Memories in third-person view

Wilma

Learning
I was wondering if anybody else experience this. Almost all my memories are in third-person view, like I'm watching someone else. This pertains to recent and distant memories as well as traumatic and non-traumatic memories.
 

Changing4Best

MyPTSD Pro
I used to write letters to a friend like that, describing myself or my activities in the third person. But no, my memories are in the first person.
 
J

jade20

Yes! I could have written your post. I have complex PTSD, but not DID, and I have the same experience regarding traumatic vs. non traumatic memories.

Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory (SDAM) is a new memory disorder that is being studied at the University of Toronto Rottman Institute:

"Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory (SDAM) refers to a lifelong inability to vividly recollect or re-experience personal past events from a first-person perspective."
See What is SDAM ?
 

Wilma

Learning
Yes! I could have written your post. I have complex PTSD, but not DID, and I have the same experience regarding traumatic vs. non traumatic memories.

Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory (SDAM) is a new memory disorder that is being studied at the University of Toronto Rottman Institute:

"Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory (SDAM) refers to a lifelong inability to vividly recollect or re-experience personal past events from a first-person perspective."
See What is SDAM ?

Interesting. Personally, I was wondering if it has to do with dissociation i.e. depersonalization.
 

Wilma

Learning
I used to write letters to a friend like that, describing myself or my activities in the third person. But no, my memories are in the first person.

I do write stuff in third person sometimes but not really on purpose. I mean, I am writing but not think about writing in third person, it kind of just happens.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Yep!
Not all memories for me, but traumatic ones.
When the images of the trauma replay in my head: it's me watching it happen to someone else, like I'm a bystander or flying above.
And also: the Memoires are totally devoid of feelings. Either emotional feelings or any body physical feelings. I have no memory of pain or anything that I imagine I would have experienced (although one event I remember pain the next day). So I think I totally disassociated at the time.
Recently, it's been switching to me seeing it being me it's happening to. Little glimpses of how it was, from the view point I would have seen it/felt it/experienced it. But then it goes back to this 'birds eye' view thing.

I have no diagnosis, but talk a lot in therapy about different parts of me and how I disassociated, and do now.
 
J

jade20

@Wilma it very well could be what you mentioned (dissociation/depersonalization). Sounds like something you could discuss with a therapist,

I, personally, do not have any of those symptoms. For me, I just don't recall memories from a first person perspective. If I recall an event from yesterday or this morning, for example, my memory is not one of personally re-experiencing the event. If I was telling another person about my day yesterday and thinking back on it, I would see myself in the third person doing those things. It's hard to explain...
 

David1959

Learning
I was wondering if anybody else experience this. Almost all my memories are in third-person view, like I'm watching someone else. This pertains to recent and distant memories as well as traumatic and non-traumatic memories.

Interesting, in my case it is first person but it is me as a child
 

Friday

Moderator
My memories are a mix of viewpoints... although my 3rd person memories are almoooooooost never truly 3rd person, in that I don’t see myself.

With very few/rare exceptions. The only ones I can bring to mind at the moment are getting a death notification -I see myself collapse- parts of an attacking the mailman memory -I see myself leap up, but the next thing I know I have my arm across his throat up against my house, there’s no intervening middle bit- and a mixed 1st & 3rd from when I kid of sort of not really got hit by a car -I jumped “over” it, and slid down the door/windshield. Sounds sexier than it was. There was a hill involved, so I really only jumped maybe a foot in the air and the speed of the car and angle of the hill did the rest- and that one’s quirky, because it’s 3rd person when I jumped and 1st person as I slide down and back to 3rd person as I walk away.

So a grand total of 3 truly 3rd person memories in 6 years... and if I scan farther back? I actually find a whole cluster of 3rd person memories from about age 2-4. Most are still 1st or 3rd-ish but jist flipping through my life like a book, that’s the only place I have a fairly even split between 1st, 3rd, & 3rd-ish. I would expect it took that long to learn how to file memories the way I “like” to recall things.

