The Other Side of the Glass.

Depersonalization, “A type of dissociative disorder that consists of persistent or recurrent feelings of being detached (dissociated) from one’s body or mental processes, usually with a feeling of being an outside observer of one’s life (depersonalization), or of being detached from one’s surroundings (derealization).”

Detached. Derealization. Depersonalization. In other words, I feel like I don’t exist.

The hardest part about realizing those ghost-like moments when I’m conscious about not feeling present, is that I remember the times when I felt here.

I go into my refrigerator to fill my doubled red solo cups with a sour and savory green tea-honey-apple cider vinegar mixture. As I pour my cup, I glance at my hands and notice that I feel like an alien in my own body.

It always happens like that. I’m doing something mundane. Something typical of the human experience, and out of nowhere, I’m hit with the feeling of not belonging.

No. “Not belonging” is not quite right.

Saying I feel “nonexistent” doesn’t wholly explain the cloudy feeling of depersonalization either.

I’m here, but I’m not here. I exist, but I’m watching myself through a glass window (maybe more like a frosted window.)

Most days, I’m able to scratch some of the frosted glass away and clearly see myself move throughout my life like normal. Other days I have no interest in washing the frosty window that clouds my perception of my life. I just go through the motions until it’s time to go to bed.

Like I said earlier, the hardest part about dealing with dissociation is that I can remember when I felt present. There was no frosty glass. There wasn’t a glass at all. I didn’t watch myself from the other side of a glass window. I just lived.

And I miss living.

If I could force the tears from my eyes, I would mourn the death of my awareness. Sadness. Gratitude. Elation. Love. These all contribute to the ups and downs in life that allow us to feel present. When we are sad, we cry. When we are joyous, we smile and laugh. When we are angry, we acknowledge our emotions and feel.

I can’t. My ability to feel present died after enduring trauma after trauma. Dissociating is how my mind has decided to cope. I can’t hurt if I can’t feel. Unfortunately, depersonalization is all encompassing. I can’t feel.

There have been too many times for me to count that I’ve told someone I was romantically involved with that I loved them. I didn’t. But I wanted to. I wanted to feel like I could love someone. Maybe that would mean I wasn’t so…gone.

I’ve gotten into arguments with friends and thought I could address my anger with them in a productive way. I couldn’t. Cause I didn’t care. I found that not only did I not posses the ability to be angry with someone I cared about, I lacked the ability to care at all. I wasn’t mad. I wasn’t anything. Just wanted to be left alone.

I feel alone on the other side of the glass. I am alone on the other side of the glass. My friends, my family, the entire world is living on the other side. And all I can do is watch and remember a time when I didn’t have to.