How Could You Explain DID To Someone?


Recently I was with friends, one of them my best friend who doesn’t know that I have DID, and we were discussing someone we know who has been displaying some odd behavior that seems to be rooted in mental illness. My best friend said that this person implied that they are talking to people in their head and my friend said it sounded like multiple personalities.

Of course she probably has no idea what that means other than what she’s seen on TV but it got me thinking again about how DID has been sensationalized in books, movies and TV and how it’s affected the average person’s concept of the illness and more importantly of the person who has it.

I think people are very frightened of someone with DID. I know the last friend I took a chance on telling I had it reacted badly. I don’t tell anyone anymore and I honestly worry that even my husband who is very understanding, secretly is a little freaked out by me even though he’s never said so. But that could be me projecting my own fears because even I can be a bit freaked out sometimes because I don’t fully understand myself.

I do however know that I don’t go around dressing like a lumberjack or an old lady or a child randomly and I don’t kidnap people (I just saw a trailer for a movie by M. Night Shyamalan about a man with DID who kidnaps girls for some reason).

So back to my original thought: for the average person like my friend, how would I explain DID in a non-scary, no I’m not going to kill you someday, no you don’t need to be afraid of me being around your children, way?

I was thinking of the root of my DID; where it came from, the events…well the original events, even though other trauma added to it: the sexual abuse from my uncle. I would use that, but not the details, to explain DID.

*I actually came back to this spot after I wrote my explanation because it became more personal than I expected. I don’t go into detail but I say things about trying to tell someone and not being believed etc. that may be triggering so I decided to come back and add a warning*

I would say…imagine that you’re 4 years old and someone much older and much bigger than you does something so scary and so terrible that your little 4 year old brain can’t take it, it’s too much, but you don’t die, you live. What would your little 4 year old brain do to live? 

Well there’s so much terror and fear that part of your little brain breaks off and says “Okay, I’ll handle this part.” and it goes away from the others. But there’s also anger because someone hurt you so much but you couldn’t fight back because you were so little. You were only 4 and no one helped you. In fact, one of the grown ups left you alone there. You tried to tell someone who loved you but they didn’t believe you and you’re so angry!!! But you’re only 4, your little brain can’t handle all of that anger, so another piece of your brain breaks off and says “That’s okay, I’ve got this. I’ll hold onto to all the anger.” And it goes away from the others.

But that’s not all. There was sadness…so much sadness…you were all alone in that room…you were all alone in your room because you couldn’t tell anyone…you were all alone your whole life…You were 4 years old. How would your little 4 year old brain handle so much sadness? It can’t so another part of your little brain comes forward and offers to hold the sadness for you. This one is different though because sometimes the sadness is so deep that it spills out and the little girl cries and but she doesn’t understand why.

The bad thing that happened was so bad that lots of pieces of the little girl’s brain had to come forward to take the weight of her feelings because she was only 4 and then she was 5.

Some of the pieces got names like Nikki and James  Other pieces just are and they’re okay with that. They did their job. The little girl lived.

-That’s how I would explain DID to someone. I don’t think it’s scary. I think it’s a logical way for a child’s brain to handle a ridiculously horrifying experience. In my case, added trauma later in life added more alters but the core process is the same. It makes sense to me.

Posted in abuse, Alters, Child Molestation, DID, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape, Sexual Abuse, Trauma | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Tea


I’m thinking about tea. My autoimmune disease has been flaring very badly for over a month. I just had surgery five days ago, but right now, I’m thinking about tea.

I’m drinking a cup of Sleepytime Tea, you might know the blend. My mom used to give it to me when I was a child. You know what I’m wondering? Why did my mom need to give me Sleepytime Tea all the time? It’s soothing; it’s meant to calm. People drink it in the evening to wind down, to help with sleep. I was a child, why did I need it?

I’m just having a random thought while drinking the tea I remember my mom giving me. My feelings are coming back. They’ve been coming back for maybe two days? I remember that I had a mom now. I’m sad again but I can probably do things that I enjoyed again too so that’s a positive. It is, it really is.