99.9999999% of the time? I’m behind the camera, regardless of where in 360。that camera is. The mind is pretty durn amazing, that way, extrapolating info to see things in 3D and fill in the gaps with what it expects to be there.

Interesting. Personally, I was wondering if it has to do with dissociation i.e. depersonalization.
My first person memories all include sensory info. Which I might not have remembered, except I just sat here running randomly scattered memories in my mind from the past 3o years or so, flicking back and forth between a few hundred of them for comparisons sake... and the ones I pushed from 3rd-ish to 1st? YOWCH! That f*cking hurts! Nope. 3rd person, 3rd person was the good choice, I’m with you on that one brain. My bad. Sorry. I knew this, it’s not the first time I’ve “discovered” it, but I tend to forget it. Of course, I had to push a few dozen into 1st to really verify my findings, and every single one is awash with sensory info. Not just pain, but all 6 senses. Still memories, not flashbacks, but far more vivid/complete than I would want to automatically recall, if my mind has a better choice available. As it does. With the free-camera 3rd person view.

Many of my 3rd-ish memories also contain sensory information... but they’re removed from my “feeling” them.

Flashback = relive it / feel it as if it’s currently happening.
1st person = remember it / feel it, but NOT on my current body, mind only
3rd-ish person = remember it / but do NOT feel it/ smell it/ etc. less like watching a movie than playing a video game where I can move the camera anywhere I want.

So the disassociation / depersonalization makes sense to me. My trauma history didn’t start until I was an adult, but I’ve always had a vivid memory & I have another disorder (from birth) that includes both tremendous sensory input AND disassociation as a part of it (disassociation being both a break from overactive senses, and the backbone of hyperfocus/the world falls away until there’s only this one thing I’m aware of & engaged in). So for my own self I’be probably been coding memories like this, with a step removed when the memory is overwhelming or sucky.

***
So I don’t know if any of this has helped you, at all, but it’s been a fun and interesting thing to think about. So my thanks!
 

Innordinate

MyPTSD Pro
Almost all my memories are in third-person view, like I'm watching someone else.
Same- i thought anyways....
Personally, I was wondering if it has to do with dissociation i.e. depersonalization.
But this.... not sure. Never really thought about it before. Always just assumed everyone had visual memories in third person but I guess not. Not all people have visual memories- my understanding is it's a scale between visual and (however else people recall info) mine is all visual, mostly third person. So for me i think its more just this...
For me, I just don't recall memories from a first person perspective


And since I've been thinking about it now - i think mine can switch back and forth in the same memory.

My flashbacks have also been in 3rd person I think.

My trauma memories also usually have some sensory stuff attached regardless of view point.

yeah definitely they switch between 1st and 3rd but i still think they're mostly 3rd. I've run through a bunch of non traumatic ones as i was typing all this and i would say 90% start in 3rd.

damn- this is confusing.

i think, honestly, it just has to do more with how you store and recall memories vs dissociation etc.

do you feel disconnected from your memories? non-traumatic ones as well?
 

Wilma

Learning
Same- i thought anyways....

But this.... not sure. Never really thought about it before. Always just assumed everyone had visual memories in third person but I guess not. Not all people have visual memories- my understanding is it's a scale between visual and (however else people recall info) mine is all visual, mostly third person. So for me i think its more just this...



And since I've been thinking about it now - i think mine can switch back and forth in the same memory.

My flashbacks have also been in 3rd person I think.

My trauma memories also usually have some sensory stuff attached regardless of view point.

yeah definitely they switch between 1st and 3rd but i still think they're mostly 3rd. I've run through a bunch of non traumatic ones as i was typing all this and i would say 90% start in 3rd.

damn- this is confusing.

i think, honestly, it just has to do more with how you store and recall memories vs dissociation etc.

do you feel disconnected from your memories? non-traumatic ones as well?

Yes, I do feel disconnected. It's like it is me but it's not. Almost like watching a movie in which the person happens to look like me. I also tend not to have emotions with the memories. They seem to be separate as well. This goes for traumatic and non-traumatic memories.
 
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