Hello my name is Alannah,
I'm a 28 year old female born in Adelaide South Australia living in Baltimore Maryland. Recently I was finally able to put a name to what I've been experiencing for as long as I can remember. I believe I've been having Depersonalizations since I was a young child. Brought on by a traumatic childhood, exasperated by trauma as a young adult. I have bouts of DP where i don't feel like I'm me, or anyone really. I'm just a shadow, a ghost, a vibration constantly humming. It's like the world is shrink wrapped. My memories seem like still photos that I'm looking at through plastic. I also experience other forms of dissociations; fugues, amnesia, derealization.
My psychotherapist has diagnosed me with borderline personality disorder along with many other things. BPD shares a lot of the same characteristics of Bipolar disorder, except the main difference is the dissociations. I experience Dissociative Amnesia and Dissociative Fugue states. I did a bunch of research and found a few cases like mine. The most unsettling thing is that most cases are only diagnosed after a major episode. Several people i read about had just walked out of their lives. They later turn up elsewhere, sometimes a few towns away, sometimes in different states, months even years later, living life completely unaware of their old lives until the episode suddenly stops and they're incredibly shell shocked to not be where they remember, who they remember being, with the people they love. These episodes are usually what brings in the official diagnosis of Dissociative Disorder. (Not to be confused with Dissociative Identity Disorder, also known as multiple personalities)
That's how I was diagnosed. In 2015 I had a secondary traumatic experience related to my rape trauma in 2011. This secondary experience set me off into an episode and it wasn't until February 2019 that i came out of my fugue with 4 years of nothing. No memory of four years of my life. Id taken a bus to Canada at one point to meet a complete stranger, booked a cruise to the Bahamas I never went on, cheated on my husband, abandoned all my friends. I came back to a bomb shell. Nothing was the way it used to be. I have a different job, i live with my parents again, my husband divorced me, my best friend left me, I tried to commit suicide three times in two months while i was in the fugue. Id been hospitalized for 6 months from trying to overdose on sleeping pills. I remember absolutely none of it.
Its terrifying, and now that I've been diagnosed I'm noticing all the small depersonalizations again. The auto pilot, the haze, the driving to work and not remembering it, working and not knowing what I'm doing but doing it right somehow. The feeling like the world is off slightly. And the Derealizations, almost like everyones been replaced with plastic imposters. Everyones watching me, waiting for me to loose my Sh*t. It made me think about my life. I've always thought i just had a horrible horrible memory. But what if I've been having a series of dissociative fugues? It's messed up, but I can't even remember if I've had dissociations in the past. I can't remember not remembering, but I can't remember remembering them either. It's like a vicious cycle.
Its not like suddenly waking up. One day in a really rough therapy session i tried to think about my life and I couldn't recall almost anything since i got married. I remember my sisters wedding September 2015. But that's where it gets hazy and then blacks out. Now its like someone slowly raised the lighting in the room. I'm lucid for the first time in a very long time and its debilitating. Right after that therapy session I tried to see my husband, Ex-husband. He wanted absolutely nothing to do with me. I was scared and confused. I went "home" and had a huge panic attack. Every night I'd cry myself to sleep, every morning I'd stare at the ceiling trying to make myself leave my bed. Its gotten a little easier. I drew out a timeline with the help of Facebook, Tumblr and chat histories. Nothing I found jogged any memory at all. Now every time i start to depersonalize, derealize or dissociate in anyway I get scared I'll never snap out of it.
I could have killed myself in that fugue. I don't remember things getting that bad. I've had major depression almost my entire life, but I've never actually acted on my suicidal thoughts. I try not to let that sit on my mind too much. I try to focus on living now and not pining for the past. But its so hard. I was happy. We were happy. Now its crumbled and slipped through my fingers like sand. I need to prepare for any future fugues, But how do you get ready for something like that? What can be done if it happens again? I probably wont even notice it starting, I'll just come out of it and have lost even more of my life. I just turned 28, but I only remember being 24 what feels like three months ago. Its hard to explain, especially because I still don't fully understand. My therapist wasn't even surprised though. She said it was like i was there, but I really wasn't there. Why didn't anyone do anything?
If anyone here has ever had a dissociative fugue or experienced dissociative amnesia, please message me. I need to talk to someone who has gone through this.