DID Accuracy of Traumatic Memory Flashbacks with DID

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My PhD T said that for the most part, Flashbacks to Traumatic memories themselves contain fairly accurate memory content that can be trusted as far as it was encoded, but that's as far as it can go, and that any attempt to "fill in the blanks" should be avoided, as that can create memory distortions. The distortions occur when we try to make sense of things that don't yet fully make sense, she said, such as when a flashback doesn't contain enough information to answer the who, what, when, where, how's and the person tries to assume these using heuristics or other memories or ideas outside the flashback. Obviously, such thinking is bad thinking, but tempting to do sometimes. The right thing to do is be calm and patient and just wait to see if more of the memory surfaces.

In my case, I got a partial flashback of an event that made little sense to me, and then another that seemed to be likely to have happened as Part 2 of the same event, maybe right after, but there is a gap, so I am not sure. And I could not see, so I did not encode enough info to check it's the same location, etc. but the solution/outcome is a match, so there is that, in the timeline. Also, these are the two most recent flashbacks, so they seem congruent.

They present as follows, almost in a logical way: FB1=beginning FB2=ending (missing part=transition or middle, which could be made up of mere seconds but be enough to create confusion). There are enough matches to connect the two parts also: where I think I am, who I think rescues me (in two stages, one in each memory since there are two perps to deal with), and the location of the trauma, which match. The first memory has some initial visual, and then they remove my ability to see (I don't know how.) And in the 2nd flashback, I cannot see at all, which I discover is due to someone over my head, which gets removed at the end of it. So that connects them.

Things like this seem to make the flashbacks seem truthful, or at least internally consistent. Even if something doesn't make sense to me in one, such as not knowing why I can't see. That gets answered in a later flashback, such as someone taking something off of my head.

This would seem to answer my own question, in the sense of "Yeah, this seems to be a trustworthy trauma memory." And if it were PTSD, I might agree.

Then, Enter DID and the fact that the emotions and conditions of the memory are not a match for my main personality but match another, but would be new information, or a newly recalled, previously amnesia trauma for that personality. That alternate personality claimed a different reality that I doubted, but now also has given "me" flashbacks (very intense, overwhelming ones) of a trauma she endured while "using" the body without my awareness, at all.

In other words, I have probable DID (understatement), and I have a new set of Flashbacks that are hard to verify based on the fact that they would have had to have happened to someone living a life outside of my experiences, with me having no knowledge of it (I call it "Fight Club").

If I accept the Flashbacks as "accurate," then it's also accepting that I have DID to the florid extent of "Flight Club" levels, aka, one of my personalities went and lived a different existence without my knowledge in an elaborate way.

Understandably, this presents a different level of acceptance then just the usual acceptance of the trauma and its already-tough emotional shocks. It's really hard to begin to process these when I didn't even do the life that led up to the trauma. It's hard to explain. I didn't get involved with the individual that ultimately led to the trauma. But, I am having the flashbacks of the trauma that another personality experienced without my "permission or awareness." This is causing massive problems in my life that I cannot resolve with no end in sight. I cannot verify this happened objectively, due to at least 7 years having passed and having moved away, etc. and the individual involved will not cooperate in providing validation. (As if What happens in Fight Club stays in Fight Club.)

I really need a trauma therapist and one that can help with DID, especially DID that hides itself extremely well from itself, a'la "Flight Club" levels. In other words, I don't know what to do. And I have an HMO, a fixed income, plenty of bills and responsibilities, and feel like there is just nothing I can do.

I was in therapy at the time of this going on, so it apparently doesn't help, and actually makes it worse, since it just ramps up the "system pressure," and doesn't address the DID. Only one personality goes to therapy and gets stressed out by it, resulting in worsening of the DID and the PTSD, so actually I have to always get back out, after learning some skills for life, which is nice to have, but more damage is done than the therapy accounted for, I find out, years later, and I am lucky to have survived the process.

Inpatient is not a good option. Meds not good in my experience.

I think maybe just leaving it alone is the only and best option, and just accepting this. But, I am asking for advice from DID'ers. Thank you.


