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Hello And An Introduction

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Hello And An Introduction

Postby ViTheta » Wed Jul 20, 2022 1:46 pm

Hello. I am Vi, but we are Theta.

Growing up, I knew about my others. Well, I knew about two of them – Beth and Marcus. They have been my constant companions since I was five.

I’m autistic and trans. My parents didn’t know what to do with me and tried to suppress my autistic traits. My mother was undiagnosed autistic, and my father just gave up on having a father/son relationship with me. Growing up, I was alone a lot. Beth and Marcus helped me not be alone, but after a while, Marcus acted out and hurt us as well as our sister. So, he got locked away from the front, but in doing so, I was stuck there. Not that I was always fronting. Beth would front, but I was always at least somewhat aware of what was going on.

There’s a lot I don’t want to go into right now. The thing is, a decade ago, I moved someplace safe and Beth and Marcus grew quieter.

Fast forward and Beth had to take over almost all the time. Marcus had been effectively silenced for years. My mother was gravely ill. Beth had to take care of her. After our mother passed, Beth went quiet, and I sort of forgot. I forgot about Beth, and I thought Marcus was gone. It was just ‘me’.

Two years passed and then everything went sideways. Two things happened at once. The first is, a friend of mine pointed out that I had been switching quite a lot, and to people who weren’t Beth. This friend had been friends with at least one other person with DID so she knew the signs. My friend had tried to bring up the subject twice before, apparently, but between her telling me and pretty much the next thought, it was gone. I just put it up to my memory issues. The last time she used social media to bring up the subject and it was like ‘wait a minute.’ For some reason, written communications tend to ‘stick’ better.

The second event is that one of the Bad Men who hurt me in childhood tried to get in touch with me.
Since then, I have had to deal with the reality that there’s a lot more people inside this head than I had known. But what I don’t understand is why am I, Vi, not freaking out. I do have an alter who is freaking out and trying to make everything fit the stereotypes, but I’m not her.

I’ve talked to our ‘systems manager’. Her name is Queen, and she’s helped me know who is who, and even with choosing/knowing names. Marcus has been trying to stop any of this from happening by constantly telling me to be silent and not to remember what happened. This includes the return of some very horrific nightmares mixed with flashbacks.

I’ve had time gaps again. Things get moved and I know it isn’t someone in the house. Sometimes I look around and things have moved and I know I, that is Vi, didn’t move them. It’s been a long time since that happened.

There’s a tonne of questions that have come up; though, and I don’t know where to begin. The questions may sound stupid, but we don’t understand why we got to this point without therapy. We’ve only just broached this with my current therapist. She isn’t a specialist in DID and we’re scared of telling her everything. Part of that is that growing up we were often told about family members who had schizophrenia and were ashamed to admit to the voices we heard even if they weren’t bad voices.

Sometimes it seems like my alters just overwrite my personality so that I can do certain tasks. This usually gives me a headache after a while. Other times one of them will take over fully and I retreat back just enough so I am only kind of aware of the world. That usually makes the world seem glitchy and everything is a bit fuzzy.

I’m permanently disabled. This is more about healing than about anything else. I’m still going through phases where I keep thinking that this is all made up and not real, but then something happens or someone takes over for a while and I can’t stop them.

Thank you for listening to me. I'm sorry if this is a bit long too.
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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ArbreMonde » Wed Jul 20, 2022 4:45 pm

Hello and welcome to the forums! You'll find a list of ressources on DID linked in my signature, for a start.

ViTheta wrote:I’m autistic and trans. My parents didn’t know what to do with me and tried to suppress my autistic traits.


I feel you buddy. Same soup here, just another flavor. Apparently it's commonplace that autistic children develop DID more often than others. You'll find additional info about this here: https://did-research.org/comorbid/devel ... -disorders

ViTheta wrote:I just put it up to my memory issues.


I used to think I had "bad memory". Turns out it's dissociative amnesia, plus the ADHD/dissociation shenanigans causing a lot of micro-amnesia throughout the day.

ViTheta wrote:For some reason, written communications tend to ‘stick’ better.


