On my blog entry entitled Getting Triggered versus Having a Prejudice, a reader posted the following comment:
I have a question tho.. “Does having DID render any and all of your opinions null and void and not of any notable value with the people who know of your condition because they know that another alternate version of yourself is more than likely to have different opinion on the subject??” This is my experience, since being diagnosed nothing I say has any worth to those that know i have DID.. Classic prejudice or truth ?? ~ bambooswaysinwind
This attitude is NOT “truth” and is completely unsupportive. It would also say this dynamic is indicative of people’s lack of understanding of dissociative identity disorder (DID). Even worse, this attitude could hinder your healing process because it is a continuation of invalidating you as a person, which was likely a “normal” part of your abusive childhood. My other concern is that people in your life are manipulating you, waiting for the version of yourself that they want to surface, which is about them, not you.
My own personal experience is that each and every part of myself was and is “me.” I did not claim the “good” or “easy” parts as “me” and reject the “bad” or “difficult” parts as “not me” – all parts are me, and who I am runs much deeper than the sum total of the parts. To reject two of my parts because of apparent conflict is a double rejection of “me,” which is not OK in my relationships.
As an example, before I began the healing process, one of my parts signed a petition against abortion, and then a few months later, another one of my parts signed a petition for abortion. Having two parts with opposite views expressed my internal conflict over a controversial issue. Singletons are familiar with having conflicted feelings or beliefs, only they don’t have the ability to split apart to remove the conflict.
To this day, I remain conflicted about the topic of abortion, although I now have the ability to pick a side. I am more against abortion than for it because, as an adoptive mother, I know what a loss my son’s abortion would have been. He was an unplanned pregnancy and could have been aborted but was not, and I am immensely grateful that my son’s birthmother did not exercise her legal right to abort him.
Nevertheless, a part of myself remains sympathetic to the option of abortion. As a child born into an abusive home, the last thing I want is to force people who don’t want to be parents to raise children and potentially harm them. Also, as a parent of a child with special needs who can be very difficult to parent at times, I know how hard being a good parent can be even when you really want to do it – forcing people to do this hard work when they don’t want to doesn’t seem like a good idea for either the parent or the child.
As someone who is mostly integrated and operates mostly from a singleton perspective, I still experience this conflict over my views on abortion. The big difference is that I feel the conflict whereas when I had DID, I was able to remove the internal conflict by splitting these views into two separate parts. The views I had separated into two parts still exist, only I now have the ability to pick a side, and my love for my son outweighs my empathy for those in a crisis pregnancy situation. (I would strongly urge those dealing with a crisis pregnancy to consider the option of adoption but do recognize how emotionally painful this choice is.)
Living with conflicting emotions is part of the human condition, but it wasn’t safe for us as abused children, so we split off the conflict. Part of healing from DID is learning how to live with internal conflict. Both of your views are still YOU and should be respected, not disregarded. Unless those who are disregarding parts of you are multiples and/or have DID, they know what internal conflict feels like, and they should not judge you for experiencing this very normal part of being human.
Image credit: Hekatekris