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Feeling 'separated' from myself?

I am reaching out to find out if other people have felt the same way as me, if it is normal or maybe there is something else. I just need some information.
So, for my WHOLE life, even as a child I have felt this great distinction between myself. I would often draw pictures of people with 2 completely different sides (eg. half angle or half devil). As I got older I had a lot of issue, I was never clinically diagnosed with depression or an anxiety disorder but I felt very depressed and I was self harming & just having a shitty time. I really felt like I hated myself. I described to my psychologist once that I felt like my body was a shell and my real self was tiny & chained up within & I remember feeling like there was a physical barrier within my body separating my 2 selves. Now, this is a bit complicated to describe because it's not like I feel like there are 2 different people within me that have independent thoughts or voices or personalities, both are me. I don't go through periods of acting like 2 different people and I don't see them as 2 different people, they feel both like me and I can't put distinct characteristics to either but they are always fighting and they don't like each other. For the past few years I have been very well, I hadn't self harmed, I was 'happy' and doing everything like going to uni and going to gym and socializing ect. I've never had a issue with these things. However, my dad has just died and I just broke up with my boyfriend who I very much love. I am constantly in relationships, I don't think I've been single for longer than a year. I really love my ex and our breakup has made me realize that being in a relationship silenced these 2 fighting people within me. Its like I had this physical embodiment of someone I could focus on. In a way, I could number the people, 1 & 2. I am 1 and I hate 2. 2 Is weak and I have a lot of negative things to say about 2. But like I said they are still both me as one person. It's so frustrating because I know some personality disorders sound similar but people describe them as like completely separate personalities but they don't feel like that to me, they feel like they are still me and they don't have independent thoughts or make me do uncharacteristic things. I have ignored this feeling for years because I've had relationships but now I am alone I want to figure this out because I hate this inner turmoil. 
If anyone can offer any insight please let me know. I am happy to answer any further questions if you think I have missed something. 
Thank you all. 

Re: Feeling 'separated' from myself?

@lilac Thank you so much for sharing and welcome to the forum! I think it can be relatively normal to feel like you have different parts of yourself that are sometimes even in conflict. I can personally relate to this whole heatedly. I don't know, I reckon others on here might have quite similar experiences. So have you asked your counsellor about any of this and what insights have you had? 


In general, I think the goal (at least in therapy?) is integration....meaning, we find ways to reconcile different aspects of ourselves. Like I have a part of myself that is very spiritual but I also have a part of me that gets fixated on money (like two totally different personalities or something). 


Do you feel like this more when things are stressful? It sounds like you've had a lot of loss and I wonder if that's had more of an impact?

Re: Feeling 'separated' from myself?

Thank you for your reply! 

I am seeing a new counsellor & havent brought these feelings up yet but i will in our next session. It might come out more when im stressed but ive had other stressful situations like taking care of my father while he was sick & did not  feel this. I was in a relationship during his sickness though so i could focus on that.  Hearing other peoples experiences really helps me deal with my own struggles. 

Re: Feeling 'separated' from myself?

Welcome to ReachOut @lilac Smiley Happy

It seems like now that you are not in a relationship you have been doing a lot of self reflecting and really want to understand what's going on with you and reduce the sense of inner turmoil that you are feeling. You have been through a lot recently so it's completely understandable that you are feeling like this. You seem to have a lot of self insight Smiley Happy

I've definitely had a lot of confusion about identity and I think it is fairly common. If you do decide to bring it up with your counsellor next session what do you think you would like to work towards?

Re: Feeling 'separated' from myself?

Hey @lilac, thats so great that you are reaching out and getting the support that you need Smiley Happy Have you had an opportunity to talk about any of this with your counsellor yet?