what other people experience and how they bring themselves back to the external world.

I guess so. But I can't get rid of the impression of something boiling in parallel, as if everything was stored in a close universe that is neighbouring yours. A bit like hearing your neighbours having a fight through the wall, and certainly not going there to intervene.

And in the moments it pierces it's just a panicking state that makes me want to close the thing even more violently. I try to let my feelings go across me. But then what I don't understand with mindfulness is that their peace for me much feels like my natural state of dissociation.

So I don't know what to do. I don't dare to engage in events that might trigger sequences of senseless actions then feelings sharp as blades. When I do this I'm gone for a week partying and doing god knows what. But it's annoying because before I get in chaos mode, things are agreeable. So I recluse for safety. In the dissociation.

I think I need a hand I can hold to emerge.
"I think I need a hand I can hold to emerge"

Beautifully stated and totally relatable.

I've had to weed out dissociation from low blood sugar from exhaustion and med effects. My T asked me about how dissociated I felt on a scale of 0-100.....and I couldn't adapt my thinking to percent.....but the dissociation scale does.....so I thought about what does no dissociation look like on a simple scale in my case.....
(0) (totally grounded, senses 100%) present in the moment
dissociation just starting (1)-usually vision just starting to blur, eyes blinking trying to clear up the vision, mild dissociation
(2) vision and hearing reduced, vestibulary gait feeling a little less safe , middle of the road -not grounded but still aware and can be functional if there were an emergency-
(3) attention issues in conversation shot, can't remember what I was saying in conversation, highly distracted, knowing something isn't right, not comfortable with something that was said, done, or not comfortable in the setting....but knowing I feel worse and less grounded than before somewhat feeling pulled away
(4), gait/balance problems if I get up, not grounded enough to be safe (not safe to drive or walk across busy streets) and can't seem to get grounded without doing something like get ice, drink something, leave the setting I'm in, don't really want to hear and my hearing is more reduced, with often a sense of tunnel vision that pulls me.... need to flee or feeling it's okay to let go and be pulled away,
(5) giving up and giving in to the pull that takes me away, unable to hear specifics, can't see, smell, or move, but I can remember crossing over or letting go.....but don't know where I am. If I'm called on it....that will pull me back. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it is helpful to have a gauge......because if you can describe it.....it helps to know how well you are doing in gaining control over it and the longer I let it go....the worse it will get. So, yes.....you can go through life on autopilot but I think we may have different levels of dissociation at different times and different levels of autopilot depending upon triggers.
I love this break down, do you mind if I use/adjust to my experience to share with my T?
 

StillPen

New Here
I've had to weed out dissociation from low blood sugar from exhaustion and med effects. My T asked me about how dissociated I felt on a scale of 0-100.....and I couldn't adapt my thinking to percent.....but the dissociation scale does.....so I thought about what does no dissociation look like on a simple scale in my case.....
(0) (totally grounded, senses 100%) present in the moment
dissociation just starting (1)-usually vision just starting to blur, eyes blinking trying to clear up the vision, mild dissociation
(2) vision and hearing reduced, vestibulary gait feeling a little less safe , middle of the road -not grounded but still aware and can be functional if there were an emergency-
(3) attention issues in conversation shot, can't remember what I was saying in conversation, highly distracted, knowing something isn't right, not comfortable with something that was said, done, or not comfortable in the setting....but knowing I feel worse and less grounded than before somewhat feeling pulled away
(4), gait/balance problems if I get up, not grounded enough to be safe (not safe to drive or walk across busy streets) and can't seem to get grounded without doing something like get ice, drink something, leave the setting I'm in, don't really want to hear and my hearing is more reduced, with often a sense of tunnel vision that pulls me.... need to flee or feeling it's okay to let go and be pulled away,
(5) giving up and giving in to the pull that takes me away, unable to hear specifics, can't see, smell, or move, but I can remember crossing over or letting go.....but don't know where I am. If I'm called on it....that will pull me back. I don't know if that makes any sense, but it is helpful to have a gauge......because if you can describe it.....it helps to know how well you are doing in gaining control over it and the longer I let it go....the worse it will get. So, yes.....you can go through life on autopilot but I think we may have different levels of dissociation at different times and different levels of autopilot depending upon triggers.
I love this break down, do you mind if I use/adjust to my experience to shae with my T?
Can relate to your post on so many levels! My abuse wasn't physical, but verbal. I could mentally check out but stay a little bit present at the same time, so I could respond when asked questions. As an adult, it has wreaked havoc on every aspect of my life as I am partially checked out at all times. If I try to bring 'all of me' completely present, I get panicked and start switching (DID). Dissociation experience must be different for each of us. I'm new to the forum, so I think I'll search to see if there is an existing string on what dissociation 'feels like' for others and if nothing is out there, start one.. I would love to hear what other people experience and how they bring themselves back to the external world.


"I think I need a hand I can hold to emerge"

Beautifully stated and totally relatable.


I love this break down, do you mind if I use/adjust to my experience to share with my T?
So here is my experience, following your breakdown, but with my symptoms. I would love to share this with my T, with your permission to use your OC and format.

