Dissociative Identity ~ The Solution became the Problem


Dissociative behaviour and recovery

Susan Smith from “A Journey” wrote an inspiring guest blog post for me the other day about turning points and emotional healing, and it reminded me of the ways that I learned how to finally get quiet and face the turmoil in my mind so that I could face the turmoil in my life.

Like Susan’s therapist my therapist also taught me to be more aware of what was going on in my mind and in the end this is how I learned to stop dissociating and disconnecting from myself.  Instead of examining alter personalities, my therapist concentrated on the behaviors I was presenting with. Recovery from dissociative identity disorder was about learning to stay with myself. I learned to ask myself a series of questions and I learned how to incorporate positive and gentle self talk. 

In therapy sessions I would switch subject rapidly and jump all over the place and my therapist picked up on this avoidance technique and pointed it out to me. Much to my horror he wanted to video tape me so that I could see what I do. For some reason the thought of being videotaped while I was spinning out loud and dissociating really scared me and I decided to listen to his directions about how to stop doing it. He taught me to ask myself if the direction I was thinking in was going to help me get where I wanted to go in recovery, OR if it was going to hold me back in recovery. That became a starting place for me.

In asking myself those questions I also became aware of my body reactions. Did I feel tense or anxious and then I turned to my thoughts and considered the following; were there hundreds of thoughts at one time? Was there fear? Was there self judgment? When there was that much noise in there I could never pick out just one thought which is how I came to refer to it as the spin.

After becoming aware of some of this head chatter, I learned to recognize when I was about to dissociate. Often it was so profound that I could “see myself” leaving my body. In my mind’s eye I literally pulled myself back; I reached out my hand and grabbed myself by the back of my shirt and asked myself to “stay with me”… sounds so odd now, but it worked and pretty soon I was staying with myself more and more and becoming more conscious of time, thoughts, and feelings ~ especially fear.

The first step in dealing with fear was in acknowledging that I had them. There were many.  I had to admit to myself that yes I had fears. I didn’t identify them all at once, and sometimes just identifying them was cause for dissociating but eventually I was able to acknowledge them; I was afraid that I was going to be molested in the night. I was afraid that I was not lovable, I was afraid that I would be hit. I was afraid that I would never feel good about myself, but I believed it was my own fault. Deep down I was mostly afraid that “they” were right about me, that I was the problem and if I didn’t figure myself out and shape up I would die a lonely and bitter unloved woman. My children would hate me and I had this sense of running out of time… all the time.

One of the problems that I realized I had with this whole train of thought is that I thought the fears were silly; that they were not logical anymore and in regarding them that way, I discounted them. Discounting my fears was the same as discounting myself, and once again, dissociative behavior was the result.

As I became more conscious, I was able to slow myself down, to slow the thoughts down enough that I could actually pay attention to them. This increased my awareness of what the self talk actually was. Instead of telling the “voices” in my head to be quiet, I learned to listen to them for clues. As I became aware of the fears that were some of the root causes that drove me to dissociate as an adult I was able to identify how much control those fears had over my life and as I listened to the head chatter, I realized the depth of the fear.

I learned that those fears were rooted in my childhood. My dissociative behavior was beneficial to my survival because as a child I had no choice. Going back there to those times and realizing where those fears were born and why they existed in the first place, enabled me to understand first, the purpose they served then and purpose of the resulting dissociative behavior.  Then I looked at the purpose those fears serve now and began to look at whether or not dissociative identity disorder served me at all anymore. I certainly could comprehend why I needed to dissociate back then, and why the fears served me ~ both were a survival method. The fear was the warning system; dissociating was the coping method. I realized that I was afraid to let go of the fears. They were very closely related to self control and I believed without total control of my life I would be in danger and I would ultimately die.

It was in taking all of this apart from the outside and exploring into the depth of the inside that I found the keys to healing.

How does this post resonate with you? Can you see that dissociative behavior, which once was the only answer, eventually became the problem?

