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Note: I know I've said that I don't write, but I do journal a bit. My therapist encourages it and I tend to put it off. But I did write this description of what it feels like, for me, to dissociate. If you're interested in knowing, I dissociate due to trauma. Dissociation is a survival skill but I've been doing it so consistently and for so long, that it hinders my ability to function.

Dissociation

Dissociating feels like slipping into a warm bath and sinking below the water until I disappear. Letting my body take over while I sleep, warm and safe and unaware.

Sometimes I feel like I'm tagging along behind my body, looking up every once in a while, as it performs the task of living. But this body feels alien and I don't recognize it as Me when it looks at me from across a mirror. No, Me is the one behind this body, the one who mostly whispers criticism, or occasionally encouragement. Sometimes, I’m not there at all, for a few moments I don’t exist. There are no thoughts or sense of time passing. I am just gone.

But those moments are rare and brief, though frightening. I'll find myself suddenly raising my head above the warm waters and realizing that my body was going, was doing, without me.

Most of the time I’m here, a few steps behind. Seeing what my body sees and hearing what it hears, only, from a distance. It’s often difficult to focus on what’s going on outside of me, so I pretend to go along with the situation. It's hard to feel much of anything, my body feels, but I'm so far away.

I try to fight it most of the time. I try to ground myself in my body, but it’s a rare moment when I feel like it’s a part of me.

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