Monday, April 25, 2011

A Chat With The Father About DID

We had a nice chat with The Father on Saturday night. He called to talk to us about memories, in response to an e-mail Frank sent him, and to see how we are doing, since he read our entry that day and wanted us to know that he does read our blog, and that he misses us and loves us very much.

Later he became our friend on Facebook, which we think he might end up not liking so much because some of us, some of We, are dirty and mean, and some of us are confusing...and some are still a little lost. (Everything we post on Tumblr goes there, as well as music from our YouTube channel that we favourite, and now, some of our Tweets – plus we post our own status’ there, sometimes we need more than 140 characters…and some of the people we are friends with in real life do not use Twitter)

Over the span of talking with The Father we discussed seeing doctors, and our aversion to it - simply because there is a limited amount of good psychologists that specialize in DID, particularly in our area (to be honest, probably ANY area). Not to mention, well, what are they going to tell us? We are already working on mapping our alters (something they have you do in therapy); and we are already writing and painting as a form therapy.  

We’ve been to enough doctors, they never did any good and they only made things worse. And they might try to make us take medications, which we are not cool with.

He let us know that he had discussed us with our old pastor, The Pastor, recently; who has now been reading our blog for some time (Note to The Pastor: we know you don’t like some of the content of this blog. We won’t make an apology, but it’s all good, just don’t read the stuff that is offensive to you *smile*).

The Pastor has apparently dealt with this (DID/MPD) before, which The Father and We found surprising. He has enough experience with it, as a matter of fact, to have been telling The Father the content that would likely be appearing on our blog – as in, “Next week she will probably write about xyz”.

He was so accurate that The Father found it kind of disturbing; we found this shocking. We also wanted to ask him to tell us what we would be writing, you know, so we can be prepared.

It’s nice to know that there are people who understand this (DID/MPD), that aren’t necessarily health professionals, or people who have to deal with the types of things we do from day to day. Some days it’s hard for us to understand it. When you wake up and look in the mirror and recognize yourself, but not – because you don’t always recognize the things in your head. That’s what makes Frank a little batty some days; like not being able to understand me.

The Other Girl knew what depression felt like, but not’s not part of Frank’s personality, because she has always been the strong one who showed up to rescue us, but preferring to always stay in the far background, until she slipped into that coma after our car accident. So when she was trying to find out about all of us and I showed up, she felt strange and now prefers to be around a little less, because she doesn’t understand the feelings that I try to share with her. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not just a sad dumpy head, but I get sad about things; thing like the current state of our life right now, and Catherine keeps telling me that we’ll never be loved again, because now people think we are freaks.

The Other Girl tried to keep me away because she wanted to not be sad, and that’s where she shared consciousness with Sam, because she wanted to deal with everything by being mean and angry. Which made her lash out at her friends, because Sam is very angry and has no patience for people. He doesn’t have patience for much. He’s a rather mean boy.

The Father is reading a book we’d like to recommend to others, if only he would give us the title. He says that he doesn’t know if we should be reading it without the recommendation of a professional. We could probably find it on our own if we wanted, but we are apprehensive to read anything until we are done writing about our life – and so far we have written up to about a little over 6 years from today.

In this book, apparently, it says that people with what we have usually have an easier time dealing with people, society, and everyday life…until they reach their 30’s. We guess that explains a lot, since this year we will be 32 years old – some of us anyway; and most of The Other Girl’s problems with us started to arise shortly after “we” turned 30.

When we were talking to The Father he said that this has opened up his eyes and made him more accepting of people, to realize that that people get damaged and it does affect their brains, and their life, and their personality(s). He says it helps him be more patient and understanding – not that everyone who has been through trauma goes through this (DID/MPD), but it certainly has an effect on people and their interaction with others throughout life.

Since he reads some of our writing, he can see those of us he isn’t as familiar with; since we were 18 we really haven’t seen much of him, maybe twice a year on average, so this makes sense.

We talked to him about some of our conflicts, mainly Sam, who is very angry and does not coincide with how the rest of us think and feel because; overall we do not dislike people as much as he does.

