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Disassociation diagnosis

Pages: 1 · 2 · 3

Niceguy25 posted 3/20/2021 12:19 PM

My IC explained to me that from his observations of my WS, she suffers from a mild to medium state of Disassociated reality. That the woman I love is different from the woman who entered into a PA and EA for 3+ years. My dwelling on knowing the truth only makes her condition worse as she denies to herself that it ever happened or that she could have done it. Thoughts in this? It would explain who that “woman was/is when nothing else ever has. As a teen she was sexually assaulted by a guy in HS and again by a boyfriend in college who was married but his marriage was unknown to her at the time.

DevastatedDee posted 3/20/2021 13:14 PM

I disassociated for a few hours when I had my DDay and left home to find a man to have sex with. I remember how that felt and it was as if I were outside of my body. I wasn't thinking in a way that a person thinks. I couldn't feel. It was absolute insanity, almost like I was an observer floating around along for the ride. It is very very unsettling to remember that. I cannot imagine such a state existing for 3 years or that anyone could participate in normal life while that was going on. I would think you'd wind up committed to a mental institution if that were a state that persisted.

I'm not saying it isn't possible as I'm not an expert. I'd suggest being a bit cynical of this diagnosis and do a lot of research before accepting it.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 1:16 PM, March 20th (Saturday)]

Niceguy25 posted 3/20/2021 13:35 PM

During one of their getaway weekends (aka a business convention for her) she called to tell me she had checked herself into a psych hospital the evening she was to return home. The hospital contacted me that they were admitting her for observations on and had sedated her since she was extremely distraught. I suspected they had been together but it was in San Diego and he lived in Spokane, we in Gr. Bay. The affair was long distance. Four days later they released her and she flew home, but would not discuss any of it other than to say she was overwhelmed at all he convention (which I doubt she ever really attended )

[This message edited by Niceguy25 at 1:57 PM, March 20th (Saturday)]

sisoon posted 3/20/2021 14:01 PM

Putting aside the question of how your IC drew that conclusion and just accepting it, dissociation is a common response to trauma, and your W certainly has to deal with a lot of trauma.

My W dissociates, and that played a part in her A. But she was willing to talk at length about her A, and I got the info I wanted.

The questions in my mind are like these: what is your W willing to do about her dissociation? If she isn't willing to address it, are you willing to live with it? If she is willing to work to mitigate the effects of trauma, are you willing to stick with her while she does her work?

You can make a conscious choice to live with it, and you can feel good about that decision. You can make a conscious choice to leave, and you can feel good about that decision. You can make a conscious choice to support your W while she works to deal with her traumas, and you can feel good about that decision.

I saw my W's A as a symptom of her emotional illness. I saw myself as collateral damage that resulted from her betraying herself. The wedding vows - sickness/health, better/worse - meant a lot to me. So I could accept the A, work through my pain, and R. But that's my solution for me.

I understand you're in pain. That's the problem that you can address and solve. I suggest these questions for you to answer for yourself: What is best for you? What decision will you feel good about? What's the best way for you to minimize pain and maximize joy?

faithfulman posted 3/20/2021 14:09 PM

Niceguy25 - one of our therapists almost immediately threw out "Dissociative Syndrome" for why my wife couldn't seem to remember anything. She said she "exhibited all of the signs".

Strangely enough, my wife's memory was perfect when it came to things that would not get her in trouble!

Dissociative Syndrome was among the other bullshit excuses the therapist cooked up later when I absolutely did not bite on that.

Not to disregard what DevastatedDee wrote about above, but "Dissociative Syndrome" generally occurs in people who have experienced repeated high-stress, scary/damaging situations.

Think growing up in war zones, long-term childhood physical abuse, childhood sexual abuse, etc.

I've read where extreme incidents have brought on an incident where a person disassociates. I've read about rape victims doing this as well. What DevastatedDee described could qualify for some people it appears.

***

But straight up lying cheaters having "Dissociative Syndrome"? Almost always bullshit to make the betrayed spouse eat shit and stop asking questions. And some therapist shouldn't be diagnosing that.

That diagnosis should be made by a medical professional, like a psychiatrist (and it could still be bullshit).

Spoiler: My wife was just lying the whole time.

[This message edited by faithfulman at 2:16 PM, March 20th (Saturday)]

DevastatedDee posted 3/20/2021 15:39 PM

I've read where extreme incidents have brought on an incident where a person disassociates. I've read about rape victims doing this as well. What DevastatedDee described could qualify for some people it appears.

I'm still not 100% clear on why my own reaction was so extreme, so no disrespect taken at all. I was raped at 16, but that was quite a long time before all this. I hadn't known he had been cheating for minimum 14 months prior, but he had "suddenly" gone from being a devoted loving husband to a full-blown crack addict 4 months before and just gotten back from a month of rehab (I read his rehab journal and discovered the prostitute use and snapped). I'd been under extreme stress from that for 4 months or so, so maybe that contributed. Very weird shit, regardless.

