often misunderstood/misinterpreted while dissociating

Hello this is my first post here - I have been a silent reader for quite some time and it took me some time to post myself and accept my diagnosis :)

So I have the impression (I often say this if I know it happens but doubt it - so it is more or less going to be true) that the PTSD and dissociation makes people misunderstand me too often.
I usually don`t talk to people about my mental illness but people seem to take my dissociation for being dumb, naive, or sometimes being an unemotional asshole or whatever. I just cannot open up to anyone about it even though I do have good friendships afterall (some know some of it but I could never tell anyone that I am heavily dissociated that moment or they don`t know the extent of it).

Anyway back to topic. I think dissociation makes me vulnerable in a certain way. I feel dissociated most of the time, sometimes less and sometimes more. I had quite some people in my life that were good hearted by nature but mistook my dissociating as some kind of problem with intelligence or being a bit cookoo (I mean I am but not in that way) and I think this unexpressiveness makes them doubt if I have any problem with anything as if it was a joke or something.
I just can`t figure out a way to don`t let the dissociation and hypervigilance cause mayhem in my life - I just don`t understand why otherwise nice people seem to get judgy by it...
Maybe even use these moments (unintentionally) to chip away at my armor (dissociation causes me to stop being able to say no to anything or show people that something hurts me) - I don`t think they mean it but it seems that when I am dissociating people misunderstand my boundaries as being a bit of a sarcastic drama queen or something.

An example: A friend made a sound that really gets me and as soon as I asked if he could please stop he started pushing my button as if it was some kind of joke. I don`t think he wanted to trigger me again and again - I think he just didn`t get that it is really harming me right now. I usually act cheerfull when I am dissociated even though I am confused and scared inside. If it was just one person I would maybe say that he is just an asshole but it happened so often that people misunderstand my actions and misread my expressions/my attitude.
Maybe I am interpreting a bit too much and they just see me as being unattentive often and unreactive which makes them think of myself as some kind of jerk - dunno?

Maybe someone gets what I am trying to say and maybe has some advice how to change this situation. How to break through some maladaptive behaviour like this. I know this is like the holy grail of therapy - I just freeze and can`t act against being soooo submissive. I just hope to meet like-minded people that can share insight or even make this seem less lonely :)

Thanks for any answers if they come and I hope someone has some tips or knows this situation :D
(PS: English is not my first language and it is pretty late here so excuse (m)any mistakes grammarwise :P
 

Sues

Confident
Hello, I am fortunate that I don't disassociate around others very much, or for very long, but when I do I tell them things like, "Oh, sorry. I spaced out for a bit. I have slept much lately." or "My brain is tired from lack of sleep." or even that I'm having an off day.

We shouldn't have to do that. Mental health should be something everyone is comfortable with, but unfortunately it's the other way around.

An example: A friend made a sound that really gets me and as soon as I asked if he could please stop he started pushing my button as if it was some kind of joke. I don`t think he wanted to trigger me again and again - I think he just didn`t get that it is really harming me right now.

... this is inexcusable. If you tell someone what they did or said hurt you, they need to apologize and not do it again. I suggested saying to them, "It's not funny. It bothers me and I need you to stop and not do it again." If that doesn't get the message across then walk away. You have the right, the basic human need, to protect yourself. Just because it's related to mental health and not physical health does not make it any less important. AND just because someone else does not understand that, doesn't mean you should stick around and take it.

I just don`t understand why otherwise nice people seem to get judgy by it

... I don't get that either. It's just people and their lack of knowledge and most times that they just don't give a damn.

You need to take care of you. You deserve it. I know it's hard, and you can't just do it because when you disassociate you aren't always in control, but maybe starting to think about it that way will start to open up the ability for you.
 

Recovery4Me

MyPTSD Pro
Welcome to the board and congrats for opening up! You write beautifully by the way so first, second or third language preference...don’t worry about it.

Finding my voice during disassociate episodes is for me not always possible. If I am emotionally jammed with fragmented thoughts due to triggers or stimulus, I am mostly trying to ground not extend: hunkering down so to speak all my reactions present and attempting to become proactive vs. reactive.

Although there may be shades of discrimination against my choices to regulate during a normal flow of social interaction, honestly, there is no shame nor guilt in doing so. Disabilities are just that- at times they take the forefront and then we wrestle them for dominance for some style of normalcy.

The trick for me (as you inquired) is the allowance and acceptance of myself as I am. PTSD interrupts my life daily but it is not all of me. Expectations of others regarding myself become categorized by me (and my therapist) as reasonable or unrealistic. So I ask you, to consider your boundaries for yourself and if people around you are healthy for you.

There is not a quick and easy method that applies to all. However, through posting and being part of the community (such as you just did💪🏼) - you may find out your own balance into acceptance of self with what works best for you. Take care through your journey.
 
... this is inexcusable. If you tell someone what they did or said hurt you, they need to apologize and not do it again. I suggested saying to them, "It's not funny. It bothers me and I need you to stop and not do it again." If that doesn't get the message across then walk away. You have the right, the basic human need, to protect yourself. Just because it's related to mental health and not physical health does not make it any less important. AND just because someone else does not understand that, doesn't mean you should stick around and take it.
Yes thanks alot that was I somehow needed to hear but didn`t know until I had read it!
The person I talked about I wondered alot and they have their own fair share of problems but it is not my responsibility to care for them :D
I held them recountable before reading this and now I do know it was the right decision - it just feels right having done this and thanks for your uplifting words!

And regarding the problems and stigma there is always the right person and the right time out there. I have one person that would never judge at all. Funnily my experience is that the more someone shows off how progressive they are or how engaged in social justice (which isn`t wrong by itself) the more judgy they are about mental illness.
Maybe I have met many "special specimen" that were totally spoiled brats and just pretending to care about people and stigmatized groups for their ego gratification - maybe. But it just is so wrong and these people seem to have no insight to their own behaviour (they seem pretty crazy to me haha)!

Best wishes!

Welcome to the board and congrats for opening up! You write beautifully by the way so first, second or third language preference...don’t worry about it.
Thanks so much :)
I try my best. I heard before that I sometimes talk expressively :)

Finding my voice during disassociate episodes is for me not always possible. If I am emotionally jammed with fragmented thoughts due to triggers or stimulus, I am mostly trying to ground not extend: hunkering down so to speak all my reactions present and attempting to become proactive vs. reactive.

Although there may be shades of discrimination against my choices to regulate during a normal flow of social interaction, honestly, there is no shame nor guilt in doing so. Disabilities are just that- at times they take the forefront and then we wrestle them for dominance for some style of normalcy.

Yes that sounds about right. Guess some people just get us due to hightened empathy and others just don`t realize that something is going on with me/you.
Dissociation is so strange it kinda makes you behave like a chameleon that just hides in plain sight. But some people seem to notice that the energy between you two has changed and adapt accordingly - these are the people that feel right.
My takeaway is:
Know your problems and accept them as being okay and look for people that do the same. Some people just don`t understand that people may exist outside of their own narrow frame of experience!!!

I have to watch out a bit to not get attached to the wrong people. It doesn`t seem intuitive and maybe strange but it always feels better. There are just people that watch out for your boundaries even if you cannot or have not expressed them. I have these people in my life and I should cherish these relationships way more than I do the kinda odd/hard ones :)

Wish a great evening/day and thank you so much for your message!
 
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