In my first experience with my own alters

1 12 2012

I was sitting at my keyboard and my fingers just typed out “My name is Sarah”… without any conscious thought to do so, and as soon as I read it, that fact felt solid and true to my heart even though my name is actually Shannon.

I typed “my name is Sara” with intent and a whole argument began where I fought over the spelling of the name Sara. I don’t spell it with an “H” but “She” did.

The experience was frightening and confusing for me and I struggled a lot to find answers for what was happening. This was actually the beginning of more than a year of becoming co-conscience with several of my own Alters. At the time I thought it was their way of introducing themselves and making me aware of their existence so that I could do what I needed to do to heal.

I have a long history of supposed therapeutic intervention meant to help me to function normally so was already under a Dr’s care at the time. They were treating me but they were not listening to me. They were not “helping” me. I was given ineffective drugs for years that did nothing at all to help what was actually going on and most therapists chastised me like a small child for refusing to be a good patient and just take them.

The Dr I was seeing at the time told me that I was just having hallucinations, and that what I was experiencing had no basis in reality.

If you are under the age of 40 you probably didn’t share that experience. We have at least some moderate mainstream acceptance for the existence of Multiple Personality Disorder, even if people’s actual understanding of the condition is far from the reality of it.

I couldn’t, just accept what he was saying. I wasn’t just seeing things. Alter’s that appeared, took over. It was so clearly NOT my thinking. We didn’t share the same belief system or pattern of behavior, and I seemed to have no control over what I was doing.

Telling me that I was having hallucinations didn’t help me to deal with what I was experiencing at all! It didn’t stop me from having to live with the things that I did as these others seemed to take over, and it didn’t help me deal with the actual real life damage resulting from other people’s reaction to what “THEY” did!

I was chronically losing jobs and finding myself homeless and unable to provide any stability for my children. I was also dealing with confusion, guilt and grief over what “I” was doing. I wanted to take responsibility for what I did but often gaps in my own memory seemed to make that impossible.

No one I spoke to seemed to have any understanding of what was happening but I HAD TO KNOW.

The book Sybil was the first thing I found that seemed to give any explanation that aligned itself with my own reality. It was 20 years old at that time, but it put me on a track of discovery and healing that finally really helped.

I became a consumer of information. These were the days when the world didn’t believe that Multiple Personality was “real” and any therapist treating it was considered a quack with a capital Q.

I had to fight my way through thousands of pages of information that truly hurt me to read, in order to glean tiny bits of information that might give me a better picture of what was going on in my brain, but I kept reading.

After I ran out of material that was written for the general population, like all the diaries and mainstream media hype, I was left with only books written for college students studying it.

What they were teaching was counter intuitive to everything I knew about my own condition, so I got away from reading about what the current thoughts on M.P.D. and D.I.D. were, and started reading everything I could find on how our brains work.

I read volumes about taking control of your own thoughts and emotions, self-hypnosis, and psychology. I read about things that seemed unrelated, like how they were treating physical injuries, strokes, other brain injuries, and addiction.

The more I read the less readable the material became. At the time I felt so driven, it felt like I needed information more than I needed air. I never finished high school so much of the material was above my own ability to understand it but I forced myself to read the same pages again and again, often having to look up dozens of words on each page as I read.

So little of it made sense but I kept reading, and then all at once everything I read formed a cohesive picture in my brain and I finally felt like I KNEW.

For years I have tried to find a way to pass that knowledge on. It was so hard to gain and has truly helped me take control of my own life. I am not always happy but I know who I am and how I got to be this person. I know what I need to do to stay emotionally healthy. I put the information that actually helped me to understand myself here.

So many people land here and read 2 or 3 posts and leave, and it makes my heart sad. You can find real answers for what identity disorder really is and how to heal it here, but nothing helpful in just 2 or 3 posts.

If you suffer the way I did, you can learn how to take control and heal your brain. If you have any ideas that might make this site better please comment.

Thank you for being here.

sincerely,

SB





Does multiple personality disorder even exist?

6 02 2019

Because of books like Sybil the myth is, that this disorder is multiple personalities inhabiting the same person. That it’s formed by some effort on our part, to remove ourselves from things that we have a problem dealing with. That we choose somehow to “dissociate” to protect ourselves from our reality, and that is what causes other parts to take over for us when we are too weak to handle life. In the last 15 years I have seen little change in that THIS is what is being printed as fact.

There are so many facets that are interwoven to create the experience of DID, but that myth does nothing to explain the actual reality of it nor help you heal from the disorder. There are truths that can do both. This site is great for letting me publish them in small pieces that are easy to understand and digest so that it’s possible to get a better understanding of the experience without needing a college education to get it.

This ‘personality disorder’ is a brain injury. Everyone is effected by these same types of injuries but only a small percentage to the extent that it causes the personality disorders that people expect to see in someone with DID. This is a trauma disorder and the myths of this disorder are not helping people deal with its effects or heal from it so grab some info and get educated, the brain you save could be your own.

Dissociative Identity Disorder has replaced “Multiple Personality Disorder” for the brain dysfunction that results from early childhood trauma but it is no less controversial or confusing to both therapists and the people who experience it then it was when they called it MPD.

It is fascinating to me that a “the world is flat”, phenomenon developed in the Psychiatric community regarding this disorder. Anyone openly admitting to believing it existed was criticized, ostracized and considered a fool. It has taken a phenomenal amount of research to refute the previous claims made about this disorder, including that the therapists themselves have hysterically created it in their patients.

If you’re the person experiencing it you have no doubts but speaking about it to anyone who could help was almost as traumatizing as experiencing it. They doubted the truth and sincerity in all you said or at least felt that you were hopelessly confused because they couldn’t argue it out of existence.

In order to function in my own life I have spent years studying this one thing. I believe that what feels like a “Multiple Personality Disorder” to the person experiencing it, is essentially a filing disorder with the functioning of the disorder and even the formation of it based totally on “normal” brain development.

Memory is basically a filing system. It is essential. To function you need that filing system to process information. If the filing system you have is damaged, your brain may start a new filing system in another part of the brain where the brain is not damaged. This filing system will not have any of the original files in it. It will only contain information processed after the trauma occurred.

Normally your brain stores information in order. What happened when you were 6 then what happened when you were 7 and so on, so that things that are current are easier to access than earlier files and yet everything is orderly and easy to find.

If you have M.P.D. that way of storing information was temporarily impossible because you have more than one place that stores parts of this info. At first the damaged parts are inaccessible but as your brain heals pathways to them can be built, and yet early on those areas are not connected to each other so that when you’re in one area you have no access to information stored in another.

As you get older the fact that you need to access information about the past makes you create neural pathways to more filing areas. The processing parts of your brain are continually trying to make those connections more efficient and useful.

If your brain has several areas of filing this type of information available to it, it may get more creative in the way it files future information. If you had an abusive step father that constantly told you you were stupid when you were 6, everything that supports that belief in the future will be put in that file. In fact any thing that you experience in your life that reminds you of that abuse may also go in there.

The neighbor you babysat for when you were 14, always said what a wonderful parent you would be, so all the supportive details for what a good parent looks like would be added to that file. In this way year by year, you added details to each file that seem to fit what was already beginning to be a basis for your personality.

Now we have formed the basis for forming a set of unhealthy heavily weighted personalities. Until your brain is mostly formed there is no real way for you to experience the wholeness of who you really are, because when your in one file you don’t have access to the information in any of the others.

The qualities that formed the basis for who you perceive yourself to be are unevenly weighted by the fact that any information that doesn’t seem to fit in that file will be efficiently pruned and added to a file that seems a better fit. When the information needs to be accessed, every supporting detail is easily found.

Normal Brain development will make more and more connections to the parts of the brain that you use most. In that way a lot of the healing that people describe that have this brain dysfunction will naturally occur as your brain develops. If it hasn’t reached a certain level of development then no amount of traditional therapy will fix it.

