Dissociation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "dissociation" Showing 1-30 of 313
H.P. Lovecraft
“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents... some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the light into the peace and safety of a new Dark Age.”
H.P. Lovecraft

Seneca
“It is the power of the mind to be unconquerable.”
Seneca, The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters

Judith Lewis Herman
“The ORDINARY RESPONSE TO ATROCITIES is to banish them from consciousness. Certain violations of the social compact are too terrible to utter aloud: this is the meaning of the word unspeakable.

Atrocities, however, refuse to be buried. Equally as powerful as the desire to deny atrocities is the conviction that denial does not work. Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told. Murder will out. Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisites both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims.

The conflict between the will to deny horrible events and the will to proclaim them aloud is the central dialectic of psychological trauma. People who have survived atrocities often tell their stories in a highly emotional, contradictory, and fragmented manner that undermines their credibility and thereby serves the twin imperatives of truth-telling and secrecy. When the truth is finally recognized, survivors can begin their recovery. But far too often secrecy prevails, and the story of the traumatic event surfaces not as a verbal narrative but as a symptom.

The psychological distress symptoms of traumatized people simultaneously call attention to the existence of an unspeakable secret and deflect attention from it. This is most apparent in the way traumatized people alternate between feeling numb and reliving the event. The dialectic of trauma gives rise to complicated, sometimes uncanny alterations of consciousness, which George Orwell, one of the committed truth-tellers of our century, called "doublethink," and which mental health professionals, searching for calm, precise language, call "dissociation." It results in protean, dramatic, and often bizarre symptoms of hysteria which Freud recognized a century ago as disguised communications about sexual abuse in childhood. . . .”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Gabor Maté
“The attempt to escape from pain, is what creates more pain.”
Gabor Maté

Pete Walker
“Perfectionism is the unparalleled defense for emotionally abandoned children. The existential unattainability of perfection saves the child from giving up, unless or until, scant success forces him to retreat into the depression of a dissociative disorder, or launches him hyperactively into an incipient conduct disorder. Perfectionism also provides a sense of meaning and direction for the powerless and unsupported child. In the guise of self-control, striving to be perfect offers a simulacrum of a sense of control. Self-control is also safer to pursue because abandoning parents typically reserve their severest punishment for children who are vocal about their negligence.”
Pete Walker

Alison   Miller
“Punishments include such things as flashbacks, flooding of unbearable emotions, painful body memories, flooding of memories in which the survivor perpetrated against others, self-harm, and suicide attempts.”
Alison Miller, Healing the Unimaginable: Treating Ritual Abuse and Mind Control

Alexandra Katehakis
“The process of dissociation is an elegant mechanism built into the human psychological system as a form of escape from (sometimes literally) going crazy. The problem with checking out so thoroughly is that it can leave us feeling dead inside, with little or no ability to feel our feelings in our bodies. The process of repair demands a re-association with the body, a commitment to dive into the body and feel today what we couldn’t feel yesterday because it was too dangerous.”
Alexandra Katehakis, Mirror of Intimacy: Daily Reflections on Emotional and Erotic Intelligence

“The return of the voices would end in a migraine that made my whole body throb. I could do nothing except lie in a blacked-out room waiting for the voices to get infected by the pains in my head and clear off.

Knowing I was different with my OCD, anorexia and the voices that no one else seemed to hear made me feel isolated, disconnected. I took everything too seriously. I analysed things to death. I turned every word, and the intonation of every word over in my mind trying to decide exactly what it meant, whether there was a subtext or an implied criticism. I tried to recall the expressions on people’s faces, how those expressions changed, what they meant, whether what they said and the look on their faces matched and were therefore genuine or whether it was a sham, the kind word touched by irony or sarcasm, the smile that means pity.
When people looked at me closely could they see the little girl in my head, being abused in those pornographic clips projected behind my eyes?
That is what I would often be thinking and such thoughts ate away at the façade of self-confidence I was constantly raising and repairing.

