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Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

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Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ethanthealien » Sat Jun 25, 2022 5:41 am

Hello! I go by the name Ethan (this is not my legal name), I'm in my early 20s and I use he/him and they/them pronouns - all of these things are us as a collective.

We aren't diagnosed yet, as we do not have a means of getting a diagnosis, but we've been questioning being a system for well over I think two years now? It's kind of ridiculous seeing how far I have come in questioning and learning and I am still quite new to figuring us out. I've never used chat forums - I used to try in the past a couple times, but I was just never interested. I'm hoping to use this place for good this time.

I started questioning I think in 2020 or 2021; I wanna say... Late 2020-early 2021? Since then, I have been learning lots and lots about myself, DID/OSDD, trauma and dissociation in general, I could ramble on for hours about my journey haha.

For now, I'm reminiscing on how wrong my view of DID was. I mean, pretty much everyone is like this at the start because of the portrayal of DID and whatnot. I used to expect some kind of outside entity to possess my body, or I'll wake up to find hours of messages of conversations with my friends that I had no memory of. I remember people telling me to journal and I found it confusing and frustrating because I'd tell them I don't experience blackouts, so how can I tell if I've switched? I was expecting to experience alters like some kind of ghosts that haunt me :lol: I remember feeling frustrated that no alters were showing themselves... I really was expecting to experience some kind of ghost possession.

I'm wondering if anyone else had this experience too. This view of DID has made my questioning journey much longer and much more mentally difficult than it would have been if I had really understood and realized that I am not A person With alters - I am an Alter Coexisting with Other Alters.
I feel fake because I don't relate to a lot of the online language and terminology being used. I've had a lot of denial over this; for example, I don't really experience my switching as if someone is taking over my body, I just Am that alter for that period of time. And then I switch into a different alter. But it's always me! And that has brought on a lot of denial for me because people always say that it's a requirement for your alters to Not Feel Like You in order for them to Be Alters, but most of us just don't feel that way. I just feel like "that was me, but acting/talking/behaving/etc. differently." There are a few alters where I do feel strongly that they aren't me, but I still feel that that's "me, just acting and behaving differently."
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Re: Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ArbreMonde » Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:03 am

Welcome to the forums!

There are a lot of informations we think we know/understand about DID and other dissociative disorders but in fact, we don't.

As an example, the whole blackouts / feeling possessed thing, represents the far end of the dissociative spectrum. It happens in case of high levels of dissociation, high levels of stress, and it's kinda rare. I rarely experience it unless I'm very tired, dissociated, triggered, stressed out, burnt-out. Most of the time, things are way calmer inside. Most dissociated people do not experience big blackouts. Though micro-amnesia in the everyday life seems to be commonplace for people with ADHD or ADD and DID at the same time.

Switching means "another part takes control". Depending on where you stands on the dissociative scale, it can feel as mundane as "I have transformed into somebody else / something else". Because there are different identities, they are still alters (alter = alternating identities = more than one identity for the same body). Or kintypes, depending on what vocabulary you prefer to use. (I am willing to die on the hill of "otherkin and therian and fictionkin people are dissociative people without a dissociation disorder diagnosis". But I digress.)

Some of them you feel are "other yous" meaning you are not very dissociated from them. Others feel like they are "not you" meaning you are very dissociated from them. In order to know what diagnosis you qualify for on the dissociative scale, have a look at the higher dissociation level you can reach. Here, it is "they are not me" which is more DID than OSDD.

But the difference between the dissociative disorders are kinda, stupid to put into boxes IMO. The causes are the same, the treatment is the same, just the intensity of the symptoms/dissociation is not the same. Why put in different boxes things that are healed the same?

ANYWAY! So far it sounds like a dissociative disorder. And all OSDD/DID and similar disorders seem to gather here on the DID board because it's easier. You knocked at the right door! Welcome!
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Re: Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ethanthealien » Tue Jun 28, 2022 4:35 am

Because there are different identities, they are still alters (alter = alternating identities = more than one identity for the same body). Or kintypes, depending on what vocabulary you prefer to use. (I am willing to die on the hill of "otherkin and therian and fictionkin people are dissociative people without a dissociation disorder diagnosis". But I digress.)