The aging brain develops outer connections that give access to all the parts of the brain. Like highways connecting one city to the next it allows for the sharing of information across all the structures of the brain. Like highways, you will develop connections to memory areas deemed most important first.

Normal brain development will open up that access and without any outside intervention this “healing ” will occur and eventually all the areas that file personality may be able to share information. May, and not will, because unless there is the need to access an area of the brain, no connections are made.

It doesn’t take decades or more of “therapy” to get over the pain that caused the original brain dysfunction. The brain just needs time to recover and mature. If stress and trauma have been prolonged or repetitive it will take longer for the brain to do that.

Even a lack of understanding for what is happening can re-traumatize someone so that the progress they make is stunted. It feels “crazy” to know internally that there is more than one area of the brain processing your own thoughts. Since that experience is rarely verified and explained to the person experiencing it, it isn’t just placed into perspective and processed as it should be.

This is an area where therapists could be most helpful. Unfortunately they are failing miserably at it. More often then not medication is offered instead of information, and empathy. Ignorance of this brain disorder has made therapists one more challenge in the lives of people facing the disorder, instead of the source of help that they were seeking.





Self harm, Anger and DID…

15 11 2016

One of the side-effects of DID is that tendency of the brain to clump information instead of filing it in chronological order.

It is common for all our feelings of self loathing, anger, sexuality, nurturing; our talents for writing, painting, cooking, sewing, crochet; and our heartfelt dreams and aspirations to be filed that way: just clumped in one area.

When you tap into any of those places it’s magnified and overwhelming. I think of it as being passionate when I can keep some sort of perspective, and disabling when I can’t. We are just normal people with normal people’s needs and emotions…ON STEROID’S!!!

I am totally obsessive to the point of not being physically able to pull away from an activity that I am involved in and then totally uninterested; I am so full of love for a God that would bless us with the wild flowers in our yard that I’m in tears or so cold as to step on them on my way to the lawn mower.

It is little wonder that therapists want to hit us with that Manic/Depressive label. It’s not just hard to stay focused and be successful, it is exhausting dealing with all the different shifts in needs, perspectives and emotions.

One of the things they do in Anger management is to go over the feelings that are in that file and re-attach them in a healthy way to the normal everyday occurrences that triggered them; not rendering them powerless but removing them from that single file and evenly distributing them through out our history so that it’s a lot less overwhelming when we’re in that space.

If you’re struggling with issues where your fighting off self harm, and suicidal feelings this same method of re-filing information might be helpful. Stop fighting the feelings and pick apart as many of them as you can and attach them to a place in your history where they belong.

Examine them again with adult eyes and give them a new perspective with the idea of trying to see each thing in a new way.

Please practice being kind to you my friend. It gets easier with time.





I am on here because

15 11 2016

I never found clear explanations for what I was going through when I was going through the worst of it. DID was a nightmare for me. There were no Internet support groups then. I didn’t know anything except that I was losing my mind.

The things I experienced were so frightening and weird at times that I feared telling anyone what I experienced thinking they would lock me up and throw away the key. Every therapist I saw wanted me on drugs and I felt that brain misfiring thing they kept telling me really didn’t apply.

I felt damaged by all the things I had gone through. It was as if they were saying I was malfunctioning without any real reason or cause, just crazy.

I was diagnosed with manic depression and given drugs that never helped, but no one would listen. Everyone I knew was on my case because I wouldn’t just take my pills and behave correctly like a good patient! I did and do get depressed but I have also found that there were times when my body just needed to shut down and process all the things I was going through.

I have with time gotten less judgmental about my own processes and less quick to grab a drug to change where I am. Like a computer that is malfunctioning, that shutting down process seemed to be just what I needed to stop the malfunctioning loop that I was in.

There are times when medication is appropriate. Constant stress does make chemical changes in your brain and it may just take a chemical to offset those changes so that your brain function can return to normal. If a drug is what it takes to help you function, it may just be worth the trouble. It’s your life. You need to balance the side effects and the results and decide what is best for you.

If your evaluating drug therapy a few things to remember. You may have side effects at first that are disturbing but will pass with time and it can take time to know if something is helping. Discuss your concerns with your Dr. Don’t let yourself be bullied. It may be worth tolerating some discomfort to gain brain function but in the end its up to you to judge if the results are worth it.

I read somewhere that if you can’t explain something so that ANYONE can understand it, you don’t understand it well enough. That was my goal; I need to know how close I have gotten to it. Your feedback is important to me.

I have this whole book on DID written on the hard drive of my computer in California. I came to Florida 6 months ago for a two week visit and stayed, leaving all that I owned behind. I have tried to recreate the basics here as I really want the information out there where someone might benefit from it.

I have run out of things that I remember off the top of my head and I no longer experience most of what disturbed me or confused me. I barely remember what it was like to be that me anymore.

There are those who are firmly in the camp of believing that multiple personalities exist as separate souls. In truth we only have one brain. No matter how fully we feel and experience them, they are in totality only the result of brain damage and our brains creative ability to make sense of what we’re feeling and experiencing as healing occurs.

The effects are confusing and frightening to feel and without any explanation for it we are left only with what ever our own brain creates as the story to explain the experience. Our brain keeps us in a place of homeostasis, because our survival depends on it.

Lacking real information about what has happened, we get a creative expression of what we feel based on our beliefs. This is not to say that the original flashbacks and feelings are not “real”. They are as real as anything we experience, but knowing what causes the effects will change how it’s experienced.

Not knowing what is going on creates fear and instability. We need to understand this extreme difference in experiencing our reality and lacking real information our brain will make one up that makes sense to us, to bring us back into homeostasis, the state we are in when our body is kept stable.

Once the belief is in place that what we are experiencing is “separate personalities” each taking control, which is exactly what it feels like when you experience it from the inside, “they” will conform more fully to that expectation.

Basically that is our brains confirmation that the way it’s filed information up to now, is correct and working for us, and will enable it to continue to file information in ways that make each of those storage areas more intensely flushed out as separate and different.

It’s my belief that each of us has to decide if this is in fact the case. Is it working for you? I couldn’t continue to exist in the space of drama and instability I found myself in. I wanted normal, or as close to it as it is possible for me to get in this lifetime.

I am functioning without drugs or outside intervention these days and I am happier. I don’t need to spend time and money or state resources to maintain my functioning and while I did get help, it is in a big way my own effort that has me here. I feel good about that.

Before anyone on the outside judges the decisions people with this disorder make, they should consider what it would be like, actually being born a fused multiple. Where you share organs and a body, but have separate brains.

Consider parents that make the decision never to separate them. Sure, they live with the fact that everyone on the outside can see that your not like them, but to do that surgery means that part of what you love will die. It can’t exist except in it’s current state.

You can decide what you would do, but is it really right to force your choice on others, when in reality you don’t have to live with the results of the decision?

I have experienced integration. It is a death of everything you know of who you are. It was an instant silence, where I had never before known what it was like to be alone. It was almost more then I could bear.

It was years of not knowing anything about who I was. Like a child I looked for clues and only became more like the person I believed those clues showed me to be.

This is a very dangerous time. If you are surrounded by negativity, what they reflect back at you would all be negative. Building a healthy self concept in that environment will be an imposing task, and impossible if you don’t realize what is happening.

I have changed the environment and watched the changes in me and know what it’s like to feel like clay in the hands of everyone around you. In the end I have chosen the environment that I am in, partially because I am able to live with the person I am when I am here.

There are changes I wish to make but every thought that I have confirming those beliefs, strengthen’s me and I hope will make it possible at some point to exist stably when I move on.

What ever our life as a multiple is, it is all we have known up to now, only we can decide if it works for us.

From this side I can say for me, the change was worth the loss. I really do have vastly improved brain function. I can choose to focus on the parts of me that I liked and add them to my new view of who I am. I had some artistic parts and while I can’t draw like that part did, I have taught myself to paint and feel that I successfully express that part again.