Could be an autistic trait. Autism often goes hand in hand with a touch of dysphasia, making it easier to communicate through writing than through verbalization. (Expressing or recieving the communication.)

ViTheta wrote:one of the Bad Men who hurt me in childhood tried to get in touch with me.


Tons of moral support! This must have been so anxiety-indusing!

ViTheta wrote:I have had to deal with the reality that there’s a lot more people inside this head than I had known.


Welcome aboard the DID train! It's commonplace to realize you have more parts/headmates/alters than you thought because some lay dormant for a while. As an example, an alter holding trauma memories can lay dormant for years in order to protect the system from said memories. Then a trigger hits, and the alter awakens, and flashbacks start, and it's a mess... But it also means that, now that said alter has awakened, they can be healed through trauma therapy. Which is awesome news imo.

ViTheta wrote:But what I don’t understand is why am I, Vi, not freaking out. I do have an alter who is freaking out and trying to make everything fit the stereotypes, but I’m not her.


That's exactly that dissociation is all about: separating the "freaking out" traumatized parts (or Emotional Parts) from the ones containing the ressources necessary for an apparently normal everyday life (or Apparently Normal Parts). It allows to have a seemingly normal life despite heavy traumas.

ViTheta wrote:Marcus has been trying to stop any of this from happening by constantly telling me to be silent and not to remember what happened. This includes the return of some very horrific nightmares mixed with flashbacks.


Marcus is trying to protect you from the pain of remembering. If you manage to have access to a specialized trauma therapist, there are therapy steps where the bad memories are mentally stored away in boxes so they can wait patiently their turn to be treated and healed through therapy - and in the meantime they are stored neatly instead of jumping back at you to bite your nose. Metaphorically speaking.

ViTheta wrote:The questions may sound stupid


We've all been there. We always ask the same questions when we realize we might have DID and are at loss of what is happening and are confused and just don't know what's going on. It's okay. We've all been here.

ViTheta wrote:we don’t understand why we got to this point without therapy.


DID is very difficult to see when you do not know what to look for. Same with autism or ADHD really. You more often get spotted by peers rather than generalist professionnals. Best I had by a generalist doc was "c-PTSD with psychosis" and the treatment he gave me was completely not what I needed - then he got angry his treatment plan failed :roll: You cannot "cure" autism with EMDR therapy, but he tried to. :roll:

ANYWAY

ViTheta wrote:She isn’t a specialist in DID and we’re scared of telling her everything. Part of that is that growing up we were often told about family members who had schizophrenia and were ashamed to admit to the voices we heard even if they weren’t bad voices.


DID is often misdiagnosed for schizophrenia. But you can get treatment without going into the DID zone, by explaining you have commplex traumas, awful flashbacks, nightmares, and dissociative symptoms. This imo will help you get a treatment more easily than explaining you have alters.

ViTheta wrote:Sometimes it seems like my alters just overwrite my personality so that I can do certain tasks.


This has many names: co-presence, blending, passive influence... It is one way to get organized collectively in order to share ressources between system members. Pretty cool that you manage this intuitively 8)

ViTheta wrote:Other times one of them will take over fully and I retreat back just enough so I am only kind of aware of the world. That usually makes the world seem glitchy and everything is a bit fuzzy.


There are exercises to help you stay focused and present when this happens. You'll find a lot of helpful exercises in "Coping with trauma related dissociation" from the ressources thread.

ViTheta wrote:I’m permanently disabled. This is more about healing than about anything else.


I'm on the same road. And, good news, it's possible! The start is rough though becausee you become aware of a lot of bad or scary things, but "becoming aware" is not the same as "creating them". It means "pulling them from under the rug so we can start cleaning the place". Which can be scary and frustrating but it's the necessary first step. If your system management is good, you can have one thing pulled from under the rug and cleaned right away at a time. Makes it more manageable. Maybe Queen could arrange for this? Start with one small element, see how to heal it, then take the next small one, and so on. Always start small, just like when you learn to lift weights. You need to build your "healing muscle" slowly and steadily so you do not get burnt out.

