What's real?

I’m not sure what’s real anymore.  There’s been a tipping point reached internally, and derealisation has sunk in.

It’s an odd feeling, the derealisation.  I was just walking down the steps at work, and had no idea of whether my foot would ever touch the next step.  Part of my brain was wondering what would happen if more and more of my foot wasn’t fully on the step.  Another part was wondering why the colours of the plants beside the steps seemed to vividly green, they didn’t look that way last week.

When I’m derealised, I usually have little idea of consequences.  I’m not really living in the moment, let alone understanding any long term consequences of my actions.  Thing is, to everyone else I still appear ok.  I don’t look any different, I don’t talk all that differently (maybe a little stilted or with more pauses)… but nothing screams out to anyone “this person is disconnected”.  I self-injured while at work yesterday; but that was another sign of the disconnect, not the cause.  I’m having to work through some issues which I probably need to grieve for what was, and what will never be; but I don’t think that’s what’s causing this.  I’m heading into another round of teaching commitments; but again, I don’t think that’s what causing the derealisation.  My trust in people was shaken greatly last week; I’m not sure if that contributed or not.  Shame has risen to new levels internally; but is that enough to cause this?  Possibly it’s all of these factors combining to give the system a feeling of being overloaded.  But I don’t feel the overload, I don’t really feel anything…

This was one of the first sets I did on Ployvore last night, and probably shows how I’m feeling the most accurately.  I’m here, but not really.  I’m scattered, but appearing to function.  It’s an odd feeling.

My life, seems pointless.  But yet there is no desire, that I’m aware of, to do anything self-destructive.  Maybe that is the point of this feeling?  I don’t know.  I do know that I can’t keep on like this, my inability to understand consequences could lead to more self injury, and I don’t have the internal filters to be able to stop it happening.  This in turn will lead to a vicious cycle of more derealisation, more self injury…

It’s an odd feeling, looking through your eyes and seeing the world as an odd caricature of itself.

Now playing: Falling Slowly – Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova (Once)
via FoxyTunes


26 thoughts on “What's real?

  1. Hey there, i’m sorry you are feeling so disconnected from life recently, please don’t hurt yourself any further, i am here to talk if you want, Cat

    • Hi Cat,

      Thanks for the offer 🙂 I’m seeing Allison tomorrow to see if I can find a way to go into the weekend grounded. I’ve tried pretty much everything else to ground, so this is another attempt to come back.

      Take care,

  2. I’m sorry you’re feeling so drifty. When it happens to me I usually do stupid things to myself to try and prove whether I really exist. Be good and be safe. I hope Allison can help.


  3. I’m glad you’re seeing Allison, hopefully the two of you can work together to find ways for you to ground yourself and to be safe. Honestly it could be any of these stresses that caused the disconnect but I also wonder like you, if it’s a combination of several things making this happen. I’m sorry to hear that your trust in people was shaken and I apologize if I missed you talking about that. I know from what’s been going on emotionally for you recently that you’re mind has plenty of reason to disconnect and checkout. You’re dealing with a lot. I hope you and Allison come up with ways for you to be safe and please, please, take care of yourself.

    • Hi tai,

      I’ve been talking in a very disjointed way here, and not explaining everything that is going on in my life. Part of the is for my own protection, and part of it is because I have no connection to it. So you didn’t miss anything…

      Thank you and take care,

  4. I know the sensation well. I wish I could say that with time it gets easier, but it would be a lie. Rather, at least in my case, I have just found ways to cope with living with that sensation and I don’t beat myself up about it. As long as I can get day to day NEEDS, and I do mean needs not wants, taken care of, then that’s o.k. That means getting through the day at work, getting children and myself fed, clothed, and properly cared for, and that’s about it. The rest will still be there when I am not so scattered and the lines of communication are fully functioning again. This is one reason I really love the Four agreements. The agreement to always do your best includes the explanation that your best will not always be the same. On days like those, my best is taking care of the simplest of daily tasks, making an effort not to self sabotage/injure or to hurt others with my withdrawal/indifference/grouchiness, and giving myself permission to not worry about the rest. I make up for those days on other days where my best is much better. And that’s o.k. Everyone has bad days, dissociation or not.

    • Hi Storm Dweller,

      No, it doesn’t get any easier. I get this feeling regularly, and it ties with being overwhelmed.

      I hear what you’re saying about doing the needs, rather than the wants. I’m often really bad at telling the difference between the two, it’s something I need to work on. There’s also a point where I need to do the wants, or else it drives me crazy.

      Thank you for sharing the Four Agreements with us… really good points!

      You’re right, everyone can have bad days… and some people make sure that everyone around them knows about it!

      Take care,

    • Thanks OneSurvivor,

      I get depersonalisation as well, but I find that less stressful and disturbing as the derealisation. I’m not sure why, possibly because I’m a little more used to it.

      I’m feeling a little better today, but it’s still there.

      Hopefully talking to someone safe and understanding will help.

      Take care,

  5. I’m sorry you’re feeling so drifty too. I like that word, drifty… it sits nicely on my tongue and seems to describe my experiences of what you’re feeling, too.

    I’m really glad you’re seeing Allison. I hope that helps. I’m here for you as well, if you want to chat. Please take gentle care.


    • Hi Kerro

      I’m trying to keep safely busy as a way to cope with the feeling and trying to get things done to minimise the stress.

