Inside Dissociative Identity Disorder: Introduction

My goal with this page is to organize what I  know about myself in
a single place.

My therapist said in our first session that I did not get sick in
isolation and that I won’t get well in isolation.

DID is a secret about keeping secrets.

My goal with this blog is to let my alternates tell their stories.

This is the only way to make us whole.

Whole in this context means achieving the last phase of the
evolution of the mind from that of a child to that of an adult.

The writing of this blog is literary only to the extent that I bring a certain
literary sensibility acquired from the study of poetry,  literature, and film.

My alternates use different styles in the way they write but they
share a certain tone of voice.

That singularity of voice is my true self.


The writing below is dated August 22 1991. It was camouflaged to look like an old “temp” file
on my hard drive.

It reads:

“Hey Tim!
I havnt’ really brought you up to date on how I’m geting on with my 6′ rabbits all named George. Okay, now that the chuckle is out of the way I’m seriously stating that the exchanges I’ve told you about are only a small per centage of what’s been happening lately in fact. I can come up with three possible rationale for  my audio reception to be acting this way

1> S. Psychosis
2> enhanced hearing or telepathic reception for unknown reasons
3> haunted
4> brain rot

Nearly all of the times when I am alone, even alone in a crowd there is a running commentary/critique/conversation/dialogue occuring and it’s always about nme there is a large array of performers.”

I found it on an old hard drive.

My guess is that this was written by one of my alternates.

My alternates sometimes have separate friendships,  even more
so when I didn’t know about them 1991.

But I don’t remember a “Tim”.

Based on the accent and misspellings the alter was Bob, the 25-year-old.

Here is another piece of writing dated December 2000:

“Thank you for the condescending tone of your post, but there are a few points that I think you have misunderstood. I do not hate Republicans because of my Mother’s death. My hatred for Republicans is my hatred for Wallace Democrats, white racists, Richard Nixon and the corruption of our politics caused by the Southern Strategy which debases our political discourse and promotes the ignorance that fuels racism. I do not blame Republicans for my Mother’s death; I blame all the lefty voters who covertly supported the Reagan agenda by not voting.

This contempt includes Liberal Democrats who are no strangers to placing money over principle. As for economic difficulties, most economic difficulties in the United States are artificially manipulated and are the direct result of stupidly turning our backs on the government systems that funded the kind of visionary goals that placed men on the Moon. My parents looked at poverty and deemed it unacceptable. We look at poverty and step over it. I hate the cynicism of the new confederacy and liberals who think they can hide its ugliness behind pretty PCwords.”

And another:

“6 September 1991

I’m finding it increasingly difficult to keep a sense of humor about the dialogue that I’ve been hearing for approx. 2 months now. If this is P. psychosis it is becoming more acute. I say ‘if’ because, (although I must sound like a raving lunatic), it now seems to me that the characters that I’ve been hearing at the house are more spirit like, ghosts, if you will. Furthermore I  seem to be developing some kind of repoire or relationship with  them. A major contributor that supports this theory is the fact that a significant percentage of the comments that I hear are of a nature that I cannot explain as being based upon my subconscious guilt, etc., that being what psychosis would normally be releasing or shedding, I believe.

The two main characters sound to be an adult woman and her mother. They both give praise as well as criticism, often, but not always, opposing one another to some degree. Upon moving a plant (n bloom) into the foyer a few moments ago I plainly heard the mother say ‘oh look- how pretty.’ and repeating this several times, with daughter barely responding, showing much indifference. I was not thinking of the plants appearance at all, but was simply getting it out of the way. An additional factor is that they seem to witness everything except my thoughts. Those remain private unless I utter them. They also, at first, indicated surprise when I butted into or responded to their dialogue, as if they thought that I could not see nor hear THEM AT ALL.B.”

This experience is typical intrusions of  the inner world.

This is one dated April 1993:

“Justice is a tweaked out whore that swipes
everything she sees: colored glass, lint, skin,
a hummingbird, Priests, all the stars in the
universe…

a dozen Kentucky fried courts have declared
her innocent.

They say that thieves with money aren’t thieves.

So Justice isn’t really blind.

She’s just another rich con feeding a habit”

I don’t recognize, relate to or remember this writing.

This is a primary symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I don’t know that the writing is mine but I have no evidence that it isn’t.

