Archive for March 4th, 2010

Sorry to missing writing yesterday. We had yet another snowstorm here in North Carolina that really was no big deal. However, the school board overreacted and canceled schools yesterday, so I unexpectedly had my son to entertain all day.

My inbox has been flooded with comments about my series this week on marriage and dissociative identity disorder (DID). I guess this is another one of those issues that people don’t talk about much. One of the emails brought up a sticky point that I think we need to talk about. What do you do when you have parts that do not “feel married”?

Here is how this happens. As an example, my host personality fell in love with my husband and made the decision to marry him. Parts of myself fueled this decision because I had a history of committing to boyfriends as protection from being abused by college guys. Marrying hub was, to many of my parts, protection from my mother/abuser. I did not have a job offer when I graduated, so I would have had to live with my mother/abuser again if not for marrying hub. At no point did this reality factor into my host personality’s decision to marry hub, but this was a huge underlying factor to many of my other parts.

As I became aware of having alter parts, I learned that some of them loved hub, some hated hub (because of having to have sex), and others were pretty much indifferent to him. Because my host personality loved him so deeply, it was jarring to realize that I had parts of myself that did not. From what I understand, to those without DID, ambivalence is simply a normal part of life, but it wasn’t for me. I was used to being “all in” or “all out,” and it was disconcerting to feel love, hatred, and indifference toward the same person all at once.

I am fortunate that I stayed co-conscious after my host personality became aware of having alter parts. I also have a very strong belief system about “right and wrong,” so I feel confident that I did not do things that run contrary to my deep-seated morality (i.e., having an affair through an alter part). Not every person with DID is that lucky, though. Those who are very disconnected and lose time could have parts that are having affairs that the host personality does not even know about. As you can imagine, this is going to put a huge strain on even the strongest of marriages.

I will provide my advice for how to work through this ambivalence in tomorrow’s entry.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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