The Guilty Pleasure of Being Molested

~by: Jess Mei

Sometimes I hate myself so much, it is really incomprehensible. And I believe I now understand why. I remember having pleasure sometimes when I was molested, and I feel wrong for having had pleasure from it.

I remember one time getting molested and actually opening my legs more so that he could rub my clitoris better. I still feel him doing it, I still feel the pleasure I got from it, and damnit I still feel the amazing amount of guilt I have because of it. I wonder sometimes if that is why I didn’t tell until I was an adult? Is it because I enjoyed it? Wanted it? God, I was just a little kid for pity’s sake – in a home that was chaotic and confusing. But I can remember wanting him to touch me, for the attention and for the pleasure of having someone else stimulate me. But how can a child of 7,8,9,10,or 11 understand that really?

He used to expose himself to me and I’d run away. My heart would beat so fast, I was so scared. Then when I could go over to my cousin’s house to get away, I’d go – and one of my cousins there would do the same thing to me. He even put me on my back a few times and tried to penetrate me. I think I was around 9 years old or so. I would just lay there, cause I didn’t want him to hate me or hit me. I tried so hard to please everybody around me, to make sure they were okay. Nobody ever looked out for me though…and I never told anybody. Not anybody. I used to want somebody, ANYBODY to just read my mind, we’d be screaming in there – screaming for help, but no one ever did. So I had one who took it, and a few who hid everything, always hiding, hiding.

We had to pretend that everything was fine. We had to pretend that we were not screaming and scared and tired of trying to make everyone be okay. We had to pretend the fighting didn’t bother us. And so each one took a job and ran with it. One was brave and always smiled and laughed and joked; one went to school and did well – because if we didn’t – we’d get beaten; one went to church 6 days a week and pretended we understood about God; one said, ‘Yes Ma’am and no Ma’am’ and obeyed her every command; one stood very still while she blew cigarette smoke in our faces and taunted us for looking like our Father; one screamed with rage (but only inside) when we were burned with cigarettes at parties or burned with plastic by our Brother – one of the molesters; one was filled with hatred for all of them – every person who crossed our path…hatred for not helping us, hatred for beating us, molesting us, harming us, taunting us, teasing us, loving us; one who plotted revenge; and one who feels nothing at all. Such is the guilty pleasure of being molested, the rage of being punished for being alive, and the rage for being loved.

I am so angry that I have such guilt and shame. I wonder so often how anyone could love me that I’ve pushed people away who actually do. But I don’t understand WHY they could possibly love a dirty girl like me – I let them touch me. Sometimes I wanted it to happen. It was attention and it felt good, right? Such is the guilty pleasure of being molested.

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Different Types of Dissociative Disorders

~By: Jess Mei


First – let me say that I’m no expert. I’m just one woman who went searching for answers to this ‘thing’ that has both saved my life and changed it so profoundly.

There is a term for the progression of dissociation called the Dissociative Continuum. The presence of this continuum is now widely accepted by those psychiatrists, psychologists and social workers who are familiar with dissociative states. Let’s take a look at this together. I will present them from least to greatest – in terms of the dissociation only. In no way am I minimizing the impact of any of the disorders.

I. Psycogenic Amnesia
[Definition]: A sudden inability to recall important personal information that is too extensive to merely explain away by normal forgetfulness and is not associated with an organic mental disorder (like Alzheimers Disease).

There are 4 classifications psychogenic amnesia:

  1. Localized – where all memory is loss that occurred in a specific period of time
  2. Selective – where some, but not all memory is loss of events that occurred during a specific period of time
  3. Generalized – where memory of important events that occurred over the course of life is loss
  4. Continuous – where all memory is loss for the entire past and the memory loss continues into the present

Psychogenic Amnesia is the most common form of dissociative disorders and appears to be caused by either blunt trauma to the head or as response to an immediate traumatic event.

II. Psychogenic Fugue
[Definition]: A sudden act of traveling far away from home or place of work, and having no recall of doing so or why. Many assume a new identity or personality trait completely uncharacteristic of the ‘norm’.

Research has shown that this new identity is usual really ‘free-loving’ and less inhabited than the ‘normal’ identity. This dissociative disorder does not include those moments when we all drive from point A to point B without recalling the road or things around us. Those occurrence fit better in the Psycogenic Amnesia category. It appears that people who suffer from psychogenic fugue states have no memory of the actions and experiences done while the ‘free-loving’ personality is present.

