DID DID as a child, afraid its going to come back

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Cypress

Confident
I spent a year in a mental hospital at the age of 13 for trauma-related dissociative disorder ( they didn't call it that in 1980). I was treated with psychoanalysis and it was effective for the dissociation but not really for the trauma. I just started real trauma therapy and am trying desperately to stay in touch with these waves of emotions that come up out of nowhere. After my therapy session yesterday, I was having lots of overwhelming feelings and I felt a presence I haven't felt since I was a girl and it scared the hell out of me. When I was a messed-up dissociated kid I felt that my true self was hiding in a cave underground and that there was a "director" that was in charge of everyday life. The director did not have feelings and could not be hurt and I knew it was part of my personality on some level, I guess. So last night I felt like the director had come back and was asking if I needed help. I am really afraid that this trauma work is going to make me separate again.

Should I email my T or should I slow down the therapy for a while?
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
I can relate. was 12yrs old when put in adult psych ward in the 70’s before being transferred to adolescent unit for a year. The parts coming up from the past need to be acknowledged anyway that you feel comfortable. Sometimes I just thank them or ask what do you need, how can I help. I often remind myself where I am, date, time city. Whatever it takes to say yes that was then, this is now. It is that type of work that helps past parts that functioned for us be acknowledged, accepted and helped to change functions and find new ways to work within the system.
 

Cypress

Confident
I can relate. was 12yrs old when put in adult psych ward in the 70’s before being transferred to adolescent unit for a year. The parts coming up from the past need to be acknowledged anyway that you feel comfortable. Sometimes I just thank them or ask what do you need, how can I help. I often remind myself where I am, date, time city. Whatever it takes to say yes that was then, this is now. It is that type of work that helps past parts that functioned for us be acknowledged, accepted and helped to change functions and find new ways to work within the system.

Thanks! I needed to hear this. I feel like I am not alone. Thinking of it as just parts of my past that need to be acknowledged is really reassuring. My T thought that maybe this director presence I am feeling know, I developed as sort of a protector when I was a kid and now that I am revisiting all those memories , the director is naturally arising with them. This makes sense.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
Thinking of it as just parts of my past that need to be acknowledged is really reassuring. My T thought that maybe this director presence I am feeling know, I developed as sort of a protector when I was a kid and now that I am revisiting all those memories , the director is naturally arising with them. This makes sense.

When I am in the middle of trauma work, my insiders get very stirred up. Learning how to interact with them is really important. When is your next session? If it were me, I'd talk about this openly with him/her. Hopefully s/he has the skills to help you with communication with them.
 

hithere

MyPTSD Pro
I spent a year in a mental hospital at the age of 13 for trauma-related dissociative disorder ( they didn't call it that in 1980). I was treated with psychoanalysis and it was effective for the dissociation but not really for the trauma. I just started real trauma therapy and am trying desperately to stay in touch with these waves of emotions that come up out of nowhere. After my therapy session yesterday, I was having lots of overwhelming feelings and I felt a presence I haven't felt since I was a girl and it scared the hell out of me. When I was a messed-up dissociated kid I felt that my true self was hiding in a cave underground and that there was a "director" that was in charge of everyday life. The director did not have feelings and could not be hurt and I knew it was part of my personality on some level, I guess. So last night I felt like the director had come back and was asking if I needed help. I am really afraid that this trauma work is going to make me separate again.

Should I email my T or should I slow down the therapy for a while?
I'm pretty old and I still have part of my hidden underground in a cave, dungeon like place. trauma processing for me activates all this stuff in me. The IFS work was really helpful. It's counter-intuitive, but dealng with the parts separately actully brought about more stability fo rme.
 

Cypress

Confident
I talked to my T about it and he gave the same advice as everyone here, that I should learn to talk to these old parts and that we could try IFS work which does seem counter-intuitive for sure but glad to hear from all of you that it does indeed help.

I guess what I am struggling with now and maybe those of you who got therapy a long time ago can relate to it, is that when I was hospitalized I remember being told very clearly not to talk to my other voices and not to let them take control, that I, myself had to stay present at all times. Period. That was the only option. Now I am being told that I should go back and talk to these old voices and I am really afraid.

In therapy yesterday we were talking about a memory and I felt the director just slip into place. My T said "where are you?" and the director said, " I am here". I realized it so I came back but now I am freaked out again. I think maybe this IFS is making everything worse? Is that possible?
 

