Dissociation

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Dissociation in its most basic description, is leaving this present moment to think about the past or future. It is an unreal practice, action. We create a parallel world, a world filled with treachery for our minds. What we create lacks reality! Dissociation takes us to a place, the past or future where happiness does not exist.
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Dissociation is the only symptom we need to address. It is the linchpin, the king, the all powerful symptom, the leader of the pack. Dissociation fuels trauma and all other symptoms. Without the duration of dissociation, the minute by minute consumption of emotional fear, the storyline of PTSD fades, deteriorates and eventually bores us. Hyper vigilance, flashbacks, anxiety and avoidance need dissociation.
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Dissociation is complex, abstract, confusing and the biggest thief in our lives. It steals the only time we have to be happy. Judgment can devour every hour of the day. Judging me, worthy or unworthy, searching for approval, avoiding disapproval or criticism can dominate our landscape.
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We become heat seeking missiles for pleasure. Sadness, awkward or suffering is avoided with the many dissociative games. Dissociation can engulf every breath, stir fear until it permeates our being. Dissociation grows with use. Each moment spent away from now harms us.

Complex PTSD, usually childhood abuse, complicates dissociation, our minds have not matured so abuse is mixed with development. Dissociation reaches a deeper level,of dysfunction and entanglement. Parts of our personality get stuck. Mp arts of us fight other parts, we feel conflicted. This is why.

Here are some of the complex symptoms of dissociation:

From Coping with Trauma-Related Dissociation:

Complex PTSD consists of of six symptom clusters, which also have been described in terms of dissociation of personality. Of course, people who receive this diagnosis often also suffer from other problems as well, and as noted earlier, diagnostic categories may overlap significantly. The symptom clusters are as follows:

Alterations in Regulation of Affect ( Emotion ) and Impulses

Changes in Relationship with others

Somatic Symptoms

Changes in Meaning

Changes in the perception of Self

Changes in Attention and Consciousness

 

 

Alterations in regulation of affect(emotion) an impulse:

Almost all People who are seriously traumatized have problems in  tolerating and regulating their emotions and surges or impulses.  However, those with complex PTSD and dissociative disorders tend to have more difficulties than those with PTSD because disruptions in early development have inhibited their ability to regulate themselves.

the fact that you have a dissociative organization of your personality makes you highly vulnerable to rapid and unexpected changes in emotions and sudden impulses. Various parts of the personality intrude on each other either through passive influence or switching when your under stress, resulting in dysregulation. Merely having an emotion, such as anger , may evoke other parts of you to feel fear or shame, and to engage in impulsive behaviors to stop avoid the feelings.

Changes in Attention and Consciousness:

People with Complex PTSD suffer from more severe and frequent dissociation symptoms, as well as memory and attention problems, than those with simple PTSD. In addition to amnesty due to the activity of various parts of the self, people may experience difficulties with concentration, attention, other memory problems and general spaciness. These symptoms often accompany dissociation of the personality, but they are also common in people who do not have dissociative disorders.  For example everyone can be spacey, absorbed in an activity, or miss an exit on the highway. When various parts of the personality are are active, by definition, a person experiences some kind of abrupt change in attention and consciousness.

Changes in the Perception of Self:

People who have been traumatized in childhood are often troubled by guilt, shame, and negative feelings about themselves, such as the belief they are unlikable, unlovable, stupid, inept, dirty, worthless, lazy, and so forth. In Complex Dissociative disorders there are typically particular parts that contain these negative feelings about the self while other parts may evaluate themselves quite differently.  Alterations among parts thus may result in rather rapid and distinct changes in self perception.

Changes in Relationship with others:

It is especially hard to trust other people if you have been repeatedly abused, abandoned or betrayed as a child. Mistrust makes it very difficult to make friends, and to be able to distinguish between good and bad intentions in other people. Some parts do not seem to trust anyone, while other parts may be so vulnerable and needy that they do not pay attention to clues that perhaps a person is not trustworthy.  Some parts like to be close to others or feel a desperate need to be close and taken care of, while other parts fear being close or actively dislike people. Some parts are afraid of being in relationships while others are afraid of being rejected or criticized. This naturally sets up major internal as well as relational conflicts.

Somatic Symptoms:

People with Complex PTSD often have medical unexplained physical symptoms such as abdominal pains, headaches, joint and muscle pain, stomach problems, and elimination problems. These people are sometimes most unfortunately mislabeled as hypochondriacs or as exaggerating their physical problems. But these problems are real, even though they may not be related to a specific physical diagnosis. Some dissociative parts are stuck in the past experiences that involved pain may intrude such that a person experiences unexplained pain or other physical symptoms. And more generally, chronic stress affects the body in all kinds of ways, just as it does the mind. In fact, the mind and body cannot be separated. Unfortunately, the connection between current physical symptoms and past traumatizing events is not always so clear to either the individual or the physician, at least for a while. At the same time we know that people who have suffered from serious medical,problems. It is therefore very important that you have physical problems checked out, to make sure you do not have a problem form which you need medical help.”

Changes in Meaning:

Finally, chronically traumatized people lose faith that good things can happen and people can be kind and trustworthy. They feel hopeless, often believing that the future will be as bad as the past, or that they will not live long enough to experience a good future. People who have a dissociative disorder may have different meanings in various dissociative parts. Some parts may be relatively balanced in their worldview, others may be despairing, believing the world to be a completely negative, dangerous place, while other parts might maintain an unrealistic optimistic outlook on life

Further complications arise from long periods of abuse, a whole childhood of dissociative behaviour. We have parts that become stuck and stay in childhood mode.

From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:

People with dissociative disorder often have related problems of time distortions. They experience time passing by much too slow or fast; perhaps more time has passed than they thought, or an hour seems like an entire day. Some parts of the personality are often quite confused about where they are in space and time, believing they are still in the past.

When people with a dissociative disorder are alienated from their body, they may be insensitive to physical pain or lack sensation in parts of their body. Some people report that they do not always always properly register heat and cold, cannot feel whether they are hungry or tired, or feel numb in their body. Again, it is typically the case other parts of the self do feel the physical pain., the hunger, or other bodily sensations.

There are many different symptoms of depersonalization, but in every case it seems to be a way of avoidance or attempting to regulate overwhelming feelings or experiences. Depersonalization symptoms may be temporary or chronic.

Parts of the personality that hold traumatizing experiences:

Younger parts
Most people with a dissociative disorder who experienced childhood trauma will have parts of personality that experience themselves as younger than the persons actual age: adolescents , child parts of primary school, or even toddler and infant parts. It is as though these parts are stuck in various developmental time periods of the past. They often hold trauma memories, distressing, painful emotions or sensations, but sometimes also have positive memories. They typically are unresolved feelings of longing, loneliness, dependency, and need for comfort

Helper Parts
Some people but certainly not all, have helper parts in their inner world that take care of the well being of other parts, an inner form of regulation that can be a resource and basis for leaning further self soothing skills. Sometimes helper parts are modeled on a kind person from the past or an appealing character from a book or movie or television. These parts are the traumatized child’s attempt to soothe and comfort himself or herself. For some people, the major part of the personality who functions in daily life can learn to be quite empathetic and helpful for inner parts as well.

Parts that Imitate who hurt you:
Usually their are parts of the personality that hold anger and rage that are unacceptable or very frightening to other parts. Some may resemble people from the from the past who were abusing. These parts shame, threaten, or punish other parts inside, or they may direct their anger to other people in the outside world. Although the behavior of these parts can be quite frightening or shameful, as well as unacceptable, it is important for you to understand that these parts have good reason to exist and are representations, and thus not the same as the people who hurt you.They originally developed to protect you by containing many distressful experiences of anger, helplessness, and sometimes guilt. or shame. Furthermore, their function often is to prevent other parts behaving in a way that, in the past, evoked fear or shame. Over time it is important to appreciate why they exist, even though their “methods: that is, their behavior and attitudes, may not be acceptable. Your fear and shame about about me parts must be overcome in order for you to heal. These parts like all parts of yourself, need to become part of an internal “team” that collaborate and represent you as the whole person and your own history. And once they do so, you will be surprised at what tremendous help they will be to you.

Fight Parts

Some angry parts are stuck in a fight defense against threat. They have the explicit function of protecting the individual by means of fight responses, either toward other people or towards parts inside that in some way evoke a sense of threat. Fight parts often believe that they are strong, have not been hurt, and are capable of carrying out strong aggressive reactions to perceived threat or disrespectful behavior. Often they view themselves as a tough child or teenager or a large strong man.

Ashamed Parts
Shame is a major emotion that maintains dissociation. Some parts of the personality are especially avoided and reviled because they hold experiences, feelings,or behaviors that you, or some part of you have labelled as shameful or disgusting. You will need to be especially empathetic and accepting toward these parts of yourself.

A central problem for people who have a dissociative disorder is that parts of the personality avoid each other and their painful memories and experiences, or they tend to have strong conflicts with each other. In the literature this has been described as phobia of dissociative parts. Parts typically feel fearful, ashamed, or repulsed by other parts. In particular dissociative parts that function in daily life want as little as possible to do with dissociative parts that are fixed in traumatic experiences. Parts stuck in trauma-time often feel abandoned and neglected by the parts that try to move on without them in daily life.

These ongoing inner conflicts can be painful.and frightening, and they cost a person with a dissociative disorder a tremendous amount of energy. As we said before, all parts need to learn to accept and cooperate with each other. After all, in order to adapt and be our best, we must learn to accept ourselves and all our aspects. Only in acknowledgment sand accepting are we able to make positive changes in ourselves.

However we are aware that getting to know yourself and working more cooperatively internally can be a long difficult process. you cannot expect yourself to immediately function differently when parts have spent a lifetime avoiding each other or. Wing in conflict. lease remember that you will need much patience and self acceptance in this work and go at your own pace. Remember to be empathic and accepting of yourself as awhile person.
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182 responses to this post.

  1. OK so I relate to I think 100% of this, especially the somatic, which I am battling as I type this.
    All of this just made me feel incredibly anxious.
    Can this really all be helped with mindfulness? It feels overwhelming, scary, feel alone…

  2. ok, relax and follow the breath, as the ego wants this to be confusing for you. Again all you need to do is follow the breath on the breath model intently everyday and as you catch each negative thought.

    The rest will take care of itself and be brought forth at the appropriate time.

    The ego will try to confuse, scare, manipulate anything to get you to think so it directs or controls our direction and happiness.

    Resist this as delusion as it is, I came out of my garage shaking in terror with a nervous system that had exploded and I am extremely happy, present.

    I have sat quietly with intent awareness as my demons, ghosts and terror thoughts paraded before me. I learned all these gyrations were just my own body mechanisms and frivolous conjecture loaded with huge amounts of cortisol.

    It will fade if you keep,out of thought and take that 110% effort daily.

    Nothing can stop,you but your own mind.

