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.
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.
Coping methods and trying to escape myself With Discussion
Emotional Abuse and Identity Hunger by Carla Dippel