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#392236 - 04/05/12 03:46 AM .
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (01/13/13 04:11 AM)

#392238 - 04/05/12 03:54 AM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: Life's A Dream]
traveler Offline

Registered: 02/07/06
Posts: 4284
Loc: resettling in NE Ohio
not me - unfortunately i was very much in my body and wishing i wasn't.

now, out-of-my-mind experiences - that's another story. i feel like that a lot!

How long, LORD, must I call for help, but you do not listen?
Or cry out to you, “Violence!” but you do not save?
Why do you make me look at injustice?
Why do you tolerate wrongdoing?...
Therefore the law is paralyzed, and justice never prevails....
Habakkuk 1:2-3

#392279 - 04/05/12 01:53 PM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: traveler]

Registered: 08/31/11
Posts: 3851
My T, doctor and support groups refer to this as disassociation. It is a survival mechanism brought on by trauma. It can occur after the abuse, brought on by memories of the abuse, trauma, new abuse. Basically it makes you a passenger in your body. The part that remains during the abuse is the child and one can fragment that part from one's self. The fragmented part is where abuse and trauma is buried and the unprocessed emotions are still within. It can cause disassociation later in life--when the child (fragmented part) is reawakened. In my case I left when the memories became so real because of triggers--which were taunting words and other emotional and abuses in my life. The child took over and at times I was there looking in from afar and other times I would return and be in places I did not remember traveling to. I have lost time that we are working on recovering. It has been noted my triggers of the CSA were caused by emotional upheaval and new abuses, so I retreated to the only way I knew how to protect myself--leave and let the fragmented part of me take control. I did and sadly that part acted in ways contra to who I am. But now I understand, that part of me was left behind in a tortured world and wanted to control what happened--but in the end it does not resolve the pain.

After a year of therapy and support I have it under control. I know longer leave when attacked or emotional tortured.

So healing will help and you will learn to cope in a different way.


Edited by KMCINVA (04/05/12 04:00 PM)

#392286 - 04/05/12 02:50 PM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: Life's A Dream]
phoenix321 Offline

Registered: 09/26/11
Posts: 912
Loc: USA, FL
Yep, after the rape was over, the new person hovered over the room of the person that was raped and was dead. My inner child experience in totem. Sorry, LAD, you're not alone in this. frown

A guy opens the front door and sees a snail on his doorstep. He picks up the snail and throws it across the street in a neighbor's yard. A year later, the guy opens the front door and the same snail is on his doorstep. The snail says, "What the f*ck was that about?"

#392291 - 04/05/12 03:55 PM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: phoenix321]
Anomalous Offline

Registered: 03/07/10
Posts: 2240
Hi LifesADream,

I used to leave my body frequently.

Sometimes *I* would be hovering (cowering?) in an upper corner of the room.

Sometimes I would observe what was happening, sometimes I wouldn't.

Other times I would just "disappear." I would make my mind, and all physical senses go blank. I didn't hear anything, see anything or hear anything.

Somehow I would know when things were "finished," because I would come back at that time.

As others have said, frequently I was all too aware of what was happening.

Willing myself to dissociate was something I did frequently. It was when I wasn't able to dissociate that things were hell (truthfully, more hellish), the last time being the worst.

You are not alone in having left your body. It was a survival mechanism. It is what allowed us to endure these nighmares.

I hope you speak to your T about the experiences you are having in your sleep. It is traumatizing enough to have the nightmares, flashbacks and body memories. Being paralyzed by what happened must evoke true terror.

If it is possible, you might want to make rolls from blankets and put them along either side of you. They will be long enough to run down both sides of you and they should have enough bulk to keep you from being able to roll over them and therefore roll on to your back.

Wedge one roll behind you as you lie on your side, and then put the other roll in front of you. Hopefully you won't change position while you are sleeping.

Acceptance on someone else's terms is worse than rejection.