So let me see if I get this -

Your life as in functioning is quite set - stable income, stable housing, not ongoing being fresh traumatized, medical concerns that would take priority, dire financial situation, and people dependent on you(s) -

But being DID and internal pressure of it and lack of trauma therapy both addressing the trauma *and* its coping mechanisms (D.I.D. itself) poses a difficulty?

And then if and how to deal with trauma contents themselves... held by people within who are *not* the same people involved in your therapeutic process.

Whose very existence is a major trigger, and stressor, on its own - or that you discovered them only recently.

? :)
Just checking I'm not misreading for a start / projecting.


Yes, "if and how to dal with trauma[tic flashback memories] held by someone within who is not me" more or less is right on the money.

During the time period during which the content under scrutiny (occurred/could have occurred) the only phenomenon that "I" experienced was suddenly walking through my house, stopping, feeling a "weird glitch" feeling, and then thinking to myself "What is going on?!?"

If asked what I meant by that, I would not be able to explicate logically at all. Just a "sense" like "WTF!?!" It was a weird "glitchy" feeling all of sudden, or feeling suddenly confused about what I was doing, which I call "Losing the script."

This was happening extremely frequently at home in my free time. It is possible that this was "coming to" after the other one had just let me front and not let me see that I had lost time, giving me a rough, bumpy "back to normal puttering at home" transition. I do not know.

Anyway, if that was my only warning that an insider was taking the body elsewhere and then this was the return, then that was all I was aware of it.

I slowly became "aware" of a sense of the insider's feelings/emotions regarding the individual in question, but I think it was after the fact, and framed in a sense of grief and loss, and after the trauma. So, it was not in any way "Normal" and it was very fragmentary and confusing. I did not believe it, and thought I was just losing my mind due to the PTSD symptoms hitting "me" over the 5 years this unfolded.

Several years later, and several flashbacks regarding the individual in general, I hit a hotspot, which is a traumatic flashback. Previously, I was getting I guess emotional and other kinds of flashbacks or memories of the insiders spilling into me, sort of like they were overwhelming her, and they flooded the whole system. That's how I was finding out. It felt like it was happening to me. So I don't know where it's coming from.

I hope that makes sense. No communication, no knowledge of "who" inside its coming from.

I have had people front and offer their names, or I know who they are. Sometimes, I figure out who they are from what others call them and then what they reveal which matches, but this is just one big question mark.

The confusion and what the insider did (develop an attachment to an individual, get traumatized by two other people at that person's property, get rescued by the individual, and then get dumped by that individual (Who also has PTSD, probably based on the trauma)) is not something I would approve of and is in direct counter to my lifestyle, to say the least, not to mention how they met and a number of other details, that basically show DID, in which a personality really is nothing like "me" a completely different person, with different worldview and approach to life, a risk-taker, a moth to the flame type, who just goes for whatever they want.

If I had to just try to describe this personality, I'd call her my Freudian ID or Jungian Shadow. She just wants what she wants. However, she seemed to just want this one person, and hasn't changed from that.


Ah makes sense :tup:

I would start somewhere else -

Goal would still be sharing tabs and cooperation, on trauma and outside of it, and integration of at least the trauma and its effects, if of the people ain't your gig -

But even sharing and co-consciousness isn't always feasible or practical.

So assuming you can't -
Try working with what you *have* and can access, and how it makes *you* feel about your-all life.

Find comfort zone about pieces you don't know about, and throw you off, functionality wise, less... or to not have it derail *you* at all, even if mentally you take note something is off / missing / out of place / too polished up and looking clean where you suspect it's not and such.

And, firsts off?
Limit contact with that individual, in a safe to (all of you and most of all physical) fashion.

It's darned hard to work on co-consciousness if there's an active abuse / trauma bonding of some persons still on.

Extricate first.
Stabilize second.
Get outside help, therapeutic and any other security, with the moving away from that abuser.
And respect & valuing & praise of the other personality helps, or might help, too. Definitely don't blame her. Making radically different choices about your life she may be, she is and was still trying her best to survive a situation in which she was thrown into - with the need to hide the pain even from you and the rest of you if applicable.

