See my last post, Do People with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) Know That They Have It? for the first part of the story.
For the next two weeks, I was constantly p@$$ed off. I was so angry (hence the name “Irate”), but none of it made any sense. I opened a dialogue with that part, which is how I learned the part’s name. “We” would have conversations in my head. I would think a question, and then I would “hear” a “loud thought” inside of my head that did not originate from me. It was really bizarre. I was so certain that I had never been abused that I was pretty certain that my sanity was snapping.
I had to accept it, though – I had an alter part. There was no denying it. The question I had was what to do about it. I certainly wasn’t going to tell anyone about it.
I did some online research and learned about dissociation. I then found a book in my local library about dissociation called The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout. Before reading that book, I didn’t believe I could possibly have DID because I did not do all of the “crazy stuff” that Sybil, Eve, and Truddi did. However, as I read the book, I saw myself in every page and in every patient.
The book was clear that a person must experience severe and ongoing trauma at a young age in order to split off an alter part. I was perplexed because I “knew” that I was a virgin until my husband. I called my sister and asked if she had any memories of me being sexually abused as a child. She replied, “I have always had a bad feeling about mom.” In that instant, I recovered my first repressed memory. I could feel my body being violated, and I knew in the deepest part of myself that my mother had, in fact, sexually abused me.
I also related to the feelings of dissociation described in that book. I would frequently feel lightheaded around my mother. I chalked it up to being tired. I would then “forget” the specifics of the visit. I once drove four hours in the car with her. When I got home, I could not remember one thing we talked about, even though we talked the entire time. I had to face the reality that I had been abused and that I had an alter part (I had hundreds more but did not know it yet).
To be continued…
Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt