My Dissociation and What it Means to Me

Hello,
I’m going to start off by saying that this topic is something I have wanted to talk about for a long time, but never had the confidence, partly because I thought I would seem crazy or something, but I put a well-received post on my Instagram and thought that I would write a blog post. I never go too in depth in my blog posts, while still talking about my life and experiences. My poetry is simply a creative extension of doing so. I am more than nervous to talk about this topic, despite knowing that I have such a small audience on my blog. There are quite unfortunate circumstances behind why I have actually decided to come out and tell my audience about this, but it all the same, I have decided that this is an important part of my life that I needed to share.
Dissociation occurs when the human mind cannot cope with the reality it is faced with and therefore switches. In my case, it can either switch off completely; whereby I don’t know who I am, where I am or who anyone is, basically I am just a body with no knowledge of anything, including my likes and interests. The other way in which my mind dissociates is by another identity, often known as an alter, take the place of myself and take over my actions. I have three identities or alters, they are called Noah (who is seven years old and obsessed with cuddly toys and superheroes), Sarah (who is a bubbly, gossip girl who loves makeup, chatting and men!) and Darren, Darren is the protector, in the three identities that I have. This means that he was originally split from my personality in order to protect me from the traumas I was facing at the time, so that whenever I feel particularly threatened, Darren will take my place. It is hard talking about this, because Darren doesn’t particularly like it when I talk about him, however I hope that one day he will be able to address my audience for himself. Noah was most likely developed in order to protect me, but in form of remaining in a childlike state and keeping the child in me that was not necessarily allowed to be expressed at that age (that being seven years old). Sarah is still a mystery to me!
After dissociating, I usually don’t remember any or very little of what happened while I was in a different state of consciousness. Sometimes I remember things that either I or another identity said, but very few actions are remembered. In my experience, in terms of the senses, the first sense to go is my sense of smell and then being able to feel things. I can look at my hands and just think ‘that’s not me’ or look in the mirror and see a completely different person – this is known as depersonalisation. I also won’t usually feel like any of my current, past or future experiences or people I know are real and will think everything is fake – this is known as derealisation and can be a common occurrence when experiencing panic attacks. My last sense to go is my hearing, which is why I am usually aware of some of the things I have said while dissociated.
The reason I wanted to write about this topic and ‘come out’ in a sense, is to shed light on an extremely stigmatised topic, even within the world of mental health. It is also because the YouTube influencer, Trisha Paytas, has made a couple of extremely offensive videos claiming to have Dissociative Identity Disorder (or DID). She claimed to have alters and in a second video shows them ‘CAUGHT ON CAMERA’. Trisha Paytas has claimed to be a part of many groups of minorities at this point and the videos are not only poorly acted, but also don’t show how hard it is once you ‘come round’ after dissociating. After I have dissociated, I am usually exhausted and need a nap, and the switching process can also be a distressing one to experience within itself, and none of this is mentioned by Trisha. She has just made another video to upset yet another big community of people.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (which I have been told I suffer from) stems originally from significant or repeated childhood trauma. So it is extremely upsetting to see someone try to add themselves to a community that they clearly simply do not fit. I won’t write much about the trauma side of it, but I am undergoing a lot of helpful therapy in relation to it.
Thank you if you did read all of this,
Hope you’re all well,

Kian

Fahrenheit 451 – Film Review

Then you don’t care anymore?” “I care so much I’m sick. – Quote, Ray Bradbury – Fahrenheit 451