Darlene Ouimet

35 response to "Dissociative Identity ~ The Solution became the Problem"

  1. By: Ladybug Posted: 17th May

    OMG! Amazing. I want the book. I want your therapist.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 18th May

      Thanks! You don’t need my former therapist. I get faster results than he does! I am going to do a work book to go along with the book and I am thinking about doing some group coaching.
      Hugs, Darlene

  2. By: Michelle Posted: 29th September

    I’m beginning to learn how to stay present with myself in the midst of emotional pain. It’s hard work, even acknowledging that it’s okay to hurt is hard work. But I’ve invited some friends into my mess, letting them know how badly I want to escape and dissociate, and their love and prayers are helping me to refuse to give myself permission to escape or cope in the old ways.

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Much of what you share speaks to me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 29th September

      Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for sharing a part of your journey. It is so wonderful if we have good friends who can support in this way, like these freinds that you have.
      Thanks for your comment,
      Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: carol Posted: 28th September

    yepdarlene, it was one of those random thoughts id spoken out aloud in one of the closing sessions of therapy, which i finished about 4 weeks ago. the focus of this set of sessions were to try n connect head n heart and though i have succeded in gaining alot of awareness of why i do things and why things were done to me i still havent faced what actually did happen. the reality of daily life as a child wasnt good for me and my brother who is 11mths younger and got worse when my youngest brother arrived 5 yrs later. never been mentally strong enough to face those demons, have researched generational family abuse at quite some depth, and want to use my personal experiences and academic resourcese to help professionals actually get what victims need to become a survivor because no matter how empathic they are unless they have suffered similar types of trauma and overcame it the textbooks wont teach them enough to really understand the level of daMAGE AND HOW DEEP ROOTED IT BECOMES THE LONGER IT IS LEFT IN PLACE. oops sorry about caps. but actually that did need to be in caps even if i did it by mistake.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th September

      Hi Carol,
      I have a passion for that kind of work too, in fact I am being interviewed by a therapist this coming weekend. We are going to be talking about what worked and what didn’t work for me in therapy, and a few other things. Here is the link for anyone who is interested in listening to the interview. The therapist ~ John Wilson will be interviewing me from Scotland!

      The live event is free so please reserve your spot by getting a ticket from this link!
      hugs, Darlene

  4. By: carol Posted: 27th September

    wow some of these comments rang deep in my mind,
    one memory jumped out.
    when i was about 12 thro 15 yrs old i had 5 male friends, each person helped me deal with certain aspects of what i was going through in a way that was fairly safe and i could learn how to do or not do things. i only resurfaced this coping method bout 5 months ago and it didnt really make all that much sense. oh but it does after reading these replies. it scarey how much i would off still been carrying if i hadnt had these guys in my life at that time, even if they and i never really knew what the impact actually was. i used to punch the biggest of the group, had cuddles and affection of another, teasing and brotherly stuff yet from a more normal stance, 1 i teased horribly and the last was my kissing partner if we wernet in a relationship with anyone. was very strange looking back. but i survived home because of those relationships

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th September

      This is great! I think it is really great when we identify things like this, people and situations that got us through the nightmare and helped us survive. I had a friend and I hung out at her family and stayed at her house every weekend from age 15 through 17. I think that saved me. I was safe there, it was “normal” there and they just accepted me. There were a few good people and good memories too. Thanks for reminding me of things like this today Carol!
      Hugs, Darlene

  5. By: Angela Contreras Posted: 27th September

    Thank you Darlene,
    I have done a lot of work on the innerchild. Been to therapists through the years. Also lots of work with 12 step programs. I work with others who have been abused not as a job but we help each other.
    The most healing I have recieved is from other people who have been abused. Thanks for doing what you do. You touch so many people.

  6. By: Cyndi Posted: 27th September

    Darlene, you are way ahead of me here. I honestly don’t know if I dissociate or not. However, I suspect that I do since large chunks of memories are missing from my childhood and I do vividly remember other instances where I absolutely did dissociate as a child.

