Holiday Planning with Dissociative Identity Disorder – it’s different!

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This week I have been busy preparing for a forthcoming vacation, umlike many people I have to plan and prepare for all the different parts of me, and that makes it more of a challenge. If there is one thing I have learnt as a result of my D.I.D its that nothing is easy and preparation and planning are key, that applies to holidays even more so.

Approximately 15 months ago my daughter and I decided to book a vacation with a difference, we are blessed to be able to save enough to take holidays and I value the chance to have a break from the pressures of daily life. Unlike most people though I travel as a multiple and that means choosing vacations that are suited to a vast array of different ages, I am after all a person who is fragmented and who has different alters of varying age.

However I need to ensure I cater for everyone and that isn’t always easy, I know I will switch alters on holiday and therefore need to take things along with us suited to a variety of ages. I need to accept that it will probably be hard for my daughter as she will at times feel under pressure to make sure we are safe, happy and remember things like taking our medication.

This trip I will have no PA support and that makes it hard for me and those travelling with me,  I never just travel with one other person, I usually go with at least two people so they can each have a break from the intensity of me, all of me. This time my mother in law will be my additional  travelling companion, thankfully she is able to comprehend Dissociative Identity Disorder and isn’t phased by the younger parts of me.

The planning of vacations is always a challenge, where to go, which alters take priority over choosing and who will be comfortable with our choice. I have learnt it is better that I choose the destination and it helps if I try and cater for a wide range of alters both young and old, last time we attended a D.I.D conference in Florida so the adult me was happy and the younger me’s we’re catered for too by the magic of Disney. This time we are going to attempt to see the Northern lights the Aurora Borealis in Norway a more adult destination which could be more of an issue, I am just hoping that with forward planning we are able to entertain all the different parts of me.

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I am consciously aware that I need to pack activities for all ages,  so yesterday as I packed I had to ensure we didn’t just take an adult orientated perspective; that has meant downloading a variety of children’s books suitable for my younger me’s alongside a book my teenage me’s will enjoy.  My art equipment is coming along too as creativity is one way my alters can communicate with me, it’s vitally important to our stability and our day to day routine.

Like many families who are facing a long trip I have packed treats for the journey which both I and my younger parts of me will be happy with so alongside the grown up healthy snack bar are sweets designed for children.

The problem is of course I am only packing for me, one body, yet because we are fragmented we are a collection of parts whose individual needs need to be taken account of, therefore it is quite a lot like taking an entire family on holiday. The downside is of course I have only ever have one persons luggage allowance which can make packing a huge challenge.

So after much careful decision making, planning and preparation I have squashed quite a lot into my cases, it’s amazing how much you can fit into that suitcase especially if you sit on them to fasten. I’m quite surprised that the zips haven’t burst open yet.

Of course I have to hope that together we can enjoy our time away, and that we are able to create memories  that will last us a lifetime. I have to hope that we can enjoy  ourselves and that we are able to have fun, something we find really challenging and perplexing.

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Fun is one of the things my psychologist has challenged me to try, we have together accepted that it’s something I find quite alien and so it’s not a natural concept for me. I am aiming however to try and be at least willing to tackle this new challenge and redress some of the damage my childhood has caused. Fun wasn’t in my childhood that much and so today despite three children it is still quite alien to me.

Alongside trying to have fun, the work of  therapy will continue I have my sessions still booked in for the next few weeks, the wonders of modern technology meaning thankfully I don’t need to have a huge break. I’m grateful really to be able to have that time as it will allow me an opportunity to talk things over with him and hopefully continue to move forwards. All I have to do now of course is remember the time difference and hope for good internet or phone signal.

This evening as I wait to depart I can only hope that all my planning will be a success, that all of my alters all the different fragmented parts of me do enjoy this time away.  I have to hope that we are able to be who we are, a person who lives each and every day dealing with the challenges of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

I will subject to internet capabilities be blogging whilst I’m away, writing about the trials and tribulations of holidaying as a multiple, I hope that people find it useful and helpful.  The posts may not be as frequent as usual, so please bear with me and hopefully when I return I will be able to report back more fully  on how things went.

Copyright DID Dispatches 2014

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