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Sense Of Self

Impossible for my brain to hold all this information in one go to create any kind if comprehensive answer.

But I've some few memories from when I was very small, of being quite a friendly outgoing sort of person. I've been told stories that say I was like that too.

I've been feeling like that person again recently. It's nice 🙂
I think for many like me who had some of that sense of self defined in part by our trauma, that is the sense of self we remember from our whole lifetime

In some cases that sense developed abnormally and there has never been a mature sense of self without the parts trauma defined. For me at least, defining what parts of self are from trauma and all that went after means figuring out what parts are missing before you can rebuild them.

I had this talk with my T in a way and compared it to being Psychotic....you do things to fit in but don't understand those behaviours.
I wonder if “shattered” is wrapped around the concept of “nothing” for you?
No, not really. Although I think I get where you’re coming from.

To me?

Shattered is like a computer that been damaged by fire or a virus corrupting it’s code; leaving behind only meaningless snippets, and fragments of disconnected nonsense. The device itself no longer functions, but the clusterf*ck can still be read on a different system, and in some ways defragged/pieced back together.

Nothing & No One is like a factory reset. The framework is there to do anything. There’s neither history, nor personalisation, yet.
Love this...I've thought a lot about it...

I didn't know it was "sense of self" but I noticed the same night of the trauma, something was so different with me. I remember people were asking questions about what happened...and I thought how can they not feel what I feel ..something like that. I was wondering what was so noticeable to me but not to them.

My sense of self was heavily cracked, broken down and far away. (I see now).

Eventually was built back up, feeling strong.

Honestly feels like my neighbors psychologically tormented me. 😐 I was broken all the way down. I was still so fragile when it happened.
This -- ah. I talked to my therapist everyday of the week after the neighbors stunt of sending the police to my house. Still mad about it.

About a year later and I'm back to the fragile but strong place and I'm slowly building up from here!

It really surprised me when I was planning to kill myself and writing letters to my family. :/

Also surprises me how resilient humans are. ❤️
Shattered is like a computer that been damaged by fire or a virus corrupting it’s code; leaving behind only meaningless snippets, and fragments of disconnected nonsense.
....and when trauma happens around puberty which is a big change in where we begin to define our "grown up" selves.

I think for me - some of that sense of self was replaced by shame and that feeling of disconnection that comes with trauma, and that vague feeling there is something wrong. Plus the social effects. I didn't express it well in my last post but that's where you are like a psychotic. You just never understand some social parts of self and because in my case, the physical results created problems in participation in sports and some activities. Then problems in school.....hard to do when your mind goes as blank ash the spaces for answers when they put a test in front of you....and that hurts because IQ - first numbers are 14.....its just like here sometimes - you cant get whats in your head to come out....

I don't think I have ever had a real true developed sense of self.....more like what I did and how well I did it defined self for a long time.
I can describe me as a person but for me I just feeling I'm a confused mix of nothingness despair panic and will to help other. Being me is too painful so I retreat in others.
If I'm reading I'm not here so it's safe. If I write I'm a God creating a world, not me. If I'm being social I'm creating links between the person I talk to and something from me I'm projecting to them.
I'm not me because being me is too dangerous
I have a strong sense of what I believe or experience, always did even if I turn it off (it influences my choices without me acknowledging it, as @Defaultxlove mentioned), but:

I not only revert back to being “Nothing & No One”, but being Nothing & No One is the only way I can find any peace or clarity of purpose.
^^ I do feel like this.

I recall not being able to envision a future or imagine I would likely be alive in the farther future, so did not have the same hopes, plans or dreams as some. I followed what others expected of me. Failed or dropped out or avoided much.
Has your sense of self been affected/altered by your trauma history?
^^ I do recall feeling my childhood ended. Though really I'm not a child in an adult body but I was an adult in a child's body. Though even prior I would not have said it wasn't a happy childhood, the way I viewed it (can't remember most of it, just snippets).

Further traumas blew out much of what I believed in, and who and what I relied on or what I had made required goals and priorities. I did though come to new understandings sometimes and hope I still am. To some degree, probably a great one, I eventually redefined what matters most to me.

I think for many like me who had some of that sense of self defined in part by our trauma, that is the sense of self we remember from our whole lifetime

....and when trauma happens around puberty which is a big change in where we begin to define our "grown up" selve

^^ Same for me. I recall 2 symptoms, one being flashbacks, convincing me I surely must be crazy. At that age and no one to talk to honestly except for who I was forced to it really defined my sense of self as a) a murderer and b) must be nuts. It was even then a moral injury, as I expected of myself (i.e. to have reacted as an adult, for that and everything) what adults would not have. But then, in some ways I was more adult at 5 than people in there 20's and 30's. Fell apart after that though. Next definition of myself was maladaptive coping and a secret alternate life.
There’s neither history, nor personalisation, yet.
^^ Not sure if I understand correctly but post-it and self judgement played a big role in my self definition afterwards. Guilt for what I didn't do and shame for what I did, or what I chose and then what was done to me. Some traumas later wittled my self-worth down to nothing. (I do mean nothing, not an exaggeration.)

I think the ability to be honest about many things, support, understanding and a safe place to be who I am helped the most.

So TLDR I know who I am, but do not see/ have a purpose.