ViTheta wrote:I’m still going through phases where I keep thinking that this is all made up and not real, but then something happens or someone takes over for a while and I can’t stop them.


We've all been here. :wink:

ViTheta wrote:Thank you for listening to me. I'm sorry if this is a bit long too.


Anytime! And welcome again on the forums!
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System host/umbrella identity: Morwan

Journey thread | DID ressources thread

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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ViTheta » Wed Jul 20, 2022 6:02 pm

ArbreMonde wrote:Hello and welcome to the forums! You'll find a list of ressources on DID linked in my signature, for a start.

Thank you for the welcome. I’ll look through the resources. I’ve done a lot of research already too, but it was scattershot. It’s just good to know that I’m not alone on this journey. My friend also helped with terminology so I now know the right terms.
ArbreMonde wrote:Welcome aboard the DID train! It's commonplace to realize you have more parts/headmates/alters than you thought because some lay dormant for a while. As an example, an alter holding trauma memories can lay dormant for years in order to protect the system from said memories. Then a trigger hits, and the alter awakens, and flashbacks start, and it's a mess... But it also means that, now that said alter has awakened, they can be healed through trauma therapy. Which is awesome news imo.

One strange thing was the day I sat here and looked around my room and went ‘this disorder actually makes sense now.’ It’s like I have toys that I realized I bought for my Littles or Beth loves physical things like sports. All together, there’s about fifteen of us. There may be more, but those are the ones I’m aware of, and right now not everyone is talking or willing to talk.

There’s a city that I created and started using for my fiction where most everyone lives too.
ArbreMonde wrote:Marcus is trying to protect you from the pain of remembering. If you manage to have access to a specialized trauma therapist, there are therapy steps where the bad memories are mentally stored away in boxes so they can wait patiently their turn to be treated and healed through therapy - and in the meantime they are stored neatly instead of jumping back at you to bite your nose. Metaphorically speaking.

Right now, I’m not working very much with Marcus, but one day I know we will. Marcus always hurt us so that we’d stay quiet, but I know that he has to be in pain too. Right now, we’re working on making our Littles feel safe. Right now, this has meant that Little G has her own room.

My therapist is a specialist in autism and has a lot of training to deal with trauma. I’ve told her so far of just Beth and Marcus, and I think that’s as far as it will go. I sometimes feel like the System Voice. My previous therapist kept trying to force me to confront trauma to the point where one of us figured out her trigger points and used them against her.
ArbreMonde wrote:Always start small, just like when you learn to lift weights. You need to build your "healing muscle" slowly and steadily so you do not get burnt out.

Right now, we’re just making sure everyone feels safe. There’s a street in this city I created where it’s mostly safe.
ArbreMonde wrote:We've all been there. We always ask the same questions when we realize we might have DID and are at loss of what is happening and are confused and just don't know what's going on. It's okay. We've all been here.

One question that keeps sticking is “why are we almost all non-human”. It’s things like Queen’s a cyborg. My own inner form has wings, horns and a tail (yes, I look demonic but not scary demonic). Out of all of us, there’s three humans.

Thank you again. I will keep writing about us and our own journey over time. Right now, the most active of us are me (Vi), Pippa, Angel and Beth. Me, Pippa and Angel are all of a kind. Pippa’s sometimes 13, sometimes 16. Angel is one of two males in the system. And Beth is our Caretaker. She comes out lately to clean and make sure things get done. And each day I try to have conversations with as many as will talk.

And I probably won't quote every time. Just wanted to address more clearly :)
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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby TheTriForce » Thu Jul 21, 2022 12:17 pm

Hello..welcome to the forum.

I just wanted to say we have non-humans too. we have a 'tribe' called 'The Changeling' In their native form they look like a little speck of light or a sprite. There are hundreds of them in the Deep Forest.

The can join to form human form, different animals, even solid walls to protect the littles from external threats. One remained in human form to be companion to our littles, we call them Phoenix (they have no gender or physical body parts either male or female) because the very first time they tried to communicate with our (then) youngest they appeared as a Phoenix.

