the thing with dissociation

Whilst the terminology is varied, we can agree that dissociation is detachment, in one form or another; Right?

So the thing would be, that the dissociative state is unhealthy? Right? Because it is an altered sense of reality; or Not reality at all?

Well heres my thing …

  • Dissociation is survival.
  • Dissociation is a very gangstah tool for survival.
  • Dissociation is in it’s completeness, a Reality.
  • Dissociation is key to mental, physical, psychological and spiritual health, at the time it is employed.

But I wish some psychological cunt had’ve pre-warned Me about this:

  • Dissociation has some cunty backlashes when one decides to Not be dissociative anymore.

I think I employed dissociation as a survival mechanism before I could speak. Does that mean my perception of Reality was off?

Hell No.

I knew what was going on around Me was shit. I knew in the pit of my gutt that there was fuckery afoot. Could I do anything about that? No.

I was physically incapable of ‘fighting’ back; of desisting or resisting; or fleeing the situation. I could hardly walk, let alone talk.

But what staggers Me now, is that I knew enough then, to know it was time to ‘leave’. And leave I did. For 30 odd years.

By the time life caught up with Me, and the nagging voices espousing “You’re so cold” “You’re so aloof” “You’re so distant” finally got to Me; it didn’t occur to me then, to tell them all to get fucked. It didn’t occur to Me to ask them Why they hadn’t asked Me Why?

Instead – I tried to feel.

Guess what comes with feeling shit?

Anxiety and Panic. Great buckets full of it … great big shit filled buckets full of it alright.

Why?

Because when one is devoid of emotion, one is also devoid of anxiety and its best friend, panic. There is No stress. There is No worry. There is only Nothing. Nuddah. Zilch. Sure it all goes on ‘underneath’ everything, and its the sick feeling you get in your gut or the persistent headache that hasn’t let up for years … but theres pain meds for that shit, and back to soldiering on.

So along comes grief and sorrow … and fucking anxiety about grief and sorrow. The gutts ache of wondering what or if that is actually what it should feel like. The same goes for love, peace, anticipation, excitement, joy, friendliness, waiting, contentment …. etc etc.

Up until recently, I could describe what all those things ‘looked’ like. It is why I understand body language, and the inconsistency of what is spoken versus what is non verbally spoken. I call it cognitive feeling. I know what it should look like, therefore I believe I know what it cognitively should ‘feel’ like.

The problem is, feeling feels very different than thought.

So before you ask someone to be present; to feel; to get a heart or a soul – just remember to ask these things first;

  1. Why don’t you feel anything?
  2. When did you stop feeling anything?
  3. What purpose does it serve you, to feel nothing?

If a person is happy in their dissociative-ness, leave them to it! Who are they hurting? You? Because you want them to be like You? All touchy and feely and shit?

Dissociation serves a purpose. A vital purpose.

And just remember, when dissociation goes, there in its place, is a shit storm of unknown emotion … that We have to learn from scratch.

And that learning may Not look how you would imagine it.

For Me, happy is chocolate, coffee and the mokos. It doesn’t have anything to do with the weather, or my career, or what I bought. It’s the same for sadness and fear. What I fear and what makes Me sad, isn’t the same as my partners. He fears not having eggs and baked beans lol. I fear bright lights and loud noises. He gets sad when he thinks. I get sad when I see someone else sad.

So what does all this bring Me too:

Today I went and got my drivers licence renewed … I’ll update that debacle on another post … but suffice to say, I was nervous as fuck. New place, new sounds, new smells … I felt like throwing up, so downed a 1/4 sedative to take off the edge.

What was I nervous about?

In an ‘aha’ moment … I realised I was nervous about trying to do ‘normal’.

I couldn’t rock up to the counter to get the licence renewed with all my breathing thingees; I couldn’t take my blanky; I couldn’t sniff my orange … Why? Because I’d LOOK mentally ill … and in this country, you can’t drive if your mentally ill (and it effects your driving). I had forgotten how to ‘fake normal’.

Normal is polite … it’s also hurried and rude.

Normal isn’t chatty or truthful … its important looking; like you’ve got somewhere to be and something to do.

Normal doesn’t ask stupid questions.

Normal isn’t assertive.

Normal doesn’t blink a lot … it’s still and quiet … otherwise you look like your dodgy.

Normal is ticking the boxes, including the one that asks if you’re ‘Male’ or ‘Female’; Normal doesn’t ask why thats Normal.

Normal is beige. Not black. Not stripey.

Don’t believe Me?

Try it. Try looking around You at all the things that people do; the way they conduct themselves in public; at the counter waiting for service … people behave in a certain way … there are unwritten, unspoken rules of engagement. And I have been so long out of the game that I had forgotten how to play it.

On any other given day I would high fived the fuck outta myself … but when you need what they’re selling, and you need to appear Normal … it’s not such a cool thing lol.

Any-who … the up shot, is I have my renewed drivers licence, I am thankful as fuck that I managed to fake normal for 15 minutes, and now I am fucking exhausted and I’m going to have a Nanny Nap ;)


kpm ©


 

20 thoughts on “the thing with dissociation

  1. At least once a day I ask myself this question; ‘if I knew how fucking awful feeling all of the things I didn’t feel so many years ago would be, would I still go through with everything I’m going through?’ Most days I still can’t come up with a solid answer.
    I didn’t know I was dissociated. It was my T who made me notice it. I just thought I looked at the world differently and felt things differently than others. I didn’t believe I was missing out on all of these so-called wonderful things. I got shit done–I worked, took care of myself, and appeared to be a fully functioning member of society. I didn’t carry around this all-consuming hatred for people in my life–because I didn’t feel anything about them at all really.
    Once I started to feel things, to look at them and spend more time being ‘present’, it knocked me off of my feet. It kicked, still kicks really, my goddamn ass.
    You know the old saying ‘ignorance is bliss?’ Even though I still disconnect quite regularly, the days that I don’t, I really miss that ignorance that dissociation creates. There is much comfort in not being present. Yes, it has the ability to make things lonely, but feeling nothing is easier than feeling everything at once.

    • and i completely hear & relate to everything you’ve said.
      i actually wonder if ‘they’, being psychologists etc, know what they’re asking .. or if well meaning friends & family realise what they’re asking? & in my unprofessional opinion, if they actually care?
      its all well & good not liking how detached we may appear, but at the moment, i’m not liking how fucking lonely & helpless i feel nearly 99% of the time as i try & relearn how to do shit! there’s no ‘rehabilitation’ or groups of well meaning professionals, friends or family, lining up to assist me in the supermarket, with driving, with finances (no work now), or simply caring enough to discuss alternatives, how they manage themselves, or willing to just hang out & laugh.

  2. That is a tremendouss post. I laughed out loud at the end. I have been trying to put all this into words for forever and all I have is a collection of stabs in the dark as drafts on WordPress, in journals and lying about in my documents folder.

    Lots of quotable lines but I especially liked “fuckery afoot”

    I love the tone. Plenty of bite and rightly so.

    I’ve walked a very similar path. I’ve known the feeling of being the smartest person in the room at age eighteen months old or less and the havoc that that adapting to such a reality does to your brain, endocrine and central nervous system.

    Anyway great post. I’ll be back for more.
    Thanks
    SP

    • Thank you for stopping by and your feedback – its always appreciated :)

      Btw – ‘stabs in the dark’ make the best posts i reckon ;)

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