    I finally noticed a knot in my stomach several years ago that almost always preceded a crying jag. It took quite a bit of time to remember that knot was always there in my childhood home and that feeling in my stomach made me cry. Eventually I learned to recognize the knot pretty quickly and started to identify why it was there at that moment, what was I thinking about or experiencing that was causing the knot? I slowly have learned ways of then talking myself down from whatever emotions are causing the knot. This has greatly reduced my anxiety but I feel as if I’m still taking baby steps in this area. I am more aware of my thoughts, emotions and body than I was but still quite out of touch many times.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th September

      Hi Cyndi,
      This is great information you have shared here. I had a similar thing, and I called it “a feeling that something bad was going to happen” and it felt like a knot too. Today I also have to ask myself questions about what those feelings were. I read somewhere to even examine what it “looked like” and if it had a color. I like how you describe what you do to alleviate the anxiety. When I stopped dissociating I had to learn better ways (like what you describe here) to deal with those feelings that rise up. They used to trigger me to “leave”. Now they trigger me to do other things such as eat…

      I don’t know if I am “way ahead of you..” LOL or just at a different spot on the journey! I go down into deeper levels of awareness about myself all the time. I see it as a wonderful thing today, and I try not to “dread it’ LOL. One of the reasons that this post make it onto the blog is because I realized that I was grabbing certain foods (even carrot sticks) as a way to dissociate ~ there are so many ways. It isn’t just about the missing memories it is about the whole escape thing, and the whole coping method thing. What you describe in your comment is a great “conquering” method. It is a thriving method, not just a surviving method! Love it,
      Thanks so much for being here!
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Angela Contreras Posted: 26th September

    I don’t know if I have alters. I do know when I was a child I had an imaginary sister I was an only child and wanted a sister so I made up that I have two imaginary sisters I called them Missy and Amy. I remember knowing they were really not their but I still talked to them not out loud it was in my head I would be thinking and talking to them. I remember Amy was the bad sister and Missy was the good sister. I used to play games and get mad at Amy and give more love to Missy. As I grew up I still used them when I was feeling afraid and in fear. As I got to be an adult I have found out that Missy and Amy were me in the aspect of the positive side of me which I call God and the negative fearful part of me who I call me. So I have come to see that I Angela is like the Positive God and I Angie is the negative child that lives inside of me who is that little girl who was abused and full of fear and rageful. All I know is that now I am able to love that child inside of me. I am both full of love and fear I choose to day to go with Love and I am always changing my negative thoughts to positive because it makes me feel better and act more positive. I talk to myself pep talks I guess you can call them. I use affirmations that helps me I am a beautiful child of God and I am whole and healthy and complete I say that over and over and it helps me feel better and when I feel better I act better. Thanks for this topic we are talking about it really is something to think about. Have a good day.

  8. By: Elizabeth Posted: 26th September

    I don’t really think I have alters. I have no idea. Are they common? What kind of abuse causes one to have alters? All kinds of abuse? prolonged abuse? How does one find out if they have alters? What kind of therapy do you need if you have alters? What kind of support system would you need? Going thru what I am going thru emotionally now is very confusing. I feel I have lost my entire family except that when they were around they were dismissive and condescending. But they were my family. I don’t really have a game plan with my therapy, or know what is going on with me, or how to know if feeling anxious, paralized sometimes, mood swings etc is ‘normal’ for what I went thru. What kind of therapist does one look for except to look for someone who knows about trauma. I have a strong sense I really need to get a very intuitive, sharp therapist. I don’t think I can handle any more of the ones who either just sit there and listen, or the one like I have now who doesn’t want me to express any emotion, when half the time I am having strong anxiety. Sheesh.I love the comments. I love this blog.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 27th September

