Story by "Michael"


Amazing thing the internet, one day I'm trapped in my own private hell thinking I was the only one on earth with this horrendous condition, now by
some miracle I find this site. I have been suffering from chronic depersonalization for the past 5 years and I can only say that I don't think
there is a more miserable, crushing feeling in the world. It all goes back a long way in my personal circumstance and ill try and keep it short.

I am an adopted child who was raised by good people in a middle class environment. For the most part I can only remember my childhood being
nothing other than happy and safe. That of course ended with a crash in my preteen years when I was sexually molested by my adopted older brother. From what my adopted mother tells me I also suffered from hyperactivity and hade to take Ritalin to control it, how that bears on my current situation I do not know. After high school I got involved with a local girl and we became serious and we dated for many years. On my 21st birthday I accepted a position with the NYPD as a Police Officer. In retrospect it is probably something I shouldn't have done considering my personality, I tend to be very analytical and I have almost an ideal view of the world and the way I think it should be. However nothing could have prepared me for the horrors I would witness over the next 13 years. I have all the respect in the world for anyone who puts on a uniform and badge and goes out there and is exposed to the horrors that come with the job. To see people systematically destroy themselves on a daily basis changes you in ways almost unrecoverable. The things I experienced early in my career would sow the seeds of my future unhappiness. I did not realize it at the time, but every day my personality changed dramatically to the point where I almost do not remember who I was before it all started. But for the most part throughout the early days of my career I had no inkling of what awaited me in the future.

I got married at the age of 23 and by 26 I had my first child, the love of my life, my daughter. Something in my head snapped when I looked at my
daughter in her crib the first night we brought her home. It brought me to think about my own adoption and how in the world a mother could give up her baby to someone else for any reason. It sparked a curiosity in me I don't think I could have ever imagined. I decided that I would seek out my
biological parents to get at least some answers to the puzzle that was starting to build in my mind. The following year after 2 years of research
and searching I received a phone call from a reunion database agency which specializes in adoption reunions. I got the call in the middle of the day
two days before Christmas. They found my mom and my dad, who amazingly enough stayed together and had three children after me. We spoke on the phone for several hours that night and I can honestly say it was one of the most bizarre experiences I've ever been through. All of a sudden, I was thrust into my past and a facing a reality I don't think I was ready to face, but I had no choice. Overall it did give me immediate answers to the
most pressing questions in my mind, but with the answers came more questions. To this day my biological parents and I are close and I am also
close with my two sisters and my brother, but it also confuses me to almost no end, it pushes the question in my face and makes me question who I really am. Again another part of the huge puzzle that has brought me to this state.

This brings me to my current circumstance and the hell that I live in every single day. It all started about 5 years ago, and its almost unbelievable,
but I can remember the very day it happened. It was the winter of 1999 and one day out of nowhere I started feeling weird like I was totally detached from myself and my life. It was like someone stole my personality that day and never gave it back. From that day to this I have never been the same. I have been suffering from a multitude of issues and it doesn't seem to be getting any better. From deep major depressions to terrifying anxiety attacks, I have run the full gamut of mental disorders. I have been to doctor after doctor and no one seems to have any clue what to do with me. I have tried almost every medicine there is to absolutely no effect. What I have read on this site from the other people that suffer with these same things astonishes me. The way some of you have described your feelings is uncanny, because you might as well have described me, the feelings of disassociation are by far the worst of all. My own family most of the time look like strangers to me, I have lost all interest in anything and
everything, I hardly sleep, I don't look forward to anything and I can honestly say I don't remember the last time I was truly happy and at peace
with myself. I am constantly scanning myself to gauge how I feel and every time I have a decent day I think that its over, but it comes back and
usually with a vengeance. So far this condition has cost me my career and it has just about cost me my marriage, which is on shaky ground at best. I have contemplated suicide many times, but I will never do it, I have two children that depend on me and as long as im still breathing I will never stop
fighting trying to get my mind back for their sake. The dilemma is, do you accept your fate and deal with it the best you can, or do you fight every
day and refuse to accept that you are stricken with this monster. In my circumstance I suffer with this the minute that I wake up to the minute I go
to sleep, almost 365 days a year. I feel the worse for my children who are being robbed of the father who I know I could be, not the actor that
pretends to be their father now. I wake up every day and pray that something will change and I will feel a little better, but that day never seems to come. I guess I will always suffer from this and I will have to deal with it the best I can, at least now I know that there are other people who
experience the same things, and feeling that you are not alone always is a comforting feeling.

In closing I would just like to say that for all of you who deal with this on a daily basis, please don't ever give up, keep trying, because in the end
that's all we have, a glimmer of hope that maybe someday the sun will peak through the clouds and by some miracle our minds and our lives will be
returned to us intact. I wish you all the best and hopes for speedy recoveries. God bless you all. I leave you with this quote which I think is
apt in our circumstance: 

"Life is just an illusion, albeit a persistent one."


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