If you are looking for what may actually cause what we know as DID, I hope you find some satisfactory answers here. In the whole of this site I have tried to create a map of my way out. I hope you also find a measure of respect for choosing to live life from where you are.





Memory…

25 01 2014

If we assume that the “purpose” of memory is to use past events to help us make future decisions, then keeping a perfect and complete record of every event is not useful or efficient. Our brain is designed to only process information that will be useful at a later date, and to ignore the rest.

When something is learned, circuits of neurons are created, altered or strengthened. These neural circuits are composed of a number of neurons that communicate with one another through synapses. Connections are constantly being broken and new connections made. With repeated use, the efficiency of these connections increase.

The stimuli detected by our senses can be either deliberately ignored, or perceived. Ignored stimuli is forgotten almost immediately and only perceived stimuli enters our sensory memory. This is normally considered to be totally outside of our conscious control. Unlike other types of memory, sensory memory cannot be prolonged through rehearsal.

Information is passed from the sensory memory into short-term memory though the process of selectively concentrating on that one aspect of the environment while ignoring other things, which filters the stimuli to only the things that are of interest at any given time.

When your sleeping information is then filtered and anything of importance is filed into long-term memory. Explicit memory is memory of facts and events, and refers to those memories that are stored and retrieved. These can be Episodic or Semantic.

Episodic Memory is the memory we use to reconstruct the events that took place in our lives. They are normally in serial form where we are actors and our emotions and the actual context of an event are usually part of them.

Semantic memory which is generalized knowledge that does not involve memory of a specific event. It may once have had a personal context, but now stand alone as simple knowledge. In this way you can remember that a wrench is a tool without remembering any event in which you learned that information. It’s a more structured record of facts, meanings, concepts and knowledge about the external world that we have acquired.

Implicit memory is procedural memory. This is the memory of behavior’s that are so deeply embedded that we are no longer aware of them. Once learned, these memories allow us to carry out ordinary motor actions automatically, without conscious awareness of these experiences. It’s the unconscious memory of skills and how to do things, such as playing a guitar or riding a bike.

Because different types of memory are processed and stored in different areas of the brain, memories are reconstructed from elements scattered throughout different areas of the brain by the encoding process. A deficit in one type of memory will not necessarily effect the others… in this way you can remember how to ride a bike and not know when or how you learned to do so.

Newborn’s don’t have the ability to remember their own personal history. Their brains haven’t developed connections yet to the parts of the brain responsible for that. The first connections formed will be those that help interpret information from the sense’s. Only then would you start to form the connections for normal memory functions.

Memory’s are constantly being re-written. They are composite structures and each time you pull them up and go over them they will change. Part of this is from the natural pruning of information that your brain deems not necessary. It is also part of our nature not to leave questions unanswered. If something bothers you about a memory your brain will continue to try to solve the problem for you, even if it has to construct an answer that makes sense to you.

This is totally without any conscious effort on your part and it is difficult to tell what was there and what your brain may have added to the details once this has happened.

Flash backs from trauma are normally sensory memories that are kept in the very core of our brains structure. When first perceived they are normally extremely accurate pictures of what your brain took in at the time of the original incidence. They are not a part of the brain that is consciously accessed.

When in a traumatic situation the amount of information taken in and type change dramatically. Visual information may be shut out completely and other sensory information may be intensified. You may have taken in the physical feel or the scent along with all the emotions you felt at the time and nothing else.

Once it has been brought into your conscience memory it will be processed and re-written in the same manner as all your other memories are. Your brain will help you make it a whole picture that makes sense to you, even if those details had never originally been taken in.

You may have never taken in the face of an attacker but they may have worn the cologne of someone you know. If your brain is searching for more information and that is all it has, it may make the connection between the smell and the person and allow you to “see” them as part of the memory to give you the whole picture you’re seeking. It built the information that you had into a whole picture that would make sense to you. Because of this reconstructed memories are very unreliable.





Alternate therapies…

25 01 2014

Treating your PTSD isn’t going to cure your DID but it does make living with DID so much easier. I had huge success with EMDR. It is a very short term cost effective therapy where the person thinks of the event briefly as it is paired with sets of eye movements or other forms of stimulation.

With the therapist’s assistance, this helps the brain make the appropriate connects and rewire itself in regard to trauma. Slight warning here. My first experience with EMDR sent me into a panic attack where I felt sheer terror. I was safe with a therapist that I trusted and she helped me through it without a problem. I tried it again a few weeks later without any problems and felt some immediate relief. It took more visits then my therapist first expected but it made functioning possible in a short period of time when YEARS of therapy hadn’t helped.

These I have not tried but I am very encouraged to believe in Alternate therapies over traditional ones or using drugs to deal with the effects of PTSD.

Energy Processing Therapy: This works with the energy median pathways in your body, which can become imbalanced from the impact of a traumatic event. It works by re-balancing your system as you think of the traumatic event.

Hypnotherapy: In PTSD treatment they will focus on re-wiring the brain to change perceptions on the subconscious level. Using the power of suggestion, plus processing formulas. I would confirm with the therapist before starting that their use of this form of PTSD treatment will focus on the present and future rather than on rehashing the past. I would take DID issues off the table, at least until you built a level of trust with your therapist and both decided where you wanted to go with it.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming: These techniques sever and recreate neural pathways by using language to re-frame, redirect and reorganize the coding of experience in the brain. Like hypnotherapy, NLP focuses on the present and future rather than the past.





Little’s and animal alters…

25 01 2014

Little’s or child alters and non-human alters appear to be fairly common. There is resistance for acceptance of non-human alters from people who don’t understand DID and often use this as a reason to ridicule the possibility that DID is real.

In reality these alters are very young children. Stop and consider how this could be. You define what you experience. If you have DID you are experiencing each alter from inside their thoughts and feelings and while you get that they are not YOU there is no real reference to tell you who or what they are, except what you are thinking, feeling, and sensing.

Young children have wonderful imaginations and honestly don’t know that they can’t be a cat, or a dog, or even a chair. When frightened they may want to be anything but what they are! They have been shut down at a point when they were making themselves disappear by being something else.

Inside their brain they have studied every detail and know exactly what it would be like to be a cat, or a dog, or even a chair and the thoughts and feelings you get are those of what they believe they are at the time they were last aware.

Once you are aware of any alter, you make a judgement about what you are experiencing and label it. From that point on they may begin to evolve to conform to your belief system or they may fight and reject it outright, but either will make very real changes to who they are. The fact is, they are as invested in being them, as much as you are in being you.

For that reason only the first few appearances of an alter are pure in the sense that your consciousness has not effected theirs yet. Approach these type of alters as you would any small child or non-verbal alter.

If they are yours, understand that they may be pre-verbal and have no means of expression of their pain or fear. They need nurturing and reassurance, not judgement no matter how weird what you are experiencing may feel.

I interacted with mine inside my head until she no longer needed that anymore. You might try written communication to help reach out to these parts.





The trauma effect…

18 02 2013

Because of modern brain imagery we can see how stress and trauma affect the brain. They have learned that it affects the higher functions of the brain first. The younger you are when you experience it, the more devastating its effect partially because the higher functions of your brain are not developed yet.

Trauma damages the brain. They have done brain scans of trauma victims and can see on the scan the noticeable “Dying back” effect on the brain. I have experienced it again and again from the inside. Just like with a stroke, you lose functioning. It’s actually the loss of the ability to access that damaged area of the brain that everyone sees with a stroke victim.

Scientists have been able to Map the brain for some time now and can show how behavior deficits are directly correlated to damage to the area of the brain that those connections would have been dependent on.

When damage occurs, at first the brain will attempt to simply remake a connection. If it isn’t possible to just reconnect, it will try to find other ways to process the information its receiving, like assigning other areas of the brain to process that information.

It will only do this if a) a simple reconnect isn’t possible and b) it keeps being asked to process information the damaged area of the brain would handle. If you stop asking the brain to process that information, the ability to process it is just lost.

