I relate very much with some things you talk about. For a very long time I had troubles with feelings of love, feeling strong feelings at times for a person and then seeing those feelings disappear completely. When a girl showed she was attracted to me I was often afraid that my feelings for her would disappear at once. I still had that problem in my most recent relationship, in the sense that my emotions were sometimes not super strong, and I worried about it, but it was nowhere near when to when I was a teenager, where feelings would disappear completely. Anyway, I have read some other people here who said that they didn't even feel anything for their children anymore sometimes, which must be frightening. Perhaps it is indeed related with DPDR. (In my case I actually think that my suffering around love could have at least partially caused my DPDR as a protection mechanism against too strong feelings in that area, because it was really hard at that time. I now identify with the characteristics of "sex and love addicts anonymous" by the way).It started back in 2010 when I was living in NYC & got done watching a movie & when I left the theatre I started to feel like I was not in reality. Everything seemed terrifying and I was not myself. I was about to check myself into a psych hospital but I met with a friend and started crying and then I felt better.
I ended up in a relationship that I felt like that with and moved away from NYC because being there in that fast paced lifestyle and not sleeping was not helping. But the relationship I was in triggered it a lot. Eventually I got out of the relationship and I was going to college, sleeping more, and got on an SSRI for depression/anxiety and it seemed to help a bit.
I got married in 2013 and when we were together there were a couple times where the DPDR triggered and I couldn't explain it other than sometimes I would feel sheer TERROR out of no where and just so afraid as if I would stay in that feeling forever. Crying and having my husband comfort me would help a lot. Well after 2 kids and a few years we ended up separating because he wanted to be polyamorous. I couldn't wrap my head around it. Then I moved to a new city with my kids and was chasing after a lover basically. I went through a attach/detach cycle with people who wanted me. I wanted what I couldn't have and would push away the ones who really wanted me.
Finally I got comfortable being single and a couple of years ago I decided to become a truck driver. Being alone in my thoughts can get kinda scary at times but I am doing okay for the most part. It's just that sometimes I am so exhausted and when I get that way I can get triggered again. I have a relationship with a lovely person and we are long distance right now. Whenever I see her I automatically get a DPDR trigger and when she come close or want to touch me I start to feel like I don't know her or have feelings anymore and it is terrifying. Like I have ZERO feelings for her if too much time goes past where we don't see each other.
It's really hard to explain. Like I get so excited to see her and all the feelings flood to the surface but after traveling I'm so tired that when she sees me she loves to run to me and hug/touch/kiss and I start feeling like something isn't right.. like who are you and why are you trying to touch/hug/kiss me. The first time it ever happened I explained it and it's happened a few times since so she knows what it is now and she understands. Usually once I take a shower and it revives me, I feel much better.
Anyways this was long, I just wanted to write because basically she's wonderful and she deserves for me to be all in this and us go to the next level but I am terrified and some days I feel like I want to get married and other days I feel like I should walk away completely. I've never felt such uncertainty. I think there's a lot of grief and fear from my last marriage. I know I don't have to think about that right now, but I can't understand why I feel like this with such a real and good relationship.
This week I am going to sign up for a trauma counselor. I need it.
What helps me to worry less about it is to try to accept what I feel or don't feel and try to be honest, just as you did with your partner. It's very nice that she is understanding.
What I experienced with DP is that everytime it happened strongly, I had the impression I would never remember my true identity again, that "I" was an artificial sensation that was now lost forever. But when the DP was over, I could feel like myself again, exactly like before, and that DP episode was the thing that now felt artificial and fake (although terrible). These past weeks I have felt some DP again and I have tried to remember that it was all artificial, although it doesn't feel like that at all. I try to remember that I am just being kind of (very?) unpleasantly high and what I feel doesn't reflect reality. Perhaps there is something like that that could work for the feeling of absence of love. What can hurt is to try to imagine why we feel like that, like "does it mean we should not be together, that my love was artificial?", or "does it mean I have lied about my feelings before?" or "will it last forever?", just like we (or at least I) can imagine when feeling DP.
Part of what hurts me in these feelings is the loneliness that I experience with them. During strong DP episodes I think I am very afraid of being abnormal and that people won't relate with me anymore, and that I won't be able to have nourishing relationships again, even with my family. Sometimes I think that if everybody knew about DPDR (not that they should) it would be much easier with respect to that. I could tell people "Sorry I am just having a DP episode now" and they would say "oh I see, don't worry, I had one last week", and I wouldn't worry that my reactions would be misinterpretted or that I would be rejected. Really, I feel that for me a big part of the problem and the anxiety around DP is the fear of not being understood or related with. Is it similar to what you experience?
Anyway, I would be interested to know what comes up with your counselor, if you don't mind sharing later.