Don't Know What This Is

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Today was the last day at work for a while. Sorry if I can't write full sentences while I struggle with this.

I do much better within a routine. As a routine is ending, I sort of don't know what to do? I feel a sort of big ??? inside me.

So I got a headache that started out small and became more and more overwhelming. As it did so, I felt also less and less "Me" and more and more "someone else."

My husband thinks I have DID or something close to it. He says a headache like that happens often during switching.

It felt like someone else was an opportunist, trying to take over due to the situation at work shifting as well. I did not feel able to have any control. I was not in control of what I was saying to people; and I kept talking and talking like a chatterbox.

I remember going through this same personality coming out when being around my grandparents or being excited around new people.

I just can't be clear at this time what I'm dealing with or how to address it. I was feeling better, and then watching TV, something triggered a panic attack that I'm still feeling, but I don't know what it was, only the sound of the string bass. It's like it's a sound that bothers someone else, so I cannot access the issue at all, only my body is reacting. My heart is racing. I don't know how to figure it out.

Is this something that those with DID have to deal with?

I only seem to run into this when I have touched (literally touched a small amount) of alcohol. And then "switching" type of things happens a couple days later. I guess I can have 0 alcohol anymore.


Hi Muse,
Are you seeing a therapist? If so, this might be something you could explore a bit. Could be DID, or could be something else. What I have learned is that, in the long run, it's far more important to have a greater understanding about the actual experience than it is to have a name for it. Of course, naming what you are going through helps also to give it some frame of reference, so it's a bit of a Catch-22.

I get headaches sometimes when I switch, but it's usually after, once I'm "back." Usually, our switches are not really gradual. However, what you describe here sounds a lot like what I often describe as coconsciousness, when another insider and I sort of share space and are aware of each other's presence, sometimes fully and sometimes only partially. For example, occasionally at work one of my insiders will "front" for me, doing all the stuff I normally do, but I will still be aware and present. It's like we are in a car, though, and she is in the front seat driving and I am just a passenger in the back seat, along for the ride. We both know the other is there, we can talk to each other, but she is in control. We are coconscious. At other times, esp. if I am having a very bad day, she takes over completely and I have no memory of her being there. I completely lose the day (or hour or couple of hours).

I definitely think it would be useful to talk to a doctor about this, because you mention it happens after consuming alcohol. That could mean nothing, but there are other things that look and feel like switching, both psychological and neurological. If you haven't explored those with your doctor, it's always a good idea to.


I am increasingly co-conscious and aware of switching/fronting. Sometimes a strong emotion precedes a switch and I don't know it has happened until it's already happening. I believe I am 100% co-con. but with a part that forces amnesia on other parts, such that I am not able to remember things that are upsetting or related to perpetrators.

However, I have somehow been able to work with the part or mechanism that forces amnesia and have over the last few years, had several wounded parts come forward and share with me their traumas via flashbacks. I have been aware that despite how painful this process is, it is healing, and have comforted and validated each part's experience, feelings, and needs within me. I have worked primarily with my husband to narrate my traumatic childhood into a seamless timeline, which has hugely helped me to make sense of my triggers and why I am the way I am. Moving far away from the perpetrator's area allowed me to get to the hotspot traumas which were very painful in flashback and included death threats and multiple perps and torture. Since processing that, I now understand how I got this way and have compassion and love for the child that had to endure this prior to kindergarten. I am aware of spirit and my strong spirit and how it came to the aid of a child overwhelmed so often.

I believe that what we call DID and mental illness (and which can be ill if negative in any way) is actually the result of a spirit in a human child's body calling upon all its resources to survive when overwhelmed repeatedly. Then, because the child realizes most people around him or her are not having to do this, and this way of living is "weird" to others, has to be hidden and the child has to act "normal." Same for hiding the powers called upon from the perpetrators/parents/abusers so they won't know what they are dealing with.

This continues. I can suppress these 'gifts' and I can call upon them as needed, but often, its my emotions and perception of threat that operates the controls. I am able to, when nervous about a potential threat, derive tons of information about them and others I know, through unknown spiritual methods, such as while dreaming or meditating in trance states, and confirm their veracity (psy experiences). In that state, I am met by the person's deceased relatives who often communicate telepathically with me. (I realize that this is atypical of DID and is "spiritual;" however, I was never taught or raised to do this, and it happened spontaneously since childhood, despite my mother's saying it was "demonic" to know/do such things. Both my sister and I are like this, and we did not choose to be psychic.)

But when I am fighting to keep my ANP worker out at work and its tired, and another part wants to handle the day, there is tension resulting in a headache. It feels like the part that wants out gives me, the main part, a headache in order to arm wrestle herself in. The stronger the headache, the more she had control.

No, I have not found a T yet where I am at that I can afford and who can handle complex PTSD and Dissociation that I want to pursue. And my T's that I have seen so far totally dismiss the psy phenomenon that I regularly experience as my imagination and keen ability to read people, rather than what it actually is, and I believe this is due to Western Cultural Rationalism and inability to deal with certain realities. I would need to seek a T with a Native culture or a Shaman who can help with my abilities, high IQ, and traumatic wounding. Most T's have a lower IQ and ability to read others than I have, so I feel that I am babysitting them, and I get very frustrated and bored with them.