III. Depersonalization Disorder
[Definition]: The chronic experience of a profound loss of sense of self, of feeling unreal – as if in a dream. The experience of feeling like your are completely outside of yourself.

People who have depersonalization disorder have memories that feel like dreams that sometimes cannot be recognized as real versus fantasy. They can easily tell themselves that certain real life experiences didn’t happen because they [the memories] feel like dreams. Because of the ability of the person who has depersonalization disorder to mentally step outside of self, past memories can be seen as occurring to someone else. The onset of this disorder is abrupt; however recover can be very slow.

IV. Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS)
[Definition]: This is a bit of a ‘catch all’ category for any dissociative behavior that doesn’t fit solidly in the definition of the other categories. There is still marked dysfunction in memory, identity and consciousness.

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with someone who has DDNOS and she says that for her, she doesn’t hear the internal conversations and she retains co-consciousness for much of the time with no distinctive personality taking full control of the body at any time.

 

 

 

V. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD))
[Definition]: The presence of at least two distinct personalities within the body of one person.

People with DID typically display symptoms of other categories of dissociation. People tell of loss time, amnesia, profound feelings of being outside of self, and hearing internal dialogs that are not those of the primary identity. DID is a chronic, but allegedly treatable disorder. This dissociative disorder holds the most societal stigma than any of the others and if often mistaken for Schizophrenia – a disorder that can be controlled with drug therapy.

From everything that I have read thus far, there are no medications specific to treating DID. Drugs are given to assist with symptoms of things like insomnia, depression, and anxiety; however these drugs cannot address the disorder itself.

In my next post, I will speak about various forms of trauma that cause dissociative disorders. Until then, friends.

Tips for Significant Others of Multiples

It has been over a year since I posted this and I felt it needed 1 more tip added. So I have updated this post with Tip #10 – There will be Destruction.

~By: Jess Mei

Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder – or any dissociative disorder for that matter – can be HELL! I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you who live with us. Our actions are difficult to understand on the best of days and some times infuriating on other days (I know). For some of you, you’ve been living with a multiple for years and years and still haven’t recognized the signs of it – or been introduced to the multiple’s alters. I want to present you with some tips for living with your DID loved one in hopes that these tips might help you to navigate your way through the turbulent storm of DID.

1. Don’t take it personal.
I set this one as #1 for a reason – you really cannot take what a multiple may say or do personally. I know this is easier said than done, but please try. You have to understand that while the body may be a certain age, we have young children, babies, inanimate objects, seniors, bee-bop young adults, and teenagers inside of us, and these alters can and do come out and control the body at times. Not all of these alters are pleasant – in fact some are downright mean and destructive. So sometimes you, as the significant other, will get targeted by these alters. I have one who hates everything and everyone and deeply resents the fact that anyone would or could love me.

2. Alters can and do mimic each other.
I’m not sure why this is – but it happens. I’d imagine it is just a game for the alter…to see if she/he can ‘fool’ the SO (significant other) or those that are around. Get to know some tell-tell indicators for the alters, so that no matter how much they joke around, you’ll know with whom you’re dealing with.

3. Be vigilant of reckless behavior.
Some people with DID will engage in fast, reckless driving, over-indulgence in alcohol or recreational drugs, gambling, and other general risky behavior. It isn’t that we necessarily think we are invincible, it is generally because we simply don’t care. Or one (or more) alters in control of the body at the time don’t care. I must also say that more than 1 alter can not only behave this way, but also develop addictions because of it. Imagine trying to quit smoking when more than 1 of you is addicted to nicotine. I mean, how do you know if the others want to quit? My SO has alters who come out, smoke his cigarette, then leave. He still wants to have a cigarette himself, so he lights up again. Can you see the difficulty in this?

4. People with DID LOVE to play mind games.
We tend to be extremely secretive and are generally distrusting of others. This is a fact that has nothing at all to do with love or the foundation on which the SO relationship is built upon. We will ‘try’ the SO and will most often test your love and commitment to us. This is primarily where the mind games come in, but not always. We absolutely HATE to be manipulated and recognize it quickly and will sometimes turn the tables on the manipulator so that they become the manipulated.

