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I feel like an intruder on my own life.

Guest tess n


I don’t feel like this is my life. I’ll start from the beginning.


Since I was about five years old, I started getting this feeling every once in awhile. My earliest memory of The Feeling was standing in front of my mirror in my parents’ bedroom (when they were still together) and having casual conversation with them. All of a sudden, I felt extremely uncomfortable. I’ve struggled with figuring out how to describe The Feeling but I’ll give you my best description here.


Imagine you are a child at your friend’s house, but your friend is not present. You are not close with your friends parents, but for some reason, you are in their room having a casual conversation with them. Further, your friends parents think that you are their child even though you’re not. You then realize that you have been living this way for nearly your entire life, in this house that is not yours with these people who are not your family. You feel uncomfortable, but also slightly afraid because what if suddenly the parents realize you’re not actually their child?


This is the closest I’ve gotten to describing The Feeling. Of course, I don’t actually believe that my parents are not my parents, but this represents the level of uncomfortable I feel upon experiencing The Feeling.


I’ve experienced The Feeling in other situations, too. Just a firm, out-of-the-blue “I’m not supposed to be here” kind of thing.


I don’t live with The Feeling constantly. It comes and goes. However, I do frequently find myself in a general state of feeling like my soul has been plucked out of wherever it’s supposed to be, and placed in someone else’s body, left to live someone else’s life. I feel like an intruder on my own life. Again, I am aware that this is indeed my life and I do not actually believe that I am possessing someone else’s body or something.


I don’t feel a connection to my surroundings or my body. It’s almost like my body is just a vessel that I use to navigate this weird place.


With most people, I feel like they don’t really know me. It’s not just that I don’t open up enough, though. It’s like they look at me and see some person that they think is me, but really I’m just living that person’s life and it makes me feel unseen because I don’t feel like I have any connection with the person that most people think I am. This sort of relates back to my example of the parents thinking I’m their child when I’m really not. There are few people who have ever made me feel like a real person. Maybe just one. Where I’ve actually felt almost completely like myself, no shell or falsity.


I’ve looked into depersonalization and derealization. I match with a few of the symptoms, but I’m not sure if this is completely it. Has anyone experienced this or can anyone help me?

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I don't feel this way.

If you think this is depersonalization or derealization, you can speak about this with a therapist : they should be able to tell you if it is this, and it is not, if it is something else. Thennit will be easier to find people who relate, and to find the help you seem to look for.

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I have some experiences that are a bit similar to this.

Imagine the feeling of thinking of another person, for example you hear their name mentioned and you get the mental image of them. But instead of another person it's yourself you're thinking of, and you feel this great discomfort about this person being you.

The closest I've come to describing this feeling is depersonalization disorder. But when I read about it there doesn't really seem to be any particular treatment of it so I've not gone to any professional. I suppose all one can do is to not get too worked up about it.

Have you tried mindfulness exercises? Maybe they would help.

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Yeah I used to read into these things a lot I know what u mean I used to get it a bit.

One person here already recommended mindfulness exercises, I add that observing your thoughts and ur surroundings, taking a walk and going in nature and stuff and bringing urself to reality is important. but yeah having connection to urself and surroundings to a certain extent is healthy. Maybe finding an activity you like and getting immersed in it helps? 

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