Category Archives: Coconsciousness

Summer Crew and a DID Dream


My summer has been super busy, not busy at all, boring, exciting, a whirlwind. That statement makes sense when you realize it was written with someone who has DID and it’s the feelings of many “alters” inside.  The summer crew is still quite a mystery to me. For those just tuning in, my DID system is kind of divided into two systems. We have one that is our for part of Spring and then all of the Summertime. Then, we have the other group which I know a lot more about that is out during the Fall and Winter.  Oh and we have a few that go between both systems. We had a little bit more functional summer this year I believe because we had some parts from the Fall system stick around here and there to help keep things running smoothly. In the summertime, our schedule goes out the window. We don’t work summers and so therefore the summer crew has very little grasp on how to keep up with things like housework, meals, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. So, this summer they have had a little help with that. Still, it’s really hard because we don’t know the summer parts very well if at all. There are lots of them and they are like a blur when they run out to be in charge of the body and when they blur back in again. There is a LOT less communication in the summer crew compared to the Fall crew.

I did have an interesting dream a few nights ago. It is one of those that I recognize now as a “DID dream”. I dreamt that I was laying on my bed and at the far end of the room there were stairs leading up to the attic (it’s not really my room, but was in my dream). I remember in the dream being afraid of going up there, but I heard noises and was afraid someone was in the house. I remembered one time that my best friend went up there with me and helped me not to be so afraid of it. (Interesting cuz she was the one who was with us when we were diagnosed back in ’94 and has been so supportive).  Then, one by one, a pre-teen girl would slip down the stairs where I could see them. I was afraid at first but then I ran to them and asked them why they were in my attic. They didn’t answer. I told them that I would not tell their parents they were in my house without permission if they explained to me what was wrong. One girl started to cry at the mention of telling her parents. Started out there were 3, then, 4, then 5 girls. After a while, even more girls around the same age started coming down the stairs to let me know they were there.

So I think insiders are starting to reveal themselves to me slowly in their time. I remember one girl who really struck me, she had the prettiest strawberry hair.

Several years ago back early in my diagnosis, I would often have a dream of girls coming into my house while I was asleep or not there or whatever. The dream felt so real that in remembering it I had to really think if it really happened or not. It was a dream, but I see it as my insiders starting to reveal themselves to me. Dreams have always been a big part of how my system communicates with me.

The Summer Crew is back!!


I drove home from our DID support group tonight with mixed feelings. It was said tonight that the group will take a break for the summertime until they can find more people interested in joining. We are greatly saddened as our summer crew is getting in full swing again and feel we are going to greatly miss out. This was our (summer crew’s) third group since coming back and we felt most comfortable in sharing and relating to the other group members tonight. We are going to feel such a loss once group is (temporarily) over after the next meeting. We drove home with the radio blaring filling our ears and head with loud rock music. It feels a bit unfair. We are here now and excited to be able to interact with other multiples in real life, but now the group will be discontinued. It is only temporary, yes, but when it reconvenes we will likely be back inside for the fall/winter months. After expressing our concerns, the Ts in charge talked about trying to meet maybe once a month over the summer months. Well, at least that is something, anyway, and I am thankful for whatever we can get  🙂

And thinking positively, this will give us a chance to work more intensely with our therapist. While we were participating in the group, we were just not able to afford seeing our T every week and be able to pay for Group, also. We heard from our T today and she is going to see about getting on our in-network list of therapists with our insurance. This will help SOOOO MUCH. So, we could possibly have been able to do T and group at the same time. I guess in the long run this will be better as we will be able to catch up on our account with T as well as do some consistent work with her while group is out. Just going to miss interacting with others like us in 3D life very much.

We have really missed being here at Myriad Musings and being able to interact with fellow DIDers and other bloggers. Our system went through a time when we were not getting online much at all and definitely didn’t blog. I am glad to say that time has passed. We are back! An update on my dad, he has finished his radiation treatment and soon will complete the chemo and will have another pet scan to see how the treatments have been working. We are hoping and praying for the best. Will keep all posted.

Our job will be competed for the summer next Friday. Friday!! Fridayyyy!!! I can’t wait! We already have plans to hit happy hour next Thursday and Friday with friends and coworkers. Woohoo!! Time to celebrate!! It’s been a long and tough year. We are already making plans on what color to dye the hair. We’re thinking about dying the tips of the hair bright pink. Other than that, not sure  🙂  We are wanting punk wild colors!!  🙂  Will see what the system compromises on though, later on  🙂

Well, my friends, this is us signing off for now. Will see you again very soon!

