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Discovered we can't actually control the switch

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Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby KitMcDaydream » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:02 am

not when it matters anyway!

So having been recently delighted that we seem to have solved a few issues recently and managing to get out with Sioux who spoke in the park when someone was letting their dogs run to us. Kit was excited to reveal a new self to her youngest sibling when they came.

We went to answer the door with the intention of showing we now could walk without aids and speak quietly and clearly as we have been doing around the house when no-one else is here other than the dog. (We've never used a communication aid with family but have always had a severe stammer as soon as we had to physically try to speak to an actual person) We've also always used crutches in front of family to get in their houses and walk a short distance such as from car park into pub and only used a wheelchair with when it's been a longer distance than a few steps before we could sit down.

Whether it was because we hadn't gone to the door with at least one crutch or the rollator I'm not sure but then the wheelchair was the only thing right next to the door (it's kept behind the front door for when we have to answer it) so literally one second we were walking towards the door with the intention of being stood at the door stood up with no aids to greet our sibling and the next we found ourselves sat in the wheelchair and as usual when trying to explain what we'd wanted (they was coming to do a repair to the scooter) every other word was a real struggle to physically get out. Our voice was louder and seemed out of control (even though we'd also left hearing aids out so our voices could be heard better to us) and littered with stammers on nearly every other word.

When they left we were disappointed and exhausted from the act of physically speaking. ..and confused..as when Kit and Sioux went to the park sunday morning. It was definitely Sioux that spoke in a softer voice. We had never seen those people with their dogs before though..could it be that 'we' the system knew they didn't have an expectation already of how we would speak? We have spoken normally to an old guy with his dog we always seen them when we visit a place several miles from our home so he doesn't know exactly where we live and so it felt safe. we were also standing up playing ball with our dog when he saw us, (with a walking stick) but many people who use mobility scooter's can walk some compared with people maybe not expecting someone who was in an a manual or electric wheelchair to just get up and start walking about.

of course as soon as our sibling left, Kit was able to come out fully and we got out of the chair walking round the house and talking to the dog without stammering at all, but Kit always thought she was controlling the switch and that she was being herself more with that person who of course had known her since childhood. They knows she's autistic she doesn't have to hide that fact, there isn't the pressure to pretend to be so normal when it's just us, but Kit doesn't understand why she couldn't show she could walk a little better just a few steps in the hall. The switch happened without her consent and I guess she always believed she was controlling when she used her alters, as she could always switch back as soon as people had left and we were alone again.

Can anyone explain what the biological reason is that people with DID can't usually control when they switch and who to? ..to help us understand this as we thought we'd cracked it! Is it a 'defense mechanism' by the system? Could there be another 'alter' whose controlling things who maybe decided this wasn't a good idea of Kit's to reveal that at that time? (who other alters aren't aware of).
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby sleepingwolf » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:32 am

Thanks for sharing you story, I hope things are going ok for you at the moment.

I'm not too sure of the biological reasons, but I can share a few of my experiences if that helps.

I'd say we don't have any control over any switch, or to even 'switch back' to someone either. We tend to switch when there is an obvious change in the environment, like my partner comes home, or someone is at the door, or we meet someone in the street. We can also switch if there is something one of us finds scary, or really exciting!

Controlling switching just doesn't sound right to me. I guess I'd like to see ourselves as more of a 'defence mechanism', but it does make sense that our brains will always 'switch' us to the best possible advantage for the System, unless it's been negatively triggered. I agree that DID isn't a disease, so its an integral part of living, and so is essentially useful.

We used to have an Alter who tried to control the other Alters, which lead to a few problems. Your story doesn't sound like that, but I guess it's useful to know some Alters can thing themselves better than others in the System.

Good luck with it all! :D
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby KitMcDaydream » Fri Sep 14, 2018 9:20 am

Kit did recently tell one another alter to take a break, after banishing one earlier in the year and not wanting her back at all. Could the second alter she told to take a break who was a prominent alter and 'up front' for a large majority of Kit's life be trying to make Kit feel she can't move forward without her 'at the helm'?

