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Telling People You're Multiple

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Telling People You're Multiple

Postby RedHound » Wed Jul 11, 2018 2:59 pm

This has been on my mind for months, and I'm hoping you all can share your experiences and thoughts on this big decision to help me decide what to do.

My whole life I've worked on a need-to-know basis when it comes to telling people there's more than one person in this body. This means that only a couple close friends and the few people I've been in serious relationships with know. Even my immidate family is in the dark (unless they suspect in their own but haven't said anything). Most people just accept me as kind of weird and flaky.

Two things have prompted me to reconsider this policy though:

Az has been really restless and lonely, and since my partner and he get along so well, he's getting used to just being himself. He says he wants more of these honest interactions and to make friends of his own (or friends with a couple of my friends but as himself). We started him on Tumblr to see if that could be a social outlet for him, but it doesn't seem to be enough.

Also, we live in a house with a mother-in-law attached to the back. The two people who live there are also friends of ours, and they will sometimes come over to get the shared vacuum or use the shared laundry room, etc. They have the most amazing timing/luck apparently, because Az is out maybe twice a week at most typically, but they still manage to run into him more often than not. I can't get him to put on an act very well anymore since he insists he should be able to be himself at home. I can't really blame him for that, and he seems to sort of genuinely like one of them, so maybe that could be his first friendship.

My other concern is that he kinda hates the other one xD and I get the feeling this guy has picked up on the weird change in vibes. I want to tell him I'm not mad at him and that I like him, but I can't really resolve the weird tension by saying we're cool if Az is just gonna be cold to him again next week or whatever. I don't wanna jerk the poor guy around, but I also can't really expect Az to pretend to be friends.

So, at the risk of a whole new level of weirdness for them, do I explain the situation? I know they both have their own mental health issues and are really cool about my depression and social anxiety when the topics come up, but is DID too much to share?

And if I'm going to tell them, shouldn't I also let some other friends know? Closer ones or those that Az has wanted to maybe make friends with on his own? But then that seems like a big risk, because I'm not used to having more than one or two people around me knowing at any given time, and the odds of them spilling it to others goes up, and am I really ready for that when I'm still rebuilding internal bonds and figuring out how to organize everyone?

Any advice or anecdotes would be appreciated!
Host: "Q" age: 32 *not the original
Azrael "Az" age: 17 (can age slid up)

We're still getting to know the others; limited internal communication and years of suppressing/ignoring them has made this difficult.
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby ItsJustUs » Wed Jul 11, 2018 3:12 pm

I feel your pain and uncertainty. My Britney is much like your AZ in the fact that she wants people to know she's there and she is NOT me.

We recently told a set of friends about my DID. It actually went really well, but in part, the wife already had a feeling. She had picked up on some things my husband had said to me, when talking about Lilly (my 5.5 year old part). The husband said, "Wait, who's Lilly?" and his wife said, "That's her alter, honey."

We just kind of stared at her like "OMG SHE KNEW!" The husband was cool and said, "oh okay, gotcha." Then the wife said, "Yeah, I encountered Bella's alter," (a friend of hers)... so then my husband said, "She has DID..." and listed out the "people," who are here.

Now, these are very close friends of ours, and I felt relieved that we could tell them about my system, because we're with them enough that they may see a switch in certain situations.

...
I would talk to your parts, talk to AZ and see why he doesn't like that other person. And tell him, "Ok, if we tell person A, then that means person B will know too, are you ok with that?" You also have to weigh, will these other people keep it a secret if you ask them to, or are they the type to gossip?

I think the fact that you are here asking for advice on this, says that your system feels it's time to tell someone, and i think you all should have a talk about it and see how EVERYONE feels about it. And if AZ wants to be friends with these other close friends you have, I would say, maybe pick one or two that you feel the closest to, or the best "vibe" from, invite them over, and in a safe, quiet environment tell them. And then tell them that the reason you want to tell them is because you have a part who really likes them and wants to be their friend, and wants to feel comfortable and fee to be himself around them. Let AZ watch closely while you do this (if he can co-conscious with you) and then let HIM decide if he is making the right choice or not.

