Masters of Compartmentalization

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Living in Mental Boxes

Like DID, compartmentalization is a subconscious defense mechanism used to avoid distress and anxiety. This happens when someone has incongruous values, beliefs, emotions, etc. within themselves. Compartmentalization allows for multiple viewpoints that can oppose each other in the same person under different self-states. It can also be an intellectual form of rationalization for having opposing beliefs or values. And it can be a form of emotional detachment and/or used for denial.

An example of compartmentalization for someone with DID could be that one alter, or identity states believes in the death penalty where another doesn’t. Or more simply, that one alter likes sushi and another won’t touch it with a ten-foot chop stick.

We all compartmentalize parts of our lives. We often act and feel differently at home, or in the gym than we do at work. This can come in handy for homicide detectives, morticians, and nearly every first responder job. But compartmentalization can hinder our relationships, career paths, and ability to interact in teams and community.

Those of us with DID live in multiple diversely self-made boxes. And I believe that the more we get to know the different identity states we walk in, the more we define those alter boxes. This creates well-formed alters versus nameless fragments. And yes, we create them.

We unknowingly pull from our subconscious minds information we’ve filed regarding character and personality throughout our lives. And sometimes, we also make some conscious decisions as to what we are willing to accept or not in an identity states. That may not be a popular statement, but I do believe we have a responsibility to leave evil thoughts and characteristics behind. We have the power to be honorable, righteous and sanctified.

So, are we to blur the edges of our boxes for integration? Maybe. I think I’m going to try to open some boxes.

Lifting the lids off,

Jana

P.S.: Stay safe and blessings to you.

Controversy Podcast

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DID Inside Out, Episode 6

The recent DID YouTube controversy affected me too. In this episode I talk about how I experience DID and that it’s not something to desire. Life is only better with DID in the fact that it helps us to not have traumatic childhood memories.

My DID is Flaring

Or Am I Just Emotional?

I have recently had a friend tell me that I’m experiencing normal emotions and not switching alters.

I realized it’s easy to blame DID for poor character behaviors, blind spots and emotions of my core personality. I think there are times that I’m just having a bad day but want to say it’s a depressive-prone alter. By doing this, I’m not taking responsibility for my thoughts and feelings in the moment.

So, why do I think my DID is flaring?

I look at the people around me and they are consistent in mood or behavior and they follow a pretty steady and even narrow range of emotions. They get ups-and-downs but are always the same. I get way up and way down with a wide emotional range. Of course, I am also an artist/creative person, so lots of emotions come with the territory. However, I feel I can process the emotions best by compartmentalizing them into altered states of consciousness. I just can’t emotionally handle challenging information like I used to. So, I dissociate where others seem to stay even keeled.

I have come to realize that dissociation has been a great fallback when I get stressed. It’s my go-to stress fix now which really kind of sucks.

What are your experiences with daily dissociation?

Feeling abnormal,

Jana

P.S.: No wonder people say they have hundreds or thousands of alters….

Invisible Disabilities Podcast

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DID Inside Out, Episode 5

We are invisible. We are suffering though we look well. People don’t understand that we are using more energy than they are because we are trying to cope and do life. It’s harder for us and I’m asking friends and family members of “DID-ers” to give us grace.

Now You See It

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Now You Don’t

Invisible Disabilities and Illnesses run rampant in America. We are dying from Heart Attacks, Strokes, Obesity, Cancer, Alzheimer’s and more. Nearly all of these illnesses are invisible. We have them, but we still look good. When we aren’t looking well, people chalk it up to just one of those days. We look normal, we don’t show any more symptoms than they do on any given day.

And, they think we are exaggerating, looking for pity or outright lying.

Our friends and family sometimes question our disorders, illnesses and/or disabilities. They say the doctors are diagnosing us just to keep us as patients and to fill us with expensive prescriptions. Then the shots about “big pharma” happen. We try not to feel bad for taking the medications they are shooting down—I just stopped telling people exactly what I take. They also offer homeopathic options that cost more than the prescriptions, and it’s hard to find someone to guide us on the supplement path.

The worst thing for me is that on top of the DID I have several other major illnesses that I must take medication for at this time in my life.

That was a rabbit trail.

Anyway, DID is an Invisible Disorder for me. I switch between alters so fast that even I can’t tell it’s happening. It’s not until some alters’ idiosyncrasies happen that I know who I am at that moment. And trust me, when I can’t tell no one else can either.

Now, all people have different faces or masks they wear for certain situations, which is a normal form of dissociation. People daydream getting lost in thought and do things like drive automatically and forgetting how they arrived at their destination.

Dissociation is normal.

There are just some of us who dissociated as children due to trauma and as a result we live with other personalities.

DID is real. We are not invisible.

I see you,

Jana

P.S.: Be visible by communicating how you are doing with loved ones.

Belief & Perception Podcast

Look for me on CastBox and soon other Podcast streamers.
DID Inside Out, Introduction, Episode 4

DID can get us in a jam with others. I’ve experienced more of this lately as I strive to understand just how DID has worked in my life. Let’s just take it one personality at a time, together.