The Father said:
“That’s because [The Other Girl] is still in there, all the things I taught [The Other Girl] are the reasons why you have problems with some of what is going on [he means the conflicting feelings of Sam]. ”

“Dad” we said “we share some of the lessons you taught her, but she is not here anymore. She is gone.”

We know this is hard for The Father, and many, to understand; honestly it’s why we have none of the many, many people that used to be in The Other Girls life, in our life anymore; the ones who used to be a big part of The Other Girl’s life – because none of us are her.

After we told him about the weekend we killed The Other Girl (or if you prefer eliminated her, The Father does not seem to like the word “kill”), we think he understood better. He says that she wasn’t really us (that’s a paraphrase). We agree.  Despite the fact she was what people thought was us, she was a shell, our host, and what she portrayed to the world was just the fragments of us…until she couldn’t contain the fragments any longer.

We figured after the day we met Marissa on Twitter (a recovered of DID/MPD) that we should probably look into this more, since we knew what was going on, but never had an understanding of what it actually was. The Other Girl had been misdiagnosed with a few things, which is common. They say that typically it is 7-8 years (maybe more) before the mis-diagnoses of people who have DID are finally realized to be DID.

We did an entry on our other blog awhile back, highlighting our symptoms: and provided very little information, leaving it up to people reading to to do their own research.

We figured we'd throw some information in here, and then move it somewhere else around this blog, or our other one.

Here are other sources, in addition what we provided below:
This information that follows is from an online source called eMentalHealth:

Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder (known in the past as multiple personality disorder) is a condition where an individual develops different personality states, generally following repeated physical, sexual or emotional abuse.

What Is It?
Most of us have experienced some form of dissociation at some point in our lives. For example, you may have dissociated or spaced out during boring situations such as a long, boring drive, and then not really remember how you got somewhere. Or you may have experienced stressful situations where you were numb or spaced out and can’t really recall what happened.

However, when a person is faced with overwhelming stress as may happen with abuse, dissociation is a normal process that can happen to deal with the stress. For example, a child who experiences sexual abuse may ‘space out’ as a way to protect herself from remembering the event. When such stress or trauma happens over and over again, it can lead to dissociative identity disorder.

When dissociative identity disorder does occur, it usually happens when the trauma has occurred in childhood (e.g. before age 7-9). Young children are the most vulnerable because they have not yet had the opportunity to develop a stable sense of self or personality. People who are easily hypnotizable (i.e. prone to go into trance) are also at high risk.

Although dissociation may be a useful coping strategy in the beginning to deal with trauma, dissociation that continues to occur later on in life can cause problems in day-to-day life, and can cause severe problems in a person’s school, work or personal life.

DSM-IV Criteria

Dissociative Identity Disorder is a complex condition, and thus, it can take very long before it is properly diagnosed. Many times, people with DID are diagnosed with other conditions before finally receiving their DID diagnosis.

According to the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) of the American Psychiatric Association, the criteria for Dissociative Identity Disorder are:

The presence of two or more distinct identity or personality states, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment and self.

At least two of these identities or personality states recurrently take control of the person's behavior. Inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to be explained by ordinary forgetfulness. 

The disturbance is not due to the direct physiological effects of a substance (e.g., blackouts or chaotic behavior during alcohol intoxication) or a general medical condition (e.g., complex partial seizures). In children, the symptoms are not attributable to imaginary playmates or other fantasy play. 

Signs and Symptoms
The key symptoms which are unique to Dissociative Identity Disorder are the presence of two or more distinct personality states or “alters” that have control over the person’s behaviour.

Other key symptoms may include:

  • Amnesia (loss of time, or ‘blackouts’), whereby the person can’t remember periods of time, or even portions of their childhood. 
  • Dissociation, which is a mental process where individuals are not fully connected with their thoughts, feelings, behaviours or memories 
  • Derealization, which is the feeling that the world is not real or in a haze. 
  • Depersonalization, which is the feeling of being detached from your body, as in an “out of body” experience 
  • Switching to different alters, which may appear as sudden changes in mood, behaviour or personality

    • Other symptoms (or conditions) that an individual may have include:
  • Depression, which is problems with extremely low or sad mood 
  • Mood swings, which is problems with moods going from one extreme to another 
  • Anxiety, panic attacks or other anxiety problems 
  • Thoughts of suicide, due to the high level of stress that persons with DID often experience
  • Alcohol or drug use, as an attempt at coping with stress 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder, a condition that may be seen after individuals experience high stress or even life threatening situations 
  • Borderline personality disorder, a condition where individuals have severe problems with emotional regulation and controlling their feelings, often seen in those with past trauma
    How Common Is It?
According to the International Society for the Study of Dissociation, DID occurs in 1-3% of the population.