Letter to the Group T


In preparation for the Group therapy session on Tuesday, we are writing one of those letters that you don’t actually send to the therapist that we have transference with. We may share parts of the letter with her in the group session. It just depends on how brave we are feeling….

Dear C,

While working on the whole bed/table trigger in therapy, we have come to realize how incredibly triggered we were on many levels. Initially, it was the bed/table trigger and how it triggered the memory of a traumatic event that I still have yet to get a grasp on. Then, it became so much more. When we arrived that second session with the table up, a flood of feelings came up for us. It was initially just you and us and the bed/table. I think this was the beginning of our struggle with transference. You asked if you could “introduce” me to the table and your good work that you do with it. You emphasized how the table was being used for only good and positive things. I understand logically why you did that. You wanted to try to help me separate the bad memory with the current reality of what is. If this had been a memory that I have already processed in therapy, then that might have helped. As it was, I was trapped in the trigger of the memory that was currently mostly feelings of fear. I began floating from the moment I stepped into the room and realized that we were alone in the room with you (who we began to see as our Aunt L) and the bed/table. You asked us to come closer to the bed/table and we did, though most of us had scrambled deep inside so as to not feel the awful fear that comes when near the trigger. We began to transfer the Aunt onto you and saw it as the Aunt asking us to come closer to the bed/table. We became compliant and nodded when you asked us something because we just wanted to get through it. Next, you asked us where we would like to sit. The way the room was set up, the only choices we had were to sit where we would see the table throughout the group session or sit right next to the table facing away. We could not bear either, so we sat at the side and could not look that direction the whole session. Then, you asked if it was okay to sit next to us. It was a good question to ask someone who is struggling, but we were not in the place to say no. We were stuck in the memory and in being compliant as we had to be with the perps so we said “yes”. I was angry with myselves after this because I felt we were too weak to say “no”. However, we were able to say no when the other T asked if we would be okay with you touching us in reassurance. This was a huge accomplishment for us considering everything we were going through internally. I seem to recall a little one coming out briefly and I remember hearing her sob. It was very real, too real, and we pushed her inside due to not feeling safe.

We were confused as to why you would leave it up after learning what a terrible trigger it was for us. We felt unworthy of anyone caring about what we are struggling with. We noticed that the candles that had been lit the week before were not out as they had bothered some group members.  Candles do not bother us as we love them, however we understood completely why you would not bring them out due to how it affected the other group members. Yet…..the thing that was even more than just a little bothersome and upsetting to us was left up. This made a big impact on us as it sent the message that we were not as important or worthy as the other group members are.

The other T talked to us on the phone that week and told us of a couple of options that you guys had come up with to manage this situation. The first idea was that when we arrived at Group, the members and therapists would help in disassembling the bed/table at the start of session. I could join if I felt okay to or if not it was okay. This would only make it much worse for me, adding to the initial trigger and transference, feelings of causing problems in the group. You see, we don’t want to be the center of attention and we definitely don’t want to be a bother to others. We feel that this would be taking time away from the other group members who also pay to be there. We also worry that there will be resentment among other group members. This group is for all of us and to have the other members all do something specifically for us would send us plunging into despair for fear of burdening others.  It was totally not going to be okay with us. The other Group T said that was not your goal and that you both had hoped that this would send us the message that you all care about us. I told her that we wouldn’t receive the message that way at all. We don’t want to take more than others take from group. Even when our T talked to us about the possibility of sharing this letter with you during group, we were uncomfortable as we didn’t want to take away from the other group members’ time. K reminded me that the group was also for me and that my sharing with you about the transference stuff could be helpful for other members to witness.

The second idea was much more doable and one that we were going to suggest ourselves as we did not want to be any more of a burden than necessary. The second idea was to set up a screen so that we would not have to see the bed/table. We feel now that we are not worthy of you taking down the bed/table for whatever reason and that is okay with us as it is not anything we would have expected normally. We only said something because it was a therapy setting and we felt more comfortable asking for something there than we would anywhere else. I imagine it is too much trouble for you to take it down only to have to set it up again for the next day’s clients. My usual response to this situation would be to “grin and bear it” because I do not want to cause anyone trouble and I definitely do not feel okay asking someone to do anything for me. I realize as I write this that it may sound manipulative, but that is not my intent. My intent is to be as honest as possible about the thoughts and feelings that go on inside regarding this situation. We are okay with the screen idea as it is a great compromise on the subject. Still, I felt like I should mention the reactions I was feeling from insiders regarding feeling unworthy, etc.

