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Author Topic: BEHAVIORS: Dissociation and Dysphoria  (Read 17635 times)
Ylimepie

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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Friend
Posts: 6


« Reply #30 on: February 24, 2016, 04:46:25 PM »

I have pictures of my ex-husband (BP) when he is dissociating while standing next to me.  You can actually see on his face that he is just not mentally there.  I cannot imagine what the stressful part of the situation was since we were spending the 4th of July at an amusement park with my family. 

I also remember passing him in the hall of our home when I swear he did not realize I was there.

I do not have BPD, but I dissociate a lot.

Its kind of funny, because when I was taking psychology classes and read about dissocation, I never realized that I did it. It wasn't until I had my kids that I realize just how much I space out. There are a few books in our kids library that I have read several times, but I couldn't tell you the plot. I have watched entire movies that I haven't seen. Often, I will realize that my kids have been talking to me and I didn't realize it, and just last week, I walked by my son at his school, totally not realizing that he was there.

Its totally involuntary. I never realize that I am going into it. I only realize it when it is time to come out of it. It can frustrate my husband very much...

Its my comfort place. I want to go there.

I have noticed that I tend to go there when there is a lot of stimulation. An amusement park could certainly provide that.
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Portent
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Posts: 208


« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2019, 04:24:30 PM »

I had an odd episode with my ex. She had linked her account to our kids tablet and an e-mail was on the tablet. By that time we were in the process of getting a divorce and still living in the same house. She had gotten a DUI with the kids in the car so I wasn't beyond snooping to keep tabs on her. There was an e-mail that popped up on the tablet telling her about another affair my replacement was having behind her back. Telling her that he was using her and to "wake up" "wake up". I later started to piece together other information and it became clear the she had sent the e-mail to herself. As I confronted her about the issue I got the impression that she had no memory of sending herself the e-mail. I wonder if it is possible given the stress she was under with the DUI, our divorce etc. that when she found out he was cheating on her that she snapped and another personality took over.
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tvda
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What is your sexual orientation: Straight
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: broken up
Posts: 81


« Reply #32 on: February 11, 2021, 03:48:07 PM »

Oh the dissociation... This was one of the scarier and harder to get my head around parts of life with my BPD ex.

The first time it happened I was completely flabbergasted. She went completely blank, zero emotions, as if she was a robot... Went to work on automatic pilot, to family gatherings on automatic pilot, just like that. In the meantime I was falling to pieces about the recent fight that triggered her dissociation (because I had 'threatened' to leave due to one of her not so nice "antics").

So there I was. A complete emotional wreck, while she just went about daily life as if nothing had happened, nothing could touch her, and nothing needed to be talked about.

Then I learned about dissociation - through my therapist at first. And I got this advice from my T: "You are free to leave or do what you want, but if you want to help her and get her out of her dissociative state, the only path is to be supernice, comforting, caring and understanding". The idea being, of course, that dissociation is a coping/defense mechanism to deal with extreme stress levels, and the only solution is making the stress go away.

So the next couple of times she dissociated, that was my main approach. It worked, but it started to make me feel worse and worse about myself and the relationship. You see, this approach boiled down to a very perverted scenario: she would do something that would really hurt me and cross all decent boundaries, I would then tell her there are consequences to her actions, and she would dissociate. And then I would need to make her feel safe to get her to 'come back'.

Put simply: she would hurt me, and my response was to be extra caring and comforting to her. Needless to say, this opens the door to all kinds of abuse and skewed power balances.

Another thing that started to worry me was the dissociative amnesia... Even after her periods of dissociation she would have certain memories blocked out of her mind. One time I told her about a really scary message, bordering on a suicide note, that she sent me three days earlier in a state of dissociation. She had no idea what I was talking about. When I asked her to take her phone and look at her recent messages she had to admit it was the truth. But still fairly dissociated, her reaction was strangely devoid of emotion, and not at all alarmed. She explained away her own distressed message as if it was logical sequence of events...

As it stands, her dissociative amnesia is serving her splitting really well. She's blocked out all memories of our good times (literally forgetting how we met and fell head over heels), and blocked out all the bad memories of her former NPD lover, who is predictably enough now her partner again.

It sounds a bit silly, but sometimes I'm actually a bit jealous of her 'talent' for dissociating. It serves her really well as a defense mechanism: she's never in any serious emotional pain, because she goes to her, uhm, peaceful place quite efficiently, and she doesn't have to question her life choices too much, because her selective amnesia takes care of the nasty inconsistencies for her.

Granted, she lives her life as a sort of robot or emotional zombie frequently, which doesn't sound great, but then again, she's not aware of this fact, so it doesn't really bother her. Deep down this is really sad - but her defense mechanism efficiently makes sure she never gets 'deep down'... That skill would have served me well during the year I barely survived in her aftermath. While she just kept on trucking 'happily'.
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khibomsis
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Grieving
Posts: 538


« Reply #33 on: February 17, 2021, 03:13:18 AM »

"Put simply: she would hurt me, and my response was to be extra caring and comforting to her. Needless to say, this opens the door to all kinds of abuse and skewed power balances."
Yup. It was exactly like that with my expwBPD. It was hell navigating between one's responsibilities as the non and my experiences as a partner. Because there was no hope of her coming back to baseline if I tried to hold her responsible for what she did while disassociated. It was either be caring and comforting or more rage. This triggered ALL my stuff with time. It is complicated even now in the friendzone but safer, I am better able to deal with my own CPTSD.

Towards the end I found that I was focusing on keeping as much as possible in writing, or having things said in front of witnesses. That is no way to run a relationship. Plus it started also messing with my sense of reality, eventually I started to doubt myself.

I am glad you are getting help and support, tvda. Coming back from the Twilight Zone is a long journey, and therapy really helps me.  Are you healing, somewhat?
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tvda
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Who in your life has "personality" issues: Ex-romantic partner
Relationship status: broken up
Posts: 81


« Reply #34 on: February 17, 2021, 06:37:15 AM »

hi Khibomsis, and thanks for your concern.

Am I healing somewhat... Good questions. I am more stable than I was months ago, but then on the other hand I am still very much involved in my 'situationship'. And I think a part of the newfound stability is me applying the 'right' communication skills toward my BPD (maybe) ex. The situation is better now, because I'm handling it better, not because the general situation is better for me regarding my own needs and wishes.

Can't say that I'm letting go yet... So I don't really know if I'm healing, actually... I'll need to think about that one, and post my general story here I think... Something I have not done yet. Easier to give the right advice to others than practice it yourself.
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khibomsis
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Gender: Female
What is your sexual orientation: Gay, lesb
Who in your life has "personality" issues: Parent
Relationship status: Grieving
Posts: 538


« Reply #35 on: February 18, 2021, 04:13:30 AM »

 Laugh out loud (click to insert in post) tvda, indeed it is.
Sometimes it helps to distinguish between the person and the behaviour. We can leave the behaviour behind without necessarily leaving the person. And your best hope is the fact that your behaviour has changed. We are social beings. In a more caring society could BPD really exist?
Look forward to your story when you are ready to tell it.
 Virtual hug (click to insert in post)
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