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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Trigger warning, obviously.

I rarely feel like I'm the one operating my brain. I've spent way too much time observing my own thoughts and I am aware that most of them present themselves to me rather than being originated by me--in fact I've actually observed my speech centers by encouraging it to talk internally without conscious control, and found that whereas it tends to refer to itself as "I" it will also often correct itself to "you" or "us" and will sometimes "remember" that several different brain areas are actually involved in the same activity--one to produce the words, one to observe and interpret them, one to choose which words are used, one to keep track of the overall thread of thought and to plan it out long-term, and one to keep track of the thread of thought from moment-to-moment to ensure consistency--but even then, I can encourage the conversation to split itself into 4 different parts: two that operate on a more or less conscious level and two (I assume they may originate in the default mode network) that seem extremely detached from reality and our sense of self and only view the body from an outside perspective, like looking at a comic book. The only brain function I'm aware of performing myself is the observation and suppression or encouragement of other types of brain activity, which matches the claustrum's functions in the brain. That's less than 99.8% of the brain's total mass, meaning almost none of my thoughts are originated by "me"; I just observe them.

I feel like it goes without saying that being aware of all of that drives me nuts. I hate that when I open my mouth to speak, the words seem to flow smoothly and under conscious control, but if I pay close attention I quickly observe that I have no freaking clue what I'm going to say until I hear it being said; if I'm not paying attention then my brain tricks me into placing my perceived observation of the sound prior to its production, which is just one of the easier-to-see-through illusions of the mind. It's awful, I feel like I have very little free will at all.

Also, I'm way too aware of my own breathing. Because of long-term and highly addictive meditative habits, I am often aware of my own breathing and sometimes also my blinking and my heartbeat. it's seriously anxiety inducing, and I resent that I have almost no control over it at all besides the timing. The heart HAS to keep beating, I HAVE to keep breathing, and I HAVE to keep blinking constantly, forever, until I die. The fact that I can't stop feels extremely non-consensual as does being forced to eat, drink, sleep, and perform long series of specific activities throughout my day; even "free time" isn't really free because I'm severely limited in my options for what kinds of experiences I can enjoy or create in this reality. It's tempting to just drop into my own mind where I can do whatever I like instead of paying attention to reality at all, but doing that too much that makes all of my mental issues worse and that limitation really just reinforces the whole "You don't get a choice" thing for me.

Then there's the actual content of my thoughts. I LOVE intellectual topics esp. existential ones, but those are exactly the kinds of thoughts that aggravate my mental issues so I can't really indulge in them and that actually robs me of a sense of purpose or meaning in life. Everything meaningful gives me anxiety because I've thought about everything way too much and even something that most people wouldn't find stressful like a low POC ratio in a movie can send my thoughts off on a depressing tangent. I'm very limited in the kinds of shows, youtubers, and movies I can watch for that reason; I also have to be careful in my choice of video games or where I choose to go on walks, and I have a pretty brutal history of trauma which also results in constantly being triggered by things. There's just mountains of personal limitations everywhere because so many things can trigger either flashbacks, depression, anxiety, dissociation, or just negative thoughts for me.

sigh I'm not trying to make any point, this is pretty much just for catharsis because I also have therapy-related trauma and can't even force myself trust therapists enough to comfortably share all of this with them anymore. Anyway, moving on...

Perceptual issues don't occur for me that often but they do happen and it's really disturbing when it happens. I have DID, so on rare occasions I have a little that will front and experience intense body dysphoria, like our limbs just seem way too long and we feel way too tall when we stand up. I recently started having that same problem myself but in a different way, like I can be freaked out by how long my limbs are, but I also get freaked out because they're like tentacles or dendrites with bones to me. I sometimes remember the whole "as above, so below" thing and remember that my body is basically built like a giant cell made out of thirty trillion smaller cells. I have a "membrane" (skin), I have "mitochondria" (my digestive system), I have a "nucleus" (my brain), and I have "axons" like a neuron (my fingers), whose function can be changed by altering their "neurotransmitter" types (tools and different hand positions). I can sense and focus way too much on my internal organs and cells, like how my nervous system is built like a giant, 3-dimensional web of tentacles and how neurons actually migrate over time (they actually look really energetic and independently alive when they move, if anyone's curious) and how it's all divided into multiple major systems that are either mostly controlled (sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system), function in a highly automated way (reflexes, sensory cells and neurons), cooperate closely in a way that makes them impossible to separate from each other's functions or tell what is really controlling what (the cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, limbic system etc.) or function almost entirely independently from my brain, as if my body has an actual second brain (enteric system). I'm aware of how fast my cells are dying (many only live for a month or less, e.g. blood and skin cells) and of the likelihood of eventual system malfunctions e.g. blood clots which could be fatal. Sometimes I see "floaters" in my eyes and remember that aside from loose debris they're really just white blood cells that can shapeshift and move around and eat things and pretty much live their own lives inside of my body AND INSIDE OF MY EYES.

