Internal Perception Vs. External Reality.

I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror today whilst I was at a market with a friend. I saw a reflection of the body as it is, as me.

I know that this is me. I know that this is what I look like. Yet… lately, when I see this image in the mirror – I don’t connect it with being me. I wonder who it is. I can, logically, work out that it’s me, even though I don’t connect that image with myself. It’s so confusing!

I know different parts/alters have been out and don’t recognise the body as them. It’s happened to Miss 5 and to Miss 12. They see the body’s reflection and get so confused because they don’t look like the body. I say “the body” because, honestly… I don’t connect how the body looks with myself. I’m not sure what that means – whether I’m a part or… just part of dissociation.

I’m curious to know if this happens to people who don’t have a dissociative disorder or dissociative symptoms. How do other people perceive themselves? Does the image you have of yourself, in your head, differ from the reflection in the mirror? If it differs – what’s your reaction to that? How does it make you feel? How do you respond to your reflection?

Here is a picture of what I think I look like. It’s confusing because this is actually what Miss 12 looks like. I think i look similar to this, but older and with my own eyes. I have blonde hair, to my shoulders. I don’t wear glasses. I am a bit thinner than the body currently is, but fairly average. Short brown hair and glasses (that we have now) are so confusing!

Miss 12.

This all makes me wonder who I am. I have absolutely no clue. I suppose that is something to discuss in therapy tomorrow.

7 thoughts on “Internal Perception Vs. External Reality.

  1. I guess I can’t really answer seeing as I have a dissociative disorder — but when I am firmly ‘me’ the reflection I see I know is me. It’s when I’m being crowded by an alter that I do a double take in the mirror as if to say “huh- who is that??!” and when an alter is fully switched looking in the mirror is a hideous affair. They all look a lot prettier than the body/me does so it’s a disappointment to look in the mirror! X

    • Thanks for that. Any feedback is useful and interesting. I know when I’ve been co-conscious with different parts when the double take has happened… but this time it does feel like me who’s present. it’s confusing.

      • It does sound confusing. Definitely a shift going on with something inside. Hope you can talk it through with your therapist and come to some idea of what might be going on x

  2. I don’t have DID but I do have an ED and when I am firmly entrenched in those thoughts and behaviours, I definitely don’t identify with what I see. There have been times where I feel completely disconnected to the “body” that is carrying around my thoughts…the body that is too fat or too thin…even though I have AN, when I’ve been at a very low weight, I’ve been able to recognise it is low but not do anything about it because I still *feel* fat and so the disparity between how I feel and how I look is confusing. Instead of thinking I look fat, it’s more that I don’t feel thin enough. It’s hard to describe. It’s really interesting that you raise this because the more I think about it, the more I struggle to identify with my body (but particularly my face) at any point in time…I know that image is me but it doesn’t feel like how I imagine myself to look or to appear. Hmm. Perhaps I should think about this some more! Thanks for bringing it up 🙂 I don’t know how you can resolve the differences that you feel because you have further complications…I guess it’s just something to continue trying to resolve and reconcile. Hugs. xo.

  3. I never look in mirrors, and if I happen to catch my reflection somewhere, it shocks me.
    I paint and I draw, and I can create very good images of others – but if I tried to draw myself, I wouldn’t know where to start. My perception of how I must look is constantly changing.
    Take care, hope therapy goes well. ♡

  4. I am eagerly devouring what you’ve posted. For the first time, someone has written the words I never been able to express. I’m nut able to effectively articulate this feeling that I don’t recognize my own reflection. I never have always felt that others could be male. However that made no sense to me. To see your committee in picture format. I must do this. To make sense if how they feel to me. Thank you, you’ve brought some clarity. I’m sorry for how this makes you feel. I am bewildered at it.

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