i don't really know when it started but i'm under the impression it started when i was quite young. i hold onto small memories of me as a child—waking up to the smell of the crisp morning air, the sun is just rising and the sky is tinted with orange, pinks and purples. or riding down the hill in my neighborhood on my bike, filled with the anxiety and thrill all at once all the while feeling the wind rush against my face and through my hair. or watching cartoons and tv shows all day and night with so much attention and curiosity, being able to recite lines or random songs. i even now get reminded or triggered of some things from my childhood and no matter how obscure, it always feels so vivid when its about the past.
i think it started when i felt the pressure of living. when my parents threw the harsh realities of what life is and the unmatchable expectations that they carried. whatever pain and absence was/is in their lives were then ironically passed down to me anyway. no matter how hard they tried to provide for us by constantly working long shifts and being completely drained by work, i felt a massive hole where love and warmth from family was supposed to be. even though childhood, looking back at a glance, seemed fond and light-hearted and free, it was also filled with loneliness and feeling unworthy and not enough all the time. there are so many things that i don't remember because i've started coping using depersonalization and dissociation as a tactic to detach from whatever is causing me harm, so it cannot have control over me. but that i am in control. i control what i will actually process in my head and your words/actions don't mean anything to me anymore... because i'm not here.
from then on, it was something i just felt or was slightly aware of but something i couldn't shake off. i didn't know how to even explain the sensations of not being connected to myself. i was even doubting if what i felt was genuine or maybe i was just blowing it out of proportion in my head? i kinda just rode the wave, not knowing what was the matter, didn't know a way to describe how i was feeling, and if it even existed or if it was just a figment of my imagination. i just accepted that this was a part of my existence.
in college, my friend was the one to tell me about dissociative disorders and she fully encapsulated what i was experiencing for years. i felt absolute relief, knowing that this wasn't exclusive to me and that there were people with it and people that recovered. it felt like being seen and heard for the first time in your life. pieces of the puzzle just started fitting together slowly and the picture continues to get bigger. i somewhat have an explanation for the way i am and how dp/dr affects my internal life and relationships. its refreshing, knowing that this exists within me and knowing it by its name! though some days get really challenging with dp/dr, i finally feel like i have just the slightest grasp of it. it slowly has gotten better once i figured out what i needed to feel grounded.
i figured that having a head thats empty is better than having a forever running mind. but then again i wonder about what i could be missing from having such unfiltered, spontaneous, free-flowing thought. would i be living a very different life than to what i do now? or would i just be chasing a state of consciousness that is similar to my own. would i unlock my fullest and truest potential if i didn't have dp/dr? or is that inherently within me, as i am right now?
i don't know. i'm just trying to navigate it.