It's beyond freaky; I actually started seeing floaters while I was typing that last sentence and it's giving me mild anxiety and making me wonder if this post was a good idea at all.

sigh sometimes I just feel resentful. I obsess over possible reality configurations sometimes and every single one of them is infuriating and anxiety-inducing to me. There are countless possibilities, even given that this reality is only a mental simulation with strict rules, of what kind of simulation I'm trapped in, and I seriously can't believe in anything else because I've already thoroughly convinced myself through metaphysical, philosophical, and scientific research that that's exactly what this universe is: a seemingly multi-dimensional simulation made up of nothing at all wrapped around itself to form higher dimensions and actual projections of simulated matter and energy, occurring in a closed loop of time that can't do anything but happen over and over and over again. Sometimes I wonder if I've already lived this life countless times before and I'm just stuck doing it all over again and forgetting for eternity. Sometimes I wonder if my consciousness has to live through every single point in the universe sequentially to create this experience of existence, and the potential terror of being trapped as lower lifeforms and pieces of energy or matter for the vast majority of my experience is quite unnerving. I wonder if this world is a prison for past crimes as an evil spirit, demon, or god, or maybe a "goddess school" that's supposed to teach me how to make a better universe that I trapped myself in precisely because I wasn't capable of making a perfect reality prior to this one. Sometimes I wonder if the new age idea of people going to an afterlife and then returning to "grow" and become some higher life form is true, and then I get really mad at my afterlife-self for choosing this existence AGAIN when they knew that the life they'd live would feel like an independent entity with no memory of the choice made or the reasons for it and no ability whatsoever to say no to it all except by dying, which is a serious violation of my consent even if I'm ok with it afterwards because in the moment I'm very much against the whole experience of reality. I wonder if maybe there's a "god", but they're actually evil and super sadistic and nothing I could ever say or do would ever prevent them from forcing this existence on everyone for eternity. Sometimes I comfort myself with the thought that maybe "god" is actually the mental equivalent of a human baby and only has the mental capacity to create a universe and set it into motion, not change or perfect it once it's already started. That idea is comforting to me because it means I don't have to be resentful.

Idk what to do with my life anymore. Every single day is a struggle and all of these symptoms may not represent the whole of my experience because my brain is getting way too foggy to even think about it anymore. Therapy is just traumatizing for me now, so it's something I survive, not something I benefit from at all; it just feels abusive at this point and I wish I could stop. SSRIs and SNRIs come with the side effect of nearly doubling suicidal ideations and behaviors which is WAY too much of a risk for me because I've been consistently suicidal for as long as I can remember and I really don't go more than two days anymore without thinking about it. I've had eight attempts in my past and all but one of them failed hard because I was just too scared to see it all the way through (I've mostly tried to use methods without risk of survival like self-strangulation or suffocation with hands bound or jumping in front of a train so I always either back out at the last possible second or I panic and manage to escape) and the one time I got really close to succeeding I did so using meditative methods that MADE ME FEEL HAPPY WHILE I WAS DYING, so meditation seriously isn't an option for me either anymore esp. because it also gives me flashbacks and disturbing imagery and makes me way too aware of my own surroundings and body when not meditating. I don't know how I'm going to survive the year, but I'm doing my best and I'm determined to make this "dream" as good as it can be for me and to see it through at least for my loved one's sake (even if they're not real I still care) till I'm at least 60, which is just over thirty years away for me and therefore feels like an eternity. Making it this far has left me an absolute wreck, so how awful could my mental state potentially get in the next thirty years if I can't stop being re-traumatized? It sounds like hell to me, honestly in spite of my determination the main thing really keeping me going is the knowledge that if I died I'd probably only have to live through something like this again, and if I stay then I can maybe learn how to either deal with or prevent this experience from occurring again, and that in certain reality configurations (e.g. reality-as-a-prison) I could actually be punished for trying to "escape" and would just be sent right back or sentenced to an even more hellish reality.