      Thanks for the offer 🙂

      Take care and (((hugs)))

  6. Hi CG! “My trust in people was shaken greatly last week”. That’s huge…certainly big enough to cause this kind of disconnection. I have disconnected like this for long periods of time. I would tell my T how I feel like I’m just floating in life and I can’t feel my body or gravity of anything. It was a peaceful, blissful state I was in where I shut everything down. Having trust rocked like this is hard. Trust for people and their predictablility of basic boundaries and rules in life is a very necessary foundation that we all need to function from as a base to work from. It would make sense that if this was rocked and broke…a big enough piece of foundation would get rocked that would upset the whole rest of the system. We depend on some kind of basic trust in our foundation so that our system can operate to begin with. Whatever has rocked your foundation was powerful enough to shut the entire system down til it can get settled down enough that the system can feel safe enough to operated again.
    Disconnection is a protective measure. Something has rocked the system enough that it shut down for self preservation. This is a good mechanism to have because your protecting the system but observing it at the same time with your awareness of it. With the more awareness I gain for my system I also gain breakthru’s and strenth into the system. When a piece of the foundation breaks or gets disrupted a window of opportunity opens for us to work thru it with our T and then rebuild the piece in a much healthier structure this time. With that in mind…the new structure is being built but a VERY wise adult now and will be stronger than the system that got built by a child during a broken childhood.
    I know this sounds jumbled…this is the best way I can put it together to share with you. I also know how painful this is and scary and how lost inside it feels. BIG hugs for you and I pray you get some relief over this soon!

    • Thank you Nansie.

      Yes, I think I’ve underestimated the impact of the trust issue has made on the system. I had sort of brushed it off, but not really. I’ve tried to work it through with the person effected, and had some success, but also some failure. So it’s all still very uncertain.

      I hate this feeling. I’ve tried medication and all sorts of things to try and ease the feeling, but no success so far. Hopefully talking with Allison will help. She’s not a miracle worker, and I need to be able to find the safety within myself, but she might help me find that.

      Thank you for sharing what you did. It makes sense and not jumbled at all.

      Take care,

      • Thanks CG…I know what you mean about our T’s not being miracle workers…BUT…and this is huge; when we built these systems we were broken children…our T’s help us reformat with a higher level of understanding and strength and then this replaces the prior frame of reference we had that led to the system shutting down. So in a nutshell, to us, they are miracle workers! 🙂
        Good luck with Allison and I will be thinking of you and crossing my fingers!

  7. Feeling disconnected is very difficult. Do you have something small to carry with you? A small stuffed animal or something? I have carried a tiny little bottle of bubbles in my bag, but more effective was a little stuffed animal for my kid.(I call it the power of the woobie). After a little while I found it a powerful tool to keep me in the here and now. I hope that you feel a little less blurry soon 🙂

    • Hi sanativescribe,

      I have a small stuffed toy on my key ring that I play with when I’m stressed; but I can’t carry my keys everywhere 🙂

      The feeling has continued and it seems to have settled in for the duration. Not quite sure what’s going to break it.

      Thanks for the tip, I might see if I can get a small stuffie for my pocket too.

      Take care,

  8. I think you are correct that all of the issues you mentioned combined together contributed to this extreme derealization.
    I’m so sorry that you needed to self-harm at work, but I understand it. I really suck at grounding techniques, but when I’m feeling the urge that strongly at work, I will put a rubber band around my wrist and just flick it over, and over in an attempt to keep myself present. Sometimes it helps, sometimes not.
    I do agree that your shaken trust is a huge factor. I only say this based on my past, and current situations. That lack of trust has impacted me in a similar manner. What you mentioned in a reply above about needing to find the safety within yourself is wonderful insight on your part. That is so very true. In my situations, I have learned that I have no one in my life that will keep me safe, so I have to find a way to make myself safe.
    I’m thinking of you, and I will be sending positive thoughts your way.

    • Hi Mareeya,

      The self-injury was so unexpected, and such an automatic response, that it was difficult to rectify. I’m still struggling with it.

      I get what you mean about the rubber bands… the smell of rubber is a huge trigger for me, so I usually end up seeking out my cynical friend and talking to her as a way to stay present. Unfortunately she was on holiday this past week, so wasn’t there to act as a buffer. Instead I was constantly drinking cold water and running cold water over my wrists. Anything to try and bring me back to the present. Grounding can be so difficult when you see it as an abstract thought from far away.

      We are our best safety mechanism. I do think that if we can find safety within the people and places around us it helps, but we still need to find it within ourselves. If we don’t get that sense of safety, it’s more difficult to find it consistently within our environment.

      Take care and sending positive thoughts your way,

  9. Oh….I’m so sorry about the smell of rubber being a trigger for you. Now that you mention it, I think I do remember you talking about how rubber tires were a terrible trigger for you in one of your earlier posts. I’m sorry I brought that up. Maybe someone should invent rubber bands that don’t have that terrible odor. I do think rubber smells awful, even though it’s not a trigger for me. Of course, why would anybody invent something like that, because most people would never think that someone like me would be wearing them around their wrist. 😦

    I’m glad talking to your cynical friend helps, when she is around. I love talking to cynical people, also. Many people in my day to day life find me to be a cynic, but I think a lot of those people are put off by my cynicism. Also, I’m not quick-witted enough to be much good at it. 🙂

    I hope your struggles get easier in time. Just try to go easy on yourself.

    • Hi Mareeya,

      I really don’t expect anyone to remember my triggers – I often forget them, so I sure don’t expect it in others 🙂

      Yes, cynical people can be fun. My friend is good, because she isn’t cynical all the time, just when the situation calls for it. So we often have conversations and laughs that have nothing to do with cynicism.

      Thanks for the support 🙂

      Take care of yourself,

  10. I hope things are going better for you now and it is good to see you are trying to work through things.

    Most problems are made up of a number of smaller things so that maybe what is causing it. We always look for one thing as a cause when it is most likely lots of little things.

    Well take care and look after yourself.

  11. Hi, CG.

    Although I’ve been reading, I haven’t commented for awhile, and today I realized I need to say, ‘hi.’ I think of you often and send those thoughts your way.

    Kind thoughts,


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