  3. It is okay to be uncomfortable or anxious and not connect it to anything, it will change if you do not judge it. Great time to bring out the breathing model to practice short rounds of inhales and exhales. opportunity exist in every anxious thought that arrives before you. V

    Watch the sensations of the body that come with this emotion. Know where it settles, if it has a shape or color. Get to know where your anxious feeling are kept. relax this is your own defense mechanism just out of whack for a while. We are retiring it as we ride the breathing model. Healing is not always easy or pleasant but freedom is euphoric after a life of PTSD

  4. Thanks Marty. I will practice breathing and try to accept these feelings and not react.

  5. I totally agree with all the fatrocs you have explained so well that lead to DID. As I was reading The Comfort Factor-I suddenly remembered rocking back and forth as a child and patting myself on the back while saying I love you carla, you’re a good girl. It’s okay-your a good girl. I did this because I needed comfort so badly that I had to give it to myself as there was no one else to give it to me at that time. This was not a bad memory for me as I am just starting to recover some of my childhood memories after years of denial and am grateful for each one I remember. This is the new way I am comforting myself-letting the memories return and accepting them. Thanks for helping this process along through your writings.

  6. Posted by jennifertemp on March 8, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    You ‘anoymous” are correct. This website is not for you because you do not understand that Marty does not profess to be a therapist. He merely shares his experience and history to reach mindfulness and the power it has to heal. He shares through years of study.

    The type of anger you display shows you truly do need professional help and are a very disturbed person. If you thinks this website is damaging, you have serious problems. This type of negativity has no place on website which is here to help and heal.

    Good luck wallowing in your self pity – your cortisol levels must be off the charts.

  7. I have come a long way, nothing short of a miracle, and I owe all of it to this site and Marty.
    Facing PTSD, and not running from it was indeed one of the scariest times of my life, and probably why many others do not get through to the other side; but it’s the only way (IMO). Once I was able to sit with the anxiety for the first time in my life, the healing began. I cannot even begin to describe where I am now. I have never been in a better place.
    I still practice breathing and mindfulness every day, and it is now very fulfilling and rewarding. Enjoying each moment…
    Dissociation symptoms can be terrifying! Feeling like your broken! But it is only a symptom. And seeing that symptom allowed me to get to the cause. Finally…Childhood PTSD.
    I feel I have tried every therapy, book, CBT, medication, class/workshop known to man before finding this life changing site, and I owe my entire well-being to it.
    There may not be a ‘one size fits all cure’ but this worked for me. I have also brought some of your suggestions to friends of mine, and have also seen remarkable changes in their lives.
    And Marty, re-reading your reply over a year later was absolutely what I needed to hear then! Your non-BS, clean cut, straight-forwardness is perfect.
    My ego DID try to scare me, trying not to let me face this. And there were days were all I could do was breath….follow breath. I was physically debilitated with fear, for days at a time.

    Suffering Anonymously – I hope you too can heal and find peace, don’t listen to your ego and its fear/grip. If I can heal, anyone can!

  8. Posted by Holly on April 6, 2013 at 6:56 am

    I have cptsd- I am 41 year old female who I would think that by now would be able to have at least one relationship where I don’t end up feeling like my entire life is like a game of clue(not knowing who’s who). even after every form of abuse on a continuous basic since I was to young to remember, I have only two friends and it seems like no matter how bad someone is or has treated me I cant help but find something good about that person or I tend to ask myself what has happened to them to be able to have done this to me almost as a way of justifying the people who have continualy hurt me. I do take corrective critasizem well to help me grow!!

  9. Sorry, I missed this comment,

    That is your past, a judgment by you that you are this person. You are perfect, as your true self, flawed as all of us as a human. You past is over and could have little influence on where you direct your attention now.

    Give up thinking about your trauma and start a mindfulness practice of awareness. Do not judge or think about this, just build focus and let go of thought, emotion, fear, worry and doubt when you notice it.

    Start some daily work to accumulate benefits and take your life back.

    It takes no skill just practice and determination.

    As is said the only thing stopping us is air and opportunity and air should not stall our healing.

  10. thank you for writing all of this out. I can so relate to this and seeing someone explain it like this in such a concise way makes me feel less crazy. It’s not just me!!! it’s this stupid cptsd! thanks!

  11. Posted by Saskia on February 20, 2014 at 7:32 pm

    Boy oh boy…. this all really resonates with me and so many things that have occurred with my psyche(s). Just a couple of days ago, a dear friend who has been there, talked about her ‘caretaker self’, and with a spirit rush I realized that’s who I turn into when I am very stressed or there is an emergency. Also, my husband used to tell me that I was talking like I was five years old (usually when I felt hurt or unloved). When my sister would say that I needed to heal my inner child, I would get very angry and tell her there WAS no inner child. How wrong I was!

    I have had panic attacks as early as 1. I’d turn blue while holding my breath when 1-4 Yrs old, as my older sister tells me. I only remember many instances of a glass of water being thrown in my face. When I was a teen, I decided that they weren’t panic attacks, but rather too much adrenaline, so I trained my brain to think of it as a biological process, which was MUCH easier to deal with, took a lot of fear out of me.

    After suffering chronic depression from 17 on, when I was 45 I had a complete breakdown. Thus began my healing journey. After many medication, psychiatrist changes, I finally found that meditation was a tremendous relief for me. I think one of my persons has always been good at meditation! I learned in a heartbeat, and then began automatic writing in my sessions. They were profound, healing lessons filled with love and insight.

    Then I found a psychotherapist, with whom I did what I call an archeological dig to get at what were the reasons I was so messed up. For a year and a half, in 2 sessions/week, I always called my mother ‘Poor Mom’. I finally had to realize that I had been psychologically brutalized by my Mom. She had been severely affected by WWII and poured all her brokenness into me. I can remember being a baby, and she was rocking with me in her arms, crying so hard, and holding me so tight that I couldn’t breathe. But from VERY early in my life, I realized what war had done to her, and I felt total compassion for her, and excused the many rages and hits, and venom as being from her broken spirit, and not because I was so bad. But my therapist finally got me to have compassion for myself.

    Wonders of wonders, I no longer suffer panic and don’t feel depressed for the FIRST time in my life (I am now 62). Suddenly there is colour in the world. I am SO grateful.

  12. Posted by Jim Doyle on April 6, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    I only started to awake in the year 2000 after most of my life in deep trance state,
    and as a false-self people pleasing Adult – Child. The past 14yrs.have been the most
    traumatic,frightening,and painful I have experienced.
    On the other hand,I never thought
    I would live to say in all truthfulness: I have discovered I am beautiful inside–not
    perfect,just beautiful. And for first time in my life, I HAVE BOUNDARIES!!! Which I
    allow no one to trespass–how is that from a devoted pleaser?
    MAY YOUR FORCE BE WITH YOU!

  13. The last part is very disturbing – for all concerned – that those that suffer tend to hold on the their suffering as though it is a life sentence in a prison with invisible bars on it.

  14. Awareness, indfulbalance coming back to this moment, letting go can disperse all that trauma with practice

  15. Wow, sooo rewarding, reassuring to see my language spoken, my situation not the only one in the world. I find so few…truly, none at all… Who have the c-Ptsd damages and vestiges to the extent that I do, who even survive. None that thrive. This site is a source of hope upon just the finding of it. Thank you.

    Nan Martin

  16. I wish to connect further.

  17. You can heal, Nan, in fact be happy, enjoy the sunrise of each day.

  18. Posted by jennifertemp on July 13, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    What I love about this blog on PTSD, different than some, is that the viewers and those who favor or contribute really want to heal. Even if I haven’t had time to sit and meditate, Marty’s posts in themselves explain so much about how complex PTSD is and yet how easy, when applied, and action is taken you can heal.

    The books he refers to and quotes from are fantastic and should be read by all,those with PTSD or not because we all have difficulties, challenges, tragedy, sorrow, and loss they give a understanding on the mind and how it works, in pushing through and being happy.

    I often read his posts and wonder if he’s quoting from one of his resources of they are his words. More and more and are his, and I am amazed at the wisdom and how
    powerful they are. Spoken from one who has been there and wants to help us all.

  19. I am not a therapist or would I attempt to diagnose you from afar. Can you get PTSD from being ridiculed by your peers, I would say yes.

    What symptoms do you have. Do you have panic attacks, are you anxious? Do you have triggers exploding from past memories or events.
    Do you,avoid certain triggers, events, situations people?

    I looked up this

    Family Systems Therapy

    Family systems therapy is based on the idea that individuals are best understood through assessing the entire family. Symptoms in individuals are seen as expressions of dysfunctions. The family is an interactional unit and a change in one member effects all members. Family therapists believe that an individuals relations have more impact in their lives than any one therapist could. The family therapist uses the systemic perspective, it believes that individuals may carry a symptom for the entire family, and an individuals functioning is a manifestation of the way a family functions. Individuals can have symptoms existing independently from the family members but these symptoms always have ramifications for family members. Therefore, family therapists will change the system in order to change the individuals. They do so by changing dysfunctional patterns or relating and creating functional ways of interacting.

    Interesting concept and some validity to this approach or examining a family dynamic.

    My family is interesting, the way they deal,with me now, in denial, dissociated and all about appearance to others in the town I was raised in.

    As far as stuck parts and complex PTSD, it is usually a childhood, the abuse comes from a relative or close family friend, so it is linked to family and the family dynamics, I would believe.

    Good question, good luck.

  20. Thank you for your response. To answer your first question, I wouldn’t say I have panic attacks, more of an extremely uneasiness. I’ve had this for many years and it is pretty unbearable at times.
    It use to get triggered when we would have work meetings. My boss would ask me a question and I often would be caught off guard, I would try my best to answer and she would then cut me off half way through & then answer the question herself. I can’t describe in words how uncomfortable I would be after that would happen. It also made me freeze up when the meetings would start, literally I would get cold & wait to be embarrassed.
    As far as Family Systems Therapy, I was actually referring to Internal Family Systems therapy created by Dr. Richard Schwartz back. He incorporates family systems but applies it to our sub personalities, which he calls “parts”

    Tom

  21. Thanks Tom,

    Meditation/mindfulness would be very beneficial for you. If we have PTSD, anxiety or want to experience happy,mthe path is similar, less ego, more being present, way less thought.

    Getting to know your body mechanisms, feeling and being with that uneasy feeling, anxiety, without thought or judgment will zap its power and integrate it till present moment.

    We are not talking years to heal but improvement with awareness and action.
    .
    Mundfulness/ meditation will enhance any therapy you undertake also.

    Good luck

  22. I think there are similarities in the use of stuck parts. Here is a dissociative approach.

    From Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation:
    People with dissociative disorder often have related problems of time distortions. They experience time passing by much too slow or fast; perhaps more time has passed than they thought, or an hour seems like an entire day. Some parts of the personality are often quite confused about where they are in space and time, believing they are still in the past.
    When people with a dissociative disorder are alienated from their body, they may be insensitive to physical pain or lack sensation in parts of their body. Some people report that they do not always always properly register heat and cold, cannot feel whether they are hungry or tired, or feel numb in their body. Again, it is typically the case other parts of the self do feel the physical pain., the hunger, or other bodily sensations.
    There are many different symptoms of depersonalization, but in every case it seems to be a way of avoidance or attempting to regulate overwhelming feelings or experiences. Depersonalization symptoms may be temporary or chronic.
    Parts of the personality that hold traumatizing experiences:

    Tom. You are,on the right path, you need to take action mental and physical,to change the habit you have created throughout your life.

  23. Thank you, I do have a meditation practice. I have been meditating for about 3 years. However, I feel I have much work to do.

