DID Accepting a dissociative disorder

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
How did you accept your dissociation/ dissociative disorder diagnosis?

I have been in therapy for five years now.

I used to let words like dissociative states, dissociation, roll off of me and be forgotten as soon as my therapist would mention them. Maybe she meant dissociation as in normal dissociation. I would nod but then negate everything in my head.
i would say what if I am lying? And my therapist would say it but I see it?
I would know but forget.
And now it’s the same, but a little less.
My therapist keeps saying, you are fragmented, it’s like the channels switch, it’s like different parts of you want different things and cannot coincide with each other. And I nod. But then I forget everything. She didn’t say that, I heard it wrong, she meant parts as in everyone has parts. The heavy head didn’t happen, the shifting didn’t happen. And when I come back she will say there’s a shift there, do you see it? Do you notice it? I do, but I try to forget. This isn’t me. I am acting. Attention seeking.
I know but I don’t know.
I am depleted I say.
And she says it makes sense I am depleted.
Then I try to convince myself and then her that maybe I am just a bad person. That maybe I am making all this up. Maybe I’m bpd and that’s why I dissociate. But she remains unnerved, unmoved.
And then I dissociate again in session. I try to talk about one hundredth of a hundredth of my flashbacks and I lose all control. My eyes close. I cannot move. I can only speak if I have no control and I am gone.
When I come back after a while, the shift happens again. I want to make jokes. Make this go away. Convince my therapist that I am lying to her, that I am a bad person.
But she remains unmoved. Seems like different parts of you feel differently about all this she will say. Or something like that because often I don’t remember.
And it happens on repeat.
Till I can deny it a little less.
Till it stares me in the face.
Till I want to go away.
Till I go away a little less.
Till I feel like I need to go away a little less.
And I start to have a little hope, of things getting better. And fear. What does this all even mean. I want to go back to being normal.
Whatever that is.
But it stares me in the face.
And I accept a little more.
And I deny it a little less.
For now.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I'm sorry you're struggling with this. It all sounds very familiar. I have DID, and I'm not sure when I actually completely accepted it, but I think it was easier when I started communicating with those inside.

Do you have DID? I questioned mysel(ves) for a very long time. I think it helped to talk to others who dealt with the same thing - I was on a forum for years where there were people just like me - and then just learning everything I could about it and my parts.
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
thank you @whiteraven I am not sure what I have. I think I just don't want to know or accept what I have.
All three of my therapists have talked about dissociative states, parts, trauma, switching, etc but it will register in my brain and then just like that be forgotten again. Truth is I don't want to be did or ddnos or anything like that, I just want to be normal. So it's scary as hell.... but then where do all these memories and flashbacks and voices come from? I will read about did online sometimes but it seems more florid. I am not like that at all, I have a PhD and to most people I would "appear" normal. But then when I am in therapy and I can feel all the switches happening it feels hard to deny it. I am just very confused. I just don't want to make up stuff for attention or something. Maybe I am exaggerating everything.
 
Your opening post move to tears. I'm having a difficult day and feel like you expressed some of the feelings and experiences that I have found so difficult to express. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

I do not have Did, but do dissociate often, heavy head, eyes closing, losing any sense of linearity. I'm also 'successful' with a Master's degree, outwardly I am managing life but my inner turmoil is great.

I have recently started therapy around parts and found that there are parts of me who want to be heard but that another part is very keen for that not to happen. It's that part that denies my own experience, shames myself for those parts reaching out and tries to shut the conversation down. It is a constant battle and one I didn't know I had. At the moment that knowledge weighs heavy.

I wish I had some great piece of advice to ease your suffering. I want you to know that you are not alone, your worries are valid and that I do not believe you to be attention-seeking. What would it mean to you if you acknowledged your experiences? How would things be different?
 

mylunareclipse

MyPTSD Pro
thank you @Woodsforthetrees . Your comment is really kind. And thanks for making me feel a bit less "crazy".

I thought about your questions of what it would mean to acknowledge my experience and why it's so difficult to so?
I guess the main one is feeling so violated and disgusted with my body, not sure if I could live in my body, it makes me want to escape it, if all of that is true. Second, the worry that I am taking away from other people who have actually been hurt and I am making things up. Third, as my memories are very vague the extreme fear of my family being involved in reality or because of my faulty memories. You are right though that this is important to consider.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Truth is I don't want to be did or ddnos or anything like that, I just want to be normal.
Hm...and how do you define normal? Over the years I've learned that my normal might be different from the next guy's. In fact, my way of managing life around me is *completely* normal for someone who has been through the stuff I've been through. Part of the problem we have, I think, is that Western medicine pathologizes everything that doesn't meet social norms.

