Christmas can mean many things to different people but to children it is a magical time as they wait excitedly for Santa’s arrival, the same goes for my younger alters who in recent years have begun to enjoy the true magic of Christmas.
So this past week my younger alters have been excited and nervous all at the same time, there are those who wanted Santa to come and visit them, and then I had those who are terrified of the holidays and all the memories that flood back, they dread this time of year, yet secretly wish for a Christmas like everyone else.
Its odd for me as an adult to feel all the mixed emotions that come with this holiday season, parts of me are captivated by the magic of hoping Santa arrives and yet I as an adult am busily planning for the special day. Christmas is one of those rare times when I am able to see all three of my adult children around the dinner table at once, that brings its own joy and happiness.
So I decided I should write about our Christmas, not just from my view point but through the eyes of my younger alters too who see the whole period in a much different way to me the adult mum of three. I have no idea how this will go but here goes:
Some of the Little Alters : We saw Santa at the village market last week, he wasn’t the real one just one of his helpers cos well the real one would be in the north pole getting ready to deliver lots of gifts. He smiled at us and gave us a chocolate that was good, as normally we get left out cos he sees us as a big person which Carol is but we aren’t. It was exciting and we saved the chocolate till the day as that meant we could look at it and think he was coming.
We had told Carol and her children what we wanted from Santa, we don’t ask for lots as that wouldn’t be fair, lots of people don’t get anything so we just like to have a few things. Carol said we had to get to sleep the night he came, it wasn’t easy but we did, as we didn’t want him to not call. In the morning our stocking was there by her bed and that was great, we had chocolate and boring socks and small things for everyone. We had to share the stocking so some things weren’t for us but well its good to get anything. We watched cartoons Christmas ones are the best and it was fun, we like cartoons at any time. When Carol’s children came we got to open more presents, some crayons and colouring sheets, more sweeties, more socks, and then we got our main thing we had asked for a small cuddly snow dog, like in the cartoon and well we got him he is so cute and so good. We had to take care of him cos we had a real doggy visiting who might eat him…eek! So we put him on our bed next to Ted, she is our best toy ever and she looks after him. Christmas is fun, but then its good cos now we can enjoy it and before we couldn’t, Carol’s children have taught us that Christmas is nice and not a bad time which is great, a bit odd but great too.
Christmas is magical, Santa comes and if your good you get presents and you can ask for things just not too many, its not all about that though its about the birth of a baby and Carol let us watch a cartoon film about the first Christmas too so we remember the real reason for Christmas. One of Carol’s friends even got us a gift its a story book so they even get that we are here and that’s good. not being ignored is nice, we are here just hard to get seen by people who don’t know us, but we are a part of Carol. When we were little Christmas wasn’t fun and now it is that’s good and we are lucky we now have good Christmas.
A Different alters views: I hate Christmas its scary and bad, I get frightened as it gets near and my tummy churns inside worrying about it. I hope it passes without trouble, yet I know I will remember the past. I woke on Christmas Eve and remembered, I won’t explain what, just that its not good, I felt frightened and scared, its not easy because everyone else is excited and I am not, I can’t help it I just remember too much. I want so much to be like them, to feel excitement and feel good but inside I feel bad and I know I don’t get presents well not the ones you’d want, I’d be scared if I got presents, just in case. Carol tries to tell me to not worry and she cries too for she gets why I feel frightened. Bad things don’t happen anymore and that is good but I think I just can’t forget and until I can I won’t enjoy it like the others do, maybe one day I will.
Christmas holds so many memories for me, and my alters that its a cacophony of emotions and I just have to weave my way through them. It isn’t such an easy time for some of me and so I try very hard to make the day better each year than the last in the hope that for all of me it will become a period of joy and happiness for all the right reasons.
This year we did survive most of Christmas day, yes we had tears and yes we did hibernate for a few hours in the afternoon, but we managed to survive more hours this year than last. We did end the day with a smile on our face and with a feeling of contentment inside. For me like most mums the day was a mix of cooking, eating, socialising and the regular routine of watching the Queens speech and evening TV.
I think like most I ate far more than I should and we probably have some presents which for an adult seem unusual, but for a multiple seem just fine, the Peppa pig chocolates are great, the colouring sheets and crayons are fantastic, as is the snow dog and the book bought us by dear friends. We also had the great gifts that were bought for me the adult, my favourite perfume, a recently released CD, and a book I desperately wanted, alongside many more that were received with real gratitude and heartfelt thanks.
But the best thing was spending time with the family who accept me just as I am, a multiple, a person who through no fault of my own just happens to have Dissociative Identity Disorder. Acceptance was the best gift this year, alongside true love and affection from those who matter the most, my families cards are not written just to me, but to me and co. and well that means so much for I know it is not easy for them to comprehend this condition, a condition that in reality probably saved my life as a child.
Christmas this year was a success, we coped and we survived, even those parts of me that find it terrifying. We are now enjoying the holiday season instead of dreading it and for that I am so grateful.
If you have DID or any dissociative disorder, I hope like me you have had a good holiday season but most of all I hope you have had one were you have felt accepted, just as you are. Dissociative disorders are nothing to be ashamed of, they come out of children utilising dissociation to survive the unimaginable, they are a sane reaction to an insane set of circumstances. I have no issue in saying I am Carol, I am a multiple, I have D.I.D… So What! its who I am and I am proud to be a survivor, I hope you are too.
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Copyright: DIDdispatches 2013