More threads by redstar


I don't know if this is the right place to write about this but I found no other topic really relevant. This will probably be just a stream of thought...I'd be so grateful if people could help out with their input.
I've had such a disconnection from life for about 5 years and am just now trying to confront the problem. Sometimes I wonder whether I'm making any progress at all because I lapse into my dream like state so much and I feel so bad that it leaves me paralysed without any connection or ability to empathise or know how to deal with situations. I feel like everyone else seems to just cope with life and really succeed and I feel like I'm floundering...paralysed by something which is stopping me from being, from living and I don't know what that is. I just know I want to be happy for once.
Recently I've set to the task of trying to talk to someone once a day about whats happening without pretending that everythings just wonderful as usual. The past while has been a time of intense dreams and a nightmare last night involving being abused by my mother and I woke up crying. I guess I just want to know whether this means I'm getting better on some level. This is what I'm aiming for. I hear such reports of disconnection with life and emotions being called depersonalisation, derealisation, dissociation. I don't particularly understand the difference. My symptoms I think are caused by a succession of abusive situations from childhood. I'd love any help please!!!

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
Pardon me if you've already answered this question elsewhere, but are you currently or have you in the past been in therapy?

Childhood abuse issues are not issue to "shake off" on your own...

You can find some other resources here (online resources at the top; scroll down the page for recommended books):
Hey redstar,

I've experienced a succession of traumas too and can identify with your feelings of disconnection from emotions and life. I don't fully understand the differences between disconnecting, depersonalization, derealization and dissociation either so I'll also check out Dr Baxter's links too.

But, I have definitely experienced separating my mind from my body and my emotions. The first time that I remember believing that I was better off fragmented was when I was 11 years old. Then as I experienced each consecutive trauma, I didn't just keep those parts separate, I began cutting chunks out of my mind/memories, connections to my body and emotions of all kinds until I had very little experiences of emotions (except anxiety), very little connection with my body and a no memories of anything before age 11, various distortions and blocks in my mind about my teenage years as well as my early twenties. However, I did have a TON of thoughts going on in my mind at all times. I guess this is what helped keep me disconnected. Yikes, now that I type all that out, I feel a bit creepy.

I liked that Dr Baxter said,
Childhood abuse issues are not issue to "shake off" on your own...

And would like to add that, for me, even with a therapist, I can't just "shake off" childhood issues. I have found the work to be more of a marathon than a sprint. When I started therapy again, I just want to get in there, get all the issues out on the table, acquire the healthy/corrective tools I needed in order to go on and then get the hell outta there. Turns out, that's not how it works for me!

About nightmares...I find that I'll go through periods of nightmares for days and then they'll subside for a while. They are often extremely disturbing - no 2 ways about it - but, I have found that a couple of my reoccurring ones seem to be changing within the past few months. The changes seem I'm restructuring my recollection of things - or somehow making different sense of those issues. I think my dreams are a way for my subconscious to work things out.

Anyway, hope some of that was relevant. I wish you well and keep posting.


hang in there

i've spent 7 years on various therapies and now am getting help

it was only a long time because i've had to move around the Uk - Aberdeen - Sunderland-Newcastle _ edinburgh......normally after 6 months to a year i've been seen.

To do it on your own is tough, if i could i would have welcomed friends and support

Redstar - things get easier but you need to keep speaking to the professionals - push them if need be to get more help and use resources you can get...

I have memories i dont want and know i am replacing them with better ones.


I'm no stranger to bad memories, among many blanks from my childhood. But those memories are like unruly children that demand attention, and seem to come up at most inopportune moments. To cope with them, we need to tend to them, comfort them, tuck them in, and put them to rest. It's a bumpy ride with lots of Kleenex tissues, but well worth it.
Replying is not possible. This forum is only available as an archive.