Depersonalization

An invisible hand reached through my neck, cutting my breath short, pulling my consciousness away until it was completely detached from my body.

I could move, but only very slowly.

I could see, but everything was choppy, as if I was looking at a broken screen.

I could hear, but it was like I was underwater. Voices seemed far away and echoed even though they came from right in front of me.

I instructed myself to smile, to move my head every once in a while so no one would know anything was wrong. I robotically carried out these actions when I could.

I sat beside myself and saw the dead, faraway look in my eyes. The blank face. My body swayed unsteadily. I felt nauseas, as if my body was a rocking boat and I was dangling off the edge.

I somehow found my way home and fell into a long and uneasy sleep.

Self hatred and BPD

I read somewhere that most psychiatrists don’t like using the term “self hatred” and prefer to descrive a person as having low self esteem. I agree that I have low self esteem, but when things are particularly bad, self hatred is much harsher sounding, which I think fits. 

My self hatred chips away at different aspects of my life. Usually my relationship is first to get hit, since that is a weak point for me to begin with. I’m afraid I will be abandoned. If I hate myself so deeply, how can I ever expect anyone else to love me? And so, usually without me even realizing it, I push and push until they get frustrated with me. This is often achieved by angry outbursts, oversensitivity, accusations based on nothing but my irrational fears, and splitting. 

Right now the self hatred is so bad, I hate myself for even writing this. I’m stigmatizing my own situation, even though I would never think to do that to someone else. I can’t bear to write any more.

Psychosis 

Possible trigger warning – painful imagery, descriptions of injury

I was riding in the car with my family on our way to a Sunday lunch. As far as I can recall everything was fine. That’s when it hit me. I had never felt so ashamed and abnormal. I felt like a freak.

A thought crossed my mind, completely randomly. You know the feeling of having a papercut? I can’t describe it because that means I need to think about it – but I’m sure everyone’s experienced one. I thought about a papercut, but across my eyes. I winced and closed my eyes.

It was like intrusive thoughts on steroids. It kept attacking me. In mindfulness, we are told to accept these thoughts and let them pass, but these thoughts were different. I could actually feel it. I could sense the pain and felt the recoil and response a body would have to being cut.

The thought of cutting my face and small cuts against my eyes kept appearing in my brain and I felt every single sensation. When I closed my eyes, I felt something pierce through my eyelids into my eyes.

My dad stopped the car, and my mom took my sisters into the restaurant. I was sobbing and screaming, “make it stop, make them go away!” When the thoughts passed for a while, my dad and I joined the rest of my family. The thought would come in and I would shudder and wince very obviously. I must have looked insane. I felt insane. I was insane.

I ran back to the car early so I could curl into a ball. I screamed and yelled but it wouldn’t stop. How do you make something go away that is in your head? How do you get away? You can’t.

This went on for 3 days. That’s not very long, but it felt like an eternity. Was I ever going to be normal again? My parents didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to do. I just kept clutching and scratching at my face, trying to get the sensation of blades running across my face off. When my hands went to close to my face, I felt the sharp burning across my hands, so I recoiled. I was banging my head against walls. I was pacing in circles squeezing and hitting my head with my hands. I was humming loudly so my brain would register another sense besides pain.

All those horrible depictions of mental illness and psychosis you see on tv was my reality for those few days. You see people screaming and hitting themselves and scratching away at their face and it’s horrifying. You think it’s horrifying to watch? It’s even more horrifying to experience.

It hasn’t happened again since, but now I have a wider understanding of what others may go through. I can’t imagine going through that every single day. I don’t think anyone could.

I always say this: people with mental illnesses are having normal reactions to an abnormal situation. If any “normal” person was hearing voices, feeling sensations that weren’t there, or having visual hallucinations, I don’t think they’d fare too well either.