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I'm new here and just want someone to listen

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I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby WaterSelkie » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:51 pm

Hello,
This is my first time posting here so I'm kinda anxious, I hope I don't break any of the rules (can I use my first name re anonymity?) :s. I've recently become aware of having altered identity states. I haven't seen a therapist yet (referred though) but I know I can't have DID because I had no childhood trauma. I guess I wanted somewhere to talk a little about having altered identity states with people who will understand because I feel really alone, scared and confused.

I came out of a period of trauma a year ago. My degree kept me occupied after and I avoided my health completely (I have physical illnesses) but after I finished this summer I realised some stuff. That I really don't have any identity and my personality changes when exposed to certain situations or people. It confused me cause my symptoms seem like OSDD but like...the worst stress in my childhood from when I was really little was being really avoidant due to social situations and dissociating/avoiding everything till I could get back to my parents where everything was safe. That never changed from like nursery age to till depressive phase. So I can explain the dissociation but not altered self states - which is confusing and actually really distressing for me :( . These are what I noticed so far, anyway

Me: constantly depersonalised, I don't have any thoughts, feelings or memories. Everything I experience I forget really quickly. Other than that, I'm pretty quiet and serious. Can't deal with socialising and tends to self-isolate (if the others would let me stay quiet :s). Everything I say is unfiltered stream of thoughts, without me actually thinking/any conscious thought process and control.

Social: activates in every single face to face social situation without fail. Really happy, holds everyone at arms length away, good at speaking and doing things in public.

Playful child: super silly, excitable and finds a lot of things hilarious and laughs a lot.

Dependent child: excessively needy, attention seeking, always wants cuddles and (platonic/parental) physical affection. If there is someone that is a kind of person to take care of others this one becomes completely obsessed with them. (so embarrassing). Mouth says 'I love you daddy' or just 'daddy' a lot.

Possible/I was depressed but complete amnesia of those 4 years so no idea if this was just severe depression that gave me complete amnesia or if it was actually an altered self state. Self-destructive, suicidal, depressed. Insane. 'death' comes out of my mouth.

The social one has completely taken control of me but only really in situations with lots of people - I was in the back of my head but mostly I'm there, kinda like I'm melding and then when it goes I realise what's happened. The young ones only meld. Idk what taking control actually means, but like I was drawing today and my body randomly decided to throw a rubber at the floor... and yesterday my mouth said 'I'd only wear this if I was feeling like a child, y'know' and then replied 'I know' why am I answering myself???
I know this was a lot, sorry :s
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby Snaga » Wed Sep 16, 2020 8:04 pm

I don't get uptight with first names- unless it's like, common as 'slartibartfast'. Then you might have an anonymity problem :mrgreen:

I've provisionally approved this for DID- JJ has been busy offline of late and a few of us are also watching DID. Although at his discretion, it might be moved to OSDD or something. DID seems like a good start, however, to get conversation started.

I've not much to say except that in the area of childhood trauma, my own kneejerk reaction would be to say I've had none, until I get to thinking well what constitutes trauma? Don't be so sure you hadn't had any.
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby Johnny-Jack » Wed Sep 16, 2020 10:04 pm

WaterSelkie wrote:I haven't seen a therapist yet (referred though) but I know I can't have DID because I had no childhood trauma.

A note of caution. Many people who are diagnosed with DID have no memory of childhood trauma. Until my late 20s, well into a half dozen therapists, this was true for me. At that point I recalled a single memory of trauma and for the next 15-20 years had no other such memories. Since then I've become aware of hundreds of incidents, which were all hidden from me by the DID. And we have dozens of alters to deal with the wide variety of traumas.

Years ago I was aware of times when I was in a "social mood" or when my social skills were on display far beyond anything I could imagine doing myself. That was another alter. I was also aware from my late 20s of what I labeled my "inner child," a young, sweet, very sensitive "part" of me, also an alter. I suspected DID at times but never accumulated enough evidence to convince me or a therapist. And of course, DID by design blocks such awareness from some alters, particularly the ones who spend a lot of time running things (even if poorly).

I myself (John) was often depressed and at its extreme, I experienced depersonalization, emotional numbing, and a serious slowdown of physical movements.

WaterSelkie wrote:Social: activates in every single face to face social situation without fail. Really happy, holds everyone at arms length away, good at speaking and doing things in public.

