Do you ever feel disconnected from yourself or your body?
Feelings of disconnection, disembodiment, dissociation are very common today. I have been working with these feelings myself throughout my life, and often with my therapy clients. Feelings of being disconnected and overwhelmed with life can be associated with past trauma. Many of us had parents that were not fully embodied, as well as growing up in a culture that encourages children and adults to be overly outer orientated. Feeling disconnected is often connected with anxiety disorders and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Common feelings of disconnection from body or self
As you read these statements, stay mindful of your body, your breath; the sensations in your body. Have you ever felt this way? Do you often feel these things? Do any of these statements trigger changes in your breathing or trigger other changes in your emotional feelings or bodily sensations?
I feel hollow inside.
I hardly feel my feet.
It is difficult for me to spend time with myself.
I feel anxious a lot.
My hands are clammy.
My hands and feet are cold when they should be warm.
My head often feels foggy.
I can’t concentrate.
I have terrible memory. I talk to someone for a while and a minute later I can not tell you the color of their eyes, the color of their hair, or what they were wearing.
I feel this sense of weakness, like I am weak, small, no good.
I look at myself in the mirror and I don’t like myself. So much about me I don’t like.
I can’t think of something intelligent to say.
I often feel overwhelmed.
I blush easy.
I feel stupid a lot.
I feel anxious and tired at parties.
I feel drained in big stores, especially crowded places.
I get wired and tense easy.
More ways people feel disconnected and ungrounded
I feel spacey, like I am floating.
I feel ungrounded.
I can’t meditate.
I can’t quiet my mind.
I can’t sit still. My mind jumps around.
I can’t read. I can’t concentrate.
I get confused easy.
I keep checking my phone.
I keep flipping the channels.
I do like ten things at once.
I don’t finish things.
More feelings of dissatisfaction and failure
I dream and desire a lot of things, but I don’t do them.
My hands and feet feel far away.
My arms and legs feel skinny, small, like sticks.
My hands and feet don’t even feel like part of me.
I can’t feel my genitals.
Sex is not satisfying.
I feel numb.
My chest feels like there is armor over it.
My head floats above my body.
I feel spaced out all the time.
I feel unfocused.
I feel up in the air somewhere and above my body.
I feel disconnected from myself.
I can’t have an orgasm.
I pick at my skin.
I pull my hairs.
I chew my inner checks and lips.
I chew my nails.
I feel very anxious speaking to people.
I breathe only into the top or middle of my chest.
I have a tense ball in my solar plexus, stomach or chest all the time.
I feel like I don’t exist.
I cry a lot.
Everyone thinks I am happy, but secretly I am not.
I feel like a failure.
I don’t think I will ever be a success.
I am not lovable.
I will never be happy.
Trauma often causes disconnection
Do a lot of these resonate with you? People that can relate to many of these statements may have not received the kind of love they needed growing up. Others may have experienced serious hurt or trauma. Trauma does not need to be some major experience that everyone would agree upon is a big trauma. In fact, the trauma may be something subtle, even unrecognizable from the outside: something that was just part of everyday life in the home or family, so much part of everyday life that it does not stand out as something ‘traumatic’. It just slowly and consistently over time ate away at our self-confidence and made us feel powerless.
The feelings, difficulties and experiences on the list above are often associated with trauma. Those statements and feelings come from my own life as well as from 30 years of working with clients.
If your life has silent suffering, if you feel disconnected from your body, if you feel something is wrong with you because you just can’t create success in your personal life, career, health or creative dreams, please call me, I want to help you. Don’t allow your anxiety, fear and distrust to keep you from seeking help.
It is common to avoid seeking help
Avoiding seeking help, or thinking no one is capable or good enough to help you, is very common for people who have been very hurt, or are suffering in silence and afraid to expose themselves. Shame is often a major factor: we don’t want to feel or have anyone think there is ‘something wrong with us’. On the one hand we feel something is wrong with us, on the other we can’t face it or show it to someone else. There is nothing wrong with us at our core, though there is something wrong that is blocking us from living free and shining in life.
Going through life feeling disconnected, fearful, anxious, cut off from our bodies is a very depressive, lonely and painful way to go through life. Take it from me. I suffered for many years before I dedicated myself to therapy that totally changed my life in many positive ways. I hope you will do this for yourself.
Feel free to schedule a complimentary session and find out how we can work together to help you heal and move forward in your life.