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the land of denial judy1

Posted by terra miller on June 2, 2002, at 22:54:00

In reply to I wanted to spend some time terra miller, posted by judy1 on June 2, 2002, at 18:38:06

hi. (another long and winded reply....) :-)

honestly, most of the time i do not at all believe i dissociate and totally do not believe the DID is real. every once in a while i go through a season of telling my therapist to "prove it." then usually some crisis will come up and i will have no time to argue my point. aaargh.

i think what has really helped me in understanding DID is realizing that it's not about what people think is typical: different changes in expression in relating to the world that carry different names (Sam, Sammy, Samantha, Big Sam); people think Cameron West, or Sybil. i'm not completely certain that i fit into that description or not. i think i "might" have parts with names, but i am certain that i have parts without and that those parts of me run my life at times.

right now for me things are still very much in protective mode. to me that feels like i am still extremely clueless, even though i have spent the last 3 years talking to my therapist nonstop, twice a week. he knows me better than i do, which is somewhat annoying. :-)

so, anyway, what i notice most is switching. for example, today i had a traumatic conversation with my spouse (with whom i am separated) and i just kept switching throughout the whole conversation. what that felt like to me was like waking up from a dream, but doing it every 30 seconds. (this isn't typical; typical switching for me happens throughout the day, not every 30 sec.) but i think it happened that way because the nature of dissociating is to split up the memory so that you either don't recall any of it, or you only recall part of it. so in my case, i was switching every 30 secs so theoretically i have this traumatic conversation now stored in my brain in 20 different compartments. (theoretically)

some ways that this manifests, which can really throw you, is for example when growing up- let's say you had a mom who was a jerk. but you want to love your mom like every kid does. you can't stand the discrepency. so you shove the reality of how she acts like a jerk and what you remember is only how she was nice and loving. you carry that with you and you might insist how loving she is/was. then you get to be 35 and you start remembering that she wasn't "just" loving and you have to rethink your world. i think that's when people sometimes get the BPD dx- when they notice black and white thinking. but it's not a bad thing; it's that in order to deal with some stress, one might just have had to split the emotions up in order to handle what then was intolerable. black and white thinking isn't always bad.

notice that i handle all this all fine academically :-) now if you had seen me at 12:30 today, that would have been another story. :-)

the first month of therapy, my therapist suggested that i might think about getting out some crayons and paper. i thought he was a nut case for suggesting that. he talked a little about inner child stuff, and i thought he was a nut about that, too. now i laugh at myself about that still.

i think everybody has that childlikeness inside of them, i agree. what is experientially different to me is i don't think for people who aren't DID that they have to deal with the opinions in your head, or arguments, or demands... or sometimes feeling driven to eat a donut, or whatever. sometimes it feels like overwhelming urges to behave in a way that's not consistent with who you know yourself to be. but if i have time that i can't account for, then i don't have any idea what i was doing and i know that there are parts of me that i have yet to know and understand; but until i am able to master my memories and make them my own and function within knowing all of them, i expect i will continue to either lose time or be aware of being multiple because i have parts of me that carry on everyday life. (sometimes i know how to cook and sometimes i stand in the kitchen and want to burst into tears because i have no idea what to do...)

i still am not at the place (i probably never will) where i feel comfortable freely sharing my dx. usually i just say PTSD, which is true and that's all people need to know. in your case, it felt appropriate and i hope it's helpful... and i hope not too overwhelming. just because this is my story does not mean it is your own. but if it starts to make you wonder, just take it slow and listen to what your heart is telling you. if there's stuff you need to know about and you are open to learning it, it's probably going to reveal itself to you as you are ready to hear it. just go slow at your own pace. :-)

terra.


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