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Depersonalisation - alone forever?

Community Member

I am too scared to find a partner because I don't trust my ability to find a good man. I have depersonalisation disorder and it makes navigating life very difficult. I am always dissociated. I have a lot of pain from my childhood and past experiences, so I always want to see the good in people. I can never see the red flags. I also want to stay with the guy until I am 100% sure that I should leave, so I have wasted years this way. Now I am almost 40 and single because the dissociation has contributed towards my poor choices.


Now I feel like men run when they see my age because they assume 1: she wants to have kids immediately, see ya! or 2: she can't have kids/healthy kids anymore, see ya! or 3: she can't have kids, but she's attractive so she's good for sex only.

Not all older women want to have flings. Some of us made poor choices and have been treated badly and really REALLY just want to finally be loved. 


But I don't want to burden anyone with having to be with me. That's the problem. The depersonalisation disorder is not noticeable for others, it is a hidden disorder. But it is very noticeable for myself on the inside. It causes me fatigue and also I need to spend time always masking (kind of like autistic people do, to try to appear normal and be accepted in society). I do this to make other people comfortable, because I can't be my natural self. So this is exhausting in a relationship. If I dropped the mask, the guy would get bored or frustrated with me being tired and flat/zombie all the time. If I am in a relationship, I subscribe to a lifetime of not being myself through exhausting masking. Which is no fun for me. 


Then I second guess if I should be/could be a mother. If I have kids, could I handle it? Would it make my dissociation and masking difficulties and fatigue worse? But would not having kids be a huge regret? Because I have so much love to give and I want to help them and watch them grow and create a beautiful family and give someone the gift of life. But would it backfire and I wouldn't be good at it? But then am I being selfish because I didn't bring a beautiful person into the world to enjoy the world and have life?


So many uncertainties. So I just stay alone. I haven't had a proper relationship for almost ten years now. Even those relationships I had were the poor choice ones with abuse involved. I haven't had a nice, loving, respectful relationship since 2006. No wonder I have given up on being able to identify a nice man. I had two beautiful relationships prior to 2006. But we were young and when you are under 22 in Australia, many people just break up to explore other options. I wish I held on to one of those relationships as there was not one good choice after that. Now I am almost 40 and I am too scared to try my last year to maybe find a man and have a family. Is it slipping away from me? Will this be the biggest regret of my life? I am guessing I will get all the 'life can still be wonderful without children, there's always adoption replies.' For me adoption is not feasible financially and I don't really agree with some of the ethics of international adoption. I am also a single woman and the amount of adoptions that occur domestically in Australia is minimal, let alone to a single woman who is not financially stable and has deperosnalisation disorder. I could have a family if I met a lovely man, but I don't think I could do it alone.


Well this has been one huge negative rant and I apologise for that. Thank you for reading and I hope that you are ok if you are also on this forum.

1 Reply 1

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear CountingCrows1

Indigo22 and Tony W/K have given you some pretty good things to think about, it is amazing how others can see things differently than oneself.


Now reading you post above I'm not sure the answer is giving up or thinking you are not suitable or have the wrong ambitions.


Sadly it is a fact of human nature if one is treated badly or not valued over a long time then one can start to think one is treated that was becuse of some fault - not being a worthy or important person.


This spills over into a defeated look at romance, kids and so on. It probably may also mean one selects a poorer type of companion not realizing one can reach for the sky.


May I suggest if you were able to regard yourself as a 'catch'. Someone desirable and able to give to a relationship so as to make anybody content and happy to cherish you  then I suspect everything else would fall into place. You do have a lot to offer, from ethical standards to empathy plus the determination to slog though tertiary learning. Couple that with the wisdom gained in the past.


Now I quite realize that having a depersonalisation disorder can be a hindrance to this, and to relationships (and work) in general. However it is not a brick wall that stops everything, and hopefully in time you will have therapy that helps both that and self-esteem.


I married someone over 40 with 'baggage' and we have had 30+ happy years together -so far:) I wish you the same joy, it's quite possible.