If You Suspect Dissociative Identity Disorder

If you suspect that you or a loved one may have dissociative identity disorder, start by seeing your family doctor. Your doctor can help make sure that your symptoms aren’t due to a medical condition such as (traumatic) brain injury, medication, sleep deprivation, or drug use. And if required, your doctor can refer to a mental health professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.

Treatment for Dissociative Identity Disorder
Treatment aims to integrate or connect the different alters into one single identity and generally consists of talk therapy (a.k.a. psychotherapy).
Therapy goals include:
  • Mapping out the alters, where the therapist and the person try to find out which are the various alters, and their purpose 
  • Integration, which is helping the alters co-exist with one another as a whole, functional personality. Once integrated, the person no longer experiences switches in alters, nor does the person have loss of time or blackouts.
Types of therapy include talking therapy; hypnosis; eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

In some cases, medications may be helpful for specific symptoms such as depression, anxiety which have not responded to non-medication treatment.
Treatment Guidelines for Dissociative Identity Disorders in Adults
Treatment Guidelines for Dissociative Identity Disorders in Children

About this Document
Written by the eMentalHealth Team.
Information in this pamphlet is offered ‘as is' and is meant only to provide general information that supplements, but does not replace the information from your health provider. Always contact a qualified health professional for further information in your specific situation or circumstance.
Creative Commons License
You are free to copy and distribute this material in its entirety as long as 1) this material is not used in any way that suggests we endorse you or your use of the material, 2) this material is not used for commercial purposes (non-commercial), 3) this material is not altered in any way (no derivative works). View full license at Subscribe to this article's RSS feed

Other Resources
Websites including blogs, support forums
Centre of Knowledge on Healthy Child Development 
Teen Mental Health
Printed materials including handouts, brochures and books
Fresh Start


  1. "We also wanted to ask him to tell us what we would be writing, you know, so we can be prepared. "
    Simply brilliant!
    You remind me of someone very dear to me. It can be tough to acknowledge emotions, especially when you've learned to compartmentalize them as we have. It's good you recognize that Frank keeping some distance isn't a statement of your worth or of rejection... Not sure any of The Crew could have made that distinction before we'd been intentionally working together.
    I suppose it's not much of a surprise your father's pastor recognized the DID... seems like every brand of professional missed it in us too. Took someone who could see beyond easily categorized 'symptoms' to figure it out.

    Nice to meet you, Cassandra

  2. So I was going to post a comment yesterday, but I was figuring out how to do it without my name. I have someone in my community who googles for me all the time (crazy stalker). So maybe you can just delete it after you've read it.

    I'm so glad you wrote this because around the time I was 30 or 31 I began disassociate again. When I read this I thought, "This is so Me!" I thought I was going nuts. I was disassociating from the time I was little -- just disappearing somewhere in my mind but then the memories would become repressed. In my early 30s the memories were coming back and I couldn't cope with them. This is when I developed my anxiety disorder and didn't want to leave my house ever. What if the memory came back when I was On the Outside?

    I would look crazy!

    I started disassociating again and things were very bad. I became depressed and I was spiraling downward. Luckily I went to a psychologist and not a psychiatrist so he didn't try to fix me with pill after pill. We worked on emptying out my head of all the memories and why I would separate myself, etc.

    I'm so glad you wrote this -- I have felt like I was The Only One!

    XO - Streetlights94

  3. We wish we could keep your post here...
    Can we keep it for awhile?

    We want to hug you.

    Thank you for commenting <3

  4. You can keep it up for awhile :)

    Thanks for the hugs! I love them the best!