  24. Posted by wildrose on October 25, 2014 at 12:31 am

    I don’t know what caused this for me. My mother is overbearing… extremely opinionated and nothing is ever good enough. I can remember being coached before social occasions on how to behave, what I could and could not say. If we did anything to embarrass our mother she would emotionally wreck us. I would cry and would be so emotionally destroyed by her words that I literally could not think or speak. She still does this to me at 35 years old.

    My real father is an addict. My step father is addicted to almost every drug and was very abusive to my mother. Not me, but I was always afraid.

    My husband of 17 years never hit me, but he put me through every other form of abuse and I cannot write about it or I will have panic attack. I had attacks for 4 years to the point that I could barely live anymore. 3-4 a day. I used to cuddle up to my kids at night and try to calm down or otherwise I would pace with my phone in sheer panic ready to call 911.

    I got away from my husband after fixing myself. Got daycare, a better job, vehicle so that I could leave. It took over a year. I met my boyfriend at the tail end of my marriage.

    My boyfriend and I were amazing together until a year ago. He began triggering me by making similar comments my ex did. I would panic, the anxiety was unreal and I would explode. I started slamming my head into walls when we would fight sometimes because he just kept accusing me of things I didn’t do. Cant write too much about that either, except my boyfriend went into a delusional psychosis so now I am dealing with that and am very torn… he has moved out and I want to work things out and so does he, but his beliefs are very strong and I cannot keep from being triggered by accusations.

    I just started therapy have 6 children and am 8 months pregnant. I am in financial ruin and my mother has been helping. Problem is she is so negative and pushy and forceful with me I feel I would rather be homeless than have to hear her anymore. She was on me last night for 3 hours and I end up just balling my eyes out, hyperventilating, and agreeing to whatever she says. I have not been able to stop crying all day today and I feel so tired that my mind is moving slow. I cant focus. Its because she was telling me such awful things. Like to give my baby up for adoption that everyone would be happier, that she wants to have me committed, that I am an awful mother, and a lot of stuff about my bf.

  25. Posted by Erika on November 12, 2014 at 11:37 pm

    Wow…just wow. Thank you Marty.
    My Dad was NPD too…and I was his whipping post.He was a violent misogynist and actually relished hurting me, taking his hatred for his own mother out on me, used to call me by her name.

    What you say resonates with me.
    My issue is trying to remember to not go into denial…I want so badly to just be normal…and then get upset with myself when I get triggered, having to accept the fact that I just can’t be normal…And have to be present enough to realize that the emotions can’t hurt me..although when I start shaking like a leaf, it sure feels like it.

  26. Thank you for the gratitude.

    I found life was not abut being normal, finding normal, fretting when I was maybe abnormal.

    That is all,ego and filled with loss,,resentment suffering and sadness.

    Let go and be here, empty of that doubt, that judgment, that unworthy emotion,,

    All is healed when we can let go enough to enter the expansive side of the mind, life.

  27. Posted by Rio on February 24, 2015 at 7:00 am

    I have made friends with someone who disassociates
    There are times when he reaches out for help but I am unable to offer as I don’t know the best type of reply /response
    Where can I find out more from the other side of the story

  28. Normally, I like to stay away from comments but I couldn’t resist this one..the first paragraph i came across on your blog contains these words..

    Dissociation takes us to a place, the past or future where happiness does not exist.

    I really do have to disagree wholeheartedly in your claim. If happiness never existed in dissociation then why is it such an attractive coping mechanism. Dissociation can allow all the happiness and bliss in the world and leave negativity behind.

  29. Mel: I don’t think we have control over dissociation. Marty’s comment reads “Dissociation TAKES us to a place, the past or future where happiness does not exist.” I’m never aware when I am dissociating. I find myself on my hands and knees picking loose hairs out the carpet, upholstery, etc. This in itself is a specific dissociative disorder called Trichillomania(?) and is thought to be a result of childhood trauma. When I come out of this dissociative state, I realize that 2-3 hrs have passed. It is NEVER anything I consider logical, much less”attractive”. It is never anything I do intentionally. I do know I never remember any sense of happiness in this state. I don’t think I’ve ever sensed happiness in any state at all. If dissociation, as you claim, truly allowed “all the happiness and bliss in the world and left negativity behind”, I wouldn’t be seeing a psychiatrist or taking meds or even reading this blog for that matter. There is NO happiness at all in having C-PTSD. Your comment implies, to some degree, that cognitive choices we have made have brought on our unhappiness or our happiness (if we had any happiness). It’s not a matter of flipping a switch. If only it were that easy. It is TRAUMA. It is awful.

  30. I live in portland. I need help. I do not know where to get it.

  31. Posted by Sally hendrix on July 17, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    This is fantastic. I’ve been trying to find answers to the link between fibromyalgia, CFS and C- PTSD. I’ve always felt that there is more to it than just another label. This has given me a lot of answers. Thanks

  32. Posted by Connie Garcia on August 1, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    My God……..I’m reading a article of what I’m made of….

  33. Posted by Annette Yeatman on September 8, 2015 at 6:31 am

    Reading all the information makes me shiver – why hasnt my psychiatrist told me how to live the nightmare of dissociation ? – no one can understand what its like unless they are in the same place when this happens. I feel at ‘home’reading all the comments that I am not the only one who feels the same emotions and crazy thoughts, of course maybe different ? because we are all different and we have all been through different trauma, but at the same time we have all met up and we have all been ‘there’ – I will get better by learning how to cope somehow somewhere !… no matter what that is the only vision to have and the only option !…

  34. Posted by Annette Yeatman on September 8, 2015 at 6:34 am

    Reading Mels story – yes its a crazy thing we do when we find ourselves disassociated with the situation at the time… I find myself speaking to people and go off the subject and then they dont listen and ignore me.. but its because I have gone to fairy land and they think I am weird.. I dont get upset anymore because its not their fault… unless they are rude, then I lash out unexpectadly… so its a constant battle to try and fit in and be a person like everyone else..

  35. Posted by kivag on September 19, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    I’m not criticizing the practice at all, I’m only telling my story in the hopes that someone might a)understand that as a stand-alone remedy its not nearly enough, and b) might hep me find a real source of assistance.

    I’m a well educated, formerly professionally employed female-66-I’ve been living this nightmare most of my adult life. I’ve read, studied, practiced-meditation,mindfulness. I’ve tried medication, exercise, acupuncture, therapy, and I am now in a nearly catatonic dis-associative state.. I have no family, no support system.

    Four years ago I finally left a 10 year horribly [emotionally ] abusive relationship. Within weeks of moving in with this man I began to live in what I now was a PTSD flashback. At the time I was unaware of what was happening to me,. Despite being highly educated, I was not even aware that my partner was a narcissistic and sociopathic abuser. .

    During those 10 years I ran my own business and raised my son as a single mom. I was also being prescribed [simultaneously] pain meds for fibromyalgia, several different benzos for anxiety, anti-depressants , prophylactic migraine meds, and an ADHD med. I sought help and went from therapist to therapist. Not a single therapist inquired about my relationship or about the nature of my anxious to non-existent attachment to my parents.

    It’s been four years now since I left. I’ve read everything -blogs, articles, websites, and searched for therapists, treatment centers, medications, homeopathic and naturopathc treatments, mediation, mindfulness, acupuncture, and more.

    I am also painfully aware of many if not most of the details and causes of my childhood abuse /neglect/trauma, including my father’s PTSD from multiple tours and injuries during WWII and Korea, my mother’s own fears and stresses as a result, and the fact that my younger brother not only sexually abused me. but tried to take my life.

    I’ve sat alone and done the post-mortem[s] on practically every decision and relationship over my 60 plus decades that were adversely and negatively affected by my early traumas. I am aware of most of my triggers.

    That said, I am now slipping deeper and deeper into a hole with no bottom as I am still living in the flashback. My “intellectual” knowledge is of no use to me. I am frozen/paralyzed/terrified/nearly catatonic for many hours a day, most days of the week and most days of the month. It takes hours of self-talk to shower, pay a bill, go to the mail box. Sometimes I will sit and say silently to myself- “get up of the couch and turn on the tv” and the next thing I know an hour will have passed!

    I can still write about it, although I fear that may stop soon. I have not been able to work at all for this past year. I live alone and when the panic overwhelms me, I will sometimes get through it by cleaning house, but I’ve run out of things to clean. I have no one to turn to, no one to call. I ‘ve spent hours on the internet searching for help, but I am on Medicare, and there are no therapists within a 50 miles of me who have any experience with CPTSD/EMDR, etc. No treatment centers, either. I have called a couple of therapists who seemed promising. They diagnosed me easily, were compassionate enough, encouraged me to find help quickly and then told me that they were sorry but Medicare did not pay them enough for them to treat me!

    I once walked to an ER in desperation..but left quickly when I realized they could hold me captive for 72 hours! And of course, it goes without saying that this is all made worse by the fact that I am now dependent on the medications that were prescribed to help me, but cold turkey detox would be a poor decision for me-alone, a senior and emotionally fragile-and $10,000 for in patient treatment focused on 12-step recovery makes even less sense.

    There is a part of me that is terrified that I won’t return from the disassociation; there is another part of me that really hopes I won’t. That’s not the same as a suicidal ideation-it’s just that when I am not present, I hurt so much less.

  36. Compassionately, I feel,your,pain and suffering. You will never be able to cognitively find you r way out. I ended up agoraphobic and a wreck for six months.

    Mindfulness or meditation is not a stand alone practice. It lives and application is key.

    First I would implore you to stop judging you and your plight. That is dissociative in its nature.

    First comes awareness. You must be aware of when you leave present moment.

    Keeping busy, doing chores, cleaning is fine. Using our senses to stay present is part of the practice. Your healing will come incrementally, in subtle ways at first.

    We eat the elephant one bite at a time, as we heal, mundanelynand slowly.

    Stop thinking. Back off of thought and judgment.

    You can navigate your way out of this without a therapist.

    If you commit to three weeks of practice, I will mentor you, answer your questions and shine a light on the path, what lays ahead.

    You will heal yourself from the inside if you heal.

    I am Marty and have helped others find the path. I was in a similar situation with little support.

    Never give up, never give in.

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  38. Please share and help

    Marty

  39. Having a really difficult time… I’m 29, been back in therapy for the past three months or so and my financial situation has gotten really bad. I’ve been unable to work. All I do is sleep for days and then I’m awake for days. I feel stuck in my own body. I barely eat. I can’t leave my bed even when I’m awake. It’s never been so bad. My mother, who never treated me kindly, has completely turned her back on me as well… You would think it would be a good thing but it’s not because she used to help me out financially and now I’m just sinking… I see no way out of this. I really need someone to talk to…. I don’t know if we’re allowed to exchange email on here but if anyone gets this and would be kind enough to speak with me please email me at icarusa86@gmail

  40. Posted by Vita Black on October 9, 2015 at 4:08 am

    I have just started reading some parts of your blog and how amazing to have things explained and to read other peoples stories who have been suffering as much as I have. I find it hard to read very much at a time I get so stressed just recognising the symptoms. Thank you for all this work I hope this blog will be as helpful to me as it has been to others.

