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Nothing

I see the world through frosted glass. I am swimming under water. Far away. Everything is blurry and thick and distorted. My eyes sting from trying to see through the hazy fog in my head. I cannot connect.

In this place I do not exist. I am not real. I have no substance. I try to feel my body, notice what sensations arise, but I draw a blank. I cannot think of a single thing about me that distinguishes me from the empty space around me. I watch my hands typing and they don’t belong to me. I look in the mirror and do not recognise the person who stares back at me. My brain doesn’t register my reflection as me. Who even am I?

I feel nothing. And at the same time I feel everything. A deep turmoil I cannot reach or soothe. I know why I come to this place now and yet still I cannot stop myself from ending up here. It is a bad habit I have no control over, automatic and unwelcome. I want to cut myself just to know I am real. I want to cut to feel something. I don’t feel real. I am an empty shell without edges. There is no line around me and nothing within me.

I want to live but this place pulls me away from myself and the world. I spend so much time only half alive. Dead inside. Non-existent. Struggling to pretend I am here but I’m not. My internal world is a place most people have never been. It is caused by a shame that can only be healed in relationship and yet this place comes between me and the people I want to love. I want to exist but my brain still automatically hides me, even from myself. What defence mechanism is this? What did I endure as a baby that this place is more familiar to me than anywhere else? I know the cause but it seems there is no cure. I do everything I can to connect but this place clutches at me and drags me down and cuts me off from myself, holds me here until there is nothing of me left within my reach.

8 thoughts on “Nothing”

  1. I think it’s biological, which is why it seems impossible to overcome. Distancing oneself from inescapable pain reduces injury and enhances survival. Babies who don’t cry when no help is available escape notice if predators.

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    1. Yeah, I think it’s hardwired in me which is why it’s automatic and so hard to break the circuit. Near-permanent depersonalisation is caused by chronic abuse in infancy, usually before the age of 9 months. Ugh.

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      1. Do you mean you experience this when afraid? For me it’s any big feelings or needs – they trigger shame because it was dangerous for me to show my self as a baby and child, and I automatically dissociate. I drew a chart last week which I’m gonna to take a photo of and add to my blog later

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      2. I don’t depersonalize, but it’s a different kind of dissociation. I don’t actually feel anything in these states, but if I gradually work creating some sense that I am not alone, there is some kind of care in the environment, whether real or imagined, it can take the edge off things.

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      3. What I am getting at is that I was afraid, failed to notice, and landed in total emotional chaos before I caught on. Or sometimes I was just trapped with a trigger for too long.

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      4. For me it is caused by any big feelings or relational needs – I wrote a post on it last night actually, building on some things I’ve realised over the past few days.

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  2. Sending you hugs x The world seems far away from the other side of the frosted glass (what a perfect reference), but when you feel able, you will find that it is waiting for you within reach. Take your time, you are strong and wonderful, and it is important you continue to care for yourself through these periods of underwaterness. We are all here for you.

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