I personally was abandoned during my last hospitalization for symptoms my husband caused by not coming home after a gig he started DJing because after fourteen years with a company as an employee then general contractor then back to employee fired him for abusing his authority as a supervisor.
At first there was no issue at the weddings and his first regular gig. He came home ASAP and would text me loving words and reassurance. After all we dated and lived together for four years before we actually married he understood how I worked and as long as he got right back to me within a few hours I was ok.
Then he started another regular gig that slowly over a year and a half, of the end of our nine year relationship, he started going long periods without checking in. Then he started making excuses as to why he couldn’t come home until later than normal like 3:30 am even though the bar closed at 2 pm and he was not an employee so he could leave when he wanted.
Eventually the time became 4 am until it was 8 am. And no calls to let me know he was alive unless I threatened to come up to where he was and make a seen. Then it was my fault for not trusting him because he was just playing pool with his friends.
I couldn’t sleep until he came home since we first moved in together and no matter how far he went if he had to stay over night he took me with him. Because he had gone to all my dr appointments regarding my DID and learned the caring and feeding of ‘us’ over six years before he checked out emotionally on us.
I was lacking sleep, my alters were yelling at the alter that wanted him, married him and fought to stay alive for the love that I was given.
I was working a regular job because he lost his job even though I was legally disabled and were both advised by two separate doctors who strongly advised that I not work in a public setting but to go back to working for myself doing skin where it was one on one and I was less likely to switch during an interaction because I would be more relaxed in a relaxing environment to work in and be in charge of if I was having a bad day. Once in 2005 and once during a pre-marital counseling session I insisted on before I would marry him because I was scared of exactly what happened would happen.
My husband texted my sister that he moved out after he left our family counseling meeting that afternoon where he cried that my meltdown made him feel unloved and promised he would go to marriage counseling when I went home.
She gave him until that evening at 10 pm when the phones were shut off to tell me himself. At 9:30 pm My sister called and three way phoned me with my best friend of 28 years to ask if he had called and I said not yet and asked why only to be told what she was told.
I went into shock and called him and did everything a wife would do when devastated by such news I cried, I asked questions he wouldn’t answer and he promised to come get me the following afternoon when I lied and said I would be released and when ‘Rachel’ finally hung up just before it was automatically disconnected and went hysterical and requested to be sedated before Jackie came out and hurt us.
Before the meds arrived the others had their fill of hysterics and elected the ‘host’ to take charge and ripped ‘Rachel’ out of ‘the chair’. Suddenly the tears instantly stopped there was no headache because ‘the host’ was not the one who had been crying and the redness disappeared. I know this because it is in my medical chart and pieced together from my sister and friend. ‘Rachel’ won’t discuss what was said with him and none of us were ‘present’.
We put ‘Rachel’ to sleep and our meds were given to us.
I have been had eight significant relationships in my lifetime that lead to various paths of life. In one I lost my virginity (consensually) and lived with him and his guardian who inherited him from his best friend who was killed by a train when he was young.
In two I wound up common law married to two guys five years younger than me because of the alter that was dating them was seventeen herself.
Two I married and divorced one for loving me too much and another for not loving me enough.
And my two favorite we my friends with benefits that dated my alter that did not believe in commitment but secretly longed to have them ask to date us.
And the female massage therapist who dated my bisexual alter for eight months only to have her leave to tour the United States as a professional exotic dancer and asked us to come along and we were too scared to be too far from home.
Home was the security blanked that was required to keep us at ease with one another. The further we got from it the more Xanax was required to keep from having panic attacks.
The one thing that was for certain. Each person dated one specific alter and it’s demise was that when another alter felt threatened in any way about the body and how it was being operated would come out to sabotage the relationship.
Janie was that alter…she was bisexual and wild. She would do the opposite of what was requested of her if she didn’t like the tone it was said in. She is the body’s nemesis and is the strongest alter because of all the pain she carries.
Just like when the timer on a relationship goes off…so will she.
