Feb
08

D.I.D. and the Essence of Who I Am by Carla Logan

By

Dissociative Identity
Lovely Hope

I am really excited to welcome guest writer Carla Logan today! Carla and I have become great friends on this journey to freedom. In her process of recovering from Dissociative Identity, (the multiple personality disorder kind) Carla has focused on getting to know each of her alters as individuals, which was very different from the methods that I used to overcome dissociative identity however we have discovered that the destination for all those who travel from broken to wholeness is always about the journey back to self. We celebrate the common goal and our mutual successes. Please share your comments and thoughts with us in the comments section. 

 ~ Darlene Ouimet, founder of emerging from broken.   

 D.I.D. and the Essence of Who I Am by Carla Logan

 There seems to be a common experience among abuse survivors, we don’t seem to know who we are, as a person.  What is the essence of who I am?  Where do I find myself?  What about me is real and what is not?  There is a disconnect that happens inside us, not only from the world around us and how we see and feel and interpret it, but also from ourselves in how we see and feel and interpret who we are.  There is so much junk to peel away and so much about our true selves to discover.

 My own struggle with this has been through the world of Dissociative Identity Disorder and it has been filled with turmoil and fear and self hatred, not only throughout the course of my life, but especially throughout my recovery process.  Discovering at the age of 46 that I had separated parts of self operating independent of the whole, was utterly devastating. I didn’t know what to do with this. I didn’t know how to feel about myself.  What to believe about myself.  I didn’t know how to find the real me in this newly discovered cast of characters who had all played the role of me all these years of my life, each in its own unique way.  Which one was the most true representative of me? 

 As I started to learn of my ‘alters’, started to find out their ‘personalities’, their way of seeing the world and responding to it, their way of representing me to the world, well, the more overwhelmed I became.  How could this have happened to me, and how is it that I lived 46 years without knowing about it, and how do I even begin to find myself now?  Because some of my alter personalities were so outrageous in the way they responded to life, I was terrified that the most outrageous might actually be the real me!  What if this is true?  What if the most wounded and most outrageous part is actually the real core me?  What will I do?  How will I come to terms with this?

 What I have only recently discovered, after a lot of hard, gut wrenching work in getting to know each alter and in facing the abuse that caused this fragmentation of my SELF, I have gained so much compassion for each part of me, for the pain each part endured on behalf of the whole; for the years of suffering; the years of loneliness; the years of anxiety, fear and confusion – I have come to see each of these alters as precious, as my heroes, as my allies over the course of my life, keeping me going, keeping me alive, keeping me moving toward the day when I would be strong enough to face my history that created this coping mechanism, one that allowed my survival. 

 And in finding this compassion and respect for each of them, I have found compassion and respect for ME.  Because THEY ARE ME.  All of them.  And I am not afraid to own them, I am not afraid to incorporate them, I am not afraid to have any one of them represent me.  They have given me my life and they have paid their dues and they have earned their right to be who they are IN ME.  They (the alters) are now each finding their healing and when they do this, they will find their freedom to come home, to come home to being ME, all the best of ME.

 I have found myself in each one of my alter personalities and am looking forward to the day of integration, where they will all be welcomed as ME; leaving not one of them behind.  I am looking forward to that day, when I will have no fear for them and no fear for me.  This is healing. 

 And my hope for all survivors struggling with a fear of knowing themselves is that you will find the compassion for self that is needed for healing.  When you find this, you will find your true SELF and welcome that true SELF without confusion and without fear, but with love. Your true self has been there all along, waiting for acceptance from you.

Carla Logan

Note from Darlene:  Please feel free to contribute your own stories, feelings, thoughts or whatever you want or need to share. Remember that Dissociative Identity Disorder is not just about multiple personalities. It can simply be about disconnection from the self.

