Like many people with a dissociative disorder I have had no real co-consciousness between me and the alters, indeed for as long as I can remember I simply lost time, felt confused and really didn’t grasp what was going on at various times in my life. I would often find people telling me I had switched and done this or that, without any recollection myself, it was to say the least extremely frustrating. I wasn’t able to communicate with my alters and this made it all the more difficult as I could switch without warning and be unable to control it at all. Memories would come flooding back in the night time and I felt confused and in shock and yet never fully understand either, it wasn’t easy and It still isn’t easy today.
I tried the normal journalling that everyone seemed to recommend and it just didn’t work, well not for me. I thought I would never get any awareness of my alters, who in reality are all a part of me. Then recently I started working with a new therapist, who suggested I try talking internally now to someone who is quite analytical it sounded a bit odd, however we decided to give it a go.
Its basically what everyone does I guess, there are times when all of us self talk, tell ourselves something is OK, or that we can do this…when facing something new or scary, so its not as odd as it first seemed.
A few weeks ago I started, and it felt a bit unusual at the beginning however the results have so far been positive. Now I am not having full on conversations with all my alters, that is just an impossibility right now and I’m not sure if it will ever happen, as only time will tell. Indeed we are not talking at all but what has started to happen has been a real surprise, I am feeling my alters well 2 of them at the moment. Feeling is the only way I can describe it as that is exactly what I get their feelings, their emotions and yes I think I have been a bit slow off the mark because initially I only felt the very extremes so I clearly wasn’t being very receptive.
Let me explain in more detail, it started with an awful moment of being distressed, suddenly out of nowhere feeling in the pit of depression, tears were streaming down my face. I couldn’t understand how one minute I had felt absolutely fine and the next I was like this, rocking back and forth and very agitated and anxious I really didn’t get it. But each time once it had passed I acknowledged the feelings internally saying I had recognised them and I was grateful, to be honest it all felt odd and a bit weird but we kept on persevering.
Over time we have felt these feelings again and again, and then on Saturday we had a bit of an epiphany moment, I had recognised the feelings and they were bad, but I acknowledged them straight away and then I lost time. In the period I wasn’t in control of me or my body, the alter who obviously has these feelings came out and she spoke or at least she tried to with my son. When you lose time its quite confusing and I am often grateful that my family or friends can often fill me in with what has happened, I think it would be much harder otherwise.
But once I returned and I was aware she had been in control of me I acknowledged her once again through internal dialogue, my son informed me that she had made it clear she had heard my internal self talk which sounded like a huge positive achievement. I have kept acknowledging her every morning, I can’t hear her, but I feel her so at the moment there are times each day I suddenly feel more anxious, more nervous and my stomach seems to be churning. I realise its just her way of telling me she is there and that these are her feelings and her emotions. I don’t know why she has these emotions or feelings but I know in time I will find out. I don’t think she is a new alter, but one probably who has been around a while except I just haven’t ever been able to feel her before.
Its as if that at the start of 2014, the first brick in my amnesic wall has come lose, possibly fallen out and now I have to work with the help of my Therapist and others to keep on trying to remove more bricks and hopefully listen more so eventually we can communicate with the alters, perhaps even become co-conscious. Now I don’t just have one alter so this process isn’t going to be a quick fix, or a rapid moving of that wall, but what it has shown me is that with a little time, patience and understanding there is hope.
Hope that one day I may actually get to know the parts of me, those parts that when I was younger took the pain and suffering of my abuse and allowed me to live. I have no doubt without dissociating I wouldn’t be here today, and so I owe these parts of me, my alters a great deal. That’s why I will keep on working at this self talk and internal dialogue however strange it may feel at times, because I owe it to all of us.
Copyright DID Dispatches 2014