Co-consciousness

I am trying to open up a bit more about my Helpers these days and they are enjoying the attention. I’ve also been trying to reach some new places with them. Mainly co-consciousness. If you are unsure of what that is, don’t feel too badly. I only just found it out myself a few months ago. πŸ™‚

Co-consciousness for a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is the ability to share space with an identity plus the main personality (host). It is not an attempt to integrate another part, it is an attempt to work alongside them.

For so many years I heard voices but I did not know what they were, who they were or what the heck was wrong with me so I attempted to ignore them all no matter how loud or insistent they got. When you’ve never known a different life, you can also misconstrue the meanings of certain statements and assume that others are in fact just like you. I thought when people said they had thoughts running around in their heads or that they could not sleep with all the issues on their minds, I assumed they heard voices too. Eventually I realized the difference but that did not help me to understand, it just served to make me feel insane.

I was in hospital (2013) before I was finally told what those voices were and I was so confused about how to speak to them. My nurse suggested I just try talking to them which sounded insane to me after actively avoiding them for 40 years… but I tried. Well HOLY CRAP BATMAN! They heard me and spoke back to me. At the time only one voice rose above the rest as distinct and seemingly always present. That turned out to be whom I called Julie but whose real name was Reilyn.

Reilyn was the only Helper that I was ever co-conscious with. I knew she was there and she always knew what I was doing. She knew what everyone in the system was doing. I affectionately called her “the gate-keeper”. Over the course of the first year I realized that I had some power over when Helpers came out and very gradually lessened the amount of time where they were in charge. I doubt I will ever completely master it because I do not have enough energy to constantly be “on guard” every moment but I was able to make a few deals, put some rules in place, and create a less chaotic life for myself.

I am at the point now where I am trying to work on becoming co-conscious with other Helpers. A few are thrilled and join me happily but most are hard to reach. It will take me years of hard work to get it all worked out but I feel they are all worth it.

Hannah (Hannah-banana) is one of the very special “Littles” that likes to come out now. It took her a long time to understand that I am an adult now and that I can keep her safe. Once she realized that, she began to come out to share time with me. This where I struggle though. Being co-conscious sounds great but when you have a 3-year-old and a 46-year-old in the mind at the same moment, we swing from wanting to curl up in a little ball, hide or run away to a 46-year-old willing to offer protection. We can go from wanting to eat nothing but cookies for supper to understanding that cookies are only for treats. We walk through Wal-Mart and suddenly want a hippo (which she eventually got) while trying to fill an adult shopping list that doesn’t interest a young child AT ALL.

The same can be true no matter what the age of the Helper that I am trying to become co-conscious with. It is not just a matter of sharing some time. It is trying to adequately care for more than one set of needs at a time and it can be confusing. One of the older men who has decided to share time (co-consciousness) with me is Oscar. If you recall Oscar the grouch? That is how Oscar sees himself and it is the reason he has that name so it seems.Β  Being co-conscious with Oscar so far is better done while at home ALONE. I can not for a moment pretend that I do not swear (I do) but not harshly or directed at others. When we share time, I will be thinking about someone with kindness and Oscar is there saying “Oh just f*** off! Go away! I hate you! Brat! Idiot!…”. He is not very nice but I know he is that way for a reason and he needs to be heard too. That gruff manner is his way of creating distance between himself and the potential of being hurt.

I am sure that over time we will all get better at working together and finding ways to behave in socially appropriate ways. It just takes time. I am hoping to find a way to do a blog or two next week while being co-conscious with another Helper so that they can express what they feel that they need to say. This site is half theirs after-all. πŸ™‚

Have a great weekend! See you on Monday!

mind

2 responses to “Co-consciousness

  1. Heather, Thank you for sharing more about the Helpers today! I had never heard about the concept of co- consciousness before reading your blog, and your description of your experience with sharing your mind with a Helper is so interesting, though for you I am sure it is much more than that!
    I love the story of little Hannah and her hippo, and I look forward to reading a blog post in which a Helper expresses him – or herself with your facilitating the writing. Thank you for your openness about DID and making it seem like just another way of “being human”.

    Like

  2. Pingback: How many types of Dissociation do you know? | Trauma and Dissociation

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