I recently came across a video by James Nares called Street… What struck me about the clip wasn’t its beauty – although it is visually stunning; instead, what hooked me into watching it, was how well it describes a state of dissociation that I sometimes experience.  I consider it a form of derealisation, but this might be inaccurate… it’s a disconnect from the rest of the world… feeling as if I’m there, but standing back from my eyes, observing.  At times it can be a little scary, as it feels as if I have no control over what is happening, and that my actions are running on auto-pilot… other times, that lack of control can be calming, and serene…

If you look at the clip, you’ll notice that there is little connection between the people being filmed, and the camera… no one seems to look into the camera to meet your eye.  This is also an important aspect of my dissociation… an inability to connect with the people around me… a feeling almost as if I’m gliding through the world, totally invisible, even when in plain sight… It feels as if no one can touch me, and I can’t touch anyone…

The slow motion effect shows how it feels as if the world is slowing down, and yet speeding up at the same time… It seems as if everyone is walking around, totally oblivious to the disaster that is about to happen, or the pain that I’m experiencing.  What’s worse, is that I’m incapable of expressing that pain, or imminent disaster, in any meaningful way…

It is often this state of being, that would often lead to the worst of my self-injury…

Self-injury could break through the derealisation, and make the world seem real again… make me seem real again…

The problem is, the self-injury added to the pain that created the derealisation to begin with… it became a self-fulfilling cycle of dysfunction, pain, and confusion.  Thankfully, I’ve managed to stop that form of self-injury… I just wish I could say the same for the disordered eating.

Now playing: Brooke Fraser – Scarlet


8 thoughts on “Street

  1. Hi CG! It has been such a long time but I read this post and wanted to tell you…this is experience is almost the same as my DE realization experiences. You describe it very well. I don’t like your self injury but understand it so well. I hope you are okay these days? I have hung in there and getting on with my life.

    • Hi Nansie,

      It’s great to see you! I’m glad to hear that you’re getting on with your life 🙂

      Derealisation is an awful experience, isn’t it? Everything seems so detached, and as if meaningful connections will never happen again… I’m sorry you experience it too :-/

      Please take care,

  2. That video really does depict derealization in a way that I would never be able to otherwise describe to another person!

    The slow-motion and not really being a part of things…yea I get that. The world can look so weird during those times! It happens to me and I just try to be aware that it’s happening even though I can’t do much about it at the time.

    I think it’s so, so good that you’ve been able to conquer one form of self-injury CG! That’s wonderful! The other will come in time, I really do believe that.

    Sometimes being aware and able to name what’s happening is the best we can do and I think that’s progress because there were times in the past when I’m betting you weren’t able to see what was happening, at least not like you’re able to now? Little steps right?

    Thanks for sharing that video. I actually watched it a couple of times because it was so artistic and I hadn’t seen anything like it before.

    Also, it’s good to hear from you as always. 🙂

    • Hi CI,

      The clip was pretty amazing, aye? I sometimes wonder what was happening for the artist when they have created something that I find that describes part of my mental health issues so well. I wonder if it’s me reading something different into it, or whether they’ve experienced the same thing…

      Awareness is a vital step… 🙂

      It’s really good to see and hear from you, too…

      Please take care,

  3. Hi CG,

    I think you describe this process exceptionally well. I don’t go through this, but now I feel as though I understand. You have a lot to be proud of in the healing work you have done.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


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