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Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

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Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Postby myce » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:38 am

There was another topic thread by Watcher that I was unable to respond to, but they talked about time distortions. Thank you for that. I looked it up and found something interesting. It is not easy reading and I cannot explain it very well but I'll try to summarize. Here is the link: http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vdhart-97.php

The sense of time is important in the perception of reality. Pierre Janet came up with the idea of the Hierarchy of Feelings of Reality that relates to how the mind normally orients itself in time. For example what's happening in the present reality seems the most real, and the distant past and future seem less real. Here is the hierarchy he wrote:

TABLE 1 Pierre Janet's Hierarchy of Feelings of Reality
1. The present reality, which applies to material as well as to mental entities and events.
2. The immediate future, which interests us almost as much as the present, though with somewhat less vividness.
3. The recent past, to which is attached the affective memory with happy and unhappy recollections, illusions (deceptions) and regrets.
4. The ideal, which we do not recognize as real, but which we wish to see realized.
5. The distant future, which we hope to see realized, but which is too remote to greatly interest us.
6. The dead or distant past, which is lost in affective character, but whose reality we still maintain as having occurred in time.
7. The imaginary unreality, in regard to which we take the precaution of denying its reality. The dream, when it is recognized as such, is one variety of this type.
8. The idea, a verbal form whose reality we neither affirm nor deny.
9. The thought, a verbal form in regard to which we do not even ask the question of reality or unreality.
Adapted from P. Janet, 1925. (pp. 148-149)

When we are traumatized it distorts our sense of time which distorts our reality. If you're having flashbacks then the distant past seems like it's happening now. On the other hand with DP/DR you feel like the present moment is unreal. With DID the different levels of reality perception get all mixed up simultaneously. Amnesia is the most severe form of unreality where time does not exist at all.

I appreciate smart psychologists and the models they make to explain things. But they don't see what we see from the inside. I don't think there's anything too triggery but they seem assume integration should be the goal. One thing they wrote:

The particular resistances to realization are especially difficult in trauma patients and may be complex, involving the participation of numerous aspects of the mind. Such resistances are often related to fear of loss of attachment, fear of overwhelming affect, fear of realizing the trauma, and fear of change. One of us has employed hypnotic imagery of the "river of knowing" that flows throughout one's life, coursing strongly and surely throughout the DID system. The patient is reminded that this "river" has been in place, providing nourishment and replenishment for the patient's whole life. The patient may begin by simply acknowledging its presence, and gradually grow to appreciate its meaning and wealth of information.


Resistances because we know that popping psychic pus bubbles can cause real damage. I like the river idea though.
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Re: Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Postby watcher » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:00 am

Time distortions it is literally killing us with DID and the expert have pretty much missed it's important. You can find a very few papers wrote in the 1970's and 80's but they are few.
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Re: Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Postby Amythyst » Thu Nov 28, 2019 10:26 am

myce wrote:When we are traumatized it distorts our sense of time which distorts our reality. If you're having flashbacks then the distant past seems like it's happening now. On the other hand with DP/DR you feel like the present moment is unreal. With DID the different levels of reality perception get all mixed up simultaneously. Amnesia is the most severe form of unreality where time does not exist at all.

Hey myce, thanks for sharing that!

It was really interesting to read. It feels true for us big-time, cos our perception of time is so messed up. Like, cos of DP or whatever, we're in like a constant sorta 'fog' where the current moment feels real enough but everything else quickly fades and blurs together so we're like constantly feeling abit lost?

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Re: Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Postby watcher » Thu Nov 28, 2019 11:34 am

http://www.trauma-pages.com/a/vdhart-97.php
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Citations
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Re: Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Postby watcher » Thu Nov 28, 2019 12:27 pm

Look at this citation.
Hartocollis, P. (1978). Time and affects in borderline disorders. International Journal of Psychoana!ysis, 59, 157-163
Anything ring a bell on this one!
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Re: Time Distortions in Dissociative Identity Disorder

Postby Sarandipity » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:29 pm

Really good article. So much I could relate to. My sister remembers things I do not. She tends to remember my father and blanks out my mother. I used to blank out my father and remember things the mother did. I am stopping blanking stuff, I don't know how my sister is getting on.

The blank spots make sense, how they describe it, the amnesia. I would remember hiding in the toilet as a small child - I continued doing this till I left home - but my first memory was hiding in the toilet when very small, under 4. I remembered my father coming in the middle of the night, I was hiding there trying to sleep there. He picked me up and laughed and said to my mother "I found her, she was hiding in the toilet" and then he said to me "you can't get away from us that easily"

That was all I had. No memory of what next. Did he put me back in my room. Didn't he. I didn't know. It was my "niggling doubt" memory for years. When the flashbacks and fragments started happening I wanted to know if there was any fragment that knew what happened after being found in the toilet. There is a fragment, sock girl, I haven't looked or asked about her memory or what happened because the other fragments were bad memories and it feels like connecting to that fragment, because it is linked to a questionable memory I already had, could make it all far too real for me and without a therapist it's too dangerous. Plus it's my earliest bed time memory, hiding in the toilet wishing I could disappear. I feel like it might snowball and I need to stay stable.

To me the fragments are still in the past. So my past is still present. I often feel frozen in time but frozen in whatever day I'm having. I don't have a past or a future, I just have today. That's how daily life feels. Which makes daily life easier but I don't have attachment to things from my past like other people seem to have or thoughts about the future. I go through the motions of each day. This article, what it's saying about realisation and time, makes sense of that. I feel frozen in the present because those parts of me are frozen in the past. They don't have a concept that time has moved on and I live in the moment. One fragment has moved out of living in the trauma but i think she's still pretty much frozen. I don't know but I don't think from reading the article her trauma has been realised how they describe or put in to our overall time line. Her trauma is still outside the timeline but now it's like a cloud because she isn't in it, I think she could easily be back in it though because it hasn't been dealt with.

The original time distortions caused by trauma and the amnesia ability that also causes - that's definitely the ongoing problem. I like how this article explains it all, it makes alot of sense. I also found it interesting that the siblings mentioned also have amnesia for things their siblings remember like me and my sister have. When my sister said "don't you remember.." I didn't but I trusted her. When I'd say "don't you remember..." She doesn't take my word, she is in great denial, I do think it's because for us our mother was the more toxic dangerous one, more sadistic, the clever one who did most of the tactics to suppress and control us in daily life and she spent much more time with her. I had wondered the other day if memory for other abused siblings worked like this and the article answered that too.

Thanks for posting the link.
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