Dissociating Is Being Stuck In My Head and Not My Body

Age: My whole life

I’m struggling right now. A whirlpool sucked me under and spat me out at the back end of a riptide. Instead of swimming diagonal towards the shore and away from the tide, I’m bobbing up and down in the water and fruitlessly struggling against the current. I am here but I am also on the shore, and I need to get back there. I can’t say anything. He wants me to tell him if I’m ok and I am trapped in my head, but not in my body. I can’t move my eyes to look into his. I cannot ask for help. This is the nightmare I’ve had hundreds of times.

This is the dream when I need to scream, but I can’t even whisper for help.

Didn’t you know time is not a straight line? Sometimes it goes backward. Sometimes my mind is in a different place than my body. I can’t tell you when it happened for the first time, but I know what it was like. I read somewhere that flies perceive time differently than humans. What we think of as lightning fast reflexes with a fly swatter is like bullets in the Matrix to Neo as far as the flies are concerned. I know the feeling; I’ve experienced the sliding of hourglass grains of sand in slow motion.

When I was a kid, I would become disconnected from time as I was used to it. The world would be moving too fast and too slow at the same time. Everyone’s words were on fast forward, but their movements were in laboriously slow motion. Lying in bed, I would wrap myself around a teddy bear as the walls expanded away from me. I grew even smaller and the real world separated from me. I’d close my eyes and pray to be brought back into myself.

Dissociation — that’s what I’ve been told is the term for these reality-morphing events.

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