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Archive for March 20th, 2012

A reader wants to know what my experience was in consciously recognizing that I had dissociative identity disorder (DID). For me, recognizing that I had alter parts was a gradual process. Looking back, the signs were there all along, but I truly had no idea about having DID or a child abuse history.

I always knew that I was fundamentally f@$%ed in the head because I struggled with so many seemingly unrelated issues – eating disorder, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), suicidal urges, etc. I didn’t know this was a profile. I just thought I was “crazy.”

A couple of years before I recognized the DID, I started to notice a feeling of someone “stepping into my face” when I was lying down in my bed at night. I had read enough books and watched enough movies about DID to recognize that this could be an alter part. I would run to the mirror to see if my face looked different, but I never could tell. I once even asked myself if I had been abused and, if so, by whom. (I knew about a link between alter parts and child abuse). I recovered a body memory of my mother abusing me. I wasn’t ready to deal with it and woke up the next morning with that experience dissociated away.

In 2003, when my son was two, my mother had surgery. My son and I stayed with her for a few days. I was very triggered (but didn’t know what that “floaty feeling” was). My mother sent me out to run an errand in the middle of the night and went into my son’s room while I was out. When I returned and found this out, an alter part took over. I stayed co-conscious as someone else was in the driver’s seat apologizing to my son for leaving him alone with “that crazy woman” and asking him over and over if he was OK. My mind and body was flooded with intense fear that my mother had sexually abused my son, and I was viewing all of this from a corner of my head, absolutely perplexed.

After that experience, an alter part named Irate came out repeatedly while I stayed co-conscious, and we had multiple “dialogues” in my head. I did not “hear voices.” Instead, it was like I would experience thoughts that did not originate from me, and I would “think” responses back. I recognized that Irate was an alter part, which began my journey toward questioning why I had one.

More tomorrow…

Photo credit: Hekatekris

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