5. Be patient when it comes to making love.
Sometimes we act ‘weird’ with sex and we don’t even know why. Sometimes we get triggered (it could be a smell, a touch, a position, a ‘look’ in the eyes of the SO – anything) and off we go to whatever memory of a past event that got triggered. We might be able to work through it then and there, but sometimes, it might take days, weeks, months (or more) for us to recover. 1 step forward, 20 steps back – but as long as you don’t give up on us, I think we’ll make it.

6. We need PLENTY of alone time.
So, don’t get upset when we take it. If you think about it, we could literally be on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific and not truly be ‘alone’. There is an entire group of us there in the 1 system, talking, screaming, crying, and watching. Some people in every day life come home and turn on the TV because they need the background noise. I stay at home all day without one on because I don’t want to add anymore to the chaos already going on inside the system.

7. Sometimes, people with DID come off as indecisive.
Most times, we’re not really. We’re just trying to get a consensus from more than 1 person inside the system. This indecisiveness shows up for me most when deciding about where to eat and what to eat. As the host personality, I tend to mediate most times within the system, but this isn’t easy by any stretch of the imagine. YOU try getting more than 3 people to agree on any 1 thing! As the SO, please allow us to change our minds without reprimand and know that in general, we want to please those around us, especially our SO – and when you reprimand us, it hurts so deeply. And please don’t take our ability to choose away.

 

 

8. We Lie – A LOT.
I don’t know if this is rolled into our need for mind games, secrecy or what, but we lie, omit the truth, stretch the truth, hide the truth, make stuff up – whatever you want to call it – we do more than our share of it. I honestly can’t even remember all the lies I’ve told or why I told them. Was it to make myself more interesting? Was it to keep someone out of our business? I do remember lying a few times because I couldn’t remember doing what I was accused of having done. I have also lied and said I recognized someone who clearly knew ‘me’, when I didn’t. We hide; we lie. And as the SO – just know this going into a conversation that a DID person may (or may not) be completely forthcoming might be helpful to you. Sometimes, alters come out, drop the lie and leave whoever is out to deal with the fallout. This can be extremely frustrating for everyone concerned. I have personally stood by, watched the body’s mouth moving, heard the words coming out, knew what was said were lies and couldn’t stop it from happening. I got depressed knowing that eventually, I’d have to come out and try to untangle things.

9. Sometimes – we cheat.
And I don’t mean ‘lust in our hearts’ cheat, either. This is closely related to the reckless behavior point made earlier. We engage in on-line affairs and real life affairs. Sometimes it is more than one alter engaging in this sorted behavior as well. As the SO, I advise you to please be vigilant. If it looks like a duck, it probably is one…maybe even two or three. Even if the person you married would NEVER do something like cheat – bear in mind that she/he isn’t the only one in the system. There are oft times alters of both genders within the system who don’t have the same value system as your beloved. She/He may not even be consciously aware of what has occurred. Which brings me back to point #1 – please don’t take it personal. If you’re willing to work through these issues and stand by us, we will too.

10. There Will be Destruction.

After having continued to live with DID for over a year since I posted this, I simply had to add this final tip about destruction. You can well imagine the psychological destruction this disorder causes for those around their DID loved one. From personal experience, there is so much more destruction than that.

We have all sorts of triggers that may send us straight to lashing out, self-injury or worse, suicide/suicide attempts.  As the SO, you have probably already met a few angry, mean-spirited, hateful, just generally bent-on-destruction alters. Those alters are holding one or more parts of a terrible memory and maybe getting flooded. Flooding will cause us to act out either outwardly (hurt the SO or someone else around) or inwardly (cutting, anorexia/bulimia, or any other self-harm practice). Destruction will reign supreme if we are under a lot of stress.

Please keep in mind, SO – because of the past trauma, we are pretty much always in flight, fight or freeze mode which keeps us tense and watchful at all times. We feel we need to be ready to either run, fight or internalize all the time. Day after day, we generally already feel like we’re backed into a corner and someone is poking us with a stick. Enough agitation and we will strike out. When we strike out, we go for the kill – whether it be a verbal, physical or psychological confrontation.You as the SO must understand this. We will do anything, anything to protect ourselves from any type of harm. This even goes for when we self-harm; there is always at least one insider that tries to stop the self-injuring. That person may not win, though.