Very good question!
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Self was a great person when l knew her. Now l feel l have lost her. She was happy and vulnerable, not afraid to show weakness. Now we protect her. She stays buried. Our tribe of selves take care of her and protect her. She has all the great memories. We keep her alive. We let her chose but we always make the choices because we are logic and we need to keep things done. So my self- I say to you, l am sorry that those around you took advantage of you un very inhumane ways. But we will always protect and love you.
What does ‘sense of self’ mean to you?
It’s really a kind of a discreet process. There are times that evidently, as somerandomguy said, of course I do know who I am. Here I stand in front of the mirror. I do. Do I? As far as I can remember I feel rather void and if there is some self at work, it was almost entirely, if not entirely, absorbed by work and creation. That was my way of defining myself, but I did struggle to be any other kind of human being. I also could be Your Superfriend. And a few other things. But all those identities and I realise by writing this too, they heavily rely on the loyalty of being something from the outside and not really having any meaning or sense in the inside. I made myself a shell to be able to pass in the world as I thought it was right, but there wasn’t much thought to it.

I was, and up to a point I still am puzzled by my own actions or inactions. I could die wanting to do something and really, all that I needed to do was to do it, and yet it was impossible, like I can’t actually pilot and decide for myself. With time, I can narrow down the things that create that. It’s namely, developing meaningful and trusting connections with intention, and a few house chores that do trigger things (there was a point my step dad wanted to me to clean and clean and clean again and again like a little house slave, because I was a girl). I would also randomly say mean things to people I liked but didn’t entirely trust and I alienated myself from quite a lot of people in that way.

Have you ever lost it, suffered damage to it, struggled with it, had to repair or rebuild it?
I already was chronically depersonalized even though in therapy for years, so in a sense, I didn’t understand my sense of self was more than wobbly, even if I was literally telling myself I didn’t exist. I don’t know, when you’re messed up I guess that you get that ability to maintain assertion, confusion and denial up to an astonishing point. But getting into the domestically ultraviolent relationship with my ex finished to break everything down up to the point there were days I struggled to remember my own name. If it wasn’t for someone pronouncing it I just wouldn’t have any reason. It seemed that the whole thing splintered so much I wasn’t even capable to keep track of several things at once. Everything was scrambled, a feeling that was true one day became the very reverse the day next. But all of that while trying to keep composure because that was the most important thing. Until I finally entirely crashed. That was a little before joining in here.

Has your sense of self been affected/altered by your trauma history?
Heavily. To me it feels like it’s the core problem. I only have fleeting desires and feel incomplete, not belonging to the human world. Like a ghost or something. A copy of myself. At the same time I know it cannot be true. But all these fragments and the bits and pieces as Friday said, and the faulty loops, it really looks like a jpeg file that has suffered corruption. Some parts of the image you still can discern but the rest is a hazardous jumble and you’ll get what you get. I feel like without trauma history, I’d be quite well-balanced because there is a part of me that is very reasonable and coherent, but in some circumstances that inner certitude can become unavailable, and most of the time it’s not accessible entirely, only a bit here or a part there. From the outside I think it looks like a lot of willpower, but that would be closer to the Great Reset Mode where I’m so stuck in what I’m doing to survive and build myself again it doesn’t even feel like I’m there at all.

Challenges, struggles, surprises, triumphs?
Starting to be okay in not being a single coherent being and enacting inner dialogue felt so weird at first, but it worked wonders. It really helped me formalize the amount of competing thoughts and patterns and give them a voice. Doing so well, situations where I would do something I didn’t really want to do, I can interact with that impulsion and doing it so reduces its strength, and that’s a bit how you’d actually speak to someone else. It’s eerie. But it works, and it’s definitely better than sinking in a fog.

Thoughts in general?
Not really. Perhaps just happy that I’m having more comfort in being fragmented, as feeling "whole" really sounds like a myth to me. I don’t even see what it could mean. So as I don’t know what whole could mean then I’m unsure of what fragmented could mean, and therefore mentally invalidating and dismissing everything said above then just think I’m normal and should just suck it up. Then starting another loop 🙃 brain annoying today
sense of self has come up in therapy recently.
Mine is a giant tumbling die.
I was deliberately and methodically reduced to a blank slate by parents trying to brainwash me into being a convert to their cult, and i pulled myself out at a very young age. I predictably was influenced by the first group i fell in with and molded myself to be accepted. my self was a persona.
then i was a student. then i was a worker, then a student again, a worker, a student, aworker and a husband a father and an apprentice and a career guy and a homeowner and all of the personas that seemed to be coming at me like levels in a video game.
But who am I?
And do I even know?
And do I want to know?
What difference does it make?
What if im a musician? I have always had that facet on my diamond, I am happiest when I can make sounds that please others, happier when someone else has made the hair in my arms stand up straight ( what the hell is that called?) , but I am not going downtown to busque or going to an open mike, I am going to work tomorrow and coming home to fix the days breaks and watch some tv and sleep and the next day is the same. If my guitars all disappeared i think i would feel more ohysical loss than loss of self, so i am not a musician.
I seem to be what i need to be, and thats the only sense i have ever really felt i think. It was horribly derailed just as it was supposed to be developing as a part of coming of age and i jumped to the finish without filling in the blanks along the way with anything more than what was in easy reach at the time.
I do not seem to know, and I am just now realizing it.Chameleon? is that a bad thing ? chameleons seem to be ok with it!
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