DID is painful

Hi all,

I'm relatively new to these posts it have been observing for a while. Not sure how to say it but sometimes I feel like a freak and other times I feel completely and absolutely normal. I hate seeing all the confusion and chopping and changing within we. Its brutal, horrific, horrible and traumatic needless to say. Sometimes parts of we can pick it up so quickly and other times I bury my head in the sand as it's too overwhelming. At the moment it's just too much and I don't want to deal with it. And yet I'm forced to deal with it by my daily triggers. Sometimes I don't know who I am and in some ways it was better not knowing how extreme my symptoms are. And yet it wasn't as I was completely taken for a ride by 3 therapists back then. My life's been one massive struggle since then to be able to put the pieces of my life or our lives as we stand corrected! I've been shattered inside to the point that 1 plus 1 was difficult to articulate and answer. Everything was a mess and nightmare and my DID was at its worst. It's got better as I've done lots of recovery work on my own in those 5 years with the help of 1 therapist for 2 years (24 visits). I do it by myself mostly as I'm sick and tired of having to re tell my story over and over again over the past 17 years or so since I was studying psychology and sociology at university that I successfully completed while still being abused. I just don't know anymore and I hate seeing the chopping and changing of myselfves in this post. I feel it internally in my consciousness and I know there's no escape other than integration. And yet I don't even know why I'm wasting my time writing this either.

I am a highly functional person who experiences DID and I don't even want to know how many parts of me there actually are. I just know there is many. At my worst I was still working full time and now I am currently on maternity leave (2nd year) and am 10 weeks pregnant. Don't want to get too excited as had 4 miscarriages previously and I have physical diseases too. Suppose end result of trauma. Body can only handle so much. Most people don't know how I do it. I personally say how can I not. I refuse to be abusive towards my own child in any way no matter what I've been through as a whole. My daughter is sensitive and knows what love and attachment are and has pretty much been glued to me for the past 21 months. Overprotective without a doubt. I'd do anything for her and to know my own parents didn't treat me the same hurts like hell. She and we all live in a safe home environment with our husband. We've worked long and hard at that. More so than most people who haven't been abused and taken safety for granted. For me safety is life and the air that we breathe and our birth right. I give to her what I can from my heart and soul no matter what. Most people I know let there toddlers sleep over grandparents houses. Not me. I guard her and protect her with my life and its my job as her mum. Sometimes I wonder why my mum didn't do the same but I know exactly why. Cultural norms and victimised herself. But yet it's still no excuse. That urge is strong to protect my child and how she let that instinct go is beyond me! It saddens and maddens me at exactly the same time.

Problem is I'm now seeing my daughter needs to have friends her own age so I go to play groups but find it hard to interact as its overwhelming and too triggering at times. Yet I do it for my daughter. I don't want her to be isolated because of what I've lived through. It maddens me as I swore the abuse stops with me and my husband for all the generations in both our families and it has thank god. Yet to see my daughter be isolated due to my ptsd etc doesn't help so I force myself for her sake. She needs those people skills considering only my mum visits her. I have cut off ties with rest of family. Anyway to see how ptsd impacts her unknowingly hurts like hell so I have to do what I have to do and that means sacrifice myself as best as I can and expose her socially to other children. When I do she is glued to me and won't leave my side. Poor kid. Breaks my heart. I encourage her and she's getting better. What frustrates me is that people don't understand the impact ptsd has had on my life since birth and I've done best I could no matter what. No excuses allowed. Way I am. Then I have the anxiety of trying to get her to mingle as best as I can considering I avoid it too at times as don't feel safe even in social gatherings due to past traumas. I try against all odds and just hope she will get there. She is getting better and I hate having to do exposure therapy with my daughter in a way so that she can see other toddlers are ok too instead of being glued to me. I convince myself at least we have the bond and now we can build on other skills to add to her personality and life experiences that she needs. I know I'm doing right thing but its so hard and people do not see the internal war and struggle that happens within. But me, little old me hears it and sees it and does what I need to for her sake. Its easy for people to say she's so attached to you and is by your side all the time. True. But have they ever bothered to live a moment in my shoes? Not a day as it would kill them. Then come talk to me about how hard it was for me to form an attachment bond and hopefully a safe and secure one at that where she thrives. And yes at times. Am having a hard time letting her go off. I try not to put it on her and yet other times I feel safe she's by my side as less worry. Then another part of me wants her to have friends and I hate bing so scared and conflicted. But truth is that's my reality and our reality as a whole. I'm fighting everything I've grown up with and doing best I can with what I know. At least my parents taught me what not to be! Surely the only way is up from that with the right effort, hard work, strength, disciple and goals I have.

