Client: Can you describe what disturbances in sense of self might look or feel like? For some reason this resonates with me and I believe it may be what I experienced from a very young age.
Cedric: Sure, first off, early attachment experiences lay the developmental basis for 1. our most core internal map of close relationships, 2. our ability to emotionally self regulate, 3. our ability to explore, and 4. our self of self.
Disturbances in the sense of self can be multifaceted, for example:
- The sense that I don’t know what I want
- I have no opinions or feel like I only have a very tentative grasp on my opinions and desires
- What I want doesn’t matter
- I lack agency and control over my life
- I don’t feel good about myself (poor self esteem)
- I don’t feel like I can separate myself from others even when that is the right thing to do (enmeshment)
- I can’t make my own decisions
Also dissociation is a disturbance of the sense of self as there are parts of the self that aren’t communicating with each other.