Sincerely,

Cetcetera

As we wrote this last part, I was reminded of how we went our whole life without telling anyone about the abuse until I was in my 20’s and went to therapy. I remembered that one of my main reasons for not telling any family was because I didn’t feel like my father could handle the news that I was abused by the uncle. I preferred to “grin and bear it” and endure it alone than my father be hurt by the knowledge of what I went through. This is how much we don’t like to burden others.

We do appreciate any feedback on our letter. As we wrote it, I definitely did not feel okay with sharing it with this T as I am worried it might sound bad/negative. She is a good lady and therapist and we don’t want to make her feel defensive or hurt…..also don’t want to sound petty or anything…..






Layers of Memories


New information is still surfacing since the big trigger a few weeks ago.  In therapy last Tuesday, we talked about our apprehension about the next Group session and being in the same room with one of the group therapists (that we have transference issues with). We told our T that we are unable to stand being in the same room with the aunt that this therapist is reminding us of. T asked us how it made us feel being in the same room with the aunt…. I thought about it…imagined being in the same room with that woman. Jagged vibrations, uncomfortable shaking just beneath the skin…..the feeling that you get when you hear fingernails scraping down a chalkboard. That feeling. Then, as we explored it a little more, an image came to mind of a girl in our system that I didn’t know was there, but then again I did know she was there.

Memories are weird like that for those of us with DID. It can be quite inconvenient at times. It’s not just if an amnesiac alter is out that I don’t remember something. I could have a memory one minute of something I experienced and then someone inside snatches it away from me if the need arises.  I recognized that I had this particular insider many years ago when I was looking at photos from my childhood (potentially a horrifically triggering experience – I lost 4+ hours looking at those photos. I “came-to” and found the photos spread all around me on the living room floor with no memory of the hours prior or actually looking at most of them). Anyway, I saw a photo of “me” and there was something about the picture that frightened me. I didn’t fully know what it was as it was mostly a feeling with no specifics attached. However, there was this look in the girl’s eyes. The look is difficult to describe….not exactly “haunted”, but you could tell by the look in her eyes that she has been through something horrific. This is the girl that we realized in our last therapy session is actually a part of our system. So, I kind of knew it way back when, but it didn’t sink in as I’m sure I was not ready to deal with that information.

So, now I know that this girl is connected to that aunt (and probably uncle) and also is connected to the bed/table memory. Information about the past coming to us in layers. It is fascinating how DID and recovery works. So, this next week and a half, we are focusing on having internal dialogue to try to learn whatever we can about this girl….whatever the system feels I am ready for, that is. Going to just listen and notice as our therapist often encourages us to do.






My DID Recovery Puzzle


TRIGGER WARNING: hard talk of triggers and recovery – be safe, my friends.

I am starting to see my recovery in a whole new light. Things are making more sense now. For so many years I was so frustrated and upset that therapy was taking so very long. I just wanted my insiders to tell me what they knew so I could deal with it and move on. I figured they would share whatever memories were necessary to share one at a time or something. It is not the way this has worked. I have often heard the analogy of peeling an onion when talking about therapy for someone with DID, yet I didn’t fully realize what it meant. I mean, I saw the analogy as referring to the parts of my DID system and how uncovering and meeting new parts/alters is like peeling the layers of an onion. What I didn’t see was how the memories also will come in layers.

First, I would get a feeling, something would trigger me and I wouldn’t know why. This goes on for quite some time, maybe even years, then the next clue which was maybe a dream near the triggering event would happen. The dream could have symbolism in it – in my case recently, snakes – add to that the knowledge of the recent trigger as well as noticing  specific insiders and their reactions gives me more information. Add to it, the more severe dissociation I have felt from my body within the last week since the trigger is more validation that something is coming to the surface. Today in therapy, I barely felt the couch underneath me. I told my T that it kind of felt like I was just floating above the couch. It was bazaar.

I should give a little update to what has recently happened so folks know where we are. I had a dream years ago that has always stayed with me. I won’t write of the details here because I don’t want to trigger and also because I don’t think I would be able to write that stuff without breaking down. There was a bed/table with a black cover over it in a room – like a bedroom size room. Needless to say, very bad things happened there. Well, when I went to my group therapy meeting one week ago, one of the therapists had left her energy work table up. It looked just like the bed/table in my dream except thankfully the blanket was blue or purple – not black. I was stunned when I saw it. Many of our system stepped back in shock.