The worst part of letting people in is the fear of rejection or of seeing fear in the other persons eyes after you’ve had an ‘episode’.
I personally have seven alters with various personalities and jobs. They hold on to the memory and sometimes when I grow tired the easier it is for one of them to take over and run the body for a while. We’re learning to share time.
There are people that ground us to the alter they are actually friends with. Only when agitation or anxiety grab ahold of us do the alters that tend to hurt the body or those around us come out and after our tantrum has ran its course the calmness and tiredness occur and we need to lay down and nap.
Switching takes a lot of energy and when a person switches there is no telling how often it will happen and only after it’s over do you spend a lot of time trying to get everyone’s side from within to piece together the reasons the person that is privy to watch this happen is looking at you as if your head had spun around and you’ll find in most cases you’ve said things you can’t take back.
Dating is very difficult to do. Not so much for the one with DID but for the brave men and women who are brave enough to try to love several people in very different ways.
It’s difficult to ‘come out’ to a potential suitor or friend. People with DID that I have met late in life in my haven of Timberlawn. It was the only place we felt completely safe to be free. This caused a lot of switching but we had never felt happier in our life then among others like us. Because someone else could truly sympathize and know your struggles it was like being seen for the first time.
As a child I was blessed with a beauty that boys found attractive and had several admirers but the thought of being alone with a boy of any age terrified every part of me because of our previous experiences with members of the opposite sex. They couldn’t be trusted alone with us.
So we learned to push the ones who tried to love us away and the closer they tried to get parts would throw up the walls and lash out in some cases into violent outbursts.
In second grade a boy looked up my dress while I played alone with my ‘friends’ on the monkey bars. I jumped down and kicked him in the groin and walked off. Trouble was when we were sent to the principles office the memory just wasn’t there.
In third grade a boy stole a kiss and One alter punched him in the face and later on that week another kept stealing his pencils and withheld it until he kissed her.
This was a trend of behavior that plagued my childhood way into teen hood. The only two we let escape are two of the most wonderful men I am blessed to have in my life. John who we met at the body’s age of twelve and Tom who we met at the difficult age of fifteen.
When faced with the choice of allowing the parts of us that adored them to have them and eventually destroying the friendship they made us feel they had for us or letting them go by rejecting the subtle hints they gave us and hold onto them forever
we choose to let them go and sat back and celebrated their marriage and birth of their offspring with John and is wonderful wife ester because our friendship was pure and when Tom joined the military we said goodbye and respectfully bowed out when he married and had a child of his own.
But the ache wasn’t there. We saved them from us is what we thought and felt.
DID is something you can’t hide and shouldn’t hide from someone you are interested. Trust me they WILL eventually come to the conclusion that your either crazy or psychotic because your hot then cold and she/he can tell the difference but the person with DID can’t and quite often won’t remember what just happened when they suddenly ‘come to’. It feels like amnesia.
Missing pieces of time that you eventually can learn to listen to someone to fill you in on what just happened from within.
So because of these types of examples we choose to instead reject those that try to get close to avoid having to ‘come clean’ about what’s really going on.
They deserve to choose to get out then and there with ‘fair warning’ and if they stay give them a learning curve. After all you had to take time to learn to pretend to be a ‘only one’ too…
I wasn’t diagnosed correctly for most of my life. I didn’t Dr shop or even know what type of Dr I even needed so I would stay with a therapist and counselor for several years and only change if my insurance did.
Being misdiagnosed is very disheartening because you are left feeling that your alters are considered your symptoms. Two of my alters are very young and two are teens and the rest are adults. The emotion caused from the memories they held for me would come pouring out and pills would be thrown in my growing medicine cabinet to dull them out.
I became a shadow walking around never really feeling seen. The alters started to run the body and confusion became the norm. Pieces of time would be unaccounted for. My behavior affected my relationships with the people I dated as well as my family.
In 2005 I suffered a mental breakdown and after swallowing a bottle full of Xanax my step sister took me to a hospital that people from across the country would travel seeking help and had great success.
