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Archive for July 1st, 2009

Continued from here.

At the time that I first faced the reality that I had Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), I was unaware of alter parts ever being “out.” However, through therapy and healing, I came to realize that I (as the host personality) was just a tiny sliver of who I am. I also came to realize, in retrospect, that I did have interactions with my alter parts.

For example, I adopted my son. During the home study, the social worker asked hub and me if either of us had been abused as a child. We both replied, “No.” I immediately got lightheaded, and I was bombarded by “loud thoughts” screaming, “Liar! Liar! Liar!” I was perplexed but not alarmed that I had these “loud thoughts” rolling around in my head. It didn’t stop until I “thought” back, “As far as I know, I wasn’t abused.”

I used to joke that I had the world’s longest fuse. People could $@#% all over me, and I would just take it. I was the world’s biggest doormat. However, about once a year, I would blow. When somebody crossed a boundary that I typically accepted, I would suddenly have an enormous amount of strength and adrenaline, and I would tell the other person off. I would then be shocked that I had just said those words to the other person. I realize in retrospect that this was Irate coming out to protect me when people took advantage of me.

I would be having consensual sex with my husband, and I would get intrusive thoughts, such as, “If you close your eyes, they all feel the same.” I would be driving my car and get the urge to crash it into a tree. (I would always fight it and tell myself, “No!”, but I had no awareness that I was talking to an alter part.)

I stopped counting after integrating numerous parts, but I easily had several hundred parts (most personality fragments but some personalities, too). I used some techniques to access my subconscious mind, and I would “catch” some of my alter parts in conversation about what I (as the host personality) was ready to handle and what I was not. The weirdest thing is that none of this felt odd. Even without “knowing” that I had alter parts, I felt a certain amount of comfort in learning about them and even grieved when Irate integrated back into the core. I didn’t want to be “alone” in my own body.

As I have recovered more of my memories, I now recognize just how frequently I switched. I have tons of memories of S (my most sadistic abuser) walking down the stairs, closing the drapes, and then immediately opening the drapes back up. I would think it was a weird tic of hers to close and then open them right back up. I hold those memories from the host personality’s perspective. The drapes were the signal to tuck that part of me away. Then, it was safe to come back out when the drapes were opened again.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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