Dissociation

I have often shied away from reading too much about mental illness, mainly because I am wary of putting ideas into my head.  However, recent awareness of BPD and knowledge of various forms of depression, leaves me wondering if this has been more of a disadvantage.

I have only been communicating with people online for 18 months.  Initially this was in Depression Forums, latterly is during 8 week blogging travels.  Reading the amazing stories that other people have to tell has become quite a revelation – no more so than “Dissociation Disorder”.

Dissociation, as a MH disorder, is a new one on me.  It was not until a discussion with a CPN (Community Psychiatric Nurse) last week, did I realise that it is not just an American term. This is something that is also alive and kicking here in the UK.

I think everyone dissociates in our own little ways.  Taking a drive from A to B without being fully aware of our journey, or talking to someone while busy preparing a meal, is dissociative behaviour.  However, when dissociation is consequential to trauma, it can apparently lead to someone experiencing a Dissociative Disorder.

Bits of what people write were somehow familiar, but it was not until I read a fellow bloggers post about connecting to the child in a photo, did it open the floodgates of heightening awareness and identification.

When I look at photographs of me as a child (sorry for poor quality), I see a toddler who represents the little boy my parents had, but never a part of me.  Image

It’s as if that infant died and now there only remains a few remnants of unhappy and traumatic memories somehow bequeathed to me.   There is never an attachment or memory of who that child was.  You can call it dumber than the dumbest, but I have been assuming that everyone feels like this.

Anyway, this particular post of Cate’s @ “Infinite Sadness… or hope”? (I have tagged the post “Letting go of Balloons” at the foot of this page) really was a trigger to a connection with a number of issues I used to have relating to childhood.  Somewhere along the way, I seem to have forgotten or maybe dissociated.

There are a handful of happy memories from childhood with my parent’s; it wasn’t all traumatic and unhappy.  However, there is something within me that has not been allowing myself time to dwell long enough to develop a clear picture.  Most of my spontaneous pre 7/8 year old happy memories are of being outdoors and mainly alone.  Even the abusive traumatic memories are selective and magnified.  There were many incidents, but only a few are recurring features in my mind, played repeatedly like old black & white movie clips.

My plans for this post would take too long… looks as if I have a part 2 on the way.  For those who have never had experience of childhood trauma and/or dissociation, this post will probably seem completely meaningless, even pointless.  However, I hope it makes some sense to those who have had the misfortune of experiencing similar.

The last thing I would say is that, in addition to Dissociation, there is acute awareness for Avoidant Personality Disorder.  It is difficult to concentrate long enough on large pieces of information, but these two disorders will be in focus during the coming week(s).

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5 thoughts on “Dissociation

  1. Aife

    Isn’t it strange how the mind works? I understand what you are saying and I am looking forward to part two or as many parts as you feel is needed.

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  2. brokenbutbeingrepaired

    Hi, Cat.

    Yes, this post makes so much sense.

    Don’t know if it’s any use, but maybe this will be of interest(?) > http://www.pods-online.org.uk/introtodid.html . Its an article that gives an intro into the pretty confusing world of dissociative disorders in a fairly easy to understand way.
    Like Aife, look forward to reading part two.

    😉

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    1. Cat Post author

      Thanks for reading, it makes a difference. I will check out the link. I need to understand this a lot more.

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