DID Dissociative Identity Disorder

MnM

Confident
I have the hardest time talking about this, but it's not impossible anymore. I can identify the shapes and 'characters' but doing so and talking about it makes me feel a loss of control, shame, sadness, and anger.

I know in many cultures DID is accepted spiritually and/or culturally, sometimes as ancestors coming to inhabit a chosen one, a spirit speaking through someone, or someone whose spirit didn't find them properly when they were born or coming of the spirit age. And in religious circles, of course it's demon possession, because everything is demon possession...

And I'm a white ass 2nd generation European immigrant. So my upbringing was exorcism... which I'm not signing up for....

Anyone wanna talk about this? Walk me through what happens after anger? If you've reintegrated, how that process went? If you didn't, how you've accepted it?

Is my impatience showing? 😂😁😬

🙏🏼
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
It can be a very private journey, shared only with a trusted helper. I have such a helper in my psychologist and the trust took a long time to build. It isn’t fully there but the more we work the more I trust myself to work with the extras I have. I’m not on an integration journey. Becoming friends, compassionate, building a new and better engagement with my in and outside world and see them as having been resourceful and a resource now is my plan. There is a lot to untangle to get there. I don’t trust anyone much with the work I’m doing, but the one I do trust helps me because of it. That was my first step.
 

MnM

Confident
Thanks so much for responding @Teamwork - I honor that, your speaking, truly. Love that you mentioned becoming friends, as that's been my approach with Death, Life, Pain, Grief, Honesty. I have been trying it on with this and it feels peaceful, which is amazing... as much as I feel the anger around it also. Learning to add the word "and" this year really got me through some cognitive dissonance, so makes sense it work here also, but also interesting that I feel "others" after adding the word "and".

I definitely feel how private this is, and the shame attached tells me it wants to be kept in shadows and secret, so my first response is to shine a light on it to take its "power" away and pull it away from shame. I'm hearing myself saying 🐌🐌🐌... I have such a hard time with letting something sit there without me doing anything about it when it seems obvious to me that something needs doing.

I feel like there's more to say, and ask, but I mostly wanted to say thank you.
 

Sideways

Moderator
I can identify the shapes and 'characters' but doing so and talking about it makes me feel a loss of control, shame, sadness, and anger.
Can I ask where you're at - have you been diagnosed (am I right assuming yes)?
If so, have you met your parts?
And, if not, can you shed a bit more light on the train of thought that inspired the thread?
Walk me through what happens after anger?
I did insanity first. The feeling and thoughts were "great, so I'm completely insane". Because as dar as diagnoses go, it's right up there.

There was fear. Not for long, because I knew a lot about it. They were just giving a name to the internal experience I'd lived with my whole life, and clarifying "no, that's not normal".

And then we went to straight out war. Alongside trying to get to know each other. That was the worst phase for me. The (mostly, but not always) internal war.

I didn't really do anger. Who are you angry at?
If you've reintegrated, how that process went? If you didn't, how you've accepted it?
Integration. Meh.
Used to be the shit. The golden land we all aimed for with our treatment.

Not so much these days. Today, AFAIK, the literature leans more towards personal choice. Do you want to integrate?

Me? Not particularly. It's occasionally very dysfunctional, but mostly these days it's just something I manage. I have parts. It's messy. But I don't want to be different. I've only just started to embrace the idea that maybe I'm okay as a human just how I am.
I definitely feel how private this is
Can you reframe this? Identity and health information is always degrees of private.

We're reasonably open with our first name (but not always - eg. This forum). But everything else we share about ourselves is mostly about discretion. I don't tell everyone I have ptsd. Not because I'm ashamed of it, but because it's none of their business.

Same goes with my DID.

It's a measure of the other person's trustworthiness whether or not they get to know. Maybe that might be a more empowering way to frame it?
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I know in many cultures DID is accepted spiritually and/or culturally, sometimes as ancestors coming to inhabit a chosen one, a spirit speaking through someone, or someone whose spirit didn't find them properly when they were born or coming of the spirit age. And in religious circles, of course it's demon possession, because everything is demon possession...
Yes, how you view yourself is really dependent on how you were raised and how your culture identifies pathology. I think everything is a matter of opinion and theory, and I decided a long time ago that, when it comes to the DID, I was going to manage it in my own way. I still used outside resources, but I've been very selective.
my upbringing was exorcism... which I'm not signing up for
I saw a doctor who was from South Africa, and he actually recommended an exorcism. That, to me, was a complete disregard of who and what I am.
Walk me through what happens after anger? If you've reintegrated, how that process went? If you didn't, how you've accepted it?
I was diagnosed a LONG time ago, and I have never felt angry about the diagnosis (except the fact that our then-therapist told one of my insiders that he'd have to change the diagnosis, and not me). I felt depressed and anxious and scared, but never angry.