Hope this makes sense as I am aware have jumped. Just wanting to know if other parents have similar struggles and if so what they did to overcome them?

12 Replies

  • Hey, Diana, you have come to the right place. Welcome! I hear a mom who truly loves her daughter, knows your own strengths and weaknesses, and is trying to make a better home for her. You will be understood and not a freak here. You will be able to talk and get help, hear other's stories.

    No one gets to decide who their parents are, or what DNA makeup they have. BUT we do get to decide how we will live with what we have been given.

    At this forum, I have found so much support, learned the other side to the varying invisible mental quirks people are born into or fall into through a trauma, how survival takes a toll on the human brain and body, how we are all incredibly gifted because we see each other in ways other's don't or can't. Michele's website Healmyptsd, has a boatload of help for all of us.

    Diana, thank you for sharing.

  • Hi aujoymyjoy,

    Thank u for your reply. I had tears reading your first paragraph. :). I or we as a whole could never imagine harming our girl. As I look and gaze I to her eyes I can't imagine how anyone would ever want to hurt a little child so young, vulnerable and helpless. Why they would put all their negative feelings onto them in first place and then have the child deal with that fir rest of there life. Makes life too hard and I could never do that to her. She's so innocent, pure and sweet and yet I can understand why parents do due to no anger management skills, education, stress etc. I understand why my parents acted and reacted in ways but doesn't excuse it. I look at my daughter and think in order for people to do that it means they do not see the vulnerable little child or are too much in own world and stressed as I often wonder what went through my parents head especially the man who created me. Don't care how traumatised he was. I still would never do that and at times it very often angers me he did especially when I look at my daughter. No child asks for that. I've given my daughter my heart and soul and I enjoy watching her flourish.

    We choose as parents consciously to not harm or even smack our child as discipline. We have more skills than that and don't want her to have to live like we did. We could never forgive ourselves to live with ourselves as a whole if she was harmed mentally, physically or emotionally. Way we are and have a heart. Every child deserves better than what I got no matter what. Empathy, can't live without it especially when raising kids. :)

  • As much as I had done what I thought was right as a mom (3 sons), I did make mistakes. At the time, I told them what I did was wrong and owned it flat out. Didn't explain why (that is really not an apology), simply said, "I was wrong in my response. I am sorry."

    Even years later, they can come to me and tell me something I did that hurt them. I take responsibility for it then, tell them I am sorry, how can I help you now.

    Being a parent isn't being perfect. It is listening to them tell their side of what I did, owning it without excuses, being available to help IF they want it.

    Perfection was my parent's goal, owning their stuff was not part of it. THAT is what heals unintended wounds and intentional wounds. Owning my yuck.

  • So true. Sounds like your sincerely sorry and have learnt from your mistakes aswell as your parents mistakes too. Well done as you have given it your best and done the best you could with what you had at the time. Just as wel all do.

  • Each of your posts reflect great parents and love. Thanks for being there for your children. Healing energy your way....

  • Hi Capejoy0901,

    Thank you for your reply. Love Is the legacy that I want to leave this generation my children are a part of as best as I can. I owe it to them.

  • Hi MC,

    Thanks for your reply and i do not realise how much i actually have going on. Thats not even a quarter of it! i am aware i have internal helpers helping too and there are many of them from all my systems which i thank God for. I love them all so much for helping we to be the best we that we can be.

