Friday, December 17, 2010

Feeling Inside, Outside - Criteria 9 / Part 3: Depersonalization

Continuing along the dissociated path of Criteria 9, my specific interest is especially in Depersonalization. This is my most intense break from reality.
Sometimes I feel as if I'm in the wrong body. Like I'm watching myself, my body, do things from someone else's perspective. Cognitively I know it's my body but the person that feels what's going on is somewhere else, removed. My feelings are gone. Here, but part of me is left somewhere else, on the outside, not inside me where it belongs. Going through the motions of what I know I would normally do but without any connection to the motivating forces that would drive me to do these things. 

I don’t process emotions directly, internally. I process them from a dissociative place, “outside”, of my sense of Self. This creates a huge disconnect in how I think and how I feel towards the things I am thinking about. It’s like having two separate bodies; one to process thoughts, one to process feelings, but I’m only connected to one at any given time.  They don’t work symbiotically like they should. I either experience as an observer with detached emotions or I FEEL everything but don’t temper it with my rationale. Where most people have a natural balance I can either experience my emotions, my environment, or I can observe them. Seperately.

Having taken an objective look at, or talk about, my emotions I feel fine. I feel fine because I feel nothing. The act of talking about my emotions or experiences, causes me to not feel them.  But since feeling nothing is better than feeling emotionally destroyed, nothing = fine. When you can recognize that a situation should produce an emotional reaction, and instead all you feel is {blank}, it can be very disconcerting. It seems like nothing was ever there in the first place. Except it’s not only this one incident…

It’s with everything.

I can wrap myself in an experience. Throw myself into the heat of a moment but afterwards, all I have is a recording. No emotional attachment to the memory. It's akin to taking a physical step back from a situation to look at it objectively, only to be left with a very noticeable lack-of-emotion. Because I am no longer 'in the moment' it's like trying to remember emotions experienced in a dream. I wonder if they were ever real because after having stepped back, the closeness is no longer there. On the plus side, nothing phases me. Things that should have reduced me to tears or at the very least made my heart ache, are now after thoughts left in the wake of yesterday.

Imagine this. You and a person you care for are standing a few feet apart, holding a rope just long enough so it’s pulled taught. The rope is a symbolic representation of the emotional connection you share. When you take a step back the rope is not long enough and your end slips from your hand and falls to the ground. You can still see the person, still see that person holding their end of the rope, but you no longer feel the connection of the rope fibers even though you remember having held the rope. It’s like dropping the rope and trying to maintain/remember the feel of the fiber. Physically you can’t.

It’s disconcerting to not feel. Surreal.

Sleep walking through my own consciousness.


  1. I guess I always felt like I loved people too much, all of them, and that right one just hasn't come along yet. If they really loved me then they wouldn't lie, avoid me or ignore me, right?

    I'm starting from the beginning of your blog here. Reading this helps to write shit down for my shrink so she can understand WTF I'm trying to say. Thanks for being like me, damn that sounds fucked up, sorry.

  2. I believe you're right. If they really love you they wouldn't do those things.

    I fall into the trap of believing people because it seems to be love at first, but then people change, except I can't change my feelings and I begin to reel and spin.

    Is it silly that I like to hear when people start from the beginning? I feel like I have a lot of good posts back here and I'm glad they don't, sort of, go to waste,yanno. cheers!

    1. "Is it silly that I like to hear when people start from the beginning?"

      I have! A girl I work with and I had an extremely rough rollercoaster last year. We weren't lovers but more than friends. After the umpteenth upset, and a couple of failed attempts to take a break (cos I was scared of losing her), I finally put my foot down and insisted on one. And she ran. I got replaced in a matter of days. Anyway, in the aftermath and recovery (I've since discovered I'm not the only non to have their life turned upside down by a BPD), I learnt about disorganised attachment and then BPD. I had been looking at the insecurity and push-pull through the Mars v Venus lens for a year and I was WAY off.

      Long story short. I've regained some level of normality but I also believe that I'm the only person to figure out what she's about. As far as I know SHE even doesn't. So the reason I'm reading from the start is cos I want to track your realisations over time so that if she ever decides to talk to me again, I can actually understand (well at least mimic like I do) what's going on in those cobwebs of confusion in her head! Thank you for showing me the paradigm she lives under. I have had so many "Wooooow" moments already when I've thought of various moments in our relationship and looked at them from yours, and therefore her eyes.

  3. Its strange reading this, I can relate to this so much, Ive felt this way for so long it feels so normal, that I dont understand what it must be like to not experience everything this way.. how strange. Sometimes i feel like my environment is so alien. i dont connect with it at all or objects around me, this is especially annoying at work i go to do something am completely dissasociated, then come back and realize, drifting in and out of some realm. I feel like im really lost alot of the time.. dont know where the hell I am, what im doing , what im feeling or even thinking.


    I love this song because I relate to it by what is written above. Thought I would share.

    I also have BPD. Thank you for this blog. It has helped me.

  5. This is very strange to find someone who feels just like i do. I was diagnosed with BPD about a year ago. I stumbled onto this blog a few days ago and started reading slective posts...three days later i decided to just start from the beginning. Thank you for this blog have an eloquent way of putting your thoughts and feelings (or lack of feelings) into words. I am sure you have helped many people over the past couple of years. It is helping me understand it alot better. I am definatly a fan.

  6. I like your analogy with the rope.
    This lack of emotional attachment to things that have happened to you is hard for me to understand. It makes it easier to understand why cheating is more common among those with BPD. They feel no loyalty or emotional attachment to the person when they're gone away....
    I think about the one I know who has BPD, the one...
    Is it like she falls out of love with me every time I'm not within her immediate vicinity..?
    That's hard to comprehend and hurtful for me to even try.

  7. @Haven
    You say "I believe you're right. If they really love you they wouldn't do those things."
    My BPD ex did, she lied and cheated and hurt me. Haha guess she didn't love me then? Of course...sure Borderlines aren't capable of real love right?

    1. Not true. They just fall from it easily. Time wears away on their feelings. Judging from what you just said, I may also deduce that it wasn't entirely her fault. Not blaming you, she hurt you and that is clearly wrong, but what you just said is also wrong. (Borderlines aren't capable of real love, right?) Not to mention there is a difference between being Borderline and just plain shallow. Happens every day; people cheating on each other. It is sad really. She lied and cheated, and if that is true, then why did you love her? Why dose it hurt so much? If she was capable of that, she wasn't right for you. You have not lost, You merely found who you were truly with. One might even say that you were saved.


Leave me a comment! It makes me feel good and less paranoid about talking to myself =)

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