Dissociation Quotes

Quotes tagged as "dissociation" Showing 1-30 of 285
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

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

“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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

“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

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

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

Martha Stout
“But after all the years, her husband and children have come to accept that, once every few weeks, their usually warmhearted and approachable Camisha will get into her Honda Accord at the beginning of a seemingly random day, and disppear until well after supper, when she will return home and go directly to bed. Her family has learned never top ask her where she had been on such a day, because the most she will ever say is, "Out. I just went out for a bit."

Also, they learned long ago never to express irritation or anger of any kind against Camisha, because when they do, her reaction is to become mute and exit to the garden, where for several hours she will sit cross-legged on a favourite flat stone, her back to the house. Slender, straight-backed, and unmoving, at these times she resembles nothing so much as an elegant ebony carving, exquisite but not quite alive. Watching her is almost unberable, and so is the guilt. Or if the weather is not suitable for the garden, she will simpily go to her bedroom and lock the door. Then as a matter of course, without comment during or after, her husband sleeps on the sofa in the den. In the morning, Camisha is usually her old self again, just as if nothing had happened.”
Martha Stout, The Myth of Sanity: Divided Consciousness and the Promise of Awareness

“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

“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

“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

Bessel A. van der Kolk
“While reliving trauma is dramatic, frightening, and potentially self-destructive, over time a lack of presence can be even more damaging. This is a particular problem with traumatized children. The acting-out kids tend to get attention; the blanked-out ones don’t bother anybody and are left to lose their future bit by bit.”
Bessel Van Der Kolk, Body keeps the score, trauma and recovery and hidden healing powers 3 books collection set

Olga Trujillo
“I did well at the Department of Justice. Some of my parts were hard workers. My well-developed memory helped me remember people: their names and positions and what they said during meetings. Rather than making me seem checked out, my dissociation made me seem calm and collected. In fact, the general dissociative state I was always in helped me function very well. I collected information, interacted on a personal and professional level, and was quite adept at managing most tasks in my life from this superficially numb and calm place. Most people, including me, didn't notice. This way of being and interacting was really all I knew.

From that mild dissociation, I quickly went into a deeper dissociative state if there was conflict around me, if someone expressed strong emotions, or if something unpredictable happened. Although these difficult situations triggered me, they brought out behavior that helped me do well when the going got tough.”
Olga Trujillo, The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Chil Rajchman
“I am as if paralysed: over there in the chamber the gas people and we are supposed to sing!”
Chil Rajchman, The Last Jew of Treblinka

Bethany L. Brand
“Diagnosing dissociation does not make it happen, and denying it does not make it go away.”
Bethany L. Brand

“We propose that BPD involves secondary structural dissociation. Consistent with this, Golynkina and Ryle (1999) found that patients with BPD encompassed a dissociative part of the personality that seems to represent an ANP (a coping ANP) and more than one EP (abuser rage, victim rage, passive victim, and zombie). Some patients with BPD have severe dissociative symptoms, and may actually border on DDNOS or DID. Our clinical observations suggest that dissociative parts in BPD patients have less emancipation and elaboration, and less distinct sense of self than in DDNOS or DID.”
Ellert R.S. Nijenhuis, The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization

Innocent Mwatsikesimbe
“The freedom to dissociate from people, ideas and ways of life you're not compatible with is one to cherish. That simple choice to walk away empowers the free being to pursue contentment.”
Innocent Mwatsikesimbe

Sebastian Barry
“A savage sense entered me, of being of such small account in the world that I wasn't to be helped, that priest and woman and man had put out an edict that I wasn't to be helped, I was to be left to the elements, just as I was, a walking animal, forsaken.

Maybe it was then that some part of me leapt away from myself, something fled from my brain, I don't know.”
Sebastian Barry, The Secret Scripture

Ottessa Moshfegh
“I got sloppy and lazy at work, emptier, less there. This pleased me, but having to do things became very problematic. When people spoke, I had to repeat what they'd said in my mind before understanding it.”
Ottessa Moshfegh, My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Olga Trujillo
“I'm here as a person who coped in a way that allowed me to be here today but made me vulnerable to abuse when I was a teenager and young adult...”
Olga Trujillo, The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder

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