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March 6, 2021

Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I’ve known about my other personalities (alters) for a long time.

But it wasn’t until this week in therapy that everything came full circle.

According to WebMD:

“Dissociative identity disorder is a severe form of dissociation, a mental process which produces a lack of connection in a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions, or sense of identity.”

Since I can remember, my handwriting has never been consistent, nor the way I grip my pen.

Some days, I grip it the way an adult would—with my pointer finger and thumb. Other days, I somewhat fist it with all my fingers, minus my pinkie.

My voice changes often as well, and it isn’t subtle.

Sometimes it’s soft and high-pitched, like that of a five-year-old girl. Other times, it’s so faint that you can’t hear me.

And sometimes, it’s a loud, confident voice of a 28-year-old.

I am aware of five personalities at the moment.

The most active ones are Sarah (age 2), Rebe (age 5), and Becca (age 8).

Sarah seems to cry every Friday and Sunday.

Rebe is always looking for someone to help her and a place to call home.

I used to think these were just “parts” everyone has.

I realized, though, after I joined Internal Family Systems groups, where others were talking about “parts” within them, like protectors and managers, that my parts were different.

My “parts” were not just parts.

While working with my trauma therapist, I have become aware of switches that take place in front of her.

My posture often changes, I struggle to look up, and my voice becomes that of different little girls.

I feel these people/alters as drastically different. My adult self is talkative, enthusiastic, and a go-getter.

Rebe is soft-spoken, scared, sweet, likes flowers, and tries to stay out of the way.

Becca cleans frantically, tries to make everything appear normal, and puts out fires.

Sarah often takes over on Fridays and Sundays. She is always crying and doesn’t soothe easily. She often overwhelms us, and we have to crawl into bed to calm down.

I often find myself crying while I drive or if I’m at a grocery store because one of us takes over and feels lost and confused.

None of them, except for my adult self, feel safe.

Rebe is always looking for a mom like Ms. Honey from “Matilda,” Becca always wants everything to look normal, and Sarah cries frantically for someone to pick her up and hold her.

It is difficult for me to write about my experience with dissociative identity disorder because there are few videos out there that I can’t relate to, and I never want people to think of me as the guy in “Split.”

All of my alters are kind.

They are just little girls, and they are all a part of me.

I still have a long ways to go in therapy, but I hope with time, we can all live together in harmony co-consciously.

Right now, though, I am still struggling not to rapidly switch between them.

It isn’t an easy disorder to live with, but it can get better.

It feels right now, though, as if I have several little children to take care of all the time.

Interestingly, at night, they seem to all calm, as if they are sleeping, and I’m able to get my homework done.

It’s one reason I consider myself a night owl.

While this diagnosis is new to me, the experience isn’t. It’s been playing out for a long time.

While some may want to keep their alters separate, I do not.

While I am not necessarily interested in fusion (having them become one), I hope with time that we can all begin to live together co-consciously, and my adult self may be less overwhelmed with their needs.

It’s going to take time, but I am happy to finally have found a therapist who understands what is going on and who is helping me tremendously to begin to heal from trauma.

 

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