(0) Totally grounded, senses 100%. I feel like my parts are integrated and I am present in the moment, my thoughts are clear, I can focus (for the most part), I can engage in conversation, no autopilot
(1) I am triggered by something. A thought, person, place, thing, sound, movement - vision starts to blur, head pain, head fog, memory loss, confusion, anxiety, fear, mild dissociation, parts integration is comprimised, can engage in conversation, but difficult to keep track, can engage in complex work and/or projects but much, much slower and make mistakes, switching w/out awareness of switch, functional but impaired.
(2) Already in a triggered state, much easier to trigger again and again. Shakey, unsteady heart rate, now easily startled, urge to 'do something' or leave, or urge to shut down and do nothing, vision and hearing reduced, memory and thoughts are in decline, vestibularly gait is comprimised (hit the wall if I turn the corner), dizzy when I stand, parts not integrated, switching increases without awareness and if aware it is involuntary, middle of the road - not grounded but still aware and can be brought fully to the present (switch to adult, but the switch is involuntary), functionality is in autopilot, and full functionality comes back if there were an emergency, if I have to think about or deal with meds, or if my children enter the room.
(3) Attention issues in conversation shot, can't remember what I was saying in conversation, can't remember what I was just doing, highly distracted, know I'm in decline but losing the awareness to ground, catch myself in trance - all internal awareness/conversation, very little external awareness, but can pull myself back if I hear a loud noise or am interrupted by phone, people, pets. Doing things in almost complete autopilot with little external awareness (cooking, cleaning, dressing, reading, working with no attention on the work I'm doing, can't remember what I've done later, if driving, miss turns, exits, come to and not know where I am) Not sure if I did the work or driving, or if another part did.
(4) Everything in 1-3 still in play, not grounded at all. In trance state for 15 minutes to hours at a time, complete loss on sense of time. Not present and/or safe to drive or be in public setting, can't get grounded without ice, strong smells, loud sounds or human intervention, internally I don't really want to get grounded - just trapped/lost in thought. Switching is non-stop, may or may not be able to have conversations with parts internally.
(5) Completely dissociated from external world, and "locked in internal world", I can see external world and know where I am, but am unable to move, unable to hear specifics, have no sense of smell. may or may not be in tears, if I come to or another part comes to the front and comes to, I have lost cognitive ability (don't remember how to do my job I've done for 20 years), very disoriented, feel like I have been drugged, limbs, toes and fingers are numb or tingling, re-trigger and dissociate again, this goes on for hours and happens mostly when I'm alone. When I'm dissociated, my mind is going a thousand miles an hour in thoughts that feel enlightening, but once I come to, I have little memory of the 'discoveries', which is maddening. If I stay at 5 for too long, I move into complete crisis and hospitalization might be necessary. I live in stage one or two at all times, and have for as long as I can remember. Only in the last two years of diagnosis and therapy have I been able to pull apart and break down my experience this way. Before it was just a big jumbled mess and I constantly wondered why I couldn't achieve my goals in life. I constantly feel like I'm getting worse rather than better as I am almost non-functional (can only work about an hour, maybe two a day). I am realizing with therapy, education, and now the validation of others in this forum how very little I'm at stage 0. I still struggle with denial of my DID diagnosis, which adds to the dissociation. All of it scares the $hit out of me, but at least it is a starting point for managing myself and getting healthier.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I have had the same experience about my parts. The more we sense being a community of voices, the greater our mental health. It's when I don't hear the chatter of different parts that I know I'm slipping into greater dissociation, my stress level goes up, and I feel detached from others.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I'm very unfamiliar with the parts thing but I do know that during my long dissociative stage I had that "pawns of myself" as I refer to them now that were popping out. The person who works, that I remember very well. Very active, responsive, fast as hell. The person who goes out and socializes, this I have some memory. But other things just get lost in a magma and in bad moments, mostly with emotional triggers, were dominated by limerence, and a deep terror of having done stuff wrong and not remembering.

I did write a lot during that time but unfortunately as my ex from hell was jealous I threw all the notes away because I was scared he'd find something he'd interpret in a jealous way and torture me.

And I realize now that this contributed a lot for genuinely forgetting a lot of things. I figured that the best and only way to lie in a coherent way to him as the truth didn't matter, was to actually forget things. So I did. I consciously told myself I have to erase this part of myself, which was artificial and selective. It was very painful but it's done. I hate this.

Now when behaviours associated with that part come back (flirtatiousness, playfulness, laughter etc) I have an anxious comedown. When I have to go out I already was stressed but now it can turn into sheer fear. So I have to disconnect the part that is fearful and observe the social one doing its job.

It's not as if I wasn't identifying this as being me. I have memory and continuum. I don't lose time unless I'm under a huge stress. But I can see even my ways of moving and talking change very radically depending on the situation. I know a lot is normal but recently it's been very confusing.
 

StillPen

New Here
It's when I don't hear the chatter of different parts that I know I'm slipping into greater dissociation...

Wendwll_R, was this troubling for you in the beginning? I use to hear the chatter and think it was just my internal self-talk, but now I hear the chatter in the forms of questions directed to me, cross-conversations not knowing who is talking and who is answering...it is overwhelming. Does it just take time to work things out, in your experience?
 
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