Finally a little one, age six years old, steps out in front and points towards the bed/table and says, “What is that?”.

“What?” replied one of the T’s.

“THAT!” the little girl asked again pointing at it.

She said, “I’m sorry but you’ll have to be more specific.”

The little girl could not bring herself to actually say the word bed or table or anything like that so she said, “That thing with the blanket on it.”

The T responded saying that it was her table for doing energy work with clients and she has an early appointment the next day so she left it up for Group.

I felt some other parts come forward when she said that who then noticed the crystals. These parts are very much into things mystical and were immediately drawn. I was frightened as were many of our insiders and so we shoved internally as hard as we could – pushing them deep inside away from the bed/table and crystals. We could not bear it if they were to go over closer to it to look at the crystals.

I went through the Group session with all parts who were triggered safe inside. I’m not sure if they were still frightened, but I have a feeling that they were. I just had to push them deep down for survival’s sake. I could not freak out over a trigger in Group because, well, what would the other group members think of us? “Besides,” another part says to me, “triggers are everywhere and we deal with them all the time. So this one is in Group, same thing, we deal.” But, it’s not just any trigger. It is something that looked exactly like something in my dream years ago where terrible things happened to us. It would almost be the equivalent of seeing one of my perpetrators again.

We made it home and went on with our week dissociated from the trigger, though it eventually did resurface as the image of it came and stayed in the back of my mind. A few nights later, the dreams started coming.

First night, I was on a large bus with a lot of people on it. We were driving through a war zone. There were bombs going off, machine guns being fired, terrible things happening outside that bus. I just sat there watching, sometimes crying so hard but silent so that no one would hear. Sometimes I sat in the floor so I could be alone. I believe this was me catching a glimpse of what it was like growing up in a DID system. Often the bus analogy is used to describe a person’s system who has DID, everyone rides the bus and take turns in the driver’s seat. I had another dream that same night about a boy who had been a victim of war and was found naked with his privates cut or torn off. I saw him and was horrified and had to turn away. I wonder if he is someone in my system as this is how I have met insiders before. In the dream, I think he was dead.

The next night, I dreamed about snakes – so many snakes everywhere that I went. In the past, I have dreamed that there were snakes on the ground and I would fight them or try to get away from them. I was always standing when I encountered the snakes. This time, not only was I standing when I encountered the snakes, there were times when I was lying down. Once a snake crawled over my body and I screamed internally and stayed as frozen as possible for fear that it might bite. Another part of the dream, I went to sleep on the ground and woke up with snakes underneath my body, I could feel them squirming underneath my back. I connected this part of the dream to a feeling that my body has had for years in the mid-back area – a squirming and feeling like something was coming upon me from behind. It is always accompanied with great terror. A connection between a body memory we’ve had for years but never even fully realized it was a body memory and this new snake dream. A new layer is being peeled back. If you have been in therapy for sexual abuse survival, then I imagine you know what a snake can symbolize in dreams. I have always thought that was what it represented in my dreams.

Last night, I had nightmares again. The only thing I can remember is waking up after seeing an extremely scary face in my dream. The face looked crazy in the eyes and had big teeth. It was right up in my face. I woke with a start and was terrified. I got up to go to the restroom. Now, I have many triggers when it comes to the restroom, one being that I cannot go in the dark and I definitely cannot stand at the sink with the mirror there and wash my hands in the dark. It always gives me the terrorized feeling in my back. Last night, I had the light on, but the sensation and fear were so close. This is all somehow connected. Years ago, I recalled in therapy tonight, I also saw scary faces in my sleep. It was when I was in 3rd grade (around) and had gone to church camp with a friend, it was night-time and I woke crying because I kept seeing the crazy, scary faces and they were laughing at me. The camp counselor talked and prayed with me and I slept with my Bible under my pillow to try to help with the nightmares. Interesting about that camp, I actually remember being very dissociated at the time not knowing the people who I shared the dorm with yet seeming to know them at the same time, getting confused and getting people mixed up, etc. This is one of the few memories I actually have of my childhood. Still, it’s more pieces of the puzzle.

In therapy tonight, I was asked if I got an idea of the age range of who was frightened by the bed/table. I got the idea that it was some older kids and that the little girl was the only one brave enough to come out and ask. Still, she was upset and scared, too. The little girl who asked about the bed/table was six years old, but I also got an internal image tonight of one of my four-year-old little girls. I think she is connected to all this somehow. I am beginning to think that this bed/table dream may have been more than just a dream……

DID recovery is like putting together a puzzle without having the picture to go by. Each piece means something even if I have no idea at the time. It’s so complex and therapy is hard work and exhausting. Still, I am happy to have made the realization that we are making progress in that our memory work comes in layers – one piece, one feeling, one trigger at a time. I guess my system knows it is the only way I can manage the information – in tiny pieces – and that’s okay with me.