As after thinking about it while we were in the field with the dog Kit wonders if Thea sabotaged our speech so Kit/Sioux doesn't get too confident thinking she can communicate with people without her?

Thea knows this is an intense phobia of Kit's and the fear will mean Kit will recall Thea if faced with having to speak to a stranger in future, rather than have to sit there stammering severely and struggling to breathe and get words out. :oops:

Maybe Thea is jealous as Kit has chosen Sioux as the alter to 'move forward' with and to represent her as 'an older self'? Kit's alters once established usually stay up front consistently for many years.
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby Floralie » Fri Sep 14, 2018 11:27 am

Our switches with the boys of the inner world are different kind than usually switches are in DID. We do that at home alone , or outside mostly just if there's not other people with us. If someone interrupts us, I am there instantly to take care of that. I am the front and that's my job. We are trying maybe to start to practice them getting out more, maybe even say something to someone out loud. We will definitely start practicing with strangers. Then it doesn't matter if it doesn't go well. We try to do something like ask what time is it at the buss stop from a stranger, and not switch back to me when asking, when listening the answer and when stopping that interaction.

Someone might think why, why to do that in the first place, when it is kind of convenient for them to stay inside. The reason is I would want them to have therapy too, and be able to come there at some point as themselves. I think it gets harder when time passes by, when there are assumptions and they are not used to it. In a way I can imagine one or two of them doing it all the sudden, because other one doesn't give a damn what people think, and the other one is so outgoing, but for the one who would really much need help, I think it's very hard and he is very self conscious.

I do feel I can somewhat control the switches, but not fully. For example it usually is Lucas who goes to bed. I call him closer usually by looking at his pictures. I kind of remember how he is from them, how he moves and speaks and I can imagine him like I was mimicing him in my mind. Sometimes that can even be enough as it is, I get the attitude of his, and I'm not even sure did he ever came or not. It's enough my mind changes to his direction. Sometimes he comes way more clearly. Sometimes I think there is some kind of block, and I just don't feel like looking at the pictures at all or thinking about him.

Sometimes I have called someone to the body by doing something they are interested in. But I'm not sure if that was what truly happened, or was it them being close and therefor I started doing their things and then they came fully. Sometimes I can do what they like, and I don't feel like it, and they don't react. I think it's when they are not callable. I do realize it before I ever start doing the actual calling thing. I think it would be easy to think I can do it when I want and the times it doesn't feel like that, were the times I didn't want to (because it feels like I don't want to watch the pic or do the act), but actually I do think now is that it's them who decide. If they are close, the switching just happens so slowly it feels like it was me who started to think about them and then they came, when it was me starting to think about them, because they came close, and then they came fully after I realized them. And sometimes they are not close at all, and that's when I can't make my mind to bend like they were, no matter what I do. Then I just don't find the things they like interesting. Of course I don't because they are not my things but theirs, and I don't like them without their presence.
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby raptureblues » Fri Sep 14, 2018 1:31 pm

we can't control switches as such but we can bring alters closer to the front in the hope that a switch happens if we need to. it doesn't always work but certain clothes/music/etc will sometimes draw an alter closer to the front. if an alter is already "poking their head out" it's easier to facilitate switches if necessary. we can't directly control switches though. they often happen suddenly even if the above steps were taken, or they don't happen at all even if we were expecting a switch to happen, or someone unexpected pops up instead of who we were expecting.

we may try to instigate a switch if a little is at the front during a situation that requires an adult, or if someone wants to front for a specific reason. most of the time switches happen unexpectedly because of an outside trigger (e.g. little suddenly coming to the front because someone made pancakes).
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby KitMcDaydream » Fri Sep 14, 2018 3:27 pm

ok thanks. I think Kit feels she controls them because all the alters roles were created to protect her. However as a child and young person the 'alter' (Thea) was up front most of the time (for nearly 15 years) as the body was expected to attend college, work or work experiences or uni and so Kit only got to come out for a few hours when we got the rare chance to be alone as we usually lived with other people (either at home with family or in student residences)

However after spending many years housebound with 'Maddie' and going from having to go out daily to only having visitors a couple of times a year for a couple of hours. Kit started to 'live outside' most of the time only requiring the help of an alter to take the dog out and when having to deal with people a handful of times a year.

