Working On It

I've been diagnosed as having D.I.D.   I have been in therapy for about 27 years.   I was diagnosed with D.I.D. after being in therapy for about 6 years.  Before that my diagnosis was major depression and PTSD.  

My personality system made it possible for me to survive my childhood, but now there is a better way for us to live: feeling whole and good.   I have been able to work through many issues, but not all.  I have blended many personalities and now my personality system can function as one almost all of the time.  That's great progress.  I am quite proud of myself or selves, depending on your perspective.  I still have moments of separation.  There are times when one personality takes over and goes solo.  This almost always happens when we are blended and then something happens and we feel extreme fear.   The fears are varied and when this happens separate personalities have helped get us through the experiences that have caused  the fears by stepping apart from the whole and taking over our actions and reactions.  The fears that presently cause me to dissociate are based on past traumas and could be thought of as irrational when considering my present situation as an adult, but  I'm working on that.  

My husband is quite supportive.  He is totally understanding and loves me for who I am.  That means all the separate personalities-both the easy ones and the one that are difficult  to get along with.   My children are grown now.  It wasn't easy having a mother like me.  It did affect them.  I am not proud of all the ways that it affected them.  Unfortunately I can't turn back the clock and change that.  Sure wish I could.  They forgive me for my shortcomings as a mom.  They tell me I wasn't as bad a mom as I think I was, but I remember it differently.  They are very proud of my progress and think I am consistently a positive and vital part of their lives and the lives of their children.  They have both told me that they have no regrets.  They've both said that they are who they are due to the experience of having a me as their mom.  They love themselves and they are proud of the fact that they are strong and independent which they attribute to their childhood experiences.  I still have a hard time with the way I parented them.  Thank goodness my husband was there and such a great father.   

I still have personalities that are difficult to understand and to love, but I work on that all the time.  I still have "littles" within.  I still depend on an adult personality that deals with face to face social interactions. Sometime I have a terrible time with that and she steps forward solo.  I am working on the self-confidence and feeling of safety that I need in order to function as a whole.  

I used to abuse myself by cutting or burning myself.  I no longer do.  I have found more appropriate ways to deal with difficult feelings and situations.

I used to hate myself.  I felt shame all the time.   Now I don't hate myself, but I don't love myself either. Still working on that one.   Rarely do I feel ashamed of myself.  I do feel unhealthy guilt at times, but guilt is different than hate.  But I still work on my tendency to feel intense unhealthy guilt.  

I used to hate life and attempted suicide a few times.  I used to think life was horrible.  Now I think that life is good.  I don't wish to kill myself and I honestly don't see me thinking that in the future.  I have experienced too much good, including love, to think of ending it.  I know that if, or when I feel the depths of depression I can ask the people I trust for help.  I know that with their help I can make it.  I have many reasons to do just that.  

I used to take quite a few anti-anxiety medications and sleeping aids.  I no longer need any anti-anxiety medications although I still take an anti-depressant and a sleeping aid.   

Dissociation was useful.  It's no longer necessary.   I still have work to do.  I still have issues that I need to sort out and I need to heal more.  I have a terrific therapist that specializes in dissociative disorders and other mental issues that are a result of trauma.  I am lucky that way.  I have weekly sessions that I find invaluable.  

Throughout my healing journey I found a few ways to really help myself, separately from my therapist.  I read all I could find about D.I.D, PTSD, Depression, Self-Injury, Woman's issues, Childhood Abuse, Psych Meds, different treatment modalities, and tons more. This includes the professional articles and books.  I read personal accounts too.  I still read what I can but not with the same fervor.  I subscribed to different newsletters such as "The Cutting Edge" and "Many Voices."  I attended group therapy.  All the clients were dissociative.  That was very useful.  I no longer belong to any therapy groups.  I belonged to an online chat organization for people with D.I.D. that operated on mIRC (an old communications program that is no longer popular).  My time spent there was both good and bad for many reasons.  It was co-dependent and as such unhealthy but I don't regret participating, and looking back on it, know that I learned valuable lessons and certainly learned more about myself. I also helped many people and I am proud of that.  I attended 12 step meetings for various problems such as co-dependency and other issues.  I dont feel the need for any of these special groups.  I also attended self-help workshops.  I spent two weeks at a D.I.D. treatment center in Southern California as an inpatient.  There were lectures on family dynamics and lectures on self-awareness. Everything  helpful.   Now  I am making great strides just using weekly therapy sessions.  My therapist and I work hard on the remaining issues from my past that I struggle with.  We process the day to day stuff too.  EMDR has been very useful in addressing some trauma issues.  I am glad she is trained to use EMDR.  

