Over the last few days I have been so much more aware of my switching from one alter to another, it’s certainly felt a lot more chaotic to me at least. So as I write this I am reflecting upon recent days where I know I can’t deny I have switched, I have felt the rapidly changing emotions, I have been only too aware of the fact that I have confused people by my reactions and frequently changing opinions.
Yesterday was a family celebration and as a parent I was glad to be attending my daughters graduation, except it wasn’t just me that was there. Yes my daughter only required one guest ticket for this body, called mum, but I am aware that at least different alters were present.
One of my younger parts liked the fact she could dress up and I am sure it will be her cheeky grin that appears on the family group photograph and not my smile, I know she was there as I suddenly felt my emotions fluctuate and I was gripped in terror at the crowds of people there, something I have come to realise she finds difficult.
One of the more protective alters became evident after the event, simply because I realised we had replied to an email in a not so polite manner, using language I wouldn’t personally use. So whilst I didn’t sense them at the time, I could tell they had been present by their actions. Finally of course I as mum was also present and able thankfully to witness the moment she graduated, I was anxious that I might not get that moment but that another part of me would.
Today back home and well it’s been a rollercoaster ride, One minute I said I was hungry and when someone suggested all the things I could eat, the response they received from us was ” I’m not hungry”, in just a few seconds we had switched alters and suddenly the part that was me and hungry had gone and in its place an alter who didn’t want food.
I sensed the changing rapid emotion swings, from feeling ok to sad and then from elated to flat. I switched on and off all day long, even at one point not recognising someone who is very much a familiar face and part of my daily life.
I didn’t realise of course all of this myself, some of it needed pointing out to me. I was recognising the changing emotions, and witnessed the perplexed looks from those around me as my behaviour changed. But I am aware of other things simply because the people around me have been kind enough to explain to me what I have been like at times today. Their honesty has been critical in helping me to deal with the chaos of my life, and without it I would feel even more perplexed and confused and have periods of this day which I could only describe as blank.
Distressed by my own awareness of the frequent switches I asked my family why they felt today was so bad, the response was this day was just normal and I often switch alters. In other words its normal for us to constantly change my mind, lose time, lose items, forget important information and basic details ;that cannot be explained by just normal forgetfulness, and have rapidly changing moods.
The difficulty for me is that I don’t often recognise or feel my switching, so on days like today Its hard and difficult for me to accept my behaviours and feelings, I guess this is in part due to the fact that when you more aware then you can’t deny it’s happening, instead I am having to face the reality that this is who we are.
The reality is we are a multifaceted individual, a person made up of many parts.. We are a collective group of Alters, who together make up the person we are today. Yet without each fragment, each alter we would most probably not even exist today, because as a child we could never have endured what we did, if we hadn’t been able to dissociate.
For all the challenges that switching alters brings they are nothing compared to what we have endured in our childhood. Recognising this helps us to appreciate that we can cope with this emotional roller coaster of a ride that we find ourselves on.
Life with dissociative identity disorder is never easy, but I know it is only a part of who we are, like all other medical conditions it doesn’t have to define the person, it doesn’t have to define me.