There is a measurable difference in the way each side of your brain processes information. If the left side of your brain takes over something that the right side of the brain was responsible for, it would process that information differently then the right side would.





Taking control…

19 12 2012

DID can feel like Mr Toads wild ride. Someone experiencing it without any knowledge of what they are going through will feel they have no control of the direction it takes or what will come next. In truth at any point if you learn what is going on you can somewhat take control of the experience and direct your own healing and growth.

I say somewhat because it is like paddling a river. There will be other forces affecting your brain function. You can navigate with them, around them, against them, but it’s a process of constantly re-assessing where you are and what progress your making and pushing off again. You can choose to paddle or only make corrections when you find yourself pushed up against the rocks. In reality we all do both.

Don’t be too quick to decide that you need to be paddling furiously all the time. At times it safe and easier to go with the flow, and you might just need all the energy you can muster for the rapids up ahead.

You are the expert of your own system. You should be the one deciding what answers you need and when to move on or change focus. It takes time. You can decide to fit in the work it takes to make progress or you can just allow your own system to tell you when its time to work on your issues and move forward in your path to healing the effects of DID.

Sometimes what seems passive has the most beneficial effects. Sound effects our brain and influences our emotions. Music is wonderful but you might be surprised at the benefits of simply sitting listening to waves, night noises, or wind in the tree’s. It can have real measurable effects on your ability to function.

Surrounding yourself with positive supportive people builds brain connections. Removing as much stress as possible protects from further damage. Awareness of good nutrition keeps deficiencies from affecting how your brain functions.

There is no wrong answer. When something doesn’t work for you, you know what isn’t working. This too is good information.





Normal brain development…

2 12 2012

has a significant role in DID’s formation so it’s best if you know something about the brain itself.  Our brain develops in an outward tree like structure so that all the new structures are dependent on those already formed. Its development determines our capacity for learning, decision making, recollection, expression, dreaming, creativity, and rational thinking.

Information is passed through neurons. Connections between neurons that are not used will die off and using more parts of the brain will cause more connections to be made.  (If an area of the brain isn’t receiving stimulation the connections to it will die off.)

As an infant, you start out not able to process external information. Stimulation causes brain connections to be made to process the impulses its receiving.  The first senses to be stimulated would be touch, and taste; then sound, smell, and sight.  

If you are born deaf or blind that area of the brain won’t receive the stimulation it needs and without that will never form the connections that are necessary to process that type of information.

Every single brain is different from the second of conception.  It’s formation is dependent on so many things; proper nutrients, the amount of and types of stimulation it receives, the genetic material passed on by the parents and when and how much it’s injured. The brain is in a constant state of change.

One reason why early childhood is so important because all of the crucial areas of the brain are still forming. If our limbic system, also known as our our “emotional brain” is damaged you not only lose functions but nothing that develops in that area in the later stages can develop until it has healed.

This is the part responsible for sensory and motor functions, stable regulation of your internal environment, emotion, thirst, hunger, nervous system control, and your 24 hour body rhythms. It controls the physical affects for emotion, and fear. It’s also the part that processes learning and memory, converts short term memory to more permanent memory, and for recalling spatial relationships in the world around us.

Depending on what you read some where between 6 and 8 we believe that the brain has reached 95% of its adult size, and goes through a hardening of the structures that protects the brain and also makes changes to the brain more difficult. It’s not till you’re in your 20’s that the foundation of neural structures in the frontal lobes of the human brain is fully developed.

The cerebral cortex is the largest part of your brain covering the other structures of the brain and takes up about 85% of the human brain mass. Reasoning, logic, rational thinking, reading, writing, and math, are all cortical functions.

The pre-frontal cortex is one of the last areas of the brain to mature.  It is an essential part of having good judgment, controlling impulses, solving problems, setting goals, organizing and planning. Since all outer structures are dependent on those already formed, damage from stress and trauma can significantly delay a person from being capable of reasoning, logic, and rational thinking.

At every point in the development and maturing of your brain you have the ability to change the functioning of your own brain by providing it with what it needs to form connections and process information better. I noticed a huge boost in my ability to solve problems and think critically after my self-education helped me heal in a significant way from my own brain injury’s.





Finally living on middle ground.

2 12 2012

There are always these feelings inside of me that say we need to respect where people are in their own lives. That I can accept their belief system even though it’s different from my own.

When it comes to religion, I truly believe that everyone’s belief system holds some truth and their belief system is worthy of respect. I believe in an all-knowing, omnipresent, creator, which most people I encounter share, but I also believe that there is a possibility that belief is wrong, that we can’t KNOW.

When it comes to politics I am probably more left leaning then right but when it isn’t just hate that’s being pushed, I know we can find a middle ground where our beliefs meet. I feel that we have a responsibility to look after each other but when you say that it shouldn’t be our Governments job to do it I am inclined to believe that too.

When we speak about DID I want to find that softer fuzzier view but I came from a view of myself as separate parts: I felt them shift from one to another, was horrified at the disconnect I felt between what I saw them doing and my own feeling of the amount of control I had.

That drove me to look for answers. I studied hard and long and after years earned the truth I found. I really feel as in control as anyone else now. Really how in control are we? Anyone out there trying to quit smoking? Everyone is having a measure of success and failure, but I am living my life as a unified human being.

Profound thinkers of our time believed that D.I.D. didn’t exist. After years of arguing with that I came to know that what I perceived internally wasn’t factual. I found out what caused my miss-perception. I can’t go back to not knowing that!

I am not prepared to except this new world that not only thinks of DID as “REAL” but embraces it as an identity in itself. If you want to except that what you perceive is true, I can understand. It is very threatening to know that you can’t trust your own reality.

That being said I can’t go back to the place where I can embrace it as well. Not for me and not for you. When You say I am Sarah, and John, and Tara, I can only see you with little sock puppets on being all of them.

If your parents or significant other is going along with it, to me that’s no different than them wrapping their arms around you and saying it’s OK hon, I will stay right here and protect you from that monster under the bed; instead of helping you to know that “the feeling” that there is a monster under there, is different then there actually BEING a monster there.

It feels comforting and loving in one light and totally wrong in another. You have a right to believe what ever you want, even when it’s wrong. I just don’t see the point.





Seeing is believing…

2 12 2012

Or is it? Have you ever misread something or thought you saw something only to realize that it was something else totally different then what you thought that you had seen?  Or been looking right at something that you were looking for and NOT seen it?

If you saw a flash of purple and your mind thought flower, an image of a flower would be presented and all the details would be there, when what actually exists may have been a part of a broken purple bowl.  Once your mind interpreted it as flowers you may have even been able to smell the flowers that you thought you saw.

This isn’t a dysfunction; this is actually the way the brain works.  Babies are looking machines.  Their brains take in details that once the brain matures it is no longer capable of taking in at that level.  At least in most people.  Once those images are imprinted then the brain has a library of pictures to present complete with all the details.

The whole of what you’re looking at is basically your brain building a flash scan into a detailed whole and only what has the majority of your concentration actually gets taken in as new information.  Sight is nothing but the interpretation of electrical impulses in the brain.

We depend on our senses to give us accurate information. At times our very lives may depend on it but if your brain is damaged the information you have been given may not be accurate representations of what your actually getting at the time. Every sense you have is filtered through and interpreted by what is basically a damaged system.

If you feel that you are in anyway experiencing a mental disorder it is imperative that you get yourself away from anything threatening or damaging and surround yourself with people that you can trust in order to give yourself the best chance to heal.

I went in and out of being capable of functioning fully. If your like me you will be aware that you can’t always trust your own thoughts, perceptions and decisions and while it may seem counter intuitive, you will need to trust your instincts enough to pick people who you can trust to give you honest feedback about what is going on around you.

Step one, get yourself into a safe space and get outside help. Build yourself a supportive network of people who you trust. They may be your family but often we don’t have a supportive functioning family and you need to build one. People with disabilities tend to want to isolate themselves. If you want to get better that is a luxury that you don’t have.

