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Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

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Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby jeanetteMN » Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:47 pm

I have all the neglect, religious and sexual abuse to qualify for the diagnosis. Plus, my husband says I break down every 3 months (which I do not remember except for a few times). I went to 5 therapists and the 5th one diagnosed me. My husband has always made comments about my 'personalities', but I thought he was exaggerating because he was upset with me. A close friend has made the same comments, but mostly when HE is angry at me.
I write letters to my therapist because things are not always accessible by voice and in person in an office. If i look at the letters later, they read like they are from an insane person.
I don't have the blackouts, but I have intense depersonalization. I don't go places that I don't remember, but I can get lost in my own neighborhood and I will be in a supermarket and forget where I am or how I got there. I will forget what happened after dinner last night, etc, but it doesn't seem as grandiose as some of the people on here.
I am in doubt, and I am angry at myself because I think that I am really a master manipulator that has created all this in my mind for attention. I don't think this is real in me. I think I have Histrionic PD, or something else, because I don't have the memory losses like people on here do, but I know I have a lot of trouble remembering things and sometimes whole sections of life are missing, but I get them back here and there.
I have so much doubt. I want to know what I have, because if its a personality disorder instead, I want to address it. I DO have LOTS and LOTS of arguing in my head, different people who disagree, or who give me instructions to tell me to do something or not do something. I have a Good Girl, who I functioned in. That developed during the cult phase of my young life. I have an Executive, and a type of Bad Girl. The Good Girl and Bad Girl do not like each other. I havn't seen the Good Girl in MONTHS, and that is my religious function. I haven't been the same without it. I have a 5 year old who doesn't know trauma. Everyone tries to protect her. I have Rage, who I don't frequently see, I have a 14 year old same-sex attracted teen, and an 11 year old. These last 2 don't speak often, although my friend swears he knows the 14 year old. The 11 year old has a lot of sexual frustrations. There is another sexual personna, about 23 or so, but I don't see her much at all. There is a young mother who holds a baby, and I think there may be one more, but a lot of these dont seem to talk too. I think the Executive does a lot of the yelling. She gives me instructions, and when she inhabits the body, everything feels terrific. I have control, I'm calm, nothing else exists and everything is in order and perfect. I don't feel that I black out or don't remember, I think there is significant co-consciousness, but my friend and husband say I can act dramatically different. There's nothing about me that is violent at all and Rage is mostly angry at me. She has bragged about keeping things from me and making me believe anything she wants.
None of this feels real to me. I wish I knew if this was real in me or not. There are definitely significant issues, but if it is diagnosed wrong, I am going to continue to get worse. I have a terrific top persons who deal with my husband and children. They are bullet proof. I have a middle layer that includes the Narrator who is talking, but talks mainly through writing, and a bottom layer that includes the 5 year old.
Today is a very bad day. I'm a quiet, introverted person, and the voices and confusion seem to be at a fever pitch. I don't feel I belong here because I don't have the extreme symptoms many of you here have. I'd really just like to know what I have so I can begin to treat it. Somewhere I think it is just trauma and extreme immaturity coming to the surface, and I'm not acting right and that's why it is so bad. If i would just focus on the tasks I have to do, it would get better, and I would grow up and stop being so immature and indulgent, and I would quit thinking about it.
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby Purplesky » Tue Nov 23, 2021 1:07 am

I don't have black outs. My experience is similar to yours where I have co consciousness and can hear or feel the others.

It doesn't mean the struggles aren't the same or the diagnosis doesn't fit. It just means it is how it is for you (and me). Maybe in the past, you did have blackouts, maybe not. In DID, blackouts/memory loss can also be for trauma in the past, not just with alters currently.

One of main requirements that I know of is that alters can take control over the body. The memory loss/blackout part might be what some professionals focus on more, but I don't feel like it should be when the treatment is the same no matter what it is. Plus, co consciousness is what a lot of people try to achieve because it helps with functioning.

Comparing yourself to others does no good.
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Tue Nov 23, 2021 5:08 am

Try to read what you wrote as if you were a different person, reading about someone else. You ARE describing very significant symptoms, but minimizing them in yourself.

The sense that things aren't real is derealization. It doesn't mean that you don't have DID. It's just how dissociative people cope with things that are overwhelming--well, one of the ways, anyway. They make them just be not true. It's much easier to think of yourself as a "master manipulator" (impossible to pull off to this extent, anyway) than to accept things that you've spent your life pushing out of awareness.