We always play for keeps.

Understand that there will be destruction when you are mated/partnered to someone with DID. If you’re not strong, fully self-confident and thick-skinned – you should back away from the DID person and move quickly away. Until the system has some long-standing consistency of order, the entire relationship will be baffling and frustrating. If you are already involved with a multiple or feel you wouldn’t mind if the person were DID, please re-read these tips and get ready for an extremely bumpy, though sometimes rewarding, chaotic ride.  Godspeed!

I hope these tips have given you, the Significant Other, some insight into our world. If you’d like to add another tip – please do so in the comments and I’ll incorporate it into the blog.

10 Tips to Avoid Self-Harm and Cutting

~By: Jess Mei

I know I can’t be the only one who has to fight the urge to cut. Sometimes, I win; sometimes I end up with a mess to clean up and a few cuts to hide. I can’t make up my mind if the reason I cut is because I just want to feel something, anything – or if I want the release of the blood. Honestly, I think it is both for me. Your reason for self-harm is your own…I can only speak about myself in this as self-harm is just so…..personal. I haven’t cut in a while I’m happy to say, but I get the urge to do so more often than I’d care to admit. I know self-harm is a very strong urge to resist, so here are 10 tips to help resist the urge. Some are tried and true; some I haven’t tried yet but think they might work. I believe that self-harm (particularly cutting) is like cancer – it never goes away, but it can go into remission.

Before we begin, know the Self-Injurer’s Bill of Rights, so if you end up cutting or self-harming, you know your rights when you are being treated for your injuries. So without further delay:

1. Get up and move.
Put your sneakers on and run, jog, run-in-place, do some Pilates, run up and down your staircase at home – just get yourself moving. The endorphins released by physical exercise might help decrease the urge. If you find that after a few minutes, you’re still feeling the urge, push your body physically a little more. Add a shout and some arm waving to whatever you’re doing. What you’re trying to do here is release that build-up of internal pressure…that urge – without self-harming.

2. Scream.
Yes, that’s right – scream. Throw your head back and let ‘er rip. Scream out all that internal pressure, scream out your pain – scream, scream, scream! This works best (of course) if you’re alone. I scream sometimes in the car when I’m driving. I try not to do it at a stop light (cause the people in the cars next to you will think you’re nuts), but honestly – since you’ll probably never see those people again, who cares what they think?

3. Write in your journal.
If you have a journal, use it. Write out the feelings that can’t be expressed verbally. Even being numb is a feeling. What would things be like for you if you could feel? When you allow yourself to feel, it is too painful to deal with so you’d rather face physical pain than emotional – I get it; but can you face the emotional pain by writing some of all of it down? Do you cry? Write about it. Allow the others to come out and write as well. Just for a few minutes, open yourself up on paper. Let it out. Sometimes when I do this, I’ll burn the written words after wards…just too personal – even for myself. Be careful with this one, though. Sometimes, others inside will really resent your writing things down and may give you massive headaches.

4. Arts and Crafts.
Here lately, I’ve been playing around with crocheting and knitting not only to fight the urge to cut, but also as a stress reliever. Some times I need to crochet a bit before I can post to this blog because the mere fact that I’ve created this blogspot in and of itself is sometimes very triggering for me. You don’t have to be creative or even particularly artistic to do crafts. Get yourself a ‘how-to’ on a craft you’d like to learn and dive in. If you already have experience – pull out your materials and have fun. Singing a song you enjoy can also help.

5. Call a friend or your therapist.
Phone a friend and gossip, or talk about the latest fashions. Men, call and talk about sports or whatever you and your friend has in common that isn’t related at all to self-harm. Go meet up for a cup o’ coffee or something. Going to see a movie would work as well. Be comfortable enough with this friend that if you need to walk out on a movie that is triggering, you can do so without it being a big deal.

6. Watch some comedy.

It is true that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter also releases endorphins that might help with relieving some of the internal pressure. When I’m feeling depressed I’ll seek out comedy. When I feel like cutting, I do the same thing. And I stay away from my razor blades. I use them to arch my eyebrows (no hate mail please…plucking takes too long). I also use them for cutting, so although most times they are used to keep my uni brow under control, I’m not kidding myself about them, either.

