Disassociation and Aspergers (and the adult version of rocking in a corner)

Any good shrink can tell you that someone with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) will disassociate when things get tough.  Disassociation is when reality goes stage left and all of a sudden you feel like you are in a movie, or a whole other world.  It’s some freaky shit, considering no drugs are involved!

It is particularly prevalent when someone has Complex-PTSD (Complex PTSD is usually a description given to long-term childhood trauma – basically PTSD from having a fucked up parent or two or some such thing).

I disassociate on a regular basis.

It’s hard to describe really, but when it happens, it’s like, you could swear that all of a sudden the world just isn’t real.  It’s like some higher power is playing a cruel joke on you or something.  It makes the movie The Matrix seem completely SANE.

Not to be outdone by – well – anything, I take all of this one step further and disassociate deliberately at times.  This is different in that I close my eyes and imagine myself elsewhere.  It isn’t like normal imagination though – I go so into myself, that my body actually reacts as though I am actually there.  I can end up hot, cold, or if I’m not careful and end up somewhere in my past and scared, I “wake up” with my heart beating and my adrenaline pumping like I am really back there!

I can also use this for good too – I can imagine myself anywhere, and it really is like I’m really there.

Here is where the Aspergers comes into it (other than the question of just how much of this is due to C-PTSD and how much is due to being Aspie – it’s hard to tell when I have both.) – Aspies quite often feel emotions more intensely right?  That isn’t any secret.  Usually it’s associated with bad emotions (meltdowns etc), but it also works for good emotions.  I find music is a good trigger for me (for both good and bad emotions).

So right now, I am suicidal, and it’s pretty bad.  I am staying up and listening to music and closing my eyes and imaging myself in the life I want to actually be living.  It’s nice there.  I can dance and sing and live somewhere that is close to shops and parks and people.

Unfortunately I open my eyes every now and then and reality hits again and I end up crying.  For the most part though, I get to escape for a while.

I don’t want to go to bed tonight.  I had a dream last night (my dreams are ultra intense too) where I had just bought a unit with the view of a city.  It was a small unit, but nice and new and accessible.  There were lots of shops on the street downstairs, like a bakery and stuff.  It had a real community feel to it.  I was really happy there.

Then I woke up.  And the reality of just how alone I really am hit me yet again.  So tonight, I am listening to music and going back there in my imagination.

I really wish I could stop crying.  It’s not like there are any accessible solutions to any of my problems.  Solutions sure, heaps of them, but none of them realistically accessible.  So there’s really no point in getting all worked up about it.  Regardless – I just can’t be “here” anymore.  It’s too much!  Everything is all FUBAR, and it’s all too much!  One way or another I need to go away for a while, and as I can’t physically go anywhere, and I don’t want to die really, I have to retreat inwards and block out the world.

Ever seen a child with ASD in a corner rocking?  Same shit.



Edited to add –>  I guess I should put in the number for Lifeline –> 13 11 14 – for in case this has triggered you in some way.


Alternately (if talking to someone on the phone doesn’t work for you), listen to some music (without disassociating 😉  )  I recommend…




Disability consumer and activist. Pissed off since 1995... Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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Posted in Autism, Disability, Mental Health, Personal
5 comments on “Disassociation and Aspergers (and the adult version of rocking in a corner)
  1. druidwinter says:

    I know what you mean. I had a fight with my better half because I pay a bill the same way every time, and he wanted to insist to pay it another way this time, over the phone from a number I dont recognize. I overturned a sock cabinet and was screaming this morning when he pressed me to use the alternate way. I screamed at him. I would not get that upset if he f**ked another woman! I really tried to control it this time but could not. Aspergers does not go away when you become an adult, This still happens although my neurotypical child is now an adult and lives independently.. Why am I still having this trouble as an adult? Why is it hard for me to be an independent adult? X/

    My last employer used tricks to steal money from me to trick me into working for free for two weeks before I walked off the job. I paid cash rent, but they stopped giving me a receipt for the rent I paid. The owner wanted to change the beauty salon to film some porn, hide behind my beauty license. If that wasnt bad enough, they tried to get me to film porn-on credit with the janitor guy that fixes the sink -he used to make porn in the 1980/1990s. The person said I would make enough money to buy a house, and they tried to make it sound logical, but it was an illogical plan that put them in the position of getting all the money, besides, I dont like to touch other people in that way- it is unsanitary..

    I politely turned them down, quit and left -they sued me claiming they gave me money on credit- to rent out the space for beauty services. I did not have rent receipts they kept saying they forgot the book, but insisted on cash-only- and they had no receipts or a contract either!. Their accountant that supplied incorrect information to the court wants to invest in porn is still calling my home trying to barter porn! I hate anorexia! It is like wearing a bulls eye 24/7 for neurotypical perverts and pimps.

    The harder I work, it seems the the harder Other adults try to take advantage and steal what little I have. Are they all naturally dirtbags?

    I just want to go to work and not touch anyone but beauty customers and sharks looking for free money and sex try to move in.

    I am not depressed, I dont have PTSD, but will hurt myself when my personal schedule or normalized patterns get interrupted. I even have to bar family from interfering or I feel I will be dealing with PTSD and meet the criteria!

    I am really close to becoming nonverbal and letting the state take care of me because of the stress of being constantly cheated and having my Autism used against me.

    WTF planet did I end up on!?!

    Dont worry, you are not alone.

    • Druidwinter, Push, and Linda Mad Hatter. Wow, I’m so sorry about the stress and trauma you’ve been through. The escape into fantasy seems very functional in that it helps you shield from the stress and come back into reality when you are ready to cope with it. I’m not on the spectrum, so I can only read and learn from all of you.

  2. Push says:

    I have those same moments, crank up the stereo until the walls shake. I have a playlist just for those days..the playlist is actually called “I’m Feeling Violent” and I just sit there and let it all drown out for a bit. You seem like a tough girl and have, at least, found an outlet (which is so freaking hard for us) to let it out in one way or another. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. splltgrrl says:

    Hey Linda,

    Hang in there. This was the blog I needed to read tonight. 🙂

    Thank you

  4. Thank you all, for the comments (and camaraderie)… I have realised that my usual self-soothing techniques have not been working… So I going to try a few new things and see what happens 🙂

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Pissed off since 1995. Mad as a hatter since way before that.

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