Archive for July 10th, 2009

On my blog entry entitled Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): Recognizing That Parts Were Always There, a reader posted the following comment:

You indicated that your memory of S closing and then opening the drapes is your host personality’s memory, I understand that. What I’m wondering is; did you eventually discover the memories of what she did to you? or have you had to draw certain conclusions based on flashbacks etc. Or did an alter part actually reveal things to you? What I’m finding is that the memories do not all tie together neatly, and I’m not even sure who did what although I have concluded that certain things were done to me. ~ Barbi

All of my memories do not fully tie in together neatly, either. My therapist told me that I will likely never remember everything. I just need to remember enough so that I can heal from the past.

I have only tried to share my story in a linear fashion once, and that has been quite a challenge. I did not recover my memories in order, and I dealt with them as they arose by talking about them with my therapist, an off-line friend, and my friends over at isurvive. Since then, I have become close friends with an off-line friend, and I want her to know my story so she will understand me. It was very hard trying to provide her with a linear storyline because I do not remember everything in order.

I have filled in the missing pieces in a number of ways. I recovered most of the big pieces through experiencing flashbacks. Sometimes I can tell where they fit in because some come with the memory of how old I was at the time. Other times, I can tell by information such as hair styles or location where the memory fits into the bigger picture.

Some memories I have pieced together based upon my reactions through triggers. For example, I have not yet recovered memories of being injected during the abuse. However, I experienced migraines with each allergy shot in my day-to-day life and saw a headache specialist to figure out why. After exhausting medical explanations (and baffling the doctor), I began calming myself before each shot and managed to stop the migraines by working through the triggers. This tells me that receiving shots was part of my abuse, even though I have not yet recovered the memory of receiving them.

As for getting information from alter parts … For me, that is pretty much the same as having flashbacks. Early on, an alter part might tell me that something was coming. However, once I invited the memory, I would have the flashback, and that part of myself (the alter part) would integrate into my core.

One other way I would recover memories was through dreams, which were really flashbacks. I would have recurring nightmares that stopped once I recovered the flashback/memory and healed that pain.

In many ways, recovering your history is like working on a jigsaw puzzle. I have to stay open to accepting my history and love myself, regardless of what memories arise. I also have to accept that, no matter what memories surface, I am still me, and I am still okay.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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