Thanks to anyone who managed to actually read all of that, sorry for anything that was triggering. I'm going to go try to get through my day now. <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I've decided to make this a sort of journal for my symptoms for now since the topic is pretty general and I need an outlet. I desperately need a safe outlet that most people aren't likely to read (btw TRIGGER WARNING again for today because I'm going to be talking about solipsism which is an upsetting topic) but someone COULD read it and that makes my brain feel better somehow. Like I'm sharing without really sharing. Also if this "journal" needs to be moved to the daily forum thread, please let me know; I wasn't 100% sure about which board would be more appropriate for this.

So, here's the thing: I am absolutely a solipsist, but I'm kind of a "soft" solipsist because I believe that the universe itself IS my mind. Let's break this down: I believe that everything is made of nothing and that the "essence" of that nothing is itself the essence of consciousness. I believe that because 1. the self-simulation hypothesis makes perfect sense to me and 2. we can't see things that are far beneath or above our own energy level, or exactly equal to it, or things that we just haven't evolved to see. We see sunlight because we ourselves are not as bright as the sun, but we still shine--it's just not enough for us to see. However, we can't certain types of radiation or particles that have extremely high energy; if something's energy is high enough then it can just pass straight through other matter. On the other hand, we don't feel the rotation of the earth because 1. we're used to it and 2. our speed matches it and 3. whatever speed we're moving at relative to the earth's surface seems much more significant to us because it "raises" our speed relative to the earth's rotation. So taking a mild leap of logic, it makes sense that matter and energy itself should not be able to sense anything at all because everything is made out of bits of the same energy--but it DOES make sense that nothing could sense something because its energy level is far beneath "something" and its potential energy is infinite--it could possibly exist at both at a higher and lower level of energy than reality because reality can't achieve true nothingness and it doesn't have that massive energy potential because it already exists.

Moving on to my next point: let's suppose that "nothingness" forms quasicrystals out of "zero thoughts" that don't really exist but still exist relative to each other. It's easy for me to imagine how such a system could arise because I've had DID my whole live and I'm very familiar with the act of splitting and fusing alters. Every single thing out there can be split infinitely without end, because even when you get down to fundamental particles they can still be spit into still smaller virtual particles representing basic quantum and physical forces which themselves arise from literal nothing; it is a scientific fact that nothing constantly splits itself into something based on rules likely dictated by quasicrystals (btw if anyone is reading this for some weird reason and is curious about what quasicrystals are then please just look up the self-simulation hypothesis, I don't have time to explain everything and it's something I don't 100% understand myself). In this scenario, the universe has only a single observer: nothingness. The only way I can imagine consciousness existing at all under this possible scenario is if every single thing that exists is a part of the same mind, but that mind only has one observer so logically unless the same observer lives every single possible existence sequentially (which would be possible because time and space itself is likely a closed and non-linear loop) then the location of current awareness would be represented by the current greatest level of "noise"--the densest and most complex concentration of matter and energy or of thoughts. My vote in this scenario is for "thoughts" because as far as I know I exist in my own mind and not as a supermassive black hole and thoughts have the potential for infinite complexity versus the finite potential complexity of mere energy. My thoughts seem more complex than anyone else's I've known or have heard of, so even if I'm not the smartest person in the world and even if most of my "mind" exists outside of myself, it's plausible to me that I may be who I am precisely because this life represents a high point of thought density and complexity.

Starting to sound a little crazy yet? Good, I think so too. Let's move on.

