Archive for July 28th, 2009

On my blog entry entitled Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID): Losing Time vs. “Normal” Memory, a reader posted the following comment:

Today I was at a meeting and I “woke up” in the middle of some kind of discourse fully unaware of what I was saying. I tried to catch up with myself but felt like the people with me were confused. Now I know it, recognize it when it happens. Usually I am co-present, but lately that is not the case an indication for me that I’m getting ready to remember something pivotal…Now, at this stage, I wonder about explaining to the confused what is happening. My gut tells me no. But I do wonder. ~ Esther

I would recommend against “going public” with your diagnosis. To the extent that most people have heard of DID, their impressions have been shaped by movies like Sybil and more recently the The United States of Tara. I would not want people to assume that I am going to do some of the “freaky” stuff that was portrayed in the movie. (I have not seen “Tara” because I don’t have Showtime, so I cannot speak to that show.)

Depending upon your age, you can always blame it on “the memory being the first to go.” I am forty, and my peer group is constantly losing the train of thought mid-sentence, even without DID. You can always blame it on that. You can even make a joke like, “There’s that early onset Alzheimer’s rearing its ugly head again.”

Now, if you have a couple of close friends in your life who you think can handle hearing about your diagnosis, I would start there. I do have a handful of friends who know about my history (including the DID), and they are very supportive. I start by making sure they can handle hearing about the abuse first. If they can’t handle hearing about the abuse, then they definitely cannot handle hearing about the DID.

Even though I am very vocal about DID on my blog, I write under a pen name. I have only shared my blog with a handful of off-line friends because, even this far along in healing, I am not ready for everyone in my life to know this about me. However, I am very open about having been abused as a child. That is much easier for me to talk about publicly than the DID stuff.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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