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Archive for May 8th, 2009

On my blog entry entitled Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): What is Integration?, a reader posted the following comment:

You talk about the need to integrate the host personality, how is this different than integrating the other parts? Is it just the fact that you don’t lose time anymore? I don’t lose time that I’m aware of, so I’m assuming that my host personality has integrated to some degree, but there are definitely other parts that get triggered, however, I am aware when those parts are active, it almost feels like I’m watching myself in a play. ~ Barbi

Explaining the importance of integrating the host personality is kind of hard to do, but I will give it my best shot. I strongly recommend reading through my own account of integrating my host personality. I wrote that account soon after it happened. I suspect it will explain the importance better than I can here.

In a nutshell, the most important reason to integrate the host personality is that you will stop losing time. I did not believe that I lost time in adulthood. I only recognized that I lost time after it stopped. I believed that I was a very sound sleeper. After I integrated my host personality, I started having terrible insomnia. I came to realize that I lost time every night, but I chalked it up to sleeping well.

Instead, I had alter parts that took over at night to “protect” me as a slept. Hub would tell me that he woke me every night as he climbed into bed, but I had no memory of this. He would tell me of conversations that we had after he woke me up. I remembered none of them. He even tried to initiate sex a few times during the night. I had no memory of that, either, but apparently the alter part declined very firmly. My host personality would never have been so direct.

Ceasing time loss is not the only reason to integrate the host personality, though. As long as you are living your life from the host personality’s perspective, you are living a tiny sliver of your life. You are a one-dimensional person when you have this amazingly deep reservoir of strength, power, and emotions beneath the surface. Who you are run soooo much deeper than this little mask you have chosen to hide behind.

It is hard to learn how to love yourself when you are detached from most of who you are. It is like you are presenting your fingernail as who you are when your fingernail cannot even begin to show the complexity and beauty of the rest of you. Yes, your fingernail is a part of you, but you are much, much more than this tiny part of yourself.

Integrating my host personality was the most profoundly transforming moment of my life. It changed how I viewed myself, how others viewed me, and how I interacted with the world around me. Integrating my host personality is what enabled me to begin living again, not just surviving.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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