Normal aspect of dissociation or something else?

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Okay lets see if I can ask this in a way that makes sense.

I started dissociating around 7 or 8 during a set of traumatic experiences. My home life was pretty good and the incidents occurred outside the home so it wasn't super frequent. When I told my parents what happened they didn't believe me so that part of my childhood wasn't so great - but otherwise my childhood was safe and my needs met. After the incidents I dissociated at other points too, like if something scared me or triggered earlier memories. But it wasn't common and I can't remember it happening much after high school.

Flash forward to a couple years ago when I witnessed a traumatic event and BAM. The dissociation is back. It typically consists of sound being faint/silent, my vision getting foggy, and being unable to speak. Occasionally I'll feel outside my body (floating above) or not remember a small chunk of time (like lets say I get triggered at the mall, I might all the sudden find myself hiding in my car in the parking lot not knowing how I got there) but those are less frequent.

So now for my question...

Occasionally when I dissociate now I have what sounds like this other voice telling me what to do. I don't remember this as a child when I dissociated. It's like there's my regular voice and then this other voice that overpowers it. The other voice is kind of emotionless and commanding, it doesn't feel like me. An example would be a few nights ago my partner inquired about something related to the trauma, I could tell I was starting to dissociate so was trying to tell myself that I didn't need to and it was safe to talk to my partner. Then this commanding voice just said "you will not talk about this" and I tried to keep telling the voice that I could, but it was pointless. Then I went and completely zoned out. This voice doesn't happen often, and typically just tells me/argues with me not to talk about the traumatic incident. Occasionally it will also tell me something bad about myself (example: "you're disgusting" when starting to dissociate while looking in the mirror once).

Does this sound like more than just standard dissociation? I was reading signs of dissociation vs DID and the voice thing was listed under DID. I don't think I have other symptoms of DID (no child voices or alters or anything) and although I did dissociate as a child it was infrequent and I had a good home life. So can hearing a voice like that just occur? Is it something else entirely? I'm too embarrassed to ask my therapist about it, he's talked to me about dissociation but I'm always too embarrassed to ask more questions about it.


I think it would be a good idea to talk to your therapist about it. Because yes it could be part of Disassociation. It could be DID. It could be other things too. No one here can say, and whilst you feel embarrassed talking to your T about it, it sounds as though the voice is making you behave in ways that you don't want so having a professional understand what it is , is going to help.

Can you maybe work through what the embarrassment telling your T is, in the thread here? There is nothing to be embarrassed about. Your T will have heard this from endless and countless people.

I have a strong negative voice in my head too. It tells me off if I talk. It makes me doubt myself. It shames me. It has been incredibly successful in silencing me for decades. For me, that voice is the internalised parent I had. I put it aside as much as possible. I can laugh at how absurd it is at times now. I don't feel as controlled and ashamed now when it speaks. But it's still there.
My T and I work to try and understand what the voice is (whose voice is it?) , And what it's purpose is. And how to deal with it.


my initial brain fart is that the voice is your "inner critic." just brain farting. . .

in my own case, i often think my brain is just a recording device with lots of moldy oldies to play at random moments.
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