I struggle with C-PTSD and one of my symptoms is dissociative episodes. For those who don’t what that is it’s like watching yourself from outside of yourself, like a movie. I can’t speak or move while stuck in one. I can only see, hear and smell yet I can’t participate in what is going on around me. Thankfully, I haven’t experienced one in over three years. When I was in the height of healing from my traumas they were extremely severe . I once got out of a moving car on the freeway and started walking aimlessly into traffic.
When I first started having panic attacks, almost fourteen years ago, they were accompanied by terrifying visions. My mind would play out the traumas from my childhood like they were happening in the present. I would hyperventilate, sweat and cry. I believe it was my minds way of trying to reprocess what I couldn’t as a child and teenager. In hindsight, those situations would leave me stuck like a deer in the headlights. At that time I was stuffing all of my emotions and not reacting out of terror. I would feel so numb both during and after these events that traumatized me. I’ve always known that I am an extra highly sensitive individual. Later when I was 35 years old, with the assistance and guidance of my therapist, we discovered a name for it. I’m an intuitive empath. At the time when most of my development was taking place and because I was exposed to constant ongoing emotional trauma, my mind simply couldn’t process it all.
All of these concepts and emotions inspired this poem. This is my interpretation of what being in a dissociative episode that feels like.