She is a victim in this.
You are a victim in this.
With different issues...
But both / all victims.

And the description and confusion totally makes sense, both as a description and experience-relate. :tup:

It's not your fault you had no idea, or a very little of it, or just pieces, either. D.I.D. is simply pretty brilliant disorder for awful as f*ck trauma. That you are coping at all, and are all alive, is a major win... not a sign of losing it. ;)


Thanks @Ronin
That was a really comprehensive response in many ways, most of all validating and essential to the point, it's okay; I'm safe. Nobody is dying. I'm far away from the individual. I do not think that person was an abuser, but then again, I guess it depends who you ask.

Now, it's daily life things.
It's pretty overwhelming to find out in bits and pieces what another has been doing in this kind of split seconds way, and have to just go with it, even though, it's hard to accept.

I think in Fight Club, the protagonist was washing his hands, and the same phenomenon was happening to him, if I recall (it's been a long time). I think his alter was remembering washing blood off his hands after fighting. And there'd be this little flash of overlap that made no sense to him and he couldn't accept, and he'd just dissociate away, like I did, and just go about his routine.

Now, would you say he was being abused in Flight Club? I mean. He was the founding member. In this case, as it was given to me, it was the same way. The X/Shadow personality was the assertive one. In a way, I fear, I/It was the abuser. The individual probably possessed too high a tolerance for aberrant behaviors from others, including, the DID stuff/amnesia when approached out of the usual context. So also probably allowed other people with not good functioning, thus the trauma. Although, DUDE! There are levels (of aggression)! But, I guess, his BS detector's just broke.
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I truly wish there were a DID hotline with caring folks who have worked through their DID and have training in how to help people encountering things and need someone who can help make sense of things. It is not possible to talk about being multiple to people who are looking at a single body. This forum has done that for me with my PTSD, like when I first had symptoms and checking that I was understanding them for what they were and not to freak out. But I have not found that for DID and I would not want to post everything.


It sounds very difficult for you @Powder , I am sorry to hear you are going through all of this.
I have identities that I have been completely unaware of and have only discovered existed at different intervals in life, several very recently. It can be really tricky. I guess the biggest thing I've learned which is along the same lines as what Ronin talked about, is that all parts have suffered and they were born to protect you from something. They have good intent even if their behaviour doesn't make it seem like it.
I try to acknowledge new identities in a caring, respectful way. I try to let them know that they are part of me so I love them, no matter what at first. Sometimes they respond well straight away, sometimes they remain hostile at first because of some long kept thought or assumption but I try to persist with caring and kindness and eventually that will lead to further communication and eventually and understanding of what they need from me. For me, I do a lot of this through writing. It seems to be the only way I can bring parts together to communicate. It's like when I type something to them, sometimes my fingers will just be taken over by someone else to reply. I don't know if that's just an individual thing or not. A recent identity that came forward, I had to have a sort of juggling act between making sure I was kind and that that part knew I loved them, but also setting some really clear boundaries. I tried not to make too many of them, just stick to the big important ones that I needed - one, for example, was 'no breaking the law'. But I tried to put it in the kindest way possible and explain. Maybe if you could get a dialogue you could talk about how you could work together more so you could both get some of the things you want?
DID is such a tricky disorder in so many ways. I think it is a diagnosis that makes many people, (including me at times even though I have been taught better), feel really 'crazy' and it is hard to talk about with other people because of this. There's a number of people in my life that know I have complex PTSD but I tend to hide the DID diagnosis from many apart from those really close to me. There's no a lot of genuine understanding of the disorder. It is, as I know and you may have been taught by your T, a natural response by the brain to unnaturally difficult and severe circumstances. I try to remind myself of this often, it's easy to feel like it's 'crazy' or I am 'crazy' because of the way the disorder presents, but it really is simply the brain's way of getting us through horrible things, which makes it normal. It is simply that most people don't have to go through such horrid circumstances that makes it rarer and therefore less understood.
I hope you are hanging in there with it all.


I cannt remember the link name but there is a website dedicated to all DID related. It is almost as comprehensive as this site. I hope you can find it.
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