When I first started therapy, we were concerned about what appeared to be signs of a memory loss with unexplained lapses of time. I can remember dates and other important information, if I plaster notes in all the right places, but find it incredibly hard to recall certain parts of my life on spot.
I once wrote that this reminds me of a psychic medium tuning into the spirit world. If I cannot concentrate fully, I will fail to make certain connections, it drives me nuts.
A perfect example happened at Friday’s group therapy. A couple of the other members asked why I exclude people from my life and appear happier in my “blissful isolation.” Enter the chaotic confusion like a rabid dog.
It might be easier if I were aware of Dissociation at the time or at least ready with a couple of cohesive answers. Instead, the crazy paranoia sends my mind into overdrive as I frantically search for words that sound valid and convincing, rather than look like some kind of dotty fraud. After all, who forgets crucial information about themselves?
I told Friday’s group that the isolation is due to symptoms associated with Borderline Personality Disorder, which are particularly difficult in relationships – the intensity of emotions, idolising and devaluing, difficulties holding good and bad together and, of course, the notorious fear of abandonment.
Something didn’t quite add up and the group looked just as confused, but I couldn’t place what exactly was missing. Yes, BPD symptoms are partly steeped in isolation, but it’s only a small version of the story. If I had been able to remember the rest, perhaps it might have made a little more sense.
I am a surviving victim of a serial murderer… yup, it was a movie style event in my life that usually only happens to other people. I liked this man. I trusted him. I was in awe of his intelligence and just loved that huge beaming smile. There were no signs of his sadistic plan because he is a psychotic master of deceit. Do you believe in miracles? I do, I survived.
I’ve never been able to trust anyone since and consequently suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Agoraphobia, a fear of being outdoors in open spaces. Like everything, there are various ‘degrees’ of this condition and I consider myself to be on the lower end of the scale. It is my ‘selective agoraphobia’ because I can go some places with minimum stress, but there are clear boundaries, unchartered for over fifteen years.
It is difficult to explain dissociation and it always feels as though people are looking on in disbelief. I seem to lock certain traumatic memories away in safety box compartments and unless I am consciously trying to tune in, I will often fail to connect.
All of this is relatively new awareness so I would love to hear if anyone has similar experiences of dissociation.