I don’t think a lot of folks realize how much this can effect the life of a survivor. I didn’t know for an incredibly long time in my life how much disassociating had effected me. It’s something that I’ve struggled with over the years and comes in waves of intensity. Trying to push through and be present when things seem very surreal is really hard and, at times, impossible. Reading things that validate my experience has become a very important part of my fight to make sense of this world. I think it’s important for folks to seek information about things that deeply effect those around them so we can make a mutual attempt to be there for each other.
This is a repost written by a now defunct tumblr account member (as far as I can tell?)
Dissociating is one of the most common responses to abuse and trauma. It involves feeling numb, detached or unreal and (while it happens to everyone once in a while) is experienced more frequently and severely in survivors. Dissociating people vary widely in symptoms and may experience any or all of the things from the following list.
You may be dissociating if you:
- find yourself staring at one spot, not thinking anything
- feel completely numb
- feel like you’re not really in your body, like you’re watching yourself in a movie.
- feel suddenly lightheaded or dizzy
- lose the plot of the show or conversation you were focused on
- feel as if you’re not quite real, like you’re in a dream
- feel like you’re floating
- suddenly feel like you’re not a part of the world around you
- feel detached and far away from other people, who may seem mechanical or unreal to you
- are very startled when someone/something gets your attention
- completely forget what you were thinking just a moment ago
- suddenly cover your face or react as if you’re about to be hurt for no reason
- can’t remember important information about yourself, like your age or where you live
- find yourself rocking back and forth
- become very focused on a small or trivial object or event
- find that voices, sounds or writing seem far away and you sometimes have trouble understanding them.
- feel as if you’ve just experienced a flashback (perhaps rapidly) but you can’t remember anything about it.
- perceive your body as foreign or not belonging to you