Related posts: Dissociative Identity Disorder and Reconnection with Discussion

Coping methods and trying to escape myself  With Discussion

Emotional Abuse and Identity Hunger by Carla Dippel

Categories : Survival

35 Comments

1

Carla,
I am so pleased to have been given the honour of posting this article written by you. You have become someone that I admire deeply for your perseverance and persistence on your journey to wholeness.

Although I didn’t dig into the memories of each individual alter in the same way that you did, the rest of my process was the same; I had to face all of it and for the first time I had to connect those trauma events to ME. I remember the horror that I felt when I realized that the memories were MINE. That the abuse and devaluation had happened to me. I had this sinking sick to my stomach feeling. I had had been co conscious with several alters on and off prior to that day, but I still never connected these things to having happened to me, to my body! And this was not just about the sexual abuse, this was about being mistreated, being emotionally abused, being ignored, unheard, unprotected and UNSEEN. I felt suddenly exposed. Like if I could see me ~ so could other people. It was terrifying. I realized over the following few weeks that I had lived in this state of misty foggy movie-like understanding of the past. There was no connection. I started talking about some of the minor abuse 20 years before I had the therapy that helped me so much but I had never realized that it happened to me. I was content to live in that fog. But eventually it smothered me. The suppressed pain of being so devalued and traumatised got bigger then I could stand. The depressions and inability to cope with daily life got more and more serious and it was time to face the whole thing.

And it was in facing the pain that I found my joy; I found my life, I found myself, I learned self care and self love and then I found my purpose. And I share the same hope for all survivors that you have expressed here in your post.

Thank you again,
Hugs, Darlene

2

This is great Carla. My dissociation doesn’t have complete personalities. My system ran around protecting me from th memories and in that process neglecting to retain other autobiographical information. So for me “who am I if not what happened to me” is tricky. I can only learn to know who i am today, wihout the help of knowing wjere i hav been. I just realized a few months ago that I can play piano for example. Who knew? There’s the detritus of amchildhood and life so i have clues. But my question needs to be abit different….who do i wanna be?

3

Carla and Darlene, Thank you for this awesome and timely post. It never ceases to amaze me how God orchestrates the timing of people and opportunities in our lives. I am also 46 with a very recent awareness of my D.I.D. I have recently become aware of 2 well defined alter parts and several less defined parts. This has really been the turning point for me in my healing journey. Not 10 minutes before reading this post, I sat down with my 20 year old son and had him read my story for the first time. I started a blog about my incest survival, D.I.D. and my healing journey. http://youmeantheskyisntblue.blogspot.com/ I just explained D.I.D. to him and he was able to sit next to me and listen. He was quiet and didn’t have any questions for me, (yet), but I think he really heard me. The need to be seen, to be known and to be understood is a powerful one for me. Thank you for sharing this. You are brave and I am grateful to you both!

4

though i have never been diagnosed with anything as a label, mainly because i have not sought the tags just the healing i need to cope with what ever issue forced my into crisis. i must have a few alters even if they less defined now. when i was younger i would swing from fearless to fearful in the snap of a leather belt, from outgoing to sucking my thumb at the tone of a voice, i reacted and acted how that person wanted me to, and i still feel like an actor or director watchign my life roll before my eyes yet strangely unattached. i find my face changing shape, eyes changing colour, tone and language of my speech alters. all things i had put down to stress but maybe they not, im not sure. i know i have a social n a private persona that are strikelying different and havent figured out what to do with that knowledge yet. especailly as the healing levels are so out of whack in the private persona. mmmm things to think on.
many thanks for sharing

5

I too was diagnosed with DID at 46 years old. Reading your article truly hit home for me. Ironically, after 5 years of therapy, today I allowed my youngest alter the space she needed to talk. I did everything I could to avoid it because what she had to say did not jive with what I remember.
Loyalty and love for family was my first priority and I was afraid if she spoke, there would be retribution. She was so strong, stronger than me and instead of feeling the guilt and fear; I actually feel a sense of relief. I cannot recall what she says and I cannot connect it to me, but somewhere inside it seemed real.
Thank you for your article, it is wonderful to be able to share comfortably without judgement.