The Secret is Out

Photo by Kristina Flour on Unsplash

One look at Dr. McNally sitting in his Manhattan leather armchair and I knew this was going to hurt. I’ve seen many psychiatrists and psychologists and none of them possessed the ability to handle my situation. But my research told me Dr. McNally was different. A glance around the office told me he was a well-seasoned professional. And his eyes told me he was determined to get to the bottom of my case.

Ten minutes into my appointment and Dr. McNally asked me who he was speaking with. I couldn’t believe he caught my switch to Bobby. Bobby is about 20, quiet and frightened most of the time. He still has a victim spirit about him. Bobby was seated on a lovely turquoise Alder & Tweed couch and had pulled his knees up to his chin. He thought it was too dark in the room, but he loved the Wyland painting on the wall across from him. I noticed it was an original. There are navy blue walls; large mahogany bookshelves lined with books and objects like a psychometry skull and a large brass hourglass; and there was a warmly glowing Tiffany lamp just next to Bobby in the corner. The stained glass was suffused with dragon flies and cattail reeds.

Bobby didn’t like dragon flies and was startled at the deep soft voice of McNally repeating more loudly, “Who am I speaking with right now?”


Excerpt from a book I’m writing called, 21 Pieces: One Woman’s Fight to Reconcile Her Multiple Personalities with Her Spiritual Beliefs.


Psychology

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Trying it Again

I know, I know, I should have been seeing a psychologist along with my psychiatrist long ago, but I’ve never had a good experience with one.

The last one I saw was about 8 years ago. In the very first session with her I mentioned that I have DID and she left the room, copied the DSM-VI page with the little part about DID, gave it to me, and she said, “This is what DID is.” I was like, “Yes, and?”

 I also told her that one of my parts will convince her in a very short period of time that I’m fine and she will only want to see me once every few months. Guess what happened after our third session? Yep, I didn’t go back.

So, after being diagnosed with Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures I figured I’d better see somebody—so I did.

The DID Secret

I hate that we have to “hide” DID. I mean, I get it, we get labeled crazy and so many doctors and therapists don’t even believe it’s real.

Here’s where I am with that: Whether it’s real or not, this is how my mind decided to process trauma. Perception is reality, even to us. So, if DID is how I have to get through the PTSD, Depression and Anxiety then that’s what I’ll do. Because I believe that with some deep inner healing, I’ll be cured.

I know, I know, some people say there’s no cure. But I have hope I can conquer this because I’ve overcome a lot in my life already.

So, Mr. Psychologist, Sir, here I come.

With expectation,

Jana

P.S: I hope this works. What is your experience with counselling?

Convenient Blaming

Inconvenient Illnesses

On top of the DID with PTSD, I was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS), Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures (PNES) and Fibromyalgia all over the past six years. So, I can no longer work or do much of anything else.

It’s a seriously stressful drag. To add fuel to the fire (CRPS joke), I find out tomorrow if I have Type 2 Diabetes, and a few days ago I found out I have Liver Disease and Stage 2 Kidney Disease.

Why bring this all up regarding DID?

Shaming and blaming.

People with DID are familiar with constant inner dialog. We have multiple parts or alters invested in everything we do, and the parts don’t always get along. Upon finding out about more diagnoses a few days ago, I had an anxiety attack that started arguments between some of my parts. They were conveniently blaming each other for not eating better, for taking all the medications for the other illnesses, for being born, etc. It got pretty bad and I ended-up in a deep depression. Then my parts were shaming and blaming each other for being depressed. I’ve been on a rotten merry-go-round for days.

So, I’m going to work this out here, in writing. As I do this, I will switch quickly through some of my parts who are representing all of us. I know this is going to happen because that’s how my DID works.

I don’t change voices, or make-up and clothing when I switch. I switch too quickly for all that. There are situations that my parts argue over what to wear and I can’t make a decision. But it’s rare. I don’t even know I switch the majority of the time but can look back and see where certain alters took control. The other way I become aware of switching is my internal dialogue. The only time I’m NOT engaged in conversations with multiple parts and switching is when I have effectively distracted myself.

I use distraction for pain management and have gotten very good at it—maybe too good.

Talking it Out

I am ready to step through the fear of being more ill and face reality. So, I will ask myself some “what if” questions and give “so what” answers.

What if I have Diabetes? I believe it’s reversible in many cases, so I do what I can to overcome it.

What if it’s really bad? We’d be in the hospital. It’s not going to be bad.

What if I have to take more medication? It may only be temporary. I trust our doctor.

What if the liver and kidneys get worse? The liver can recover to some extent. It depends on the current damage and we’re having another ultrasound soon. The liver and kidneys can be supported through diet and exercise. We’ve lived through worse. Right!? We always knew life would be shorter because of the other illnesses. We’ll make the most out of what we have.

It all sounds logical, but my heart hurts. That’s normal, you need to grieve, once again, the life you thought you’d have and accept the new one. Being ill is horrible. I agree.

So, what now? Place it in God’s hands. I can do that. I love you. Love you too. Can we all just do the same? Love each other and give it to God? Yep.

Trusting Him,

Jana

P.S.: Communication is key.