Being diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a real struggle.
First, I’ve had to work at coming to grips with the diagnosis itself. Then there is my struggle with the alters – I have to find out who they are. I know they’re there, but I don’t know much about them. I have learned the names and ages of some, but not all of them. I am slowly learning their likes and dislikes and why they are there. They all hold memories of my abuse. Memories that I can’t recall.
There is a power struggle. I am the host, and I need to be in control, but some of them think that I still need to be protected so they come out to “save” me. They are parts of me stuck in the past. They don’t know what year it is and often times don’t even know what month or day it is either. I have to talk to them and remind them that I am the host and that I am married and my husband and I have seven kids. It really complicates things when one of them has a crush on my brother in-law.
I don’t tell many people about my DID because it’s a stigma.
Society has a warped idea of DID. Most people still call it Multiple Personality Disorder because they don’t realize that the name (and diagnostic criteria) has been changed. Hollywood often portrays it as a situation in which there is often one very violent alter; that’s not the case for me.
If you want to see what living with Dissociative Identity Disorder is like for me, I’d recommend watching the movie Sybil with Sally Fields. It’s a very accurate description of my experiences with DID.