A Letter from Home: When My Alternates Talk to Each Other

For those who don’t know my blog, I have DID and a small family
of alternates.

One of my alternates is a 16 year old boy and the other is a
woman named Sara.

They know each other; Sara is a protector and Mother figure.

I found this letter from Bobby to Sara composed in 2010  with her reply.

I am surprised by the correspondence because I didn’t know
my alternates were friends and allies.

The logic of Dissociative Identity Disorder is that ‘split’ aspects
of the self are perceived as “other”.

I think that Sara was the first alternate, which means she
emerged in childhood.

She comes out when one of the younger alters feels threatened.

 

There are many letters filed under ‘Letters from Home”.

Most of these are from Bobby to Bob.

Bobby wrote this to Sara as a 15-year-old.

It is the only letter from Bobby to Sara.

Her reply follows this post.

dear sara,

i’m at battery park in Charleston watching an old guy with a
big box of crackers.

he’s feeding it to a flock of pigeons.

it reminds me of the story of exodus.

you reckon god threw manna at us a watched
us fight?

sometimes i think life is magic but grown ups don’t
wanna talk about magic.

ok, so, i got a question:

let’s say one day u meet someone an this person sez they got alotta  love for you an wanna do good by you but somethin’ dont feel right but you need to be loved an the dude seems straight up but there’s a shadow that you don’t really see but you know it’s there and it feels familiar.

but you don’t want to lose the love so u try to make room for  the shadow by telling yourself it ain’t there, when bam!

you catch the dude in a lie, like when we was robby, with nasty secrets, an the cruel bruises and words that slice your soul.

so you try to talk about it cuz you wanna believe it’s all in your head  so you say to the dude that says he loves you, you say: “i’m scared  that somethin’ is wrong.”

right away he starts calling me names an saying i’m a hater an that i ain’t got no gratitude cuz most folks don’t even want to know me an i think, “damn! this feels familiar!”

the only person that will ever love me will leave if i try to talk about these shadows that are now everywhere so i get confused, cuz I really  want it to be me, cuz maybe i’m imagining it, cuz maybe i’m a hater an  everything about me is wrong.

sara, are those shadows really there?

and i got one last question about thinking life is magic.

how come when i say i think the world is made of magic folks tell me to get over it and grow up?

Love,

Bobby

A Letter from Home: Dear Bobby

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Quicksand or Time

kneel into

self

as thick as

quicksand

or time

as short as

life

the mind goes

fritz!

and still soft

words

are the fashion

is the suck-off

are the

dreams

of

more me

of me

on the street

stretching

absorbed

into

niches

where the

envious

self

fails, extending

contempt

to the

“worthless”

to the

owner

of a sleeping

bag whose

mind has

snapped —

onto mine.

 

(c) Rob Goldstein 2014-2017

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5 Signs of Dissociative Identity Disorder

from MakeItUltra™

MakeItUltra™

Written by Eric C., MA., PhD Candidate

Audio version available | Click here


Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder is a complex psychological disorder, which is difficult to diagnose and controversial. It is characterized by severe episodes of dissociation. Dissociative behavior can be divided into two categories: detachment and compartmentalization. Detachment is a voluntary or involuntary feeling or emotion that accompanies a sense of separation from normal associations or environment. Compartmentalization is a splitting off of the personality into separate parts where there is a lack of communication and consistency between each part. One key characteristic of dissociative identity disorder is that there has to be at least two distinct personality states. Many healthcare professionals believe dissociative identity disorder is a genuine disorder while other mental health professionals feel it is an off shoot of other mental illnesses and should be removed from the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and…

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Dissociative Identity Disorder: The Problem of Denial

Yesterday my partner stared at me in shock and said, ‘you’re such
a collage of so many things.’

I don’t know what he meant.

I don’t know what my partner means when he tells my therapist about the “straight one.”

The ‘straight one’ makes my partner feel unwanted and that’s unacceptable.

So, I’m always learning, always questioning, always asking myself what I can do to better manage my symptoms to keep my friendships
and protect my loved ones.

I can ask my partner to accept my illness but I can’t ask him to be more than human.

It’s hard to live with someone who has DID and my stance is I’m responsible for the behavior of my alternates.

I’m also responsible for letting people know what they can expect in
a relationship with me.

Photo-shopped detail of a wall mural on Folsom Street in San Francisco
Looks are deceiving

Looks are deceiving

I’m a ‘high functioning’ patient except when I’m not.

This paragraph from the PODS website is a perfect description of what that means:

“In practice, the vast majority of people with dissociative identity disorder do not obviously present as if they have ‘multiple personalities’. Instead, they present with a number of both dissociative and post-traumatic symptoms, as well as many apparently non-trauma-related issues such as depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, and anxiety. According to Richard Kluft, a leading expert in the field, only 6 per cent of people with DID present their ‘multiple’ or ‘dissociated’ identities publicly and obviously. Elizabeth Howell describes DID as ‘a disorder of hiddenness’, as the vast majority of people with DID, often motivated by shame, will attempt to conceal their symptoms and way of being. This in part explains why, despite dissociative identity disorder being so prevalent, few people are properly aware of it. In fact, many people with DID are high-functioning members of society with good careers before some crisis or build-up of stress leads to a sudden and catastrophic ‘breakdown’” PODS (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors)

I  had that sudden and catastrophic ‘breakdown’ in 2009.

I felt hopeless, helpless, and child like; I was emotionally five.

I had two inpatient stays and a couple of months of intensive
daily outpatient therapy.

I began to re-stabilize in late 2014, when I started Art by Rob
Goldstein, but I’ve never returned to my earlier baseline
level of functioning.

Different people meet different parts of me and those who
don’t spend time me never see the DID.

This gets to the unique problems posed by social media.

I like collaborating with the creative minds I meet online.

The problem is that I can’t always do what I think I can do.

A part of me may agree to read a book that another part
doesn’t want to read.

A part of me may agree to do an interview but a week goes
by because the part that’s ‘out’ doesn’t know about it.

How do you live with or collaborate with me or anyone else
who has DID?

I. If you’re the spouse of someone with DID schedule joint
sessions with the therapist. It will make life better for both
of you.

II: Believe that DID is real. if you forget your friend has DID
you will take the symptoms personally.

III:. If your friend says she’s too ill to work believe it.

IV. If you want to collaborate with me, you must read my blog. You
can’t really know me if you don’t read my blog.

V. It’s OK to feel frustrated.  The illness is unpredictable and
causes sudden changes. Be compassionate to yourself when
you lose patience.

I’m a difficult man to know.

I’m a collage of many things.

Again, from POD:

“If you try and tell people that you have different alters and that some of them are a different gender, and have different names and ages, then they really do look at you as if you’re mad. How do I know that I’m not actually just mad? How do I know that I’m not making all this stuff up? I don’t want my kids to be taken away, and I don’t want something on my record that stops me having a career, once I can cope with work again. When I’ve lost time and I don’t know what I’ve been doing for the last few hours, I’m not so much bothered about what it is that I’ve been doing as I’m really upset that I’m being ‘mad’. It’s almost like an obsessive, ruminating thought that just goes around and around—it’s quite ironic, I suppose, but I guess the fear of being mad is what I think is sending me mad!”

POD

(c) Rob Goldstein 2017 All Rights Reserved