Tag Archives: amnesiac alters

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.

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Frankie & Alice: NEW movie on DID!!


Hey, have you heard? Halle Berry stars as a woman who has DID in the 70’s (so I imagine it was called MPD or something else back then). It is based on a true story of a woman’s life. The woman is still alive today and living a functional life with her alters, has a family, and is a teacher. We think it will be really good! Currently it is showing in theaters in LA and New York, but will be out everywhere else in February 2011!! We can’t wait! Finally a movie where the DID person isn’t a murderer or something terrible, huh?

Nightmares and More Symbolism


I apologize for not writing lately. We had a couple of really good days in the last week. The rest of it was either struggling with emotions just under the surface, nightmares, or oh yeah dropping something really heavy onto my foot. Went to the ER and it’s not broken, just badly bruised and swollen.

Before writing about the recent nightmares, I should update about the Group. My sister was able to come through town to see me but could only stay for a few hours. And yes it just so happened to occur at the exact time that my Group was. So, I had to miss it which was probably a relief to some of our parts, but many of us were quite disappointed cuz we wanted to work through the transference issues and all so we could move forward. Still, the visit with our sister was very much needed as we had been feeling very depressed. I only see her maybe once a year and the rest of the family I see even less. So, it was a very, very nice visit.

The past few nights have been especially bad with the nightmares. One that just recently came to mind was of being in a haunted house of sorts. I was in my Aunt M’s house and in it, all of her furniture (the beds mostly) were “haunted”. It’s interesting as I type this out and see the symbolism. I would try to sleep but was so afraid of the “ghosts” that were going to come and get me. I would try sleeping in a different bed, but the same unseen source of terror was there. I woke several times during the night terrified, unable to recognize where I was or how old I was. In the dream, Aunt M’s house was large and had a lot of old furniture in it. Everything seemed to loom over my small frame.

I have had dreams many times in the past of haunted houses. One that has been a recurring dream over the years is about this house that was several stories high. The top floor was always riddled with spirits of the unkind variety. I would try to go up there (in these dreams I am an adult……most of the time) because my best friend and I had just moved in and I wanted to make use of all the space. Often times I wouldn’t even make it all the way up the stairs before terror would grip me and I would run back down again often times screaming. Sometimes, I would make it to that top floor. I remember once that it was mostly bedrooms on that floor. I remember vaguely something about a fancy red blanket on one of the beds. It’s one of the shades of red that are triggering to me. The whole room actually now that I think about it had shades of red in it. Another time I had this dream and I made it all the way to the top floor, it was mostly dark and I couldn’t see anything, but I could FEEL all the sheer blinding terror. I ran back down the stairs swearing that I would not ever use the top floor of the house.

It still amazes me as I finally bring myself to write about something that to me seemed to be quite scary but “surely didn’t mean anything” only to realize that it was full of symbolism. The symbolism of the childhood and what those beds really were “haunted” with were the bad things that the bad people did to me/us there.

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.






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.

INSOMNIA you no my friend


I hate this not being able to sleep. Ever since we switched from the winter/spring crew into the spring/summer crew our sleep has been all messed up. I’m used to it as I’m out year round and so I know it’s nothing new for our nights and days to flip……I guess it’s that this is the first summer in a long time that we’ve PAID ATTENTION to it and tried to figure out the why’s and what-fors (is that even a word?).

What I’m learning so far is that Summer Crew does NOT like to sleep at night cuz that’s when a lot of bad shit happened over the summers while the body was growing up. There is also an elevated energy level amongst the summer parts. Lots of energy. But it’s making us ill this year with the erratic sleep patterns for some reason when it hasn’t necessarily before. Maybe it’s just the simple fact that the body is getting older. I dunno.

There is also this vague fear that is around at night. I’m not aware of everything that went down in childhood, in fact not aware of most of it, so not real sure exactly what the fears are……I’m supposed to try to talk with the summer group this weekend about it and see if I can learn anything. They are so closed mouth about what they are experiencing, tho, that I’m not sure if I will learn anything. ::sighs::

Signing off…..a part of the cetcetera system (may share my name l8r……..okay okay so I’m a bit closed mouth about more personal matters, too. Bah!)

Coping


Things are slowly improving,  I think. LOL! It’s really difficult to say for sure because we have been incredibly switchy and I  have been amnesiac with many of my others who have been out. Last night, my husband and us were chatting and he mentioned like 3 different conversations we had had in the last week and I have absolutely no recollection of any of them. Sometimes I hate being multiple. I like to have some control, yanno? I don’t like not knowing what I do even though I know we are all safe and noone is acting out because I have my husband to observe us and plus some of my inside little kids seem to know everything and will tell on the others if they are “bad”. lol!  Of course, not to mention we have our inner safety committee who are always on alert which is comforting, also.

Hubby said that he has noticed that more of our computer people have been around, and he has also seen more of my gamers, and he has seen those of us who work on the DID stuff online and offline. So, there has been a lot more system activity lately. 

