What is DID

DID stands for Dissociative Identity Disorder, the former Multiple Personality Disorder.
Everybody has more or less the ability to dissociate. Picture yourself in a train or a car, sometimes you don't realize everything you see and were you drove. You drive, but you can't remember the way you drove, you dissociated.
Also daydreaming is dissociation, or reading a book and forget everything around you. Dissociation is getting lost from the reality. This doesn't mean that you have DID because nobody is born with this "disorder" and it is not something you develop without a reason. When a child is young and he or she is exposed to repeated extreme traumatic situation it has the ability to create other "personalities" , also called alters, because his or her own personality isn't completely developed yet. He or she creates more alters so that she doesn't have to undergo all the violence.

There are different opinions about DID. Some say it doesn't exist. Some say DID is a sort of hypnose. Some see people who live in a system with DID as totally different persons, some say it is only one person with a wrong vision to the reality.
I am not a professional, although I can say that I know DID from the inside out. I can only tell you my opinion and how our system works.

We are different people sharing one body. Some of us can talk to each other, this is called co-consciousness, some are not even aware of the fact that they are not alone, their time lost is called amnesia.
The alter's job is to protect the host personality (the child who was born) from the memory of the trauma, therefore, it is not necessary for all alters to look and act differently than the host. There are typical types of alters: A couple of them can be:
* depressed, exhausted host.
* strong, angry protectors.
* scared, hurt children.
* helpers or innerself helpers.
* cult alters (often followers of the cult)

During the abusive situation a systems usually functions well. When you grow up with violence and hurt you know how to behave to make as less trouble as you can. All alters have their own jobs. When alters don't know about the others he or she might find himself in weird situations, like not knowing were you are and how you got there, but since the whole world around them is crazy with all the abuse you just accept it as good and as bad as possible.
The problems for multiples start mostly when they are out of that abusive situation were it was necessary to use DID. Now the different alters don't have their "jobs" anymore and will start looking for other jobs.
It is most of the time then when the host finds herself different, not to mention crazy.
Only intensive therapy and cooperation can make a system function well again. This can be as one person after integration or as a system.

Alters can be male or female, young or old. In our system we see some alters and they look different, some have blond hair, some have brown her, long hair, short hair…..all is possible.
When one alter is sick that doesn't automatically mean that the whole system is sick. One day our host had a bladder infection. I didn't have any complaints but went to the doctor because she doesn't like to go to doctors herself. I was totally healthy. Because our host kept having problems she went herself a week later and it was then that they discovered the infection.

DID is complicated. For the person who has it and for the people who don't have it. I can only say, believe what you were told. Most survivors hear over and over again "they won't believe you". It is so important that we learn that they lied, they what they did was bad, that we reacted healthy in a sane situation!

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