Multiple Dream


I had a dream last night/this morning that I thought was symbolic. I was on a large bus full of people and was witnessing all kinds of horrific events going on outside the bus. It was a war-like scene outside the bus. At times, I cried very hard, yet silently so that no one would hear me. At times I was terrified. Sometimes I sat in the floor of the bus so that I could be alone. It was while I was sitting on the floor of the bus that I felt my husband’s hand gently touch mine. He hadn’t been there until then and he held my hand which comforted me. To me, after waking, I realize that it was symbolic of my life. Often times a DID system is described with a bus analogy – everyone in the system is on that bus and we take turns in the “driver’s seat” or fronting. I think the dream symbolized my journey in that bus and the very difficult times I have seen or endured. It was touching that along that journey, my husband reached out and took my hand. We are not alone anymore – not that we ever really were. But, having him by our side is extremely comforting.

DID & Shift into Winter Crew


Hi,

Feels like we haven’t written in forever. We have several things going on lately that we want to write about, but for now we are just getting back into the swing of things…..

If you’ve read Summertime Progress in Life & Therapy, then you are familiar with the fact that we have two separate crews in our system, one that is out primarily in the summertime and another that is out in the late fall/winter time. Well, technically there is a third much smaller group that is out year round. Anyway, we are now fully into the winter crew. Mary is back, thankfully, and so housework and organization is getting back on track as is the yummy homemade foods that she makes. Cassondra is also back. She keeps track of finances and does things that need to be handled in an adult and/or professional manner. They work very well together as a team cuz their jobs are both kind of similar in terms of organizing things and helping the system stay calm.

I did some noticing this year. I noticed that the first week of November is when the ears started messing up again. We have been diagnosed with Meniere’s Disease which is basically a fluid imbalance in the ears that causes some extreme dizziness at times.

The second week in November is when I started feeling the pain in some of my joints again…especially the right elbow which we suspect is due to a body memory because most often times when it presents itself there is a specific inside little girl around.

The third week in November, we noticed Mary was back full on. She was cleaning and organizing and got more done in a few days than we got done all summer! She also cooked a huge meal for Thanksgiving even though it’s just us and our husband, but then we love her homemade pies, cheesy homemade mashed potatoes, homemade rolls….well you get the picture. So anyway, needless to say that we LOVE the leftovers  🙂

Another thing we are noticing as the late fall/winter time and crew comes around is that we are more withdrawn. We are not as around online as we had been all summer. We still know of our friends online but seems there is so much going on internally this time of year that we find it quite difficult to socialize online. We still keep those options open on Facebook and Twitter cuz sometimes we are able to reach out either to ask for help or to help someone else. It is a lifeline that we cherish very much. It’s just tough this time of year.

I talked with our T last Sunday (yep, had a session on a Sunday. Cool, huh?) about how now that everyone is back around for this time of year, there is so much pressure from everyone to get time out to do what they want to do. I have felt like I’m in the middle of a whirlwind spinning back and forth as the next person switches out. Makes the term “roladexing” all the more real as I feel like I have been spinning like I’m in one. Our homework this week is to have a system meeting and try to figure out some way to manage our time more efficiently so that each group that has something they are wanting to do has a promised time to do it. That way it won’t be as chaotic. We have been successful with this before, though it has been many years now. The “scheduling”, as with most things for a multiple, has to be flexible as we are not always sure what will be going on from day to day.

We have had so much going on that every time I have tried to write/journal, I get pushed aside and someone else comes out to do something they want to do. So, I am guessing just having what little internal dialogue about it that we have has been helping some since I am able to write this today. When we were in therapy last Sunday, the internal pressure from so many having so many things they want to say was so strong that at one point we had to get a pen and someones were writing as we were listening and talking with T about another topic. Talk about multitasking!

I do know my winter crew much better than my summer crew so it is like getting my good friends back. I have missed them and there is quite a bit of comfort in the familiarity of loved ones. I am one that is around all year. I still experience memory loss as the shifts happen from crew to crew. Like now, I remember bits and pieces from the Summer crew’s time here, but not big chunks of it. I think I remember more this year than previous years because of all the blogging our summer parts did and I’m able to read those as well as the fact that since being with our new therapist, I have been making more of an effort to notice stuff.

