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Seeking Help with Blackouts

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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Aug 24, 2019 10:25 pm

Floralie wrote:We just don't know what happens inside other people's minds, so we can not compare. You don't recognize DID language yet, but when you learn what all means, it can explain a lot about things you didn't pay attention to, because they were your normal.

In DID system, all alters, including you, usually have their own jobs to do. You are an alter whose job is to be the host, the main front. Host is the one who takes care of outside life mostly, they are the one whose job is to carry on with life like nothing happened, although severe trauma happened in reality. It's part of host's job to be unaware of trauma, or if you are aware of it, you are not the one who holds emotions connected to it. Hosts are many times also unaware of having DID, although other alters in the system may work together as a team already. That is not always the case, but it's possible. Biggest symptom hosts deal with is denial, about trauma or the severity of it, and about DID. They have million reasons why it's not DID. Then they can realize it is actually, and then again, they deny it and think they just made it all up. That's never ending cycle, and part of what's normal for people with DID.

So the feeling it has nothing to do with you is more than normal, because that is kind of what you were created to be, unaware. Also DID is a big diagnose. It feels life changing, like nothing is what you thought it was, and it takes time to accept it. But there's nothing to be scared of, because you have had it since childhood, and you're doing just fine.


All of Floralie's post is useful, but I wanted to highlight this because it can be a big struggle at first, and then over and over again. I've known about the parts for over 2 years, and still get overwhelmed with feelings of it not being real, not wanting it to be real. When we are unaware for so many years, we construct a story of our life that doesn't include having experienced enough trauma to have developed alters. And it is very hard to let go of that story.

I was just talking with my T about this a few days ago, and he reminded me that I survived by thinking of things as not real. Many of us chalk a lot of things up to having a "vivid imagination," or maybe we get told that as children. And like Floralie said, we didn't know what was normal for most people--only what was normal for us.

The one thing I can add is to be kind to yourself(ves). If part of you continues to struggle with denial or resistance, just be accepting. Every part gets to have their own feelings, and all the feelings are valid, even if they contradict each other.
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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby Sarandipity » Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:40 am

Noticing you have blackouts or memory gaps is good because it could be you didn't notice them before. I noticed mine in my late 20's. It's looking back that made me realize my life was fragmented and sometimes I'd remember some stuff and other times I would remember the same part of my life differently. Both ways of remembering the past were correct but different memory threads for different parts of myself.

You've noticed and are working to do something about it which is what's important.
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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby Zor » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:35 pm

When I saw the subject and the first few lines, I almost thought this was what I've got going on- fully PHYSICAL blackouts (loss of consciousness) without a determinable cause.

The loss of time, the "blackouts" (as you put it), where someone seems to keep functioning but you have no idea what is being done... I had that for a long long time and wasn't too aware of it- mostly thinking time had passed very very fast or being vaguely aware that I'd been doing _something_ but not sure what, like in a daze or trance... and it wasn't until I started having the PHYSICAL blackouts that time loss began to become very noticeable to me.

After the physical part started, I lost my job and was listed "medically disabled" by the military (I was active duty when it started)... but b/c I was HOME and I was aware of physically blacking out, I began to notice (b/c I was WATCHING more) the time I was losing when NOT passing out... and I began to realize how much I was losing.

To me, and my wife, it seemed to be a "new" thing, but the more I've looked back at the years, I realize it's been going on since at least high school age... maybe earlier, but as a kid "time flies" when playing anyway.

Anyhow, the time losses began to become regular, constant, and entirely unpredictable. I'd hear often "You've been home and up all day, why haven't you done... ?" b/c I'd be up for 3-4 hours and have NOTHING accomplished, or things done that I had no idea how they got done sometimes.

Looking back NOW, I wish I'd got to a T THEN... but we still were looking at physical causes then, and by the time I was diagnosed with Narcolepsy and put on the Xyrem (basically GHB - the "date rape drug" - by prescription)... that crap messed with the head horribly... and made it hard for Pixie inside to act as a sort of protecting stopgap to control in/out of everyone...

and soon they reached out online... so yeah, I'd absolutely investigate it and take note of time- MAYBE leave yourself notes... to ask "who are you?" when you have these times. Maybe leave something for yourself, the other parts acting, to try and get them to open up communication a little with you. At the very least it would show willingness to talk to them, to open up with them, and that you accept and welcome them to be part of your life- and that you want to work WITH them. :)
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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby Sticky » Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:20 pm

Hello,

I really want to thank everyone for putting such time and effort into responding. Your explanations have been incredibly thorough and helpful in understanding y'all's experience. I realized I just plain didn't understand what DID was since I thought whatever one would do during a "switch" had to be a reflection of the host in some way. I feel I have a better understanding now though with the idea a host is just one part. I'm extremely grateful for everyone sharing their perspective and helping clear things up. I still need to find and meet with a good experienced mental health professional, but it might be possible I have DID.

