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About Crystalie Matulewicz, Author of ‘Dissociative Living’

Hello everyone. My name is Crystalie Matulewicz, and I’ve been chosen to be one of the writers for the Dissociative Living blog here at HealthyPlace.

I have recently earned my Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and will soon be pursuing my Masters in Mental Health Counseling. My two lifelong dreams have been to become a writer and to become a counselor, and now here I am getting so close to achieving both. My dissociative identity disorder diagnosis isn’t holding me back.

Dealing with Mental Illness

Even with my background in psychology, nothing could have prepared me for a life of dealing with mental illness. With my first official diagnosis of mental illness at age 15, I’ve seen many counselors, been in and out of mental hospitals, and received multiple diagnoses, most of which never seemed to fit the problem.  It took me several years to get doctors to acknowledge and treat my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).  Fourteen years later, I finally have a strong PTSD support system in place and an amazing therapist that I fully trust.

Being Diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder

Crystalie Matulewicz is the new author of "Dissociative Living" at HealthyPlace. Read about her struggles with dissociative identity disorder.Just as I was getting a firm handle on my PTSD diagnosis, I received a diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder (DID). I had a suspicion for quite a while that I had an issue with dissociation. I could not remember huge lapses of time in my life. I would do things and have no recollection of actually doing them.  Sometimes I would end up places and have no idea how I got there. It had been happening for so long that it just became my normal.

I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to be labelled. No one ever wants to be diagnosed with a dissociative disorder. Then, I finally realized that hiding who I was, wasn’t doing me (or my parts) any good. My therapist reminds me regularly that my dissociation was how I survived childhood; it was the only way my mind knew how to cope. While I know she is right, accepting a dissociative identity disorder diagnosis is not easy for me; it’s not an easy for anyone.

I’m Not Defined by Dissociative Identity Disorder

I refuse to let my diagnosis define me. I am a survivor. I survived decades of physical and emotional abuse. I am also a survivor of mother-daughter sexual abuse (Victims of Sexual Abuse: Do They Ever Get Over It?). Those traumas have made me who I am. I’m still here. I’m still standing. I haven’t given up. I don’t want others to give up, either.

I’m here to let my readers know that you can still live a good life despite dissociative identity disorder. I am just in the beginning of my DID journey, so I am still processing my experiences and learning as I go along. I’ve read a lot of books, but words on paper never compare to real-life experience. I want to share my journey with you all. I want to share what I know and what I’ve experienced, the highs and the lows, the good and the bad.

But I also want to learn from you. I want to hear your feedback and your experiences as well. I want this to be a growth experience for us all.

More about Crystalie Matulewicz

Find Crystalie on Google+, FacebookTwitter, her website and her blog.

Author: Crystalie Matulewicz

Crystalie is the founder of PAFPAC, is a published author and the writer of Life Without Hurt. She has a BA in psychology and will soon have an MS in Experimental Psychology, with a focus on trauma. Crystalie manages life with PTSD, DID, major depression, and an eating disorder. You can find Crystalie on Facebook, Google+, and Twitter.

11 thoughts on “About Crystalie Matulewicz, Author of ‘Dissociative Living’”

  1. Hello crystalie I no this is an old article but I decided to go ahead and read ur profile to. Ive had them grow through the years. I have 4 that named themselves and a dark entity that they help keep away,yes it’s evil in all sense of the word. Mine also talk to each other and I just ignore them even though they get loud and I don’t sleep much. But they’re my friends in my eyes. See I also have social anxiety so if an alter comes out sometimes I can leave my house. I just people to see that it can be nice too and not always hell.

  2. Shannon,

    It really struck me how you say “my alters are all me, not separate people, just me at varying ages.” I have been diagnosed for almost a year and it is a struggle at times to admit 1) that I even have DID and then the flip side 2) fighting to the death that my “alters – I hate that term” are real people with real bodies. I have just recently decided that it would be healthy to say out loud that everyone is really just the one me. I am going to quote you in my journal and start saying that to myself and to my therapist.

    I have a question. Do you mean that when you see the memory of the memory that you see it with the faces crossed out with crayons? I ask because my little girl and myself don’t see faces in our memories.

    Thank you for commenting!

  3. I was diagnosed DID about 5 years ago, and I am only now just coming to terms with what it means. My alters are all me, not separate people, just me at varying ages. I was sexually abused by my grandfather, and mentally and physically abused by my mother who is a psychopath, likely due to being sexually abused by her father when she was a child, as well. I have lived a life of extreme neglect and abuse and secrecy, and it’s extremely difficult to get my alters to give up memories they hold. Recently I received a memory that I only had a nebulous idea around, and I feel absolutely gutted. The alter who showed it to me is no older than five. I only have access today to the memory of the memory as she has gone over the faces and the physical damage with black and red crayon scribbles. I walk around my house trying to stay present, trying to remain the adult, the Core, and am seeking out this alter to thank her and reassure her that she is brave and did the right thing by telling me. I am hoping that by responding to your post on this blog site, that she will see that it’s OK to tell and that she will let me help her heal.

  4. Hi just found you’re bolg I have DID also I am looking forward to more of your blogs 🙂 ty 4 your blog & sharing your experiences 😉

  5. hello and thank for your writing.
    i was diagnosed with DID in my mid 20s and i am now 55. i have mostly been running. i am in therapy now and have severe problem accepting my diagnosis. it’s gotten harder as i’ve gotten older, especially as i am contact with family members who either didn’t have similar experiences or don’t remember. i live with my sister whom i love dearly and feel i have to keep my past trauma a secret. it’s very hard. i have severe anxiety and unable to work.
    i look forward to learning more from your blog. thank you for listening

    1. Thank you for writing, Jennifer. I am sorry that you need to hide your past trauma from your loved ones. Keeping secrets can be just as anxiety-provoking as revealing them. I hope you have been able to work through some of that anxiety in your therapy. I will try to include some discussion on disclosure as well as managing anxiety and DID in my future posts.

      I hope you will continue reading, and reach out whenever you need to.

  6. Thank you for your bravery and for sharing your heart and mind with us. You inspire me to be a stronger person and you are a beacon of hope for anyone facing mental illness in its many forms.

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