It would be nice if I didn’t feel like death though. My body is getting worn out from my lymph nodes being swollen and my lungs hurting when I breathe; my ribs hurt and I feel like I have the flu every day all day long. I’ve lost weight. I get hit with fatigue like a freight train. The medication I was given to treat the symptoms hasn’t worked. I don’t know how long it will take to recover from the surgery so that’s in addition to what was already going on. 

I’m going to drink my tea.

Posted in Child Abuse, Child Molestation, depression, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Sexual Abuse, Toxic Parents, Trauma | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Need Help With Some Statistics For Next Week’s Therapy


I realized today that my therapist insulted me during our session this week. Well, not me specifically but my culture. About 99% of the time I identify as just a human being and I don’t feel the need to separate myself from others by race or nationality but my therapist made a statement that sexual abuse is rampant in my culture as if it was so different from everyone else’s. She tagged on some statement about talking to someone of my race and finding out they had a friend or something who had three children with someone but had never married the father and how that was so outside of her experience and I felt like my mouth wanted to fall open.

It was insulting. Sexual abuse happens in all cultures, which she agreed with when I stated that, but she was implying that it happens differently and in some sort of more insidious way in mine. I feel that I can’t let that assumption stand. I also just remembered that she’s over 70 years old which I didn’t know until two weeks ago, so maybe she’s dealing with generational issues *insert eye roll here* ugh.

So, do you any of you know any statistical numbers on sexual abuse in different cultures or something like that or places I could get that data? I’d like to have some facts to show her that kids are pretty much victims of hell everywhere sheesh!

Posted in Child Molestation, Incest, Sexual Abuse | Tagged , | 10 Comments

Wow My Brain Is Really Ummm… Crappy Right Now


A brief post is better than none right? My therapist thinks that I’m kind of starving myself of anything I really need (not just physical stuff but things that I like) and that includes blogging which is why my posts have been suffering. I decided to jump on any inclination I had to post, even if it was quick, so that in part, we can stay connected and of course to keep my journaling intact for my own state of mind and reference and to get my mind garbage cleaned out. I honestly believe that I’ll come out of this funk, actually I know I will.

My quick post will be to comment on the fact that I realized a couple of weeks ago that I forgot my mom died. Let me repeat that: I forgot my mom died. And no, I don’t mean time passed and healed some of the pain, I mean I forgot. I not only forgot she died, I forgot that I had a mother in the first place. You should have seen my face when I realized that I had  a mother and she was dead…yeah….

I’m pretty sure I’m having dissociative issues in the extreme! I have some ideas why but that’s for another post. But hey, I posted!!!! Fist bump! Do people still do that? Whatever, I’m doing it!

Posted in abuse, Alters, Child Molestation, depersonalization, dissociation, dissociative identity disorder, Incest, Multiple Personalities, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Trauma | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

All Stopped Up


I think there must be such a thing as emotional constipation. That’s what I’m going to call this. I am completely stopped up! Emotionally. I am frozen. I can’t do anything I like or enjoy and it’s not even depression. I’m not eating enough but it’s more like I forget or I lose my appetite but it’s not intentional. I’m not knitting, or blogging, or reading books or playing games. The biggest shock to me came yesterday though after therapy when I realized that I haven’t thought my mom in…days? A week? I don’t even know! It’s like I forgot about her or I forgot that I forgot! 

I think I’ve shutdown something inside of me or lots of things inside of me in a way I haven’t done before and I didn’t even realize it. It’s actually really scary now that I see it.

So I’m sorry that I’ve been gone. I’ve got some therapy homework to do that will be extremely dark and unpleasant but maybe it will wake me back up again!

Hang in there with me guys!

Posted in dissociative identity disorder | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

As Promised, A Post


Well this is what happens when you don’t blog for a while, you forget what’s happened. I’ll try to remember the main points. There may be some sensitive material here, discussion of suicidal ideation, abuse, depression. I don’t know what I’m going write so just be aware.

Basically I’ve been dealing with a lot of depression. I was absolutely in crisis not that long ago and was almost certainly hospital bound but somehow through my therapist, my husband and psychiatrist, I managed to stay out of it. I’m in a weird state of mind though. Usually when I go through depression and come out of it I stabilize. This time I’m on edge like one small thing could push me over or pull me back down into crisis again. It’s very disconcerting.