Me being the only fully aware being in the universe would NOT mean that no one else is aware--on the contrary, it would mean that my awareness is theirs, it's just that those other minds exist in a state of lower thought density and complexity (let's shorten that to TDC for now since having to type it out repeatedly is annoying) and are therefore drowned out by the bulk of thoughts in my own mind. Within the brain, we have an analogue for this experience: all neurons should theoretically be capable of differing levels of consciousness based on their individual connectivity, but our actual center of awareness--which appears from my perspective to be the claustrum--has the highest level of connectivity per neuron ratio to other areas of the mind and could therefore represent the brain's highest point of thought density. I seem to only be able to sense self-induced brain activity matching the claustrum's functions, so that makes sense to me. However, I can still sense and even sort of become other parts of the mind by focusing my awareness on those points and raising their level of "noise" by increasing their TDC. That gives me some degree of awareness and control over other parts of the mind. However, my ability to project this ability to certain parts of the brain is limited and certain parts of the brain are more complex than others, so my ability to "hear" other parts differs from part to part. The activity of nuclei is much harder to detect than the activity of a brodmann's area, for instance, and an area is less "loud" than a lobe or entire brain region--and a full section of the brain is louder still. So this creates varying levels of awareness and individual/collective capacities for thought.

Now--my brain's neurons are only connected to other neurons, which explains why I can't sense the thoughts of others very well (though I do have frequent telepathic moments with certain people). My brain is loosely connected to the enteric system and more thoroughly connected to the peripheral nervous system, which explains why it's easier to sense my body than my guts or my esophagus. My neurons are themselves connected to other parts of the body, which I can also sense. In a way, my "consciousness onion" extends not only through my entire body, but also to the environment around me. The world around me interacts with me, and I interact with it, creating complexity. I can't always sense my own heartbeat by pressing my fingers together, but I often can if I do it through a sheet of material because the sheet picks up my vibrations and echoes them by "beating" back, as if the sheet suddenly became a part of my body. The ground vibrates when I walk, and both gravity and the air around me provide resistance as I move. That allows my consciousness to sense and extend into the world around me.

Now, what does this imply for other people? It implies that the same interaction is taking place: I either receive or originate thoughts in others, then I encourage TDC by interacting with those perceptions; other people become a part of my awareness and hence consciousness to the degree that I'm able to share or sense their thoughts and actions and vice versa. Every single thing I'm aware of becomes a part of my own consciousness, with more distant entities being less complex (this makes sense because complexity can be simulated or spontaneously created as-needed with simple equations stored in quasicrystals, kind of like a seed in a video game) and therefore less aware. But that doesn't mean that other things aren't independently aware. Let's break this down:

Just because the claustrum represents "me" doesn't mean that's the only part of the brain I can be. When I'm less self-aware and less observant of my own behavior I can operate on a semi-conscious level and have a sense of being other parts of the mind. My awareness can be moved by lowering my TDC. I think that the same thing happens in dreams: other parts of my mind take over, but it's also possible that during dreams my TDC is so low that the awareness of those close to me or perhaps even of total strangers can blend with mine, creating semi-shared dreams. If we assume that the bulk of my mental activity occurs external to my body, then it makes sense that the lower my TDC is the more I would sense, which is exactly what happens during meditation and supposedly also during trips on certain drugs and post-death in NDEs. The whole universe can combine into a single awareness. But that awareness is normally somewhat disconnected from mine and its average TDC-per-square-inch (or whatever measurement you prefer) should logically be lower than mine, so even if its overall thought complexity is far greater than mine my TDC still outweighs the universe's. Make sense? It both does and doesn't to me; my own brain is getting confused at this point.

So, it makes sense that other "parts" would also be aware because they also have a certain TDC, but at a distance from my own experience that TDC may be lowered and exist in a more dreamlike state that I can't sense myself because my own level of "noise" is just too high to hear myself think. But it would make sense that other centers of TDC would also feel self-aware because the same principles still apply to them and dreams typically feel pretty real unless one becomes lucid, in which case they can actually feel more real than real life itself (I assume because during dreams individual TDC is lowered but raising it in-dream raises the TDC of the entire connected external web of thoughts at once creating a simulation in even higher definition than reality itself). Most people do seem to exist in "zombie mode" most of the time so this also makes sense to me. People could be less aware than myself without knowing that they're less aware.