7. Interact with your pet.
Pets are wonderful for giving unconditional love. I used to wrap my arms around my dog’s neck and just hug her. She’d lick my arm or hand and just stand there leaning into me until I let her go. Find comfort in your pet. Play with her, give her a tickle. Show her the love you don’t feel at the time and she’s pay it forward to you tenfold.

8. Pray, meditate and positive affirmations.
I don’t know your religious bend, or even if you are spiritual, but sometimes prayer and meditation can help relief the urge to cut and self-harm. I used to walk a labyrinth sometimes during my lunch hour when I worked. It helped to calm the system and decreased the urge to cut. You can create a labyrinth in your home on the floor without putting a pattern down. Just take slow, purposeful steps in whichever pattern you find smoothing. Breath in deeply as your heel makes contact with the floor and exhale when the ball of your foot makes contact with the floor. Alternate and just continue to deep breath.

9. Create a contract with yourself (selves).
Draw up a written contact that you sign and commit yourself to that creates a reward system for not self-harming and cutting. For example, create a time line reward system that says, ‘if you go without cutting or self-harm for 3 months, you will reward yourself with a $50.00 spending spree to Victoria Secret’. With the time line reward system, the longer you go without cutting, the larger the reward. Perhaps your 1 year anniversary of not cutting or self-harm could be a trip to the Bahamas. Be creative with this, but make it something that’s realistic to your budget and personal living situation.

10. Instead of a razor, use a red marker.
Or some body paint. Take a non permanent red marker, and put the same marks on your body that you would have with the razor. For me, sometimes I just need to see the blood – you know? With a marker, you can draw blood WITHOUT drawing blood. And once the urge passes, you can just watch that ‘pain’ away and feel okay in knowing that you don’t have new scars forming on your body.

One final note. If you do end up cutting, don’t think you can’t start over and try some of these tips again. Just find something that works AT THAT MOMENT so that you don’t self-harm or cut and be willing to switch it up and be creative.

PS: These tips were co-written with my Partner. 🙂

{{{{{{{{{{{ HUGS }}}}}}}}}}}}

10 Tips For Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder

~By: Jess Mei

Here are some tips on reducing the headache of living with dissociative identity disorder (DID). There really are no hard and fast rules for ‘dealing’ with it unfortunately, since what worked well yesterday might not today and what works for one personality, might not work for the others. So, knowing all that – here are 10 general tips for living with DID on a daily basis. The number one thing to remember with all this is – Be Flexible.

1. If you drive, get yourself a GPS (global positioning system)
Depending on how fragmented you are, which of the alters drive, and what’s going on inside the ‘system’ (is it chaotic? calm? is everyone mostly working together?) sometimes, the body ends up across town – or worse halfway across the state (or further) before you realize it. Here’s how it goes – one minute you’re standing in your kitchen cooking dinner or talking to your significant other; *blink your eyes* and the next minute you’re behind the wheel of your car without a CLUE as to where you are going, why you’re there, or how to get back. Program the GPS for home first thing. Just last week this [psychogenic fugue] happened to me, and I ended up near the Canadian border!

2. Put up an internal whiteboard or keep an external notebook.
One of the most important things you can do to try to keep some sort conscious continuity between your parts is to make it mandatory that all of you keep notes in some central notebook or internal whiteboard. Because we tend to lose time due to personalities switching, it is vital that detailed notes are kept. Some people are able to keep an internal ‘whiteboard’ where the alters write notes of important things they’ve done or committed to (doctor’s appointments, dates, exams); others keep an external notebook that everyone writes in. I’ve been able to make both available though the whiteboard gets neglected.

3. Let people around you know how to call out your more cooperative personalities – just in case.
Sometimes when the system is in chaos or is having a panic attack, it is helpful that someone around you that you trust is able to call out a calming personality – one that will get things under control for the system. But only do this if you’re comfortable and trust the person; otherwise, the ‘shout out’ won’t do any good. In fact, it might trigger a protector [potentially violent alter].

