The reason I’m writing today is because I visited a young woman who reminded me of how difficult it can be to feel as if nothing belongs solely to me. As time passed and therapy got deeper there was a decrease in the resentment I felt for constantly living as many.
Keep in mind please, that in order to develop Dissociative Identity Disorder / Multiple Personality Disorder, there must be major trauma in the child’s life. The word trauma is an important one because it doesn’t have to be abuse that triggers the extreme dissociative response. I personally know a young man who feels he first split while under going constant excruciating medical care as a child. No matter if it was long term abuse or other long term traumas, the mind will try to protect itself.
I know as a child nothing at all was mine. My body wasn’t mine, my thoughts weren’t mine, my actions were determined by what trauma was taking place. I had no freedom and no control over anything. So now I’m a multiple and still nothing is my own.
Let me discuss that for a second. I have always understood that each of us alters has split from the original personality. Yes, we feel very strongly separate from who we call the “original” personality but we do know we all originate from her. Moving on.
Think about never having a single, solitary moment to yourself. How do you think that would feel? When you eat at the table, type entries such as this, when you walk the dog, or take a bath the alters are with you. Your thoughts aren’t private, they’re heard by the inside personalities called alter personalities. Sometimes they chat among themselves, just stuff, but the incessant talking can become very troublesome if not managed in therapy. When I sit in therapy, take a bubble bath, read a book, paint, sit in the dark, use the restroom, brush my teeth, close the blinds, on and on and on there’s always someone else with whom I must share that moment.
At first this was a big issue for me but as I said, I’ve been in therapy for a long time. Gracious, I feel like a veteran. LOL, but I know these emotions are legitimate and that they do gradually become less of a burden when managed by a licensed professional.
I need to be clear on one thing. We didn’t choose this and neither did the alter personalities. Though some multiples have parts/alters that are difficult, many of us do not. I have alters that work together for the most part. In the beginning we were all over the place. Good gracious!! That was horrible. We could not get it together for the world. We didn’t understand that there was a whole system (group) of us and that what one alter does affects the others. For instance, lets say Alter A came out and thought it would be ok to give intimate details of our life to my birth mother. That alter may not remember how bad it was at home so speaking to my mother wouldn’t be as traumatizing for her. However, since she is not the only alter here, the difficulty falls on Alter B, C and D.
It took quite a long time before we all realized, on whatever level we could, that we share this body, this mind. Everything we do or don’t do affects the others in the system. Getting up and moving to Texas isn’t a decision we all made, but we were all affected by it. Promiscuity wasn’t a decision we all made, but we all felt degraded by it. We are not alone in this head of ours.
The drawings included were created in 2010. They illustrate the life of a multiple. What’s interesting to me is how one piece shows a whole group holding hands with a sunflower behind them. It’s almost like a show of solidarity, a solidarity that includes the original personality.