I can glean tips for working through my body to self-soothe and to understand others more, and that can be helpful to "normalize." These are very simple tricks for working with the body.

My family depends on my stability, financially, and I don't want to rock the boat by opening any more Pandora's boxes inside at this time. It is very painful to do so, and I feel best on no meds or alcohol and letting my wounded and "crazy" parts stay asleep within and speak to me and not for me.

By that I mean through emotions and thoughts, not hearing voices. I only hear them when in "flashback" when I think I am in the past reliving traumas. I am aware that parts created to live through those traumas may surface and not realize that they are parts and front and be in the past.

I would likely benefit from integration of parts and establishment of even better communication techniques for healing each one uniquely within my system. I have found that this is a journey that I have to go alone and do, but I am very dependent on a secure attachment to my spouse for continual cheerleading and validation (reality checking) along the way. I then internalize his unconditional love. This is very healing. But the more I heal, the more I realize that my life has been very hard and I have actually done extremely well under the circumstances. It is natural to have residual emotional pain from going through so much that the emotional "TO DO" list is bankrupt.

My PTSD has been manageable for me and my dissociation as well, if I avoid any liquor or mood altering drugs. Later after the drug, this kind of switching will occur without benefit.


more important to have a greater understanding about the actual experience than it is to have a name for it.

My experience confirms you are right in this.

Interesting name you have. My sister called me Raven years ago.

Prior to yesterday's issue with the headache and feeling the "chatterbox" (desperate to relate vs. stay more separate) self emerging, I was in a psy state and unwittingly learning much about things happening to family members elsewhere. Since then, I am aware of the complexity of life. One either learns a hard lesson early on or later. In some ways, I went through the pain early on and "got much of it over with" so to speak.

I do like to just rip the bandage off, and move on. I'm learning that not everyone is "tough" that way and there are downsides to my way of life. :)

Most lessons take much time and reflection, self-discipline, and stages of learning to truly master. Likewise, some early traumas take a lifetime and then some to process and develop into something worth having into the next world, such as profound empathy.
Just a disclaimer that I haven't officially been diagnosed as DID (although I've been dancing around that and I do believe that eventually the diagnosis will stick).

I get headaches when parts come out. But they are more than just tension headaches that might happen when dealing with an aggravating work scenario. They're splitting and blinding, sometimes burning, and always accompanied by the sense of getting dragged backwards into myself as I watch and feel everything change (the way I hold my body, the way my head always falls back to the right when a certain part comes out, the way my voice gets higher and lispy).

You might want to look into DDNOS-1, which is cases that describe less severely dissociated parts (ie co-consciousness).

I'm also a firm believer that the right therapist will recognize your intelligence and then collaborate with you on figuring things out. Therapy is, ultimately, a collaboration and a spot where you can talk about and process things that you might not be able to talk about with anyone else.

I feel your pain of intelligence. I've believed that I'm more intelligent than many of my doctors (and not in a narcissistic manner, but in a reality-manner). But I still do not have the education that my internist or ophthalmologist or dentist has, and likewise I do not have the same education and distance that my therapist has. Essentially, I think it might help to rethink your relationship to therapy. Just my two cents.


Alcohol 'unlocks to doors' for my parts to come out. I had cut alcohol consumption down to very low levels this past year but had to completely quit two weeks ago due to a destructive part taking over. I have two parts that try to get me to drink so that they can come out. It's awful because I feel like a pressure cooker about to explode and now the one mechanism that relieves it that I have some semblance of control over is no longer available. It will be interesting to see what happens. Anyway, alcohol is just one item of my list of things that I can't consume due to increased likelihood of dissociation. Others include benzos (has same effect on the brain as alcohol), NyQuil, Robitussin, actually all cold/cough/flu medications.

It sounds like you've done really amazing work without the aid of a therapist. I wonder if there is someone available online that might be able to help you navigate integration or communication?


Thank you @Poofycat @theshadowoftheliving @gizmo @whiteraven

I can't tell you have much I appreciate your taking the time to reply with compassion today. You've given me a sense of peace and time to think about this. I do agree that therapy would be ideal. I do think I should be better off giving myself some additional love and attention, both physically and emotionally/mentally. I will do that, I will try.


I am increasingly co-conscious and aware of switching/fronting. Sometimes a strong emotion precedes a switc...

I had a therapist who did, hm...trying to think of the name of it. What you talk about here and how you talk about your experiences reminds me of him. Er..."soul retrieval??" I will need to look up the name of the book he worked on. He did a chapter on "walk-ons" - I find your descriptions quite interesting and thought-provoking, Muse.


I do think that the therapy that traditional therapists do currently as it is applied to DID is very limiting for at least some of us with multiple identities. Finding a competent therapist or guide who is able to navigate the complexities of both PTSD and the many parts that are often created as a result of trauma can be difficult - I don't think it's unreasonable to look in as many places as you can for someone to help. Shamanism, Native American spirituality, New age alternative therapies, etc.... My current therapist is a Zen priest and monk, as well as being a clinical psychologist. Because his specialty is mindfulness and PTSD, we are focusing on that - not my original plan when we first started, but as it turns out, it's exactly where I needed to be.

Take very good care, Muse!
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