Well, where to start with such a film. It takes a completely different approach in comparison to the book. Both visually and contextually it is much darker than the original words of Ray Bradbury. I love this book with all my heart and when I saw the DVD in the library, I couldn’t help but see for myself how good the film adaptation would be. In this fictious future, it is governed almost entirely by the fire services. Which set fires, rather than put them out. I especially like the uniform, because it was so much darker than expected. The sense of comradery with the firemen is really felt, and it was interesting to hear their chant song and where the director took those words; that was the main thing that really saw them as a team as they sung their propaganda on their way to each report of there being books hoarded.
When it comes to visual effects, the film is incredibly impressive and did a lot with the book’s descriptions of what the world and houses would be like. I especially like the technology and the fire graphics. I like the concept of social media merging with mainstream media (such as the news articles), you can see the reactions of society coming in when the news articles were broadcasting each fire in real time. This isn’t really far off when comparing this fictious future to the present reality in which we live. Live broadcasting on social media is a thing, and you can see the comments and reactions of the other people when you watch these livestreams.
When analysing the script to the film, it lacks what the original source material had in abundance. I feel like it relied predominantly on the words of authors, rather than having its own narrative. The dialogue seemed extremely forced and not genuine to how people speak. The script heavily relies upon the words of authors and the words that they were burning, illegal words of importance. When it came to the dialogue, the most profound and poignant points that were made, were by using the words of authors, unfortunately.
This film drifts quite far from the source material, it contains the key components of the original film that made it so wonderfully compelling as a story and concept overall. The idea of the written word being illegal and books being burned as they are a sinful item to own is fascinating to me, especially considering my love for books.
While the dialogue wasn’t impressive, the acting of Michael B. Jordan was extremely impressive and expressive. He really managed to capture the conflicts that the protagonist, fireman Guy Montag, had. It shows how his beliefs changed and how he formed his own opinions, while watching the world around him all becoming brainwashed by the fire services and the media. Being one of the members of the fire service, he was subject to some particularly violent and emotional moments, that helped him make his decision and form his extremely different belief system about the importance of the written word, when he begins to hoard books.
I was disappointed that the film drifted heavily from the narrative of the book, with many of the events forming at a completely different time in comparison to the book. For me, while the new ending of the story was extremely meaningful, with the bird that has the knowledge of books flying away to join his species that all share the information – it is known that those birds will not have the same level of intelligence as the people that died for the books, which is what makes this new ending somewhat depressing and most definitely disappointing. As a film, I would give this a rating of 2.5/5 stars.
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Starting Again

I wrote a poem today. It’s like I’ve had an awakening and I have started to see the positives amongst the many negatives that seem to surround me. I have seen a life, a future for myself and it’s the first time in so long, I couldn’t be more proud of myself. The colourful worlds of so many different people have been shown to me. I had a difficult week yesterday, but I understand why – that’s important. Before, I didn’t used to understand why I was the way I was and the ways I behaved, but after a year of working on compassion (Compassion Focus Therapy), I understand so much more. Hard times in my recovery are ahead, but at least I know that, so I can work on how to support myself in that.

Enough waffle, here’s the poem ‘Starting Again’:

Back to the ground,
Reality surrounds me,
Silence is the only sound.
How hard it must be.

Sadness engulfs,
With grips of steel,
I’m so scared my brain says,
‘This isn’t real’.
Worrying with waters of an ocean,
When your life is flashing
In front of your eyes in full motion.

Just when you think things
Will never change,
Someone is there that understands
That you need time – a range.
Pill after pill is tried,
Years wasted and too many
Tears were cried.

Then something shines,
It’s in the distance,
Where the stars are in lines.
Each piece fits into place,
You start to realise that
This isn’t a race.
There’s no time limit,
To climb this mountain
And reach the summit.

 

 

How Sound is Used in Different Films in Different Contexts

The Wolf of Wall Street – Party Scene

During The Wolf of Wall Street, throughout the entire film, the narrator is the main protagonist, Jorden Belford. Martin Scorsese used voice over throughout the film, but a particular scene in which it is used to great advantage is the ‘party scene’ where they are all taking drugs. ‘It’s like they’re working their magic on Donny right now’ was said, as he was talking of the pills they were taking. The whole scene is slowed down and almost entirely in slow motion, this gives a lot of time to hear exactly what is going through the mind of the protagonist and his opinions. He then goes onto talking about women’s shoes and explaining why this somewhat incoherent speech about shoes from his side man makes sense. Overall, the use of voice over just gives a whole lot of context to the chaos that is happening and makes it seem that, to our protagonist at least, it isn’t as chaotic as it may visually represent.

