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Added: February 18, 2019
What does it mean to feel or be connected to another person? : Dissociative Identity Disorder Forum
I had this exchange with birdsong87 on the “how are you today” thread, and realized that I really don’t understand what it means to be or feel connected to another person.
TheGangsAllHere wrote:We were crying before we fell asleep, and then again when we woke up. It feels like no one can ever really know another person. You can think someone does, but it’s just their idea of who you are. And no one can really understand someone else’s feelings. They might know how they would feel, but they can’t really know how you feel. It’s cruel to pretend that that’s possible.
We are feeling very sad and alone today.
birdsong87 wrote:it sounds rough when you put it that way.
maybe the goal is not in the achieving, but in the trying.
that is were we can feel connection
even if it doesn’t last forever.
TheGangsAllHere wrote:But what if only one person is feeling the connection? And because they feel it, they assume that’s what’s happening for you also? That’s even worse.
What does it even mean to feel connected? You’re each still having your own separate feelings. It just seems random that two people would happen to have the same feeling of connection to each other at the same time.
This is giving me a headache to even think about. Going to take a break and do productive solitary things.
birdsong87 wrote:nerdy science person here… a sense of connection actually isn’t random.
it does have to do some with mirror neurons and newer sciences shows that our bodies/nervous systems start to attune and share a certain rhythm. a felt connection is happening in the body first. that creates a feeling.
trauma seriously messes with our rhythm, which makes it more difficult to feel connected.
Not only does trauma mess with our rhythm, but if it’s relational trauma, then aren’t there all sorts of dangers associated with feeling connected to someone? Being and feeling “connected” is what always say I’m working on with the T. By that I mean having a continuous sense that he cares about us, wants to understand us and see us for who we are, has a positive view of us, and wants to help us. It’s like, if I can know that he feels a continuous connection to me (remembers who we are even when we’re not there, and thinks about us sometimes), then maybe I’ll start to be able to take that in, and rely on it?
But even though that’s what I want, there are all sorts of obstacles. It was never safe to have a positive feeling in someone else’s presence. So it’s really hard (still impossible, really) to have a good feeling of being connected when I’m actually in the room with him. All I can do is try to be open to seeing that he is “sending good feelings” to me, and store those, like a squirrel would do with a nut, and then later I can think about the interaction and maybe feel good feelings in response.
That process, of being there and focusing on trying to be connected, is very difficult–it takes a lot of energy and is also scary. So talking about anything else is much easier, and it can look on the surface like what therapy is “supposed” to be (I talk about stuff, and the T listens and tries to understand it, and reflects it back to me, and if his understanding isn’t quite right, I try to explain again what I mean), but meanwhile the need for connection is not being met, and the hope that connection is possible is being dashed, and we’re more convinced than ever that we’re wrong for even expecting that it was possible.
I don’t know–maybe I’m conflating different things together, or trying to overgeneralize. Any input is welcome.
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