Love and DID: Sometimes More is Less
Today, I'm pausing my discussion of the contributing factors in the development of Dissociative Identity Disorder to talk about Dissociative Identity Disorder and relationships. Navigating relationships may be the single biggest challenge I encounter living with DID. I see the havoc my disorder wreaks on my most intimate relationships and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I watch my partner in particular struggle with abandonment, loneliness, and the chaotic nature of DID and I know that more personalities doesn't always mean more love.
Sometimes More is Less
I met a woman once who told me that " ... a pound of crazy weighs more than ten pounds of awesome." It hurt to hear and that comment is a big part of why we never became friends. Even so, I see her point. Sometimes all the fabulous I can muster can't compete with the destabilizing effects of DID. Loving me means accepting abandonment, making friends with loneliness, and strapping yourself in for a wild and sometimes nauseating ride. One day you're loved and adored, the next you're treated with cold indifference. Some alters see you as a comrade, but not a romantic partner. To some you're a nuisance; to some a playmate. To others you're a stranger, or even a threat. And it isn't as though you can choose who you interact with or, as in my case, even expect the courtesy of knowing who you're dealing with at any given moment. Intimate relationships are difficult enough without that degree of ambiguity and inconsistency. Love cannot live on sporadic nourishment, no matter how delicious.
Everyone seems to grow thin with me
and their eyes grow black as hunters' eyes
and search my face for sustenance.
All my friends are dying of hunger,
there is some basic dish I cannot offer,
and you my love are almost as lean
as the splendid wolf I must keep always
at my door. -from Memoirs of a Mad Cook, by Gwendolyn MacEwen
Sometimes Less is Enough
My partner has learned to live with hunger. Parts of my system have worked tirelessly to push her away, with many near-successes. She's in a relationship with someone who repeatedly leaves. Once she described it to me saying:
"Imagine you're having a conversation with someone. In the middle of your sentence, they turn to stare out the window and they're gone. You're talking to yourself."
This kind of small abandonment is part of her daily life. The loneliness that results is bound to be all the more frustrating knowing that somewhere in that body is your partner, but you can't get to them. I vacillate between struggle to alleviate that loneliness and feeling resentful of it. I can't make up for all the losses in my intimate relationships without incurring some of my own. So my partner and I try to accept the limits of DID. Fortunately for me, she decided long ago that ten pounds of awesome does in fact weigh more than a pound of crazy.
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Gray, H. (2010, August 23). Love and DID: Sometimes More is Less, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2010/08/love-and-did-sometimes-more-is-less
Author: Holly Gray
We're really too young for all of this. But I try in all ways possible. I'm even considering studying psychology to just understand more about this disorder. Currently we've separated and he's been pushing me away, ignoring my calls and driving himself crazy. I text him almost everyday to show him that I care since he won't answer my calls. He sent me a message just once last week Wednesday wishing me a good day and reminding me to take care of myself. I won't give up on him, i love him and he knows it. I just don't know what do anymore and it's driving me insane pls help!
I met him 5 years ago, knew he had DID but still fell for him. He had a gf at the time so I stepped back and the moment he broke up with his gf I stepped back further causing him to think I abandoned him... Because of that, he got with another girl for 3 years and when he decided he wants to be with me he broke off with her but it was pretty ugly as I thought he clarified everything the moment he got with me but after he went back to another country because of his studies, I found out he had to meet his ex to give her a closure.
The most dramatic part was, we had shared a lovely 2 and a half month together as a couple, only to be separated because of his concussion. He got robbed when he was going to find his ex and because he couldn't contact me, I was frantically worried but honestly, I hated the fact that he was with his ex the whole time.
He told me another alter took over and then we didn't talk for a while and after a few days, his other alter told me that his memories are messed up and he thinks he is still with his ex. I suspect I have BPD so at this point, I could only feel him leaving me.
Thoughts on my mind at that time were pretty obvious which was just how I was not enough for him and he probably loved his ex more than me and what he told me were just lies. Which was why he could leave me so easily 3 years ago and this wouldn't be an exception...
I believed those and it made our relationship even harder... especially when he completely disappeared. His other alter was all over his ex and I had to hear all those from his alter... Being miles away from him, I wish I could have just went over and maybe try to make things right but knowing that I may actually be useless in the end... that I am actually not loved by him killed me... Because of his DID, I too made myself think I have DID or more like I went all the way to isolate myself and created another character that could help me live and take care of myself.
Till today, I still miss him and recently I got to talk to his alter whom said that he is around but he isn't the one that I know... His alter said that the him now is emotionless and that just made me felt guilty because I feel as if I made him this way... If I never appeared , he would never had to suffer like this.. But I really want to work things out with him...
