Friday, January 11, 2019

Depersonalization and Derealization

At one of my support groups this past weekend, our topic was "Depersonalization-derealization" as referenced in Zinnia Jones article (linked here). We started by reading off some of the descriptions which included:

  • A sense of detachment or estrangement from your own thoughts, feelings, or body: “I know I have feelings but I don’t feel them”
  • Feeling split into two parts, with one going through the motions of participating in the world and one observing quietly: “There is this body that walks around and somebody else just watches”
  • Feeling as if you have an “unreal” or absent self: “I have no self”
  • Experiencing the world as distant, dreamlike, foggy, lifeless, colorless, artificial, like a picture with no depth, or less than real
  • Being absorbed in yourself and experiencing a compulsive self-scrutiny or extreme rumination
  • Feeling like a veil or glass wall separates you from the world
  • Emotional or physical numbness, such as a feeling of having a head filled with cotton
  • Lacking a sense of agency – feeling flat, robotic, dead, or like a “zombie”
  • Inability to imagine things
  • Being able to think clearly, but feeling as if some essential quality is lacking from your thoughts or experience of the world
  • A sense of disconnectedness from life, impeding you from creative and open involvement with the world
As the list of descriptions were read, I began to get a little choked up at the deep personal experience I have had with each and every one of those. This is what my physicians, therapists and I had been working on for the past five years, though I had been functioning for much of my life in this manner as a closeted woman. --

I did not begin to realize the severity of negative impact my being closeted had until about 10 years ago. Aside from talk-therapy, I tried treating it with anti-depressants which ended up making it worse and even less connected to my emotions, my senses and ability to empathize.

I tried it with ADHD meds which if anything helped me understand this disconnect and how my soul seemed fractured. In the process helped clarify for certain that indeed I am a woman and Being Closeted is the root of the problems I have been having. 
-- This of course is the consensus of medical professionals who deal with Gender Dysphoria, its just I had to get there on my own.

The resolution to re-integrating my whole being did not begin until I made that commitment to start HRT and come out. - 

But, The greatest impact upon me, my soul, my Growth as a fully realized human being occurred 
when I began my trips to Iowa City. For it was at my very first trip there in late December 2017 that I was affirmed as the woman I have always been-- Without question, without judgment, no explanation needed -- my soul was understood. Never before had I known this experience - an experience so many people take for granted. 

Hanging in Iowa City early 2018
Without those trips, those continuing conversations - I believe I would still be stunted emotionally, probably suffering still a bit from depersonalization, and my family life and care for my children probably might not be as healthy as it is.

When I think about women my age and the decisions we made in our youth and young adult lives to "buckle down, resign ourselves to a dedicated male persona" and remain closeted for our Love for our partners - which always seemed right at the time / easier to do in our younger years, I find that for so many of us have -- once we get into our forties the negative effects of being closeted really become too much to bear.

Perhaps one of these days I will share more, then again maybe not. In any event being closeted sucks and anyone who advocates for "Conversion" or "Reparative" therapy is either Ignorant or completely EVIL!

Discovering My Soul and Becoming Whole in Iowa City 2018