4. Secure your funds.
Understand that there are more than just you spending your money and wanting to spend your money. So, if you have bills to pay, pay them first as soon as you have money. Better yet – have the bills on autopay or try to pre-pay them so that you don’t have as much debt. That way – the bills get paid whether you remember or not. Make sure that your financial responsibilities and living requirements are taken care of straight away, so that if someone spends your money, it won’t effect your lifestyle. Try to never have your ATM card on you and see if you can set up a two-signature check writing arrangement with your bank. Just going into knowing that there is a big chance that someone will drain your bank account by purchasing things you personally don’t need or want, but they may take a fancy to.

5. Have a place for important papers or unexpected documents (traffic tickets, IRS notices, etc.) and make sure that everyone in the system knows to have a look at that place when they are out.
This falls in line with trying to keep as close to a continuous consciousness as possible. Not all alters are considerate or care to cooperate with the others; Some are extremely reckless, in fact. Make sure you keep all your documents in one place; here’s a real life example of why. Imagine you’re in your car and for whatever reason, you get pulled over and find out you have outstanding tickets and a warrant. That would annoy even the most gentlest of people. Something similar to this happened to me. So, make sure you keep your papers in the one place – no matter how horrible (I’ve had some alters hide documents from the rest of us). This is a tough tip to adhere to as you’ll have to get the others to agree and not hide stuff. Be willing to be a mediator.

6. Keep an emergency contact phone number (next of kin) in your purse, wallet, and/or cellphone.
Even people without DID should have this information handy. For those of us with DID though, it is also important that we have the contact information of our psychiatrist and/or therapist or treatment facility.

7. Set up a safety network for yourself in case of a panic attack or similar emergency. It is so important to have a support team when you have DID.

Your team might include your significant other, understanding friends, your therapist, even your child. It is also important for me to say that it isn’t always necessary that any of these people know that you have DID, either. People that care about you will assist you anyway they can and most times – without asking a lot of questions. Seek out those people you can trust and build your safety network from there.

8. Keep all prescription drugs secure and keep a journal of when you take them.
Unfortunately, there are alters who are suicidal and who hate the body in general and hate all the other personalities as well. At some point, these alters do come out and sometimes harm the body either by putting it in dangerous situations, by self-mutilating, or attempted drug overdose. So, it is best to keep the drugs in a location that these alters don’t know about. It is also a very good idea to keep a log of when you take your medication. Otherwise, if an alter comes out and doesn’t know you’ve already taken your required dose, that alter may take another dose as well.

9. Become a good actor/actress.
Learn how to ‘play it off’ when someone comes up to you that you’ve never met and acts as if you two are good friends. These people may be strangers to you, but could be best friends with one of your alters. You simply do not know because you did not have co-consciousness during the interaction with that person. So, become a good actor and/or actress when this occurs. Use your judgment with this one – I mean – you know a creeper when you see one, right? There’s a difference. Just be careful.

10. Be prepared to have your child alters come out at Toys -R-Us and other places.
If you have child alters, be kind to them and have some things for them to play with around the house. I learned this the hard way when while at Toys-R-Us, one of my child alters came out, grabbed a toy and went running down the aisle with it – footloose and fancy free (at least that is what I was told later). Mind you – I’m a 42 year old woman. I don’t have stuffed animals. I don’t even have board games – yet there was the body running and playing. So, now I have a few toys at home and I have ‘the talk’ with my child alters before I go out to the mail or to the grocery store as I got really tired of finding sweet cereal and toys in the shopping cart at checkout time.

I do hope these tips will be helpful for you. Let me know if you have questions.

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My Personal Story and Diagnosis of Dissociative Disorders

~By: Jess Mei

Sometimes it takes a major triggering event for dissociative disorders to present themselves. Yes, sometimes I spaced out, showed little or showed no emotion, had bouts of insomnia – but who doesn’t, right? For me, my triggering event was a cancer scare in December 2006. After two follow-ups, that included ultrasounds, barium imaging, MRIs, etc. – I was given a clean bill of health. But you see, during the wait time between me seeing the doctor and getting the clean bill of health, I was faced with my own mortality, and my mind flashed before me my life – such as it was.

I began having horrible nightmares and flashbacks of images of abuse and molestation that I’d already known about to some degree, but now was seeing details. I had frequent anxiety attacks and had migraines everyday – all day for weeks on end. My concentration and memory decreased significantly. I often found myself in places and didn’t remember how I’d gotten there and I began to lose time…sometimes only a few minutes, sometimes whole days at a time. I mentioned several times to my husband that I suspected I had Alzheimer’s and I even mentioned it to my family doctor, who ruled it out because of my age.