I know I may deserve someone better or he may too but I really just want to be with him, support him and at least I just want to work things out with him during this tough period... I really wish he would come back and patch things up with me..
I told his alter I would wait for him for 2 years but... as time pass, I'm healing.. The want to be with him doesn't change but I'm scared that he'd just run away from me like before and... I'm trying so hard to fight and survive but I don't know what to do... I just want him back... I just want him to be happy, healthy and safe...
Please come back...
i can remember the most random things but i cant for the life of me put a name to a face or remember what someone just said or forget what im saying while im saying it...half of what comes out of my mouth feels like nonesense....i dont know...i guess im at plate 0 and just realizing there's other people in my head and it scares me, makes me wonder if I'm just an alter ...makes me worry about...everything...
Your article is exactly what I've lived through. My now ex bf of 7 months he suffers from DID. I was with him through 2 major changes the first one 5 and half months was with an alter, then the last month and half was with the one born in the body. They were both loving and caring and I grew to love them both deeply. They had said that they were the last two personalities left. I was a judgement free place for them to communicate about the others and their feelings and it seems they appreciated it. But they never told me about this 3rd one. He laims he was caused my some severe head trauma at a very early age and he was not created by the person born in the body and is wired differently. Is that even possible? Well this third personality doesn't do relationships so we instantly we broken up. I tried to get to know him, we have went out and hung out. But he finally told me he doesnt find me sexually attractive. Im really heartbroken he is so cold and distant. I had to go over and give back keys and get my medicines and belongings from his place. Its crazy how one alter can totally turn a persons world upside down. Its really been hard for me wanting the others but their gone now. People have been telling me to leave the whole situation alone. I know he is dealing with way more than me being gone for 5 years but he cares nothing about how it affects me.
What the hell can I say!
and fell in love with him here in Bangkok.. I had never been in love before, I was not looking for
love.. funny how that happens. Luckily I was also learning. Khmer (Cambodian) because he does not speak
anything but that. .. Even though I can write, and we live together, for three years this
relationship has been the most beautiful,and most painful thing I had ever experienced.
It took a year for me to touch him in bed. Two weeks ago we had a big argument because he did not
come home until 6am. As I approached him, he started talking about himself in the third person. His name
is Dara, but he saying "How could you do this to Dara?" .. Not getting it, I told Dara how sorry I was, his reply,
"I am not Dara".. he turned and walked away... He would not tell me his name. I then realized I was talking to a female.
She said, Dara is crying, and she comes when the family or I hurt him. I had hurt him... This was some sort of protector .. now
I get it.. and lately she shows up all the time. She hates me.
That was enough to crack this puzzle.. This three year puzzle. I was always suspecting more people were involved, I even accused
him of having a secret evil twin brother that he never told me about. Thank god for alittle levity in this tortured existance.
its not been all pain.. On Christmas morning, Dara gave me a Rose. I"m easy.. I loved it.. just flower but I loved it..,
but he was standing there he would not leave... I'm holding the rose and well, you see Dara can't talk much about his feelings.
The others seem to have stolen his voice for emotions.. He was smiling and doing a semi grunt.. Baffled, I guess...he wants me to
put the rose in water.!!. I rush to the kitchen with the
Rose, but Dara is following me.. smiling but looking very fustrated.. .Then he looks down at the rose, and so do I, and in the flower is a
ring.. He was asked me to marry him on Christmas day.. I was blown to Juipeter and back.. so beautiful.. But only a few weeks later apocalypse distruction..
,he is gone(again). Well we go alot from each other. alot alot. But within 24 hours we are chatting and exchainging sorrys.. But lately
he says I've been hurting him everyday. He said he does not want to see me hurt. Then for the first time I told him about last week.. I've seen his others.
I've seen his protector. Meakly he mumbled "a girl?".. Bingo.. But no more talking about this. He is so shy and so private, and I feel like I have just ripped
open his skull and exposed every secret, hiding in every nook and crany of his 24 year old life to CNN. .
But he did not deny it. he just said "I hope I'm better soon". That lead me to the web.. and thank god here.
I've bee nreading this blog, and it just fits.. ITs so amazingly helpful. Its the first help I have had.. There is no support for this in South East Asia..
I love him so much, and I know Dara loves me. But the protector hates
me. The protector is a female, she does some of the meanest pathologically cruel things to me I have ever experienced. A couple
months ago I was waiting all day for him to come home.it was his last day in Bangkok.. I was missing him.. weaping a bit to myself.. I saw him do
the same.. but when he got up, .off he went.. again.... he never called...just disappeared. I was so hurt by, just this but then. at 2am he told me he has been
having sex with multiple people... all day.. and he already had his bag and is leaving for his home.. and "Do I miss him?" I just starred
at the words, then next this I see, told me "I am finished".. he broke up with me. I was hanged, drawn and quartered, and then packaged and tossed in the
bin via Chat in less then 60 seconds. We did not speak for 1 month ...