That first therapist insisted integration was the only healthy goal and I called b*llsh*t. We opted for cooperation and functionality. It has worked very well, and I don't lose time anymore, nor do I have crises as they relate to my insiders. Lots of different things helped me: I wrote, read, was active in a forum for those with DID only (I think this is essential), and I did a lot of work learning to communicate.

DID is now for me just a *shrug*. It's who and what I am and I'm ok with that.
 

Muttly

MyPTSD Pro
I don't remember being angry. I took a similar path to Sideways and decided I was crazy. I also got super unregulated and was trying to deal with suddenly having my insiders wanting to be heard. I think I also felt some relief because my brain made a bit more sense.

I have no plans to integrate and more and more we are all learning how to work together. It's taken time and a lot of hard work but we are slowly getting there.

I don't tell people about the DID or PTSD unless it's medical relevant or I trust them super well. That's really only been a couple people who I've been in romantic relationships with.

Also, I did a lot of work on an online group for people with DID. That helped a lot. I am still in touch with two members from that group even though I moved on long ago.
 

HealingMama

Sponsor
I have the hardest time talking about this, but it's not impossible anymore. I can identify the shapes and 'characters' but doing so and talking about it makes me feel a loss of control, shame, sadness, and anger.
I will share a caveat that I am not dx with DID. My T calls us a system and has told me based on how quickly I am progressing and the fact that the treatment approach is the same regardless of the official dx, she recommended against pursuing a dx. I don't think I have full DID, maybe "partial DID" or maybe "just" cPTSD.

But to address the above, whenever that happened to me (intense negative emotions associated with trying to face a parts situation or talking about it early in my journey), it was a Protector part. I was "not supposed to know things I was trying to know" or say anything and there were alarms going off.
I know in many cultures DID is accepted spiritually and/or culturally, sometimes as ancestors coming to inhabit a chosen one, a spirit speaking through someone, or someone whose spirit didn't find them properly when they were born or coming of the spirit age. And in religious circles, of course it's demon possession, because everything is demon possession...

And I'm a white ass 2nd generation European immigrant. So my upbringing was exorcism... which I'm not signing up for....
Well for a big chunk of my 20s I basically attempted various forms of exorcism... I felt something not me, that I assumed was bad, a result of poor spiritual hygiene, and paid an embarrassing amount of money to get rid of it. (Soul Realignment doesn't get rid of parts, in case you were wondering.)

Anyone wanna talk about this? Walk me through what happens after anger? If you've reintegrated, how that process went? If you didn't, how you've accepted it?

Is my impatience showing? 😂😁😬

🙏🏼

I do not recall having anger at the idea of having parts. More fear, lots of fear and dissociating. For a while I had worse memory issues and felt more unstable; I guess the therapist was talking with my parts more directly and I would be really fuzzy about what happened in therapy. I brought it up and the next session I could remember like normal which to me meant that the others were fuzzy because I was letting other parts take more space.

Now? In a weird way I am grateful. Therapy is helping actually change things that weren't changing in other approaches to therapy. I needed to understand what was happening to be able to ask for what we needed.

I do not know what integration is supposed to look like. I have read the theories about it. I still have different parts holding different slivers of trauma without a coherent narrative so I assume I am far from a goal like that. BUT we all cooperate better now. I am not flip flopping in multiple areas of my life constantly. I stopped judging them, and they support me better now. I honestly had no idea my judgment of the people in my head could have a real impact on how I experience them and how much conflict/inconsistency/discomfort we would have in daily life, because I thought they were more like a metaphor or something. The more I treat them like actual people and give the same courtesy and respect I would give an actual person if I hope they will extend the same to me, the better everything works in my life. If I had not worked with someone trained in dissociative disorders I don't think I would have ever known to do this.

Yesterday I was reading on a different site about DID things and they talked about how integration is not mashing anything together or taking anything away. It's getting to a "shared first person perspective with all parts linked and in healthy relation to each other." That seems more palatable than some of the other ways I see it described.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
We have a dissociative disorder--very little fuzziness, very little amnesia, a boatload of very distinct parts with strong individual personalities.