I hope you have a good DID therapist to help you. It's possible to go slow so that you don't become too overwhelmed and to make progress with gaining communication and cooperation.
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby ArbreMonde » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:35 am

jeanetteMN wrote:My husband has always made comments about my 'personalities', but I thought he was exaggerating because he was upset with me. A close friend has made the same comments, but mostly when HE is angry at me.


I am sorry for you that people are impatient with you. Being incoherent and dissociated is difficult enough as it is. Of course it is difficult for the people around when they do not understand what is going on nor how to help. A lot of people have the fantasy that "It's in your head therefore you control 100% of it" which is not how things work.

But they can help by reorienting you in the here and now, helping you doing anchoring exercises.


jeanetteMN wrote:I write letters to my therapist because things are not always accessible by voice and in person in an office.


Smart move, keep going!

jeanetteMN wrote:I don't have the blackouts, but I have intense depersonalization. I don't go places that I don't remember, but I can get lost in my own neighborhood and I will be in a supermarket and forget where I am or how I got there. I will forget what happened after dinner last night, etc, but it doesn't seem as grandiose as some of the people on here.


This is what I/we experience, too. Dissociation is a spectrum, not everybody has the same intensity for all symptoms. DID and OSDD are very similar and there is no line between the two, the difference between them is fuzzy because they are diagnosis categories. Thing is, diagnosis categories are supposed to help people better understand the treatment they need and how they function. Between DID and OSDD, the treatment is the same, the functionning is the same, only the intensity of the amnesias is different. So in my opinion they are the same thing.

jeanetteMN wrote:I am in doubt, and I am angry at myself because I think that I am really a master manipulator that has created all this in my mind for attention. I don't think this is real in me. I think I have Histrionic PD, or something else, because I don't have the memory losses like people on here do, but I know I have a lot of trouble remembering things and sometimes whole sections of life are missing, but I get them back here and there.


You are toning down your symptoms. The small amnesia you experience are a lot to deal with. Moreover, personality disorders seem to be on the dissociation scale anyway, and require trauma and dissociation treatment all the same.

Moreover, "attention" is not something bad to ask for - it is a human need. People who "ask for attention" are "care-seeking". It is normal to need care and support. Especially when you have been through so many trauma in the past. It is normal to need care to heal the wounds. It is normal to ask for the care. It is normal if the past still hurts.

jeanetteMN wrote:I DO have LOTS and LOTS of arguing in my head, different people who disagree, or who give me instructions to tell me to do something or not do something.


Good luck helping them all find balance. It IS an extreme symptom, to have this much confusion going on. Lately for me/us it's very quiet. (But I might be tuning the others down, I'll see with the therapist next week because if I really am tuning the others down, it encourages the dissociative process and slows down the healing. But I digress.)

Such "impostor syndrom" as you seem to experience is very common especially when dissociative. We spend so much of our lives hiding the hurt that we end up believing it was "not that bad" and that all which happens to us every day is "not that bad". But you know what? It is. It did hurt in the past. It does not matter what happened, it did hurt, it still hurts, and you are legitimate to seek care and support and help.

What you experience is real. People who make things up know that they are making things up. If you are asking yourself the question, chances are, it's real. Especially if you have a diagnosis.

It's okay if it takes time to accept and realize what is going on. If this can ease you up, it is a normal process of the human brain, to compartimentalize the hurt so that you can "keep on keeping on". It is a badass short-term survival mechanism.

Now you are grown, and you can slowly learn to feel safe, rest, and heal.

Welcome on the forums.
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby ConcealDontFeel » Fri Nov 26, 2021 8:30 am

We can relate to much of what you wrote. We'd argue it's probably a pretty common reaction to a diagnosis because of how DID is presented and how it's talked about, so one doesn't want to feel "cr*zy" and have it.

Our fronter at the time continued to deny it until just recently, even after she stopped hosting for a year and many others have fronted. She especially had a hard time accepting it because she was always aware of others, but didn't think they were "enough" to be alters, but that was because most of our alters tend to function to influence those that front. Now that we know, several of us function fronting at a time with others having influence.

Our former fronter was sure she didn't have DID because we also don't have blackouts and none of the overly sensationalized aspects that some with DID have (the media sucks on this topic), which leads not only to those without DID seeing us as extreme and dangerous, but we see ourselves that way and fear finding out we are what we are.

For us our biggest sign is the dissociation, which in its most extreme comes in that we don't remember anything about our past and even our recent past fades quickly. We can have short term issues more due to more alters being conscious and engaging, but not in a way that it impacts our ability to function.

We agree with Daniel - we think it's common for us (as in those with DID) to downplay what's been done to us, which makes us think we can't have DID, that we haven't suffered enough. We too still frequently doubt and downplay what's been done to us - we downplayed our experiences even reading your post now as we had different experiences than you.