      Hi Elizabeth,
      There are a lot of opinions about some of the questions you are asking about having alters. I had them but the therapy that I had worked equally well for people who never had any kind of problematic dissociation at all. In my view the issue isn’t the way that the symptoms present themselves. The diagnosis isn’t the biggest issue in regards to healing. I didn’t have a strange type of highly specialized therapist, just a really good one. Looking for a trauma therapist is a great place to begin. Remember that you are hiring the therapist to to a job for you, so you can interview them. You can decide if the fit is good for you, or not. This is your life, your journey and your recovery! You get to decide.
      I love having you on this blog! I appreciate all that you contribute!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Angela,
      I give myself pep talks too. I think it is a wonderful way to turn the day around sometimes. I had imaginary friends too, and so did my brother and I pretended to see his also. =)
      I also did a lot of work around learning to love the “child” inside of me, who was the very hurt “me” as a child. I had this vision in my mind of this dirty sullen child who lived alone in an attic and never spoke and had no one to take care of her and I didn’t know who she was or why I dreamed about her so often, and one day I realized she was me, the way that I viewed myself as a child. That was my “self image”. It was really something for me to begin to embrace myself ~ re-parent that child in order to change that self image.
      Thanks for your comments.
      Hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Splinteredones Posted: 26th September

    It’s all about the neuroplasticity to me, why I’m able to picture it so literally in my mind 😉

  10. By: Splinteredones Posted: 26th September

    Listening to the voices was a big key for me as well. I can now see quite visually when I am beginning to go down my old neural pathways. It literally looks like this well-grooved path thru the forest. Where I in part grew up people got lost in the woods and died with some frequency. So it’s a very literal cause for panic. Learning that I could go down new paths, safer ones that may be new but that are better for Me and won’t get me lost is a very powerful turnaround. I was tough to put this kind of vividness in there but it has been well worth The effort. I had to trust my process enough, my healing, to understand that even if I don’tknow what the new neural pathways are unfamiliar, I can control them to be positive. As I continue to get better this process goes more quickly.


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th September

      Hi Splinty!
      So great to hear from you! I love this discription of what it was like and you are so right ~ those well traveled paths were ppl. got lost and died ARE very literal cause for panic. They was you discribe this is exaclty how I think about re-wireing the brain… BUT I like your “making new paths” discriptions better. This is excellent!
      Thank you so much for this contribution ~ I know I am going to refer to it in the future as a great way to look at our recovery. Building new pathways, ah yes!
      Hugs, Darlene

  11. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th September

    Hi UnEk DiMoN
    As I went along in my journey, seeking to discover these truths, many more things became clear to me. Keep striving to go forward and you will find your answeres too.
    hugs, Darlene

  12. By: UnEk_DiMoN Posted: 26th September

    This is amazing – makes me wonder if it’s reason for more voices within ourselves as to why body isn’t healing so well but I don’t know maybe we’re just totally over protective…

  13. By: Angela Contreras Posted: 26th September

    I really am getting a lot out of reading this post and all of the comments on it. I have found myself going into another place at times to keep myself safe. I had a wall up most of my life. I was abused off and on from before I could talk. It was a love hate relationship I had with the abuser. I loved him and hated him it also was like an addiction I felt like. It was a hell on earth. I did not get any healing or into recovery for the abuse until I was 30 years old. So it has been the last 15 years now of healing and learning who I really am. I do a lot of writing it helps me heal. I am so thankful to have found this website. thanks for being here.

  14. By: Roberta Posted: 25th September


    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 26th September

      Hi Susan
      I can really relate to your comments and I like the way that you put it here. I don’t think I chose (consciously) to become the adult me, but that is what happened. I was so afraid of having alter personalities, and of not having those other personalities both because I was really confused about what their function actually was.
      This was such a huge sorting out process ~ but my end result was similar to yours ~ I became one whole person (no longer fragmented/broken) living in freedom from the turmoil and confusion/ oppression etc. of the past.
      Thank you so much Susan, this is such a great contribution to this post!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Hi Kim!
      That is one of the things that I found out working in mental health; that dissociation isn’t always dissociative identity as in the multiple personality kind of DID. I don’t have alters anymore, but I have dissociated and checked out of myself (emotionally left myself) since I integrated. Staying present with myself is something I work on still.

