The DID Controversy.

This topic hits me 2 ways. 1) Anger 2) Understanding.

I will tackle my more compassionate side first. 🙂
I understand why people are wary of a Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) diagnoses. You can’t do a blood test for it, no x-ray will prove it, a surgery can not take it out.
I also know that there are people who do lie about it and that is unfortunate but people also lie about being many other things too. I do not feel it should tarnish DID as a whole.
Then add TV and movies that grossly exaggerate symptoms that leave anyone who watches them to think that a person with DID morphs in to totally different people every 10 minutes and the switching is obvious to anyone around.
There ARE times when the switching is very obvious but this tends not to be the bulk of most peoples experiences. I know with myself? You have to know me VERY well to know when I have switched. Only the most observant people do. My Helpers are excellent at “holding down the fort” while I am dissociated to a point that few people even notice.
There are exceptions. I have Ali, a young girl who comes out occasionally and she likes to draw pictures for people. They are obviously drawn by a child and nothing at all like the artwork I can do now.
Hannah and Faith are very young and non-verbal. They do not come out very often at all but when they do? It is obvious to anyone that something is very wrong. Both tend to try to hide, make themselves very small, one pulls her hair over her face while the other just stares blankly at you with fear.
Julie is the most common one though and you need to be very observant to catch her taking over. There are differences though. She is bolder, doesn’t mind a good fight/confrontation, she gets things done SWIFTLY and she doesn’t mind getting in your face to make it happen. I am NOT like that. She will usually limit speaking so no one will notice unless she is going head first in to some “battle”.
Tilly is always in mourning as she is the one that lost our son and holds most of those memories. She cries an awful lot. 😦
Connie, Shawna and Tracey take care of the intimate parts of my marriage. Some people may not find this funny so I apologize in advance but I’ve jokingly told my husband at different times how lucky he is to get to sleep with 3 different women and only need to support 1. From what I hear, the all behave very differently. Lucky guy! He doesn’t disagree. 😉 I can not believe I just admitted to this on my blog. Oh dear heavens…
Most of the others come our rarely and I do not know them very well. Inner communication has not been established and if they do come out? I can not really say who it is. There is still a lot of “I have no idea” in my life.
For the most part, people with DID (myself included) just look like everyone else. We act like everyone else and we can have full lives. We are sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, friends… complete and whole humans in every way.

And my anger?
I do not advertise or tell people about my DID mostly due to fear of the naysayers. I will let people just think I am “moody” or that I am unstable due to that fear. I warily told my closest friends and family 2 years ago but no one in my community knows. Why? Because it really hurts when someone looks at your reality and tells you it isn’t possible, doubts your sanity, or says you are a liar. Sadly this does not only come from people who do not know us. It can come from our own psychiatrists, therapists, (former) friends, and family members.
For someone to just dismiss the possibility that we know ourselves and trust that we are not attention seeking idiots? It’s a slap in the face.
This diagnoses is not a fun one for us to have. I can not speak for anyone else here but I have heard it is the reality for many persons with DID that we spend an average of 10 years in the mental health system and nothing ever really works well for us no matter how hard we try until someone finally figures it out. It’s DID. It is as much a shock to us to even imagine as it is for most people. We do not recall these Helpers or what they do so it is hard for us to imagine it. I know I fought my diagnoses a lot at first. I am sure others do too. We don’t WANT this any more than someone wants depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, OCD or any other mental illness. It is hard enough to deal with it all without needing to prove ourselves like we are a circus act.
This bothered me A LOT in the past and still gets on my nerves now but I have an easy answer for them all. I tell them that they need to live inside my head and TRY to live my life for a week before they just assume that my reality is bulls**t. Seriously? I could use the vacation! If nothing else? This shuts them up.
My entire reason for this blog is to do more than just shut people/naysayers up. This blog was created to help educate anyone that I can reach. I hope it is enough to give this world a little more understanding and compassion.


10 responses to “The DID Controversy.

  1. I love your blog. My perspective is from the outside in but I have seen what you say about people not believing about DID. It is very funny about your husband being married to multiple people and only supporting one. I have said the same thing to my wife. Though in my case not all the parts of my wife like me as much as would be helpful


    • Oh my blogging friend…. 🙂
      Not all the Helpers like my husband either. Some are horrible to him and I feel so awful for that but there is little I can do. Maybe in time we will be able to work that out. I can not even imagine being the one who married in to this. The men that do are very, very special people in my eyes. The compassion and understanding amazes me. You have one lucky wife there.


      • Do you have any suggestions that I can use to deal with the negativity from those that are not happy with me? This is a big issue for me right now and I am kind of lost as to how to not react in a negative way or just get down right angry.


      • Do you mind if I ask who they are (not names)? Gender, age, anything you know that they like or have found that they don’t like? It woudl help me reply more fully. 🙂


  2. As I said when you first told me of your DID diagnosis Heather, it makes perfect sense to me. If a child suffers severe trauma and/or abuse, it stands to reason their mind would need to “switch off” in order to survive, and to function later in life. I don’t understand why some people don’t get this!
    It’s not so many years ago that schizophrenia, OCD, bi-polar, anorexia, bulimia and many other diagnoses – including PTSD – were not taken seriously, so hopefully DID sufferers will soon get the same recognition, understanding and care.
    By the way, your hubby is one cool dude! The thought of having to deal with at least three different “me’s” would have my hubby running for the hills! : )


    • Oh Wendy, you have been one of my biggest supporters since day 1. I am so incredibly blessed to have friends such as yourself (you, Mary, Polly, and Karen) who have supported me every single step of the way from the messed up, unhappy, totally confused and depressed pre-hospitalizion self. I know I played happy and did it well but you all knew my internal struggle and loved me anyways. When I got that DID diagnoses you were the first ones to support me and accept it knowing full well that it all made so much sense even when I could not see that for myself yet. You helped me accept it and allow it to become a positive realization rather than a horrible blow. Like you, I hope that one day there will be understanding and compassion for DID. I hope this blog will help that process along.
      And yes, my hubby is one cool dude. He accepts all 24 Helpers and I without complaint. That is huge.
      Thanks again Wendy!


      • You are very welcome Heather, and I am certain there will be more understanding. Blogs like your will help


  3. Another great post! The shrink I met with today was talking about this and saying how the experience of having DID tends to parallel the original trauma because there is so much controversy around whether or not it is “real” and if we’re telling the truth. I’ve heard the argument that people don’t want to believe in DID because they don’t want to believe in the kinds of abuses that cause. I think that’s probably true. But it’s still bullshit.

    Also, I totally agree on the switching. If a child or non-verbal alter comes out, that is more obvious (though not always as clear as one might imagine) but the team of regular fronters are very good at appearing as one person. A strange, moody person perhaps. But one single person nonetheless. You won’t see any Sybil or Tara here!


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