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Topic: What is even happening.

12 posts, 0 answered
  1. DisplayName02
    DisplayName02 avatar
    5 posts
    20 February 2020

    Hi, Im 18 and I have struggled for a long time with something i never know how to talk about or explain. If this is confusing im sorry im not great with words. The issue with explaining it is its constantly evolving and changing; from one moment to the next my explanation whether written or spoken becomes alien to me, and i cannot empathise with myself through it at all. Its as if my past self is not me at all - and not simply in the natural sense but in a far more heightened sense. To give examples- out of the five people I have attempted to explain it to one was my old therapist. I had a few sessions with him and while I clearly remember what I said, its seems so foreign to me. In fact through my 10 or so years of struggling with this thing the only constant has been the knowledge that it will become foreign to me within seconds.

    The issue is I feel that I cant trust my knowledge about myself- i cannot say Im feeling a certain way because Im not sure if I am or if Im just making it up. Im a fairly imaginative person, I can create emotion and reactions in myself in fake scenarios I devise (for writing) so how can I trust the emotions and reactions in me enough to describe them to someone else. I also struggle with remembering anything after its done, my memories of myself are all but dissapeared. The worst part of this is I can go months without experiencing anything and then all of a sudden this thing is just there and i cant seem to even understand what it is. And a quick clarification- I cannot even begin to comprehend it, ive tried. During these months its easy to convince myself that Im making it up, maybe for attention - but again that doesnt make sense as I dont tell people. I am mostly a very stable person with a very stable background, other than this thing (that Im not even sure exists) Im pretty much one of the most grounded people I know in the most humble way possible. I dont have issues with stress or anger - even the opposite, I quite literally have never felt actual anger at anyone before. In normal life I am the last person to have anything like this.

    And yet I have memories of self-harm. I have memories of sobbing for hours, of gasping and heaving and aching with this pressure bursting from me. This absolute fear of smth inside me.

    And yet it still means nothing to me.

    Im sorry cuse this is way too long. And a bit stupid. Im completely fine rn, but maybe im not idk.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
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    20 February 2020 in reply to DisplayName02

    Hi DisplayName02,

    Thank you for your post- I'm really glad that you reached out and shared what's been happening with you.

    I'm not going to lie - it was a bit confusing for me and I did have to read it a few times, but I can only imagine how confusing it must be for you to go through. While I don't quite understand what you're going through, I agree that you're not making this up and I don't think any of this is stupid at all.

    There's a part of me that wonders if you might be experiencing some dissociation. I say that because of the phrases 'becomes alien', 'not me at all' and 'struggling with remembering'. This is a really common experience in dissociation, and often happens when the brain says 'this is too much' and almost steps back. While you are still very much there, or even typing on the forums, there can be this sense of distance. Sometimes the distance is just a little bit, like an out of body experience - and sometimes this distance can be a lot, to the point where you might have big gaps in memory. Do you think the idea of dissociation resonate with you?

    In your post you said that you saw a therapist; did you bring this up with him?


  3. DisplayName02
    DisplayName02 avatar
    5 posts
    20 February 2020 in reply to romantic_thi3f

    Hi thankyou so much for your reply ❤️

    I have considered dissociation in the past, but it doesnt seem to resonate with me symptoms wise. I have complete use of my sense of feel even in the worst of times, and while i forget a lot about myself i dont forget the factual side of events. Things dont become foggy to me, on the flip side there have been times when everything seems brighter and more vivid. Again though my mind is rebelling against typing that cause although ik it factually, I consider it to be made up or exaggerated.

    I had talked to my therapist about this, and while he initially came to the same conclusion about dissociation, after some time we both concluded that it didnt seem to fit me at all symptoms wise. I struggled a lot talking to a therapist because every statement I said out loud caused a bit of a dichotemy in my mind - I didnt believe it was true in one sense and yet because I had said it out loud and formulated the sentence in my mind I had it in my memory factually. Its like having a simultaneous utter belief that smth is true and false at the same time, its really difficult. I ended up leaving therapy bc it was raising my stress levels more than I thought was beneficial at the time, and it did help short term by allowing myself to just sort of let things be and not challenge them even though they were hard. Unfortunatly long term its left me feeing more lost because I have very little factual grasp on whats happening.

    Overall I just am desperate for some kind of platform or solidity in the middle of this. I cant even tell whats happening, let alone if it is happening at all. I also feel very alone in it, as no one seems to have heard of it or experienced it before.

    Ik how to deal with it surface level, cause I am very lucky in the way ive been raised in terms of mental health tips and tricks, but its beginning to get terrifying.

