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Archive for June 22nd, 2010

After I returned home, Irate stayed out. I later learned that this state of consciousness is called “co-consciousness.” Both Irate and Faye were kind of “sharing” the decision-making. Of course, as Irate’s name suggests, this was an angry alter part, and I stayed angry for weeks. Hub was very confused. He knows how annoying my mother is, but he thought I was really overreacting.

I started having “conversations” in my head with Irate. By this, I mean that I would “think” a question or statement, and I would experience a “loud thought” in response that did not seem to originate with me. I had read enough about dissociative identity disorder (DID) in passing to understand what an alter part was, but I was baffled as to why I would have one. After all, outside of some spiritual and emotional abuse, I had no memories of any “real” abuse. I was truly baffled.

I did some online research and learned about a term called dissociation. I could relate to the description, such as the “floaty feeling” I experienced whenever I was around my mother. I also felt dissociated when Irate was present and taking charge. So, I decided I did not have DID but did have some sort of dissociation issue. I would learn about it and “fix” myself.

I read the book The Myth of Sanity by Martha Stout and learned a lot about dissociation. I learned that it runs on a continuum with normal dissociation on the left, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the middle, and DID on the right. Between PTSD and DID were the dissociative disorders, which I assumed that I must have to account for Irate’s presence, but I was convinced that I did not have PTSD because that was “serious,” and nothing I had ever been through was “that bad.”

I read horrific stories of Dr. Stout’s patients that explained why they developed alter parts. I was so confused because I was certain that I had never suffered from any sort of abuse and certainly not sexual abuse. After all, I was a virgin for my husband, and being a virgin in my teens and early twenties was such an important thing to me.

I knew that if I had suffered serious enough physical abuse to cause DID, then there would be some sort of medical record, so I had to consider the possibility that perhaps I had been sexually abused. I worked up my courage and called my sister. I asked her if she had any memory of me being abused in any way as a child. She said, “I don’t know for sure, but I have a very bad feeling about mom.” The second she said it, I re-experienced the oral sex flashback that I had experienced the year before. In that moment, I knew that my mother had sexually abused me and that I was opening a Pandora’s box.

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