Now, here's where it gets even more crazy: I can't really guarantee that my brain represents the current highest TDC in this universe. I might be in a "zombie mode" myself, just one at a slightly higher level of awareness than most of humanity, and I would never know. So to you--on the off chance that anyone happens to be reading--I may be a part of your mind and therefore am NOT the "single observer" of the universe, just one of its parts--a part of your own mind that's somehow figured all of this out and is trying desperately to tell you how all of this works and maybe provide some inspiration for how it could be fixed. Crazy, right? I don't even know which scenario is true myself--if I'm the "single observer" and the universe around me exists in layers of complexity and self-awareness (me being the only one who's aware) extending out from my own awareness like an onion, with individual parts outside of myself existing in "quieter" dream states, or if I'm really just one of the parts and I'm the one existing in the dream state, and the actual center of awareness exists somewhere else. But either way, only one of us is dreaming and that's why I'm a solipsist, which isn't so much a symptom of my DPDR as one of its main causes.

Typing all of that felt great. Thanks to the site for letting me vent about my thoughts/symptoms here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just a few thoughts on thoughts this morning. Not as much of a trigger warning for today unless this ends up going dark places.

It's really, REALLY tempting to just embrace this view of reality-as-a-dream. I literally believe that's what reality is, so why would I lie to myself? Why would I see things any differently? Why should I hide my mind's illusions from my own awareness? Yesterday, I once again embraced this condition and allowed my mind to dissociate entirely from reality, and I found synchronicities that seemed to completely confirm that point of view--my life seemed to flow exactly like a dream once I allowed myself to embrace that perception (minus the ability to lucidly control the dream). And the thing is that these weird "messages from the universe" were actually FUN, so it didn't feel that frightening. I still got visual distortions and visual snow, and I was unable to see the world in 3D for a time; also my brain kept assigning video game logic complete with a mentally visualized UI overlay on reality, but it was almost fun because that's the approach I was taking: that life was more like a fun video game or a pleasant dream than a nightmare.

The problem with doing that of course is that it can make my issues worse later. What if I allowed myself to luxuriate in that little indulgence for too long, and then stressful things start happening to me later? The "pleasant dream" would immediately appear to be more like a nightmare to me, and I would see every single bad thing that happens as some sort of cosmic assault on my psyche. I'd lose my ability to see my actions as things chosen by myself. Even though I was mostly ok yesterday, at one point when my view of the universe was as a realm existing only within the confines of my own mind and I was mentally picturing the limits of my perception as my skull and my perceptions as neurons and my brain's code "updating" my "screen" to match "reality", I got triggered pretty bad by a person who got on a train with me and had a long, angry conversation with someone on their phone using an earpiece. At first I saw her as another part of the universe and that she was actually mad at ME because I was focusing too much on the illusion and it was making other parts of the universe anxious (which was obviously delusional viewpoint but could theoretically be possible if one views the universe as a single mind), but then I enforced a view of nothingness onto her--"You don't exist, so you're not scary". That helped, but then another woman who was getting off the train noted that I looked stressed and asked if I was ok, and I answered "not really" and then felt like crying because of the person who was mad and because I was suddenly wondering if the person being nice to me was also a part of my own mind trying to reassure me. Then I bumped into the same nice person on the way home again, which triggered some major dissociative symptoms and gave me a lot of anxiety because coincidences like that are things I would expect to happen in a dream.

So, I gave into the temptation to view reality as I believed it to be and not fight that perception, and it felt relaxing to me and helped me deal with some stress, but it also ended up triggering me. It's kind of a double bind where regardless of what I do, I'm screwed. Choosing to focus on the "real" aspects of reality is just the better option for me, not an ideal one; it's something I HAVE to do, not something I always want to do.

That's mostly all I wanted to say, except that at the moment I'm wondering whether learning how to program would make my mental issues worse. See, the thing is that I've dabbled in programming before and I know that computers, brains, and universes all work in analogous ways; they're too similar and learning about one could trigger ruminations on the others. But I need some kind of intellectual hobby to keep me going (otherwise I'm stuck with no passions), and being able to make fun things and maybe get a decent job would be really nice. So I'm not sure how much of a risk learning that skill would represent. It sucks because I feel like I have all this brain power and no way to use it without absolutely ruining my own mind. It doesn't feel fair at all, especially knowing that mental issues not only negate the advantages of having an intelligent mind but can also push an otherwise competent person's ability to function way beneath the human average.