    Anyways thankyou again for your time, I really appreciate it ❤️

  4. felix mendelssohn
    felix mendelssohn avatar
    4 posts
    21 February 2020 in reply to DisplayName02

    Hi there DisplayName,

    I noticed you replied to my whinging spiel (thanks) so I thought I should check out what were dealing with before getting to that.

    What you're describing is really quite difficult for me to imagine. Could you maybe clarify with regards to your first post, when you say "I have memories of self-harm. I have memories of sobbing for hours, of gasping and heaving and aching with this pressure bursting from me," is this a response that you have felt towards your inability to understand what you feel? Or do you mean that you have memories of extreme distress that you think your mind has fabricated? Sorry if I'm misunderstanding, I'm super tired. :/ I am also curious for a bit more clarification on the memory front where emotions are not involved. How have you gone in school with remembering information (like speeches, stuff for exams etc.)? What about names? Can you recall images at all?

    Know that I ask all of this without any real expectation of helping to come to a possible diagnosis - I'm just a concerned lad trying to understand what you're going through.

    I will say this though, I can relate to not understanding my past self (at times). I will occasionally get highly emotional, often with little or no real trigger that I'm aware of, and go into quite dangerous depressive episodes that can be quite scary. But then the next day I may feel a lot calmer and not be able to understand how bad I had been feeling or what thoughts I had been thinking. This made it really difficult for me to treat some very dangerous situations seriously and with the gravity that they probably deserved.

    What eventually helped me to understand the severity of this was recording my thoughts in written word when in my emotional state (depressive throes). That way it wasn't just a hazy memory of irrational distress that I could just sweep under the carpet. They were tangible words that I had written, explaining how I felt and what I wanted to do. Then, in my rational state, I could take more responsible action to combat all of this, which I'm still trying to do. :) Maybe this will give you the solidity that you're after? I don't know....

    But yeah, I'm not sure how much of that relates (if any) to whatever it is that you're dealing with, and to be honest my advice seems pretty basic and is probably something you've already tried. But in the off chance it isn't, I'd say it's worth a shot!


  5. DisplayName02
    DisplayName02 avatar
    5 posts
    21 February 2020 in reply to felix mendelssohn

    Hey Felix

    Ahaha yea tell me about it on the confusing side of things, I barely understand what Im typing on this thread at all.

    When I talk about memories of self-harm, its like I have the factual memories of it, related to whatever I was feeling/seeing/thinking at that point in time, but I cant seem to relate to it at all. My memory in general is very good actually but just very divided, if that makes sense.

    For example, I can "walk" around my old preschool, primary school and highschool in my memories, and I can picture most of the kids that went there (not so much preschool obvs). However I couldnt for the life of me tell you what I thought of those kids or if I ever interacted with them, even up to the last years of highschool. I have zero connect with my emotional memories, as opposed to factual ones. I have clear memories of what Ive recently done, but not why I did it, I have to logically work that out based on context. Ie if I remember crying and my parents had been angry at me well thats obvious. But if I remembered that I was randomly crying, to me its like being an outsider in that memory, I have no concept of why I burst out crying unless theres a clear external instigator.

    When writing things down or talking to people or even trying just think about it, Ill start feeling like its made up, or that those emotions werent real, and bc I have no emotional memory I have no way of figuring out for sure. Now while I know that something must have been happening because I have the factual memories, its like im terrified that im actually just making the whole thing up. Then I get "flippy", if I let it go too much. Its as if im holding two simultaneous yet totally opposing beliefs in my head. My brain just cannot cope. I wholeheartedly believe both that I am just exaggerating/navel gazing/ making things up, and that there is something geniunely wrong. I cant say anything, because nothings real anymore, that is in terms of myself. I still exist but i exist in paradox if that makes sense. Its super hard to explain even just this and honestly right now Im constantly going "but is that really what happened or are just making this up" "you dont actually think that" "why are you even doing this there is literally nothing wrong with you"

    Again usually I am stable. I am the sort of person everyone gets advice from, who never got into drama or got stressed, who isnt self concious.

    I really dunno. This is hard to post

  6. therising
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    22 February 2020 in reply to DisplayName02

    Hi DisplayName02

    This must be incredibly stressful and scary for you at times. My heart goes out to you.

    Just a handful of questions, for a little more clarification

    • Do you feel like your reality shifts sometimes? If so, can you pinpoint a possible trigger for the sudden shift (certain people or events, certain subjects you've been reading up on, particular movies or shows etc)?
    • Do you notice any other traits at certain times, such as a more enlightened perspective on life, doses of sudden inspiration or heightened sensitivity to stimuli?
    • Do you notice any physical symptoms when a shift takes place, such as more energy or more lethargy, for example?