Timberlawn facility is not much to look at but they offer a trauma center and offer specialist that have dealt various kinds of results that the trauma caused by a wide range of reasons.
You are required to participate in group and one on one counseling as well as the classes the offer to help release your feeling that we keep bottled in to try to appear normal to those around us.
Pretending and playing make believe was us trying to appear to others as someone who was strong and independent which often causes you to appear unapproachable which is the goal. However, this is very tiring and eventually something can cause that wall to collapse and you either give into the depression or you seek help.
In my case I possessed an alter that goes into survival mode when my alter that feels everything so intensely that she was still cutting and fantasizing about the peaceful calm that she felt could only be obtained through the death of the body.
Timberlawn was my second facility to have visited and initially I was terrified of everyone around me until I actually found someone in that group that was like me. Splintered.
When I was young I suffered various traumas which caused my mind to split into pieces. As far as I am aware they first came to be when I was four. My mom would catch me playing with my ‘friends’ alone in my room with such enthusiasm and zest. She told others I had an active imagination when I would be off alone talking to myself and answering back in other tones of voices.
When I turned eight the voices became a torment that became difficult to hide from others. Some of them were tired of hiding while others were to ashamed to be made known. I took several aspirin to end it when the voices started to yell and confuse me everywhere I went. I would look in the mirror and be constantly surprised at who looked back because the mirror in my mind where the voice came from looked different every time I did. It didn’t work and I began to cut to feel anything other then the pain I felt from several people living inside of me. Each holding onto memories they remembered for me so I could survive the anguish that ate at my core.
When I was fifteen I went to live with the mother who abandoned me when I was four and my ‘friends’ were triggered by this change and reacted by becoming my worst enemy and flashes of memories that were not mind began to pop in and out of my mind and words that didn’t belong to me came out in voices that were not my own. I decided to cut my wrists in a warm bath and it was the first time I noticed a ‘Switch’ my alter calmly climbed out of the tub wrapped a towel around us and walked up to my mother and calmly said. ‘Look at what we’ve done’. My mother kept me home from school for a day and never uttered a word about it. I went to school wearing a black turtleneck and walked straight into the building and into the guidance counselors office sat calmly down and pulled up my sleeves and showed him my wrists and said ‘I think we need help’ and then pushed me back in the chair and I burst into tears. I was sent home and waited until my step-mother to pick me up in South Carolina and flew me back to my father in Texas. My mother still refused to address the issue and only expressed confusion.
After I was taken to my first psychiatrist which was something my father did not believe in doing but was persuaded by my step mother that it was necessary. He explained that unless I threatened to hurt myself or others that whatever I said would be held in a Patient – Therapist confidentiality. For the first time I spoke of my babysitters and the first time I was raped at four and then by my uncle from the age of 6 – 10 each time switching so that it seemed that I was standing in the corner of the room watching these confessions and a tidal wave of pain suddenly made everything go quiet for the first time in my life and I was left sitting alone in that chair looking at this person and waiting for him to tell me why this was happening to ‘Us’.
He brought my father in and told him everything and diagnosed me paranoid schizophrenic with suicidal tendencies. The drive home was a surprising reaction from my father that made everything go black. When I came to my father had pulled over the side of the road and looking at me like he didn’t recognize me. Later that evening he recanted to my step mother while we listened from our room. He had overreacted and said that he may have made me feel like it was my fault because he had said angrily that ‘Well now I guess we will have to turn my uncle into the police.’ and I tried to jump out of the vehicle but he caught me by the shirt. My little one Cindy Lou said to us that daddy had scared her and Amber said that he made her feel like it was our fault.
This was when I officially began my battle to survive a crowded mind with each year that brought on struggles and as I grew older we discovered tricks to hiding from people the truth of a mental illness that took us down various paths in life and to have been able to make it to the age of forty which is an amazement to all of us inside of me. If it were not for the life lessons learned and the children we were given to raise my story would have ended so much sooner.
I am a part of a system created to keep my body alive.