And again for the people who live so close to you and sharing space, AZ has a point, I feel... your home is a safe place, and your system should feel comfortable and free in your own home to be "you." Whatever that means at whatever time. So, in my opinion, if these other people are trust worthy, then I think telling them would be a relief.

Whatever you decide to do, I wish you the best of luck.

Kitten
Kitten 39F-Core, Delilah (age unknown)F- Protector/System Manager/Care Taker, Britney 17F- Former persecutor turned protector, Lilly 5.5F, Little Wolf (young, but age unknown) "job" unknown, Val- age unknown, Female entity, we think she is a protector
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby raptureblues » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:27 pm

One of my alters has been feeling like this quite badly. He wants his own clothes, his own hobbies, his own friends. He feels like he's "less real" than me because I'm nearly always fronting / my name is the body's name / all we have are my clothes / etc. I really want to help him because it upsets me that he feels like that - and I worry I'm to blame for that feeling - so I'm trying to think of ways I can help.

He has his own blog and he's sort-of dating an alter in my partner's system, which is a start. The next time he's around we're going to buy clothes for him, and get a game for him that can align somewhat with a hobby he wants to pick up (guitars are expensive and out of our budget, but video games about playing guitar might help in the meantime).

The friend topic has been the difficult one. I'm very scared about people finding out The Truth so I'm very apprehensive about him making friends that aren't shared with me. There's also the difficulty that I'm a girl and present as a girl, but he very much does not feel like that. We're going to get him more masculine clothes for certain, but I don't know how well either of us would handle other people questioning the gender thing. No-one apart from my therapist and my partner (and their alters) know about us being multiple. I'm going to try and encourage him to make online friends only for the moment. I don't want to control what he does too much, and I want him to feel comfortable, but I also need to keep my own comfort in mind too.

I think only tell people if you're ready. In the meantime, is there a place out of your home where Az could be himself? I don't know if you live in an area near your friends, but maybe he'd feel good if he went somewhere as himself and dressed how he wanted / used his name / etc. Only do what feels safe. I hope you guys can figure out a way to make things comfortable, best of luck.
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby Zor » Wed Jul 11, 2018 4:33 pm

I am torn between telling people and not telling people, too… it's something that's been heavy on my heart lately.

On one hand, it'd be nice to let those who KNOW my alters, who have talked with them for a long, long time in some cases, what is going on and who they are (now that I know)… It would be good to be open and honest with everyone, and in a way making it known to combat the negative stereotypes and images Hollywood puts out there… 

On the other hand… I've seen the devastating effect this has on people, realizing what's going on. Sometimes people will reject the diagnosis and disorder- some even claim it doesn't exist and it's all delusional and made up by psychologists to sell books and us with it are nothing more than liars, delusional, or both.

It's a very difficult place to be in, trying to decide how open to be about this, and with whom… Some of my parts want to be more active and live more in this world, through the body, not just their lives in the inner world (which are far more like a life all its own, marriages, kids, families, events and activities- far more than I would have ever thought possible)… but I don't know how to safely and sanely manage such an "outing" of myself, ourselves, and the condition I/we have.

Part of me, too, is scared for the friends we'll lose over this. And somewhere inside, there's the stigma of mental disorders that scares me- I don't WANT to tell people b/c I don't want to be looked at with pity, disgust, fear, mistrust, frail, broken, dangerous, and/or as a monster- ALL of which are valid fears and certainly legitimate ways people tend to look at others who have mental disorders. Society can be very cold some times, even those who we would hope to see act in love and grace instead.

It's a very tough position to be in… and there's no easy answer. There certainly isn't a universal answer for everyone.
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby SOHank » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:06 pm

Sharing has been very nerve wracking for my wife, but in the end has been rewarding. Here’s a formula that has worked for us.

I like to start with, “You know how when you drive somewhere and you get there, but don’t really remember the drive? That happen with (my wife), only more frequently than most others.”