I made really great progress from being able to be in mental facilities for short periods of time when my dysfunction was at its worst. If its available to you it might be your best choice.

Unfortunately in our modern world, it isn’t available to many that need it, and even when it is, you may not be able to make that decision when you need to the most because of your disability. Hopefully your supportive network can help you get that help then.





Brain Development and D.I.D.

2 12 2012

They have shown a strong correlation between DID and early childhood trauma. Because of normal brain development it would take repeated trauma’s before the age of 8 for DID to exist. If you look at brain development it is easy to see how and why this is usually the case. It would take much less trauma at a young age to produce this effect.

Since trauma causes a noticeable “dying back effect” once the higher functions of the brain are formed they would be the first functions lost, not the parts of the brain that deal with memory and emotions; also between 6 and 8 there is a hardening of the brains structures that provide some protection for the brain.

It is normal for the brain to break and re-make connections. When you are not able to access needed information, at first your brain will attempt to re-make the connection. After your brain has some built-in protection it is less likely that this damage to your memory storage and processing areas will occur.

At first only new traumas resulting in memory damage would cause new areas of information storage to be needed and formed. Once the brain has “learned” that new connections won’t resolve the issue, it will stop trying and use this method of making a new storage area anytime it has problems accessing memory even when only a new connection is needed.

If you except that personality could be memory dependent, then losing functional memory would explain how the separate personalities are first formed with DID. The dying back effect that happens would trigger a need to have new places to store information relating to memories that would be needed to build the belief system that we use in the formation of our personality.

If you take away all the past information. We get to make those decisions again based on a totally new intake of information. If you removed all the memories of any experiences you had before age 4, things that many people feel strongly influence personality will be removed from your experience bank.

You will now base your new decisions on the current situation you find yourself in, and for many reasons they may be totally different from what they were then, so the new area of the brain that stores memory can have a totally different pattern of making decisions.

This new belief system would be based on all new information and may initially conform or not to those you previously held but you won’t see the staggering differences in children that you will see in an adult with DID.

This is because what you see will again be based on brain development. It takes time for healing to occur. Brain connections are made on an as needed basis. Young children are rarely put in situations where they have to remember past events.

Unless you require the brain to come up with that information the crucial brain connections to those earlier memories won’t be made. There will never be any conflicting personality’s because the original files may never be accessed again.

If this process of trauma and healing isn’t repeated DID won’t be an issue. You may never recover the memories of your early childhood but not everyone would question the lack of memories at that early of an age. If the process of trauma and healing is repeated, it will still take years to recognize what we see as DID in adults.





The Myths of this disorder.

2 12 2012

D.I.D. used to be known as Multiple Personality Disorder. The belief then was that several separate personalities inhabited the same person. When they got a better understanding of it they changed the name to Dissociation Identity Disorder trying to keep from giving people the wrong idea about its nature but that’s just as deceptive.

People think that it’s formed by some effort on our part, to remove ourselves from things that we have a problem dealing with. That we choose somehow to “dissociate” to protect ourselves from our reality, and that is what causes other parts to take over for us when we are too weak to handle life.

That is such a prevailing myth that suggesting it isn’t so is just as emotionally charged as the whole argument of the existence of M.P.D. at all! It is very hard to fight when it fits with the bits and pieces of the reality of how it often displays itself in the lives of those who have it. It does so, so often they are the biggest defenders of this falsehood.

The simple truth is this ‘personality disorder’ is a brain injury. Everyone is effected by these same types of injuries but only a small percentage to the extent that it causes the personality disorders that people expect to see in someone with DID.

This is a trauma disorder with several components; the amount of trauma, the repetitive nature of it, and its timing with-in the normal development of your brain. That damage and it’s effects are different at every stage of brain development. If you read far enough, I explain the components of the disorder in a way that anyone can understand how it develops and what causes what you know as D.I.D. to appear the way it does.

The disassociation part is no more a “choice” than when Pavlov’s Dogs salivate. There’s a neutral stimulus, and your system produces a pre-programmed response. Like the salivating dogs, the disassociated person doesn’t have any control or decision to make, it’s a pre-programmed response to the stimulus presented. When you represent it as a “choice” that carries with it a component of judgement that isn’t helpful or accurate.

There is no typical case of D.I.D. because every single brain is different, but the pattern of its development and the changes that take place in the brain of someone who has it, are predictable and can be traced and followed.

We can take control and expedite our own healing. First we need to protect our brains from further trauma to allow healing to occur, and respect our instincts when seeking help from others.





Time for my file cabinet theory…

2 12 2012

When I first suspected I had DID I came up with the file cabinet theory.  From the inside it felt like if I was in one place in my brain I couldn’t access anything stored in any other.   I pictured all the information in my brain as being stored in a filing cabinet and I couldn’t access what was in a second drawer without shutting the first.   For a time this left me feeling better, because it was the first theory I had about the workings of my own brain that wasn’t screaming CRAZY!

What actually caused this effect was that the connections in my brain hadn’t developed to the point that any of the places of memory storage were connected to each other.  The only way to access any of them was to feel a strong emotion, it worked like an elevator to the basement where I could change the branch I was on and access a new place in my brain.

At some point in your brains development some of those storage places connect together like branches on a tree that grow outward enough they can touch each other.  You direct this to happen, just like you direct all the other structures of your brains growth by your own demands on your brain to do so.

The timing for this will happen for everyone eventually.  You begin the process by your own effort to figure out the things that you notice don’t add up.  Why can’t I remember signing up for this class?  Why is it Friday!  I know it was Sunday and Tuesday I had an important appointment!  Did I go?

Some part of your brain KNOWS this information and because you NEED TO KNOW your brain is going to build the connections you need to get that information accessible where you can use it!  It takes time and trial and error and it’s a continuing process.  As long as you keep having questions your brain is going to keep trying to find a way to get them answered!

This is where the first experiences of co-consciousness come in.  Your interpretation of the experience will change how you experience it.  If you feel co-present and feel fear you may get a more complete picture of them NOT being part of you.  The less you embrace this experience as normal and just another part of yourself, the more separation you create.





This is where seeing is believing comes in…

2 12 2012

In a huge way your expectations control what you experience.   If you have read the part on how we see, you may understand that vision is really just the interpretation of electrical impulses in the brain.  In fact all of what you experience through your senses is just that; how your brain is interpreting the information taken in.

We are very invested in believing what we experience through our senses.  It feels threatening to think that we can’t trust what we see, feel touch and taste to be true to the actual facts of our existence.  From inside DID we are used to that experience.

What you experience of DID, is going to be partially driven by your own judgments and interpretations.  What you’re looking at is your brain building a detailed whole for you and it will conform itself to your needs and expectations at the time.

Feel like this co-conscience part is your best friend and you might see the two of you on a couch in your brain having whole conversations about everything you do.  Reject it totally and you may find yourself on the ceiling looking down on a version of you doing things you have no control over.

You can feel what “THEY” are feeling and know what they are thinking, But THEY ARE NOT YOU!   You may have both experiences with different parts of yourself as they become accessible.  Your reaction and your knowledge base will drive your experience.

The more you learn about DID the more what you experience may conform to what you know.





All my life people have thought of me as being Manic Depressive…

2 12 2012

It isn’t accurate and it hurts my relationships. It definitely leaves me feeling alone and misunderstood. Bipolar is often a misdiagnosis for people with Multiple Personality Disorder.

We can both have similar highs where we are out of touch with our normal boundaries of behavior. We can both ride similar lows where we appear suicidal. The difference is they are directly correlated for Bipolar people. They will ride that high till they crash. Then all the negative feelings that they have will hit and like a drug, the effect will be controlled in a huge way by the chemical compounds released into their brain.