I saw my therapist yesterday and we were talking about my health problems. She asked me if I’m afraid of dying. I said no. After talking some more we and more so me really realized that even though I thought I was over my death fixation, I’m not, not really. I still find relief in the thought of dying but I’m not suicidal. Many people who struggle with mental illness know what mean by those words.

I also was having tremendous difficulty with being an orphan…feeling abandoned and unloved by my family. My biological father doesn’t want me, my stepfather lied about wanting a relationship, my uncle (not the abuser) my only close relative since my mother died, never talks to me. It was very upsetting. I felt like something was wrong with me because no one wanted me. However my therapist said some things that really helped. She brought out that their behavior was not new. They were not rejecting me all at once, suddenly, they’ve always been this way. She said, and this phrase was key for me, that I kept going to a dry well expecting water. I don’t know what it was about that sentence but it really stuck with me. It really simplified the situation for me and made me think “Yeah, why do I keep doing that?” It was very helpful.

I found I couldn’t take the PTSD nightmare medication every night because it also lowers blood pressure and I already tend to be on the low side so I would get dizzy and lightheaded all day the next day. I can only take it here and there or she suggested taking half. I noticed if I don’t take it is have dreams about being raped regularly. If you had asked me if I have nightmares I would have said no because I didn’t think of them that way…it’s normal for me. Now I know better.

It’s important to realize if you have something like bipolar disorder or depression or whatever that what I call “situational depression”, depression that comes from a situation that has happened ie someone has died, you lost your job…normal things anyone would be depressed about, this can snowball into a chemical reaction that makes your mental illness switch turn on. It’s happened to me many times; a situation that causes normal depression gets out of control because my brain’s chemical balance gets messed up and suddenly I’m in full-blown crisis. Be aware of how long you’re situational depression is lasting and take steps to get it under control because you lose control. For that means if my depression lasts maybe more than a week or two I need to start taking my anti-depressant. I don’t always do that though because the depression makes me not care. This time around I was so far gone that I couldn’t make any decisions, even on whether to eat or not, so my therapist told me to take my medicine so I did.

The last struggle I will talk about is having “friends” who are completely and utterly self-centered. I have two of them in my life, one of them is intolerable. I have literally said to her “I’ve had a bad month” and she said “You have? Let me tell you about mine…” She never and I mean never asks how I’m doing and even if no one is talking about their health she will simply start talking about her random health problems even if it’s awkward because the conversation was about something completely different. My other friend literally spent 3 hours last week one afternoon talking about herself. I made a comment and she said something like ‘Yeah, you’ve been suffering’ and then said ‘So back to what I was saying.’ I reached out to her last year after some of her relatives passed away and we became friends because of that even though when my mother died her attitude was more like ‘Suck it up’. Suddenly when it happened to her everything was different. I figured that nobody’s perfect so I could do what I wished other people had done for me and be there for her, but now…she’s so into talking about herself…I don’t know what to do with her and this other person. With the first friend I actually want to confront her about her behavior and cut her out of my life but she’s part of a huge family that I’m friends with and if I alienate her it will damage my friendship with at least two of the others which would hurt me.

Okay this was probably my longest post ever but I warned you yesterday. Hope you all are staying safe and taking care of yourselves everyday. 

Posted in bipolar disorder, Child Abuse, Child Molestation, dissociative identity disorder, Dreams, Incest, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Rape, self-harm, Sexual Abuse, suicidal ideation, Therapy, Trauma | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Coming Soon…


Yes I know I’ve been gone. I think that maybe not blogging means that I don’t have to confront my feelings or talk about what’s happened. However, that is not a good enough reason not to blog so, I’m going to put it on my calendar to sit down and write about everything that’s been going on. It will probably mean a very lengthy post but you guys won’t have to read it if you don’t want to. 

I’m hoping to get it done by maybe Friday? I hope so. So hang in there with me.

Posted in dissociative identity disorder | 2 Comments