springhaze86

Stuck and need insight: social anxiety, dissociation

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Stuck and need insight: social anxiety, dissociation

Hey everyone, 

I was hoping for some insight into the anxiety I've been experiencing for years, which has led to resulting depression and feelings of powerlessness.

I began experiencing anxiety in my late teens. I noticed I was becoming uncomfortable in social situations, especially with things like public speaking. I've always loved being on stage and I never had much fear before, so it was a big shift. After high school I ended up marrying an abusive person (now divorced), which of course only made my anxiety worse. I've been seeing a therapist for over four years and I've been trying to do the completion process, but nothing is shifting. I'm extremely dissociated so it's hard for me to get to any feelings, and when I sit with myself the whole process feels very surfacey and cerebral so not much gets accomplished. My feelings confuse me when I do have them and I don't understand their messages most of the time. I'm assuming this has something to do with emotional neglect or invalidation throughout my life, but knowing that doesn't seem to clear out any confusion. Aside from trying to get to some sort of feelings, I've also thought long and hard about what my beliefs might be, what I'm afraid of (such as fear of rejection), and what I'm making things mean, etc., but even when I come to some sort of realization, nothing shifts. What I seem to know or realize or gather about the whole thing doesn't seem to make any difference. 

The anxiety manifests as shortness of breath to the point of not being able to speak and foggy cognition, such as an inability to recall information or think clearly. I often have trouble forming sentences too. Not good when you're being asked questions in an interview. When meeting new people, I dissociate to the point of derealization and somehow get through conversations but can't recall what I said or if it made any sense. I'm looking for a job right now which is bringing up these old anxieties that persist. 

This problem is costing me big time, financially and socially. In important situations I push it away and ignore it, which sometimes helps in high-stress situations, but then the issue always arises again later. I'm not able to sit with the most extreme feelings because they only occur in the heat of the moment, during interactions. This must all be stemming from something, I just don't know what. I know I want to feel again because I get excited when I cry on a rare occasion, but yet I'm still frozen.  

If you have any insight on the anxiety or about how to move past dissociation (or making the completion process more effective), please share. I'm feeling so stuck.

Much gratitude. 

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17 minutes ago, springhaze86 said:

 

The anxiety manifests as shortness of breath to the point of not being able to speak and foggy cognition, such as an inability to recall information or think clearly. I often have trouble forming sentences too. Not good when you're being asked questions in an interview. When meeting new people, I dissociate to the point of derealization and somehow get through conversations but can't recall what I said or if it made any sense. I'm looking for a job right now which is bringing up these old anxieties that persist. 

@springhaze86 I completely understand what you mean by this! What has helped me is to trust myself and my body! Your body never lies to you and always tries to help. I am sure you've been around people when you didn't have to worry about what to say. Words just naturally  flow - isn't how it suppose to be? Try to recall these memories to empower yourself. But if you're around people that you feel uncomfortable with then your body will be alarming you by making it difficult to speak. So use this signs as your guide and it will lead you to the right place.

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@springhaze86 I find it difficult to provide suggestions just based on what you shared.  It would be helpful to understand what your childhood was like.  However, feeling into your words, I do sense that your anxieties and dissociations are symptoms of something deeper and older.  Likely, your Being is feeling very unsafe right now.

What you are experiencing usually are symptoms of early childhood trauma around abandonment and abuse.  The fastest way I know to address these types of traumas is to find a trusted friend who can assist you in feeling safe and accessing your early trauma memories.  As Teal has mentioned many times, it is very difficult to address abandonment traumas by yourself.  The very fact of having to do it alone is re-traumatizing.

I can sense that what you are going through is very painful. I send you lots of love and support for finding your way back to wholeness and peace. <3

 

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You can focus on feeling safe any way you can. You also need to work on your body - as in physically working on your tension and sensitive spots, and also stimulating your body. Exercise if you don't already. Trauma is stored in the body and when it gets to a certain point you will dissociate, and it is constant because you always have that trauma stored right beneath the surface. You don't have any means to outlet it, so you should find some way to do that. Your mind won't help you much right now - you can't meditate or think a way out of this dissociation because it's a bodily problem, and you're disconnected from your body (where the problems are stored). You will need to break some of the dissociation in order to connect to at least some feelings, and then introspection will become more viable. So basically, as a first resort, you need to find a way to connect to your body. Exercise is often a good, solid solution. But try whatever you can. If the problem is too much to handle then consider something aggressive such as mild psychedelics. These will certainly get you in touch with yourself. Or use holotropic breathwork if you don't want to use substances. Watch Teal's "Healing the Emotional Body" video and other similar ones. Dissociation means your traumas are building up pressure and this pressure will just increase until you can get your momentum going in the direction of feeling and expression - that is why I recommend swift and decisive action.

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11 hours ago, Amazawa said:

@springhaze86 I find it difficult to provide suggestions just based on what you shared.  It would be helpful to understand what your childhood was like.  However, feeling into your words, I do sense that your anxieties and dissociations are symptoms of something deeper and older.  Likely, your Being is feeling very unsafe right now.

What you are experiencing usually are symptoms of early childhood trauma around abandonment and abuse.  The fastest way I know to address these types of traumas is to find a trusted friend who can assist you in feeling safe and accessing your early trauma memories.  As Teal has mentioned many times, it is very difficult to address abandonment traumas by yourself.  The very fact of having to do it alone is re-traumatizing.