I am not an authority on Dissociative Disorders and I don’t won’t spend
time describing Dissociative Identity Disorder as a clinical phenomena
because the clinical description does not describe the human dimension.

I have links to excellent sources of  clinical information such The International
Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation.

I strongly agree with the theory of the Structural Dissociation of the Personality.

This is a link to an easy to understand PowerPoint presentation of what researchers
in the field of trauma know about the use of dissociation as a survival mechanism and
its potential for becoming pathological.

Six years ago I was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

At first, I felt guilty about it. I thought I was morally flawed. I
spent most of the first four years after the diagnosis apologizing
for it.

While there are many facts that I don’t know or want to know about my life,
I do know that all of my alternates carry a consistent and  shared set of ethics.

We believe in fair play, a sense of duty and in the goal of becoming the best
possible person.

This means knowing that people who live outside of our DID system have the same
physical and emotional needs as we do.

Some people claim that DID is a kind of Narcissism.

It isn’t.

People with DID are fragmented but not dis-compassionate and rarely a sociopath.

The unique symptom of Dissociative Identity Disorder are the fragments of personality called “alternates”.

Alternates are distinct states of being or feelings with names.

My alternates are well-educated and skilled at their specialty.

The primary alternates are playful and witty.

People who interact with them on social media can’t tell that  the person they’ve met is
a fragment of a whole.

The most recent research with brain scans and MRI’s find physical trauma related damage in the brains of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

This MRI scan shows an alternate switching to another alternate
This MRI scan shows an alternate switching to another alternate

This means that Dissociative Identity Disorder as a syndrome is no longer really up for debate.

My advice for anyone who has a friend or a spouse with DID is learn about the illness.

If you think that you know what DID is because you have seen or read Sybil and the Three faces of Eve you’re wrong.

In a post about the partners and friends of people with DID Holly Gray, on the Dissociative Living Blog, says it best:

“Those of us with DID don’t have the option of walking away from it. You do. For my part, I’d like to remind you that no matter how it feels, DID isn’t forced on you. You can leave, or choose not to get involved at all. Those of us with this disorder would spare you if we could. So when it gets rough – and it will get rough – please remember this: living with Dissociative Identity Disorder is a decision you’re making, not something we’re doing to you. Blame us for our choices and behaviors … not for having DID.”

The point is that having Dissociative Identity Disorder does not always mean making bad choices and unruly behaviors, but it does mean shifts in memory and ways of being.

My goal is to help lift the stigma of mental illness by talking honestly about the experience of
learning to live with DID.


Image and Text (c)Rob Goldstein 215-2016

 

 

 

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127 thoughts on “Inside Dissociative Identity Disorder: Introduction

  1. Hello Mr Goldtein. Just wanted you to acknowledge this article I wrote about one of my favorite artist/painter Ray Ceasar who is also afflicated with Dissociative Identity Disorder. I do not talk abou tit much but I just thought you would be amazed of the way he uses his art as an outlet to express trauma. Here a link to is some of his art I posted on my blog. I hope this will please you. I admire your strenght the your sensitivity tha can be felt from everything you write on your blog. I thought that the fact your are with DID might enable you to put yourself in someone else’s mind and understand wht they feel more than most people. Is it a wrong assumption??? PLz do link me to the post in which you talk extensively on your personal story with this relatively unknown mental heatlh particualarity I’m sorry but I can’t see it as a disease really… to me it’s just a different way of being but I do not have it so what do I know about the pain and the harm it has caused you. I’m so sorry for my ignorance but I will read mpre about this and my attention and curiosity will from now on be sparked , thank to you’ when I will hear/see anything about DID. OK nuf said here is the link of an artist who is like I said afflicted by DID and whom I truly consider one of the greatest Pop Surrealism artist, Ray Ceasar: I do hope you like enjoy looking at what he does and maybe you can see it in a very much different, more profound way than I do. https://tobedamit.com/2015/12/24/ray-caesar/

    Yours truly,

    (Frozen) Tobe Damit.