      I like what your acupuncturist said ” In order for you to be the most effective, you need to make sure you stay grounded and in your body.” Those are words to live by for me too. In order for me to be the most effective IN MY OWN LIFE and in the lives of others, staying present is really key.

      Thanks for your comments Kim!
      Hugs, Darlene

      Roberta ~ welcome ~ I hope that “wow” is a good wow. =) LOL

      Hi Angela,
      Welcome and thanks for your comments, I am glad that you are finding the post and comments helpful!
      I am glad that you have found us to and glad that you are here.
      Hugs Darlene

  15. By: Kim Vazquez Posted: 25th September

    Hi Darlene,
    Thank you once again for an amazing post. Sometimes you just blow my socks off.

    And again, I find that I relate. When I elected to enter Rehab to break the cycle of my dependency on Vicodin, I had an experience that really taught me about myself. Obviously, it wasn’t easy for a person with my level of anxiety to stay in a strange place so the moment I arrived I left my body. As I stood in the doorway of the room I was supposed to sleep in my view changed. It became a view from above. I was looking at myself. Then I heard a voice say “If you want to get something out of this, you better get back in your body.” Whoa. This was quite the eye-opener. It was the first time I allowed myself to consider that all those missing memories in my life…could those have been times when I checked out of myself?

    I practice the present moment a lot now and that helps me to stay grounded, but I do have a funny recent story. I went to an acupuncturist who also does energy work. When the session was over she said to me, “I know you prefer the Angels and the celestial world but right now you live here on Earth and in your body. In order for you to be the most effective, you need to make sure you stay grounded and in your body.” That gave me a chuckle. It sounds so funny. But she was right. Because of the work I do there’s always that temptation to stay in a floaty, etheric kind of place. She made a good point and I took it to heart.

    Thank you again, Darlene. Peace & Love~

  16. By: Susan Posted: 25th September

    Boy, I love the discussions that go on here at EFB! It is so validating and helpful that we can all share our own journeys and how we coped with the healing process! And I wanted to add that in my post I’d mentioned that I had done some research into “internal family systems”. What I discovered and came to understand was that I had fragmented into that feeling of fragmentation to protect the “original” me and other “parts” that served a variety of purposes in dealing with my everyday life.

    As I began to understand this model of dissociation I began to understand that “parts” existed to protect the littlest of “me”. With that understanding I chose to become the “adult” me that could take care of my entire self and could let go of the fragmented me’s that existed in my psyche because I was not able to protect myself in the past. I also discovered that for me personally – when the psychiatrist or therapists encouraged me to focus on alter personalities I felt more fragmented and confused than when I focused on becoming a a strong self leader.

    When I became my own self leader….and began to face my past pain and “integrate” those memories, the anger, the grief….I began to realize that “integration” was in the simplest terms, being able to integrate my past into my present – and stay present as the strong, in charge adult that I am and have become.

    Thanks for another great post Darlene and for creating this community where it is safe to disclose and share our journey’s as we support and learn from one another!

  17. By: Carla Logan Posted: 25th September

    I’d like to clarify a thing or two on my post above. I should have said that we worked at bypassing engaging my alters in therapy, not ridding me of them. We tried to bypass engaging each alter as individual, and focusing on how I was processing my thoughts and fears. And this was just a disaster for me, as my memories were totally tied up in those alters and I couldn’t get to them or the emotions tied to them in order to know where my fears originated. So we had to work it another way. It has been a more difficult and time consumming way, but the only way that was going to work for me. AND WE HAVE TRIED!!! haha

    Whew, it’s been a heck of a journey so far! But the proof of success is always in how well the process is helping us, and what we have come up with is working wonders in me! Healing IS taking place, in each part of me, little by little, and I know that I know that I know – I will find my way to total healing and freedom in this. I know it. No turning back. And I AM SO GRATEFUL for this, you have no idea. 🙂

  18. By: Karen Rabbitt Posted: 25th September


    “The solution becomes the problem.” Yes. That’s always true…how we learn to survive in traumatic childhoods gets us through, but then must be unlearned and replaced with healthy coping skills. Easy to describe, hard to do.