#392323 - 04/05/12 07:28 PM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: Anomalous]
Logan Offline

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1368
Loc: NY
There hasn't been much on the description of the topic that has not already been said. It is all a part of the mind self defense to the trauma-Disassociation!

I also have this and have had this.

I have heard that Flash backs are apart of this to.

The is an entire spectrum of it from simply tuning out like while reading a book or watching TV and not being a where of what is happening around you all the way to splitting your core Identity into multiple personalities, called Disassociative Identity Disorder also known as DID.

There are also different levels in between like Depersonalization Disorder in which you believe that you are not real but the rest of the world around you is and then Derealization Disorder where you are real but it is the world around you that is not real-sorta like being in a semi-dreamlike state- I was diagnosed with this and it happens to me when I get extremely stressed out especially when I have not slept for days on end or/and become panicked, but there are ways to help someone in such a situation as I have learned something called Grounding Techniques. For example: Holding Ice cubes works very well for me and "brings me back" to reality, if you will. Also repeating the phrases: That "I am real" and naming objects around me and sometimes stating that I am doing things in the present really helps--like "This me sitting at the table with my hands in my lap." Stuff like that

I also have a ton of memories of either hovering over my self during the abuse or being on the ceiling of the room or hiding/being in a corner somewhere. All the while watching what was happening (to me), to that person that looked like me.

I also remember forcing myself to 'go away' when it was happening to me and I would goto a beautiful field with wild flowers in spring time, just running around with my only 2 friends-I only remember doing that when I was younger and could not leave my body, but when i did that I don't remember feeling afraid or the virtually Unbelievable PAIN!

I only remember "loosing time" in Boot camp during Night Marches, that took several hrs and felt as though they were 5 minutes long.

I am really sorry that you experienced this, but like other's here who have already posted said, it was a mental defense that your own mind developed to protect you then because at that time, you where unable to deal with the reality of the situation, not to mention all of the pain and emotions that you were experiencing.

I just want to add that I have been to by multiple Trauma Experts Multiple Times that this is a very normal responds that ppl have to a very abnormal and very traumatic situation, especially common for children.

Good luck and keep asking questions here and read some of the older topics. I find that to be of great help.

"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

#392418 - 04/06/12 05:08 AM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: Logan]
WriterKeith Offline

Registered: 12/30/10
Posts: 980
I had not heard of this before, so I'm thankful you posted this thread.

I don't know if it's related, but my escape during the weekly abuse sessions, the pain would be so great that I would faint until it was over. When my father would hose the blood off my legs I would faint again from the cold garden hose water. Going unconscious was the only way to endure and survive it, I guess.

#392565 - 04/07/12 02:38 AM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: WriterKeith]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA
I have some books which describe these symptoms, including Out of Body Experience.

Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook, by Deborah Haddock and Maxine Schnall.

The Stranger in the Mirror, by Marlene Steinberg.

Both books talk about Out-of-Body Experience.

I don't think I ever experienced Out-of-Body.

But I did experience DID. I am told (by a T) that it has to come from abuse at a young age. I had therapy for DID. I experienced abuse at age 4 and 12. When I remembered the abuse much, much later, I became aware that I had a duality in that I felt 12-years-old a lot of the time. I had other symptoms as well. The abuser when I was 12 worked at producing a terrible fear in me. In my last EMDR session I got in touch with that experience. The pain became so intense that I found myself switching. I didn't know I could do that anymore, but it came almost automatically.

There are previous threads on this subject here at MS. I'll try to find some links.


#392568 - 04/07/12 02:46 AM Re: Out of Body Experiences during abuse? [Re: pufferfish]
pufferfish Offline

Registered: 02/26/08
Posts: 6875
Loc: USA

Edited by pufferfish (04/07/12 02:51 AM)

#392594 - 04/07/12 07:41 AM . [Re: pufferfish]
Life's A Dream Offline

Registered: 08/25/11
Posts: 886
Loc: Bouvet Island

Edited by Life's A Dream (01/13/13 04:09 AM)


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