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
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
Matulewicz, C. (2015, September 23). About Crystalie Matulewicz, Author of 'Dissociative Living', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, August 19 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2015/09/about-crystalie-matulewicz
Author: Crystalie Matulewicz
Ty for this blog I am grappling with DID now myself and confirming things with what others have said. I do not recall ANY trauma to the degree that many have experienced however older sibling say I have always “wandered” away. Details I get are my mother had a nervous breakdown when pregnant with me and after. My childhood is vague to me memories seem not my own. Someone here mentioned not seeing faces in the past it is the same with me I donor see in my memories and rarely recognize things I may have done. Is it possible to be born this way? All things point to trauma but we came from a large family the best I could say about trauma is neglect I recall no affection at all in my family and have a time dealing with such. I have an alter that gets very angry and does odd self-destructive things. And then I have no recollection of it. I have no close friends I find it difficult to keep them. I can se perfectly normal in social situations but walk away and never contact again it’s debilitating to me. At 56 I am just discovering this and feel like so much of my life happened without me being aware of it. I have “episodic” memories of most of my life with no correlation to time but can only guess my age as to where I was at (i have loved so many times. (7) states uncertain of how many more cities and countless more moves within there.). Maybe that is how I have managed to wander off in life. I have been single so often in life for me to start over elsewhere never really impacted anyone but myself. Now I am married to a wonderful lady who is at her wits end often. But we both are getting counseling so it is helping the noise in my head is mostly silenced now I used to have so many internal thoughts constantly I have been growing more spiritual with prayer and my mind is calmer but still a bit confused as there is so much disconnect in my life.
Ty for blogging this I will be reading more as I get to know what this is. It could be said it’s comforting to know a reason but still tricky to come to grips
Thank you for a safe place where we can just be..without people looking at you as if there is something wrong with you and therapists saying more in their silence and look than than they would express to your face. My little one and I are fine, we have lived together as long as I can remember, she has always kept me safe. People don't understand unless they have their inner people, they try and make you change or say you have to integrate. I don't want to.
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.
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!
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.
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 ;)
Thank you for reading!
i have PTSD and D.I.D thanks for this platform for education and empowerment
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
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.
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.
Welcome Crystalie! I look forward to reading more about your journey.
Thank you for the welcome!