I can sense that what you are going through is very painful. I send you lots of love and support for finding your way back to wholeness and peace. <3

 

Thank you so much for your insight and support. My childhood didn't involve any overt abuse such as sexual or physical, but I was abandoned by my father when I was very little and was raised by my mother who never really taught me how to deal with my emotions. She was also physically absent a lot of the time and was never emotionally consistent with me. I've done EMDR therapy on these earlier traumatic memories but still no shift. I agree that I feel unsafe...not consciously, but I feel the tension in my body, probably due to the physical abuse of my ex husband. 

8 hours ago, sophia Felumaz said:

quit sugar, alcohol and caffeine, do exercise everyday. find a shaman in your area, that can do a soul retrieval for you.  lots of love to you.

That's one thing I haven't tried. Thanks! 

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6 hours ago, Kroge said:

You can focus on feeling safe any way you can. You also need to work on your body - as in physically working on your tension and sensitive spots, and also stimulating your body. Exercise if you don't already. Trauma is stored in the body and when it gets to a certain point you will dissociate, and it is constant because you always have that trauma stored right beneath the surface. You don't have any means to outlet it, so you should find some way to do that. Your mind won't help you much right now - you can't meditate or think a way out of this dissociation because it's a bodily problem, and you're disconnected from your body (where the problems are stored). You will need to break some of the dissociation in order to connect to at least some feelings, and then introspection will become more viable. So basically, as a first resort, you need to find a way to connect to your body. Exercise is often a good, solid solution. But try whatever you can. If the problem is too much to handle then consider something aggressive such as mild psychedelics. These will certainly get you in touch with yourself. Or use holotropic breathwork if you don't want to use substances. Watch Teal's "Healing the Emotional Body" video and other similar ones. Dissociation means your traumas are building up pressure and this pressure will just increase until you can get your momentum going in the direction of feeling and expression - that is why I recommend swift and decisive action.

Thanks for your feedback. I think you're right...I've tried to address this with the mind but it's just caused me to become more confused and foggy-headed. I've been doing yoga for years and I work out often, neither of which seem to do much for me. It really feels like energy is stuck, especially in my heart chakra area. Feels like my heart is on fire. I feel heavy in the prefrontal area of my head also.  The energy in my chest has been there a long time and it actually feels old. Nothing seems to be integrating, maybe because I'm not feeling safe enough yet.  Not sure what other actions I should take at this point. 

Edited by springhaze86

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9 hours ago, springhaze86 said:

Not sure what other actions I should take at this point. 

Teal talks about reaching a point in our healing journey, where our Being just won't cooperate anymore.  Our Being just wants to be accepted as is, no fixing anything.

I see that you have tried so many different ways to to integrate yourself.  Perhaps it's time to also just accept who you are at this point in time?

Here are two Teal video that comes to mind:
 

 

 

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For me the key to creating a Safe Haven was imagining that the magical portal I went through meant my parents did not exist there/or could not get through the portal. Therefore they weren't there to judge or control my emotions giving me a load off my back that cannot exist in the real world and letting me for once truly tap into my emotions. In your case in addition to your parents it may be helpful if your divorced abuser is in the same category of not existing in Safe Haven. See if that line of thinking helps for you especially if you can conjure a personal helper that does feel unconditionally validating and loving of your emotions. For me I haven't gotten past the first 3 steps of the Completion Process yet because I can't bring up memories but it's still been helpful to me because I feel I've tapped into repressed emotions and had physical reactions to them

Edited by Shack1212
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5 hours ago, Amazawa said:

Teal talks about reaching a point in our healing journey, where our Being just won't cooperate anymore.  Our Being just wants to be accepted as is, no fixing anything.

I see that you have tried so many different ways to to integrate yourself.  Perhaps it's time to also just accept who you are at this point in time?

Here are two Teal video that comes to mind:
 

 

 

The healing trap video really struck a chord with me. I have definitely been split...part of me wants so badly to find a solution, and this part of me runs the show all the time. I don't think I've given myself any unconditional acceptance. It's hard to do so when not having a solution has cost me so much, but maybe it's actually withholding acceptance of myself that has cost me the most. I think it's time for me to let the solution part of me go to the library (to use Teal's analogy)  for a while so that I can find some enjoyment in life again. 

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1 hour ago, Shack1212 said:

For me the key to creating a Safe Haven was imagining that the magical portal I went through meant my parents did not exist there/or could not get through the portal. Therefore they weren't there to judge or control my emotions giving me a load off my back that cannot exist in the real world and letting me for once truly tap into my emotions. In your case in addition to your parents it may be helpful if your divorced abuser is in the same category of not existing in Safe Haven. See if that line of thinking helps for you especially if you can conjure a personal helper that does feel unconditionally validating and loving of your emotions. For me I haven't gotten past the first 3 steps of the Completion Process yet because I can't bring up memories but it's still been helpful to me because I feel I've tapped into repressed emotions and had physical reactions to them

I can definitely relate to your experience, and your insight about safe haven is really helpful. I've had trouble creating one...there are so many people in my life who have rejected and abandoned me and/or abused me that need to be kept far far away from the safe haven. I think I fear experiencing my emotions because I have no idea what they mean a lot of the time, so I end up getting confused and fearful when they arise. Cognitively they are a mystery to me. 

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