There are a lot of support forums out there relating to Dissociation, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and other terms used for those experiencing and living with what was formerly known as (and many would know as) “multiple personalities.” I came to these forums looking for solidarity. I don’t want to feel so “unique.” It baffles me why in these forums you have people faking and role playing, getting a kick out of this and trying to feel special. In many these forums, they let people in who have not be formally diagnosed. Many people come in saying they “feel like” this makes the most sense, but they have limited knowledge of psychology and physiology, as well as unknowledgeable of how the brain works, or how we develop to even make such a claim. So it seems more like the problem common with self diagnosis – you can read any general material on many issues and find you can some how fall into that category. These people who don’t fully understand the details can make mistakes in their health choices. Some mistakes can be harmful….Sometimes harmful to a whole group of people, not just yourself.
You can look, an average person with no diagnosed issues, on many symptoms and find at least a few you can relate to some time. Then, you start freaking out in some hypochondriac illusion. This is why you need to go to an informed professional. What’s worse than these people trying to diagnose themselves, they also want to have a “say” in what is “right or wrong” in the explanation of the symptoms and reality of what is D.I.D. This is where we have trouble. If we can’t stick to the facts for what the science and medical fields know of for DID then we can’t get help for issues from these fields for our DID.
I feel only people actually diagnosed should be talking to other people actually diagnosed. These are the people who are trying the same things you are and can give you encouragement and solidarity. These people have gotten support behind them of a knowledgeable educated professional, through scrutiny, just like you. It’s not easy to get a diagnosis so if they get it then trust they know how you feel and are not faking it. I know, there can be some undiagnosed, but for the safety of your healing you have to limit inclusion. You have to watch out for those that can lead you down a dark path away from healing. Like those who are trying to convince the world that this should not be diagnosed as a disabling problem, that it should never be an excuse or dismissal of a crime (basically you deserve jail instead of mental health help if you dissociated and commit a crime) or adamant that it’s not any kind of unnaturally occurring thing at all. That being “multiple” is just a normal human development as being a “singlet.” Denial hurts us all if it spans out in destructive disinformation.
Here’s a problem, there are many things that can be mistaken for DID. This is a problem because you cannot get the best help for yourself. It is highly recommended and beneficial to seek a professional diagnosis. If you truly believe you have DID but can’t seem to find a doctor to agree, you don’t give up. There are those that do but it’s to their demise. Even if you have to travel, you can find a specialist so don’t stop seeking help.
Your mental health stability controls your whole living stability, so you must bite the bullet and put your needs before wants. I paid out of pocket for the specialist who was informed enough to finally give me a diagnosis. This shows my determination to get better. We don’t saunter around in chats or forums describing extremely dramatic situations and catastrophes online on a daily basis, in desperate need of support. We don’t go looking for confirmation of our DID by asking opinions of others who allegedly have DID. So, this is another problem. Fakers have time to fill up forums with all this nonsense so that this is mostly what people find when seeking information. So, this leads to misinformation. I’m sorry but as I said, mental health is important and I was willing to pay out of pocket for what my insurance didn’t cover even. It cannot make sense that people would spend all this time in forums looking for approval or help from people who need help themselves, that should be spent reading up on dissociation or with a professional or practicing skills you should learn that help you control this.
I am officially diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder. So if I am not fake, then why am I here rambling on about it online where everyone can see? Why suddenly stop trying to keep it secret, like it’s said true DID people would want to? Well, I spent a lot of time trying to not believe this. Now I’m trying to accept it, accept myself. It will be easier if other people can accept it too. It’s difficult when the only people speaking out about it are the lying fakers and trying to make money off of shock value. I’m not taken seriously because these fakers make it seem like a joke. It seems like child’s play and role play so it’s seen as make believe and like we can just “stop acting.” So where do we start to combat the voices of fakers? WE START WITH OUR VOICE. Then, we find the voices of others like us, officially diagnosed and wanting to stick to the facts accepted on D.I.D. or at least doing their part to help studies for new and better understandings of it.