  41. I am 57 years old and I have been trying to understand what is going on inside my whole life. I am in therapy (AGAIN). This time since the beginning of August 2015. The therapy has been intense with individual and group sessions. I started going five days a week all day and in October I graduated to three half days. I am fortunate that I am able to take the time from work but I was beginning to feel very discouraged since I was learning very useful tools my anxiety, anger and critical conversations have not subsided. I am officially diagnosed with panic disorder, depression, ADHD and PTSD.
    To keep this short I will skip all the connections I usually like make and get to the present. I mentioned MPD/DID to my therapist (again) with the absolute conviction and disclaimer that I did not have lost time but that particular disorder has always captured my attention. She said what I was experiencing was symptoms of PTSD. She knows I do work on my own and encouraged me to research it over the weekend.
    What I found has changed me.
    I found the book “Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation” and for the first time saw myself in print. This led me to start my journal/blog. I have not discussed this with my therapist yet. I want to make sure I have enough information to present what I need to say. Last night I ordered “The Stranger in the Mirror” after beginning to read it on Kindle. In that book I became aware of a test called the SCID-D which, according to the book, is considered the gold standard for knowing where someone is on the dissociative spectrum.
    While I felt I was almost ready to mention it to my therapist, I still felt it was not enough. This morning I came across this post and I hope you don’t mind but I would like to print it for my therapist to read. You break it down clearly enough that I am hoping my therapist sees how I am making the connection and agrees to get me the test. I will get the test somehow. I do not need it to confirm what I already know. I need it to be in my records as an official diagnosis. With the current health system there is no guarantee I will have the same therapist a week from now, let alone years from now. Having this on my record will keep me going in the right direction and get me the help I need. That is the theory anyway. We have to be our own advocates and researchers and this means continually educating ourselves. Thank you for your site.

  42. I want to first acknowledge your effort, your action because without it we do not heal.

    Yes please feel free to use anything here. This blog is offered in a loving kindness way,,without regard for reward.

    A couple of feelings that came to mind while I read your response. We do not need a diagnosis to heal. Sometimes we do not even have to understand the process or the disorder that well.

    There are a couple components to healing. One research and education, another therapy and another actual application of our skills.

    We have to stop thinking to heal. At some point in the day, we need to sit, focus, empty the mind and just be.

    We do not heal by thinking about our trauma or disorder, we heal by,letting go of thought, judgment and fear.

    We have to build focus on the breath strong enough to withstand our fight or flight mechanism. That paralyzingly feeling when that jolt of cortisol stuns the solar plexus. When all,sirens are firing, when every impulse says run, avoid, hide, our reaction decides our future.

    You have had intensive therapy, five days a week.

    How is your awareness?

    What is your relationship like with your inner world.

    Do you see opportunity in the shower in the morning or gloom and doom, or anxiety planning ways to avoid danger?

    How is your self image?

    Healing can be so basic, so simple.

    If dissociation is your issue react a scoreboard for each day.

    Keep track of times you stay present, in the now, then,keep track of when you leave this moment to think. It does not matter if it is past or future it fuels our disorders.

    ADHD, depression, anxiety and PTSD are fueled during time spent dissociating.

    I have chronic pain. Every time I think about it, brings power to it. Even if I think about how well I handle it, it grows.

    Worse with trauma and depression because,of so many subconscious habits and convictions.

  43. First, thank you for replying and asking such key questions.

    In answer to your questions:

    How is your awareness?

    My awareness, another day I might have an answer. Today I just feel an awareness of being numb.

    What is your relationship like with your inner world.

    My relationship with my inner world… what an interesting concept. I am just starting to be aware that I have an inner world and never considered my relationship with it.

    Do you see opportunity in the shower in the morning or gloom and doom, or anxiety planning ways to avoid danger?

    I’m not sure I understand this question and I feel some resistance to it. Okay to be honest in my head I hear, avoiding danger is what we do there is no planning.

    How is your self image?

    I am very aware that I do not have a good self image and it is something I am working on.

    I will take your suggestion and keep track of when I am present and when I am thinking about the past or worrying about the future. I never considered those moments as not being present.

    By the way, I have body pain as well and I have noticed that if I don’t focus on it, it will not hurt as much.

  44. This blog exists for sharing and doing, just like this.

    You have the correct make up, personality to heal. You have passion, drive and will take action. You are flexible, are willing to adjust and adapt.

    You need better tools and direction.

    Your awareness of being numb could be an admission of no awareness. Naturally our minds and bodies are not numb, but flexible, sensitive, open and lively.

    The numbness answers. The lack of a relationship with your inner world.

    This can be reversed with daily work.

    Whenever we feel resistance, the ego is front and center. Explore the body sensation and leave the storyline alone.

    People with low self images dissociate a 1000 times more. They spot danger everywhere at times. Doubt worry and fear dominate waking hours.

    Without a good self image you will never be really happy. My opinion.

    Has anyone recommended daily affirmations repeated outloud as a start.

    With all the time and energy you have put into therapy, some of the basic building blocks are missing.

    A negative self image is a judgment, you know. We create our ego from what others think of us, what we think of ourselves, our childhood and last our status or how we are treated out in public.

    Who am I has no subject. There is no I.

    You are not that negative self image, you are not your thoughts, you are not your career.

    Since you are an avid reader, let me suggest a couple books. These books contain wisdom but not accessed until you actually do the work.

    Happiness. By Matthew Ricard

    This book will explain happiness in a very different way. Happiness only exists in this present moment, it has no knowledge of the past or future.

    When we dissociate happiness is lost.

    We need to become friends with our fear, our fight or flight mechanism and life will change.

    I would like to pose a few questions in a neutral way.

    What does that healing path look like, if you are numb and have a low self image?

    How do your therapists think you will heal when you are numb with a low self image? What does their path look like?

    I did not heal at all when I was numb, carrying a really low self image. I suffered then.

    I can share tools to let you see yourself, your self image as perfect, just like mine.

    Also a daily mindfulness practice of twenty minutes plus will change your mind, heal your disorder and open opportunity to being happy.

    It did for me and others I have helped.

  45. I am interested in the tools you have to share. There is also a lot to take in with what you wrote. You focused immediately on what I need to do and that is start being more mindful. Thank you.

  46. Know that many subconscious bias’s exist. Self talk has a great impact on our daily existence. Bring awareness to all thought. Observe without grasping. Self talk is linked to self image.

    Never entertain a negative thought or judgment, or let anything negative about you have any attention. Similar to pain, no attention.
    .
    .self talk:
    Edward Bourne PhD. Anxiety specialist: “It is so automatic and subtle you don’t notice it or the effect it has on your moods and feelings. It appears in telegraphic form- one short word or image (”Oh no!) contains a whole series of thoughts, memories, or associations. Anxious self-talk is typically irrational but almost always sounds like the truth.
    *
    Next affirmations said out loud, it uses more parts of the mind this way. Send yourself a message on the phone. Record it. I use to sit in a chair facing the bathroom mirror, reciting outloud everyday my affirmation.
    .
    Felt like a lie at first but this is a needed part of healing.
    *
    I strive to accept all of me, the human strengths and frailties, the flawed and exceptional me, as well.
    *
    I actively, try my best everyday, to live in this moment, then relax.
    *
    I try my best to be free, to live free and accept life without judgment.
    *
    You can customize these, adapt them specifically to what speaks to you.
    .
    .
    Here is my healing model from the top of the blog
    .
    https://ptsdawayout.com/healing/
    .
    If you are open to it, we can skype or converse in the phone.

    I would like to share what mindfulness looks like, feels like.

    I have taken out everything abstract and used only the necessities. It is more important to master one breath and apply it that 40 therapies.
    .
    We dilute our healing attacking on to many fronts.
    .

    I am here to mentor you, to illuminate the landscape ahead of you and to answer your questions.
    .
    It may seem massive but it is very basic and simple, not easy.

    .
    Your questions and responses are helping many others viewing this blog.
    .
    Thank you for sharing. An old Buddhist belief is that gift, giver and receiver are all equal. I have experienced this many times.

  47. Posted by KTK on December 16, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    Dissociation…i dont know if its kept me alive or whether its destroying my life. The others in me can only help so much, one of them is pure evil. The others were helpful before but now Im too depressed to get up in the morning so lately this nasty character takes over but is getting really pissed off with me because the morning routine is not their cup of tea or role. Theyre being horrible to my son and partner. Constantly calling my son the kid which i dont like. They dont feel they should be doing my makeup as they are male although they are pretty good at it. They promised my therapist they would not be violent or shout but they lied. I feel completely overwhelmed and none of the others are helping me, i dont know where theyve gone. Im so sad all the time and want to give up, ive gone back to self harm which i managed to stop for years. I was getting better, integration work, EMDR, recovering and dealing with scary memories and now its harder than its ever been, even harder than the trauma itself. I dont know what to do anymore other than get out of everyones way for good

  48. Posted by KTK on December 17, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    Ah, no worries. I woke this morning without the nasty although I felt a fight within whenever I found something stressful. I felt the others were back and I swear I felt one of the most helpful ones feeding me strength to get on with basic tasks. The mind is so complex and I find it fascinating. Dissociation really is a lifesaver for a traumatic situation although when it continues when its not needed it turns into a bit of a problem. DID is a classic example. All personalities (all your own although it feels like seperate beings) are there to serve a purpose. Even the nasties are there to protect you, theyre just abit extreme and dont realise that someone saying something annoyong isnt the same as someone really hurting you. Wonder why theres so little help out there for dissociative disorders, I believe there is a way of treating it and failing that, managing it well. Your blog is very interesting and spot on

  49. Thank you. It is comforting that you are integrating and using EMDR.

    I would recommend searching for a mindfulness based therapy also. ACT or DBT.

    It will let you work on healing when you are by yourself, everyday.

    Good luck.

  50. Posted by KTK on December 17, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Thank you. Ive been learning about mindfulness for a few years now and youre right, its very good. Also find now im co present with some I can find the strength to wind all the windows down in my car while driving in horrible weather or splashing my face with cold water which is very effective and very grounding. Im sorry for my strange ramble, it sometimes happens online. I will put some mindfulness in to practice. Thank you for your advice. Have a good christmas. Kate

  51. Remember use your senses, sight sound smell to stay present

    Make a scoreboard for the day

    Time spent dissociating in the past or future and
    Time spent in the moment

  52. Posted by Mia on December 24, 2015 at 1:04 am

    Is having a voice inside my head or thoughts that imitate my abusers morals also a result of c-ptsd? I feel very strongly that these thoughts or voices only motives is to make me angry and ashamed of myself. these imitating-thoughts are always getting slammed by my conscience inside my head, before and after they come. They are like forced thoughts. I believe they are from the part of me that wants me continue self-hating and destroying myself. It got alot better when I stopped thinking of myself as a monster and a criminal for something i did when i was 6-7 years old, after my doctor assured me that what I did was normal and nothing to be ashamed off. I had clinged on to what I did back then and saw it as a justification for a lifetime of on-off abuse. But now I’m starting to doubt what he said, and the imitating-thoughts are starting to get bothersome again.