[This message edited by DevastatedDee at 3:42 PM, March 20th (Saturday)]

WarriorPrincess posted 3/20/2021 15:51 PM

I lived with an extreme form of dissociative disorder (Multiple personality, which has since been re-named Dissociative Identity Disorder) until I was in my 30's. Part of my healing and becoming more or less "whole" was accepting each different personality state as part of one integrated person. In coming to terms with who I am today, I had to accept and own the feelings and actions of each personality.

I think this is standard for most dissociative disorders. Becoming whole means integrating the actions of the "other" selves. If she is ever going to heal from her dissociative disorder (assuming a correct diagnosis) she will have to take responsibility for the things she did in other states and accept that it was actually her, not another person, who did these things. Until she can do that, I don't think she will be a safe partner for you.

That being said, you can't force her to do it. If you are fighting her about it and trying to make her own up to it, she could very well clam up. If she does not feel safe, she will not be forthcoming (just like anyone else, really.) She will have to come to it on her own. She may have to hit a rock bottom and realize that refusing to own her actions in all personality states could cost her her marriage. (Like anyone else.) She will need some major IC for that, and the more supportive and non-threatening you can be, the easier it will be for her, and the sooner you might have some answers.

OTOH, this could very well be a bullshit diagnosis and only enabling her wayward ways. Again, she needs her own therapist to unravel her issues, whatever they are.

nekonamida posted 3/20/2021 19:23 PM

NG, I'm guessing since this is your IC, he's never even spoken to your WW, correct? If so, I would be extremely wary of such a serious diagnosis. What if your WW was lying? How would your IC even know?

As a teen she was sexually assaulted by a guy in HS and again by a boyfriend in college who was married but his marriage was unknown to her at the time.

Sad to say these experiences are a dime a dozen for women. I've experienced both. Many BSes have. It's difficult to say that this meets the limit test. She needs an IC to determine that.

Is she getting help for herself? How can you be sure she won't disassociate and do it again some day?

BluerThanBlue posted 3/21/2021 14:29 PM

Why is your IC diagnosing your wife? That's ludicrous.

If you were to tell me that she was paying him off the side, I wouldn't have a hard time believing you after a ridiculous comment like that.

Find a different therapist, one that is focused on YOUR treatment and well being.

Derpmeister posted 3/21/2021 14:44 PM

@Niceguy25 I'm in that club with you.

My misses:
Sexual abuse, dissociative issues although we aren't sure about saying disorder, there have been memory losses of months worth.
It's not a running theme, but she's prone to it during traumatic moments.

What was said here before I would echo, just because she acted inside the range of dissociative spectrum doesn't mean her actions didn't spring from her own psyche/motivation.

Deciphering a crutch using very real issues, from a crutch using milder issues, to no issues, to even the more problematic issue it seems "that people in these spectrums struggle with cognitive dissonance".
No matter how you turn it, they "gaslight themselves" as I put it, they quite "literally can't own their own behaviour".
If the effort involved proves fruitless, because they're unwilling or even "just that powerless".
It's not a bad thing to decide for yourself to take the facts for what they are.

Was there cheek busting and dishonesty? Yes.
Do with that what you will and see how little power they had and show empathy, but don't become her victim.
Empathy in this sense can be the trapdoor you'll never come out of, you can tell her you understand without an ounce of acceptance.
If she doesn't show willingness or the need to; "dig into her behaviour", make it clear you don't see it as "you were just a victim of yourself/your past" and will respond "normally" like she's made a "choice", because she has made a choice in being disinterested in her behaviour.

P.S. Wish you a lot of luck in this mess.

[This message edited by Derpmeister at 2:46 PM, March 21st (Sunday)]

Cooley2here posted 3/21/2021 20:34 PM

Do not discount the rapes. It alters the brain. From all my reading it appears to be a permanent emotional scar. For some women it makes all sex terrifying and for some it goes into sexual acting out.

Jim Jones was a preacher who persuaded a whole church congregation to move to Guyana. When a US congressman flew down to investigate he was murdered and Jones talked all those people into killing their children and themselves. How did he do it? How did that guy get to your wife? She is two people. The loving wife and mother and a rape survivor. It’s impossible for those of us who don’t succumb to seduction to ever understand. Your wife has a connection to bad men because of her history. History usually repeats itself or we wouldn’t have wars. Sometimes you have to decide one way or another to move on. Stop asking questions that have no answers.

faithfulman posted 3/21/2021 21:21 PM

Why is your IC diagnosing your wife? That's ludicrous.
If you were to tell me that she was paying him off the side, I wouldn't have a hard time believing you after a ridiculous comment like that.

Find a different therapist, one that is focused on YOUR treatment and well being.

This is extremely important. YOUR THERAPIST is cooking up excuses for your cheating wife! I recommend that you do not see this therapist again, not to argue the point, nothing.

I hope this is not a threadjack, but this is why I do not trust "Individual Counselors" any more than I trust "Marriage Counselors".

