What is Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)?
You are a young child sleeping soundly in your bed. Suddenly, your bedroom is filled with people in dark clothes and masked faces. You are roughly roused from your bed. The tiny hand with short fingers that hastens you into shoes has a thick, three band diamond ring you know sparkles when the sun hits it. But familiarity doesn’t bring peace. It is night time now; the pitch blackness envelops you like a cloak, as you are rushed into the family car. No one speaks for the long car ride over dirt and graveled roads marked with potholes every few feet. At anytime, if your emotions threaten to take hold, you think only of the ‘flipping of a light switch’, then once again you feel nothing. As you near your destination where unspeakable acts will take place, you prepare yourself for what you know will be expected of you.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is explained extensively in my article, Friends Are a Dime a Dozen. Further to our scenario,
When placed in highly traumatic situations such as RA (Ritual Abuse) or MK (Mind Control), they (children) can do a phenomenal piece of mind work that allows them not to be present while being abused. In simplicity, it’s a child’s dream come true.
“If I don’t like vegetables, then I won’t eat them. If I don’t want to wash my hands before dinner, then I won’t. If I don’t want to go to bed when I’m told to, then I won’t. If someone is doing something to my body that feels yucky, then I will go away.” Here it stops being a dream and becomes a life long struggle to find oneself, picking up the pieces of a very scattered mind. If this sounds too superficial, it’s not, because the body of that child is eating her vegetables, washing her hands before dinner, and going to bed when she is told to.
The mind is very actively creating other inside people to do each of these tasks. As the child grows, this splitting of her mind will intensify as more and more splits are required to cope with age appropriate life and continued abuse. All the while, the inner world of alters reside in one physical body, a concept for most too complicated to understand.
The medical diagnosis for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) can be found here on my website. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) recognized Multiple Personality Disorder (The DSM-IV reclassified Multiple Personality Disorder as Dissociative Identity Disorder in 1994) as a medical condition in their third edition. This was 1980 when it was thought to be extremely rare.
Trauma at an early age, from a trusted adult such as a parent, which is repeated again and again, is one of the more prevalent causes of DID, that I have seen in the research during the past twenty-seven years.
Multiplicity, to me, is the logical reaction to child abuse and yet, I have experienced more misunderstanding and misdirection than anything else I have ever encountered.
Fear of DID
So, where do these ideas come from? How many times has Criminal Minds, a popular TV cop show, portrayed the psychopathic serial killer as dissociative? Unless DID’s a documentary, I haven’t seen our disorder shown in any other form of plot than as negative influence on society, someone who needs to be locked away.
Last year, a writer friend I met the previous year visited as one of our impromptu get-togethers. She’d been in my home countless times for tea and we seemed to have a lot in common. On this day, I told her I was multiple. I saw the shift immediately. Her shoulders stiffened, she sat a little straighter and the hand holding her cup went back to her lap. She told me she knew about multiplicity from a lady she had met once who told my friend she’d attacked hospital staff on a hospital admission. My friend asked me if I would be violent towards her! I countered with “Is your knowledge going to change our friendship?” She said she hoped not. She has not stepped foot in my home since.
Dissociative Identity Disorder is misguided from just this human fear. Multiplicity is a strange phenomenon! Its true! More than one person cohabitates one body? More than one person controlling what a person says and does? You look female, but, you have male personalities who go in the men’s room and then are confused over the lack of male parts. It is unbelievable. And it’s scary. It’s scary because it’s outside of the norm, and what society sees as different usually takes a long time to be accepted, if ever, as we have seen with mental illness in general.
We all know the fear when we discovered our DID. And in time, the acceptance. All we can hope for along the way is for our support people to have our backs and stand with us until they understand.