On the outside it is hard to see how that is different from the sex addicted self inside shifting to the the suicidal one. It may look like I have just come down, except now with brain imaging they can actually show the shift that we feel inside, is a very real shift from where we were thinking to another center in the brain… what I experience isn’t at all like a drug wearing off.

It’s a total internal shift between brain centers that don’t share the same experiences, values, and memories. I can shift back and forth multiple times in any moment. At this point in my life I can use my own thought processes to control where I am unless my stress level is high.

Stress does actual damage to brain connections and can inhibit my ability to shift out of where I am but the real problem is, that it’s an external trigger that just keeps shifting me into a brain center that functions poorly.

This week my stress level took a drop and my ability to stay in an area where I have some brain function, is returning. I can be here and think clearly enough not to dump poisonous crap.

It is only the last couple of years that I have gotten any amount of control over that. I can shift my thinking intentionally by thinking in a way that brings up a feeling: like trying to remember snuggling a kitten, how someone I liked smelled, or feeling myself reacting to something, and it puts me in the part of my brain that experienced that.

That allows me to intentionally bring out the parts of me that are most socially acceptable. The ones not wrapped in fear. The parts that feel good about who they are. I have a hard time now because I am not seeing a corresponding improvement reflected in the life I live.

The ability to share my experiences across the board to all the different processing areas I have, is something that has only happened for me in the fairly recent past as well. Whatever I experience now connects in ways that were never possible for me before.

It is still difficult to know whether an offer of sex will trigger the part that experienced sexual abuse, the part that wants sex, or that thinks all of that is against God, but each of those processing places are now less pure than they used to be in a big way. The walls that kept the experiences and memories separate are down and that sharing is making the shifts more seamless on the outside.

Still stress seems to undermine every improvement. When I am in public every person coming into my circle can trigger some other part coming out. There are still some parts not socially acceptable and pain can bleed out at inappropriate times. Because of that, my anxiety level for it is high. I switch between selves and the higher my stress the less control I have over it.

Asking me to decide anything is to set up an internal argument that will spin on until I find some place of understanding and resolution within. Maybe that’s positive as well but it severely limits my range of experience because we will always solve the conflict like a lawyer does.

It’s like getting a bill through congress. I used to unilaterally be able to make decisions by who ever was out at the time. Any time I have to make a decision now, no one part wins. Everything’s a compromise and we chose not to move past our current comfort level. It keeps me stuck where I am.

When I am with anyone the level of trust we have is the only thing that will keep me present and stable. I react differently around friends and family then I respond in public. Even if something might be triggering, I will react to it better.

I need to feel safe to be my best self. I don’t have employment and moving to a place of being employed now is harder than it used to be in ways that I wasn’t capable of understanding myself until this moment. This is really working against me.

I have spent years trying to heal and really felt that would mean an improvement in my quality of life, but that hasn’t happened. It’s really hard to live with that. All that work and my functioning isn’t really better.

In fact lately my loss of brain function has made my family worried about me. I have determined I will need drugs to reset my brain. I try not to think of that as failure and for now just have to accept that it is.





Healing isn’t just possible…

2 12 2012

It’s inevitable. Everything about us is made to renew itself and heal. If you stop the damage that the offending thing is doing your body will heal. Your Brain will HEAL.

I am 58 years old and I can’t tell you how many Dr’s have told me that I, “would never heal”, “would never be able to hold down a job”, “would never be able to function without medication” and they were all wrong.

They wanted to refer me for permanent disability in 1995 and medicate me for life. Making it was a mix of a loving family, luck, prayer and determination, but I have. What helped me may not be the answer for anyone else but if you are like me and refuse to quit looking for a way to be successful in your life, you will find your own way.

I believe that we were made to thrive. Just get as far away as possible from everything that is hurting you and you will begin to heal. Keep looking for answers and answers that are unique to your own needs will come. Often just at the point where you think you can’t take anymore, the biggest breakthroughs happen.

January 2014 I was in the hospital and grieving the fact that I had to be put back on medication again. At the time I felt it was a final coming to terms with the fact that I would never truly heal or get over this tendency to have of stress totally overloading my system and making my brain malfunction.

This year is the hardest I have lived through in decades and I’m fine. Between my divorce, estrangement from my children, the rape of a close family member, and this last election cycles constantly triggering events, I would have felt overload and malfunction inevitable; I am fine.

No voices, no shutting down, and no stroke victim like responses. While election night was horrible, days later my thinking is clearer than ever and I feel focused. I am almost hesitant to report it, but I am not losing anything.

I got up the next morning at 6am, went to work out at the gym with my friend and then went to work. I have done so every day since without a problem. In fact I am processing information better than ever. I’m finding solutions and setting new goals.

Several times in my life I have quit just before I actually reached my goal because the truth is, it is always darker before the dawn and things do seem hardest just before you make the headway you’re working hard for.

I am learning that when life is getting harder, I’m succeeding. Hang in there and watch for the miracle. It’s so close…don’t quit, don’t give up…you deserve the success you worked so hard for and it will happen.





Help…

2 12 2012

I read that it takes years of therapy to get over the worst effects of DID. It’s actually the years of human contact in a non-stressful environment that helps your healing.

You must protect your brain from further injury. Keep negative, critical, judgmental people as far from direct contact as possible. Find ways to enjoy green spaces, lakes, rivers, the ocean; nature is a natural healer.

Many times the effects of DID serve to isolate people who have it from others. Since nothing you do builds brain connections like contact with others, isolation can prevent your making the necessary connections to effectively outlive its effects.

There are successful ways to treat the PTSD but DID major effects will only pass with the development of enough brain connections to successfully create such complete co-conscientiousness.

DID makes changes in your brain that are not reversible but there are lots of ways to manage your system to successfully live with DID. Connecting with others with DID will help with ideas about how others cope and you also get the human contact so vital to building the brain connections you need to heal.





Where did you go?

2 12 2012

So what happens when your brain gets damaged so that you lose all your previous information about your environment. You might just check out. On the outside you have just shut down and cease to function.

Anyone seeing you can tell you’re not in there. If it is severe enough they call it catatonic. You don’t speak or smile or make eye contact. You may not even be hearing or seeing anymore, because you temporarily can’t take in the new information.

Your brain is a processing machine, like a computer, only better because it learns from everything in its environment. When I bought my first computer my life got so much better because I had some point of reference for my own dysfunction.

I didn’t understand anything about why I acted like I did, so I spent a lot of energy just spinning thoughts trying to figure it out. The answer wasn’t there. I had to find it in my environment. When the computer would malfunction, I had to do a restart. I would blame myself for my lack of functioning, until the day that I could see that I needed a restart.

I was diagnosed and treated multiple times for depression, but when I stopped seeing it as an illness that needed to be cured, or a failure on my part to achieve what was expected of me, and started instead to view it as a hard reset, those periods of “depression” and dysfunction began to pass quickly.

One of the ways of dealing with the lack of information during the time that your brain has no access to it, is to look for clues in the environment to tell you what you are supposed to be doing. Traumatized children become almost psychic in their ability to read the people around them, because they have to.

Think about it if you and the adult in the room are doing something that made you feel afraid or threatened and a different you pops in with no idea of what is going on and you just tell them that; how are they going to react? “Bullshit! You know dang well what you did and why I am angry!” Shit will hit the fan!

If your not an infant life is placing demands on you. People have expectations placed on them at every age but more and more as you get older. Because of this need to function in spite of being damaged beyond the ability to, the brain can construct a tape of you to run in your place.

It builds that tape from the clues you have gleaned from your environment, creating a temporary automated response. This gives you time to heal and build a new data base for your behavior from that point on.

When I was inside this disorder and trying to function, I would switch functioning from one place of memory to another at times of intense emotion or stress, or if stress got bad enough, I might just shut down.

What people might see on the outside, could be that automated response tape running in my place, or they might just see someone who sleeps way too much and isn’t doing what they are expected to do. Both are equally judged as me failing to give people what they expect from me.