    I was diagnosed with DID in 2005 (self first, and then 3 therapists who hurt and traumatised me beyond belief as a whole new system was created and I was completely amnesic - Horrific to have to put my life back together after that. Horrific and im still paying for it to this day for all the global amnesia, names and people amnesia aswell as my whole life history - obviously a new personality system was created to deal with all that back in 2009 whilst i worked full time - who knows how I did it as flashbacks invaded me constantly due to triggers everywhere). Not to mention i had to be hospitalised for 8 days for a severe and chronic Crohn's Disease flare up (try having a disease you have no idea about and that you experience due to amnesia - now thats hard work and terrifying, not to mention explorative surgery to top it as well as male nurses hitting on me at my worst!) And yet I have never been hospitalised for any of my symptoms and the professionals who treat me dont understand either how i do it! Driven and determined I suppose. As if that wasnt bad enough I had a miscarriage in 2010 and then was diagnosed with minor endometriosis and because I have massive food intolerances and IBS i was on a bland food diet for 13 months where I was skin and bones. Yet hubby and I conceived after 4 rounds of fertility treatment (ovulation induction) and it was successful thank God. What a relief as life started to smile back at me and rewarded we for all our hard work. Plus at the time i was being bullied at work too which was a new job and it finally got resolved. How i did it? DID, how else. It saved we once again as a whole and I am so greatful to the disorder in ways as much as it hurts, frustates we and pains we.

    Truth is I am scared of failing my daughter, hurting or upsetting her in a way as i hate for her to experience negative feelings or have minimal friends like i do. i know she will and does have negative feelings (normal) but i hate it, and knowing that i can prevent it frustates me. Im had on myself and have high expectations, but in reality thats whats saved us as a whole. Way our system is as we raise the bar and require so much more of ourselves due to our studies! Were proactive instead of inactive.

    Wow Chris, 12 boys. Now thats an achievement. Well done and must have been hard work.

    Your right and 7 is more than enough for anyone to deal with at the moment. Obviously your aware of the possibility of more and they will reveal themselves if and when safe to do so. Your right and it is extremely hard for me to figure it all out and takes lots of time. My recent psych stated I had a complex disssociative identity disorder system and process that was going on due to the life long traumas (no cra*). I had to make it that way in order to hide and preserve ourselves and our lives. I have systems upon systems and at least 100 personalities or so (brutal). Im not interested in getting to know them and sometimes its just easier to communicate with them without names as thats what we did all our lives unknowlingly. Less traumatic. To have researched it a lot makes the others highly aware too and when different hosts read it, its traumatic and a shock. I get tired of the communication and introductions between all and each systems. Am over it at times. For me the amnesic barriers served both good and bad purposes. the more that become aware and communicate the more upheaval it makes in our lives and in a way is worse than the amnesia itself. Then after a while it settles. The blending and blurring and awareness and co-conscioussness of them is more than enough at times. Most of the time its worse raising all of we up than it is our daughter. so much harder to raise traumatised children up (build trust, establish safety, meet needs, etc) within than a real life toddler. I could have 20 of my daughter happily and would do it compared to the DID. Raising a child is like a walk in the park than this mess I am left with internally after the earthquake, storms, tsunamis I experienced within. What a blended mess. hehehehe. must laugh otherwise go insane. oh, oops too late for that and yet its not!

    My whole life was a jigsaw to put back together again and if i did not put it back correctly (friends, relatives, dates, etc) it would turn out to be a disaster and a mess as the pieces were wired wrong, when i knew they were not like that before. would take 6 weeks to put every day life fragments back together again of daily hard work on myself. it was painful and i still experience that today. Brutal. Everything is dissociated from everything. Horrific and yet I did it. we did it, but know she is still experiencing it daily. ouch.

    Chris, you will achieve simple communication when you allow yourselves to all feel safe and to have a voice. To not be scared of the process and see where it takes you as alters can be very phobic of each other and unaware too. Its hard for all involved. Hosts and alters alike. I know you can do it as you seem to have a willingness to do it. Thats always the first step and the rest will flow once the time is right for all of them. Its hard work getting to know them too as they require such love, tenderness, compassion, trust, acceptance, validation, genuiness, empathy, etc. In time you will get there and just let them know its ok if they do not want to communicate too. If and when they are ready, they will let you know. My heart goes out to you and I wish you all the best and every succes with it all. :)

    Thank you so much for the website details and I will check it out now and see what we all think :) Fun and games listening to all the comments (ahhhhhh).