In the past few days I finally reached out to my mom as I'd been planning to for a while. I discovered my childhood involved more physical trauma I didn't even know about until now. On top of that, I was told I actually had similar "blackouts" as a kid which I don't remember, so this problem didn't even begin suddenly a year and a half ago like I thought. It's shocking to learn I didn't remember such serious things that happened to me, but it's relieving in its own way to learn this might not be a new thing coming out of nowhere.

Allison and I have actually identified a particular pattern of behavior with some "blackouts" where I act affectionate and strangely seem to like ice cream (I normally don't like sweet things at all). I honestly feel like I've had some internal, back-and-forth arguments with myself over things I feel strongly about as well. I've even felt occasional urges/cravings for things that didn't make sense (ice cream, and I don't like ice cream). I know some of these, or thought processes resembling them, might be normal in some circumstances without DID, but we're just figuring out what this stuff means, if anything. We're just collecting all the information we can.

I realized using the word "blackout" doesn't quite seem right, since I've seen people taking it as something to do with passing out, seizures, or alcohol abuse. Unfortunately I'm not even sure what's best to call them at this point besides "episodes" or something. Anyway I hope you'll pardon my bit of rambling.

Thank you so much again for all your help and kind words. Everything about this is still really difficult and confusing, but as I'm learning more, things feel a bit less scary thanks to you.

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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby Johnny-Jack » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:14 am

Sticky wrote:I realized using the word "blackout" doesn't quite seem right, since I've seen people taking it as something to do with passing out, seizures, or alcohol abuse. Unfortunately I'm not even sure what's best to call them at this point besides "episodes" or something. Anyway I hope you'll pardon my bit of rambling.

You know, Sticky, I was thinking of focusing on the word blackout but you beat me to it. In a DID or similar dissociative system, the word only works in relation to the alter or alters who don't remember a time gap. The whole person, the body, doesn't black out at all. Someone is almost always there in place of the one who "blacks out," fulfilling other life functions. Your friends and perhaps your partner may have interacted with the other yous many times. So blackout can be misleading, plus it has all those negative physical connotations.

A pretty common synonym would be losing time. The person who has the unaccounted for time gap loses that time, though of course it's not really lost, just used by another part of you.

If you have DID, when you start becoming awake or semi-awake during these periods of time even though you know it's not you controlling things, that could be referred to as being co-conscious with another part of you who is "fronting" (in charge of the body, making decisions). Instead of losing time, you're watching and often, at first, it may be through a sort of fog. You may not remember every detail after you're back in charge of the body, but you might the longer you focus.

Co-consciousness is a highly desirable development. It's likely that some parts of you are already co-conscious with other parts. The other goal is communications among your selves.

It's possible you've been losing time for quite a while but didn't recognize it. Many people have amnesia about the amnesia. There used to be others fronting for me, but I wasn't aware of it happening because at the start and end of my own time out, things got fuzzy.

I got into the habit (likely with inner help) of explaining away inconsistencies, or I just wasn't able (permitted?) to focus on things that had no explanation. I wanted to focus on the incongruities I just became aware of but I felt it being pulled away, fading, so that I was left with a sense of, "oh, dang it, I was just thinking about something important and I forgot. Why does this keep happening?"
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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby Una+ » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:05 am

You "lose time"; that's when you have amnesia but someone is there taking care of business. But perhaps not in the way you would.

I used to call my lost time blackouts. I didn't know what else to call them. Amnesias. In the middle of the day, no alcohol or drugs involved, I'd be going about my business and *poof* it would be 30 minutes later and I would "come to" and find myself in a new location and in a situation I did not want to be in.
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Re: Seeking Help with Blackouts

Postby Zor » Wed Aug 28, 2019 9:42 pm

Una+ wrote:You "lose time"; that's when you have amnesia but someone is there taking care of business. But perhaps not in the way you would.

I used to call my lost time blackouts. I didn't know what else to call them. Amnesias. In the middle of the day, no alcohol or drugs involved, I'd be going about my business and *poof* it would be 30 minutes later and I would "come to" and find myself in a new location and in a situation I did not want to be in.


The only reason I never used "blackouts" for my times like this were b/c I also suffer from literal loss of consciousness (without a known medical cause even).

But, yeah... being unaware of things for a while and suddenly "back" and seeing things were done... about as startling and obvious as it gets something unusual is going on, isn't it?
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