Time to sign off for today. We plan on doing some more writing this weekend. Here’s hoping we can schedule it out! Hope everyone has been having a terrific week!

How I experience Dissociative Identity Disorder


Things I would want others to know about me and how Dissociative Identity Disorder has played a big part in my life:

I survived severe abuse at the hands of more than one perpetrator starting younger than age 2 extending over several years into adulthood. To escape this abuse, I dissociated or floated away to another place in my head and through the genius creativity of a child created someone else to take my place. That person or part of me took the abuse for me. Then, I was able to continue in life not aware of what had happened. This happened over and over again until I had several other “mes” that often had their own name and had different experiences, likes, and dislikes. Some of them claim my family as their own, but most do not. I believe this is part of the way they separate themselves from the family that abused them.

In case you wonder how the parts of me get their names, it is all related to names I was exposed to. I would take names from favorite tv shows, books, movies, friends, etc. and apply them to the parts I created inside. This was all done subconsciously. Some parts have names that reflect what they do or how they feel. I have one insider who calls herself Worthless because that is the way she feels. I am still trying to convince her that she is not worthless and to help her find a new name for herself.

I would not be alive today if it were not for the ability to create these other parts. One reason is that my mind would not have been able to take the knowledge of all that was happening to me from a very young age. Having separate parts hold all of these pieces saved me from having to deal with it all at once before I was ready. Therapists have told me that not everyone has this ability to dissociate to the extreme degree. The ability tends to run in families. If I was not able to dissociate as I did, my mind would not have been able to cope and I would have developed some other mental disorder such as schizophrenia. Another way they have saved me is by keeping me safe from myself the many times I have been suicidal in my life. They are able to come out and protect me from doing harm to myself.

The different parts of me hold specific memories related to the trauma, but parts also hold other things. I have one part, Suzanne, who was able to hold the pleasure associated with sex. She kept it for me all my life so that I would still be able to enjoy sex one day. If I didn’t have her to hold that for me – my sexuality – then I would have immense trouble enjoying the gift of sex as an adult. Another part of me, Cassandra, held a strong passion for God. Even though parts of me were severely abused by an uncle who was a preacher and were very confused about God, Cassandra was there to be able to show God’s true nature and share His love with them. She is also one of our strongest insiders that has kept us functional and kept the faith.

I am currently coconscious with the majority of my system (the group of alters in my internal family). Coconscious means that when another part is in the “driver’s seat”, I am still able to look through the windshield (eyes) and see what is happening, sharing the memories. Often times, parts of me can be copresent which means more than one will be in the driver’s seat at once. We often do this when we go to therapy when more than one of us want to be involved in a discussion. The group of 2 or 3 that are copresent are there as representatives of the system. Then there are a few parts, more than I’d like, that I am amnesiac with. This means I am not aware of the things they do when they are in the driver’s seat. Thankfully these times are not usually a long period of time. Usually I may miss anywhere from 15 minutes up to several hours compared to the days, weeks, months, and years that may happen for some DID systems.

I have blank spots in my childhood memories as well as teenage years. This is because I had others in my system who would come out and live life for me when I was unable. It is also, of course, due to the times of trauma when others would come out and protect me from it. I have people tell me that I said things that I didn’t remember saying or doing something I don’t remember doing. That is very frustrating. Sometimes, I can ask inside and the one inside who did it or said it will share that memory with me and then I will be aware. Other times, I just have to decide whether or not to trust the person who told me because no one inside will own up to whatever it was.  I do appreciate the other person letting me know, no matter the frustration, because it helps me to know what I have been saying or doing. There have been times when my husband will be upset at me and I will have absolutely no idea what had happened because I wasn’t there when the upsetting event occurred. I usually have to wait for him to calm down to be able to tell me what happened. This is also quite frustrating and confusing.

I also know this experience from the outsiders point of view because I am 100% certain that my mother has undiagnosed DID. There were a great many times growing up when I would be sitting in the living room talking with my parents. I’d bring up something that my mother had said just a few minutes prior and she would blatantly deny that she said any such thing. I remember being so confused because I knew what I heard and I remember often times desperately looking to my dad who would kind of laugh and tell her that she did say it. I never understood my mother until I was able to understand myself(ves) and how DID works. Then, so many things started to make sense!