Jess

6

I find that people with multiple personality disorders are VERY courageous as they have all these multiple personalities and the attitudes of society towards them to deal with. I do not have this to deal with myself, but knew somebody who did. Blew me away to see what she had to deal with.
The question I’d like to ask is: with so many multiples were there at least one who attempted to sabotage your ability to make friends for example, by going outside the realm of the specific role he/she had in your life? If so how did you integrate them with joy back into what, I assume, is now your complete self as an identity deserving of that place in your personality before it fragmented?

7

It’s always amazing how individual the journey can be. We all look to find the familiar, to fit in some where some how. That’s the human in all of us. Like integration doesn’t work for all of us with DID. we are so very separate this was done at such a young age and trained/cultivated that we are not even considering it anymore.

What we have found, like Carla, that we found compassion for ourselves thru ourselves and by what others have shown us.
Ravin

8

Splinteredones, I can understand how difficult it is not having that complete sense of autobiography, I still do not have this. I only have fragments so far of what was taking place at certain times that caused the splitting. I don’t know that I will ever have all the information that on some level I desire. Dissociation is something that takes you out of yourself, and I lived in dissociation most of my life. Not all memories have been retained, or at least they have not all been given back to me. But it has been in seeing what I do see, in knowing what I do now know, that I can come to accept the roles the alters played in my life and how each of them did what they were supposed to do, which was protect me and keep me moving forward. I have come to not fear them now, and to not feel shame for any kind of residual behavior that was left with them throughout my life. And it is in the acceptance of them, all of whom are really ME, that I have come to peace about who I am as a whole. They each carry a part of my personality, a part of my history, a part of my suffering, fear and emotional pain. They are me and I am them. And I don’t feel that I need to know everything to be able to move further into healing and integration. And I agree with you, it is now up to me to be the person I want to be, I have that choice in front of me for the first time in my life! I will take all these parts of my personality and move forward and create the life I want and be the person I envision! More power to you as you continue on the road to self discovery! Life in healing awaits! 🙂
Hugs,
Carla L

9

Gabrielle, I agree that sometimes the timing of finding encouragement can be amazing, and I am glad that you find that encouragement here! I really understand where you are in your journey and I totally ‘get’ that need to be known at this time in your process. You have shown courage in allowing your son into this part of your recovery and I applaud you for that! I wish you all the best as you move forward into wholeness and freedom from the past! It is waiting for you!
Blessings!
Carla L

10

Carol, I understand how confusing it can be to not really know what is taking place in our behavior, especially when triggered by people or circumstances. I also know that feeling of being unattached to your life. I encourage you to continue to explore what is going on inside and if possible, to find some kind of professional help, it will make the process much less confusing for you, give you direction. This has been my experience, but I do understand that I have been very blessed to have a therapist with experience, I couldn’t have done this on my own!
Best wishes to you as you engage in your healing process!
Carla L

11

Jessi, I can really relate to how it feels to have an alter come to the surface for the first time, the fear of the unknown in what will be said or what kind of behavior will take place. The important thing is that you understand this is a part of YOU that is looking for expression, and I am glad that you have found the relief that often comes with the release of some of what that part of you holds. Stay courageous! The journey is not always easy, but the end goal of healing and freedom makes it worth every painful step you take!
Best wishes!
Carla L

12

Douglas, in my experience, my alters each had particular types of friends and lifestyles, people ways of living they felt comfortable with and I found that maintaining long term friendships or relationships to be very difficult because of the vast differences in their comfort levels. There were periods of my life where one alter was more dominant than others and so maintaining friendships seemed easier for a time. But there were many periods where the alters were switching often and this was problematic for me, I would disappear on my friends or relationships for no apparent reason and I had no idea why this would happen. I wasn’t aware of what was going on in me, I just knew that I would find myself in vastly different lifestyles and friendships all the time with no understanding as to why things kept changing so abruptly and so starkly.
Thank you for your question!
Carla L

