Other people don't exist / I don't exist

PandaPower

Learning
Hey all,
Has anyone ever experienced this feeling? I am not sure if it is a core belief or dissociation or a mix of both. Either way, definitely impacts my behaviour and makes it harder to build relationships. I am unlikely to ask about your cats surgery if my brain is screaming you're an illusion. Any thoughs on how to manage this?
Thanks!
 

triptych

New Here
Definitely dealt with this. I think it's a product of feeling disconnected from other people, as if your reality is so different from there's you are in almost entirely different worlds. Also the intensity of the feeling very much depends for me on how much I am ~flash backing versus present. But I would be interested to hear other people's interpretations?

In terms of building relationships, I would suggest focusing on something you have in common, a shared interest or anything, that way it's less about "is this person real" and more "how does this person's opinion on this thing I like differ from my own/what can I learn from them." I've found as you begin to build relationships with people the feeling lessens around those people.
 

Friday

Moderator
My shorthand for 2 types of disassociation

- Depersonalization = I’m not real.
- Derealization = The world isn’t real

So there’s that.

In addition I have a thing where I’m Nothing & No One... Probably a core belief, but a necessary & extremely useful one in my life.
 

PandaPower

Learning
Thank you for taking the time to reply all <3
@triptych you're comment makes me think that it is about being disconnected to the person and maybe also a little about being disconnected with the part that is in relationship with the person? I can feel this way about some pretty close people.
@Friday @Friday so this would be world isn't real? I also have feelings/beliefs like invisible/ Im watching the world through glass walls almost like it's a tv and I'm not actually present in the world/ I don't exist. Do you still find the I am nothing/no one belief useful if you don't mind me asking ?
@mumstheword I'm glad your SO is countering that belief :).
 

triptych

New Here
@triptych you're comment makes me think that it is about being disconnected to the person and maybe also a little about being disconnected with the part that is in relationship with the person? I can feel this way about some pretty close people.

That's a really helpful way to look at it, thank you. It is interesting how disconnection can be impacted by core beliefs/distortions. I think even though I get the "this person literally doesn't exist" stuff less at the moment, I still definitely have a "this person just lives in a completely different world to me that I can't relate to." I guess for me that feels like a sliding scale of the same belief?

Also definitely a disconnection from myself when interacting with people as if the person talking to them is not actually me is something I've felt and that's such a good way of looking at it.

I think for me working on actually feeling in my body and in the present moment is a big help and the relationship stuff kinda comes more easily after that. Obviously, that's easier said than done and I still completely drop out sometimes even with close people. I don't know if you feel like that would help/have found that helpful though?
 

Friday

Moderator
Do you still find the I am nothing/no one belief useful if you don't mind me asking ?
Damn useful, and very relaxing. :D Love it.

Is it a protective thing I learned in trauma? Probably. I’m not here. I’m not who they think I am. I’m not who they want me to think I am. I am nothing. I am no one. :smug:

It’s an incredible source of strength.

It ALSO allows me to be whomever I need to be, doing whatever needs to be done. Because it’s not about ME. It’s about what needs doing.

I can’t always pull on it / step into it. The more emotionally involved I am, the less I’m able to step into it. If I’d been able to during my divorce? I have no idea where TheKiddo and I would be, right now... but it wouldn’t be here. Because in THAT mode? I’m untouchable. I am pure, unadultered power. I AM the Oncoming Storm. And a laugh & smile. All things good. All things bad. All things & nothing. A ghost. And ultimately & absolutely in control. I am nothing. I am no one. So I can be anything and anyone, doing anything & everything I set myself to.

Coming back to myself is a bit... fiddly. As realigning myself with identity is... not easy. But it’s absolutely worth it. In both regards/respects. Both in being myself, and being what I need when I need it. // I should probably mention? It’s the exact opposite of a get-out-of-jail-free-card. Anything & everything I DO when I am Nothing&NoOne is still me. I have to live with that. It’s not “someone else”. It’s quite literally no one else... but me.
 
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