ILoveLife

MyPTSD Pro
I guess what I am struggling with now and maybe those of you who got therapy a long time ago can relate to it, is that when I was hospitalized I remember being told very clearly not to talk to my other voices and not to let them take control, that I, myself had to stay present at all times. Period. That was the only option. Now I am being told that I should go back and talk to these old voices and I am really afraid.
I was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, so the whole voices thing until one of my Ts realized they were parts was really a no-no. Don't engage, don't discuss things, ignore them. Which with parts doesn't work that way as we know. So it was tough for me to begin working with myself in order to allow conversations with myself, and I still feel like a complete nutjob in doing it. It's lessened though, so there's hope.
Not allowing them to take control is actually a good thing in my book. You're also a part, and you're the part appropriate for the current reality, the idea in DID should be either to allow other parts to exist by their own right or you all integrate with each other so there is a cohesive you. It's a choice really, depending on the work you do.

I think maybe this IFS is making everything worse? Is that possible?
I have heard a lot of stories of people with DID to who IFS made things worse.
From what I understand of it, IFS is appropriate to less dissociated ego states, not for complete dissociation, mostly because parts work in a certain way and have different roles between what IFS defines and the reality of DID.
If I were you I'd look into Structural Dissociation, it seems to make more sense for folks with DID.
 

Reflections

Confident
If you were told you shouldn't talk to yourself in whatever capacity, it's understandable that it would seem very wrong or scary to listen to them, to talk to them, or to let them come out even in therapy. That information, while meant to be helpful, was based on a wrong diagnosis. Now that you know better what's going on you can shift to something more helpful. If you don't like IFS though there are other things you can do.

In my experince, talking to my parts, letting them have a voice, seeing them as parts seemed very counter intuitive to me. Especially since normal day-to-day stuff doesn't bring out my parts as often, especially when I avoid :p Especially since I would have never thought DID or DDNOS before starting therapy. It can seem like I'm worse now because here I am allowing my parts to come out and talk to me or my T and I'm noticing how different these parts can be. What's dawned on me though, is that I'm more framented as a person than I ever wanted to admit to myself. It was always there, I just managed better than others or they often fuction together. I just ran into a situation that caused a huge upset of who was allowed control. Acknowledging the fragmentation and allowing different parts to have a voice and communicating with them has been helpful for me. I spent (and still spending) a lot of time and energy trying to keep certain parts out, confined, or forgetting them. Talking to them and getting to know them has helped me realize they aren't so scary or harmful. And I do mean I was terrified of them, whether due to their lack of emotions or their out of control emotions. Even if what they do isn't always helpful, we can talk about it. Work it out. We can set rules and boundaries. In the process of getting to know them I can see what some are good at, like my protector is assertive and won't allow abuse. In my experience recognizing my parts as unique and different is helping us to work together. By recognizing the reality that I have conflicting thoughts, emotions, and methods I can deal with it through validation and a bit of conflict resolution.

What works is different for everyone though. Do what works for you.
 

Cypress

Confident
Wow - thanks everyone, this is very reassuring, I am always so impressed at how wise everyone is on this forum, maybe if I ever learn to trust my therapist I will be there myself some day. So it sounds like IFS can really be helpful in learning to communicate better with yourself and that it doesn't lead to new fragmentation, just an awareness of what was already there. I wish I had not been so programmed as a teenager to view these voices as something to ignore and avoid. I guess back then they didn't recognize parts so it was all assumed to be something psychotic - I think I was misdiagnosed too.

I guess I am still worried about getting upset and having newly discovered parts get energized and try to take control. Before I started therapy again, I felt invaded by alien emotions and thoughts sometimes but always felt like I was the only one present. Becoming aware of this old presence from childhood that can actually get in the driver's seat and talk during therapy still makes me feel like I am going in the wrong direction but I am going to stay with it for now and see where it goes.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I am still worried about getting upset and having newly discovered parts get energized and try to take control
This is a legitimate concern. And it does happen. Some parts are going to find being confronted directly scary, and some may decide to challenge your decision to oursue therapy. That happens, it’s not uncommon for some parts to start acting out or attempt to undermine the therapy process. Because it’s new, change is scary, and they’ve been in charge of themselves for a long long time without all this interference.

So talk to your T about this. Have a conversation specifically about, “How am I going to manage parts that are resistant to being confronted, or resistant to the therapy process?”

That’s not meant to scare you. Knowing in advance “this might happen”, means you and T can plan ahead and be as prepared as possible.
 
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