Arriving to the house I was composed with my makeup done and ready for the gathering of people. Having had to talk myself out of turning around and heading home at least a dozen of times. The first step out of the car was mine and then Ray came forward and in excitement went through the door making her presence known. Thankfully I was able to play it off and asked Ray to please behave. Then again at the time to eat, Ray served herself a big hunk of cheeses cake dip with cool whip, and sweets galore. Looking at the plate my stomachs felt nauseous.
Shortly after, it was game time, and another alter lost her cool and went into panic-mode because a gentleman of great size sat next to her and his leg touched hers. She was so freaked out she grabbed her purse, stood up and was going to leave. This particular alter has an eating disorder. I moved seats and was able to play some games and had some fun. Eventually, severe anxiety rose up again and we had to leave the gathering and head home.
Several of my alters showed up to the gathering and some even came out but didn’t talk. It felt like I was on a spinning wheel that went round and round. Social situations are hard, but I survived, and I’d do it all over again.
Everyone’s dissociative to some degree. People daydream, fantasize, and distract themselves from the realities of life. People fall into addictions to get away from the world. We watch television and movies, listen to podcasts and music, all to find some temporary relief from the stressors of our personal existence. And some of us, like myself, check out altogether with D.I.D.
There’s a small social gathering coming up on Thursday. It’s a bring a Dip & Game type of evening. Could you imagine the reaction of others if I showed up with at least 15 different dips for 15 different parts—all with different tastes and personalities. So, I opted out to bring none. Maybe no one will notice.
A D.I.D. friend of mine asked if I was showing up and we looked at each other and laughed. Both of us laughed knowing how hard social events can be. Hopefully I’ll be the one who arrives and not a little one who has no filter or another that loves to dress up and is crazy for boys.
So, who’s showing up Thursday? Is it personality one or personality two, three or maybe fifteen? I’ll have to let you know.
The moon settles in as the sun majestically sets leaving a display of colors painting a picture of a thousand words. Shortly the adventures begin with Ray (a one-year-old part). The nightly fights of why we can’t wander around the house in our underwear with an adult male child in the house begin. Eventually she relents and the hunt for her amazing “blanky” goes on. This blanky is a miracle worker that puts Ray right to sleep—It’s better than cold medicine. Every day the blanky ends up in a different spot in my room due to Ray’s restless sleep patterns. Finally, her blanket is in hand and she is off to dreamland allowing me to go to sleep.
Morning comes all too fast as I wake up to crumbs sticking to the sides of my cheeks and broken morsels of food in my sheets. The crumbs of a half-eaten granola bar, wrappers of fruit snacks thrown to the side of the pillows and an empty box of frosted mini shredded wheat on the floor. When asked what happened? She simply replies “I hungy.” Somewhere between nightfall and the morning Ray woke up and hit the snack station blocking me in the process, leaving me to wake up for clean-up duty!
Answering the question of “Who am I?” can be very difficult. With D.I.D. we often lack the ability to say who we are with confidence. D.I.D. eats away at our self-esteem and self-worth because our identity isn’t easy to define, especially since we’ve experienced trauma. Knowing who we are is important in life as a human being and with D.I.D. who we are gets complicated.
Knowing who we are gives us a solid psychological (mental and emotional) foundation for maturing, changing and living our lives. D.I.D. forces us to define ourselves with multiple identities. It’s important to define ourselves in order to understand not only who we are but also where we are at in life. If our goal is full integration of identities (personalities, parts or alters), or functional multiplicity, it helps to know who those identities are.
I found that mapping my identities helped me to know more about who I am. I can get to know, understand, and relate to each of my parts because I have defined them. I can now explain and relate to my parts by name, personality and character attributes. This has laid a foundation for me to define and redefine who I am as I mature. The better I know myself the better my self-esteem and self-worth are. I can stand in confidence of who I am today, and I can look forward to who I will become.
Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
Loving ourselves for who we are is critical. We were made special, capable of connecting with so many others because we have more personalities. We can be flexible and capable of loving others for who they are. We can love ourselves for our uniqueness. We are special.
Something has been bothering me lately. How can I host and maintain four blogs with podcasts on three of them, and videocasts on one?
I’m an artist and author and have a lot happening in my life regarding my health. I have been diagnosed with five rare diseases or disorders, yep five. Not to mention what I call my lesser diseases, such as Type 2 Diabetes and Fibromyalgia which are a result of some of the other illnesses. The annoying five are:
CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
EDS-3 Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Type 3)
POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder)
PNES (Psychogenic Non-Epileptic Seizures)
I have separate blogs for CRPS and DID. I also have a site I rarely post at which is janarawling.com for my art making (though I forget to post stuff). Add to that, I am a Believer in Christ Jesus and have a blog site for that at HardwiredForLife.com (I have a partner on this one), and well, you see where I’m going with this. I get very tired and can’t post to all of them consistently, and I don’t. I suffer from symptoms every day mainly including pain, seizures, overall fatigue and falling down (sometimes breaking bones). I’ve had to stop working as a commercial art professor, which I miss very much. But I can still write when I feel okay, and I can make some art, which brings me joy through the pain.
I was wondering if I should combine some of the blogs, but I’m pretty sure that someone with CRPS doesn’t care about my DID, DIDers don’t care about POTS, and so on. I’ve been asking the Lord about it and He told me that the common denominator for all of my sites is not only me, but also is my art making, my creativity.
God told me that DIDers, CRPSers, Believers, and Artists all enjoy creativity. So, if you don’t mind, I will post the same art making and writing to all of my sites. That way, I have some universal content. I will still keep everything separate, but some creativity will be the same.
Whew! I feel better now. I feel that sharing my creativity is something I can do that will bring me tons of joy. Plus, I’m working hard on my healing and joy is a precious remedy.
Thank you for participating in my journey from wherever you’ve come.
P.S.: Can I pray for you? If so, contact me via email, or just say, “Yes” and I will be honored.
P.S.S.: I’m currently writing a book called, “Hardwired for Creativity: Art Supplies for the Mind” that should be finished sometime this year. I’ll let you know when that happens.
People just can’t imagine what it’s like for us. We’ve all been judged for being dissociative. So, we’ve spent our lives learning how to hide the DID. We’ve been forced to call it something else, anything else, to rationalize it away. DID has been the cause of damaged relationships, misunderstandings, loss of jobs, loss of friends and deep loneliness. So, how much do we ever disclose?
I chose to tell my family and close friends.
They may not understand, but I’ve tried. I told my family and a couple of close friends, because I wanted them to understand why I did or said certain things. I’d rather they know that I’m not forgetful, or undependable, or low in character, I’m fighting a disorder that occasionally makes me that way. I want them to know that if I don’t remember something, it’s not my choice and I do deeply care about them still. I can’t control when I switch, and now they are starting to see it and can deal with it however they choose.
I find that during conversations I can tell them I’m sorry for not knowing about something we’ve already talked about. They seem to be more understanding, rather than mad at me. Honestly, it’s been pretty amazing. I’m hopeful that as time goes by my relationships with my family will only get better. I’m finding that I’m less defensive knowing that they know about my DID. I feel safer.
DID is a purely defensive position. We are defending ourselves by switching. I find that I’m not as capable of being loving and compassionate toward others. It’s hard for me to reach out toward others with an open heart, because I’m so used to waiting for the next trigger to come. This makes me seem and feel very self-centered and I don’t like that. I find I have to strive to be kind, loving and caring because it doesn’t come naturally to me. Some of my alters are that way, so I seem kind and caring, but I’m not that way. I’m always waiting for the other proverbial shoe to drop.
I hate being defensive, that’s why I fully disclosed my DID to my family and close friends. It was just my personal choice. It may not be yours, and that’s okay. It seems that having DID is a lot like grief — everyone does it very differently.