  53. Posted by Gods Love in Action on December 29, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    Just some information for the few who are reading and blogging about CFS, Fibromyalgia and Crohns, along with PTSD.
    CFS, FIBRO (FPD), and Crohns are considered by the Veterans Administration to be the trifecta of Gulf War Illness. The VA dies consider any Veteran with these symptoms to have GWI, and that they are 100% disabled. Of note, PTSD can accelerate GWI, due to the nature of Mycoplasma Fermentans (incognitus strain). This is a very contagious non-lethal Bioweapon, that is confirmed to have been in the vaccines given to the service members in 1990. According to the CDC and NIH, Mycoplasma Fermentans (incognitus strain) is now epidemic in North America. It is triggered to worsen at different stages of life, through primarily Enteroviruses. It is especially dibiliitating for those of us that are in our 50’s. There is more information on the Internet about how to treat this serious systemic neurological dis-regulator. I recommend Dr. Garth Nicolson’s videos for general scientific study information, and mathew1026.com for a treatment protocol. I started with medicinal levels of raw garlic, modified diet, then was able to get on doxycycline for the encystic version (cystic acne). The Herxhiemer Reaction is long and intense, but Capsulized Tumeric and the protocol drink help immensely. It takes months (18-24) to rid the body, but you will see slow improvement. To keep clear of the infection, you must take NT Lipid therapy to keep them out of your cells. I hope this information will help anyone who is experiencing the combination of effects with PTSD. Semper Fi

  54. Thank you for the article Marty, it is really thorough and informative!

  55. Posted by agustin on January 7, 2016 at 2:35 am

    someone help me please 509-969-4916

  56. Posted by norm on February 22, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    If I don’t end up killing myself using drugs to escape the overwhelming emotions, I owe my future self a beer. I have not been able to concentrate in over a year and my career is dying as my memory of everything I knew has faded away. I curse myself pre-adult for not disposing of my parents when I still could have gotten out of jail. I thought about it all the time… I see now with good reason, they were killing me and my brother.. who died of a heart attack from the abuse and neglect they inflicted. I’m just really lucky I don’t like downers or alcohol otherwise I’d never have made it this far. Stimulants must be near-impossible to overdose on. My heart definitely feels under more stress talking to either parents than coming down from any amount of any hard stimulant… no joke. My brother died of heart younger than I did and never touched any drugs at all.. my heart I’ve never feared for other than while and for the days after dealing with my parents. In fact WTF am I doing here and not working as I was 6 minutes ago!?!?!!! DAMMIT!!! BTW I dissociated for nearly 10 months straight when I first discovered the narcissistic abuse that was going on in my family. So much so I was near death once and was only saved within maybe 24 hours of expiring from dehydration and hunger and lack of nutrients. Still.. its been a better time than I had before.. at least I am not in the lurch of abuse, kept in a state of confusion, identifying with people who did not return the feeling, trying to make something work while the other party strive to make it unworkable.

  57. Posted by Anonymous on March 3, 2016 at 4:38 am

    Great article… However the typos were distracting

  58. Posted by Avalanche on March 3, 2016 at 9:28 am

    I think therapy is working for me. Unless im unaware, I dont think ive been dissociating lately. I realised I was disowning my feelings. Every time I felt emotion or some trigger, I would be ashamed of it, pushing it onto another part of myself and then id disappear into my head until I felt safe again. Ive managed to go from being in hospital every month for suicide attempts, self harming, eating disorders and other wreckless behaviours to none of them at all. I dont self harm at all, its so weird. Perhaps im using avoidance in its place? I dont go out much in case of triggers. But im learning and it feels great….for now. Tomorrow ill probs have a different view haha. I still have memory problems but im trying to train myself to remember my day. Also, i havent got to the core memory of what started this yet. But im accepting im not ready. I can always ask my other selves if i dont remember a day without them taking over too. Psychoeducation has been the best treatment for me. Mental health services dont provide this. Life can stabalise, never give up hope. P.s. I relate to Jim Doyles comment. In a trance all your life. Someone else running the show. I became concious 2 years ago, its like waking up for the first time. At first youre scared of the world around you but you grow like a baby thats just been born. Im not sure how I became concious, it would be helpful If I could. Will have a think

  59. Excellent, great things can happen with daily practice

  60. C-PTSD refers to a longer duration exposure to a use or trauma, as a whole childhood.

    PTSD happens for a single traumatic event

  61. Posted by A friend on April 13, 2016 at 4:13 am

    I have never commented on a blog before but I feel deeply moved to do so. Relate so much to c-ptsd. Just now discovering it & finally have a paradigm that makes sense. Discovered mindfulness & meditation at 40, made leap of faith & unprecedented gesture of self compassion to give it a go to just be the seeing. Life transformed in the most beautiful way. Before totally nonfunctional. Apathetic, dissociated, suicidal. Spent most of 30s in bed. Now have job, meaning, interests and beginning to connect. If mindfulness saved me, it can save anyone who is willing as Marty says to break faith with the mind as the saviour. Now, 5 years on having flashbacks of intense grief & loneliness but learning how to hold it as a compassionate witness of my emotional state as a young child. And with gratitude that I can feel it even though it is wrenchingly painful at times. Healing is
    possible with faith and self compassion.
    For me, once my inner experience got more pleasant, it was easy to get reseduced by the mind. So also learning that continual practice & remembrance is critical.
    May anyone who finds this page be given hope that mindfulness is the path to wholeness & inspired to apply it in their own life.

  62. Inspiring, great response

    So much power, healing power, happiness is hidden beneath this practice

  63. Posted by dwayne on May 5, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    wow i finally found out what i am experiencing

  64. It is the reason we suffer

  65. Posted by KTK on May 5, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Think it’s a real shame that mental health services provide little help for this. Half of CPNs are trained in one therapy such as CBT so when that fails on a dissociative disorder they get frustrated. What they’re missing is Psychoeducation. If patients were educated on their conditions it would help a great deal. Then you learn to manage with what youve got. I had to go private to get the right help. Now im half integrated and starting to own my feelings instead of pushing them onto other parts of myself. Feels great to be concious 70 per cent of the time. Could actually remember what I did yesterday haha

  66. Posted by Cat on June 8, 2016 at 1:16 am

    Best article I’ve read how do I get better?

  67. Focus on the breath, let go, stay present for a start

    Check out the healing model and breathing track

  68. Posted by .. on June 30, 2016 at 12:12 am

    Very exact description of the problems but yet another fucking generic cliche, non exact tiny conclusion, why not at least some insightful next steps. What the hell is is with all these self-congratulatory pieces.

  69. This was a post on dissociation, if you want solutions read breathing track and healing model

  70. Posted by KTK on July 11, 2016 at 10:46 am

    “..” The “self-congratulatory pieces” are to give hope that it can get better. It is curable. I know it is because I’m 90% better. Don’t be so fucking rude. If you want to heal, you’ll seek treatment like we all have and you will get better. If you’re aggressive and rude no-one will be willing to help you. Healing starts with taking responsibility for yourself. Maybe rethink your attitude.

  71. Posted by Robert Ives on August 15, 2016 at 5:35 pm

    Although I don’t have PTSD, I am a GW Vet that has RA. I also have a son with Type 1 Diabetes and another with a mild to medium Autism Spectrum Disorder. I’m going to back up the comment made above by gods love in action about Mycoplasma.

    Personally, I got very ill. Even to the point of wondering if I really wanted to continue on. Then, I ran across Garth Nicolsons information and immed.org. Armed with the information that I likely had a Mycoplasma infection (and or other bacterial or viral infections), I began treating for that (and am now WAY better and still getting SLOWLY better each day). Why am I posting here? Because I have come across a lot of information indicating that some PTSD might be bacterial in origin.

    Also, I have personally experienced depression, anger and other non-characteristic emotions directly as a result of my illness. It does appear that bacteria can literally drive you crazy, make sure joints stiff and painful, cause complete disability, and in some cases, death.

    So, if you are a vet with PTSD, search Youtube for garth nicolson videos. Then, I recommend you do 3 things. Treat your gut with Pro-biotics/digestive enzymes, treat your immune system with Bovine colostrum and a multi-vitamin and then treat the bacteria population with:

    – Cat’s claw
    – ‘Myco’ by raintree
    – Oil of Oregano
    – Lauricidin
    – (in a month add Serra peptase and or NAC to help with the more deep seated bacteria)

    Also, might have your PC do blood tests for Thyroid (T3, T4) as well as vitamin D. They say Vit D is always low in Myco infected people. My PC likes to see Vit D around 80. Mine was 15 and that was after supplementing 10,000 IU per day for a month or 2 prior. Your vitamin D should be liquid, not capsule and should have Vitamin K in it as well. D is actually a hormone and is supposedly better absorbed when taken at night.

    Hope this helps someone.

  72. Just recently realized what has been happening. I just noticed my age in appearence. Been struggling for years. On top of it all I have a ClusterB birth family and my husband comes from a family similar. He is very much a perpitrator as well as a victim. He attacks me when I show emotion what he calls weakness. I have tried to get help from my doctor and the local women’s shelter but have been left misdiagnosed and wanting health peace and harmony. I had surgery which left me unable to have children so I am alone. I would love to be healthy again but with the way my husband and family abuse me, I feel desperately alone. I know I am suffering the indelible symptoms of C-PTSD but can’t seem to find support or direction. Any advice? I am 44 years old and am attending College this fall and I need to succeed so I can finally gain my independence and find employment please if you have any advice for me do share

  73. I just created a website and community about C-PTSD recovery. For this, I am looking for experienced trauma therapists or counselors. I am creating a (free) list so members of the community have easier access to the right help.

    You find the website here and please leave your e-mail so I can contact you in the near future. https://cptsd.help/

  74. Tracy,

    You
    Need to try and find a safe place, a space where you can work on your healing.

    It is
    Extremely difficult to heal when abuse is active and fear is alive

  75. Adriaan, I sent
    My email address to tou

  76. […] Dissociation | C PTSD – A Way Out – Dissociation in its most basic description, is leaving this present moment to think about the past or future. It is an unreal practice, action. […]

  77. I’m going into almost two years since I began my road to recovery. I know progress is made in years and I still feel so far away from feeling well. Yet I am for the first time at 36 years old supporting myself. Before that I didn’t know what I wanted, I didn’t think I could concentrate on anything, I started to experiment with hard drugs and I am lucky I didn’t get into them. So i chose sales for work. I don’t love my job, but I made myself this goal and stuck with it and I’m decent. As I get further along the road to my recovery, I will look into that creative outlet that I’ve always wanted for myself but have never possessed the peace of mind to tap into. For now it feels great to be independent from my mom, who is so resentful (the few times she’s not experiencing denial) when she didn’t intervene when my former stepfather used to bully me, torment me, not give me a moment’s peace in childhood with threats, intimidation, bullying, relentless criticism. I am struggling to forgive her, not him. I’m nowhere near that. I am doing my best to stay mindful or when my inner critic viciously attadks me. The thing I am most struggling with right now is trusting in other people. To complicate matters, I am a gay male. And it is literally impossible for me to maintain an erection in the company of another person (male or female). I always feel like I will underperform, that I will be judged. And It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, I think due to the other party’s expectations or when they see me visibly upset/defeated/refusing to talk about it, or until recently being a little forthcoming about having had hardships in childhood that made it very difficult to relax in intimacy. People may be sympathetic but it destroys the interest on their part. This is not something somebodh wants in a stranger. And it’s really tearing me apart now. I am sill young. I feel like I could be in my prime and I lose so many opportunities and experience so much humiliation, but part of me continues to try delving into it, instead of succumbing into isolation. I’ve also tried fostering relationships outside of the pursuit of sexual fulfillment but for reasons I can’t decipher, things have not materialized. I am afraid of risking, of being authentic. Many times I am fearless in being just that (authentic) but that’s off-putting as well. There is so much fear, anxiety (if not unconscious judgment) that it’s very difficult for me. I’ve turned to this page during the last few days when I feel hopeless. Right now I’m in Paris traveling for myself. I’ve always wanted to go and this is the first time I am affording it. But it’s lonely. I connect with people easily because I’m personable and charismatic. But when sexuality and intimacy enter the picture, it all crumbles. I want to keep my chin up. I’m in therapy, but I feel like I need more and I can’t afford it. Thank you for having this page as a safe haven. So far it’s worked me from going into the deep end of despair.