In the past, I’d already been diagnosed with Chronic Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (c-PTSD) and had undergone behavioral and drug therapy for it. THIS was something all together different. My one voice that I heard internally pretty often that I’d nicknamed ‘Chatterbox’ because of her incessant talking had suddenly become several voices, some male – some female – some childlike. At first, I thought that it was all just my subconscious, especially one female voice that constantly berated me; but I noticed that these voices spoke even when I wasn’t intentionally trying to get them to do so. I had my own thoughts, and apparently they had theirs.

In the midst of all this internal chaos, my marriage was falling apart. How could I explain to my husband what I was hearing, seeing in flashback, and remembering? What would he think of me and my family if he were told. I didn’t want him to look at me with disdain. I was ashamed…scared and ashamed. I asked him for time for me to sort through all this new chaos, these new and horrible thoughts, the voices. I needed time. In the end, I waited too long. He moved out and although we tried to work things out – it just wasn’t possible.

I suffered from migraines so severe, they were giving me small seizures. When I’d turn my lights off in my office, my superiors were told I presented an image of being unavailable. All I was trying to do was remain at work. I was eventually prescribed a medication that served the dual purpose of helping minimize the occurrence of migraines and stopping seizures. Fun stuff boys and girls!

Months had gone past, there I was trying to hold down a top management position, not remembering what I’d said or committed to the day before. Finding myself in a meeting without a clue as to what the meeting was about. I’d find stick-it notes on my computer screen with a name of a colleague or superior, and a time and sometimes the date. So, I had to gleam from this half-written note what I was suppose to do ‘with’, ‘for’, – whatever this person. Ultimately, I’d either completely miss the missing (in cases where the stick-it stopped sticking and fell under my desk) or I’d show up completely unprepared. My job performance plummeted. I lost the minute respect I’d earned from my peers, superiors, and staff. Hell, if they had bothered to point and laugh, I don’t think I would have remembered why they were doing it. I was eventually asked to resign from my position still without knowing what was truly going on with me.

Confusing Times

Confusing Times

The voices were non-stop now since I was no longer employed and they had plenty to say. I was blamed for allowing the molestation occur. I was shamed for knowing that at times – what was being done to me my body responded to positively. I’d never been so suicidal in all my life. But god help me – I didn’t want to seek professional counseling because I just knew – knew the person would want to put me away in a ‘nut house’, so I endured…day after day, week after week – panic attacks, heart palpitations, nightmares, daymares, and internal criticism the likes of which I had never experienced before. I hit rock bottom one evening when I picked up a razor blade and started cutting. Each cut felt like a small scream – a shout to god, a plea for relief and I cried and cried deeply – finally for myself, my kids, my husband, my childhood.

The next day, I was able to get in to see a clinical psychologist who specialized in trauma. I played games with her, but I can’t tell you why. I’d arrive late to every session, sometimes as much as 20 minutes late. After a few sessions though she diagnosed me with severe depression, depersonalization disorder, c-PTSD, and Dissociative Disorder, not otherwised specified (DDNOS). After a series of particularly bad sessions where we’d started talking about my mother, I flipped out on her and she refused to continue our therapy sessions. I never did tell her about the voices.

It was more than 4 months later when I finally tried to reach out again. I found a therapist who specialized in dissociative disorders and trauma. She was very cool in her manner, not falling for my ‘usual’ bag of tricks. I told her of a particularly horrible memory, that with past therapists – would have their mouths gaping open. Not this gal. She called me a survivor and asked me how she could be of service to me. I started answering her question and the next thing I know, she was handing me tissue and directing me to try to re-ground myself in the present. She gave me some exercises that I still use today to help with re-focusing my consciousness, quieting the voices. In her diagnoses, she agreed with the previous therapist on everything except one – she diagnosed me with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

So that’s my story pretty much in a nutshell. Currently, I know of at least 10 others all living inside us. We’ve survived because we had each other. Now it is time to Live.

Check in with me daily – I’ll be posting some useful tips that I learned from my therapist, as well as other helpful websites and information specific to dissociative disorders.

Together – we can LIVE.

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