I know Dara is the main personality or do I? Maybe I'm hooked on one of the subornates? ISn't there a list somewhere showing
names and order of importance? I know he was horribly abused in his village as a
child. He comes from one of the poorest countries on the planet, worked in the sex industry and has somehow found
his way to me...An american guy who can support him and his family forever (and yes that is a very important factor in
these relationships).. But he always says he loves me.. And I can finally accept it. Well did love me. Now I don't know. I'm so confused. I'm so in love...Sorry so long.. I'm lonly and this is the first time I can see other people having the same struggle. thankusomuch
Remember that a lot of the alters have trust issues, and it is helpful to think of it as, they see us as a threat because they think we have a hidden dangerous agenda against them. As long as you keep showing them that you are there to care and won’t leave them (much like the previous people in their lives have) then at some point, they may lessen their anger or hatred of you. It can be hard but I’ve managed to be able to speak properly with some of the alters that normally hate a lot of do not like anyone at all. It will take a long time AND a lot of effort. If you really love the person though, you will keep trying. It’s all for THEM. It shouldn’t be just for one alter or two. It should be for all. That’s very important from my experience.
Everyone will have their own path to follow but my experience has taught me that you cannot have a healthy relationship with someone with DID. A way to honour the love you have for them is to wish them well on their own healing journey, then to maintain firm boundaries to keep them from causing continual harm to your life.
As for who he really is.. well that’s the thing. They’re all part of each other. If you only love or can get along with only one alter, then it will become very difficult. They’re a system, and even if they heal from the DID, they will become one and that one won’t be your “snow” for sure.
It’s not a good idea to try and push back an alter and especially a horrible idea to tell an alter to go away and bring back your fiancé. Aside from it’ll anger the alter, it’s extremely rude.
But if let’s say the alter that’s currently out may do something very dangerous to their body or to you, there may be some specific triggers to bring out your fiancé. Find out those things. Use them as last resort though and talk instead with the alter and try to iron out any misunderstandings.
And I suggest trying to not think of the humiliation and focus on the problem because your pride shouldn’t come before your partner.
If you truly love her, keep trying to get to know them all. And if you really love her then your pride or feeling like a moron really shouldn’t be your biggest problem. Your biggest problem should be getting along with the alters and being at their side.
If you know the trauma that your husband went through, that may help you into talking to your husband into trusting you. Tell him that this is also your life and you deserve to know even a little, whatever he’s prepared to share.
One day, we discovered she has had DID almost since birth. Her alter was also in love with me, and easily won me over with her untopable charm. It was as if anything that one of them lacked, the other had in big quantity and viceversa. Everything was perfect again for a few days, then we had some trouble with the host's memory, and everything went back to being fine.
One day the alter decided she was to far down the slide of hell, and fiinally told us that she felt herself die slowly every day. We all cried, and we all wept, and eventually her fate was met. I was devastated, but not only that, with her the alter had taken every memory of herself from the host, and, for some reason or another of my relationship with either of them.
There I was, depressed, alone, and acting as my girlfriend's best friend under the alter's last wish. My eyes bleeded tears and my arms cried blood, yet the act never stopped. A slow hurtful month passed, and then, a miracle: I don't remember exactly what I said, but her eyes were brought back to life.
-Wait!- she exclamed -haven't you said that before already?
I slowly nodded, scared of what might'd happened next.
-Yes, yes, I remember, but at the same time I don't. As if I wasn't even there, just... watching it from far away...
Then, magic came to life, and so did the alter. We talked and she explained a few things that I hadn't quite understood:
1- She hadn't died, it was all a plan to replenish her strenght and prevent her actual death. But she still only had a year or so left.
2- The reason the host forgot our relationship was because it was never meant to be in the first place. She never actually loved me, the alter just manipulated her feelings to get close to me.
-Sh-she never loved me...
I repeated, atonished. Then, as fast as she came, the alter vanished. The host hugged me and cried 'I'm sorry' for an hour until we both had to go home.
The next time I saw the alter there was a friend involved. The host, him and me got together at a park. Then, she "summoned" the alter. I hugged her as if that'd be the last time, lucky I was to not know It actually was. The next morning I got a text from her explaining that the host's mental state was critical and that she would need to sacrifice herself in order to save her, but that we would meet before that. Three days after she was no more...
The host is now very well, except for social anxiety. I'm... let's just say as dead inside as one could be.
Did you like that tale? Well I didn't. It happened a month ago, and the host and I are both 13 years old (the alter is 12 years old).
Thank you for reading.