In my own life I have yet to come across a therapist who has an unflinching dedication to truth and loyalty. They always want to find "reasons".

I've seen so many therapists who seem dedicated to lack of accountability. I've lived it, and I've read about it too much and too often to trust random people with these matters of clear morality.

What if this was your wife's individual therapist? Just imagine what she would come home telling you!

Derpmeister posted 3/22/2021 14:00 PM

@Cooley2here

Do not discount the rapes. It alters the brain.

I don't think anyone is trying to argue against this.
But let's assume his wife isn't sleepwalking every moment of her life.
She's making choices every day, and if those choices are to pretend nothing is going on, then she's digging her own grave.
It's not like her husband isn't aware of those issues and I would highly doubt it's not been brought to her attention.

Also, a 3 year long affair, to have dissociation be so intrusive in her life to never notice something off.

IMHO this sounds like utter hogwash. I know too many of the rape survival stories.
Not happy to get detailed here. But she can tell she's had sex, she can tell there's time missing, there's plenty of things off when you dissociate.
3 long years? What, your husband asks you how things were where you were, or where you were and what you were doing?
And what? reply: 'I'm a bit fuzzy, but my knees are weak, and I feel like I had a full body workout and definitely won't be in the mood for sex for a while'... ???

That was way too graphic already. Anyway, 3 years. Take my limited experience with a wife with quite intrusive dissociation issues of every variety except multiple personality disorders.
3 years, my ass she didn't choose.

[This message edited by Derpmeister at 2:30 PM, March 22nd (Monday)]

Niceguy25 posted 3/22/2021 16:48 PM

Dierpmeister, no doubt she chose. The issue now is the “inability to recall things she said, wrote, and did.” I have 300 pages of proof but when confronted, she often either recalls it differently or knot at all. For example “admitting she fell in love with a narcissist who wanted only a new plaything.” He even admits he used her for sex and had no intention to fulfilling any of the promises or plans they made for a future together.

BluerThanBlue posted 3/22/2021 17:23 PM

Are her memory losses only pertaining to the affair or does she routinely lose her memory about things she’s said and done?

Also, she remembered enough about her affair to record her moments with him lovingly in her Bible.

[This message edited by BluerThanBlue at 5:24 PM, March 22nd (Monday)]

Notthevictem posted 3/22/2021 17:42 PM

She disassociated for 25 years?

Or is this a conveniently timed thing?

This0is0Fine posted 3/22/2021 18:59 PM

It only matters to you if you can live with it or not.

I'm not questioning the veracity of your WW's story or of the diagnosis. To me, it simply wouldn't matter. I wouldn't care if it was unfair. Is it fair that she cheated on you and can't remember? Fair is out the window. It went out the window long ago. I wouldn't have the energy to deal with it whether it was reality or bullshit.

faithfulman posted 3/22/2021 19:06 PM

Here is the thing - even if it is true that she has some "Dissociative Disorder", that doesn't mean you have to accept her cheating.

***

When my therapist tried to run "Dissociative Disorder" on me, I just said: "So you're telling me that I'll never be able to trust her under any circumstances?"

Then her sister told me that their family grew up lying about everything, I said: "So she'll never tell the truth?"

***

To me, that is what Dissociative Disorder means, at least as it pertains to cheaters.

I understand this is the reconciliation forum. Are you able to reconcile with someone who will betray you and just not remember because it was like someone else did it or something? Is that satisfactory to you to live the rest of your marriage that way? And does that invalidate the betrayal in any case?

***

The way I look at reconciliation is that:
A) You have to be able to live with someone who betrayed you going forward.
B) If you can do A, you need that person to be a safe partner going forward.

Of course, only you can decide your criteria.

Best of luck to you.

nekonamida posted 3/22/2021 19:17 PM

Dierpmeister, no doubt she chose. The issue now is the “inability to recall things she said, wrote, and did.” I have 300 pages of proof but when confronted, she often either recalls it differently or knot at all. For example “admitting she fell in love with a narcissist who wanted only a new plaything.” He even admits he used her for sex and had no intention to fulfilling any of the promises or plans they made for a future together.

In what way does she remember it differently when she does remember? Does she minimize it or just change it?

Niceguy25 posted 3/22/2021 23:03 PM

It’s both. She definitely changes the storyline. “I never loved him. I never made plans for a future together. I never wanted a divorce. I never had kinky sex with him.” All lies based on what she wrote him that I have copies of. What she said was “I’ve emotionally divorced you” in a letter to me. To him, “I’ve never hated a man I’ve made love to. I wanted to live with you, fly in your plane with you, sail in your boat with you, have sex in your hot tub while your neighbors looked on, I wanted a life with you, I wanted to make love daily with you.” When I point out those words in her handwriting, she insists I’m mis interpreting her meaning...really? Most every card and letter is signed “Love, Barbara”.

[This message edited by Niceguy25 at 7:05 PM, March 30th (Tuesday)]

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