As I sit here this quiet evening I am catching up on paperwork that I have not been able to do in the last couple of weeks. It has been a busy couple of weeks for me, both physically and mentally.
As I have put in my past posts, this is a time of progress and growth. There have been many times I have told my friends that often during this process “I wonder if this is what it feels like to time travel?”
It is during these times that I may look at my fingers and they will look like big fat sausages, or they will appear to be small and belong to a child. I know this i s not what they really look like, but this is how I am seeing them. It is during these times I will have ringing in my ears, I will becoming light headed and get vertigo. For me, this is a sure sign I am starting to dissociate.
There have been many times happened suddenly and I have no idea where I am, how I go there or how long I have been there. Sometimes I will be having a conversation with someone only to “time travel” and have no idea what we were talking about, or worse yet who the hell it is that I am talking to. Its like I have been pulled out of some parallel universe and dumped here in the present one. It feels like some sort of cosmic joke to me. Then there are times I am walking down the street, or be in a coffee shop and people will come up start talking to me, and they obviously know who I am, but I have NO idea who they are. I am not talking about forgetting someone’s name, or not being able to place where I know them from. I’m talking about NOT knowing them at all, but some part of me must know them because they obviously know who I am. This can be very confusing and very embarrassing. I must say, because this has been happening my whole life I am very good at covering up the fact that I don’t know who they are.
Another example is the time I was at a cast party. A friend and I had co-produced a play with a local community group. When the play was over there was a party for the cast and crew. It was at one of the actors houses. I go there and all is well. We walk down the stairs and there is a small group singing and playing guitars. I notice there is a drum set there. I walk over and sit down and start playing the drums. I played years ago. I start playing and the next thing I know we are finishing up and I thinking “ but we just started playing”. The truth is we were playing for three hours and I had no memory of it. I remember sitting down and starting to play, and I remember finishing up the last song, but I had and still have no memory of what happened in between. Later I reconnect with the friend I came with. She tells me, as others do, she did not know I played the drums. I explained I had played them years ago in a band, I do not tell her I “lost” three hours. It was not until a few years later, after I was diagnosed that I mention to my friend I lost time that night.
This has happened to me since that time, but now I know what it is and that I am not crazy. I now understand why I have huge gaps of memory during my childhood and adult years. It is during times of stress, threats or what I perceive to be a threat that a different persona or emotional state comes out
- ( or forward)-and deals with the situation. When the situation is over the “real me” comes back, with no memory of what happened. Just like when I played the drums that night. Those watching me play the drums would not have noticed any difference in me. This “switching” as it is called, is nothing like you see on TV or in the movies.
Since being diagnoses and with successful therapy I am now able to notice sooner when I am dissociating. This allows me to ground myself, do the self-care that I need to stay in the present.
As with real travel, this is takes its toll and I get physically and emotionally tired. It’s too bad that with all the traveling I am doing, I don’t get air miles for it!
These are my thoughts for the day.
Until next time, safe traveling.
Cheers and be well