We too are middle aged and learned just a few years ago about ourselves. Expect a lot of self doubt and denial at this stage and even after. It is hard to process. Be gentle with all of you.

Sorry if we're not making sense...we're extremely tired and stressed at present but we wanted to say we related a lot to your post, that you're not alone in your feelings/thoughts.
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby jeanetteMN » Sat Nov 27, 2021 2:41 pm

Thank you everyone who replied. You have been tremendously helpful. I have been inundated with the same thoughts that I haven't suffered enough, etc., and the lack of sensational blackouts can be an issue, but I do have lots of memory loses of gaps of time and lots of short term losses and a ton of dissociation.

I feel a little disconnected also because I refer to myself always as *I*. I've been in an uncomfortable position lately where I have been pushed to where a couple of the alters push out to the outside (in writing) that I am aware of, and that is an experience where I'm watching another BE ME for lack of a better word, with thoughts and words that are not mine.

When things are quiet, early in the morning or in the shower, the rest of 'me' relaxes, and I have constant non-sequitors pop out, as if everyone is getting a chance to talk, including a game of hide and seek by the non trauma knowing 5 year old. (I don't have names either...ages and functions).

This is all so bizarre. So many times during the day I think that none of this can possibly be true. I have done a lot of reading on what faking DID looks like, so I can be sure that's not me, because I do get an accusatory thought/voice that I am making everything up. I think it happens because early on I had to learn to perform, and it had to be seamless and perfect. I can't wrap my head around any of this.

Thank you again, everyone for responding. I have read all the responses multiple times.
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby ConcealDontFeel » Sat Nov 27, 2021 9:56 pm

What you're describing is how our first few months went. And we use "I" and "we" depending on context, which I think is common for anyone with DID. Look there, we just used both in one sentence. *shrug* Happens.

The fronter when we first went to therapy has never used "we" because only recently did she accept we have DID.

We're 40. "Found out" about the DID at the end of 2019. We say "found out" because we always knew, but the fronter denied it, didn't want to accept it, so read definitions of DID and focused on what we do not experience as reasons she couldn't be part of a system. Her connection with alters, because of this denial, saw them very differently. She was aware of some, but because, at the time, mostly alters expressed themselves by influencing or cohabiting, so she thought they were just more extreme emotional states of herself and would not see the rest of us as personalities. We were limited emotional states. It's taken us time to see and understand ourselves that we're not just one main emotional trait, that we can all experience all emotions for example.

Alters have been coming out and presenting themselves more. The more accepting we are of each other, the more that come out. At this time 30 have, but we know we have more.

You don't need to all have names - that's really between the alters and your system. We find it easier with names as it helps us accept each other as our own unique "person" (we're not all humans) and to get to know ourselves and each other, but that doesn't mean you all HAVE to have names to have DID.

Memory loss and dissociation are our main symptoms too, either than, you know, there being more than one of us. :lol: We seem to have a collective memory bank in regards to things we all need to know to function, so our memory loss isn't disruptive for us. It mostly is vital to our ability to function, though it often leads to us forgetting things - like we'll walk into the kitchen for something and in the seconds it took us to walk in there, we'll forget why. Mildly annoying, but not disruptive to our ability to function.

Be gentle and kind with yourselves. This is an especially challenging time, that just finding out and coming to accept. And, for us, we're beginning to wonder if it even does ever go away, if you ever stop doubting you have this. We'll certainly have moments of thinking this is all crap and we're just acting like we've been told to act, you know?
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Re: Middle aged, newly diagnosed, still don't think ireal

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:43 am

"Fake DID" from what I know can be either one of two things:

- You make things up and you know it. It's like playing a role. You do NOT have the symptoms inside that you describe, you just think it's cool to pretend to have DID.
- You have DID-like symptoms, but it's something else than DID. The symptoms are real, you are totally NOT making things up, but you don't have enough knowledge to do the differential diagnosis yourself.

IF you happen not to have DID, it will be the second one absolutely: DID-like symptoms of something else (or more than one something else all put together). As an example, complex trauma, with depersonnalization and derealization, and a few organic chemical unbalances in the brain, can lead to DID-like symptoms. There still is trauma to take care of though, the care for the trauma will be similar than for DID, but there are other things on the side that would need to be adressed.

All in all, your symptoms are real and you are NOT making them up. Your pain is real. The consequences over your daily life are real. And whatever that can help you through it in a constructive way, is a good thing. If posting on this forum helps you because you find people with similar symptoms to share "how to get better" tips with, then, keep coming, it helps! Yay!
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