Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Anonymous Question


7/24/2002

Someone asked how does it feel for me when I switch?

First, a quick explanation of dissociation; at some point in time, everyone does it to some degree. Have you ever driven somewhere and not remembered the drive? That is dissociation. What happens to people with the many different dissociative disorders (MPD is only one of many) is that at some point, usually before age 8, dissociation became the primary coping tool. If you are raised in a home where crying is not allowed, dissociation may be used to shut off the emotions that would bring tears and protecting the person from punishment or whatever the consequence might be.

About the question of how it feels to switch… first, I feel the emotions being triggered. Because they are so overwhelming, the switch is almost an autonomic response. It just happens. I have to separate myself from the emotions/memories that are surfacing. I don't really know how to describe it. Physically, I know I have not 'left' my body but I no longer feel a part of it. It is almost like being numb. Several in the system have described it as being like watching a movie of your life. You are watching it unfold but are not a part and have no control.
When I lose time what often happens just prior, is a sort of tunnel vision with a loss of sensation as well. My hearing fades as my vision reduces to a pinpoint. At other times, things get blurry and surreal looking.
It’s the best description I can give at the moment. I don’t know if it makes sense.

Marisa