    Your writing is clear and compelling. May your tribe increase.

    Karen Rabbitt, MSW

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th September

      Hi Karen!
      Thanks for the affirmation and encouragement! That is exactly how it works; I had to unlearn my unhealthy coping skills, and learn new healthy ones. I had to re-wire my belief system, I had to dig deep and face the magnitude of it all, and FREEDOM was on the other side of broken! Whooo hoooo… Victory!

      p.s. I love it when members of the professional community stop by!
      Hugs, Darlene

  19. By: Carla Logan Posted: 25th September

    Darlene –

    I have always, from the time we first met, been inspired by you and have felt such a close affinity for your recovery and mission. I love the way you give us such a good picture of how you worked through each issue, each stumbling block, turning them into building blocks instead!

    As you know, my own journey through this DID world had been somewhat different than yours. We have had soooo many similarities, and yet some very distinct differences as well. I was unable to access my memories without engaging my alters. It just wasn’t working. I couldn’t get to the core fears until I allowed my alters their space to reveal them. The first time we tried to rid me of the alters (inadvertently) turned into a near disaster, creating all kinds of internal confusion and turmoil. I didn’t know what the heck was happening, only that the crap had just hit the fan!

    So, my journey has been a little different. I wasn’t able to calm the chatter in my head until my alters felt safe in therapy and knew that each one was going to have its chance to be heard and dealt with. I don’t know how to explain this really, because even though I am living through it, it is still a great mystery to me. I don’t know that anyone out there in psychology land really has a handle on it, as much as they may think they do! We are all unique, these thing formed when we were children, there were no instruction manual to tell us what we were doing! It just happened as a natural defense, and happened as uniquely to each of us as we are unique, and so the process will look just as unique each and every time.

    But I do want to encourage everyone who has endured trauma in their lives to not give up hope in finding your way through this! It is a journey, it is not easy, it is not quick, it is not without pain or effort. But it is so worth it, and I can feel the healing each and every day. Don’t ever give up, don’t ever give up! You may get tired, but hang in there! We can see so many people here and in these really great survivor groups who have made such great progress and are living in freedom for the first time in their lives. And this can happen for each of us.

    Blessing to all you who suffer and who survive and who thrive!

  20. By: carol Posted: 25th September

    thank you, darlene.
    i thank all the people who speak out so that those of us coming up the road behind you find it less rocky.
    i have always been able to shut myself of from the world, i have a few real blank spots that have haunted me for years. mainly because my brain buried them, then resurfaced them and found the memory still to bad so reburied them. these are the issuses i know i still have to face, and because i have an awareness of where these memories will take me i have avoided them for years. being able to unpick the lies abit futher before actually poking those sore spot has given me a new thought pattern to understand and use the new therapy for. thank you for helping me gain the insights i needed in the mother daughter area and must admit though i miss her, i dont miss the stress she brings into my life. i have had more than enough of neing treated as subhuman because i didnt want to forget what had happened, that i needed to tailspin out of control so that when i slowed down i would have more control over my life. thanks to the suppport i was given these last few months, i am moving forward and will not stand for my opinions being dimissed just because the persin listening does not like what i am saying. i have learnt to have the conviction in my views and experiences validated by the members of this blog and other safe sites, that those in my real life will have to stand on my boundary because i know how to defend it without anger anymore. will shock quiet a few people.

  21. By: Patty Hite Posted: 25th September

    I knew I dissociated as a child, but I had no idea that it continued thru my adult life. Actually, it has only been a few years that I realized I was doing it. My kids talking about their childhood and I had no idea what they were talking about. Driving and arriving at places and not knowing how I got there. I always called it my hiding place. It’s funny that I knew I had a hiding place that I went to when times were hard or I was afraid, but what I didn’t know was that I did it consistently for no apparent reason. I popped in and out all the time. I would catch myself doing it and was able to pull myself back into reality, but the drifting part was a natural place for me to go to.