Joker – Bathroom Dance

There is a particular scene within the Todd Phillips film, Joker, whereby our protagonist, after killing three men, dances in a public bathroom. The ambient noise for this scene is completely removed and we can only see our protagonist dancing, presumably to calm himself, as we have seen at other points during this film. The haunting score from Hildur Guðnadóttir, emphasises the large movements we have seen from the character. It is in minor key mainly, showing its underlying sad and depressing tone, making the audience more inclined to empathise for the character as he attempts to soothe himself. In this scene, as said previously, there is no ambient sound, which highlights how ‘in the moment’ our protagonist. He has distanced himself from reality to the point that we cannot, as an audience, hear any of the ‘real’ noises that may otherwise be heard if you were to witness this moment in reality rather than in film. By seeing it in this way, we are enveloped into the psychological ways of the character and his behaviour. Dancing is his coping mechanism, and to be fully involved he must be able to shut out whatever interferences there may be. Including his very own footsteps, noise from outside and the flickering light above him.

A Quiet Place – Beau’s Death

Of course, this is a very emotional part of the film, nevertheless there is clear attention to the smallest of details, due to the tension of this film. At the start of the scene, you can hear every small footstep from the characters, which immediately draws attention to the sheer importance of sound and how dangerous it is during this film. By concentrating on the crunch of leaves and the footfall of the family as they trek through the forest, there is detail within every movement, making it clear that there is danger in every small sound. This is why a lot of behind the scenes special attention to the sound effects during A Quiet Place was so important.
This scene shifts, however, to a completely silent image of the character, Millie, as she too makes her way along the walk with a smile on her face. The difference is, however, that it is completely silent from her perspective as she watches the scene of her brother’s death unfold, highlighting the importance that she has in his life, and him in hers. When realisation hits that there is noise around, it is still silent to her, showing that she is completely immersed within her own thoughts and ideas, rather than the whole situation that the family are facing.
The soundtrack follows after the sound effects of her brother’s toy play loudly, for all of the audience to hear, and be fearful of. There is a cut back to the silent frames of Millie, just before a quick tempo scene of the father running towards his son, Beau, before his inevitable demise.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix – Sirius Dies and the Death Eater Duel

This scene begins highly dramatic, with sound effects of glass smashing and each of the members of the Order of the Phoenix apparating to help Dumbledore’s army. There is great detail when Lucius draws his wand and the constant appearance of spell casting. A fast tempo soundtrack accompanies this to match the intensity of the action that is bestowed upon us, as an audience. This shifts, however, when there is a duel between Harry Potter’s godfather, Sirius and a death eater, Lucius. There is no soundtrack accompaniment, just the sound effect of one spell being cast after another. Then, when the battle seems to be won, Bellatrix Lestrange appears and casts the killing curse upon Sirius, which is when the entire tone becomes less action based and much more emotional. Sirius dies, then the music soundtrack slowly creeps its way in. It is the main source of emotion. You see images of Harry screaming, while only a slight whimper is heard to begin with. You can see that Remus Lupin is attempting to comfort Harry, while he is in severe distress. The music is slow tempo and in a minor key, highlighting its depressing nature. It shows just how much Sirius meant to Harry without the need to hear his screams of distress. There is a final moment where a small giggle from Bellatrix, which is given particular attention, because it shows how pleased she is with her actions. This prompts Harry to persue her as she flees. The music dies down, and quickly the emotion evolves from despair and upset to anger, in which Harry attempts to harm Bellatrix, in an attempt to avenge the life of the last family member he had. This would most likely make the audience empathise for Harry.