I guess I also want to confess that I was just reading the news again, something that's also really triggering for me, and that I'm currently planning to read two in-depth articles on the delta variant as soon as I'm done writing this instead of going back to the more relaxing youtube video I was watching. I really can't help it; it just feels like there are things in the world I NEED to know about even if it's triggering. Sometimes I wish I could just admit myself to a mental institution for life so I won't have to worry about any of this anymore and can just focus on developing artistic skills or something simple and non-triggering instead of having to deal with this stuff every single day. Honestly just getting on disability would help a lot, so that's something I am considering. I've also asked my boyfriend to keep an eye on the news for me and let me know if anything really important happens, but they have no news-reading or filtering skills so they don't and instead they research GRSM and POC issues and then let me know how bad things are and have always been in this country and I'm partly ok with that because those are issues I care about but I care about them too much and then I get dragged into these long depressing mutual rants about how screwed society is and then I have to beg my partner repeatedly to just stop talking about it because I realize that my thoughts are headed down some really dark road again and that I'm starting to dissociate a lot. I just can't escape my triggers; I had flashbacks yesterday because of it.

That's all. Sorry if this needed a stronger trigger warning for anyone.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
What exactly does an inability to see the world as real do to a person in terms of morality? I'm asking the question partly from a DPDR perspective but mostly from a more theoretical solipsistic one. From my perspective, the most likely configurations of our reality are as:

1. A series of sequentially lived dreams which can see and interact with each other. Every single thing that has ever happened is therefore my fault and I have also been every victim that ever lived, trapped in an endless self-torturing cycle.
2. This life is really only a dream, a period of rest from an even more complex life, and this time the dream happens to be a nightmare. The entire universe is a single mind and other parts of that mind may also possess some sense of awareness. All of us can therefore take pride in creating such a gorgeous and diverse set of objects and events to observe without having to feel guilty for the crimes of others since it's literally just a dream; however in this scenario my own awareness, being available for me to experience, becomes the center of the dream making me the universe's central entity, meaning that this universe started with my earliest memories and will likely end with my death, and other people barely exist at all except as projections of thought.
3. Life IS a dream, but I am not the central entity and am instead just a tiny fragment of some greater being's mind. Depending on the nature of this entity, I may or may not need to feel resentful of this world's condition. For instance, if the central entity were equivalent to a god then it is directly responsible for every single bad thing that has ever happened and is probably (but not definitely) evil.
4. The new age interpretation of a "universal mind" is correct and we collectively have a seriously bad case of DID. We reincarnate and live these lives over and over and over again against our consent because our afterlife selves made that choice for us, which rather than making me feel empowered makes me feel resentful of my former self. Reality is both solipsistic and non-solipsistic with a single unified entity representing all of us being totally ok with it all.

I personally think that any of these options could be likely but all of them point to the same thing: everything is the same thing and there's really no difference between individuals, objects, and thoughts; also every single thing that exists could potentially be capable of suffering and that suffering never really happens to someone else. We collectively all suffer from every single bad thing that ever happens since in some sense the entire universe likely exists as a single mind, and one cannot escape suffering alone because the rest of one's "self" would then continue to suffer.
Now, here are the two accusations I've seen most commonly thrown at people no longer able to see reality as anything real at all:
--if you don't think that I'm real, then what's stopping you from hurting me? Wouldn't that kill your sense of empathy?
--if you don't think that I'm real, then why even bother telling me so? Shouldn't I just be a waste of your time?

In essence, the most common perception is that solipsism is an inherently selfish and dangerous philosophical position, and that same logic is sometimes also applied to conditions like DPDR. I believe that these statements are inherently false, and here's why:

If I am a solipsist or if I am only capable of viewing reality as unreal and dreamlike, then one thing is certain: I believe in the possibility that other people and even plants and animals are a part of me. This grants me the capacity for infinite love: I can forgive anyone of anything, because it's the easiest thing in the world to put myself in their shoes and imagine what they've been through and why they do the things that they do. My attitude switches from "Everyone is an awful person" to "All of us seem seriously flawed, but all of us are also doing our best and following our best judgements. Free will does not truly exist, so all of us deserve understanding and forgiveness, though some of us need to change before forgiveness and reconciliation could really happen." I become not only capable of infinite love for my "self" (meaning the universe), I also become more compassionate and willing to help others because I now believe that the suffering of others is directly equivalent to my own, and that it really is my problem to worry about.