The upcoming summer vacation could be a big reason for all the activity in the system. We have big system shifts with the seasons. Mostly 2 seasons that I have noticed. We have a group who is active in the summertime, another group active in the fall/winter. Then, we have some, like me, who are always around even tho not always coconscious (dang it!). 

We have done tons better since we took the advice of our support folks on grounding technique ideas. We carry with us one of our “special rocks” that we bought a few years ago at a museum. The rocks are small enough to fit in our pocket and seem to soothe insiders just by reaching in and feeling it and sometimes taking it out and looking at it. We’ve been using beachy/coconuty scented lotion which helps a TON!!!! Really helps with our depression cuz the beach is therapeutic for us. We’ve been doing lots more of the stuff on those lists, too, but that’s the main 2 that I can think of right off hand. 

Anyway, thanks to all who have helped and hopefully I can write more soon!!

System Falling Apart


Life lately has felt like it’s going downhill. Well, I shouldn’t say “life” cuz most all aspects of my life are wonderful. I am married to a wonderful man who loves me and accepts all of my parts and we have so much fun together. I guess I should say that I feel that “I” am going downhill. I don’t know what is wrong with my system or what system-shift or change has been taking place, but lately things have just felt WRONG. You know that song, “I Feel Pretty” from that musical? Well, I have the song in my head, but instead I have the words “I Feel Stupid”. I have always been rather intelligent and within our system we do have varying levels of intelligence, but the past 3 or 4 months it has been gradually getting worse and worse to where I am asking where is anyone in here that is intelligent??? Anyone who can think straight? Anyone who can say something that is true and not confused? 

At work, I have usually felt quite competent and good at my job. I know what my role is and I know what I do and I am good at it. Until this school year…… Now, I question everything. I say something that I believe to be true and one of my coworkers will say something that will contradict it and after thinking it over I realize they are right. What is happening to my system that has worked so well together in the past???? Are we finally doing what I have feared all of these years and finally actually falling apart? 

I find myselves dissociating ALL of the time. Hah. It sounds funny for someone with DID to say that as a complaint cuz isn’t that what we DIDers do, dissociate? I mean, I find myself floating off and then not having any idea who will come and take my place or where I will end up. Maybe this is how many DIDers experience things. I know when I am at my worst functioning place, this is how we get. We have always been a high functioning multiple and have had someone in charge inside on who goes out when and all that. This loss of control is extremely distressing to me/us. When we get off of work and go to drive home…..as soon as I get into my car I feel myself start to drift to who knows where. I pick up my phone and call my husband (this scenerio happens a whole lot) and we talk all the way home. I only live 10 minutes drive at the most from my work so it’s not like under ordinary circumstances this would be a necessary thing. But, as I realized yesterday, the reason I do it is because I need his voice to help me stay grounded, to keep me from floating away and another part come out and I end up at some park or someplace all the way across the city. His voice keeps me grounded and helps me stay focused on the task at hand, to get home. I noticed yesterday as soon as I was home and put the car in park and pulled the keys, a small girl came out and told my husband that we were home now and would be right in. She felt safe, too, cuz we had made it home and came right out as soon as we were home.

So, I guess in this moment of clarity, I’m able to write about what we are struggling with. I have self-harmers looking and waiting for a chance to sneak out and hurt the body. I have inside kids who are expressing the strangest thoughts that are scaring them that I am sure are connected to childhood traumas they endured. Those are the only two things right now that I can think of (as I am at work and no longer alone in the office and folks are talking off and on to me…..switchy).  There is lots of dissociation, working jigsaw puzzles, getting lost in the shapes and colors and designs. That worked for a while until the kids I mentioned a minute ago started seeing triggering things in the puzzles and getting upset (the puzzles themselves are innocent, but in a traumatized child’s mind, they can see anything). So, I’m being choosier about the puzzles we do. We can’t communicate with others very well because we are too floaty, but we have been trying to reach out as best we can cuz I know we need that as much as we are able.

I’m seriously considering going inpatient at Timberlawn in Dallas this summer and doing some intense therapy work. I think maybe my system is trying to tell me it is time. I feel like we need to go, but I’m torn too cuz I’ll be there 3 hours away from my husband who is my safe person and that makes my inside kids and others so upset that they want to cry. Still, it may be the best thing for us….. Unless we can find something here in the city that would be good for us. 

Journaling Techniques


  • My favorite technique is to use different colors to write in to represent different parts or groups in the system. (I know handwriting can tell a lot, but so can the colors a part chooses to write with.) We’ve used colored pens and thin tipped markers…..some of the kids like to use crayons.
  • Keep your journal out and easily accessible so that those you may be amnesiac to will be able to pick it up and write in it, too.
  • When you need to know something, ask someone inside by writing the question in your journal and leaving it open for others to answer. (this can work for parts you are amnesiac with)