My adventures today really highlight what it’s like having Dissociative Identity Disorder and the complexities of living as someone with various parts or alters. I ventured to the Lake District National Park and a place called Grizedale Forest, it is an area of dense forest with various woodland walks and country sculpture trails. It’s the perfect place for someone with young alters as they have been able to have time today when I have taken a back seat and let them assume control of this body we share.
This has meant that at one point today I was being the very sensible, capable adult that I assume people see when they look at me, well I do have the body of a mid to late forties woman. Then without so much the blink of an eye I have been the little parts of me, gasping in awe at the colours of autumn leaves and kicking those leaves. My younger parts of me were desperate to do the children’s trail which featured the characters from the ‘Gruffalo’, a children’s book, not that I or they have ever read this book before. However they can read it now as it appears we have purchased a copy of that book today, which is fine except I wasn’t planning on spending the £7 it cost on a children’s book!
My teen parts have had the opportunity to do art, and to be fair they have shared that time with other parts to, so we ended up with a collective piece of artwork. If that collaboration hadn’t occurred I would have probably had to do a number of pieces of art, so I am glad the teen part concerned worked with the other parts of me. All of these changes in one day gets confusing for all concerned, me, the alters and those with us; who I’m sure must wonder at times who I am.
The reality is of course that everything that has happened today has involved me, it’s just there are different parts of me because basically I am fragmented. Being fragmented means I don’t always have control of this body we share when the other parts of me take over. Sometimes today it’s felt like I am watching them (the alters) but unable to intercede or prevent any actions a bit like being a back seat passenger in a car. At others I have not a clue what has happened unless other people tell me, I not so much a back seat driver at these times but somewhere hiding in the trunk of the car.
It’s quite funny to recall today thinking I have been switching all over the place, internal dialogue has been nearly non stop all day. Be that teen parts or other adult me’s wanting to let me know their views or express their emotions, I know at least one teen alter was pleased she could take photographs of the landscape. Whilst an adult alter was non too pleased at strolling in the rain, and rather put out that little parts thought it funny to keep taking down our hood, so we got wet.
Yes having D.I.D is a constant surprise to me and those who know me, today it’s felt at times like I’m taking an entire family on a day out. Trying to accommodate the wishes and desires of many different alters who have differing likes and dislikes and need vastly different things to satisfy them.
I find having days like today tiring, but I also find them beneficial too, they allow me to juggle better the fact I have different alters. They allow me a chance to practice in a safe environment sharing my time and giving control to the alters on a pre planned basis. It offers the ideal opportunity to practice using internal dialogue and enhance internal cooperation, which will hopefully lead to me being able to use these techniques to help with day to day life.
Yes it has been a busy day in ways those without D.I.D would not understand, most strangers who walked passed us today wouldn’t have realised what was happening. Yet if the result of such confusing and tiring days is enhanced opportunities to work as a system, that’s positive. If the things we have done today are worthwhile, life enhancing and beneficial in the long term that’s progress, real tangible progress.
copyright DID Dispatches 2014