(describing dissociative identity disorder/mpd symptoms)”
Alice Jamieson, Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind

Gregory Maguire
“Indeed, she often wondered if she were dead, or dying from the inside out, and that was the root of her calm, the reason she could surrender her character.”
Gregory Maguire, A Lion Among Men

“Dissociation gets you through a brutal experience, letting your basic survival skills operate unimpeded…Your ability to survive is enhanced as the ability to feel is diminished…All feeling are blocked; you ‘go away.’ You are disconnected from the act, the perpetrator & yourself…Viewing the scene from up above or some other out-of-body perspective is common among sexual abuse survivors.”
Renee Fredrickson, Repressed Memories: A Journey to Recovery from Sexual Abuse

Melissa de la Cruz
“She was a stranger in her own life, a tourist in her own body.”
Melissa de la Cruz, The Van Alen Legacy

Martha Stout
“-If I somehow possessed a set of videotapes that contained all the most significant events of your childhood, in their entirety, would you want to see them?

-Absolutely. Right this very second.

-But why? Don't you think some of the tapes would be very sad?

-Most of them, yes. But if I could see them, then I could have them in my brain like regular memories-horrible memories, yes, but regular memories, not sinister little ghosts in my head that pop out of some part of me I don't even know, and take the rest of me away. Do you know what I mean?

-I think so, If you have to remeber, you'd rather do it in the front of your brain than in the back.”
Martha Stout, The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness

Amanda Lindhout
“In my mind, I built stairways. At the end of the stairways, I imagined rooms. These were high, airy places with big windows and a cool breeze moving through. I imagined one room opening brightly onto another room until I'd built a house, a place with hallways and more staircases. I built many houses, one after another, and those gave rise to a city -- a calm, sparkling city near the ocean, a place like Vancouver. I put myself there, and that's where I lived, in the wide-open sky of my mind. I made friends and read books and went running on a footpath in a jewel-green park along the harbour. I ate pancakes drizzled in syrup and took baths and watched sunlight pour through trees. This wasn't longing, and it wasn't insanity. It was relief. It got me through.”
Amanda Lindhout, A House in the Sky

Virginia Woolf
“But I will stretch my toes so that they touch the rail at the end of the bed; I will assure myself, touching the rail, of something hard. Now I cannot sink; cannot altogether fall through the thin sheet now. Now I spread my body on this frail mattress and hang suspended. I am above the earth now. I am no longer upright, to be knocked against and damaged. All is soft, and bending. Walls and cupboards whiten and bend their yellow squares on top of which a pale glass gleams. Out of me now my mind can pour.”
Virginia Woolf, The Waves

“Without realizing it, I fought to keep my two worlds separated. Without ever knowing why, I made sure, whenever possible that nothing passed between the compartmentalization I had created between the day child and the night child.
p26”
Marilyn Van Derbur, Miss America by Day

Jessica Stern
“This book is a memoir - not of specific life events, but of the processes of dissociation, and of re-enlivening emotions that are shameful to admit or even to feel. It is an account of the altered states that trauma induces, which make it possible to survive a life-threatening event but impair the capacity to feel fear, and worse still, impair the ability to love. (292)”
Jessica Stern, Denial: A Memoir of Terror

“Theirs was the eternal youth of an alternating self, a youth with the constant although unfulfilled promise of growing up”
Flora Rheta Schreiber, Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities

Melissa de la Cruz
“Sometimes she was even sure that she had ever really existed.”
Melissa de la Cruz, The Van Alen Legacy

“Dissociation, in a general sense, refers to a rigid separation of parts of experiences, including somatic experiences, consciousness, affects, perception, identity, and memory. When there is a structural dissociation, each of the dissociated self-states has at least a rudimentary sense of "I" (Van der Hart et al., 2004). In my view, all of the environmentally based "psychopathology" or problems in living can be seen through this lens.”
Elizabeth F. Howell, The Dissociative Mind

“It is a rare person who can cut himself off from mediate and immediate relations with others for long spaces of time without undergoing a deterioration in personality.”
Harry Stack Sullivan, The Interpersonal Theory of Psychiatry

Clemantine Wamariya
“I could no longer discern what was real and what was fake. Everything, including the present, seemed to be both too much and nothing at all.”
Clemantine Wamariya, The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After

“Why did I allow the abuse to continue? Even as a teenager?
I didn’t.
Something that had been plaguing me for years now made sense. It was like the answer to a terrible secret. The thing is, it wasn’t me in my bed, it was Shirley who lay the wondering if that man was going to come to her room, pull back the cover and push his penis into her waiting mouth it was Shirley. I remembered watching her, a skinny little thing with no breasts and a dark resentful expression. She was angry. She didn’t want this man in her room doing the things he did, but she didn’t know how to stop it. He didn’t beat her, he didn’t threaten her. He just looked at her with black hypnotic eyes and she lay back with her legs apart thinking about nothing at all.
And where was I? I stood to one side, or hovered overhead just below the ceiling, or rode on a magic carpet. I held my breath and watched my father pushing up and down inside Shirley’s skinny body.”
Alice Jamieson, Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind

