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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.

Photo by Miss Maisy
Photo by Miss Maisy

This is what the things can teach us:
to fall,
patiently to trust our heaviness.
Even a bird has to do that
before he can fly.

– Rilke

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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36 thoughts on “3 Ugly Truths about Dissociative Identity Disorder”

  1. I was wrongly accused of a serious sexual assault because a child alter revealed my client was seeking abuse as a prostitute. Whilst i was being investigated by the police my accuser continued to seek abuse up to 19 months later . This has distressed and broken me

  2. I 55 years old, live with DID all m life. I was diagnosed in early 90’s after years of many misdiagnosis. Therapy is the only thing that’s helped me and medication for the anxiety and depression. To my knowledge, there is no medication or cure to treat DID itself.

  3. Kim, Who told you that you just go to therapy and “cure” did??? You are ignorant and rude. As for this article it is beautifully written and touches on some great truths. I used to have did, dont anymore, which is the BLESSED or LUCKY result of medication only. I did EVERYTHING THERE WAS TO DO and there is no way I could cure my did with all of my hard work. Did is PAINFUL and no one would just choose to live like that if they could just cure it.

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