    PS: Don’t worry, as you can seee I am totally over it now lol!! I’m all warm and comfy again. Mr Kendall has been caring enough to grant me a swift kick in the ass when I was not giving it my 100% to motivate me and get me back on track!! (that Is what I like to think anyways rather than thinking he just wanted to piss me off!!).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Rob, yours is a truly compelling blog. Thanks for following mine and I hope you’ll visit often. I am doing a shout-out to you in a post later this week! Hope you get more followers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Rob, I’m back here again. I don’t know if you know if I am doing my MA in creative writing but for one of my pieces of work – I am needing to write a 2000 word fiction story on anything.
    I have decided to focus my central character on a lady -Rosie – who has DID I’m still developing her character and plotting. So it’s early stages still.
    Because of the word limit, I can’t go fully into DID as much as I want to.
    So, at this stage, I am focusing a part of Rosie’s life. She is nearly 30. She has been involved/engaged in treatment for many years.
    She is doing well. She has worked hard with her Alters to find out who they are and what drives -emotionally .
    The story starts with Rosie coming to a break in her treatment – she is about to married. One of the things she finds helpful for her is going on walking groups. She loves gardening and being in nature- She loves birds.

    The point where the story starts is when she goes to her weekly walking group and there is a new volunteer walking guide/partner – He introduces himself
    They shake hands and she detatches – she goes to place – her safe place -at this point in time it is aplace of flower fileds and birds.
    Immiedelty an Alter that she is not aware is triggered by Steve.
    Lola – the Alter – defensive full of rage and revenge – comes out because she recognises Steve as the man who attacked and tried to violate in college – over 10 years ago.
    At that time she looked very different- physically, she wasn’t in therapy . When the attack happened Rosies mind couldn’t deal with shock of being attacked and Lola – the Alter came out and ended up fighting off her attacker. She ended up stabbing a pencil in his eye and escaped.

    Rosie doesn’t remember any of this. It’s by random chance that this volunteer who has been drifting from place to place and Rosie meet.
    Steve, her attacker – is a lot older now – in his 40’s and has a damaged eye. He has alcohal issues and he tries to reign in on his impulses to violate a certain type of women. He has his own coping mechanisms.

    He is drawn to Lola -even though she doesn’t look anytihng like Rosie did in college because Lola recognises him and is filled with anger and revenge and Lola’s alter takes Rosie off guard lso she starts getting symptoms and Lola has not revealed herself in therep to Rosie or any of the othe Alters.

    Lola seduces Steve because she wants revenge and plots demise.
    I don’t want to sensationalise DID – I want to honour a person with any mental health issue – I want Rosie to come through in the final scene and instead of Lola exacting out her revenge in a violent way , I would like to see Betty ( having engaged with high-quality treatment and therapy) to be able to reach Lola before it is too late.
    I’m going to follow up on a few of your links. I may reference you or blog when I do my bibliography (only my tutor reads it) – it is a fictional piece and I won’t be discussing anything related to your personal experiences
    I just thought if anyone knew what it’s like to have DID and live with it- you were my first go to person – to research while I am developing Rosie’s character.
    I hope you give your blessing. Like I say it is a 2000 word short story but I do not want to do what the media does ith people who have MH issues – I have bipolar and Chronic Anorexia as you probably know.
    I want Rosie to fight and hold up the integrity that a person with DID or (mental disorder etc) is not ” crazy” . It is something I will put in my reflective commentary.
    It is one of my goals. I have to make the story interesting but I don’t have to over sensationalize it.

    So, just thought I would let you know what I am doing. Again, if you don’t want me to reference your blog or you in any way – I won’t.
    I’m asking permission 🙂 and I won’t be offended if you say no. I will follow up the links you have put in this post and reference them. Hope all is well

    Tasha

    Like

    1. PLEASE IGNORE THE FIRST COMMENT -LOADS OF TYPOS

      Hi Rob, I’m back here again. I don’t know if you know if I am doing my MA in creative writing but for one of my pieces of work – I am needing to write a 2000 word fiction story on anything.
      I have decided to focus my central character on a lady -Rosie – who has DID I’m still developing her character and plotting. So it’s early stages still.
      Because of the word limit, I can’t go fully into DID as much as I want to.
      So, at this stage, I am focusing a part of Rosie’s life. She is nearly 30. She has been involved/engaged in treatment for many years.
      She is doing well. She has worked hard with her Alters to find out who they are and what drives -emotionally .
      The story starts with Rosie coming to a break in her treatment – she is about to get married. One of the things she finds helpful for her is going on walking groups. She loves gardening and being in nature- She loves birds.