  1. Stardust – The Final Battle Between Tristan and Lamia

There is a clear degree of intensity from the soundtrack used during the scene at the end of the film Stardust, where a battle plays out between our main protagonist, Tristan and the main antagonist, the witch, Lamia. While the battle also has many sound effects, like the brandashing of swords and smashing of glass and pots, it is this accompanied by the high intensity, fast soundtrack that includes many different instruments. The use of a variety of instruments at such a climatic scene, shows the chaos that we are witness to, and makes the audience empathise for our protagonist and also makes us fear for him, as he is in direct threat and danger. The soundtrack helps with these conotations as it is quick paced and slows down at the right moments, while it increases in tempo when there is fear to be created amongst the audience. It also ends with one, low chord, as if to suggest that the torment for our protagonist is over.

I know this may not be interesting for everyone, but I worked really hard on this and it’s also on my film and TV dedicated blog. I’m hoping to write a review of Mindhunter series one when I’ve finished. Just let me know if you would like to see these things. I’m really passionate about film and the media, and I am building up a portfolio for when I want to go to college later this year, hopefully.

Passion – A Poem

Something’s just occurred to me,
I’m not the person I want to be.
Still unsure of who I am
Underneath all the glitz and glam,
There’s an empty heart made of stone,
And a cut that’s just too near to the bone.
I only do it,
Because I think I deserve it.

But that’s what I’m trying to change,
The thought of something different is much too strange;
Calling out into the abyss
About a life I’m told that I just can’t miss.
I want to live out there,
But there’s a part of me that just doesn’t care!

Does any of this make sense?
I’m just trying to build my confidence.
Compassion is what you tell me I need
If I am truly to succeed.
Tell me what I’m doing is really wrong,
My heart simply sings a different song.
See, I’ve always been this passionate,
But, to myself, I can’t be compassionate.

Compassion Cards

I have recently been using a technique to help me when I am in distress, which takes my love for playing cards and imagining my own personal deck, shuffled. Picking up each car, looking at it and moving to the next, incorporating breathing techniques to calm me down.
Here’s a small script I have written to help imagine the deck of cards, incorporated into my already created safe place and adding a deck of cards, and one of my favourite stories – Alice in Wonderland.

The cards are a soft paper and have a slight, rough texture to them. The back is black with white on it, in a swirly pattern, like a Freud inkblot test, you can see the outlines of little forest creatures and trees within the blackness. Each house has a beautifully crafted symbol, and each number looks like it was written with the most gorgeous handwriting that has ever been seen. Each number being carefully crafted to the finest detail.
One by one, I pick a card from the top of the pile. I let my hands flick through the entire deck and then flick through again, as if flicking through the delicate pages of an old book, and half the deck. Then I flick the two halves into one another and shuffle the cards. The noise of the interlocking cards is extremely satisfying and one of my favourite, comforting sounds. I pick up the first cards, my favourite card appears first – the ten of hearts.
Alice in Wonderland imagery floats into my head and I see each card dancing in the maze, trying – yet failing – to confuse our protagonist Alice. I am watching from afar, watching as each card dances and then together, as each card shuffles. The forest welcomes all of them, bar the Jokers. No jokers allowed in this deck.
A castle stands in the distance on top of a hill. I remember that the cards are only small and collect them all together and place them in their own velvety pouch, embroidered with the label, Compassionate Cards in the same style handwriting that has written every number that appears on the cards and the artistry on the back.

 

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That’s all for now,
Thank you for reading,

Kian

 

Cracks – A Poem

This is a negative poem, to add a warning. I have also turned it into a song through music production, which is something I get the opportunity to do in the rehab I live in.

My feet are planted in the ground,
Silence that surrounds is the only sound,
Thoughts repeated you could never tell,
Constant whispers ‘you’re going to hell’.
The loud shouts of mental pain,
No matter the weather, it’s always rain.
People all around – I am alone,
Hopeless, dropped like a stone.
All my screams echo away,
Never to see the light of day.
No one to listen, I just want help,
Each call comes a pathetic yelp.
Nothing seems to ever change,
And any support out of range…
So alone it must be,
Hard to know it’s just me,
Now on my own I must go,
My last shouts flow.
Nothing is left for me here,
I choose to disappear.
No time to rewind,
When they see the cracks in your mind.