13

Ravin, I do understand that not all people who have D.I.D. find that they want integration as their goal, for various reasons. This is a very personal decision we each must make. I didn’t seem to want anything but integration, my system was not working for me anymore, the energy that it took to maintain it was depleted in me and my very survival at that stage depended upon finding the healing and bringing all parts of me together. Now, having said that, there has been tremendous resistance internally at times to the concept, a fear of death of the various parts of me. They didn’t even know each other existed and then felt I was trying to eliminate them, one by one. But the goal is not elimination, but bringing them all together as my one whole personality. It has been a long and arduous process, but I never had any other goal than to reach integration, which is still in the process for me, not yet totally achieved.

I do respect your feelings and those of others who have not felt it to their best interest to integrate. The ultimate goal for all of us is to find healing and to live a full life in emotional health and vitality! I wish you all the best as you continue to move in that direction!
Carla L

14

I always knew something was not quite “right” with me, but no one ever gave it a name. It took me so long to accept my alters were there because there was so much shame in “hearing voices” when there would be internal conflict. I was so scared to even tell anyone. You can’t imagine the relief I felt when finally after over 15 years someone told me this all had a name, D.I.D!

The hardest part for me is letting them all be there. There are some of them that I don’t “like” their thoughts and actions and so knowing that they are a part of me is so hard for me to comprehend and grasp. Even though I know they have a purpose and have protected me, it doesn’t make it any easier for me to approve of them.

Did you (or anyone on here who has DID) ever have to come to terms with accepting those parts that you wish weren’t there? Or that they acted and thought differently? How did you grow to accept them for who they are?

15

thanks carla,
i had been assessed for a deep physcodynamic couselling but wasnt ready for their group as i dont do details yet, so have been put on a 1 to 1 list, but the waiting list is 18mths long which is so not cool. i wanted to do the group n smash tho my walls but they said i have to dismantle them so it dont break me at the same time. i had a time plan for things to get done but this has thrown a spanner in the works.

16

Serena, yes it was very difficult for me to accept many of my alters, even though finding out about them allowed me to make sense of my life for the first time! And it was difficult for them to accept each other as they didn’t know of each other before I started therapy and the whole system opened up.

The journey to acceptance took a long time and a lot of hard work in uncovering the traumas that were held in each alter. Once I was able to understand the traumas and see why it was that each alter had certain patterns of thinking, feeling and acting out, it was much easier to come to that place of compassion for them and acceptance, which in turn allowed me to feel compassion for ME and acceptance for ME, because ultimately each of them IS ME and how I, as the actual survivor of the trauma, was able to deal with these events and keep living. But this did take time, patience and an openness to the process; a lot of hard work on my part and a lot of guidance by my therapist to get me there. And I am still in this process! It is not over for me yet, but so much ground has been covered and so much healing has already taken place in my alter system! There is hope, so hang in there, stay with it, you will not be sorry!
Carla L

17

Carol, I am really sorry you have been put in this holding pattern in order to get the help you want and need! It must be very frustrating for you, I can only imagine! But don’t give up on yourself, be patient and gentle with the timelines you place on yourself as there really is no way to tell how long it will take for any of us who are in recovery. And it is true that the safest process is one of a gentle dismantling as you would do more damage to yourself by taking on too much at once. Best wishes to you as you wait for the help you are looking for.
Carla L

18

[…] Post ~ D.I.D. and the Essence of who I am by Carla Logan Categories : Freedom & Wholeness, […]

19

Wow this is a wonderful conversation!! I just finished catching up on it! Thank you to everyone who is reading, writing and contributing!