We are also autistic and have never had DID therapy, though was forced through therapy daily 'to become normal' from a very young age. We don't have anyone schizophrenic in our family but did know of a local who was taken away and locked up and he had schizophrenia, so we never told anyone once we were told we were 'too old to have invisible friends'!

I'm in my 50's so the places you got 'locked up' in back then (70's/80's) were bleak and scary filled with mostly seriously mentally ill men, we had a 'hospital' similar to Broadmoor in the nearest city and our cities prison holds some of the most dangerous people in the country ..not a place a young clueless autistic teen wants to end up! :shock: ...so the fear of being 'locked up ' kept us highly efficient at being 'covert'! ..till the peri-menopause hit (mid 40's) then we started switching frequently and more and more came forwards. It's been a steep learning curve!
Body - F 50+ yrs disabled/autistic

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(includes Kit & SG working as advisors in background)
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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ArbreMonde » Thu Jul 21, 2022 6:15 pm

I have a lot of non-human alters and a lot of fictive introjections.

Autistic people tend to have more empathy towards non-human mammals than towards humans. The study I found describing this does not tell if it is due to being traumatized by most humans we encounter, or if it is an autistic thing, or a mix of both. It's difficult to find a non-traumatized autistic person so, both I guess?

It is commonplace to have demonic-like or angel-like alters too, especially if you grew up in a culture where they are present in the cultural background. The aspect of an alter does not tell about how "nice" or "naughty" they are either.

Regarding Marcus, you might want to have a look at "protector persecutors" or "maladapted protectors". They are alters who try to protect the system from harm, but do it by repeating the trauma upon the system because in their logic, doing it themself internally will keep the outside abuser from doing it physically. Or if you keep quiet enough, you'll fly under the radar of potential abusers. And so on. But they do so in ways that feel hurftul for the other alters.

Good news is: there are ways to teach them how to switch towards kinder and more adapted protection behaviors.

Building up safe places inside is a very nice place to start too. You'll find exercises about this in "Coping with trauma related dissociation" or "Healing the fragmented selves of trauma survivors" among other ressources.

You don't have to talk explicitly about your alters with your trauma therapist in order to heal the traumas, either. Presently with my T we mostly talk about the difficulties I face as a whole, how to cope with them, and a bit of trauma therapy too, without really caring about naming the parts we are healing (unless they really want to be named of course). "Let's work with a traumatized child part - and I found a stable adult part to assist and make the child part feel safe" is just as good as "Today, I want to heal some trauma from Maddie, 4 years old, a girl who loves rainbows and unicorns - she will be accompanied by Gandalf, a 3500-years-old black dragon from Hell who protects the system because he sees the other alters as his dragon treasure".

You don't have to tell if you don't want to tell.
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Journey thread | DID ressources thread

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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ViTheta » Thu Jul 21, 2022 8:20 pm

Thank you both for your replies.

I had never thought about how different it might be for someone who is autistic to create a system. I’m glad to know that I’m not really alone in having a lot of non-human alters. The only ones who are human are Marcus and both of the Littles.

Over the last couple months, it has felt like we’re trying to find everyone so they can be safe. Beth has been busy there and helping Little G feel safe, and Angel has been trying to help find Little M. There are times it’s felt like everyone was lost in the fog in my city and we’re trying to get them to come to safety.

I’m reading through what has been linked and will start looking up books once we have some more money.

What finally prompted my posting was a recent panic attack at the doctor’s office, and after everything settled down, getting flooded with images from Little G of her wanting a plush doll. She’s non-verbal, but we’re not sure if that’s trauma or her own form of autism. When she wants something, she shows us what she wants. We may actually buy it for her when we have enough money, but right now she’s content and feels safe. Eventually, we may end up setting up specific shelves for each of us.

Oddly enough, we do have a dragon name Kei. She protects the asylum in our city so that it can’t be accessed by anyone other than Queen right now. Marcus runs the asylum. I know that Beth wants one day to help him be better, and that we will try.

