Tag Archives: coping

Merry Christmas


I hope everyone is having a safe and happy Christmas today. I know how holidays can be quite triggering. For many years, I just tried to get through it. Then, I worked on making new holiday traditions to make Christmas our own and not all about the childhood crap. This has helped tremendously as we do stuff for our system and help make positive memories for this holiday season. Don’t forget to use grounding techniques today as needed.

We like to light scented candles like vanilla or cinnamon. We drink hot chocolate and eat healthy foods as well as splurge a bit on cherry cream pie and stuffs (but try not to spurge too much. lol). We love buying presents for our hubby and close friends. Something cool for our hubby is that he gets gifts from lots of our insiders – so more than one present for sure! We let groups of our system buy gifts so that it doesn’t get too awfully crazy with the spending. Also, hubby likes to give us gifts for the inside kids as well as other groups of our system. That’s always cool  🙂  We enjoy watching movies and playing video games, too. We get all of our grocery shopping done early so that we don’t have to go out on Christmas Eve or Christmas day. That definitely helps with the stress and triggers of the day.

Have a happy holiday today.

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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.

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)