Then mention trauma related origin in childhood and talk about how most peoples emotions and person develop over time to merge into a single entity. “Every think you needed to find yourself in your late teens, early twenties?” Then mention that the early trauma interrupts this merging process and instead puts up walls to block trauma. I often mention that the condition used to be called multiple personality, but is now DID.

There are a couple Youtube videos I like to show at this point to provide corroboration that we aren’t making stuff up… (Do pre screen these and have ones you like and approve ready.)

Generally they will ask questions at this point, but if they don’t ask on their own, then encourage them. There will be good questions and silly ones from our experience. My wife likes me to do most of the talking when possible and as long as they are respectful, we answer most anything.

Most have received it well and ask how they can be supportive. Many recognize having interactions with insiders without realizing it wasn’t my wife fronting. If they don’t mention it on their own, then I prompt that they have probably had interactions and mention, “You know when (my wife) will sometimes get really motivated to do a task and ignore everything else around, that’s probably M.”

If they are very open and willing, we have a few insiders that basically are ambassadors and often like to introduce themselves.

I’ll generally close with, “I know this is a lot to take in. It’s a lot for us to. We are still learning ourselves, but If you have questions, we will be happy to answer them if we can.”

Out of the 7 people we have shared with, 6 were very open and very supportive. The 7th was not negative, but thinks my wife has schizophrenia instead… YMMV
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby Una+ » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:20 pm

SOHank wrote:Out of the 7 people we have shared with, 6 were very open and very supportive. The 7th was not negative, but thinks my wife has schizophrenia instead… YMMV

Heh. I have encountered that 7th reaction, "Oh no that's not multiple personalities, not at all, that's schizophrenia!" When I have elicited details about how the person recognizes this is schizophrenia, typically the person gives a very clear description of someone else they know or used to know who obviously has DID and was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Misdiagnosis is rampant.

I have been wanting to start a Hearing Voices support group locally but one thing holding me back is I know it will draw a bunch of people diagnosed and treated for decades for schizophrenia who actually have DID. What am I going to do about that tangled mess?
Dx DID older woman married w kids. 0 Una, host + 3, 1, 5. 1 animal. 2 older man. 3 teen girl. 4 girl behind amnesia wall. 5 girl in love. Our thread.

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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby Zor » Wed Jul 11, 2018 5:35 pm

SOHank wrote:There are a couple Youtube videos I like to show at this point to provide corroboration that we aren’t making stuff up… (Do pre screen these and have ones you like and approve ready.)


Got links for those? I'd like to check them out. Anything to help explain to people is worth checking out, IMHO.
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby kittylover » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:12 pm

We have trouble with this too. I’ve been thinking about telling my mom’s boyfriend , partially hoping that if the kids can get to know him themselves they won’t be as scared of him . He doesn’t know as much about mental health stuff as a lot of people I know so likely doesn’t know what DID is .I don’t want to admit to my mom , who knows I’m multiple , that I’ve “remembered” that I’m multiple again even though it’s blatantly obvious -there have been times where the kids talked to her in a little kid voice . The main fears for me are people being scared off (had it happen before ) and people not taking my gender identity as a trans guy seriously anymore. -jason
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:34 pm

Una+ wrote:I have been wanting to start a Hearing Voices support group locally but one thing holding me back is I know it will draw a bunch of people diagnosed and treated for decades for schizophrenia who actually have DID. What am I going to do about that tangled mess?


It will really be each person's own tangled mess to sort out and deal with, not yours. What an amazing opportunity you would be potentially providing for people to find their way to an accurate diagnosis and the correct treatment. As you know, only people who are ready for the awareness will start to question whether or not they really have schizophrenia. Others will in denial if that's what's serving them best at the moment.
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Re: Telling People You're Multiple

Postby WeAreOne420 » Wed Jul 11, 2018 9:58 pm

I got spoiled the two people that I told had it too. Not sure how to react when I tell someone who doesn't get it and freaks. Screw em whoever it is lol easily said now but yah.
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