The Different Versions I ExperienceThe first time I really remembering it happen I was home for Christmas break and my room has a giant floor to ceiling mirror, and I looked at it and was suddenly shocked to see the person standing there. It made the same ex
I don't remember what I did to make it stop, or if it just stopped on it's own, but ever since then I have been trying to be more and more conscious of what this separateness was, when it happened, and, if possible, how/why it happened.
Sometimes it's like looking out a window, only the window isn't right in front of my eyes, but somehow between what I consider "me" and what I see. It's not a major change, it's just that things don't quite...fit. I mean, all of the edges of ob
Sometimes it's like, well the best way I can think of comparing it is going from watching a VHS to watching something truly high-definition. There is just so much more, like when seeing a high-definition image and thinking knowing that it couldn't be real it had to be computer enhanced. It's like seeing too much, and it can't all be there, or it can't all be an accurate representation of what is actually there. The world is just too real looking to actually be real... maybe this isn't an example of dissociation, but it certainly makes me feel separate, zoned-out.
Sometimes it's just a feeling of separateness. My brain...my sense of self (the part of me that thinks/feels) is somehow separate and behind my body. Only, it's not like an out of body experience where I can see my body as from a separate observer...except it is. I'm just watching what happens. Not like out of control of what I do, but not really in control either, like it's just happening before me. It's not like I'm not participating (there is no such thing as a neutral observer, we exist in a self-referential ecosystem, observation is participation), but I'm not really participating, like my body is doing things, but I'm not. Not like I'm a puppet and someone else is making me do things, but I'm just not doing anything. Oh, I don't know how to describe this one, separate but thinly connected...
Sometimes it's when I see myself in a mirror. The person there is just not someone I recognize. I can kind of understand how that can happen with my face (because I don't spend a whole lot of time looking at my face in the mirror, and it could just be that my body/face has changed since the last time my brain took a mental image of what it thinks I look like), but sometimes it happens when I'm looking at my hands, or cleaning something, or just doing something with a part of my body that I see often, something that I should recognize as my own because I look at it day in and day out. But somehow it moves strangely, or I just look at it differently and it isn't mine anymore. It's not anyone in particulars, it just doesn't look like mine... What trips me up the most, actually, is people's hands. They move and somehow I don't understand how they moved. Like, hands aren't supposed to move that way. It's not like some freaky contortionist show, it just...it doesn't fit, the way they move.
It's often a little terrifying--if I don't think that one thing that looks out of place isn't real, then how can I be certain that anything I see or experience is real?--and I sometimes just lose focus on everything while I try to sort out what I think is really there and what isn't, or while I try to convince myself that this one thing is there (because if I can convince myself that this one thing is actually there, then maybe the rest of it is real, too), or I just get lost in the feeling of separateness. Mostly I'm just scared that it's going to happen again and I won't be able to deal with it, or it'll happen when I'm doing something where I have to think things are real (like driving) and I catch myself anticipating it, thinking I'm zoning out when I'm really not. Or worse, I'm so worried that it might happen that I somehow force it to happen; like I'm so worried that I'm going to think this cup sitting on the table isn't real that I start to convince myself that it isn't.
It all just reminds me of this line from Hamlet, only I read it a long time ago and can't remember the exact quote, but it goes something like: "I know sunsets are supposed to be beautiful, but I just don't see it." For me, the distressing part is that I know that thing is supposed to be real, but I just don't see it as real, or it just doesn't feel real. And if I don't see it as real, then how can I know that it's real? Things fall apart, the center does not hold.