I agree so much, I've always been afraid to say it! :lol: I do think, however, that a singlet can feel they're otherkin without being a system, I don't think it's very common at all though :lol: I used to think I was otherkin myself... And so did all of the other systems I've met :lol:
I definitely have some parts who feel so dissociated that they feel like a different person; we recently, I think split two parts (though one of them might've been a fragment who quickly integrated) and one of them in particular felt very dissociated from me... Whoever I am now :lol: Most day-to-day life I don't feel that severely dissociated from my parts, which is normal I'd say, especially when I am not going through daily stressors (I thankfully now live with my boyfriend and his family who are all some of the most wonderful people I know :mrgreen:). But there have definitely been a few times that I felt an alter wasn't me at all. Which also makes me wonder, is it possible to feel that an alter is not different from you, but for the two of you to develop further and then you both feel much more separate? I hope that makes sense! :3
Thanks for the warm welcome, I'm glad to be here :D
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Re: Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ArbreMonde » Tue Jun 28, 2022 5:57 pm

ethanthealien wrote:Which also makes me wonder, is it possible to feel that an alter is not different from you, but for the two of you to develop further and then you both feel much more separate?


The level of dissociation / differenciation between alters/parts can evolve both ways. Sometimes they become more distinct, sometimes they become more similar. It all depends on what you need as a whole (as a system) at any given point in time.

There are a lot of funky things that turn out to be normal when you have DID or other dissociative disorder. Does not always mean it is healthy though, but a lot of funky things are commonplace in dissociative disorders. Understanding why these things happen helps to make them less scary and more manageable. :)
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Re: Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ethanthealien » Tue Jun 28, 2022 9:14 pm

I've found a lot of us only recently desire to be our own separate parts because we only realized we Exist this year really mostly. We don't necessarily feel or consider ourselves to be totally separate - at least most of us don't, most of us being our most common fronters, I think. We're not sure, we're still really struggling with figuring out where some parts end where others begin :lol: We've wondered every so often if we could be polyfragmented (just haven't figured us out really yet) and recently we've started looking more into it and started relating a lot to some experiences described by other polyfragmented systems. Do you, or anyone, perchance have any good information about polyfragmented DID in particular? My most common mode of learning about DID, for the most part, has been research articles online, as well as in general reading about other systems' experiences (I have enjoyed reading about experiences from old newsletters; I've found older DID systems describing their experiences more relatable than anyone nowadays).
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Re: Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ArbreMonde » Wed Jun 29, 2022 6:14 am

"Polyfragmented" is not an official medical term (to my knowledge, if it appears in some peer-reviewed article please send them my way I'll be happy to read them!) so you'll find mostly people self-labelling as "polyfragmented" describing their experience.

The causes of dissociation will be roughly the same, polyfrag or not, and the treatment plan will be roughly the same, just fitted to the needs of the person as a whole (just like any dissociation treatment plan) so I guess this is why medics do not see a reason to research down this rabbit hole. In "The haunted self" there are a few paragraphs explaining that every DID person is unique with their own unique inner structure, some more complex, some more fragmented, some less complex / less fragmented, and the therapist just needs to have a good assessment of what are the needs and boundaries of the system as a whole and each part individually, and here we go towards stabilization and trauma therapy.

Just like you will find in the DID community a lot of labels describing the inner structure of the system and how it organizes itself, and none of them in the medical / therapist side of the Force because from a therapist's point of view, each patient is unique and deserves their own special unique label - or a good map of their system. A map is easier to understand than a somewhat abstract label and it allows to see all the subtleties and specific needs of this particular system.

I used to label myself as "polyfragmented" because some of my parts were more "a bag full of individual fragments acting together like a school of fish" but with how my integration therapy is progressing, the "schools of fishes" are integrating into "big fishes" and I don't know if I still fit the label or not? It does not matter to me anyway. I'm doing better as a whole, understanding myself better, and that's all I am interesting in at the moment regarding my own experience.

I also understand that labels can be more important for other people. I hope that you will find what you seek. :)
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Re: Introducing Myself + Rambling Way Too Much

Postby ethanthealien » Wed Jun 29, 2022 9:52 am

I didn't know polyfragmented DID wasn't a medical term, it's spoken about a lot online (at least nowadays) and I've heard, through the grapevine as one would say, that it might be considered its own "sub" type of DID because it's so complex :o I would have to find out if I can find anything medically stating that, though.
I've been reading a lot about polyfragmented DID scattered about online and have found myself relating to these experiences the most! Even if it's not a medically recognized thing, I'm just very happy to finally find experiences I relate to. I feel like I accept my DID more and more lately, I hope I'll be able to better understand how we work through the lens and understanding that we feel the label polyfragmented suits us. <3
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