Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) formally known as Multiple Personality Disorder.
Thisis a coping mechanism to fearful and repeated trauma as child, it is dissociating from self while the abuse ishappening. The average age range for DID to develop is infants to 8 years old. this is when the brain is not fully developed and has not learned healthy coping skills to deal with the trauma.
I often wonder, will I ever be free from disassociating? While I realize the reason behind such a amazing gift that helped me survive trauma, it also can be such a disadvantage when i need to focus and not have an anxiety attackin a store or at the doctors office etc.
I can find my self dissociating not only in public but in my very own home, watching a video or even while cleaning the house. I had to learn effective ways to help me ground myself and be aware of my environment.
Realizing some times I can feel myself in a fog, I would run home take my medication and wait to be back from the state of dissociation. I am not one that is against medication if it is needed, but I am also one who believes in trying to find other ways that are natural to deal with any medical issue. I took medication to help me with anxiety to depression. Medication does not help the dissociation but it does help the side effects such as the depression and anxiety. Today I am free from medication because I decided to take the road to deal with the pain and learn coping skills with the help from my psychiatrist.
Breaking frommedication is possible, but on the other hand what about DID? While there are skills on how to live with DID and having integration where parts of self become whole there is no drug to stop dissociation.
The reason behind dissociation isa common occurance to all, perhaps you dissociate while driving or a person who has gone through a emotional event such a loss of loved one they may dissociated from that emotion to get through the funeral or to be the strong one in the family while others are not handling the loss very well and after they may then deal with the emotion, Which would be the healthy thing to do. For those with DID its parts taking on those emotions and so we do not learn to deal with the pain to cope through it
For me, I know that God created dissociation to help all of my parts of selfbecause he knew we needed away to survive in a world full of sin and destruction. We can find new ways to deal withDID by remembering there will bea lot of emotional pain one must go through to be successful.
Steps to healing :
Communication: Write in a journal or blog. let parts of self express their feelings. Use both hands to write and respond to questions, this helps reach out to the little child within.
Make the decision to heal : while I was writing in my journal I had to decide ifI really want healing, was I willing to help those within? Was Iwilling to listen and believe? OnceI took these steps and was willing to heal I knewI could break the chains of dysfunctionin my own life.
Breaking the Silence: When I accepted that I was abused, I knew for healing I had to tell some one. I cried a lot, but after crying I felt a weight had been lifted, it was like thousands of bricks came off me. I felt so much better. Now I share my story to help others, but also the more I share the more healing Ireceive.
Trust: learning to trust those inside wanting to help, but also know they need to learn to trust you. Follow through with what you say, keep your word. If you tell other personalities I am going to let you color tonight in the coloring book, follow thru. Sometimes stuff comes up and a planned event must be rescheduled, be sure to communicate the circumstances to individual and reassure them of the new time to color in the book, parts of self need to know you will follow through and will keep them safe.
Seek out a trusted person or therapist: I would say find someone who has had similar experiences and can be a support to you. I have a support group, sponsor, Psychiatrist and Therapist. When having support it can leave us vulnerable. I realize that by pushing through the fear It helps me processes the abuse. I found that there are true caring people willing to help such as A Celebrate Recovery Program, A Christian Therapist that understand DID, or a women's meet up abuse group can help get through the pain from the past.
Be Willing: Be willing to share hard stuff, to cry, to scream or get angry in a safe way.
Angry: It is o.k. to be angry, it is part of healing. I still struggle with my anger at times, but I also realize it is righteous anger. I was abused, I was powerless and someone hurt me. That is very good and healthy reason to be angry, but I also had to direct that anger at the person who hurt me and not others, I had to learn healthy ways to show my anger.
Coping Skills: Apply coping skills suggestions. Please note it takes practice learning new skills it will not just happen, it will take time and it also means it may not work all the time, that is why learning several different skills can help cope from the trauma.
Teachingand learning about the Love of Jesus: Many parts of self have believed they are no good, they are evil, and not worthy of love. Showing that Jesus is love, showing them scriptures and sharing stories of how Jesus shows love is a helpful way to have parts of self know they are loved.
Seek the good things of the world: As a survivor I notice there are so many bad things in this world. In the past I have closed my eyes to good things, thinking every thing was bad. I had to learn to see the beauty and good things of the world. For example how there are caring people that work to heal a baby, that try to save a life, how about the beauty of the earth, a beautiful song that gets into our spirit, abeautiful painting or when a person cries for you because you can not feel your own pain, but they love you enough to cry for you.
Resolution: I learn each time I listen to parts of self share, each time I learn new skill to help me in my recovery and learning new steps to help keep myself and parts of self safe. Each time I take these steps i feel closer to whole. I have had several integration's and feel I am not broken anymore but just pieces of a puzzle to be put back in place.
Repeat: Taking these steps is a full time commitment to the process of recovery. I find not only do I need these steps because of my past, I need these steps each day for all my hurts,hangups, or habits.