It has been said in the past that DID is rare. Well I can tell you that it is far from rare. If you watch the video I have on my blog about Understanding Dissociative Identity Disorder, you will see that it is as common as schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder. You could know someone who has DID (and that person may or may not be aware of it themselves!) and just view them as moody and having a bad memory. While there are many people who have DID and are on disability unable to work, there are also quite successful and functional people with DID who have careers as doctors, nurses, lawyers, psychologists, etc. Unfortunately, most of us don’t “out” ourselves as having DID to more than just a few close friends due to the terrible stigma that is still attached to this condition.

I hope that I have helped explain some of what Dissociative Identity Disorder is like. It is a complex condition and takes a while for someone to get a grasp on all it entails.

Update on Life & Switches


We just started back to work a couple weeks ago and this time of year is difficult in that we are transitioning between the group that is out in the summer and back into the group that is out through the fall and winter (spring we begin a slower transition back into the summer group again).

Our job has truly sucked since we came back and it’s been a real struggle to stick it out. We work for a school district as an Interpreter for the Deaf and there is a team of 4 of us this year. Our team gets along for the most part, but the principals do not understand what we do and couldn’t if their life depended on it. I swear it is so upsetting and frustrating. They did not return our computers this year and told us it’s because they “break too easily” which I believe is a load of crap plus they thought we only used them to check our work email and clock in (NOT). Part of us understands that it is our boss that is supposed to supply us with computers and the ones we had were given to us by the school we work in. So, that is most likely the reason although why they didn’t just say that, we don’t know. We feel we’ve been lied to and mistreated and disrespected. We heard they were even wanting to take away our office space. I’m sure they don’t realize the preparation that Intepreters have to do in order to be ready to interpret the daily lessons which is the reason for us having an office and computers. ::sighs:: (we have to look up signs for specialized vocabulary that aren’t in a regular sign language book…..there are websites that I get those signs from).

We realized on Friday that our system has been switching between 3 groups of insiders at work. Group A (let’s call them) wants to fight and get the respect and understanding we deserve. They have written a letter that they are still working on revising to give to the administration and cc’s our boss explaining our role and the reasons behind the accommodations we require. They honestly have no clue. Group B is partly made up of one of our professional parts who was created to get along with our coworkers, teachers, and parents in a professional manner. She feels that this is just one of those bumps in the road that will smooth out given time and is handling talking to the people at work that Group A would probably tell to go to hell. Group C is partly made up of our 14 year old who we are referring to as the “runaway beach girl”. She decided last Friday that we could just quit and move to the beach and get an interpreting job there which gave some inside hope that we do have a way to escape if we absolutely had to. We have always dreamt of moving to the beach and someday we will, but she was ready to do it all on Friday.

Another reason I can tell we’ve been switching lots at work is cuz someone always comments on my hair color thinking I have dyed it recently. It happened on Friday and when I told the person that I hadn’t dyed it since the summer break, they looked confused. I quickly added that my hair tends to tint different colors depending on “what I am wearing”. Really it is depending on who is out, but yanno I can’t really tell them that.

We had a T appointment on Friday and she pointed out that the 3 groups represent “fight”, “flight” and distancing. She said they were all normal reactions to something like this only more pronounced with the DID as they are separate groups. We are I am sure confusing to our coworkers and are trying to figure out a way to show more cohesiveness. Our T is encouraging the 3 groups to communicate. Group B is aware of Group A. Group C is aware of Group B. I think I explained that right. Anyway, we have had a little bit of communication, but maybe I’ll need to bring a journal or something to work for them to write in at lunchtime or something. Maybe that will help?

So, it’s pretty chaotic here . *I* am just hoping that things will smooth out soon and we will be given at least ONE computer for the four of us to use (although that will make parts of us feel disrespected as all the other interpreters on the other campuses as well as the other faculty at our school site all have their own computer to work on). Still, one is better than none which is what we have currently and I feel so unproductive without having my technology to work with in my job.

We’ve been trying to remember to eat, but money is extremely tight once again. I think this may be the last hurdle we will have to get past financially for a while before we can get some stability. We owed the bank $500 which was a direct deposit advance thing that we had been doing for 12 months straight, just kept borrowing it back after it was paid back (automatically upon direct deposits). Well, starting now since we have borrowed for a full 12 months we have to go one month without borrowing ANY and while in the past we have worked our way down to only borrowing 100 or 200 dollars, we didn’t manage to this time. So, start of the month with both rent and car payment due as well as utilities and we are $500 down. I think we will scrape by but it will be oh so close. That’s why we’re having troubles eating cuz we are afraid that when we run out of food we won’t be able to buy more. It’s cuz it’s a trigger. We do the same thing with hoarding our meds when we worry about money. Ah well. Anyway, moral of this story is “Direct Deposit Advance”: DON’T start it unless you absolutely need to cuz it’s a vicious cycle.

