DID I have did and i'm really struggling...

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I'm with you in hating the term 'host'!

@Ragdoll Circus's analogy succinctly captured my experience as well. It feels like a structured living arrangement with various flatmates. Nearly died when I saw Inside Out, that main operations room is similar to what I have, it's where all co-consciousness occurs. People wandering in, chatting or just observing, then disappearing. Leading from the main room are long tunnels and caves for everyone else to get privacy and a break from this world.

I have discovered I actually do have a SELF (this great abounding loving and compassionate and open energetic something or other),

Today my therapist spoke of adolescence as the time when a person sifts through the behaviour that society has imposed on them, and (somewhat turbulently) aligns their personal characteristics with society to create a self. (A rough description, she explained it way better!)
I'm not sure if this happens in DID... adolescence was the first time i told someone about my caves and tunnels. No-one understood, so i stopped mentioning it.
I don't think we get a core self, or a host, if that's what a host is...?

How did you get to the place where you could organize "bookings?"

LOL you just put on the captains hat and direct traffic! :cool: nah j/k.... ;)
that is a good question, i dont know the answer, sorry.
i think my gatekeeper part makes the final decision but lets me believe *i* organised the schedule. :rolleyes:
For example, today in therapy, I mentioned an issue affecting my little part, my therapist expressed hope that she will be able to spend time with my little during our next session. So, even though i make the 'booking', its the gatekeeper who will make the final call on the day.

things really started to turn around for me in managing my parts was when I walked around absolutely focused on my 'body'.
@shimmerz, if you don't mind my asking, where did you even start? did you begin by focusing on a body part everyone felt comfortable being in?
Thanks :)


So yikes. Intense week. Started with total crash outs on Monday and Tuesday (like, "Oh, I'll lie down to rest for a little...then the next thing I know it is 7 hours later and I am certain I was not asleep the whole time. Then, TOTALLY manic on Wednesday and still and no idea why and no ability to control it. (Kinda fun actually--got a LOT done and went to a very cool early music concert with my favorite violinist and a conductor on whom I have a "music crush.") Today I think I will need to drug myself to see if I can bring down the energy before I get really sick. I hate doing that and often it barely makes a dent anyway.

One of my adult parts spent the entire session on Wednesday with my psychiatrist, then a younger part most of the session on Friday with my therapist. Not planned. Can't remember most what we talked about; just know who was there. What I do remember is the psychiatrist working very hard to make me? him? us? understand that all of us are actually me. (Oh, god, I hate pronouns when it comes to this stuff.) It is the most bizarre and confusing thing to be able to understand DID in my intellectual part, but have no comprehension of it in my other parts.

Is THAT part of what therapy is meant to be? Accepting that we're all the same person even though most of us hate that or don't understand? What a dunce I am--only been in therapy for FOUR years and I'm just figuring this out???!!! Well hell. My psych and ther are telling me that I have to get more of this acceptance and understanding in order to do the trauma processing. Shoot--why can't I do the processing when I'm in a part. It seems to me that would solve things. But they say--and I guess my intellect knows--some sort of communal "I" has to be there, IN THE BODY, for it to work. Sigh.


LOL @pixel, I'm gonna get me a Captain's hat! Props always help, right?
I had the same experience of attempting to explain some things about myself when I was young. To several different people, I think (looking for help...desperately looking for help). It didn't go over well ever, so, like you, I stopped mentioning it. Then I guess it just became kind of normal until I was around 14 when one part that eventually developed its own whole subsystem took over and stayed in control until my whole life exploded into chaos around five years ago. Of course, looking back, the lead up to the explosion probably went on for twenty years or so prior. I've always said I'm a slow processor. Supposedly, if I can manage to get co-consciousness and cooperation, and process the trauma I will have a richer, calmer life without all the inner armageddon.

I don't think we get a core self, or a host, if that's what a host is...?
I just don't know. I have something that feels like SELF, but I don't think it is a "core self" in the way the literature defines it. I suppose if a child had a chance to live untraumatized for a period of time, some kind of core self might have begun to grow--sort of like a sprouting tree. But my problems started in utero and just expanded from there. I've been reading a bit about "hosts." Seems the "host" is the personality state that is most often "out" but it isn't necessarily the core self.

For me? I'm rapidly beginning to recognize that I do a lot of fast switching. I don't think there is ever one personality state/part that is most often out. But maybe there is--sort of a small, loosely organized, fretful, argumentative crew of seven (who have their own systems) who look to the watcher for cues. I would not want to be a trustee on THAT board of director/protectors. I'd resign in a flash.