I can say that I am a work in progress.  I have permanently blended quite a few individual personalities, but not all.  I am not sure if we will ever entirely "integrate."  We are quite functional.  I used to think it was absolutely necessary to integrate all personalities in order to heal 100%.  I don't think that way anymore.  I have a different view that is more realistic.   I don't "have to"  integrate.  I don't have to heal 100%.  I don't think that is possible and integration isn't the only way to prove I have healed.  I will always have after effects from the experiences of my childhood. I can heal enough that  I can have a good and enjoyable life that I can be happy with.  I can function well.  I can be loving and kind to myself most of the time and know that I am valuable and deserving.  I can work on being the best I can be.  That means all of me.   Life is going to have its ups and its downs but I won't need to dissociate as I had to as a child.   

I need to work on my self-image and self-confidence.  I need to gain a more consistent sense of calm.  I worry way too much and  in many ways fear still runs my life.  I have a huge fear of face to face relationships and so I have no support system other than my immediate family, therapist and psychiatrist.   Establishing a friendship is something I work towards but  I have little confidence that will happen for me.   I never had friends in school. I didn't fit in for a variety of reasons.  I was a straight A student, considered a musical prodigy.   My parents were well-known and financially well-off professionals and we lived in a very large, well-known historic house.  My family was a compilation of different races. We were all adopted. My siblings were of different races as were the parents.  Inter-racial families were quite rare back in the 60's and 70's.Even my parents religious beliefs set me apart.  They were Christian Scientists.  As an adult I finally did make a friends.  I had a close friendship with someone for about 10 years.  She died on her honeymoon.  Maybe fear of abandonment is keeping me from trying.

As an adult I survived the experiences of  two brothers' suicides.  I made it through the loss of my best friend to a car accident.  I even survived cancer: I had Hodgkin's Lymphoma.  Even so,  I am still working on my recovery. I still think that my recovery from child abuse is more difficult than any other thing in my life, but its worth it.   
My life is more than just survival.  Its more than just recovery too.  I have re-engineered my life and it includes fun and games, laughter and joy.  For this I am so grateful.  I know what happiness really is.  Its within my grasp now and I feel it's positive power in my life.   I love that.  Never thought it would happen.  What a hard road it has been getting here, but it was worth the effort I put out so long ago to survive, and the extreme effort I have made and still make in therapy.   I still have lots of work to do.  I still have many things I'd like to change about myself.  I'm still working on it.   I am very grateful for every one of my parts. They experienced horrible traumas and I am so grateful they did.  It made it possible for me/us to survive.  They are all special in their own way.  We are all learning to love each other and as that love grows we grow, and become the person we wish to be.    

Everyone has a different path. I hope everyone who belongs to this group believes their lives can be a positive experience and they can feel good about themselves.  We all deserve to be happy.  That we all are valuable people worthy of love.  I hope everyone here brings hope with them down that path.  The tragedies of the past need not ruin today.  We are all heroes.  We survived the traumas of our pasts by thinking outside the box: dissociating. That's remarkable. Children can be so smart; actually ingenious.  We are remarkable people. 

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51-55, F
6 Responses Oct 4, 2010

Your post is the first I've read on this site. Thank you for sharing for life. It has given me hope - hope my husband will see that life is good, that although terrible things happened in his childhood, there is happiness to be found today. I am so happy for you that your husband and children are supportive. They are your family and love the strong woman that you are.

Thank u for shareing your story so many people with the same condition can get alot from what you have told here. You have reason to be proud of yourself and going to threapy for the period of time that you did, took alot of hard work. I have been going with my best friend to threapy for 13yrs now and she has grown alot and is the one out most of the time unless as u say there is a trigger. I wish u everything of the best.

I find your story inspiring, empowering and truly beautiful, just like you.<br />
Thank you.

It was great to read your story. I kept going, that's just like me/us!! It seems you are somewhat down tthe track to me/us. It is good to hear of your successes, not least that you have survived! You eminate such strength and perseverance. You give me hope. Thank you!<br />

I am 20 years old and am aware of 4 alters already, I am in therapy but I need support. please contact me on here. I am very afraid.

It take courage to write about your condition so thank you and I too would like to be of any help and support I have a real heart for anyone suffering with this condition. My best friend has mpd/did and I have seen her every day for the past 13yrs and she has grown alot. Feel free to contact me anytime if you wish to.

Thankyou for sharing :)