Wow, this is exactly how I would have described me while being social, which in fact was another alter, Johnny. That includes upbeat attitude, friendliness, all while holding everyone at a bit of a distance. Johnny was a comfortable public speaker also, while merely thinking of having to do that would cause me to panic.

There's nothing in what you wrote that sounds to me inconsistent with DID but I'm no specialist. I'd definitely suggest seeing one. In the meantime, read other posts here to see whether some are consistent with your experience.
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby Sarandipity » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:17 am

My first thought was the same as Johnny-Jack, I had no memory of any trauma till I went into therapy at age 27. It was group psychotherapy. People spoke about their horrible childhoods and I started to talk about mine and realised it wasn't so great as I thought. I had zero recollection of a particularly difficult session and that was when I realised I had memory issues or "blocked stuff out" The group members shouting at me and saying it's impossible to forget something so horrible in two days although difficult at the time made me face reality.

I have an agoraphobic depressed part and a social part and parts that deal with conflict. It works ok getting through life accept for if for some reason the agoraphobic part finds herself outside and then I have panic attacks. So it's possible to go through life pretty much ok with this disorder.
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby WaterSelkie » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:32 pm

Snaga wrote: I've not much to say except that in the area of childhood trauma, my own kneejerk reaction would be to say I've had none, until I get to thinking well what constitutes trauma? Don't be so sure you hadn't had any.

This was powerful to me. It made me think that one thing may be traumatic to one person might not be traumatic to another. In other words, it's not the thing that defines trauma but how our individual minds react to it.

Johnny-Jack wrote: Many people who are diagnosed with DID have no memory of childhood trauma.

It's true I do have amnesia and difficulty recalling most-all of my life. But my parents are kind and supportive people, they don't have bad habits either, my family isn't the type for abuse and/or neglect. I'm not saying stuff didn't happen to me, I just find it very difficult to believe it would come from my family. I'm completely open about other types of trauma, but everything I read about DID involves abuse or neglect from caregivers ><

Johnny-Jack wrote:Wow, this is exactly how I would have described me while being social, which in fact was another alter, Johnny. That includes upbeat attitude, friendliness, all while holding everyone at a bit of a distance. Johnny was a comfortable public speaker also, while merely thinking of having to do that would cause me to panic.

Woah someone else feels like this too?? This is really validating for me.

I'm sorry you went through that in group psychotherapy, Sarandipity. I forget difficult things really quickly too. It takes a day for me to forget most of it, but I can still recall the basics if I try really hard. After that it goes completely. I'm kinda scared that the depressive thing is a part because then it might come out again... but saying that it's possible to function okay with DID is really reassuring to me. Thank you everyone.
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:38 pm

It's very true that what's traumatic to one child might not be traumatic to another. It depends on a lot of factors including the temperament of the child and how prone they are to dissociation. DID/OSDD is also correlated with intelligence and creativity.

Emotional neglect can be subtle. Were your parents always people who you could go to as a young child if you were upset about something, and they would be loving and supportive? Was expressing emotions always ok with them and they validated your needs rather than writing them off as being childish or "too much?" Were you always valued and cherished rather than being made to feel like you were strange, or too sensitive, or too loud, or too whiny, or too anything?

I'm not saying any of that is true of your parents. I'm just pointing out possible forms of emotional neglect/abuse that are often invisible to people who experienced it because it was their normal, and they accepted their parents' point of view that their neglectful or abusive treatment of the child was the child's fault because of something inherently wrong with them. Children are quick to blame themselves for everything anyway, and when it's reinforced by their parents, they have no reason to doubt it.
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby ArbreMonde » Thu Sep 17, 2020 4:53 pm

WaterSelkie wrote:It's true I do have amnesia and difficulty recalling most-all of my life. But my parents are kind and supportive people, they don't have bad habits either, my family isn't the type for abuse and/or neglect. I'm not saying stuff didn't happen to me, I just find it very difficult to believe it would come from my family. I'm completely open about other types of trauma, but everything I read about DID involves abuse or neglect from caregivers ><


~It does not have to be "big and newspaper-worthy" to cause high dissociation and high stress levels.

