3 Ugly Truths about Dissociative Identity Disorder
I'm thoroughly exhausted by the effort I expend to shield others from Dissociative Identity Disorder. I'm worn out on cleaning up the messes that inevitably occur when all that effort just isn't enough. I don't want to apologize for those messes anymore just now. I don't want to explain. I don't want to make speeches about personal responsibility and how I won't blame Dissociative Identity Disorder for problems directly related to - surprise! - Dissociative Identity Disorder. There are only so many guilty verdicts I can receive before I start to feel a little worthless. And I can only try so hard to protect the people around me from DID before I'm depleted.
This is what the things can teach us:
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.
Dissociative Identity Disorder Isn't Fair, Kind, or Easy
The beautiful thing about feeling completely defeated by something is that hopelessness, as long as it doesn't last forever, has a way of boiling off the optimism that obscures some meaner truths:
- Dissociative Identity Disorder isn't fair. It's unfair to us, and it's unfair to you. We'll forget something really important to you, I promise. We might even forget you. Try as we may, some duty or responsibility will fall through the cracks. There's nothing fair about that for anyone.
- Dissociative Identity Disorder isn't kind. This alter trusts you, this one believes you're a threat and will relentlessly try to prove it. Doesn't feel good, does it? It's unkind. It's also not something we can change out of respect for your feelings. Which is unkind too, no?
- Dissociative Identity Disorder isn't easy. Television and movies have a tendency to make DID look rather straightforward - a single identity divided cleanly into easily definable pieces like dough under a cookie cutter. Alters announce themselves when a switch occurs, or there are dramatic costume changes to clearly delineate who is out and when. Real life DID usually isn't that simple. It's confusing, complex, and just when you think you've figured it out, it slips through your fingers once again.
I Accept the Ugly Truth about Dissociative Identity Disorder ... But You Don't Have To
I do the best I can to mitigate the amount of inconvenience, frustration, even heartache Dissociative Identity Disorder wreaks on other people who, by all rights, shouldn't have to pay the price for my inability to navigate life in a more normal way. But I can't change the fact that DID isn't fair, kind, or easy. Dissociative Identity Disorder is hard to live with, both for those with it and the people in their lives. I accept the consequences of that, whether that means losing friends, jobs, or partners. But I need a break from worrying about how my disorder affects other people. And for the time being, I think I've apologized enough.
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Gray, H. (2010, November 15). 3 Ugly Truths about Dissociative Identity Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2010/11/3-ugly-truths-about-dissociative-identity-disorder
Author: Holly Gray
Yes, this site is still alive. Our new moderator authored a blog about communicating with alters that I found very helpful. If you go to the latest blog then scroll down two or three you should find the article.
PLEASE DO NOT TAKE OFFENSE TO THIS...is there info on on overlap of DID and crime by alters? I truly want to believe the best b/c there is so much good.
I can understand your confusion. It may help to know that people with DID are often perceived by others as liars. And it's no wonder; when someone witnesses you doing or saying something that you later deny doing or saying what else can that someone think but that you're a liar? It's understandable. Then there's the fact that having DID doesn't mean one can't also purposefully lie from time to time. I certainly have. I don't know anyone, DID or otherwise, who has never told a lie.
It also may help to know that people with Dissociative Identity Disorder are no more likely to commit a crime than people without it. Sensational stories about people with DID who *have* committed serious crimes have led the public to believe that we are, by nature, criminals. And that couldn't be further from the truth. Some people commit crimes. Some don't. Having DID does not increase the likelihood that someone will commit a crime.
Having said all of that, I have to ask: if some of what he's telling you is a matter of public record, have you considered simply researching it yourself? If his stories don't add up, and you feel suspicious about that (which is a perfectly rational response) why not investigate further? You don't have to rely on him to provide data that you can find for yourself. Maybe that feels a bit devious to you? If so, that's understandable. But from what you've shared hear, I'm inclined to think that DID is a secondary concern. It doesn't really matter if he has DID or not if you can't trust him.
I'm an alter and i found your video you did and I then found your blog in the description.
And you are so right and this post details what we have to deal with on a daily basis and none of this is fair but I find if we delve to much into our past things can get worse but what you have said has good and bad points, I'm glad that people such as yourself are not afraid to post and share there life with DID.
Welcome and thanks for your comment!
I honestly don't think it's the delving into the past that makes things worse (although dealing with traumatic material is certainly painful and has a tendency to make things harder before they get easier) - I think it's an over-focus on the past that we want to avoid. I believe the past lives with us in the present to an extent and because of that, contending with it is vital to healing. Where we get into trouble, I think, is when the present regularly and consistently takes a backseat to the past.