Serena asked a question that I want to address also. I had an interesting experience with coming to terms with one part in particular that I wished was not there.
Keeping in mind that eventually I realized that these alter personalities were not actually separate people as I had perceived them to be ~ there was this one personality ~ and she was one of the main ones. She was the part of me that was vivacious and dynamic, outspoken and flirtatious, mischievous, confident and very sexual. I wanted her dead. I blamed that part of me for all my problems and saw her as “the one” that got me into all the trouble. What I didn’t realize is that I without realizing it, that part was that personality that abusers were attracted to and they all seemed to quickly want to squish that lively part of me ~ to shut it down. This is a huge long concept, but if I had not embraced that part of me, I could not do this blog, I could not do public speaking, I could not LIVE life to the fullest. In recovery I found a different way to regard this part of me. The sexuality was really about protection. I had this belief that if I could be what “predators” wanted, that I would be in control…that they somehow would not abuse me. This was a very mixed up thinking on my part that I had to get sorted out. Again, a huge topic with many aspects to look at. The illusion of control was false. Today I realize that even the parts that I saw as “bad” or dangerous, had a purpose. I had to change the way that I looked at things. I had to find the truth about the abuse in the first place and stop thinking it was my own fault and taking the blame for it. That is what recovery is all about for me. Finding a new grid to put things through.

Hugs Darlene

20

Carla,

I appreaciate reading about your experiences with DID, and also about the healing path that you have chosen. I really related closely to much of your post.

Thank you,
Susa/all

21

I’m floored. I couldn’t read this yesterday as I managed the title and fled! I only just got it together to read and absorb it AND the comments in which I find so much that resonates.
I don’t know what to say. It makes sense that we split off so significantly in a trauma and I remember how I had to ‘become’ something I didn’t like to get through certain events. I remember how I had to harden myself inside so I could survive the pain. This is the same part of me that now can keep a cool head in a catastrophe, she doesn’t feel or connect with events and can do what needs to be done, even if that includes hurting myself. Unfortunately she is also incapable of expressing emotions in relationships and can hurt people with her ‘feelinglessness’ especially if it’s been triggered by something. Someone dying for example might register and be expressed by part of me but another part of me is stony cold absent.
I had this that Carol speaks of ‘…I would swing from fearless to fearful in the snap of a leather belt, from outgoing to sucking my thumb at the tone of a voice’ Although it wasn’t a leather belt, but other things that STILL trigger me now. It’s astounding to me that it’s as though no time has passed inside me as though no progress has been made because everything is set up in the same way to cope.

Few people would have been able to notice my ‘becoming’ different because I just left a situation and went elsewhere, like Carla wrote above ‘I would disappear on my friends or relationships for no apparent reason and I had no idea why this would happen. I wasn’t aware of what was going on in me, I just knew that I would find myself in vastly different lifestyles and friendships all the time with no understanding as to why things kept changing so abruptly and so starkly.’
Yeah, it’s like I had NO integrity. My morals I thought I had would be dropped depending entirely on the company I was in and I would change too.

Finding what I like is so challenging. Just that sentence OMG. I used to think I was so liberal and open, like I used to spout nonsense about ‘open’ relationships – because that’s what I thought was OK, actually it reflected my complete disconnect from my own feelings, and resulted in further abuse and damage to my self estee.

But where Darlene says owning that part of her that was powerful is important – I agree. I have pushed that part of me down and out the way where ‘she’ can’t get me into trouble. I remember once that part of me coming out and getting in a really awkward situation – actually this happened a lot. I used to get hit on by couples a lot and could never understand why ‘I’ didn’t want this and yet it would happen, but ‘she’ invited it and played on it, with that mistaken idea of power…

I remember only one person really noticed it and actually said ‘Lou was so different, like she became something else’ He couldn’t explain it and neither could I, All I knew was at some point ‘I’ came to, and realized I had got myself in over my head and out of my depth and fled. OMG

22

Carla, I knew there was a writer in you. Good job <3

23

Susa,
Thank you so much for your encouragement! I do believe that even though we are all unique in our life experiences and in the ways that DID presents itself, we do recognize many things we share in this response to trauma.