I used to spend a lot of time trying to hide what we are. Most of us know to respond to the name Jessica, though most of the time we just had to respond to the nickname “Sissy.” I had some strange behavior but it seemed like my parents didn’t really see it as negative. Or it happened a lot in private and in play time. Until it affected me in highschool, making me have an episode of extreme agoraphobia. I begged for therapy at 15 because I didn’t want to feel this way. I was a little scared of what the different “me’s” inside my mind were but I didn’t want to tell my dad about it. I was afraid of people being afraid of me. I was afraid I’d sound psychotic. I didn’t want to be what I was, losing time and feeling triggers constantly and the pain I was suffering from it, the friends I was losing because of the changes in me. The struggles I had, just to get to work (after I had to sign out of school for not showing up any more) and handle everyday life.
Now, though, I want people to understand my confusing and contradictory actions. I want to connect us all inside and being accepted by society will help this along. Part of me struggles with this idea. Part of me wants to believe that we can just go on living this way and keep us all just as we are. We love each part of us, except still working on accepting a few negative qualities. We’re used to this life, and parts feel there is nothing wrong with feeling this way. I, however, don’t see that as an efficient way to live. Especially when we all are perfectly capable of being one.
The first step to becoming one is accepting all parts of me. Also, letting those parts express themselves. Once those parts express themselves, and no one reacts with shock but with love or indifference, then it seems unnecessary to separate ourselves when we know all parts are capable of being accepted – inside and out. So, now I do something very out of character. I used to be very cryptic and careful who I told about my disorder, but now…I tell everyone. Strangers, co workers, customers if mental health comes up in conversation. All my family now, when it was originally only a few. No need to hide, means no need to feel something should be separate.
Why would I do that? Am I just another faker who is trying to make a dramatic scene for attention? Or a manipulator trying to use it to get away with what they want? Oh, no, my friend. I wish it weren’t true, that the majority of me is rather boring. Even though time and again people tell me it is “interesting” that I have these alter states of consciousness. Okay, they are not absolutely boring, because they are me and I’m an interesting person, so they can seem cool. But it’s not because they are alters. Parts of me can be just as cool as any other person you can meet. Parts of me can also be as annoying or disliked as any person you can meet too! It has nothing to do with having DID. Everyone is a different person in different situations, I always repeat. We aren’t that different except in our ability to connect.
I tell you I have some extreme sides, but they only are seen in equally extreme circumstances. In general though, it seems suspicious when all of someone’s alters are some fantastic extreme with an amazing back story. Most of us who truly have DID, I’ve come to find, are simply using this to live our lives, after surviving something traumatic. Also, I don’t really have access and control over those parts and people sometimes want to try to “bring them out” of me. They don’t do parlor tricks. They are not a circus act. I have serious suspicion, and think you should too, to one who seems to be able to “change at will” or on a whim.
I hope you have followed a long. When you have these alter states of consciousness you are both aware and not aware of what it is. It also exists to help you live your life as normal as possible as much as it can cause some drama in it. Coming to find out that many alters can affect you internally and never be the fronting voice, it explains a lot about me and these strange sensations I have experienced. These sensations I now understand to be characteristics of dissociation. When alters only affect you internally, it can appear as a switch but may just be you feeling emotions from others and it affects you. Don’t assume your intrusive thoughts are signs of internal alters and DID, though! Remember, still you need an experienced professional to be sure this is not something else, like a schizophrenic delusion for example. I truly fear that people who likely have another diagnosis, who try to make DID fit for them in their cookie cutter reality, hurt themselves and us who actually have DID. We need consistency and those of us with DID diagnosed should be suspicious of someone trying to “interrogate” or “interview” you almost, with what your DID is like. This is how the troll gets the script for their role. They see and copy true life accounts. I can’t stop them from reading along with my blog (hell,maybe I prefer they do, as maybe I can talk sense into them about the negative affects to both of us). I can though not let myself “offer advice” or explanations on if they sound “dissociative” enough.
I thought maybe I was delusional. Schizo-something or psychotic or delusional. I think this is the first thought of those of us who actually have DID. It is my belief, from my experience and others I’ve met diagnosed too, that it takes a while to come to terms with it. Takes a while to get courage and seek out information and help for it. I don’t think we are usually trying to push for it’s acceptance and be known by EVERYBODY. I feel we only care about the opinion of our doctors and only push them so hard to accept it so we can finally get the right help. Those with DID want help with organizing their fractal lives.