As I got old enough to have other places of information storage that I could operate from, I could switch from one processing place to another as I needed.
The resulting switch will most likely bring out a less functional version for the reason that the most useful functional parts may be consistently filed in the place that is most commonly accessed for information. Again, I was suddenly incapable of giving people what they expected from me.

By this point in my brains development I was beginning to notice something wasn’t right. Seriously for a lot of years that I spend damaged I didn’t even have a clue that I wasn’t normal.

Think about it. Everything is new for a little kid. Everyday brings new experiences and at that time you’re learning at an incredible rate so the adults around you might not see it either.

They may just consider you an “immature little brat”, a chronic liar, or tag you with some other just as inappropriate label and write off what your doing as intentional. Few will see that you’re really just a normal human trying to function with a malfunctioning brain. I know in my world they didn’t.

When you first start to notice there is really something that is different about you than others, it’s most likely because you have heard it a thousand times by now; “What the hell is wrong with you!” Seriously, you’re doing the best you can, but no-one knows that because you’re doing such a good job of faking it.

In reality, you’re totally lost half the time and everyone is ALWAYS ANGRY, sooo ya, there MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU. So now part of your job has become figuring out what’s wrong with you.

What are your clues? People constantly have expectations of you that you can’t meet. You constantly lose things. You may lose time. People continually accuse you of lying when in reality you may have developed coping skills that have you making up information to fill in for anything you realize you should know but don’t.

You got all the clues but what no one does is give you the answers for what to do about it. Unless your provoked to the point of anger constantly, no one really see’s that you need help. Just acting bizarre isn’t inconvenient enough for most adults to take the time to look twice at you, they have their hands full managing their own life.

It’s the incredibly lucky ones that get the help that they need to find their way out because for many the resources for that help are just unavailable. Even those who kind of try just don’t know how to help you. Many times your just labeled BAD and they put you, where they put kids that are Bad. Sometimes that can be juvenile hall or schools for “disruptive” children.

Around this time you start developing the real “personality” Disorder that characterizes what people think of when they hear you have M.P.D. People can see that your anything but “normal” and the usual reaction is fear.

Usually I would gain awareness of my surroundings like I had come up out of deep water. Slowly I would take in my environment and get clues about what my next move should be. Only once did I startle into existence.

I came to in the middle of a busy street being beeped at for crossing against the red light. I had no idea how I got there, where I was or how I could get home. I checked myself into a mental hospital immediately only to find out years later they put in my charts that I was on drugs at the time!

By then I was 17 years old and living on the streets. I had no coping skills. My foster parents had given up and closed the door on that relationship and people that tried to help me, within a very short time, saw how damaged I was and reacted with fear.

I have lost several jobs. I got thrown out of an apartment because I didn’t recognize the owner that I had just rented it from the month before. I was asked to move out by friends and lovers that felt my problems were bigger than they could handle. As far as I knew I hadn’t done anything “wrong”. They were all saying the same thing…”There is something wrong with you, you can’t be here.” Life didn’t get easier for a very long time





Flashing back…

2 12 2012

Flashbacks are memories of past traumas. They are often just broken pieces of what happened, instead of the full recording of an actual event. They may take the form of pictures, sounds, smells, body sensations, feelings or even the lack of them. Often there is no actual sight or sound memory.

When we are physically feeling, smelling or sensing a memory, that is a flashback. Stronger feelings than are called for in the present situation…can be a flashback. We may have a sense of panic, being trapped, or feeling powerless, without a corresponding memory attached to it.

When they come up, we are experiencing the past as if it were happening today. As the flashback occurs, we may not realize that we are an adult with years of experience and distance between ourselves and what happened. The intense feelings and body sensations occurring are frightening because they seem to come from nowhere.

Flashbacks feel crazy because the feelings seem to have no relationship to the current situation, but there is nothing crazy about them. Flashbacks are actually proof that we are healing! That the time has come to integrate our experiences with our current knowledge so that we can make fully informed choices about how we will act knowing what our history has contributed to our knowledge base.

We can make the experience less intense by grounding ourselves with the knowledge that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is normal for anyone who has experienced an abnormally stressful event.

While we need to respect our body’s need to experience those feelings, it helps to learn ways of taking care of ourselves. When we connect with other survivors, we are able to learn more effective ways of coping from those who have already been where we are. We need to be patient: it takes time to heal the past.

We can also get help from therapists who understand the processes of healing from trauma. We don’t have to do it alone. Leaning on other survivors while you navigate this process of healing, not only helps us form our own map though it, but that contact helps to heal our brains in ways no drug can.





My brain function is so different now.

1 12 2012

I have been on here reading and find it difficult to remember what it felt like to shift between thought processing areas. My brain has been quiet for years now. I don’t feel out of control or like any part of me is separate. I am whole; complete, functioning, and capable of doing anything I wish in my life.

I am not on any medication. I don’t self medicate and have no problems motivating myself to do what I need to. I have had a membership in a fitness center 35 minutes from my home for a whole year now. I will never be a jock, but I do work out consistently 4 days a week for 40 minutes a day.

I have normal fears. I don’t like climbing ladders. I make sure it’s secure and then I just climb them by shutting down the thought that there is a reason to fear it.

I always have some project in process of being completed but have many completed projects behind them. While things can and do delay some of them, I do complete most things I start eventually.

I read things other than facebook. I am teaching myself to play piano and learning to code. While I have a tight time schedule most days, I still find a bit of time every day to practice those skills.

I am going on three years in a close monogamous relationship. We are friends, and partners and lovers. I am usually able to tell him when I have needs that are not being met with words, spoken face to face in a calm voice and he does the same.

He is successful, mature and supportive and doesn’t hold me back from what I want to do or try to control me. I try to meet his needs and do the same for him. We make a good team.

Our home is moderately messy. There are always clean dishes and clothes but they are never completely done. If most people walked in the door I would be comfortable with having company any time, but there are times I would prefer it to be cleaner.

I am able to go out into the world and function alone without battling fear. Wow, when did that happen? I shop at normal stores, during normal business hours and don’t even question it. That would have been impossible for me just a few years ago.

To me this is what healthy looks like. My life is manageable. I am free to live without crippling fear or overwhelming self management problems. I am grateful. I pray that anyone searching for this in their own life, finds it.

It is worth having and worth all the work it took to get here.





Harming others…

1 12 2012

You know when my boyfriend and I were having problems he posted a bit to a DID forum.  A whole bunch of the answers to his post, were beyond just supportive for his position that I should have better control of my system.  They felt that under no circumstances should anyone with DID be held to a lesser standard for behavior than anyone else.

Wow, that was a very hard pill for me to swallow.  I mean if you run on a system that is often out of your awareness and control how can you be responsible for it?

For two days now I have been functioning on a thread.  I am on medication because I have things that have to be done, and I care enough about the people in my space to keep doing them…since I know that I will shut down at this point without medication; I take it.

I raised 3 children.  Children are your responsibility 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  Their needs have to come before your own.  They just do.  I have had this disorder for as long as they have been alive.   My way of taking care of them was to make sure that they always had a number of adults in their lives they could turn to if and when I wasn’t enough.  I also gave them permission to share what ever they needed to with anyone they needed to share it with.    I knew I couldn’t do it alone, and I needed to make it OK that they get what they needed elsewhere.  Making sure there is someone there to take care of your children is also taking care of them.

I have done what I felt I could do to protect others from any inconsistencies in my behavior.  I have been in therapy and out of therapy and at times have felt that it only exacerbated the problems I was having.   At all times my goal was to function to the best of my ability to do so.

Are we responsible for what our others do?   I don’t think at all times we are, but I also think society must treat us as if we are.  To do so creates an urgency to make the necessary connections that will improve our ability to be capable of it, and will protect others from our incapacity until we can.    Not letting people hurt you is a loving thing to do.  I carry a huge amount of grief and guilt for the people I feel I harmed.

