Dissociated

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SE7

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Dissociated
« on: April 23, 2018, 09:38:10 PM »
Just wanted to post about this because I am concerned about this disassociated state I find myself in right now. It started after a week of a lot of intense activities facing the real world again, like a job interview, getting organized, and making phone calls. I brought myself through all of that very well a week ago, and then I gradually, slowly started dissociating and crashing again - for me that is a state of avoidance where I go deep into flight and freeze modes.

Part of me doesn't want to do anything about this, except continue escaping. But the other part of me is alarmed because I know I need to take care of daily life, which still includes having to get a job. I had hoped that moving out of my narcissistic FOO's home would help, which it has to a degree in that I'm not actively being psychologically abused now, but the CPTSD after-effects are alarming to me now a month later. I just don't want to do anything!

Does anyone have specific experience dealing with the flight or freeze trauma responses? I'm a little worried that if I just 'ride this out' like I normally do that I will never actually get to the other side with my feet on the ground! At the same time, I don't want to flood myself by forcing activities that I just can't handle right now either. Usually flooding myself like that leads to the very dissociated state I'm in right now. I'm just trying to find a way to get back to center I guess.

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Cookido

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2018, 09:50:03 AM »
I'm a bit in the same situation as you. I can't see a way out and all I feel like doing is resting. Even so, I still do a lot of the things I should do. I apply for jobs, I went to an interview, and it leaves me feeling more exhausted, and a future fades even more. I don't dare to think about a future even because the only thing I can think is that I'm f*cked.

So basically I can relate and I'm also interessted what others have to say. Can't really come with coping or solutions because I'm not there yet.

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Deep Blue

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2018, 12:23:49 PM »
Hey SE7 and Cookido,
I dissociated last month and it was an agonizing 3 days for me.  It was a really rough time and I just wanted to get out of it. 

This is what I tried first:  (none of these worked for me but maybe they will for you)
I took a hot shower
I snapped a rubber band
I went for a hard run
I tried to let it out by watching a funny movie and sad movie.

What actually got me of it was that I had a massive panic attack.  I wish it was an easier fix, but that is what happened  :I dunno:

Hang in there.  Practice self care.  Reach out if you need us.
 :grouphug:
« Last Edit: April 24, 2018, 06:35:23 PM by Deep Blue »

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woodsgnome

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2018, 03:04:25 PM »
As a freeze person of long standing, what you describe relates the pattern of my own awkward stumbles along the path, and to make it worse there is no well-defined trail to follow either.

A hard one for me to realize is that there is no perfect way that will be the best in every circumstance. One reason we get into these fixes is our fear of hurt if we do it 'wrong'. So maybe cultivate an attitude that draws on what your heart is telling you that you most need in a given situation.

Which still might be painful, on the surface; but if it's the best (even if not perfect) for you, that can't be fully known 'til you're further down the road anyway. Suspending the right/wrong judgement might seem risky, but when you have to do something be open to letting your heart be the ultimate guide.

Unfortunately, this is hard on the system. Finding ways to keep one's spirits aligned and relaxed is key; whether it be by meditation, nature walks, music, or things that are calming, relaxing, and mood-lifting.

I'm not sure I'd abide well with advice that sounds like effort; it might have the reverse effect and send me back into the cave--this goes back to trying so hard as a kid and never accomplishing what others wanted. This is where it's important to decide if sidestepping the pain will cost more than it's worth. Further hurt is always possible, but I've also found that by taking certain risks sometimes the seemingly insurmountable pain diminishes and a situation turns out not be as bad as anticipated.

Some dissociation is natural, considering what many of us went through to arrive at this point. It may be more a matter of tamping down the perfect expectations. The most important part you seem to be onto--and that's to work from a sense of self-awareness. The bad news is there isn't a clear way forward that will work in all circumstances.

This sounds a little like the phrase "feel the fear and do it anyway". Personally I hate that, but on occasion it seems like the only alternative. 

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SE7

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2018, 06:20:19 PM »
I'm a bit in the same situation as you. I can't see a way out and all I feel like doing is resting. Even so, I still do a lot of the things I should do. I apply for jobs, I went to an interview, and it leaves me feeling more exhausted, and a future fades even more. I don't dare to think about a future even because the only thing I can think is that I'm f*cked.

So basically I can relate and I'm also interessted what others have to say. Can't really come with coping or solutions because I'm not there yet.

Hi Cookido, thanks for replying .. I have that too with the constant need to "rest" .. but my problem is I rested for what is now 1.5 years. But like you I do intermittently manage to do things I have to do .. I guess for me it's just with delays in between. But I hear you too about the feeling of being exhausted after expending any effort for those types of tasks. I think I felt knocked down & out when I realized that I wasn't getting the job I just interviewed for. Because it was a referral, I thought I'd be a shoe-in but it did not work out that way so that kind of flipped me out.

I was able to break through this a little today and last night - I'll post what I did in another post here.

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SE7

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2018, 06:33:22 PM »
Hey SE7 and Cookido,
I dissociated last month and it was an agonizing 3 days for me.  It was a really rough time and I just wanted to get out of it. 

