Thursday, March 15, 2012

Slow Burn In The Switch: Part II

Some of us felt the need to write about our better switches.

Sometimes a transition, which is also called a switch* in Dissociative Identity Disorder isn't always burning anger, or much discomfort. For some of us it's an ebb and flow, like a river. That's usually when those involved actually like each other. When "we" wrote last time about switching I am not sure we made it clear that the severe discomfort was because of who was sharing space/struggling for control with each other. It's not always the same for all of us. We don't always make sense. sigh

Most of the time switches are because of triggers*, from what we understand; smells, sounds, the way something is said, things we encounter, people, almost anything can be a trigger...not all of us are aware of each others triggers yet...we're still getting used to everyone having free reign - without our core* (The Other Girl) it's much harder from some us to keep under control, she was always so good at it, control. Everyone wants to have a chance to play now, when they can...and others not so much, sometimes. Most of the times switches happen suddenly for us, sometimes there is a struggle for control...either way, they are hardly ever noticeable unless they manifest into a a sudden shift from someone who is nice and happy, into someone who is generally hateful. Or if we are struggling with it. Otherwise most of us have so many similarities that it's almost undetectable to the average person who wouldn't be able to pick up on voice changes, demeanor changes, sometimes facial changes.

I won't do a roll call for everyone that has been around, but myself, and Catherine are the out the most these days, with massive influence from Sam (he's our male alter), and occasional flits of the others. Frank comes out here and there, but she has never been the alter functioned past sort of "saving" us. Sometimes we feel bad that James is largely hanging out with teenage girls, but we're pretty grown up...

There are 10 of us, a possible 11th that we've known about for a couple of weeks, but we are apprehensive to confront, acknowledge she's older though, older than me and Catherine...younger than Frank - we don't want to have more. We stopped working on mapping right before James came to visit, and we're not so sure we had enough time with it - it being at integral part of our therapy. We know we should though, because even with a therapists help, mapping can take months, sometimes years.

Since coming to England a few of our alters have stayed in the background, wanting to watch, but not take any control, and some not even be here. Joy hasn't been around much, we miss her a lot, as does James. She doesn't like James' flat, so she can't be bothered with coming out. Emmie has been MIA since about the time we moved in with The Mother, before leaving to England. (Emmie hates her) and she also doesn't like James' flat, she likes nice things, and fancy stuff, nice beds and showers. The rest probably have their own good reasons.

I know for some of you this sounds insane...that's okay; all that we care about it that we understand it.

~ Cassandra

Tomorrow's post will be from Kerry, our friend from Twitter who spent the weekend with a few of us. Apparently she's been asked by people in her life outside of Twitter, and people on Twitter, what we're like (like we're a freak show or something) check back tomorrow when we post what she had to say about us...or at least some of us...

*Dissociative Identity Disorder Terminology

Personality Specifics
Alter: alter states, selves, parts (a subjective term); distinct personalities; fragments alternate personality, personality state, ego state or identity with its own unique perspectives, abilities, memories or other traits that differ from the Host or Executive personality.

The Core: The original birth personality.

Host: is the alter personality who dominates the control of the body most of the time and is often unaware of the other personalities. The host is usually the alter personality who will initiate after experiencing symptoms of mental distress, such as, anxiety, triggers or recovered memories.

Executive: When a personality (alter ego) has control of the body.

Switch: To switch from one personality to another. The process of an alter coming out from the subconscious mind into the consciousness mind while the other alter (who was already in the consciousness mind) slips back into the subconscious mind.

Who's out? A common question used to determine which personality is executive or host.

Co-conscious(ness): A state of being aware of what the other personalities are doing and saying.

Other Terms: 
Acquired: Anything that is not present at birth but develops some time later. In medicine, the word "acquired" implies "new" or "added." An acquired condition is "new" in the sense that it is not genetic (inherited) and "added" in the sense that was not present at birth.

Triggers: Conversion symptoms or body memories. Physical phenomenon such as pain, smells, tastes, etc.;  reaction to stimuli; sometimes causing a re-experience.

Dissociation: In psychology and psychiatry, a perceived detachment of the mind from the emotional state or even from the body. Dissociation is characterized by a sense of the world as a dreamlike or unreal place and may be accompanied by poor memory of the specific events, which in severe form is known as dissociative amnesia.

Re-live: A total memory recall (includes visual, emotional, physical and all other senses).

Losing Time: Also known as a Dissociative Fugue, is the period of which an alter personality is in the subconscious mind and has no recollection of the time that is being utilized by the alter personality who is occupying the conscious mind. Therefore when the alter switches into the conscious mind they realize that minutes, hours, days, or even months and years have passed since they were last aware of time.

System: is the structure of relationships between the alter personalities who live within the internal world of a survivor with D.I.D.! Every system is created and operates in it's own unique way, just like every family living in their own homes run their households different from the next door neighbor.

Inner (Self) Helper: is usually the alter personality who has a good understanding of the system and how it works. The I.S.H. is also among the typical group of helpers or protector personalities.

Grounding: is the process of disrupting a dissociative episode and is accomplished by tugging on an earlobe, rubbing the hands together, or shuffling the feet back and forth. This type of physical stimuli can bring the survivors mind back to awareness of their surroundings, and helps to make them feel less animated.

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