If you are in a relationship that is in any way damaging to you physically or mentally, get out of it!  You can’t help someone by being their punching bag.   This is motivating the person you are in a relationship with to change.  IF you love them and want the relationship to work…explain what behavior is unacceptable and give them enough distance to work out the problem themselves.  You can’t do it for them.

You may also want to give them time the time they need to do it.  There is risk.  You may find they don’t miss you enough to make those changes.  You may also realize at some point that the amount of time it is taking is eating up years of your own life as well and that the investment isn’t worth what you’re getting from it.  Either way if it’s not successfully addressed move on.  Being in a dysfunctional relationship is harmful for you both.





Self harm, Anger and DID…

21 07 2012

One of the side-effects of DID is that tendency of the brain to clump information instead of filing it in chronological order.  It is common for all our feelings of self loathing, anger, sexuality, nurturing; our talents for writing, painting, cooking, sewing, crochet; and our heartfelt dreams and aspirations to be filed that way: just clumped in one area.

When you tap into any of those places it’s magnified and overwhelming.  I think of it as being passionate when I can keep some sort of perspective, and disabling when I can’t.  We are just normal people with normal people’s needs and emotions…ON STEROID’S!!!

I am totally obsessive to the point of not being physically able to pull away from an activity that I am involved in and then totally uninterested; I am so full of love for a God that would bless us with the wild flowers in our yard that I’m in tears or so cold as to step on them on my way to the lawn mower.  It is little wonder that therapists want to hit us with that Manic/Depressive label.  It’s not just hard to stay focused and be successful, it is exhausting dealing with all the different shifts in needs, perspectives and emotions.

One of the things they do in Anger management is to go over the feelings that are in that file and re-attach them in a healthy way to the normal everyday occurrences that triggered them; not rendering them powerless but removing them from that single file and evenly distributing them through out our history so that it’s a lot less overwhelming when we’re in that space.

If you’re struggling with issues where your fighting off self harm, and suicidal feelings this same method of re-filing information might be helpful.  Stop fighting the feelings and pick apart as many of them as you can and attach them to a place in your history where they belong.  

Examine them again with adult eyes and give them a new perspective with the idea of trying to see each thing in a new way. Please practice being kind to you, my friend.  It gets easier with time.





Help help help…

20 07 2012

I am on here because I never found clear explanations for what I was going through when I was going through the worst of it.  What I read in text books was written far beyond my ability to absorb and understand; it was useless to me!

I have tried to keep these first few pages fairly free of my personal experiences and factual.  DID was a nightmare for me.  There were no Internet support groups then.  I didn’t know anything except that I was losing my mind.

The things I experienced were so frightening and weird at times that I feared telling anyone what I experienced thinking they would lock me up and throw away the key.  Every therapist I saw wanted me on drugs and I felt that brain misfiring thing they kept telling me really didn’t apply.

I felt damaged by all the things I had gone through.  It was as if they were saying I was malfunctioning without any real reason or cause, just crazy.

I was diagnosed with manic depression and given drugs that never helped, but no one would listen.  Everyone I knew was on my case because I wouldn’t just take my pills and behave correctly like a good patient!  I did and do get depressed but I have also found that there were times when my body just needed to shut down and process all the things I was going through.

I have with time gotten less judgmental about my own processes and less quick to grab a drug to change where I am. Like a computer that is malfunctioning, that shutting down process seemed to be just what I needed to stop the malfunctioning loop that I was in.

There are times when medication is appropriate.  Constant stress does make chemical changes in your brain and it may just take a chemical to offset those changes so that your brain function can return to normal.   If a drug is what it takes to help you function, it may just be worth the trouble.  It’s your life.  You need to balance the side effects and the results and decide what is best for you.

If your evaluating drug therapy a few things to remember.  You may have side effects at first that are disturbing but will pass with time and it can take time to know if something is helping.  Discuss your concerns with your Dr.  Don’t let yourself be bullied.  It may be worth tolerating some discomfort to gain brain function but in the end its up to you to judge if the results are worth it.

I read somewhere that if you can’t explain something so that ANYONE can understand it, you don’t understand it well enough.  That was my goal; I need to know how close I have gotten to it.  Your feedback is important to me.

I have this whole book on DID written on the hard drive of my computer in California.  I came to Florida 6 months ago for a two week visit and stayed, leaving all that I owned behind.  I have tried to recreate the basics here as I really want the information out there where someone might benefit from it.

I have run out of things that I remember off the top of my head and I no longer experience most of what disturbed me or confused me.  I barely remember what it was like to be that me anymore.

I step out and state what I do as if it’s fact. That being said, part of that confidence in what I am saying sit’s firmly on the fact that I KNOW that it’s my opinion and you are entitled to your own.

There are those who are firmly in the camp of believing that multiple personalities exist as separate souls.  In truth we only have one brain. No matter how fully we feel and experience them, they are in totality only the result of brain damage and our brains creative ability to make sense of what we’re feeling and experiencing as healing occurs.

The effects are confusing and frightening to feel and without any explanation for it we are left only with what ever our own brain creates as the story to explain the experience. Our brain keeps us in a place of homeostasis, because our survival depends on it.

Lacking real information about what has happened, we get a creative expression of what we feel based on our beliefs. This is not to say that the original flashbacks and feelings are not “real”. They are as real as anything we experience, but knowing what causes the effects will change how it’s experienced.

Not knowing what is going on creates fear and instability. We need to understand this extreme difference in experiencing our reality and lacking real information our brain will make one up that makes sense to us, to bring us back into homeostasis, the state we are in when our body is kept stable.

Once the belief is in place that what we are experiencing is “separate personalities” each taking control, which is exactly what it feels like when you experience it from the inside, “they” will conform more fully to that expectation.

Basically that is our brains confirmation that the way it’s filed information up to now, is correct and working for us, and will enable it to continue to file information in ways that make each of those storage areas more intensely flushed out as separate and different.

It’s my belief that each of us has to decide if this is in fact the case. Is it working for you?

I couldn’t continue to exist in the space of drama and instability I found myself in. I wanted normal, or as close to it as it is possible for me to get in this lifetime.

I am functioning without drugs or outside intervention these days and I am happier. I don’t need to spend time and money or state resources to maintain my functioning and while I did get help, it is in a big way my own effort that has me here. I feel good about that.

Before anyone on the outside judges the decisions people with this disorder make, they should consider what it would be like, actually being born a fused multiple. Where you share organs and a body, but have separate brains.

Consider parents that make the decision never to separate them. Sure, they live with the fact that everyone on the outside can see that your not like them, but to do that surgery means that part of what you love will die. It can’t exist except in it’s current state.

You can decide what you would do, but is it really right to force your choice on others, when in reality you don’t have to live with the results of the decision?

I have experienced integration. It is a death of everything you know of who you are. It was an instant silence, where I had never before known what it was like to be alone. It was almost more then I could bear.

It was years of not knowing anything about who I was. Like a child I looked for clues and only became more like the person I believed those clues showed me to be.

This is a very dangerous time. If you are surrounded by negativity, what they reflect back at you would all be negative. Building a healthy self concept in that environment will be an imposing task, and impossible if you don’t realize what is happening.

I have changed the environment and watched the changes in me and know what it’s like to feel like clay in the hands of everyone around you. In the end I have chosen the environment that I am in, partially because I am able to live with the person I am when I am here.

There are changes I wish to make but every thought that I have confirming those beliefs strengthen’s me and I hope will make it possible at some point to exist stably when I move on.

What ever our life as a multiple is, it is all we have known up to now, only we can decide if it works for us.

From this side I can say for me, the change was worth the loss. I really do have vastly improved brain function. I can choose to focus on the parts of me that I liked and add them to my new view of who I am. I had some artistic parts and while I can’t draw like that part did, I have taught myself to paint and feel that I successfully express that part again.

If you are looking for what may actually cause what we know as DID, I hope you find some satisfactory answers here. In the whole of this site I have tried to create a map of my way out. I hope you also find a measure of respect for chosing to live life from where you are.








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