    I ask these questions to gain a little more understanding, as you've more so focused on dual perspective and memory issues. Am just wondering if there are other aspects you haven't yet touched on.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Take care :)

  7. DisplayName02
    DisplayName02 avatar
    5 posts
    24 February 2020 in reply to therising

    Hi therising

    Firstly ill try to answer these as best I can but it may be difficult as I have a hard time analysing it.

    1. Reality doesnt seem to "shift" for me, only my own state of mind and then as an outreach of that my perception of the world. Things do become more vivid for me, but that is linked a lot with a disconnection with the "social" sphere of thinking and therefore a concentration on the "physical" if that makes sense. Sorry if thats confusing but long story short: Not really, though reality can sometimes seem like theres this thing just out of my perception that lends a certain vibrosity to what im seeing.

    2. No more so than normal, again I tend to be very stable and consistent outside of this weird thig I have sometimes

    3. No not really, though if i am feeling lethargic it can cause that mind state just through my control over my thoughts becoming limited and therefore them running away with me

    I dont know if that helps clarify, this whole thing is very confusing i know!

  8. felix mendelssohn
    felix mendelssohn avatar
    4 posts
    26 February 2020 in reply to DisplayName02

    Hi again Display Name,

    This is so very difficult to comprehend, but I am really am trying!!

    I am wondering, given that you say you cannot trust your written words/feelings/non-factual experiences, whether you are similarly incredulous of your explanations of your situation on this thread to date?

    You say you are able to summon emotions and reactions to people/events that need not necessarily even exist. I think that is an ability shared by many people of a more empathetic temperament and it is a real asset at times, particularly for writing (as you say) and I would say also for music. If you were to treat yourself as a character who had experienced the factual memory that you recall, does that help you to relate to yourself or not?

    I am really struggling to think of other things to suggest... You say that your factual memory is mostly fine, but using your example of crying without any clear reason that you can remember, you are not remembering the facts of what you are thinking. Are your thoughts too intangible to remember at times, like dreams? Again, I'd recommend writing down thoughts in a time of an emotional extreme to see what it is that you are thinking about. Your thoughts at such a time may be deluded and untrustworthy, but it could shed a tiny bit of light on what causes you to feel the way you feel.

    I get the sense that you may be feeling somewhat neurotic about what you really are thinking, and why you're thinking it, and that by consciously processing it you are actually making it less reliable and less complex. I don't really have a solution for that, but is that correct? You're afraid that you reflect too much on your own thinking to the point that you can't trust it?

    Do you have any gaps in your memory that you're aware of? Maybe you're subconsciously blocking out some memory which is leading to inexplicable emotional distress? I really don't know, my friend, but if talking this over is helping in any way please do get back to me. :)


  9. therising
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    therising avatar
    105 posts
    27 February 2020 in reply to DisplayName02

    Hi DisplayName02

    It was Carl Jung who challenged Sigmund Freud's take on 'the self' when he began incorporating into his work the psychospiritual nature of people. In looking into the nature of people beyond Ego, Jung began to gain a unique perspective on some of the mental challenges faced by certain folk. In speaking of 'spiritual' this does not refer to anything necessarily religious based, it's more so to do with certain natural aspects of the self.

    'Spiritual emergency' as a term was first coined by Czech psychiatrists Stanislav and Christina Grof and was expanded in the 1989 book Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis. I know looking into the subject of spiritual emergency is a pretty 'out there' suggestion but I try to approach life and it's mysteries from a holistic point of view (body, mind and spirit).

    Before you start thinking 'This woman sounds crazy', I'll give you a partial list of some known issues regarding the topic of spiritual emergency:

    • Disconnection from a sense of self or not knowing which 'self' is real
    • Memory issues
    • The feeling that life seems surreal at times/not being able to trust what is real
    • Feeling like you're going crazy at times

    The list goes on.

    Not sure whether looking into 'spiritual emergency' would be of any real help to you but I thought it worth suggesting.


  10. DisplayName02
    DisplayName02 avatar
    5 posts
    4 March 2020 in reply to therising

    Hi thankyou for the responses ill set this out in two parts for each person;

    For Felix

    Absolutely yes I feel so disconnected to everything Ive written on this thread so far. Incredulous is probably a really good word for it, I cant even begin to comprehend (in a normal state of mind) why I would have written any of this. Right now I feel a bit more emotionally vunerable, which is the only reason Im sort of able to explain myself. My thoughts are definitely untangible to myself and while writing them down can help to shed light on how I was feeling, it actually worsens my ability to empathise with myself, bc I dont comprehend it. That in turn worsens my ability to accept what is happening, and talk about it, which is something I dont want to risk. I absolutely feel a little neurotic and am afraid of my own thoughts. Memories wise, its kinda difficult. My long term memories arent very linear, in a sense. I tend to remember places, and the situations that occured in them are sort of all at the same time (if that makes sense). Often if i take a trip down memory lane, its a high visualisation of walking through places I frequent or have frequented and relating certain features to certain memories. Ergo its difficult for me to say whether I have "memory gaps" long term. Short term I remember in a linear way and as far as Im aware (?) theres no memory gaps, although I do often question how Ive "missed" so many normal days bc I live very much in the present. I have to say aswell your response was really reassuring bc I have never found anything someone else has written relatable to my situation, yet for the first time your response was, and I felt a little settled that Im not just going crazy so thankyou.