And nobody *wants* to be DID. But part of why I didn't want to be is because it's something I feel I have to hide. I learned, after many years of struggling, that this is just who I am. Now, some will argue that point and say I can't be "normal" - there's that word again - until I'm "whole." I bought into that for a long time and didn't find any peace at all until I let it go.
So it's scary as hell.
Oh, it is. It can be terrifying at times.
I will read about did online sometimes but it seems more florid. I am not like that at all, I have a PhD and to most people I would "appear" normal.
I have an MA and look and act completely like everyone thinks I should in public (see what I did there?). I'm intelligent, I'm published, I have my hand in all kinds of things. And if I don't tell people, nobody knows. There is not a one size fits all to DID.
But then when I am in therapy and I can feel all the switches happening it feels hard to deny it. I am just very confused.
Yep. It's safer there to be who and what you are. And therapy helped me learn about those inside and develop communication so that I was not so "disordered." Therapy eventually seriously destabilized me, so I made a decision after 4 or 5 years that we would not focus on the DID in therapy and instead only focus on functionality. It's been much better for me since. Am I still "fragmented?" Yes, but not nearly to the degree I was.
I just don't want to make up stuff for attention or something. Maybe I am exaggerating everything.
Just so you know, this worry is common with people who have DID. And other issues where there are "parts." You will KNOW if you are making it up. If there is any question, you aren't.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I score really low on the dissociation screening tests, am highly functional, and have an intellectually engaging job. So finding out I had a dissociative disorder took years. My awareness started when I was reading an old paper on PTSD, sexuality, and DID. I was focused on the PTSD and sexuality and had no idea what DID was, but I kept circling sentences in the paper that felt like me.

I have had many doubts about the extent of my dissociative identities. What convinces me, besides my therapist's assurances, are the experiences I have when my emotions switch almost immediately from sobbing to calm or happiness. I also get destabilized when a new part comes up. What keeps me going is the experience of each of the parts rising up with anguish when he/she first becomes visible, and then finding peace later. It's a lot of work to get through them.

I can tell you that life with dissociative identities present can be very full and pleasant. On the best days, there is a richness to my personality that is hard for others to match. For me, the harder part is the loneliness that some of the parts feel, because they don't fit in to the rest of my life.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I was first diagnosed with DDNOS. I was certain at the time that I was DID with both an infant/child part. The arising of those two parts completely destroyed my life.

I recall the first time a CBT nurse talked to me about dissociation. WHAT the F are you talking about????? I had no idea such a thing existed. However, the more I learned about my background in foster care, the more I realized that of course I needed a strategy to cope. To survive. It was obvious I was put through way more than my tiny self could cope with.

I think once I realized that, forgave my little self for that, I was ready to heal. To acknowledge that of course there was damage control I had to deal with. That I wasn't at fault for what had happened to me but that I was responsible if I chose to have a better and quality experience during the rest of my life. I think what I am trying to say is that I looked at the issue pragmatically. It was a given I was damaged. I put my head down and researched how to heal that damage because I DESERVED to live a quality life. I was not going to bow down to the abuses that were thrust upon me and I was going to right those wrongs.

It has been an incredibly enriching opportunity to have worked through all of this. I feel honoured to be helping others with similar difficulties. I refuse to live the script that my abusers wrote for me. I, and others, will benefit from what happened to me. I hope you are able to see things in a way that will help you heal. I am 100% certain that you deserve to live a life of love and peace.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I could have written that first post of yours. And sorry, I didn't read the rest. My concentration isn't there right now. I've been working on this stuff with my T for years. My parts and I now communicate and have done a lot of work to cooperate. I shocked my T earlier this year, because I said that *I* still am not sure. Heh. I don't forget anymore, but when I'm out and functional and joking and doing my thing it just doesn't seem possible.

But I know. Bleh. I don't like it, but I have mostly accepted it. I think the question that I had to work on first is "what if"
What if you have DID?
What if you accepted it, what would happen?
What if you started to remember more, what would happen?
 

Ireusa

Learning
thank you @whiteraven I am not sure what I have. I think I just don't want to know or accept what I have.
All three of my therapists have talked about dissociative states, parts, trauma, switching, etc but it will register in my brain and then just like that be forgotten again. Truth is I don't want to be did or ddnos or anything like that, I just want to be normal. So it's scary as hell.... but then where do all these memories and flashbacks and voices come from? I will read about did online sometimes but it seems more florid. I am not like that at all, I have a PhD and to most people I would "appear" normal. But then when I am in therapy and I can feel all the switches happening it feels hard to deny it. I am just very confused. I just don't want to make up stuff for attention or something. Maybe I am exaggerating everything.
Hi there.

I have been diagnosed with PTSD and a dissociative disorder. I am still working on accepting that.

I am, as many of you, highly functional. I have a masters and 2 bachelors. I am a teacher, have 2 wonderful kids and nobody would know how much I struggle...

Reflecting back I have seen that when I am the most functional I tend to start avoiding dealing with the inner turmoil and not believing I could have something like this, even not wanting to have to do with any parts...and then it gets overwhelming fast... It is a cycle that is on repeat. My therapist has called my attention on that many times.

However, in therapy I cannot deny about dissociation and how much it affects me. I stay co-conscious most of the time so that has been a struggle because it makes it more difficult to really believe this stuff is real -especially when I'm not feeling bad-. But then I get triggered or very overwhelmed and it just happens... Also the forgetfulness and this fog/thickness that takes my words and cognitive capacities away...It's been happening most of my life. It just is way more evident in therapy.

It is highly uncomfortable for me to talk about other parts of me. It is also triggering. The Haunted Self is a good book, among others.

This is hard. I am sorry that you're struggling but you're definitely not alone.
 
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