So my good and very awesome blogger friend bee wrote a guest post for my blog. She wrote about her struggle with the prospect of having did, the post is below, I encourage you to check out her blog the bee writes, and follow her on twitter, links at the bottom of this post!
There are these parts in me that are not quite my own:
Suddenly I have trouble remembering routine tasks I do daily.
Suddenly I like things I would usually not like.
And I cant remember about one-third of my life.
Writing it down like this makes it sound scarier than I usually feel about it. Knowing this is part of me for a very long time made me get used to it, I guess. But ever since I read The Flock by Joan Frances Casey in the early nineties one question bubbled under the surface: Are there more than one of me?
I clearly remember how her book made me feel. It was not this uncomfortable feeling, you get, when you read someone’s experience that is so alien to you, that it is hard to comprehend. No, it was a feeling of: That is me! I know exactly what she is experiencing!
It is hard to describe the chaos of feelings, thoughts and streams of consciousness that went on inside of me. There was something like: At last I know what is wrong with me as well as NO! That is too crazy. Never tell anyone about it! And that is exactly what I did until this spring.
After I read The Flock I became more and more aware of these different streams of consciousness. They are not like proper voices that I hear. They are more like thoughts that are not my own. Some of them try to communicate with me. Some work against me. And for most of my life, I have worked hard to ignore them.
I assume I am lucky that none of these other parts ever got the chance to take over my actions fully. There have been situations where I now believe that someone else acted. One was when I was seven and my grandmother found me on the toilet and I had no idea how I got there. Another was just after I learned driving. I lived in a rural area and had to drive through a wood to get home. One evening I drove on a straight stretch after which the street goes curvy and suddenly there was this thought: What if I just drive straight ahead into these trees?
I was not suicidal at all at that time. I was terrified and I cannot remember how I got home. I did. In one piece. But imagine how you try to make sense of an experience like that? I did not. The only chance I had then was to suppress the memory and the experience. After all, I had not read The Flock yet. It is amazing how humans can manipulate what they are aware of and what not.
After reading The Flock I somehow just accepted the fact, that there might be parts that are not me. I decided to deal with it by myself because I did not trust the state health system in Germany to be able to deal with something like that. And I did not want to end up on a closed ward. So I told these parts to just get on with it, to let me deal with reality and not to bother me.
To a certain degree, they did. There have been situations at work where I suddenly did something I would never usually do: not take temperatures of hot chickens before selling or not following reduction procedure. Usually, I am rather meticulous in following the rules. I experienced those times like someone else was acting and I just sat inside my body watching what was going on knowing exactly it wasnt right. But usually, I got on fine with my life.
And as the human mind is amazing in filtering out what does not seem logic I just took those times as PTSD related problems. That is what I am diagnosed with so far because of abuse in my childhood.
So what has changed?
About four years ago I interviewed Sarah E Olson on my old blog and a couple of months later I reviewed her book Becoming One in which she describes her journey from healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder. And the whole inner chaos started again like when I read The Flock. It got so bad that I reached out for help from the Wellbeing Service several times since. Tentatively I tried to convey my suspicion but somehow my symptoms did not fully fit the DID questionnaire I filled in then. So I got treated for PTSD both with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR). I experienced both as very helpful and still use many of the tools I learned then.
However, time and time again I got into a situation at work where I suddenly just could not go on working. Anxiety does not describe what I was feeling only a huge inner chaos and the inability to use the tools learned that in other situations worked perfectly fine. The only way I can describe it is again Someones taking over and the only way out was literally to get out of work.
At therapy, I was asked to find the trigger for these situations but as far as I am concerned there are no triggers as such. I have been in similar stressful situations and my tools worked perfectly fine and suddenly out of nowhere nothing works. So I decided I needed a radical change. I left my job and asked for help from the Wellbeing Service again.
But again I felt I could not trust the state health system this time in the United Kingdom. So I researched organisations that are working with Dissociative Identity Disorders and found out that close by in Norwich is the Pottergate Centre. This is a charity that offers a wide range of services both to professionals and clients to make DID more known and better understood. They suggested for me to fill in two of their questionnaires developed to find out if there is a possibility of living with DID. I filled them in and send them back for assessment and alas this time the outcome was different than with the Wellbeing Service. There is a possibility that I do live with it however, a proper diagnosis is needed.
At the time I was in contact both with my GP and the Wellbeing Service and I let both of them know about the assessment. My GP said the Wellbeing Service is responsible. The Wellbeing Service said they are not qualified enough to get me a proper diagnosis and referred me to another charity who helps clients living with DID. They cant get me a diagnosis either. So here I am back at square one.
This situation makes me doubt my suspicion about living with DID more than ever. I am not sure where to go from here. To be fair, I did not expect to get help from the Wellbeing Service. The condition is still just too misunderstood to become mainstream and the National Health Service is just too stretched to make it mainstream. I feel though to be able to get to grips with my mental health I need a proper diagnosis. So what to do? For now, I am not sure. My best bet is probably to work from home where I can manage my mental health and earning enough to pay for a diagnosis privately. But it makes me feel confused and left out more than ever.
To be honest, I have ignored my feelings about this outcome up until now. I expected it but I am deeply disappointed and frustrated. It just feeds so much into my core belief that I am left out and do not get the help I need. Over the years I have gotten a lot of help from all over. So my narrative isn’t true. I am aware of it. But there are these parts that feel they need attention. And they can’t get them.
And I have no idea where all this is going to lead… the only thing I know is: Dissociative Identity Disorder or not – that is the question!