There are times when I feel I’m my own worst enemy, I seem somehow able to put up barriers and obstacles that impact upon my alters; the other parts of me. These barriers create further chaos in my day to day life and I seem to lose more time as the alters take more control. The reality is of course I dissociate more when I’m anxious or stressed and I guess that’s how I have felt these past few days, more anxious and more stressed.
I believe that the cause of this additional anxiety is a sense that I’m at a point were I can no longer deny my past, no longer deny my alters existence and believe me I have denied so much. I seem to go from logically knowing all I can about dissociation and Dissociative Identity Disorder to spending time living in denial deep within my heart. It’s odd when your head and your heart are at odds with each other and you find yourself at a point of confusion and a plethora of emotions.
I know I’m not alone in struggling with denial after all as I have written before denial is the glue that hold dissociation together, I dissociated as a child to deny my existence, deny I was suffering and being abused. But there has to come a point when you can’t keep denying, can’t keep telling yourself that what you know logically to be right is wrong.
It seems that every time I am aware that I have switched I try and ignore it, deny it, it’s as if I can’t accept that this is me that I have D.I.D. In recent times I have been more aware of some brief episodes of co-consciousness I guess and yet instead of welcoming this, I deny it. That leaves my alters feeling very confused and at times I can only assume distressed. They are trying to let me share control with them and not face those intense periods of amnesia and here I am trying to ruin that.
By questioning their existence I undermine them, I don’t exhibit a willingness to accept them and that doesn’t help with internal communication or working. By freaking out when I lose time and getting angry and annoyed I don’t help the alters to think it’s safe to share with me. When I sit on my way to therapy telling everyone internally it’s my therapy and I have this need to be in control I’m not being fair to any of us. In truth therapy is the one place that they and I should feel safe, safe to be, safe to let out all those feelings and emotions I keep locked inside. But instead of welcoming them to be a part of therapy there are times when I send the opposite message, only to contradict that message the following time when I sit and tell all of me it’s ok to speak out, to come and be in therapy.
No wonder that for me and I can only assume for them too, it feels that every step forward we take there are at least 2 back, I’m not standing still I’m in reverse and that’s scary. I need to learn to trust, trust in therapy to just be me and trust the alters to believe them instead of doubting.
I think part of the issue is that accepting them is accepting the truth of my past, which isn’t going to be easy. I’m anxious I won’t be able to cope with those memories that the alters hold, I know in the past flashbacks have destabilised me and I’m anxious of that happening again. I’m also anxious that I will mess up therapy, say or do something that makes my therapist want to stop working with us. I know these are irrational anxieties, irrational thoughts which are so unlikely to happen and yet I still hold them.
Despite all the anxiety and at times negativity there are positives in all of this, I have a therapist who I feel really understands me, and who I respect. I have the willingness to keep trying even after I mess up and I am more determined than ever that I will keep working on finding a way forward. I want to get to know my alters, to understand them and learn about them and I want to find a way of working with them because I know it’s the only way forward for them and for me.
Copyright DID Dispatches 2014