Like I said, I thought I was “schizo-something” right? I found out differently when I was hospitalized for the first time. With my discharge papers, I left with many prescriptions to control my supposed symptoms and information about my diagnosis. On the list was a new word I’d never heard: Dissociative Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified. What was this? I only read a small amount but as I began studying more into my post traumatic stress disorder, I found my way back to dissociation. I found my way to Complex PTSD and dissociative identity disorder. I was a part that knew I really had this, while other parts struggled to accept it and thought they were just crazy. Mostly because abusive people had drilled that thought into us. Yet, I was not delusional. I could tell the thoughts I had didn’t match with my reality. I wasn’t psychotic, I was stuck in trauma time. So, I wasn’t pretending, I was forgetting. Each part that presented, had me with a different set of experiences and memories, so I reacted as if those were the only true reality. That’s what it means, to dissociate your identity. You cannot handle it all at once. So, this separation occurs so you can survive. Until one day you hopefully can be strong enough to face trauma of your past.
I had known about stories of “multiple personalities” from movies and such. I used to say in my head as a teenager, that’s what I was, but then I would say I wasn’t. Hard to explain. I wanted to be normal but it was me pretending I was “just pretending” I have Multiple Personality disorder to deal with the fact that I had alters for real. Now at age 34, I am recovering memories and becoming more co-conscious. I now can see, feel, remember incidents of dissociation in my life, from childhood to yesterday. I at times have felt like I was several different people at once since getting better with co-consciousness. I started seeing obvious signs they existed more than ever, so I had to sort of mourn the loss of a fantasy that maybe I could be “just pretending.”
This is how it feels, living with DID. Not all fun and games. It’s all stress, confusion and headaches. Just trying to get a grip on yourself, and then somehow at times it all falls into place and works out okay in the end. Just like any normal person’s life really. I just cannot stand these people in forums talking all about EVERY alter as if it’s so extreme all the time. With self harm and baby talking as “little’s” and how one is untrustworthy and another promiscuous. Not like these are not ever parts of it, but this is like these are the ONLY parts of it and as if what DID is about is just shocking things. A lot of emo “woe is me, look at me” of people feeding off of attention. I know I am not the authority on all experiences, and there can be some who maybe are this bad but I feel how can I take them seriously with so many extreme fakers? It’s so unfair how fakers cause confusion like this with their shock value to the extreme.
Oh, speaking of extreme, I accept animal and fictional alters but on the pretense that a human child’s fantasy is frozen in your mind, and is playing out to an extreme to escape a harsh reality. I just cannot get those who want to say that all alters are individuals and this would include things non human that you cannot possibly be in any physical scientific sense of the word. To me this is a delusion and though I won’t try to convince that alter themselves of it, I will not allow other parts to encourage the action of letting my cat be a cat and that everyone should accept that cat as a “real” cat in my everyday life in public. That’s too far. That doesn’t help anyone to focus on letting each part live separately, because you need to function on one path as one body.
Let me say: You may not achieve that and THAT’S OKAY. You are not a terrible being because you don’t integrate. I’m just saying, I feel it’s not beneficial to not TRY to, because each identity cannot be present at all times unless you connect them all together. If all of you are not present all the time, then parts of you are only living part of their life. If all of you ARE ALL PRESENT ALL THE TIME, then you have no need for separate identities, and naturally co-consciousness I feel should roll over into integration.
I see the reality of sometimes some of them being hard to distinguish individually during a switch, because I live with people being upset at me for doing things I don’t remember or not remembering things I was supposed to do. Other people don’t seem to know this is possible. I want the world to know there are parts just as boring and normal as anybody else whose brain is a single consciousness. I want the world to also know, that although parts are boring people, they are quite interesting when put into the extreme cases they get put in, just like any other normal person can be.
My stories are not all drama and excitement, or just so fun and cool. Many of my stories are sad, violent, disgusting, and fearful. If they are not just mundane. Although, I have some that can be quite funny, though much is a borderline dark humor. So maybe it is entertaining on some level. My stories are not really aggressive and dangerous to anyone else but me. So there is not exciting fear to give shock value.
This is DID. Just a boring person, changing to another boring identity, just trying to live a boring life, until an extraordinary event brings out the best and worst of your capabilities, that you possess in whole. I’m here to expose the fakers with the reality of my sad story and how difficult this is for me to put all this stuff out there. Even the embarrassing and vulgar. I mean, without examples, how will anyone understand? I’m willing to suffer this becaues, well, I have been suffering in silence all these years. My only consolation is that this will start a revolution and help others in the future.