  78. Correction above: my mom is repentful,not resentful. She mostly pretends like nothing happened.

  79. Please give yourself gratitude for facing your trauma and working on healing. You are aware of the issues which is the first step.

    Instead of forgiving your mother, maybe let her be responsible for her life and behavior, and thus you need to be responsible for your life and behavior. This worked for me with my father.

    One of the steps to healing, recovery and ultimate wellbeing and happiness is acceptance. We have to accept all of ourselves as we are right now. We have to shed our judgments as much as possible.

    I would recommend keeping a journal, writing down your judgments as they appear. Thinking you are not worthy, corrupts your spirit and sentences you to a life of suffering.

    Having a daily mindfulness practice allows you to reach our trauma, implicit memories and a way of integrating your childhood abuse. You start with neutral judgements and work towards to emotional charged memories.

    You can heal much quicker than you believe. It takes daily work strengthening your focus on the breath. It seems mundane to focus on the breath but the breath controls the nervous system and allows us to reach our trauma quickly and decisively.

    I am offering my help to answer any questions or help you meditate by phone or Skype or email. If you do the work you will heal and find peace of mind.

    Healing happens in increments and daily work drives this subtle journey.

  80. Posted by aro on December 5, 2016 at 11:51 pm

    hi marty
    i am a 19 year old female. i found your blog after going to therapy and realized i might have a dissociative disorder. i found the breathing track interesting. i never gave it much thought. only problem is that when im in other parts i can barely move or breathe. its like im frozen. so what do you recommend i do when im in those situations. also, i have parts that are stuck in the past. is there anyway to bring them to the present? because also they are happy there and i dont wanna cause any chaos in my system by messing up with it. like there are times when i have a response to something but since i am somewhere else, i cannot form a response

    thankyou for listening

  81. So it is important to bring awareness into your
    Life so you stay present

    Work on the breathing track a couple times a day when you feel safe

    Build your focus while things are calm

    Sticks parts will integrate when we can stay present and focused

    It is a process and it will happen gradually as you do the work

    If you
    Need help I can help online or skype or the phone

    Good luck

  82. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 12:04 am

    what do you mean awareness? and what does staying present feel like? it all seems so strange to me. like aware of what?

  83. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 12:14 am

    i never feel safe

  84. Awareness is paying attention to what your doing

    Paying attention to the thoughts that cross your consciousness

    Dissociation is leaving this present moment to wander into the past, into past
    Memories or into the future

    Staying present feels like paying attention, using your senses to explore life

    Let your eyes ears nose and touch sense your
    Environment

    Become aware when you
    Leave now to think

    You fuel your disorder when you wander into the past or into the future

  85. That is because you spend your time where things were not safe for you
    You have become an expert at noticing danger

  86. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 1:40 am

    what about parts that are stuck in the past? its my only escape. i dont know where else to go. if i am an expert at noticing danger, how will i ever trust someone. so lonely

  87. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 1:43 am

    what do i do if there is no place i can go?

  88. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 1:45 am

    im scared of everyone and everything

  89. What do you mean about no place to go

  90. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 1:52 am

    like there is no place i can go to feel safe and start healing. there are closed ends everywhere

  91. Ok
    You can work on healing without going out or risking

  92. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 2:07 am

    i want my family close but im also scared of them. so idk what to do

  93. Well I would recommend that you build your
    Focus and improve some then go to your family

  94. Posted by Anon on December 6, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Aro, it took me two years to become aware and become integrated. One thing my therapist said that sticks with me even now it that I didn’t own my feelings and pushed them onto these poor other parts. Bit by bit you take on responsibilities and emotions, getting stronger until you’re strong enough to feel everything and do everything on your own. It takes time. It’s hard when you don’t know when you’re blanking out. My other parts used my therapy time without me even realising, it really helped them, eventually I got my turn in therapy but it took years. These fragments (past parts) you talk about, I had them too. When I became aware (there in the background) I just let them feel what they were feeling, then afterwards I would reflect and grieve these feelings myself. After all they’re your feelings. Hypnotherapy and emdr basically cured me. Granted, it still happens if I do not take care of myself (get enough sleep, barely any alcohol, given up smoking cannabis, eliminating stress etc..) the best way I found to ground myself when I felt I was floating away was to look at objects and describe them out loud or emerge my face in cold water. If I was driving I’d wind down all of my windows. Sounds stupid but it worked. Also telling myself and my parts that I could handle the feelings myself and to let me try, the deal was if it got too much I’d let them take over. Eventually they didn’t need to. Another thing I was taught in hypnotherapy was to rub my arm if I was dissociated and in the background, basically comforting yourself and eventually you calm down and regain yourself. These all sound weird but I’ve gone from not remembering anything about my life or my daily activities to knowing everything I do. I can recall what I did last week which to me is a huge improvement. I hope you get the help you need and I’ll be glad if any of this made sense to you. There is hope even if you don’t see it right now

  95. Excellent response. On average we have 60,000 thoughts that pass through our consciousness daily, that is more than one a minute.

    We are not responsible for any of these thoughts generated somewhere in our minds. They are as harmless as air if we let them go, let them pass without our judgment or grasping.

    Awareness sounds easy, simple but it takes daily practice and numerous skills. Again use your senses to stay present. See what is in your eyesight and describe what you see. This is a present moment exercise. Notice smells around you. Hear the sounds in this moment.

    When you do anything pay close attention and slow down your mind.

    Your breath controls your nervous system. Learn to focus on the breath and slow it down. Accentuate the exhales and this activates your parasympathetic nervous system. The brakes which depletes the cortisol and adrenaline.

    The more you stay present the more you will heal. Practice, using the breathing track model. The stronger your focus the quicker you will heal.

    Combine your therapy with a mindfulness practice and learn to integrate your trauma.

  96. Posted by aro on December 6, 2016 at 9:12 pm

    this is so scary and i dont even understand all of it but this blog really gives me hope. if i could describe my thoughts and parts as colours, it would be the most diverse rainbow that is clogging my mind and i colour everything. so im guessing slowly ill have to slow the colours down and draw more carefully.

    to anon, do these past parts come to the present after whats holding them back is taken care of? like i cant see a life past DID. i didnt even know i had a problem. it all feels so normal to me because it is who i am but i know there is a thick wall separting me and the world or this feeling of being pushed back separating me from the world.

  97. The parts are stuck in the trauma past so you could survive. The are time sensitive to the trauma.

    That means if you had trauma at six then the stuck parts would have the abilities of a six year old.

    When you
    Learn to stay present and become aware of these stuck parts they will integrate to present moment.

    Concentrate more on building your focus and practicing mindfulness

    You can try to do to much and feel overwhelmed by all of this

    Keep it simple and know you do not have to understand everything to heal

    I will help you
    Meditate and use the. Resting track
    To get you started

    Good
    Luck and keep trying

  98. Posted by aro on December 7, 2016 at 11:16 am

    what are your thoughts on poly fragmented did?

  99. Posted by aro on December 7, 2016 at 11:17 am

    and i also feel like when im dreaming, i dream in parts. its really strange

  100. poly fragmented did

    Have you been diagnosed with this?

    Are you seeing a qualified therapist?

    So do you have alters?

    How many?

  101. Posted by aro on December 7, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    my appointment is coming up. but as i read on did, it makes sense to me but im more branched out than that. then i came across poly-fragmented.

  102. I would wait and not self diagnose

    Now I would work on a mindfulness practice

    Strengthening your ability to focus on your breath while staying present

    Whatever your therapist diagnoses then treats will be easier to heal if you have a mindfulness practice

    You
    Can heal from whatever disorder you have

    Reading and having knowledge is only part of the healing process

  103. Posted by aro on December 7, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    thanks marty your the best

  104. Listen give yourself gratitude for your perseverance and not giving up

    You will heal if you
    Do the work

    If I can help
    Let
    Me know

  105. Also know that to heal you do not have to understand all the complexities of the disorder

  106. Posted by aro on December 11, 2016 at 4:19 am

    how do you accept feelings? like the thought of me putting up daily affirmations or just thinking about letting some of the negative feelings come over me sends that part away and then idk what to work on. i do exercise and keep myself busy but i cant manage to tap into any part of me. like i dont want to listen to what each part has to say. its un bearable.

  107. Posted by Anon on December 11, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    Emdr and hypnosis with a trusted private therapist is a perfect way to get out those emotions and memories without overwhelming yourself. If alone just let out as much as you can handle. Doesn’t need to be much, it’s just to keep trying, building your strength. As marty said, mindfulness is very good for grounding and reflection on your thoughts. You can do it, i believe you can because I did. I was once a danger to myself and others, a huge risk for over 16 years, in and out if hospital. I barely remember it. Now I’m completely better and been discharged fully. I only see my private therapist when I feel like it, maybe three times a year compared to the four sessions a week I was having. It’s gonna be hard but you’re aware now, that’s the first step. It will be okay, I know it doesn’t feel like it right now but I promise you you will get better

  108. First you accept feelings with awareness. We must become aware of our patterns with use with emotions and thoughts. We do that by observing them and in doing so they will pass.

    At first it may seem like we are constantly becoming aware of thoughts and emotions and then coming back to our breath focus.

    We are training our mind and we do this without judging how we think we are doing.

    So when one part fades and another alter comes forward you start again with awareness and letting go.

    Nothing spectacular is going to happen. All we have in this life is this next breath and sometimes all the mundane things at that moment.

    Our goal is to change our patterns of grasping thought and emotion and trading it for being present.

    We want to be present empty of thought for some periods during the day.

    Anon is correct, mindfulness can be your core practice that a therapist can also use with what therapies you find work for you.

    A therapist will not heal you, that is all in your hands and your daily practice.

    You may find EMDR works for you or ACT therapy or something else.

    Good luck and keep the questions coming. Questions like this tell me you are doing the work and trying. Never give up, never give in keep up the daily,practice and changes will happen

  109. Posted by aro on December 11, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    i dont know how im going to trust my therapist. like im in such a bad place but im not ready to trust a stranger. i was speaking to one therapist for the past couple of months and they abandoned me. so i fragmented even more. and it was so heartbreaking. cause i really tried and it worked against me. and now i completely reject the idea of someone getting close to me or in my head. so i guess slowly letting go would be the best option for now.

  110. You are catastrophizing, taking one situation and making all outcomes in the future as a failure. Because one therapist did not work out does not sentence us to failure.

    Life is in constant flux and there is a therapist out there that you can trust. It is your job to be open and find him or her. It may take a coupe of tries but you will find one.