So as Kit automatically 'came out' when alone as soon as people had gone again she'd come back out, knowing no-one else was expected for a while. (in some cases for several weeks or months - not including postmen/deliveries).

Our sibling is one of the few people Kit actually speaks in front of anyway and although they know we have a stammer, Kit felt frustrated as she had specifically wanted Sioux and her voice to speak on that visit to show we had some improvement in both speech and mobility, so feels her efforts were sabotaged. :( She's worried now Thea is going to block any further progress unless she (Thea) is allowed to be the main alter again, just when Kit is finally wanting to be active in her own life again.
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby IainEtc » Sat Sep 15, 2018 11:44 am

Hi,

Hosts don't 'use' alters and aren't in control of us. We're people who have lives and dreams and need to do things and be loved. We're a team and Host is just one alter on the team - the one that's good at acting adult and dealing with everyday things. Host used to over-control us and that made him depressed and us kind of angry. Now Host is figuring out how to be part of the team so nobody gets controlled.

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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby KitMcDaydream » Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:01 am

IainEtc wrote:Hi,

Hosts don't 'use' alters and aren't in control of us. We're people who have lives and dreams and need to do things and be loved. We're a team and Host is just one alter on the team - the one that's good at acting adult and dealing with everyday things. Host used to over-control us and that made him depressed and us kind of angry. Now Host is figuring out how to be part of the team so nobody gets controlled.

Iain



Kit doesn't know how to answer this as it's not her experience of having alters. As far as Kit is aware she has alters to enable her to do the things she couldn't achieve by herself due to her Autism/Exposure Anxiety. Kit is the Original self who was born into the body therefore it is her body and her life the other alters are helping her to have. We suspect 'dissociation' maybe a different experience when its caused by Autism than DID in the more traditional sense maybe?
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby fireheart » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:41 pm

KitMcDaydream wrote:
IainEtc wrote:Hi,

Hosts don't 'use' alters and aren't in control of us. We're people who have lives and dreams and need to do things and be loved. We're a team and Host is just one alter on the team - the one that's good at acting adult and dealing with everyday things. Host used to over-control us and that made him depressed and us kind of angry. Now Host is figuring out how to be part of the team so nobody gets controlled.

Iain



Kit doesn't know how to answer this as it's not her experience of having alters. As far as Kit is aware she has alters to enable her to do the things she couldn't achieve by herself due to her Autism/Exposure Anxiety. Kit is the Original self who was born into the body therefore it is her body and her life the other alters are helping her to have. We suspect 'dissociation' maybe a different experience when its caused by Autism than DID in the more traditional sense maybe?


I can't help but wonder, what do they (and you) think about this? Maybe that's what Kit thinks, but what do you think?

Maybe it's just different, but for us if host would think that this is only HER life, we would be angry. We all exist as a part of a whole. Host is not more important than the other parts.
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Re: Discovered we can't actually control the switch

Postby VioletFlux » Sun Sep 16, 2018 2:25 pm

We kinda agree with Iain and fireheart. But then we don't really have a host in our system.

We used to think V1 and me were co-hosts, but we're not. We still call Stephanie our 'previous host' just cos it's convenient and she used to think she was all alone. And the one before her, too, thought they were alone. But none of them, none of us are or were the 'original' or 'real' self, and our life (and body) doesn't belong to any one of us.

But we know every system is different.

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