    For Therising

    I will definitely look into spiritual emergency. I tend away from that side of things, but thats purely bc I am very critical when it comes to theories in terms of "proof". That being said, I have no problem looking into it, and even if I find it not totally relatable I could still use parts of it to help myself.

  11. felix mendelssohn
    felix mendelssohn avatar
    4 posts
    6 March 2020 in reply to DisplayName02

    Hi again Display Name,

    Just a quick response because I really can't muster the energy to fully engage atm, yet don't want you to feel ignored. Oh, and I'm really glad that you found some of what I said to be pertinent/relevant in some way. Hopefully what I'm about to say does not undo all of that, haha, but I just want to present one possible interpretation of what may be going on

    From my position right now, and I hope I don't come across as curt or callous in any way, it seems to me that you are obsessing intensely over your thoughts... being 'hyper-introspective' if you will. To reflect on why we might have thought, said or done anything is, I would say, a sign of immense maturity, particularly from someone of your age.

    A part of this introspective process is the need for objectivity; we need to critically analyse our thinking/actions from a perspective other than our own. We could do this by seeking someone else's views (which we might argue are just as unreliable as our own) or perhaps by assessing ourselves by some sort of grounded metric or ethical framework - those are ways to keep ourselves accountable and to assure ourselves that what we are doing is sensible/valid/correct/sane/of-high-quality/responsible etc.

    What I suspect you may be doing is, instead of utilising those aforementioned guides, subconsciously taking the much more extreme step of quite literally 'discarding' your own understanding of your decision-making/thought-processes in order to achieve that desired objectivity. Once you've done this, you may not be able to relate to your past actions, because you are so committed to understanding yourself without being at all biased in forming that understanding of yourself. Some serious mental gymnastics there, but maybe some of that makes sense?

    I could be TOTALLY wrong about all of that - it's just one hypothesis that comes to mind in my beleaguered and slightly drug-addled state, but maybe even if just 2% of that really clicked then that's a start.

    Also, the rising, don't know if you're still following this at all, but is it possible to elaborate on some of these 'spiritual emergency' ideas that you've read? Even just a very brief summary if that's even possible? It sounds fascinating and potentially quite relevant.

    Turns out that wasn't a quick post after all...


  12. therising
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    105 posts
    7 March 2020 in reply to felix mendelssohn

    Hi felix

    There's a lot of info out there regarding spiritual emergency and awakening. People experience very different things so it's hard to name an exact course (how things unfold).

    May sound strange or even simplistic in parts but stick with me as I try my best to give you an example of how things can unfold:

    Many of us start off as highly imaginative sensitive little folk. We imagine climbing a tree and then we go and do it. Our mother may freak out and tell us 'You can't do that!', so we wipe repeating that endeavor out of our imagination. We may imagine a whole stack of things and can, again, be told 'You cant' do that!' to just about all of them. So, the imagination that we once accessed for the purpose of inspiration, adventure and excitement is no longer accessed as much. We become too grounded, too often brought down and gradually unbalanced. We lose our spiritual or natural self along the way. 'Climb the tree but wear a harness' (like with rock climbing), allows imagination to remain a resource with a balance of life skill (a healthy reality). Of course, trauma can suddenly shift our sense of reality if it's not managed.

    At some stage in life, for one reason or another, reality can shift again. Imagination and the pineal gland can become more active. If this is sudden, some can find themselves feeling like they're stuck between 2 realities or going 'crazy'. By the way, daydreaming is a great way to access imagination/possibility. Eg: Some may dream the intense reality of confronting a person who was abusive in the early part of our life vs the reality 'You can't do that!' One reality is self-serving (in an empowering way), the other self-defeating. If confrontation is chosen, after all those years, overall reality and perception can further shift. The courageous you is suddenly brought back to life. You can also can re-turn to unconditional self love.

    With certain reality shifts there can be physical challenges. It's said that we store mental dis-ease in the physical body. When the mental stuff shifts so too can the physical. It's said that the body can go through a stage of release and some folk really feel it in various systems (muscular, nervous, hormonal etc). Such release can exhaust some people before heightened states of energy and excitement come into play.

    So, basically, it's about the process of emergence or re-emergence of the natural self. It's deemed an emergency when things become seriously disorientating and help is needed.