    Giving up and saying you can not trust is a judgment,an erroneous judgement. You will be sentencing yourself to failure and suffering.

    Let go of your judgment and focus on the big picture, the ultimate goal of healing and wellbeing. When you feel resistance, feel like all is hopeless, that is the ego trying to keep control. Let go and keep moving, keep trying.

    No one said this will be easy or the first thing you try will work.

    Good luck

  111. Posted by aro on December 11, 2016 at 5:55 pm

    understood. my misery is coming from the fact that i lost a main component of myself in this therapy. and im losing myself as a result of not keeping everything together because of lost part. so im trying my best like you said

  112. No judgments about you about your progress, just keep trying. The negative voices are there, they want you to give up and concede control back to thought and emotion, the ego, let it go and stay present. When discouragement comes knocking let it go. It is false and harmful to you.

    You have control of two things. Your attitude and your effort.

    Give all you have and then rest and be satisfied.

  113. Posted by aro on December 13, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    to anon: how long did it take you to heal?

  114. Posted by Anon on December 13, 2016 at 9:41 pm

    Hey aro, it wasn’t til I was 26 until I became aware of what was happening to me properly. From age 15 I was under the care of community mental health and had cbt, counselling etc. They branded me with borderline personality disorder. When I woke up (age 26) thanks to a complete stranger noticing my glassy eyes, I went to a private therapist. I had psycho education, hypnotherapy and emdr. I’m now 28 and fully integrated and aware. I must say, it’s extremely important that you take care of yourself and manage it with enough sleep/the right diet/no drug or alcohol abuse etc. If I don’t do this and I become stressed, I start feeling floaty again. Im feeling abit floaty at the moment because they’re threatening to take my driving licence away even though I’m better. But it doesn’t take long with the right therapy. I’m shocked it worked, I thought I wouldn’t make it to be honest. Being aware is the first step so it won’t take you long, I believe psycho education is key too

  115. Posted by aro on December 13, 2016 at 9:59 pm

    what do you mean woke up? and how did you manage to trust your therapist? like i cant do it. there is no way i let someone in on my world. i dont wanna touch it either.

  116. Posted by Anon on December 13, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    Well for years I didn’t know what was going on. I wasn’t myself at all, just living as separate parts. Everything before age 26 is a blur to me. A stranger spotted me in the school playground where we were picking up our children, because she had the same condition. Weird coincidence but she is now a close friend and a qualified traumatologist. She pointed me in the direction of my therapist. My therapist is very spiritual, seemed to be able to read my mind so there was no escaping anything. I only trust private therapists to be honest after years of being passed around by NHS therapists and doctors. I can feel deep down if I trust somebody or not. I don’t feel the NHS is equipped to treat someone with this disorder, they do not understand it or even accept it in my experience. Find a therapist who is experienced in treating these symptoms otherwise I can understand why you’d mistrust, you end up being met with disbelief

  117. i ended up with a shitty therapist and now i wear a mask cause im afraid to be me after what happened. im scared of my own thoughts.

  118. i dont wanna write anything down cause im so afraid.

  119. and did you go into emdr and hypnotherapy right away or? like i cannot speak so idk what to discuss so that makes it harder to talk.

  120. Posted by Anon on December 14, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Yeah as soon as I became aware that I was losing time etc I did emdr and hypnotherapy. You don’t really have to talk that much as the hypnotherapy and emdr make it easier to open up. Nothing comes up that you don’t want to. You don’t have to write anything down. In fact any memories that come to you can be healed without talking to someone about it, as long as you talk to yourself about it and accept and feel the emotions over it. It only took two years for me because I couldn’t remember my therapy sessions as the parts were taking over them for themselves. I eventually got my turn as they started to integrate back into me. It’s a very odd and a peaceful feeling being whole. Could easily split though so am careful, although I have tools now to pull myself back together quickly. I believe you can do it, you’re open and asking questions, which to me shows you’re ready to work hard on it. When everything feels chaotic, slow down and make your surroundings as peaceful and quiet as you can so you can sit back and listen to what’s happening in your head. Don’t push yourself too hard, it takes time. P.s. I used to fear my own thoughts. I still fear other people because I believe they will trigger me somehow (rarely leave my house or mix with others) Important thing is to be kind to yourself, no matter how mean your inner self gets. The nasty parts are usually small scared children that are raging and appear bigger than they are. As soon as you comfort them it becomes clearer

  121. Mindfulness will allow you to accept the chaos and focus on the now. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, the brakes, calming us.

    Staying Present, building awareness, helps with loss of time.

    Healing happens in increments. Daily practice accentuates Healing.

    Work on eliminating judgements.

    Get rid of as many as possible

  122. Posted by aro on December 18, 2016 at 3:30 am

    im feeling a bit lost. i recently discovered that the country i am in now is somewhere i havent settled in since i moved here almost 20 years ago and i feel lost. i feel there is nowhere to go and i cant trust anyone.

  123. Posted by aro on December 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    will my fears go away if i do the breathing exercises? because the fear is the ego? like i wont have a pacing heart anymore and wont be so freaked out all the time. breathing along with mindfulness and awareness? will it work? like marty the things that scare you, do they still scare you?

  124. The things that use to terrify me are still there. They have lost power and I do not to react to them anymore.

    I do not
    Think about them, worry about them or give any attention to them.

    You have to let go of all those negative judgments, those supposed worries and fears.

    Be concerned with your persistence, your
    Willpower to practice everyday.

    Healing will come to you
    In increments, subtle at times.

    Learning to focus on your breath while letting go of emotional thought will heal you quicker than any other therapy, in my opinion.

    Your mindfulness practice will compliment and enhance any therapy you choose.

    Start out with five
    Minute sessions a couple times a day.

    We are not trying to attain perfection.

    We are
    Improving a little
    Each day with a concerted daily practice.

    The hardest thing seems to be getting started, actually beginning to meditate, to decide you are going to give maximum effort for your or healing.

    Good luck

    I will answer your questions and give you direction in support of your effort

  125. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 12:06 am

    is it normal to have parts in which you cant breathe in? ill be doing my inhales and exhales and all of a sudden i feel like im gonna choke? what should i do other than push it away?

  126. Do. Not try to exert any energy on it,

    Come back to the breath and let go, it will loosen up in a breath or two

    Do not judge it or give it attention

    It will disappear quickly

  127. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 12:24 am

    also, how should i approach retraumatization. im quite sure im in a knot and thats why im so irritated cause my therapy was not Helpful at all and it actually worsened everything. i told her what happened and i also wanted to kill her so idk how to approach this dilemma? any suggestions

  128. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 12:27 am

    its quite bad. i feel like i want to hurt myself?? or people but

  129. Let it go, let the thought itself go, the judgment and emotional response of wanting to kill her

    Let it all go

    No attention, no energy nothing

    Build ur focus and make sure ur present, in this moment

    See what is in front of u visually, smell ur environment touch listen

    Be present and react to what is happening right now

  130. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 12:29 am

    im afraid to go outside i feel like im gonna get lost. one thing that has been bothering me is the adult and child relationshiip. a feel a part wants to escape but the other is not letting it. its back and forth. is it possible to come to a middle ground or something where i might just figure something out? also how do you know you have integrated. is it like you just know? is there a click or something?

  131. That is not reality and you can let those erroneous judgements and decide to live without those negative thiughts

  132. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 12:32 am

    my system is going haywire for and is angry at me and it wants to go in all types of directions and do different things and run and chase and cry and sleep… am i supposed to keep breathing until a part comes out and is willing to help? alot of them are stuck in the past, the present is irritated and the future is gone so

  133. Integrations happens when you stay present when trauma explodes

    We do not dissociate and focus on the breath to integrate our thoughts judgments worries and feats

  134. Let go and quiet your mind and body

    Try to hear ur heartbeat or the pulse below it

    Start to notice how subtle your inner world can become

    Listen and see if u can heR ur inhales and exhales

    Resist grasping and going in all directions

  135. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 12:42 am

    different parts come out when the lights go out…. is that normal?

  136. Posted by aro on January 2, 2017 at 1:07 am

    is it bad if trauma explodes while dissociated?

  137. Most people believe it is dangerous but I am not one of them.

    Yes, if our adrenal stress response, fight or flight mechanism fires 50 times a day, maybe.

    To be afraid of a triggers, limits our healing, limits our life.

    Work on daily effort and practice. Let go of trying to understand what is going on inside your head.

    Let go and be present for a couple of weeks and let urself repair itself

    Relax

  138. Posted by aro on January 4, 2017 at 3:09 am

    marty can you please explain how your first 6 months with the breathing track worked (what happened) because idk what to believe. i want to identify with what your feeling in those months but i have these parts that are stuck in the past and they dont want to breathe. they want to go back to school but i dont even go to the same school anymore. and im not allowed to eat and everytime i breathe i am forced to stop.

  139. Posted by aro on January 4, 2017 at 3:27 am

    im 19 and no one is really behind me im all alone in this and im planning on moving out cause i have to create a safe space for myself and i cant find myself speaking to a therapist or doctor or anybody and im always for many years cant relax so idk what to do. idk if im on the right track or if this will work. like im extremely worried

  140. My path and your path will be different. My first six months of healing were filled with many triggers and challenges just like yours.

    At times it will seem like healing may not happen. At times I felt lost like you do now. My ego wanted me to give up, to react to my fears and quit trying.

    It took daily persistence and courage to continue to exert effort and practice on the breathing track.

    Healing happens in increments, subtle at first. No matter what thoughts or judgments arise, let them go and continue to practice on the breathing track.

  141. You need to be out of danger to heal. Having a therapist would be a helpful asset.

    You need to assess your strengths and take action.

    It is not an easy path but it is the path to healing and wellbeing.

  142. Posted by aro on January 5, 2017 at 1:10 am

    im just worried that i might fragment more. its very easy for me. so i HOPE it works.

  143. Posted by Ann on January 5, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    Like an earlier poster, I’m half-skeert that I’m losing my ever-lovin’ mind. I’ve had PTSD diagnosis for 30 years, But with big life change including the opportunity to live on my own, the symptoms have become too much for me to handle–especially the loss of ability to focus, which scares me for my functioning in the workplace, and this numbness. I don’t understand how I can be so flat and so emotional at the same time.

    What’s driven me to EMDR is this escalation in symptoms. Can’t focus, and even thinking about thinking about stuff sends me into sobbing. Sirens and anything that startles me make me cry. I can’t go to Al Anon anymore because it means an hour of staring into the corner, listening intently while trying not to engage. It’s exhausting.

    The more I read about PTSD, and now, this blog, and I wonder…am I making it all up? Am i just a nutcase grabbing onto something and blowing it up into something bigger than it really is?

    Part of me says no, you’re just discovering the depths of how this has affected your life. The other part of me (see previous paragraph).

    I have a second visit with EMDR specialist today. I want symptomatic relief. NOW. Anyway, that’s my rant. I appreciate your blog post. I surely do hope that it resonates because it helps me understand what’s going on instead of resonating because I’m a cause looking for a cause.

  144. Just come back to now every time you find yourself dissociated. Practice practice practice

  145. Your symptoms sounds acute, hyper-vigilance and dissociation.

    EMDR is a therapy that has shown promise with PTSD. I would recommend starting a mindfulness practice to enhance and bolster whatever therapy you finally decide to ride to wellness.