For years and years, the dissociation felt like screaming inside and not knowing who was screaming. Because at least one part is a hyperobservant scientist, a diagnosis took forever. The first glimmer was a paper on PTSD, sexual disorders, and dissociative disorders:
https://www.ojp.gov/pdffiles1/Photocopy/153416NCJRS.pdf
We found it by looking for things about PTSD and sexuality. Reading the paper, I kept thinking "I don't have DID, but all these things seem so true!" Later, reading The Haunted Self, I kept having the same experience of thinking, "That's me! That's me!" So knowing that I/we have a dissociative disorder was actually a big relief.

Our overwhelming experience has not been anger, but loneliness. We've had some success explaining it to my wife. Less success explaining it to some friends that we could trust. We carry a lot of shame, although that's getting better, but not about having a dissociative disorder. On another site, we have an account under our real name and say on our bio that we have multiple parts. I have both male and female parts, and we think of ourselves as bigender. Being open about that has been its own interesting journey.

The parts came out slowly, and that was a painful process whenever a part shared their fears and trauma. With time, it has gotten much easier for us to talk to one another and to call up a part. Much of my therapy is direct work with each of the parts. (Today, while Big Wendell was talking, Little Wendell suddenly popped up, and the session ended up being work with Little Wendell talking a lot about himself and the other parts).

Integration means different things to different people. My parts have learned to talk to each other, over a few years of therapy. This past year, though, was a reminder of why we split apart in the first place. The parts started to come in as groups, and felt both more bonded together but also completely overwhelmed by their trauma. That has gotten easier in the past month or so, but this year was a bear. We strongly agree with our therapist that you don't want to rush integration. Some of my parts are starting to blend. Other parts who were terrified of growing up (fear of intimacy and sexuality) now feel safe, are growing up, and will likely blend in with other parts. We suspect that some of our parts will always stay separated, and that's fine. To be fully unified doesn't appeal to us too much. Kind of bland after getting use to juggling all the parts!
 

JadeB.

MyPTSD Pro
For me integration wasn't something I chose to do(or not do). It was more like a natural process that happened on its own, gradually, during therapy.

My T worked with whatever he was presented with during sessions. He didn't do the old way of searching for alters,mapping,etc. Just whatever I brought to the table,so to speak,was what he dealt/worked with.

I did have much anger and shame when I was first diagnosed. Most of that was just fear I think. The stigma that surrounds this disorder sure doesn't help matters. Because of movies like Sybil people tend to believe someone with it really has other 'people' inside of them and that's not the case at all. There's many other myths too.

I think treatment for DID is a personal journey for each person that has it. Just the same as what caused it is such a personal thing. There's some basic,common things but no two stories are the same. And recovery/healing won't be the same either.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks so much for responding @Teamwork - I honor that, your speaking, truly. Love that you mentioned becoming friends, as that's been my approach with Death, Life, Pain, Grief, Honesty. I have been trying it on with this and it feels peaceful, which is amazing... as much as I feel the anger around it also. Learning to add the word "and" this year really got me through some cognitive dissonance, so makes sense it work here also, but also interesting that I feel "others" after adding the word "and".

I definitely feel how private this is, and the shame attached tells me it wants to be kept in shadows and secret, so my first response is to shine a light on it to take its "power" away and pull it away from shame. I'm hearing myself saying 🐌🐌🐌... I have such a hard time with letting something sit there without me doing anything about it when it seems obvious to me that something needs doing.

I feel like there's more to say, and ask, but I mostly wanted to say thank you.
Ive been working for many years on it. Right now I‘m working on an art piece. I was flipping through a coloring book for adults and I stopped and went, hey that looks like my inner world. It was only to a degree though as in the pictures had nice landscape, houses with gardens and animals. But intermingled in the pictures were all these characters. so I started to cut and paste a story board that best represents my inner world, it’s messy places, chaos and then the pictures that were calm, peaceful little places where I hope to move to, or move some of them who are resistant to the present. I have two rams in the picture with locked horns, which truly represents some of my inside. Then I started to build that, to the left are the ones locked in a house on that side of the ram and the other side who are a bit more settled and present in this day and age. I found a lock on one of the colouring sheets and added that as I have locked up secrets, the picture had a tiny key in it to open the lock and I liked that because it meant to me that the locked area could be opened over time, when I’m ready. I found an insignia. They used an owl and the food it would eat and I liked it as I do have a wise part that has knowledge that I can resource if I remember. I have only just started so none of it is glued or coloured . What happens for me when I do this type of work at home is I’m working on therapy stuff, nobody knows what I’m doing and I incorporate what I’m learning in a way that works for me. I also was in some ways setting goals and looking at it as a future, but a possible future, to move what the left side of the picture represents into the more current living situation.
 
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