      The point where the story starts is when she goes to her weekly walking group and there is a new volunteer walking guide/partner – He introduces himself
      They shake hands and she detaches – she goes to place – her safe place -at this point in time it is a place of flower fields and birds.
      Immediately an Alter that she is not aware is triggered by Steve.
      Lola – the Alter – defensive full of rage and revenge – comes out because she recognizes Steve, as the man who attacked and tried to violate Rosie/Lola in college – over 10 years ago.
      At that time Rosie looked very different- physically, she wasn’t in therapy . When the attack happened Rosie’s mind couldn’t deal with the shock of being attacked and Lola – the Alter came out and ended up fighting off her attacker. She ended up stabbing a pencil in his eye and escaped.

      Rosie doesn’t remember any of this. It’s by random chance that this volunteer who has been drifting from place to place and Rosie meet.
      Steve, her attacker – is a lot older now – in his 40’s and has a damaged eye. He has had alcohol issues and he tries to reign in on his impulses to violate a certain type of women. He has his own coping mechanisms.

      He is drawn to Lola -even though she doesn’t look anything like Rosie did in college. Lola recognizes him and is filled with anger and revenge and Lola’s Alter takes Rosie off guard so she starts getting back certain symptoms. Lola has not revealed herself in there to Rosie or any of the other Alters.

      Lola seduces Steve because she wants revenge and plots his demise.
      I don’t want to sensationalise DID – I want to honour a person with any mental health issue – I want Rosie to come as the hero in the final scene and instead of Lola exacting out her revenge in a violent way , I would like to see Betty ( having engaged with high-quality treatment and therapy) to be able to reach Lola before it is too late.
      I’m going to follow up on a few of your links. I may reference you or blog when I do my bibliography (only my tutor reads it) – it is a fictional piece and I won’t be discussing anything related to your personal experiences
      I just thought if anyone knew what it’s like to have DID and live with it- you were my first go to person – to research while I am developing Rosie’s character.
      I hope you give your blessing. Like I say it is a 2000 word short story but I do not want to do what the media does ith people who have MH issues – I have bipolar and Chronic Anorexia as you probably know.
      I want Rosie to fight and hold up the integrity that a person with DID or (mental disorder etc) is not ” crazy” . It is something I will put in my reflective commentary.
      It is one of my goals. I have to make the story interesting but I don’t have to over sensationalize it.

      So, just thought I would let you know what I am doing. Again, if you don’t want me to reference your blog or you in any way – I won’t.
      I’m asking permission🙂 and I won’t be offended if you say no. I will follow up the links you have put in this post and reference them. Hope all is well

      Tasha

      Like

  4. Thanks for this! I relate a lot, especially with the dialogue. I’m always either engaged in an internal dialogue or listening to one. I thought everyone was like that, so I never even mentioned it to my therapist until I was in my late 20s! I gave you a follow and look forward to reading more about your experiences. I’m always very curious about the similarities and differences between systems.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading my blog — My DID protects me from everything including a full awareness of how difficult life is with it. I don’t see my whole self but I can see how the different parts make a whole person when I meet other people with DID. I look forward to reading more of your blog too–please don’t hesitate to send me an email as a heads up when you post. Even with the reader I have a hard time tracking things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe it is. I have DID too combined with other overlapping disorders so i can relate to many stuff that your write. Although this blog belongs solely to the psychopath if you know what i mean.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you are brilliant. You are acknowledging this and facing it head on, even sharing it with the world. A loved one received a diagnosis in the mood disorder category 2 years ago, and he did not want to accept it. I think it is getting better, but he doesn’t talk about it much. I suppose it is still new to him. I think he’s at the very start of acceptance; he just recently started to find a place in life and purpose. Thank you so much for sharing. I have never had an MI diagnosis except post-partum, but I have had such anxiety with his onset of MI. Therefore, I probably understand just a fraction of what is felt by someone with a mood or identity disorder. Things are getting much better, and writing has helped me immensely. You are brilliant, acknowledging and not hiding. Write on!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. I think denial is common and I still struggle with denial even as I write openly about it. I appreciate the support…I hoe your loved one gets better. So much hopelessness and stigma can be alleviated if we all demand greater funding for mental health services.

      Liked by 2 people

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