Our partner

How do I deal with my DID friend?

Forum for significant others, family and friends of people with mental illness to discuss relevant issues they face.
Forum rules
This is a support forum for the family, partners and friends of those with mental health issues. This forum is intended to be a safe place to discuss information, give and receive support and learn about all the issues related to being involved with a person with a disorder. Whilst it can be healthy to express various emotions, please remember to be respectful about the disorder itself. This is a place for constructive discussions, not a venting forum.

The issues experienced by the significant others of those with disorders cannot always be discussed in the other parts of the site in a way that does not trigger those with disorders. Moderators may therefore move threads from other forums into this one at their discretion.

How do I deal with my DID friend?

Postby Leyl4 » Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:30 pm

Hey there, first time writing in here. I hope it will also be the last since the reason I'm writing is an interpersonal problem with a friend of mine who happens to have DID. I'm feeling like a really bad friend overall and the only way I can hope to get better is to make peace with the doubt in my mind.

I feel like I need to give you a bit of context and also to say that all I'm telling you is in good will and I genuinely care about this person. If you'd like to skip the context or feel it isn't necessary skip the entirety of the next paragraph!!

So we've met back when we were still in high school and have been friends ever since. We're extremely close and I feel like we've basically grown up together. We'd see each other pretty frequently despite not being in the same year and we bonded over feeling extremely different from everyone else (not necessarily in a good way). She was this nerdish edgy girl interested in the supernatural and books and that stuff and I was too, so we became best friends (and have been ever since). Throughout the years I've seen, I feel, pretty much every side of her, and we had our ups and downs me being an extremely depressed, angry, suicidal teenager with an abusive family, and her being pretty much the same but (it always seemed to me) in a different, more existential way (I was simply traumatized and needed to deal with the abuse and mental health issues, she didn't have the best family but seemed to be doing fairly decently despite it all).
At some point during the years, I had just got out of HS and was going to University. It was during this first year that I found out with the help of a therapist about my mental health issues, that I of course had already disclosed to her and kind of self-diagnosed with until I actually had the possibility to get professionally diagnosed. In the process of getting the diagnoses and investigating what might be the problem and all, I encouraged her to look inside herself too since she wasn't doing well at the time, to find with the help of a therapist what might be going on. She did not go to a therapist at first (can't remember the reason, probably because her parents didn't want to/couldn’t afford to? Something along those lines), but she did her research. One of my disorders does involve dissociation as a prevalent symptom, and it was me who introduced her to the concept at first. I tried explaining what that was and all the disorders related to it just as potentially useful information. At that point, she said that she really related to my experiences and that might have been the symptom behind what she was experiencing. I was happy to have helped, and would answer her questions when she had some and all.
At some point, she disclosed to me that she might know what she was experiencing, and that it was DID. I already knew about the disorder since I have knowledge in psychology and was very interested in its dynamics and all, but I was still kind of taken aback, because I simply couldn't see her experience as fitting the disorder. Of course I know I wasn't with her 24/7, I couldn't have known, and I'm also aware of DID being a covert disorder and not being easy to spot, so I believed her at face value. I pushed for her to meet with a therapist until she did, and got a diagnosis of PTSD for a medical trauma she'd gone through as a kid, but not a diagnosis for DID because the psychiatrist was convinced any DID traits she might have could be explained by her PTSD. That still makes little sense to me whether she has DID or not, but I'm not in the place to diagnose or undiagnose someone. A few months after this, she stopped going to therapy (not by her own choice I believe) and hasn't been speaking with a therapist for two years or so.