~Families can halas have a very nice and friendly "social face" and be the absolute worse in private TnT

~Do not beat yourself up about "where does it come from". Memories will come back when you are ready to face them. If you try to dig too deep too fast you'll awaken the BALROG OF THE MORIA /)(°n°)(\ Just kidding. But it can be bad to have terrifying memories jumping at you all of them together. Also trying to remember stuff by picturing them happening to you can mess your memories up, it's a bad idea. A big no-no. Take what comes back but do not dig too deep too fast. One baby step at a time! ^_^

~You realized that you dissociated a lot during early childhood, to the point of having big chuncks of memories hidden somewhere. That's already a huge step towards better understanding yourself/ves, how you work, and what happened in the past! ^_^ Yay you!

~Also, what the Gang said about some forms of emotional harm that is soooo common and normalized that neither the victim nor the perpetrators really realize what it's bad... unu

~So to wrap it all: cannot diagnose you with DID or anything, but you do sound at least dissociative to me. Like the others said: better to see a therapist. At the very least, some emotional support.

~Tools that can help you, be you dissociative or not, and no matter how dissociative you are: journalling! \(^u^)/

~Does not matter who you are and why you journal, it's super duper useful to write down stuff you remember about your past, what you feel about them, how your memories come and go (memories do that sometimes), how your feelings about it all changes, how you feel/react every day about stuff, all of that. Re-reading this stuff can help you figure things out, and also brings stuff to discuss in therapy! Is good, no matter if you are DID or OSDD or something else or whatever! Keeping it all wrapped up nice in a journal somewhere helps figure stuff out! Good thing to write down! Writing down is good! Nice idea!

~Am zoning out! Sending xoxo and support! You can do the thing! You made ane big steppy today! Yay!

~Theia~
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby Una+ » Thu Sep 17, 2020 5:45 pm

Sarandipity wrote:The group members shouting at me and saying it's impossible to forget something so horrible in two days


How little they know, right?

That's a big part of why we have such a hard time in regular group therapy with survivors. To them amnesia is a very abstract concept, many have suffered at the hands of abusers who lie, and a very common lie is "I can't remember". So they get triggered.

Persons with DID have significant problems with amnesia, by definition, because amnesia is required for the DID diagnosis. Who else has significant problems with amnesia? Persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, etc.
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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby Sarandipity » Wed Sep 23, 2020 10:40 pm

Una+ wrote:
Sarandipity wrote:The group members shouting at me and saying it's impossible to forget something so horrible in two days


How little they know, right?

That's a big part of why we have such a hard time in regular group therapy with survivors. To them amnesia is a very abstract concept, many have suffered at the hands of abusers who lie, and a very common lie is "I can't remember". So they get triggered.

Persons with DID have significant problems with amnesia, by definition, because amnesia is required for the DID diagnosis. Who else has significant problems with amnesia? Persons with traumatic brain injury (TBI), stroke, etc.


Thanks Una, it's bugged me for years why they were so angry that I couldn't remember something. I was upset because I couldn't remember. Them being angry made zero sense to me, like why did they care if I couldn't remember. Now you point out that abusers use that as an excuse it makes sense - they were triggered. Most of them had disclosed abuse of some kind so they must have been triggered. Thanks, that has actually put that to rest because I didn't understand their reaction at all.

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Re: I'm new here and just want someone to listen

Postby cassiescatkelly » Thu Sep 24, 2020 9:15 am

Hi. I'm pretty out-of-it and haven't been able to take in a lot of what's being said on this thread right now but I see you said that you feel you can't have DID because you have no childhood trauma that you know of and you also said that you're very depersonalized. I think some people here have also mentioned amnesia but I feel like I should say that my experience is that depersonalization can definitely hide amnesia and extreme depersonalization can hide lots of amnesia so i wouldn't be surprised if you had trauma that you don't remember. I've had insane amounts of chronic dissociation/depersonalization since I was at least 14 and I only found out during a small breakthrough last year that I have virtually no memory from before I was ten. Until that moment, i had completely believed that I had had a happy childhood. Now I know I must have forgotten significant events because, beyond that general amnesia of years, I seem to have completely blocked out everything relating to a close friend who died suddenly when I was that age and I now remember suicide attempts from the second grade with no real idea of why I might have been so unhappy. With excessive dissociation, you really never know what's underneath the fog but I think it usually exists for a reason.
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