So I don't know exactly who/what my SELF is...just that it's there. It is supposed to be in my heart, I think, but mine lives over my right shoulder. Seriously. It doesn't have a body. Therapist and psychiatrist are trying to convince me that my body is connected to this, that it is the "house" for it. Nobody inside is buying it. But I'm working on it. And yes, again at an intellectual level, I know all this is contained in my neurons inside my body. I'm not psychotically thinking there is some being who lives over my shoulder. But that sure as hell is what it feels like.

I'm working on remembering that I have always had these little moments in my life when everything felt right in me and the world. I wish I could bring them on, but I can't. Aside from my family, those are the experiences I stay alive for.


Policy Enforcement
The body is the thing. Got to work on getting parts to accept that my body is their body too, not just some foreign thing that exists outside of time and space and reality.
I've had a difficult time getting in touch with my body and being DID. What's helping now is yoga. Never thought I would try it. I feel grounded and that I'm living in my body while doing it. I believe that will eventually translate for all of my alters and into everyday life. There's definitely a disconnect with my body.

Started with total crash outs on Monday and Tuesday, like, "Oh, I'll lie down to rest for a little...then the next thing I know it is 7 hours later.... Then, TOTALLY manic on Wednesday and still and no idea why and no ability to control it.
I crash like that too. And then the next day or later I'm wired. It's my alters switching back and forth. I can't shut them out or off. I feel like I'm lit up. Like my brain can't be shut down. I eventually go to sleep yet only for about 5 to 7 hours. I need a lot more hours than that because of PTSD. Then the next day I'm fine again. Those times like that usually center around having a memory and/or nightmares.

I have something that feels like SELF
It took me a long time to find the ME that is "ME." I had a ton of alters, parts, and fragments with many integrating so far. I was diagnosed with poly-fragmented MPD. No DID back in 1989.

One time I had one alter, a main part, describe my system as a big shoe that's because she named if after the nursery rhyme, "There was an old woman who lived in a shoe...." However I know the true configuration was more like a huge dome shape with concentric circles in it, and secret rooms and gardens, and a hall of mirrors to trick anyone trying to gain entry into my system without my permission.


if you don't mind my asking, where did you even start? did you begin by focusing on a body part everyone felt comfortable being in?
Sorry for the delay in answering this question @pixel.

I started with really simple self care stuff. I made my own toothpaste out of coconut oil and essential oils, and while I made it I congratulated myself on how good and exciting it was to take care of my body. Then I brushed my teeth - 3 times a day - especially if I felt I was in another part - and reveled in the feeling of doing something kind for my body.

That translated into making myself body scrubs and shampoo etc for taking my shower (something that I had started to 'argue with myself' about). Again, same steps. Congratulated myself. Eating good for me food. Drinking hot water with lemon and tumeric and ginger. Simple stuff.

Then walks on the beach. I could only do that for so long..... (that was more external and it was tough).

Then creating my safe place. When I found myself slipping into another part I would build a safe place for that part to go to in order to settle down.

It was a process.


What's helping now is yoga. Never thought I would try it. I feel grounded and that I'm living in my body while doing it. I believe that will eventually translate for all of my alters and into everyday life.
That is great that yoga is helping you! I have only had marginal success with it (even the trauma-sensitive yoga), but I do a little on my own, mostly "restorative" poses. I don't know if it helps me be in my body more, or too much. --that seems to be more a function of whomever is in charge at any given moment.

I bought a grounding mat that I sleep on now. I thought it was helping a bit, but after this past week, I'm not so sure. My dog loves it though!
Like my brain can't be shut down.
Oh, my, I understand this experience. In Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (which I have), they call it "tired but wired." I have that in extremes. Horrible--like my body gets so exhausted, I collapse, but my brain won't let me enter into real sleep. I'm in a bad way this week as far as that goes. But...I'm getting a lot accomplished at least. I'm starting to crash today I think.

I know the true configuration was more like a huge dome shape with concentric circles in it, and secret rooms and gardens, and a hall of mirrors to trick anyone trying to gain entry into my system without my permission.
It is so helpful to hear this description with all its complexity and quantum-ness (mirrors). My therapist once called my system "byzantine." He apologized later because he thought he was being critical, but I think he is actually right.