I hope to hear from you again, Rex. :)
a terrible dissociative reaction at one training class, and after disclosing I was D.I.D to the trainers, they gave me the option to drop the class. I thought they were patronizing me and I was all the more determined to complete it....to prove and educate that D.I.D's are gifted and can be successful contributions to these organizations. I passed and am certified but sometimes I feel your comment on another of your posts better describes my accomplishment..."functionality at an extroidinary cost."
I covered my dissociative episode so well, my trainers never understood the real danger I was in...I didn't want them to because I felt they expected me to fail. And of course I had to prove them wrong.
Thanks for your comment.
I'm impressed at your tenacity! I understand that drive, that relentless focus on accomplishing something you or others aren't confident is possible for you. I think ultimately I'm trying to prove my capability to myself.
"However I stubbornly refused to fail."
I can't help but view my inability to meet some challenge or overcome some obstacle as a failure too. That's exactly how it feels, like I've failed. But either way the price can be high.
We are also sick of trying to keep up the front, the lies the who knows what deliemas. If your feelings get hurt you know what, suck it up because we have enough on our minds we don't need to hear why it's hard for YOU! People need to get a clue and take the initiative and research about this and spread the word so there is better understanding in the mental health field, community at large and in our friends and family relationships that really shouldn't have to be so complex.
The media sattention is good if those doing the acting and discussions are INFORMED and do it properly because having DID and dissociative disorders is HELL! There's some pretty special lovely moments, but they are far and few in so many ways. Also on the flip being multi has a lot of benefits like having a team around so you're never truly alone (that can go both ways), with my team we split up tasks so no one is struggling and bombarded all the time. I as host still am out 98% of the time and as the birth personality as well have to deal with more than a lot of non- birth personality host systems out there. But then there's a day where the littles have been out and leave me notes and presents and my husband has stories to tell me and it just warms my heart.
So there are good aspects and bad but at the end of the day we shouldn't have to apologize for being US. Singletons hardly ever apologize for them being singular minded and unable to keep up to the speed us multi's can with things ;)
"If your feelings get hurt you know what, suck it up because we have enough on our minds we don’t need to hear why it’s hard for YOU!"
Thank you for unabashedly saying that ... I have felt that exact way on so many occasions. Most of the time I'm pretty receptive to hearing about how my disorder negatively impacts those around me, assuming the delivery isn't attacking or finger-pointing in nature. But sometimes it's just enough already and I need a break. In those moments, I honestly don't care if other people have a problem with my DID. If they don't like it, they can leave. I'll survive.
"But then there’s a day where the littles have been out and leave me notes and presents and my husband has stories to tell me and it just warms my heart."
That's so cool that you get that kind of communication from other members of your system - notes and things. I'm a little envious. Many of us do communicate purposefully now but it's a relatively new awareness. For a long time trying to develop internal communication felt like talking to walls. It's much better today but still, it'd be nice to see a note from someone just because instead of out of necessity (e.g. telling me about an appointment or something).
"I think it’s a good idea to take a break from worrying how your DID affects others once in a while."
This is the lesson I'm learning lately.
"And thanks for the suggestion of writing a letter to my blocker."
You're welcome. I know what works for one might not work for another, but like you said, it's worth a try.
I know I've referred to previous partners as my abusers names in the midst of flashbacks... I can only imagine how awful that must have been for my partner and the young one in my system who was so confused and lost in time.
Great post Holly... a tough subject.
Thanks for reading and sharing your thoughts. I agree with you that learning about dissociative disorders is important for people who are sharing their lives in some way with someone diagnosed with one. And for those of us with a dissociative disorder, of course! I, for one, feel much better in my 6th year of treatment than in the first few because I'm much better educated about my disorder. The problems are still there, but I have a better handle on what those problems are and their sources. Which helps me feel less of a victim to DID.
"Sometimes it’s difficult to remember the joy when faced with a usually loving partner, who has been triggered into a very defensive reaction… that’s no fun for all involved."
No fun at all.
The only thing I would say that is missing is that there are a great many of dissociatives who are not diagnosed as DID, but rather DD-NOS. Their plight is not any less severe than ours with DID.
So, my point is only that everything you say here that applies to DID, also applies to DD-NOS. I'm not sure what the statistics are though...
Thank you. And thanks for pointing that out about DD-NOS. I couldn't agree more. In fact, I wonder if there's a special kind of struggle for those with DD-NOS that stems from the catch-all ambiguity of the diagnosis itself.