Dissociation

So here is my theory on the past few weeks of crazy:
Hearing someone was in love with me and not confronting the issue immediately led to a loss of taste. Dissociation. Extreme stress.

This happened immediately after I was overwhelmed with emotions that did not fit the situation. PTSD emotional flashbacks caused by a trigger.

So what happened was some sort of inner tape went on replay. Emotional flashbacks that lasted days. Then I reacted to the stress of this skew in reality by dissociating (losing my taste) and that caused me to not want to eat at all. The lack of calories kept me in the stress reactions and also nixed my ability to sleep. Like: What? We are starving? Must be an emergency!! No sleep! Need to be alert! My really experienced stress hormones kicked into overdrive and would not calm down until I force fed myself a healthy amount.

The morning after I wrote a post on it, the morning after I had a conversation with him where he assured me he had zero plans to visit me, I woke up with the tape off, and my food was food again instead of tasteless cardboard.

I have dissociated before, the year after I left I did not even once recall any abuse or abusive incidents. I had a few dreams of being afraid but no recall was available to me. I was just surviving, trying to take care of the kids and starting over from nothing.

So I can’t say I don’t have dissociation any longer. I think I do. I thought one could only have dissociation from childhood. If that is true, I wonder what happened to me? The therapist calls it emotional neglect. Surely that is not enough to create dissociation.

I knew dating would be a bad idea for me. I am so glad I don’t try. Not everyone is going to wreck my life or kidnap me- but apparently my lizard brain believes the opposite.

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4 thoughts on “Dissociation

  1. Here’s how I make sense of that question for myself (why did I learn to dissociate so early): as little kids, when all our thoughts and feelings and emotional needs are just one big ball of Stuff, we rely on our caretakers to help us figure out what all that Stuff is, what it means and what to do about it. And when those caretakers can’t or won’t — whether because they’re violent and abusive, or self-involved and neglectful, or active alcoholics, or…on and on… — we as very young children learn to just put those feelings and emotional needs aside. Cuz trying to express them could risk losing our caretakers entirely (“and who would love me, feed me, shelter me THEN??”) and besides, all that Stuff is very confusing and uncomfortable when no one is helping you learn to understand and manage your own emotions. Or even to name them! “No no, much better to just do away with my feelings altogether and focus on my PARENT’S needs instead, which s/he seems to like me doing better too,” the kid internalizes — and voila! A lifelong propensity for dissociation is born.

      • Glad my explanation may have helped! I’m working on getting better at more strategic dissociating (just a little bit, to better handle moments when my out-of-whack emotional responses might otherwise overwhelm me) and less of the involuntary kind (when I just kick out of my head and lose time altogether). Sounds like you were really aware of what was happening, during this recent episode — good for you!! The more I can notice the effects when it’s happening, the easier I find the process of coming back.

      • Yeah I have never just been gone. I usually have blocked recall, which is something I hardly notice. However I have been told that the longer you are safe the more your symptoms can crop up. A friend of mine raised her kids and when they moved out and she didn’t feel like she needed to keep it together she just plain fell apart. I want to avoid that scenario.

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