Louise,
I completely understand the triggers you speak of, even in not being able to read about certain things until you feel you are ready! I still do this all the time. My internal system tells me when something is just too much for me at that moment and I back away until it feels right. This can change from moment to moment even. And I also can relate to the triggers that take place all around you in your environment and circumstances, causing behaviors to emerge to meet those challenges, even if you don’t understand what’s happening. We were programmed and that is still with us until we find the source and work through it to healing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings and experiences, it helps you and it helps others who struggle with this. 🙂

Ligeia,
You are a great inspiration to me! And I appreciate your encouragement and always have! Thank you for being here, my friend. Keep doing what you do, you touch so many people with your heart and talent! (((HUGS)))

Darlene,
I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to share a portion of my healing process. You have been a dear friend and one of the lights of my life in my healing journey! A true source of strength for me, and most often never even knowing how much I have learned from you. I will be forever grateful for having met you at this time in my life! Love you lady!

Carla L

24

Darlene, in your first comment did you say that not everybody that has DID has multiple personalities? I have been trying to understand DID over the past year by reading blogs on the topic and thought that the DID was just a new name for Multiple Personality Disorder. Are they the same thing? Is DID more than just multiple personalities? I am confused.

I disconnected from my feelings and from my body in order to survive the incest in my childhood. I have 6 years of memories ages 11-17 plus I have an awareness that there are probably some early memories before the age of 3 that I don’t have. Those early memories that I lack are another way of disconnecting from the incest because my 3 year old and younger mind just couldn’t handle the pain and/or the knowledge that someone that I loved sexually abused me. (I can put several possible people’s names in there but since I don’t have the memories, I don’t know if it was my dad or my uncle or several other uncles that might have abused me that young.) Would this form of disconnecting be considered DID too? I sometimes talk to the inner children inside of me and I hear their voices and can “see” them in my mind’s eye. Are inner children a form of DID?

25

Hi Patricia,
I said that in the post called “Coping methods ~ trying to Escape Myself” ~ D.I.D. used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. The name of it was changed to dissociative identity disorder because lots of people leave themselves or dissociate from themselves and from their identity without actually becoming someone else or having alter personalities. Although I did have alter personalities and I did switch, I have found many similarities to others with dissociative identity disorder who were simply just “dissociated”. Dissociation is a very popular coping method. Just as you have described here Patricia. We disconnect from the body. So I would say that yes, this would be considered DID. Anything that I say here is really only my opinion because there is still a fight in the therapeutic world if there is even such a thing as multiple personality ~ it is not and accepted diagnosis by all professionals. but having said that, I saw my “inner children” the way that you described and yes, that can be considered a form of DID. I was actually told by a friend of mine who was a therapist that the way that I talked about my inner child was very dissociative because I talked about “her” as separate from me. When she said that I went “OH MY GOSH” and remembered being diagnosed in my twenties with DID. (long story but that was when I decided to go back to therapy and face the whole thing once and for all.. and here I am now!)
Hugs, Darlene

26

Darlene, thank you for clearing up my confusion. I can relate to so much of what has been said here in your posts even though I don’t have the separate alters. I do talk about my inner child as a she and I realize that it is to give me a little distance from her and her pain. I intellectualized everything in my mind to keep me separate from my body. I could focus on my thoughts in order not to feel. It was scary in the beginning to feel and to reconnect with my body. Today I stay grounded and in my body most of the time. I didn’t know that this could be a form of DID. Again thank you.

27

There is also a category of DDNOS which is Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, which has many common symptoms or characteristics of DID without the ‘Identity’ part of the symptomatology. Those with DID have the added layer of what appears to be separate identity features within their internal system; the identities ‘appear’ to be individuals apart from the core, although they are not so, it is just how it feels and can manifest. My understanding of inner child work, and I could be wrong, is that the inner child is never seen or ‘experienced’ as a separate person with a different identity, but just as an earlier or younger part of the experience of the same whole person.