    It was me. An everyday thing and something I was very comfortable doing. It was only after I realized this wasn’t a normal thing that I started to plug into the whys and whats of it. I know it was stemmed from fear and I know it was from abuse. Any kind of stress would take me there, even the stress of driving to a new location or looking for canned goods in an unfamiliar store.

    I am better now and I am able to recognize it right away when I start to detach and I force myself to take the time to find out why. Now that I am on top of it, what I am trying to find out is who was the person that took over for me. She spent the better part of raising my kids, so I am trying to find those missing pieces of the time my body was there, but I wasn’t.

    You are so awesome and I so appreciate the things you share with us.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th September

      Hi Patty,
      I totally hear you on this one too! Keep in mind when I talk about dissociative identity, in my case it wasn’t always an alter that took over, sometimes it was just zoning out… fogging out like being in the zone the same as some people get playing the guitar or piano except in my case the zoning out wasn’t a good thing. There were lots of times that alter personalities took over too, I just don’t write about that very often. ( I will put a bit more context into this when I answer Carla’s comment above)

      When I began to be aware of detaching, I realized the same things that you realized. Any stress or perceived stress could do it, including excitement or a achievement; a victory or something to celebrate would do it.. and I noticed wanting to reach for food or some other escape. Airports seemed to be a huge trigger and I am still to this day VERY aware of everything when I am in an airport.
      Thanks for the wonderful things you always say to me.. you make me feel so great and your endorsement of my work is really lovely! ( and I love it)
      I love your contributions here too Patty!
      Love Darlene

      Hi Carla!
      It isn’t that I didn’t engage my alters exactly, I think I knew more about them and some of the memories they carried for me, before I began with my last therapist though and that made a difference for me. I was diagnosed with DID/MPD when I was in my mid twenties, although at that time I chose to ignore it. Although I know now that all of my alters were me and I created them in order to deal first with trauma and then with life, I was very afraid to get to know them or about the purpose they served, believing they were separate from me, believing that a few of them were dangerous and not really part of me ~ so I ran from the whole idea of it. (and I just got more confused!)

      I don’t write often about that part of my DID because I want to handle the information so carefully, but I will eventually tell this part of my story here in the blog. My therapist didn’t focus on my alters as much as the trauma itself, and the memories they had and only 4 of 11 of the alter personalities were key in my therapy process. That in itself is unusual in recovery from DID from what I have heard. My integration was not formal, it just happened during my process. But as you say, we are all unique and our journeys are also unique ~ which makes sharing this stuff SO important.
      I am blessed to have you in my life my friend! Thank you so much for this contribution to the blog! Your recovery process is very powerful!
      Love Darlene

  22. By: Elizabeth Posted: 25th September

    Whoa…once again, a super powerful post. Each time I read it I get more out of it! Thanks so much for your honesty and you way with words. I think I am ‘getting’ all this now.

  23. By: carol Posted: 25th September

    this is me at the moment, like yourself darlene, i have tried to be more aware and if something random pops into muy head i dont just dismiss it and have started to expand from that thought n see where it led me. i havent really dealt with my real fears, those that have been there the longest, but with the insight your blogs have given me in the short time i have been readin them has helped me grow and see more reasons for my reactions and some ideas of how to cope a bit better, but goin and asking the doctor for the referal was the step i had been addvoiding for years. i now am on the waitin list with some solo assessments whilst im waiting.
    thank you. without being able to read about how others saw the light and came forward i was stagnating.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th September

      Thanks so much for this update! I am really excited for you as you go forward on this next part of your journey! I started this blog for this very reason; I saw how little community there was for this kind of thing, and how powerful that community could be. Even before I was finished my own therapy I knew that I wanted to share this message with whoever needed to hear it. When I get comments like yours, I know that I made the right decision, that my writing is really useful and that it can inspire hope for healing!
      So glad that we met on this journey Carol!
      Hugs, Darlene

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.