Hubby is still looking for another job while he is still employed at his awful job. I can’t even tell you what he has to do at his job cuz it is so gross cleaning up after those truckers (it’s a truck stop). He hates it and is still looking for a replacement job. At least he is only working 4 to midnight rather than overnight currently cuz we wouldn’t be able to sleep here alone. The only way we can do it is fall asleep on the couch cuz it feels safer.

Hoping things will calm down soon……


DID and the Inside World


When I was first diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, I wondered what my inside world looked like. I remember trying to look inside to see what I’d find, but all I could find was a long, dark tunnel. My artist drew a picture of the tunnel and when we can make it to a scanner, we will add it. We worked with our therapist on putting lights in the tunnel. I didn’t realize you could do that, but of course you can! As I added lights, I began to see doors and the tunnel seemed to be a hallway. Next step was to see what was behind the doors. This was where I began to meet insiders and get to know who made up my inside family.

Over time, we worked on building what things we needed for our world. Now, of course, there were some things already there, but to help with functionality of the system so that we could work together more easily, this was necessary. We built a meeting room. The first meeting room we built was kind of business like: a long cherry wood table with tall wooden chairs all along it. This was for the safety committee members who would meet and discuss safety concerns. There is a window in the meeting room looking into the children’s playroom that we also created. This was a special playroom for the kiddos to go to when we had meetings that needed to happen and those who are in charge of them need to be in the meeting. This way the kids can still be looked after even while we are taking care of business, so to speak.

The kids room is full of toys, a dollhouse, barbies, a large tv for watching movies and cartoons, another tv for playing video games, a little table and chairs with crayons and colorbooks, etc. The sky is the limit when making the inside world for your family. On the playroom side of the window, the kids don’t see a window but a pretty picture instead. They know that the “bigs” can see them though and it makes them feel safe.

Another piece of our inside world is a prayer room where Cassandra likes to go. Many others go there when they need to talk, cry, or just be held. This room was made carefully so as not to trigger or remind us of any of the bad religious triggers we have. It’s a comfortable room with comfortable soft lighting, soft music, kleenex, pillows, etc. Cassandra is a very good listener and is very caring so it is a good place to go and get support.

Cassandra is what the books would call an “inner self helper”. Therefore, she moves around the inside world frequently to be there for different ones of us. She has another place that she loves that is outdoors. She loves nature and this is kind of like a canopy, it’s hard to describe. She has sheer curtains on the sides of it that blow in the wind. It also has a very inviting feel to it. There are beautiful trees all around it.

After a few years, someone else in the system decided to make another meeting room so we had choices when it came to gathering 🙂  Since many of us like nature, this one was built out in the midst of trees and nature (not that trees aren’t nature, but you know what I mean). This is an all glass building. It’s like a glass dome. It was created like this so we could feel like we were outdoors, but have the comforts of being indoors like some couches, a kitchen area, coke machine (that is free), a round meeting table and comfy chairs.

Not too far away from the outdoor meeting building is a beautiful river with lush grass all around it. There is a large tree not too far from the river that lots of us love to go and sit next to while we watch and listen to the flowing water of the river. We love the sound of flowing water. It is very soothing.

The kids designed their own playground. It has just about anything you can imagine. I mostly remember the ice cream shaped plaything that I think has a slide coming out of it? I hear the kids inside giggling at me, but you notice they aren’t helping me with the details? (more giggling)

The artist has her own studio. It’s pretty cool with easels and lots of paints and stuff like that.

Not sure what else to say about the inside world. These are just a few key places in our world that we love and feel are important. We just got to thinking that folks might want to read something about the inner world of another DID’er especially when newly diagnosed. I know it was one of the things I was most curious about and at first I didn’t realize that we could modify anything we wanted cuz it was OUR WORLD!  :O)

I remember at the beginning how scary it was and how much I didn’t know about the insiders and how little I knew about the inside world. Our inside world is vast and there are a great many parts to it. Some of it has been there since the beginning and some of it we have added to make things more manageable. I know just as there are still parts of us that I do not know, there are still parts of our inner world that I don’t know, yet. I know OF a castle, but have never been myself. I highly suspect that we have another layer under this one because some of the parts I feel around are not from this layer of the world I speak of in this post. That is yet to be discovered. Until then, I will just wait and see what I “notice” as my T says  🙂