“Having DID is, for many people, a very lonely thing. If this book reaches some people whose experiences resonate with mine and gives them a sense that they aren't alone, that there is hope, then I will have achieved one of my goals.
A sad fact is that people with DID spend an average of almost seven years in the mental health system before being properly diagnosed and receiving the specific help they need. During that repeatedly misdiagnosed and incorrectly treated, simply because clinicians fail to recognize the symptoms. If this book provides practicing and future clinicians certain insight into DID, then I will have accomplished another goal.
Clinicians, and all others whose lives are touched by DID, need to grasp the fundamentally illusive nature of memory, because memory, or the lack of it, is an integral component of this condition. Our minds are stock pots which are continuously fed ingredients from many cooks: parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors, teachers, schoolmates, strangers, acquaintances, radio, television, movies, and books. These are the fixings of learning and memory, which are stirred with a spoon that changes form over time as it is shaped by our experiences. In this incredibly amorphous neurological stew, it is impossible for all memories to be exact.
But even as we accept the complex of impressionistic nature of memory, it is equally essential to recognize that people who experience persistent and intrusive memories that disrupt their sense of well-being and ability to function, have some real basis distress, regardless of the degree of clarity or feasibility of their recollections.
We must understand that those who experience abuse as children, and particularly those who experience incest, almost invariably suffer from a profound sense of guilt and shame that is not meliorated merely by unearthing memories or focusing on the content of traumatic material. It is not enough to just remember. Nor is achieving a sense of wholeness and peace necessarily accomplished by either placing blame on others or by forgiving those we perceive as having wronged us. It is achieved through understanding, acceptance, and reinvention of the self.”
Cameron West, First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple

“And if we do speak out, we risk rejection and ridicule. I had a best friend once, the kind that you go shopping with and watch films with, the kind you go on holiday with and rescue when her car breaks down on the A1. Shortly after my diagnosis, I told her I had DID. I haven't seen her since. The stench and rankness of a socially unacceptable mental health disorder seems to have driven her away.”
Carolyn Spring, Living with the Reality of Dissociative Identity Disorder: Campaigning Voices

Helena Fox
“Here I am, in borrowed bones, in makeshift skin, looking out it eyes that are a construct, breathing with lungs that are only a step–a basic rearrangement–away from leaves. How funny, to have a body when I am not a body? How funny, to be inside when I am outside.”
Helena Fox, How It Feels to Float

“Janna knew - Rikki knew — and I knew, too — that becoming Dr Cameron West wouldn't make me feel a damn bit better about myself than I did about being Citizen West. Citizen West, Citizen Kane, Sugar Ray Robinson, Robinson Crusoe, Robinson miso, miso soup, black bean soup, black sticky soup, black sticky me. Yeah. Inside I was still a fetid and festering corpse covered in sticky blackness, still mired in putrid shame and scorching self-hatred. I could write an 86-page essay comparing the features of Borderline Personality Disorder with those of Dissociative Identity Disorder, but I barely knew what day it was, or even what month, never knew where the car was parked when Dusty would come out of the grocery store, couldn't look in the mirror for fear of what—or whom—I'd see.
~ Dr Cameron West describes living with DID whilst studying to be a psychologist.”
Cameron West, First Person Plural: My Life as a Multiple

“With respect to the acceptance of dissociative disorders, as with most issues in life, it is counterproductive to spend time trying to convince people of things they don't want to know.”
Warwick Middleton

“Patrice had long since buried the particulars of events so painful that they caused her to resolve only to see good. With such a stance, such as dissociative split, she could walk with evil and believe it did not exist. She was Joe's perfect mate.”
Judith Spencer, Satans High Priest

Judith Lewis Herman
“In the absence of strong political movements for human rights, the active process of bearing witness inevitably gives way to the active process of forgetting. Repression, dissociation, and denial are phenomena of social as well as individual consciousness.”
Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence - From Domestic Abuse to Political Terror

Richard Francis Burton
“How strange are the tricks of memory, which, often hazy as a dream about the most important events, religiously preserve the merest trifles.”
Richard Francis Burton

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