I am almost finished my second attempt at drawing a map of my system (did one about a year ago). It will make my T's eyes spin, I think, but it makes sense to me. The project was actually a decent group effort (mostly of the protectors but I think a little me/SELF too) over a period of weeks. I'm quite proud of it as I feel that it is a decent reflection of how things are at this time. So it may not be helpful to my therapist, but it's been good for me to do.

Question for you, @Congruency ...and no pressure to answer if it makes you uncomfortable to do so. You said you were diagnosed in 1989. And it sounds like you're continuing to have a lot of struggles. Is it better? Does it get better? I was diagnosed with the DID almost two years ago. My T and psychiatrist say they're seeing progress, and feel that they've landed on the right combo of diagnoses that seem to exacerbate the DID issues. But I get so despairing and hopless sometimes because they say it could be many years before deep healing happens. How do you feel about your process?


I finished making a map of my system last night. It has been an arduous process, but really helpful to me. I showed only part of it to my therapist on Monday and, as I predicted, it made his eyes spin. "I have a LOT of parts," I said. He nodded. This is an approximation of the conversation:
T: "Yes, you do have a lot of parts. Do you think that perhaps some of all these separate ones might actually belong together? For instance, perhaps these (pointing to a cluster) are the same part holding different memories and experiences?"
Me: "I asked you a long time ago if parts could have their own parts. You never really answered my question."
T: "What did I say?"
Me: "Your eyes got wide and you said, 'Uh, well, yes they can, but that gets really, really complicated,' and then you shifted us back to what we'd been talking about before."
T: "Hmmm. I think, perhaps, I was trying to keep you from over-complicating things too much. But yes, parts can have their own parts."

So, I took this and ran with it. Not all my parts have their own systems, but a bunch of them do. And maybe because of my manic week and all these blast of clarity I'm getting, I think the map I made of my system is pretty damned accurate at this point, and I feel quite proud of myself (ourselves? damn those pronouns) for producing it. I will show it to him on Friday. I'm sure he will be both pleased that I managed to do it, and also a bit overwhelmed by the detail of it. Heck, if I'm overwhelmed by my own system, how can I expect somebody else not to be? But it is only the second time I've managed to pin the swirling chaos onto paper in a way that actually represents the parts, their parts, and the relationships among them. I even made separate pages for the firefighters, managers, and exiles with explanations of their feelings and the roles they play (well, there are still some blanks on some of them, but most of them came through).

Somehow, I feel quite pleased that an array of 60+ is now down to about 36 and most of it makes sense to me. I think this is huge progress for me, so yay. Now, if I can manage to quell this manic/mixed-episode stuff that is going on with me, I will maybe feel much better.


Still "manic" but swinging around in these terrible and chaotic states that are called "mixed episodes." Sometimes it's great, but mostly the body is totally exhausted and things are terrible. I hate this. Haven't had states like this one this intensely since my late teens. Want to jump out of my skin or die or just be able to stop my friggin' brain so I can stop doing things and sleep.
Was obvious to my T last two times I saw him, and to my psychiatrist today. She explained that it is probably because of the ADHD med. ADHD protects against the really intense swings of bipolar because in certain cases like me, the ADHD lets you hyper-focus. Take that away and the bipolar energies start to come blasting through more obviously and fuel all kinds of switching energy. She makes sense. She is eccentric, but totally brilliant. I'm to take a bit of risperidone to see if it will let me sleep (the klonopin is doing nothing at this point). Then I have to decide if I am willing to add another med (Latuda). I have tried so many things over the past two years, I'm not too inclined to add another now, but I think I have to trust her and try it because I really, really don't want to end up in the hospital again.


And is there anything similar insofar as what was happening in your late teens and now?
Good question, @shimmerz. Maybe a transition time. Not sure. Many transitions in my life right now, as well as the shifting of seasons (today is Imbolc). And, of course, the change in meds. I seem to have a pattern of going into really extreme states sometime between February and April--all of the hospitalizations have happened in that window--some on meds, some not on meds. It is hard to know exactly what is causing what.

I know several folks have talked about the craziness of diagnosing ADHD and bipolar together @Ronin. What my doc says makes a lot of sense to me though, in terms of what is happening in my system and why no other meds have seemed to work for me the way they should have. If I can get through this one more trial of an anti-psychotic along with the ADHD med and I stabilize, I will likely have the answer for myself as to whether my doc's theory is correct. If not, I'll likely do what I've done before and go off everything for a while and return to the proverbial drawing board.
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