Physically, this body is in its late 40’s, so I understand the fears of the old asylums and such. It doesn’t help that I grew up reading a lot. My fascination has always been stories. I started writing my own so that I could work on healing. I didn’t realize it then that I was drawing on my system’s home to write the stories.

Thank you both again for the welcome.
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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Jul 22, 2022 5:10 am

The main books from the ressources thread can be found on the Zlibrary in electronic form to be borrowed for free for an indefinite amount of time. So if you need them right away you can read them through this mean while waiting to have the budget to buy the paper version. ;)
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Journey thread | DID ressources thread

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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ViTheta » Sat Jul 23, 2022 12:00 pm

Thank you again.

Something that we’re all rather afraid of is integration. The thing is, I know that we’ve dealt with Pippa’s trauma and that’s why she’s comfortable coming out to be around others, but the idea of her being gone seems sad to a lot of us, and we’re not sure how we would function with others being gone from the system.

Right now, I guess, there’s a lot of reading up on things and trying to understand.

My system is stressed lately because we’re having to take care of our ailing father and he was in the hospital for the last week. He’s home now and getting better, but having him around and having to ‘pretend’ to be a baseline is stressful since he doesn’t know about any of us. Or worse, when he’s around and we have to switch places, sometimes in quick order. That gives us a headache.

We’ve started to realize also that the asylum in our headscape is where the trauma goes. Yes, it leaks out at times, but that is where it goes. This means that Marcus, Kiera and Queen have access to the trauma. We’ll have to work with him at some point and make things better.
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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Jul 24, 2022 6:44 am

Integration does not always mean that the alter disappears. If you need the alter to stay here, they cannot disappear because you need them.

Before circa 2016 "integration" meant "healing trauma + fusing the alters" but nowadays "integration" means "sharing all ressources and healing all trauma" while "fusing the alters" is its own separate thing.

When everything is "integrated" and all the alters remain it is called "functionnal multiplicity" btw.

But it's completely normal to be afraid of getting better. Getting better means "changing" and change is scary even change for the better! Always start small so you can get used to it and see if you like it or not.

Good luck with the father issue. My own experience is that people who do not know you have DID, do not notice the switches. I have had instances of switching in front of friends, they only laughed (out of surprise) because my voice hand changed and I put this on an autism thing (autistic people tend to have issues managing their voice sometimes) or on "my throat tickles". When I used to switch a lot I could switch like 4 or 5 times in an hour in front of a social worker while taking notes, my writing style would change with each switch and the social worker never commented on this.

The more I ever had to someone thinking I might have DID was "I like you because I never know in advance how you'll be" (as in, clothes, makeup, hairdo, what I'll pick for a snack...) I always explained this as "I like to try new things" and nobody batted an eye.

People are more blind that we imagine them to be.
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Journey thread | DID ressources thread

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Re: Hello And An Introduction

Postby ViTheta » Sun Jul 24, 2022 3:37 pm

Thank you for the clarification. We’re working on being a functioning system and allowing each of us space to feel safe and secure. Some of us are working on remembering what we were before getting lost in the fog. I’m working on healing, and I have help now within and without.

One of my favorite species from the Star Trek franchise is the Trill. They’re humanoids who have these symbiots inside them. Those symbiots look kind of like slugs, but they get passed from one Host to another over the symbiot’s very, very long lifespan. The current host can interact with the past hosts and even draw on their expertise. This can also mean having to deal with the traumas that a past host had to deal with. I kind of see myself like that, at times.

I’ve also been reading up on passive influence, which is part of why I like the Trill analogy. I see that happening a lot. It can be both good and bad at times, and sometimes I find myself having to push back against it or talk one of us down over the things that someone is thinking.

I’ve slowly begun telling my friends about what is going on. I’m scared of telling my male friends since I’m scared of men in general. To date, I’ve only told two of my male friends. All of my female friends now know even though I was scared of telling one of them. I’m finding this to be harder than telling someone I’m lesbian and trans. Luckily, my friends mostly go ‘oh, so that explains it’.

I don’t think I will tell my father or most of my family. I don’t see the need. My sister knows, and she’s the important one.
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