THE STRANGERS

The alienation is strong and has shaped my life with DID. DID is not something I have wanted to know about really. Not as a child when the need to divide and forget was enormous, or as a young adult when I realized I was doing things I couldn't remember, that I wasn't holding it together. It's never easy to lose your footing. But over time, it has become easier to live with DID. Instead of amnesia, I get a dream-like feeling when someone else has taken pver the steering weel. Instead of being controlled by one of my parts, I am now the leader who both takes care of us and makes the important decisions.

HEAL

I started to heal more than twenty years ago when my childhood memories suddenly came back. That's when I started to be able to stand on my own side. But I was internallysplit in a frightening and incomprehensible way. First, I had survived abuse. Now I needed to survive what I didn't yet know was called DID. I have been processing and dealing with the DID in different ways since I was diagnosed in 2008. For example, I have made dolls with fervour, which has been a way for me to keep different parts at bay while at the same time allowing me to feel care and interest in them. Now I'm in trauma therapy and doing EMDR and healing like never before, have also integrated one of the parts and hope to integrate fully one day.

DID IS SOMETHING INDIVIDUAL AND CHANGEABLE

DID manifests itself differently for different people. Someone may have only one child and one teenager but several different adults, who are more or less personalities. Not as cohesive personalities as a regular person has, but still different needs, drives and behaviours. Others have many children but only one adult. It all depends on what the need was at the time, what and when you needed to survive something and in what way.

DID is trauma. Personality/identity is formed during childhood. It needs nourishment and security. If it doesn't get it, it still has to survive by dividing and handling reality.

DID is amnesia. At first, that is. As healing takes place, the picture changes. Memory loss is no longer needed. Instead of disappearing, in many cases you can coexist. For me, shifting is something I avoid as much as I can, that is, I avoid situations that can trigger take overs. Shifting comes with a downright haunting sense of lack of control and of alienation. Yes, like falling into nothingness. It's distressing that I can't control my body, my speech, my actions. DID is a difficult condition.

DID are parts not people. It's not a bunch of individuals who have moved into your head. As much as one's DID parts may feel like strangers, they are all different versions of oneself. Some keep an eye on things and make sure things are taken care of properly. Some take care of the little ones. Some protect. Others harbor those strong feelings, those fears. You live with different wills, voices, emotions and needs - completely divided. But you don't live with different people. It can feel that way, but still not completely.

DID is dissociation. And even though it was once called multipel personality disorder it is not a personality disorder. It is dissociation caused by trauma.

DID are different names and ages. Why one gives the parts names I don't know. Maybe to mark the distance. Maybe because it's a friend in a way, well, more like a frenemy. The names come from people who affected you at the time. "Well, you're one of those you, a Lisa or a Donald. Not me - I'm safe. But little Donald has made a mess of things. Best not to hang out with him."

DID is moving, changing. Especially through therapy, one's inner self changes, but also over time. You become a little more ingrained in yourself as the years go by. The need to forget this or that diminishes with time. With processing and maturity, the "Me" grows stronger. You can integrate your parts, which doesn't mean that anyone disappears. Instead, from part they become an aspect, an aspect of one's personality.

DID were strangers but became beloved family members. Yes, from phobic fear - part of the dividing function, keeping the parts separate and isolated from the "self" - to love and care. Even when you don't want to know about them, you realize how important they are and the contribution they have made to your survival.

DID is often low-key and the shifts are often not as dramatic as seen on film. Many people with DID function well in many ways, often having families and jobs - even if they live inside a kind of labyrinth with themselves.

DID is interesting and important, not because we with DID are so special (people are special, not their diagnoses) but because our experiences are important and valuable. It is interesting to think about what soul and personality are and why. That's why I want the knowledge about DID to be spread. Because as it has been and as it still is, those who have been traumatised and abandoned will be traumatised and abandoned again. The diagnosis is now accepted, yet there are doctors who deny that it exists. Why?

DID exist thus does horrible trauma, which some also deny. Trauma is something that changes our brains, this is now proven in research and with DID it is particularly evident as you can lose hearing, vision and become allergic or get aches and pains, depending on how it shifts. That's how deep the divide goes. So great are the distances and with it the inner alienation.

CORE

It's as if you have your inner fire/soul that in a mandala-like pattern affects all the layers that make us personalities and individuals. Interesting I think, if I put all the pain of the DID aside (having the habit down.)