Patricia, this may help you. You may call your inner child ‘she’, but you never have felt her to NOT BE YOU at some stage of your life. The DID person FEELS that the inner parts are not all part of the same PERSON. They seem to be totally different people living inside one body, which is an illusion, but it is the way it feels and manifests.

28

Carla, thank you. Your explanation helps a lot added to what Darlene said.

29

Patricia, just wanted to say that I used DDNOS as an example of the different types of Dissociative categories, there are several of them. The difference with DID among all of those is the Identity confusion within that dissociation. 🙂

30

Carla and Patricia,
Thanks for posting this insight Carla, it is very helpful. I didn’t even know about that category. There are so many of them!

I just want to note that this whole thing is tricky! There are so many aspects to all of it and I am not licenced to diagnose. My purpose on this blog is to inspire hope for full recovery from any and all struggles with anything related to mental health, and I have a tendency to avoid specific diagnosis related conversation because of the slippery slope involved with doing that. I would never want to cause harm by telling someone what they do or don’t have. When I went through my process, (the one I write about in this blog) if was after many therapies and many years in 12 step programs. The reason that I got all fired up about the methods that I talk about is because THEY worked where nothing else got me where I wanted to go. (thriving not just surviving) I started working in the field of mental health in support, as director of client relations and as the executive assistant to the president (therapist) . What I learned was that everyone that I met, regardless of diagnosis, could heal the exact same way that I had. They had an individual process, but looking for the cause and facing the beliefs that grew out of that cause, realizing the lies and then righting those lies back to the truth, was the exact process that worked for everyone. So my passion tends to be about that! We do have to look at all the details though, as so discussions about diagnosis will always happen.

I really appreciate the contributions from everyone on this whole discussion.
Hugs, Darlene

31

Carla, I truly enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing it. My coping mechanisms didn’t take the form of multiple personalities, but I really relate to the root of the struggle of learning to know and love my real self. Your courage and confidence in your process is inspiring.

32

My dissociations were like a self-hypnosis. I would hypnotise myself to not be present in a very painful situation, or to behave like a different person, to be someone who could do or handle what ‘I’ could not. In those cases it was almost like a kind of acting, a performance, only it felt, on the inside of me, that it wasn’t me, it was someone else sharing my body… several someones.

Most of the time, my dissociation took the form of nothing seeming real, everything was dream-like. I was in a movie, watching the movie, and also in it, but none of it was real. Yet it was real. Hard to explain.

It was really like I was dreaming, while I was awake.

I remember feeling so hurt and jealous, because my ex-husband clearly preferred one of my other ‘personnas’, to ME! I had to ‘perform’ in this other person, or hypnotise myself to be this other person, that he wanted me to be, because he didn’t love the ‘real me.’ All shades of my childhood, my mother telling me she wished I were totally different, wished I was like this little girl or that little girl, never telling me she liked/loved me for ME.

None of my “alters,” if that’s what they were, were full-blown separate personalities, like my dad, who was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, his different personalities were completely different, dressed different, talked different, had different religious beliefs, different morals, all of that. Also when my dad split, when he was someone else, he seemed to have little or no memory of when he was in that other personna, they were all split totally off from each other, as far as I could tell.

But ‘I’ was always present, regardless of who or what had ‘control’…. ‘I’ was always able to regain the reigns, to retake control, if I didn’t like what the other personna was doing or saying. It was a fight sometimes, but I always won.

When I integrated, it seemed to happen spontaneously. I just accepted that all of these different personnas were me.

Strange, tho. I never wanted to admit that I had anything like that going on inside me, because I thought it would prove that I was ‘crazy.’

Love to all here ~ you are courageous and beautiful, everyone of you.