  • I agree that its great to raise the kids and helps keep one steady and functional. For me the structure, routine, predictability, safety and security is what helps us all thrive and minimise the stress. Thus making us all happy parents :)

    I have externalised with my daughter all the skills I have gained, and also internalised skills I have learned with her (eg playing safe games). Its a 2 way street and not a no through road. We all learn from each other and share as best as we can.

    I do have a lot of systems going on and its enough to drive we all mental as I am sure you know the feeling. I can completely understaand why 3 were talking to your therapist via email as they obviously felt safe and validated and writing is a strong skill for them. Maybe they were learning from each other its safe to write and speak up that way. Just a thought. Its great you have contact with 1 of them and no doubt the other 3 will follow once you give them what they need and you are not afraid of them.

    I completely understand your anger and frustation at the alters being there. Parts of we feel exactly the same and thats when i realise the angry one is jealous or upset that they are not being acknowledged within, by myself or other alters. once they get that, they start to mingle and accept the process and others as it lessens. Its normal for them to feel like that. They are here now Christ and making themselves aware because they want to and long to be with you (host). They long for their daddy (host) to pick them up, scoop them up, hold them, love them, care for them, nurture them, teach them, provide safety etc for them. They are there and lettting you know because they ARE ready to be heard and I hope you find the strength within your heart and mind to hear them when your ready. Of course you would also naturally have anger and resentment and fear of them all being their as they hvae lived aspects of your life that you did not and that is scary and terrifying when you realise that. Dont be so hard on yourself as anger and fear are a part of the process and journey too towards consciousness. They have been for we anyways. Id like to say it gets easier but truth is you learn to use the same tools with others (positive transference) and it gets easier. You learn to recognise the process as its happening in real time.

    Maintenance is also a crucial part in the recovery process. Equilibrium is necessary at certain stages to prevent exhaustion and being overwhelmed from your life history. Try to enjoy that aspect as best as you can cause its a victory and shows strength.

  • What is SI crap? is that sucidal ideation????

  • Holy binoly. Thankyou both so much. I just realised - yesterday - that this might be why I can't remember huge chunks. My therapist thinks it may be part of my 'solution'. & immediately it made a lot of sense. I don't really know if there are 'alters' as such but I just get intensely emotional thinking about it. Crikey. Thanks for talking about how its feels to experience. I feel like I'm just beginning a huge journey - and this is after 20 years of therapy!!

  • I used to have alters, lots of them. It was the only way I could've survived what I saw my father do to others and what he perpetrated on me.

    My alters used to come out and I do strange disciplinary acts with my stepson. I took years for me to figure out why I made him stand in a corner for far too long. I was reenacting what was done to me. When my stepson got old enough, I apologized for my parenting and discipline errors. In addition I told him if he ever remembered something later on in life and wanted to talk to me about it, I wouldn't defend myself as my parents had done.


    That's how I felt, just starting a huge journey after 22 years of therapy, when my mother died in 2010. By that time I had no alters and her death triggered off a slew of buried memories.

    For me the alters were a distraction because they presented fragments of memories. Some of it didn't make any sense. And some of it was altered (no pun intended) from the original memory. One particular memory and something I playacted out for years was being tied to this table and tortured. I assumed it happened to me because I was remembering it. Pieces of the memory came in fragments, confusing me further. It wasn't until after my mother died that I understood the memory fragments. It happened to someone else and I was forced to watch their torture.

    After my integration, which occurred years before my mother's death, I started to put the puzzle pieces together more easily.


    SI is self-injury. It's usually not suicidal ideation. For me it's a way to control the intense feelings within me as memories emerge.

  • Hi Diana, have just come upon this post of yours. remember at the beginning of our journey the therapist asking why I talk of we did this or we went here...etc. I'd also say our home is...etc. cuts far more easy on paper to change to singular tense. It's always been we and our for as long as I date back to. Always it seemed there were many who lived as one. Thank heavens the therapist understood or we may never have continued to see her. Can't say integration has happened but we're finding out more about each one and their role In our survival.

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