By the way, throughout the past few years, I got to know her system (they're around 20 I believe?) better, and started researching more about the disorder and how to approach it as an external person. What weirds me out is especially the fact that she seems to have gotten worse over the years. And what I mean by that is that not only she claims to suffer from more and more amnesia (only has blackouts when she's alone, she seems to remember things fairly well the rest of the time), but that the persons in her system look like they've gotten... more complex? More overt? The only thing I can compare this to is if someone were to create the outline of a character and then add more and more details to the backstory to create a multifaceted person (not saying they're characters, hope you gte my point). The problem is that I sincerely do not like some of them as people, and I don't know how to approach all this. She had always had some flaws, or stuff that simply didn't vibe with me, but they were more than bearable because they mixed with all her perks and stuff I loved about her. Now it looks like some of the people in her system have become the personification of some of those flaws, and I'm having real trouble pretending like I love them like I love her. Some of them have done me wrong (not big stuff at all, but I tend to forget without forgiving), but none of them is genuinely a bad person. I know I should love all of her, but it's becoming increasingly difficult, and I don't know what to do anymore. It doesn't help that she still seems like she hasn't grown up at all since I met her (her and the other people in her system it seems). I feel like I'm the older one in the relationship and that I'm the only person she can rely on for this kind of stuff, but I don't really want to be. I want her to live freely and enter the adult life and adult world by herself. We live together now with another two roommates that know about my own struggles, but don't know about her DID because she's reluctant to disclose it (and I would never ever force her to), even though it does cause me a fair amount of anxiety every time she drastically changes and I feel like I have to hide it from our roommates (which I know it's me projecting my insecurities onto her and nothing else).

I just don't know what to do and I keep on feeling bad because I'm not someone that can hide their dislike for someone. I also still have problems controlling my anger, and I feel on edge every time someone of her system I don't like comes out and I'm forced to interact with them (since they do try to interact with me, they seem to assume I'm always their friend). I have no idea how to deal with this and the constant feeling of her somehow clinging to her condition and reluctance to live in the real world? That might be another tangent but yeah.

Any advice would be so much appreciated.
Thank you for making it this far
Leyl4
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:17 pm
Local time: Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:18 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: How do I deal with my DID friend?

Postby Snaga » Mon Nov 22, 2021 5:23 am

Hello, and welcome!

Your post has been moved to Significant Others, Friends and Family; however, I'll be linking to this from DID so that interested parties can respond...
Image

Tell someone today that you love them; for Life is short. But scream it at them in Klingon; for Life is also terrifying and confusing.

We do not delete posts.
Let it go.
Without (forum) rules, we all might as well be up in a tree flinging our crap at each other.
User avatar
Snaga
Site Admin
 
Posts: 18509
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 1:58 pm
Local time: Sun Dec 05, 2021 9:18 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: How do I deal with my DID friend?

Postby Leyl4 » Mon Nov 22, 2021 11:10 am

Hello! I apologize, I didn't know exactly where to post... Thank you by the way!
Leyl4
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2021 7:17 pm
Local time: Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:18 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: How do I deal with my DID friend?

Postby Purplesky » Mon Nov 22, 2021 7:40 pm

if she does have DID and there are some you don't get along with, you need to treat them like you would anyone else and set appropriate boundaries, including with your friend if there are things you don't feel you are able to handle.

it sounds like she needs a therapist though. no one can act as a therapist and shouldn't take that on, especially when dealing with their own struggles. she has to take the steps to get professional help and /or work on herself and better herself. it's not your job.

if she doesn't want to get help, it might get to the point that you need to separate yourself from her and either move elsewhere or ask her to leave. it isn't healthy to be wrapped up in someone else's mental health issues like that where you take on their stuff emotionally.
Purplesky
Consumer 1
Consumer 1
 
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Sep 25, 2021 12:36 am
Local time: Sun Dec 05, 2021 7:18 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: How do I deal with my DID friend?

Postby Eliseahorse » Thu Nov 25, 2021 8:14 am

Our system became more overt once we were somewhere safe and I'm sure from the outside it made us look more crazy. Don't expect your friend to age linearly but do emphasize the need for responsibility. We have a 7 year old and a teen alter, they approach life with the outlooks appropriate for those age groups but because we have expressed the need for responsibility stuff does get done. Have a list of chores and work out who needs what for motivation. Our 7 year old gets paid in strawberry laces if ever he does housework before wandering off to the PlayStation.
Body 31
Co-concious system known collectively as Eli
M 30
M24
F10-17
F31
NB19
2 partially integrated alters
Peter (7)
Unknown
User avatar
Eliseahorse
Consumer 5
Consumer 5
 
Posts: 140
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2020 12:04 pm
Local time: Sun Dec 05, 2021 3:18 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Significant Others, Family & Friends Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 60 guests