Lynda

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I just wanted to say thank you for writing this. I’m on this journey towards healing and I really wanted a perspective from anyone with alters and what integration was for them. I loved reading how you embraced them (their existence), because they are apart of you. It’s especially hard for me because the development of my DID was induced FOR me. I was trained this way. As I grew older more “voluntary” splits occurred i suppose. Sometimes I get defensive or just hurt when people speak negatively about DID. Maybe because I try to look at the positive instead of saying “my life sucks because of DID” (although sometimes it does suck). I think also because those within are such distinct personalities (specific likes, dislikes, looks, names, ages, separate experiences and even friends) and not just altered conscious states. Lastly i think because some people speak of dissociation and I assume they have alters and they don’t (which just confuses me but I’m starting to understand differences between diagnoses) they just basically go blank. Its taken a lot for me to finally accept BEING DID. Its taken a lot to accept parts of me that are so different from MY beliefs. At least in my world oil and water CAN mix. I REALLY needed to read the explanations/contributions provided in the comments as well. At this stage I’m NOT going to worry TOO much about integrating. I’m at a stage where there is a lot of co-consciousness (most days) and a way of sharing info when that doesn’t occur. It sounds scary but I do believe that as I heal the past change (integration) may automatically come. Especially to the parts my abusers created (those parts are the ones that are currently disrupting my life). That’s my real focus (for now) continuing to face my abusive past to resolve it, face the memories and the information my alters have for me. Piece my life back together as much as i can, I’m sure I can’t retrieve all of it. Later down the road I can focus on healing this part. Thanks again to both of you (I read Darlene’s article that linked to this one somehow) and I apologize for rambling. 

Gen

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Hi Genesis
DID was what saved me as a child. What I found out was that as an adult it was in my way. The only way I could heal though was to find out WHY I needed to split. Integration happened for me as I faced the past (not even all of it) and some of the memories and conclusions about myself from those memories were exposed to me, I didn’t need to be split anymore. (not quite that simple, but that is the nut shell version) It was in finding out why I needed to have all those splits, that I realized I didn’t have to have all of them anymore. Lots of self validation, etc. Putting guilt, shame back where it belonged.. all the stuff I write about in this site all contributed to natural integration. My alters were created to protect me. When I learned HOW to protect me, I didn’t need them anaymore
Hugs, Darlene

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Hi Genesis and Darlene

It’s been a year since I wrote this guest post and reading it again was pretty emotional for me. I am still in the process, doing the trauma work, doing the work also on learning to live with DID while the healing work continues. There aren’t any quick and easy ways to resolve all the issues that are still buried deep inside. What I wrote here was a real breakthrough for me last year, and I have spent the year since then, gaining a deeper understanding of my alter system and it’s complexities; and in that process have been allowing those parts of me a lot of freedom to come out and express themselves in safe ways. It has been through this kind of expression that I am learning more and more about them and gaining insight into what happened in the past to cause the splits and how all of this impacted my life until this time.

Integration…still my goal, but not an easy one. And not one that can be forced. It is a struggle, nothing about this healing process is without pain and anxiety and deep soul searching. I have parts that are resisting, and I have to respect those feelings as I search for understanding within myself as to why there is so much fear.

Each of us who struggle with this disorder is a unique person with a unique history. How we came to this place of DID has some areas of commonality, but overall no two of us are the same, and our process or journey to healing will not look exactly the same. I deeply respect each person’s journey and their instinct as to what they need at any given time in regard to learning how to live with the system they have, and their own comfort level with the idea of integration.

Like you, Genesis, I feel that when it happens for me, it will be a process that takes place as a result of each part finding their healing and it won’t be with great fanfare, but an assimilation of sorts. This is how I envision it, but I could be wrong….I will know when I get there!

Wishing you all the best in your process, Genesis. You are a beautiful person, it has been a pleasure for me to have interacted with you elsewhere and watch the progress you have made over the last year as well! My best advice is to follow your gut, but never give up working on your healing, it is a hard journey but worth every step!

Hugs to you both!
Carla

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