    Two therapies that use mindfulness are ACT (Acceptance and Commitment) and DBT ( Dialectic Behavioral).

    Check out my breathing track and try to start a practice focusing on your breath daily.

    You have to bring awareness to your daily existence. You must realize when you leave this moment and take steps to come back to now.

    This may seem simple but will have the most impact on your life and wellbeing.

    Good luck and never give up.

  146. Posted by aro on January 7, 2017 at 5:30 am

    marty as im doing my breathing exercises, the part that is not allowing me to breathe is interluding. i let it have its say and i tried to be understanding of it but as soon as it comes i stop. so my breathing lasts like 10 seconds if not less. there is a trauma affecting it but i cant access it. what should i do?

  147. Posted by aro on January 7, 2017 at 5:33 am

    like im confused am i supposed to make parts breathe or just breathe? cause i cant do either

  148. Just breathe in and hold it, then exhale and pause. It happens naturally.

    You are feeling resistance but it will pass if you keep trying

  149. Posted by aro on January 10, 2017 at 4:03 am

    is there any shortcut i can do? cause the resistance is like lets wait a couple months for the pain to go down and it wont allow me to breathe. ill take 1 inhale and wont exhale and ill probably kill myself this way. its here to get rid of me.

  150. Paying attention to our breath is not life threatening.

    Try not to judge what happens or have any goals.

    Just devote ten minutes twice a day and try to enjoy paying attention

  151. Posted by estelle on January 20, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    good article. but what can you do when you still live in an away state years after

  152. Posted by Anonymous on January 20, 2017 at 8:39 pm

    Maybe we can check in as I happen to come across your website my story is crazy horrible and now I’m waking up from a bad dream… Thank you love your articles

  153. Posted by aro on February 2, 2017 at 2:29 am

    marty what if i have alters that dont speak? they are just there… and

  154. Hey Aro
    Hope your doing better.

    While we meditate, focusing on the breath, we slow our nervous system down and let go of thought and judgment. We are trying to bring awareness to our inner world.

    For you, you have alters and now some that are not vocal.
    How are they communicating?

    Keep your exploring and letting go and becoming familiar with your inner world.

  155. Argo I am glad you are trying to do the work. Your persistence will pay off. Give yourself credit.

  156. Posted by aro on February 2, 2017 at 3:46 am

    i just feel things and i do them… and later on im blank on what i did.

  157. You will get better in increments and sometimes things are tough.

    I wish you could get some professional assistance in person

    Keep trying and always. E easy on yourself, forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes.

  158. Posted by aro on February 5, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    what if there are no adult alters? just kids…what do i do

  159. Then maybe dialogue with kids. Keep building focus and practice letting go. Try to release the kids and come back to now

  160. Posted by aro on February 5, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    how do i release them? its safer where they are? idk what to do and im scared to reach out to help

  161. I wish you could get some professional support

  162. Posted by bringingmyselfup on February 27, 2017 at 9:12 pm

    This literally explains everything that has ever gone on inside my head. What do I do?!! How do you function with this?!

  163. You practice training the mind to slow down, to focus on the breath and finally let go of judgment, thought and emotion.

    Try the breathing track as a model to help with your focus

  164. Posted by SpaceJacket on March 9, 2017 at 10:54 pm

    I was diagnosed with c-ptsd two months ago, childhood sexual abuse & neglect. I am 34 years old. Finally, something that made everything make sense but hell at the same time, as I start to confront my issues instead of blocking them. I found this website just looking for more info on c-ptsd. This post on dissociation resonates deeply with me, helping make sense of all the conflicting parts within myself. I’m in weekly therapy & have really connected with my therapist but I often keep searching for more info on my own also. I’ll be following your blog as I find my own focus, thank you for sharing Marty.

    Also to NaNa:
    NaNa on February 23, 2013 at 10:44 am
    “I totally agree with all the fatrocs you have explained so well that lead to DID. As I was reading The Comfort Factor-I suddenly remembered rocking back and forth as a child and patting myself on the back while saying I love you carla, you’re a good girl. It’s okay-your a good girl. I did this because I needed comfort so badly that I had to give it to myself as there was no one else to give it to me at that time. This was not a bad memory for me as I am just starting to recover some of my childhood memories after years of denial and am grateful for each one I remember.”

    NaNa, your comment really hit me. Reading it, I got the exact same impression you describe but of myself. Just started sobbing, it was a good release. I appreciate your comment. I am just starting therapy & large chunks of my childhood memories are missing. 20ish years of denial.

  165. Posted by Ravi on March 28, 2017 at 5:10 am

    I feel very weak…. Too much adrenaline and cortisol, borne out of fear and sadness and pain have ravaged my soul. How do I help myself?

  166. Posted by Ravi on March 28, 2017 at 5:23 am

    What is the breathing exercise?

  167. In a number of ways. If you have access to a therapist find one who uses mindfulness in their practice. First, give yourself forgiveness, forgive yourself and how hard you have just died yourself.

    Dissociation, leaving this present moment to think, judge or ruminate, throws jet fuel on your symptoms. The more time you can stay present, letting thoughts go, the more chance of healing or gaining wellbeing we create.

    Here is a short video. Watch it and get back with some questions and we can proceed.

    https://ptsdawayout.com/2013/09/13/the-breathing-track-secrets-i-think/

  168. Posted by aro on April 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    hey marty

    i have been doing some mindful stuff and i think its helping but im not sure. i just wanted to talk about the fact that i feel like i dont have any sense of self. im so split up. all i have are needs form others. nothing else makes sense to me. like if your not talking about my needs i cant hear you. how do i deal with that? like i cant focus on anything and i dont want to. i just want what i want. and also that might be the case because i dont know which country im in so its difficult. but my transition to the country im currently living in is missing. like i dont remember coming here. i have core splits so idk. idk how im even writing this its not making sense to me but at the same time its the truth? so the truth is lost for me and all i want is fulfillment from people i dont recognize. i dont even recognize myself.

  169. Posted by aro on April 17, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    its hard to relax if i dont know where i am. i have to constantly talk to myself about where i am what i was just doing etc

  170. Posted by aro on April 17, 2017 at 9:59 pm

    and idk how to tell this to anyone in the outside world because i dont want them to know

  171. Sorry I did not respond right away Aro. Wow, congratulations on the success you have had and you willpower to continue to try.

    So when we focus n the breath and needs surface, they are treated like thoughts. We focus on the breath. Make your focus much more specific.

    Be with each inhale, then move to the pause, then be with the the shale and final pause. Trace the breathing track with your eyes open and feel how the breath flows.

    We are looking to find stillness. We want to quiet the mind and body using our breath.

    See if you can hear or feel your heartbeat has you focus on the breath. There is a symphony playing inside our head if we only quiet and focus enough.

    Keep practicing and keep letting go and just be present without thought.

  172. Posted by aro on May 14, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    how do we deal with strong denial and core beliefs

  173. Posted by aro on May 14, 2017 at 5:45 pm

    there is so much energy inside me but i cant seem to release it. my mind constantly tells me that it will get better when im older or when i have a job or when im married etc….

  174. Posted by aro on May 14, 2017 at 5:46 pm

    i just feel like my mind is gonna blow

  175. Here I see a post on core beliefs

    https://ptsdawayout.com/2017/05/13/negative-core-beliefs-coping-with-traumatic-related-dissociation/

    Strong denial or erroneous beliefs are judgments, harmful judgments

    So we do nothing to them. We exert no effort, no control, nothing.

    We focus on our breath, on the body sensations and let those worthless, powerless judgments fade

    We can only be happy right now, Aro

    If you think you need to accomplish anything, get a job, get married, be older then Happiness will always be in the future.

    Accept all of you feel that energy inside, without judgment without fear, feel all of it and then it go

    You are safe s cure and thoughts are air, worthless, harmless until we beli vet them grasp them

    Keep going Aro, your doing good.

    I admire your courage and action. Keep trying keep taking action

    Marty

  176. Posted by riana on June 22, 2017 at 2:50 am

    I am young and suffer with really bad dissociation in my life. I often hurt others by not being able to be happy. It consumes my life to a point of no end and I feel like I’m losing my mind . I’m triggered very easily . My derealization gets so bad I don’t even remember what humans are for weeks and basically see blobs and feel like there is no reality and my brain is just making it all up . I really need help . Thank you

  177. I will work with you on skype. We can sit (meditate) learn to let go and focus.

    It takes daily practice and things change in stages, small ones usually

    People
    For the most
    Part fail to improve because lack of effort, direction and desire

    You
    Can improve if u r willing to work

  178. Posted by KT on June 22, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Hey marty, I was ill for such a long long time and it was so severe that I lost two decades of my life to dissociation. I was feeling great for a while as I have recovered from all the symptoms really well through hard work in private therapy. Cost an arm and a leg but I did it. I am whole and fully concious. The only thing I could not cure was my anxiety unfortunately, just seems to be stuck. However, it beats not feeling alive. Nobody tells you about the aftermath. Yes, I went through that period of grieving for basically losing my entire life and waking in this nearly 30 year old body. I’m happy to have recovered but now beginning to feel extremely depressed to the point of suicidal ideation again. I’m working really hard to make sure my mind doesn’t split again but I feel so hopeless. I have no life, I have no career, no nothing. It was all consumed by illness and I don’t have a path. I can’t start all over again. No matter who my many personalities were I was always one for great ambition and could never settle for anything plain and monotonous. I bet many recovered patients go through this but I’ve not heard this side yet. I don’t know what to do, how do I get through this?

  179. Congratulations on your improvement. Please give yourself lots of credit kudos for alway trying and never giving up..

    Let’s talk about thoughts and judgment and how the mind works. What fires together wires together. Where we place our attention grows where we withdraw withers and dies.

    We let go judgment,thought, worry and doubt to focus on the breath and this moment

    Check out my breathing track and start meditating 15 minutes a day. I can help you and guide you through your questions

    Good luck

  180. Posted by Nine on June 28, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Hi, so I was diagnosed with complex PTSD when I was in my 30’s, I am now 47. I had a horrible childhood trauma and watched my dad get shot and killed by my uncle when I was 9. I have lots of great therapy where we did work with my childhood parts and I healed and have been doing great until recently. My step dad, who raised me and who has been my dad for over 35 years died of cancer. I was there while he died and watched as he took his last breath. I was doing okay, but now I am doing awful. My childhood parts are in chaos and I cannot get a grip. I feel worthless and hopeless like my life is going to always end in sadness. I cannot figure out who is control half of the time and my “9” year old part is freaking out and I can’t reach her. I am having marital problems because I want to isolate myself. I am living in constant fear and my PTSD symptoms have returned with a vengeance. I can’t find a therapist who does the work my former therapist did, parts work. I feel really crazy and reality is becoming a blur. It is affecting my work, my parenting, my marriage, my world. I don’t know what to do and I am scared. I cannot get a grip o reality. Please help…..

  181. Sorry symptoms have returned

    Time to make friends with your nervous system using breath as focus

    Dissociation is the issue, we need to be able to let go of judgment and thought while observing our body sensations

    U can heal again with daily practice

    You have done this before and can do it again

    I will help support you on your journey

  182. Posted by Anonymous on July 13, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Me every day

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