This is what I tried first:  (none of these worked for me but maybe they will for you)
I took a hot shower
I snapped a rubber band
I went for a hard run
I tried to let it out by watching a funny movie and sad movie.

What actually got me of it was I had a massive panic.  I wish it was an easier fix, but that is what happened  :Idunno:

Hang in there.  Practice self care.  Reach out if you need us.
 :grouphug:

Hi Deep Blue (and Cookido this is the post where I'm saying what I did :) )
Thanks for the ideas, they are similar to the First Aid suggestions I read here on this forum from Three Roses: http://cptsd.org/forum/index.php?topic=7214.0

Aside from having a massive panic to push us into action (which can work sometimes, lol), I found this helped me yesterday:
1. practiced some music
2. did that breathing method 4-6-8 from the First Aid links
3. read all the webpages linked for First Aid too
4. did 5,4,3,2,1 technique
5. gave myself permission to completely avoid one of the things that had me in a panic (contacting someone back - which I decided I'm just not going to do right now because I can't handle it - I'm going to wait a few weeks if needed & give an excuse later, or until I get a job so I feel more empowered. I feel bad that this person keeps calling to meet a request I initiated, but I'm not in the same place now as when I was willing to deal with it - the person took too long and now I just don't want to deal with it even though it would be for my benefit - the person's schedule is not in sync with mine right now).
6. realized that PMS has contributed to the extreme dissociation (it made it much worse than normal).

So today I'm feeling a little better. I still was panicking because the person called me again this morning, but instead of staying in bed I got up, drove myself to the store & bought some food, got gasoline, got my mail. These small actions broke me out of it a little. I also then found myself making a phone call about a bill, that I normally would have avoided but I wanted it resolved so I took care of it.

Thanks for being here y'all to go through this with me ..

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Deep Blue

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2018, 06:39:35 PM »
Sending you a  :hug: I thatís ok.

Way to go.  Iím so glad you found a way that works for you.  You should be proud of yourself.  Thanks for letting us know about the self care you chose.  It is a good reminder of things to do for the rest of us as well.
 :bighug:

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SE7

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2018, 06:41:58 PM »
As a freeze person of long standing, what you describe relates the pattern of my own awkward stumbles along the path, and to make it worse there is no well-defined trail to follow either.

A hard one for me to realize is that there is no perfect way that will be the best in every circumstance. One reason we get into these fixes is our fear of hurt if we do it 'wrong'. So maybe cultivate an attitude that draws on what your heart is telling you that you most need in a given situation.

Which still might be painful, on the surface; but if it's the best (even if not perfect) for you, that can't be fully known 'til you're further down the road anyway. Suspending the right/wrong judgement might seem risky, but when you have to do something be open to letting your heart be the ultimate guide.

Unfortunately, this is hard on the system. Finding ways to keep one's spirits aligned and relaxed is key; whether it be by meditation, nature walks, music, or things that are calming, relaxing, and mood-lifting.

I'm not sure I'd abide well with advice that sounds like effort; it might have the reverse effect and send me back into the cave--this goes back to trying so hard as a kid and never accomplishing what others wanted. This is where it's important to decide if sidestepping the pain will cost more than it's worth. Further hurt is always possible, but I've also found that by taking certain risks sometimes the seemingly insurmountable pain diminishes and a situation turns out not be as bad as anticipated.

Some dissociation is natural, considering what many of us went through to arrive at this point. It may be more a matter of tamping down the perfect expectations. The most important part you seem to be onto--and that's to work from a sense of self-awareness. The bad news is there isn't a clear way forward that will work in all circumstances.

This sounds a little like the phrase "feel the fear and do it anyway". Personally I hate that, but on occasion it seems like the only alternative.

hi woodsgnome, thank you for your thoughts. Yes, I have that fear of 'hurt' if I do things 'wrong' or I imagine uncomfortable scenarios that might result if I take an action. Right now my heart is telling me that I'm in an acute state & for now I need permission to not do the action that under normal circumstances I'd expect myself to do (like call someone back out of courtesy - I just can't bring myself to do it because of the things that would result that I'm not willing to face - having someone come over which I just cannot deal with now, etc.) I agree with you to take it by each circumstance, and suspend judgment of each regarding right/wrong. It's kind of like a radical self-acceptance thing as a means of self-care.

And I also agree w/what you said about something that seems like 'effort' having the reverse effect (that's what I call 'flooding' - something I don't want to do to myself right now).

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SE7

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #8 on: April 24, 2018, 06:44:32 PM »
Sending you a  :hug: I thatís ok.

Way to go.  Iím so glad you found a way that works for you.  You should be proud of yourself.  Thanks for letting us know about the self care you chose.  It is a good reminder of things to do for the rest of us as well.
 :bighug:

Thank you so much for the encouragement Deep Blue!  :)  :cheer:

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Cookido

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Re: Dissociated
« Reply #9 on: April 24, 2018, 11:31:00 PM »
Deep Blue, thank you, your post made me ralise it was a while ago I took a really long shower. It usully helps. Getting caught up in thoughts makes it kinda easy to forget about the basics.

SE7, too bad about the interview. I'm in the stage of waiting for an answer. There should be more fun ways to get a job. Thank you for sharing your way to cope, I'll check out the link!