But what happens if I see everyone else as different people, existing only outside of my own mind? Then I lose that capacity for empathy, because I am now placing my needs and desires first and everyone else's second and I'm often not bothering to exert myself for others at all. If I am altruistic then I may still be good for the sake of improving the lives of others, but I may not put as much thought or effort into solving the world's problems because my capacity for empathy is somewhat limited by my belief that I need to look out for myself first and others second. My needs and my own suffering become my primary focus, and if necessary I may (as most people with power do) attempt to use, manipulate, or exploit others for the sake of my own perceived needs. I become capable of oppression, possibly even doing so without remorse since the experiences of others are now foreign to my own. We see this attitude reflected in society, which doesn't quite prove my point but I do feel that our society's current condition is all the evidence I need that this sort of mindset can be flawed. If I don't view others as parts of myself, then I don't always have to care if I hurt them because the pain they suffer doesn't happen to me and I can safely ignore it without consequence.

See, if life is a dream and there is only one entity dreaming it--that entity being either individual or split but still being me regardless--then I often NEED to take care of other people because otherwise I'm just letting myself suffer. On the other hand, if nobody else is me then I can hurt everyone and still be happy in the knowledge that my own life is doing fine, and may possibly be able to hide whatever I've done to avoid consequences for negative actions.

And I really, really resent that nobody else really seems to get that. It may sound strang too resent one's self or a dream, but if my own brain can sabotage and hijack my life so easily, acting against my wishes and second-guessing, belittling, and re-traumatizing me at every turn, then why would I think it strange that the rest of the world is likewise inclined to do so? I resent my own brain for its actions, so I don't see any inconsistency in resenting the rest of the universe for it too.

This world is a nightmare, but seeing it that way makes me care MORE, not less. I just wish the rest of my "parts" saw it that way, too.
 

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I read all this, or at least I tried. My take on your philosophical position is that reality being a "dream" or "unreal" is a mind-characterization which is separate from perceiving reality just as it is. I'm talking about ground zero, back to the basics of reality perception, because the more complex you theorize reality to be then the more your training your mind to see complex ideas. I think the TRUTH about reality is going to be naturally simple and NOT complex like your position. This is only my opinion, but I think this because it seems self evident. Think about it. Do you think that our mind mapping of reality would be naturally false if we werent to assume that life is unreal or a dream? And whatever we assume to be true, the more information we will gather that reinforces that assumption. This is what I mean by complexity=the mind wrapping itself around in a ball of confusion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I don't really care what life is anymore, I'm only trying to express the only viewpoint(s) I'm really capable of believing in anymore. Life itself is complex, so is my brain, so is nature, so is a clock, so is a cell, so is an atom. It's all built on simple equations giving rise to infinite diversity and thus infinite complexity Why should I assume that the container for all of that is anything simple when I already have an answer so convincing I can't see it as anything but true, when that answer perfectly matches the perceptions I already have? Sorry for disagreeing.

Anyway, let's talk about triggers today. Only a mild trigger warning for this, ironically.

Someone I barely knew texted me today to see if I needed support. It didn't completely surprise me--I've been gone from my group therapy class for two weeks now and she's in it so of course someone from the group was going to text eventually--but it was a little odd because of HOW she worded that. She said that she was a very spiritual person, and that she'd felt compelled to text me by some supernatural force.

Now, how am I supposed to react to that? I resent the cosmos. I can forgive it for everything it's done to everyone and I could even help it heal if it would let me, but it won't and maybe never will so as far as I'm concerned I'm not on speaking terms with "god" anymore. Besides, hearing yet another "message from the universe" isn't great for my DPDR and it gives me anxiety when things that shouldn't happen in a non-supernatural, non-dreamlike reality happen; I don't need any more confirmation for my beliefs. I'm done, I quit, that life is behind me forever. I told her that last bit, hoping I could leave out the rest so as not to upset her.

