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Archive for April 8th, 2008

Girls (c) Lynda BernhardtAfter I integrated from dissociative identity disorder (DID), I viewed the world from a much different perspective. This shift inside of myself affected every single relationship in my life because I was no longer the same “person” they knew. Before integration, I would interact with different people by showing only one side of myself (one part), but now I was a multifaceted person and no longer willing or able only to show one side. There was no away to avoid this shift affecting my relationships.

After integration, all of my good relationships got significantly better. Now that I was able to access the richness in myself, I was able to bring that depth and richness into my relationships. This made my good relationships even stronger. This has also drawn more positive people into my life. The friendships I have made since integration are deeper and have a much more positive, non-dysfunctional dynamic.

However, after integration, the flaws in my dysfunctional relationships became much more glaring. I was no longer willing or able to “be” a certain way for the sake of the relationship, and this brought about change in every single dysfunctional relationship I had. In some cases, relationships downshifted to an acquaintance level. In other cases, the relationships were renegotiated. I never sat down and said, “I used to have DID. Now that I have integrated, I want things to be different.” Instead, it was through my actions that I made new demands.

My biggest concern was my marriage. Every story of integration that I can recall reading included a divorce. That was not promising. I did not want a divorce, but I was not willing to “stay sick” to stay married, either. I wound up changing the rules in several important ways. While hub was resistant at first, he ultimately changed just enough to keep me. He has complained several times that I am no longer the woman he married. I do not disagree with him. The question was whether he wanted to stay married. He did.

I still have some relationships in my life that are dysfunctional, but they are functional enough for me to continue to invest energy into them. I will always love the people who have been important in my life, but I am no longer willing to change myself to keep those relationships. I am who I am. If being me is not compatible with a relationship, then the relationship has no place in my life.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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