Pondering my own existence.
Hear them pondering it too….
Everyone has different views of who and what we are, or should be.
An incomplete part of the whole, or one whole part complete itself?
Who do they want to stay, who needs to go?
Am I real?
There’s a constant back and forth with what’s commonly known as “split personality,” or being “multiple/plural,” or Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder. Those who experience this reality want validation and to be seen as capable, functional individuals. If only with a little help, if only the right compassion for their situation existed.
Nearly everyone around us feels need to “figure out what our motives are” and why/how we cannot feel connected in the same way as everyone else. A constant demand to prove we even exist, even though right there in front of them, talking to them, communicating, expressing our existence some how. Some believe to accept the reality of all the things they see is to enable and encourage illness.
The illness of dissociation exists, whether or not you believe and “comply” with it’s existence. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Adding additional stress into the life of one who suffers a dissociative disorder also increases symptoms. When refusing to accept the many selves of the human being, when they feel like you want to erase all but the one that YOU like the best, you actually are encouraging the continuance of dissociation because of this conflict you CREATED. Makes the healing process quite daunting. DID isn’t about delusions. Most of us know the difference between an internal and external existence, knowing what the physical body is. It’s just most of us don’t know why we are attached to a physical body that doesn’t match what we feel.
If understood each part as equally valid and important, then you can see how “normal” we can really be. Our perception is just different. Does this have to be a disorder? Something becomes disorder when severely affects you and your ability to function, living a productive and personally fulfilling life. Some of us do have walls of dissociation, amnesia, derealization/depersonalization….These things create confusion, and disorder.
But say, you heal this disorder. You learn to TAKE CONTROL of it. No more separate awareness and memories, but somehow still processing things in separate ways. Whether you say they are “part of a whole person” or a “whole person part of a body,” you see, one thing remains the same: IT IS THE REAL PERSON WHOEVER THEY MAY BE BECAUSE THEY ARE REALLY THERE IN THAT BODY. They have real events, real feelings, all actually experienced by body and brain. If this mind has to function differently and cannot “unthink” how it’s thought BASICALLY IT’S ENTIRE EXISTENCE, is this a “disorder?” Maybe it’s just a “syndrome?” Can we not think outside the disordered box?
The thing is, DID seems to happen on a spectrum of experiences, no two cases the same. If someone is not comfortable with or simply cannot EVEN COMPREHEND themselves as one complete entity, why give them distress? Why become abusive to them? This is what I cannot understand. WHY does it make other people angry at the thought of multiples existing? How in the world do we hurt you just by existing? I am not disregarding abusive behavior that can be seen in cases of DID, but that is a brain in need of healing. To be fair, those issues exist not because of being multiple but because of trauma, and many without DID suffer the same conditions and act similar ways. What I am talking about is there are multiples who are not displaying chaotic, abusive, or aggressive behaviors. There are some who healed those parts of themselves that caused this negative behavior and there are some who actually never had that negative behavior in the first place. They are not different than any other person, trying to live their lives. The only difference is in perception of personal experiences. So how does this harm you that you feel need to discredit us?
Our minds work differently. Please just respect that. When you stop putting us in a category of illness, stop debating our validity, stop saying our very existence as people is disorder, you may find it can help someone heal faster. If accept them, they can accept themselves. Soon all can feel comfortable in this body and may naturally find themselves not just “co-conscious” but “co-experiencing” even. Soon they may notice a “blending together.” The more they focus on feeling safe in the body and outside in the world, the more externally talking with others outside…Well…do not be surprised to find the more they will want to be outside ALL THE TIME. Everyone’s desire to be present at all times encourages a situation more likely to lead to integration. If every time they come out you give them conflict that won’t happen.
If drop controversy, it would help more. There will always be people who fake things. This doesn’t disprove anything. I can count the number of examples of famous “alleged DID fakers” on one hand, and that’s pretty small numbers compared to thousands of valid people, including myself.
We want to come out of hiding. We want to be ourselves and we don’t want others to decide who we are. A common issue is when the “host identity” is seen as “the real person,” believing everyone “turns into them” if integrated. First of all, that goes against the meaning “integration” which is mixture, not erasure of anything.
Saying you don’t want to talk to, or denying any but the one YOU like is wrong. Instead, try helping by actively supporting us gaining memories and understanding more about our selves. DID isn’t about escaping reality, and there are not any such “false memories” or “role playing” involved. The brain just processes the information to the best of its ability, and these brains’ abilities are different. It’s that simple.
Jess is an activist for mental health awareness, especially focused on PTSD, childhood sexual abuse, dissociation, and D.I.D./multiplicity. Diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, the person that is “Jess” encompasses 18+ identities, and Jess blogs about their experiences and opinions of life and D.I.D. Jess also volunteers her time posting on mental health websites and helping host a weekly chat on Twitter focused on D.I.D. using the hashtag “#DIDchat.” Also in free time assists as admin for a Facebook page focused around dissociation. Having survived repeated trauma from childhood and adulthood, Jess is always striving to be better and help inspire others too.