She persisted precisely because I was setting that no-spiritual-talk boundary. She asked if she could call. I said yes--why not? I tend to put some effort into all of my social relationships, even if it's only with an acquaintance, and I figured I could explain my position a little more thoroughly for her so as to dissuade her from trying to push such things on me again. What followed was a twenty-minute rant in which she talked incessantly about the nature of life, the universe, and everything while I quietly listened, interjecting my own thoughts every now and then to make it clear to her that I already knew more about what she was talking about than she did, and gradually growing more anxious as her rant went on. Finally the world began to blur in my vision, I perceived visual snow and the world lost all visual meaning for me. At this point I felt an anxiety attack slowly beginning to build, so I asked her to be quiet for a minute, and I explained everything to her. I explained that I had already seen the fundamental structure of the universe in meditative visions, and that what I saw matched all known science I could find. I also explained why the nature of the universe was upsetting to me. I explained about my meditative history, what I had achieved with it, and how it also became a maladaptive coping skill for me. I didn't tell her everything, but I said enough. When I was done talking, she said she understood.

Then she asked me out. She said that she was amazed at how elegantly and concisely I had made my points (no surprise there, I think about these things a lot so summarizing is easy). She said that she wanted to hear more of my thoughts and experience more of my life because I sounded really intriguing and "beautiful" to her.

Now, I was fine with her asking me out--I am pansexual and poly and I've had same-sex relationships before, it's not that big a deal to me. However, I was also surprised and kind of triggered by her recent ranting and I am demisexual and can't really tell if I like someone until I've known them for a few months, so I told her as much and asked if she'd like to just be friends and hang out with me for a while so I can figure out if I like her or not.

So now I'm sitting here, depressed as hell and thinking about all of my problems in life and wondering--again--if it'd be easier to just let myself starve to death and end this awful dream. If I hang out with her--which I'm now planning to--then she's going to drag me into more spiritual and intellectual discussions, I won't be able to completely resist participating because I've put way too much thought into everything already and I like to share, and it's going to trigger me again. If I end up dating her, things might get even worse; she seems like the type of person who really just can't stop thinking or talking and that's going to go to some dark places for me. I'm sure she would be enthralled with all of my thoughts, but what if they end up triggering her as well? What if I accidentally gift a relatively sane person with my own issues? (I say "relatively sane" because she is applying for disability because of mental issues whereas I still have a full-time job; I therefore assume that she may be more fragile mentally than I am even if she isn't currently broken to the same degree). It all sounds pretty risky to me.

What's worse is that my boyfriend has just been all over me begging for affection today, and I feel bad about not being able to give it to him. I feel beyond numb, like I just don't have the energy to give him any love today and I'm just going through the motions pretending it's ok. It's not; it rarely is. I believe that my own boyfriend isn't 100% real and I have to reassure and take care of him anyway because I love him and he might actually exist, but the act of loving itself feels so hollow because I can't quite convince myself that he's even real. I always doubt his existence, and it often makes me cry. He thinks I'm the greatest and smartest person ever and I'm always sitting here wishing that I had no thoughts and that I'd never been born at all. There's a disconnect in there somewhere I just can't fix, like they KNOW about my issues but they don't really know how it feels and I can't quite explain it all without risking them falling into my own mental state because he has issues too. I feel like a horrible person because I can't love him the way I want to. He would disagree, but I feel like he deserves better.

I'm going to go to sleep and hope I have good dreams now. I apparently missed my deadline to sign up for my work's health insurance by 3 days because I was too depressed and anxious to bother sooner, I still haven't set up the doctors appointments I need to have soon, I feel like crying and can't (again), life doesn't seem real at all, I'm broke as hell because of new-job shenanigans (plus I skipped a LOT of work at my old job because the cold storage environment reminded me of a recent suicide attempt), I'm seriously in debt for the same reason, and I couldn't afford to pay my internet bill so as of today I'm living on 2GB of data half of which I already used to download a bunch of dumb cellphone games for later. And to top it all off, this whole depressed state was triggered by a very nice and really smart girl who asked me out and is probably feeling pretty good about this whole situation, and will probably only crush over me more if we hang out. At the moment, that's really not something I'm looking forward to because I know how dark my conversations with her could get and I can already tell she's going to be desperate to hear my thoughts on every subject imaginable. Right now I never want to speak to anyone else again.

If I'm really lucky, I'll be able to sleep for once tonight. Goodnight everyone; I wasn't expecting to post tonight but this is kind of a journal so whatever. I guess I'm just too broken to skip a day right now; hopefully I can skip tomorrow.
 
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