DID. Sometimes it’s a diagnosis; sometimes it’s a disorder. Some might even call it a “disease” of the mind. Whatever. We know what we are talking about. After all: we’re the one’s with the diagnosis and/or disorder in mind.
What makes DID a diagnosis? Now we’re not looking here for the ‘standard answer’: what makes a person “DID” (which, by the way, has become such a broad term that it makes no sense now; it’s kind of like saying someone has a “Mood Disorder” – it tells you something about them – but nothing of the kind, since you don’t neccessarily know what mood they’re in. And yes, my good people: “Mood Disorders” exist now, by the way. Look them up. They’re in the new psychiatric guidelines . . . everyone has them now and again. Welcome to the New Age: The Age of Disorder – where everybody’s got one.
No, here we’re looking at it from an internal standpoint; the ‘point’ of a DID person (or host, since I’m the one ‘speaking’). DID is only a “disorder” when something goes wrong; up until then it’s just a diagnosis; like one that says “Hey, you got freckles.” Not such a big deal. We get along just fine in life, doing everything wrong (or right – depending on which way you’re looking at it) – stumbling along just like everyone else: no big problem here.
When it DOES become a problem, though – wooooo Boy! Watch out there. It definitely goes from “diagnosis” to “disorder” – and disorder is what it’s all about. The “system” becomes ‘disordered’, whether due to outside stress or internal conflicts about something. Either there’s a ‘threat to survival’ (aka happiness sometimes) due to unpaid bills, medications overdue . . . or inside – someone else crying or demanding something be done about this thing or that . . .
I can’t imagine how hard it must be for someone ‘without’ DID imagining what it’s like ‘inside’ – but you can try. And actually it’s not that hard. Here: let me guide you (we have ‘smiles’ going on all around – grim, wry smiles, knowing how hard this sort of thing really is):
First of all, a disclaimer. I cannot speak on behalf of any DID ‘patients’ except myself. I cannot claim to know what is going on with ‘you’, or your spouse and things. I can only know what I know and I only know a little – meaning ’nuff said, and moving on….
The reason I say this is because every DID patient is different. Some of us are multiple; some of us are not. Some of us have ‘multiples’ inside that have multiples inside of THEM . . . and the list and / or chain goes on and on.
Things I’ve noticed with MOST DID patients I’ve come into contact with (and that, by the way, is very little – relying on what I’ve read through some of your blogs) is that MOST of us only allow – or CAN allow – or HAVE – “3 on top”. Meaning “three” ‘personalities’ either active or running things – or ‘hosting the show’.
Some of us (me included) have more than one host. (See “Two and A Half Men“). Some (like me) can form up “hosts” on-the-fly. Some of us (like me) can come up with hosts (and new personalities) to match and meet (and sometimes beat) the situations that we come in. I know for one, I started (immediately upon arrival) ‘building’ a new ‘host’ person when I arrived in PR – I was gonna be a Puerto Rican – accent and all. That’s what “we” do – and it took all of us to ‘get there’ (forming up a new personality) – and all of us to get out again, LOL!!! Learned a lot of things ‘about us’ when I was there; that much was for certain!
But when it becomes a disorder – and it becomes a disorder for some (we’re not sure how many – most folks that have DID aren’t complainin’ – many of them may not be aware at ALL – some of them even have host personalities and whatnot and may best be described by the now defunct term “borderline personality disorder”) – but we’re thinking there a lot of ‘them’ out there who simply are not having any problem with it – or simply don’t know what’s going on . . .
After all, when it’s in your own head, it seems kinda normal. Especially when it’s been going on for years. Maybe even a lifetime or so! (Thinking of abused children, which we are/were – and how WE thought it was all normal at the time – and thinking of all the time how we thought in terms of “we” and “us” and “our” – when all along people have been thinking in terms of “I” and “me” and “Mine” – and we didn’t know the difference, LOL’ing!)
But anyway, getting back to “when it becomes a disorder: well, then something goes wrong. The system gets outta whack. “Someone” (perhaps a child, perhaps a grownup thing) wants to “off themselves” or “you all” or someone . . . anger issues build between countries; tempers flare; ‘fists’ fly (razor’s are coming out) – and someone ends up shooting someone in the head . . .
and that’s how it ends up becoming a “disorder” some of the times.
Now I don’t know how it works for YOU – but for US it’s usually “majority rules sometimes” (meaning most of the time). But there can be ‘factions’ and ‘gangs’ which can ‘gang up’ on ‘you’, the host being – and there can be trouble. Or the sadness and grief FROM one or OVER one can lead to some trouble – it’s like “We don’t know how to fix this; we don’t know why you’re crying” – all kinds of things. And that can drive you ‘crazy’, too. Imagine living with this internal eternal dark sort of sadness emanating from somewhere inside of you – and ‘you’ can’t figure out what or why – or maybe you DO know – but you can’t “approach” it … slips right ‘out’ and you feel nothing else (meaning the feeling ‘goes away’ – the ‘person hides’ – and hides that ‘feeling’ from you – all kinds of stuff!!!)
And the hosts – the poor hosts!!! Sometimes ‘we’ get tired of ‘this mess’ – and (sighing, Matthew and I) – the mess can be hard. Little ones to deal with; angry teenagers inside – nothing you can ‘do’ for them; they are ‘locked’ and/or ‘trapped’ in their pasts . . .
But on the other hand . . . there IS a lot “we” can do for them WHEN WE GET AROUND TO TREATING THEM LIKE REAL PEOPLE. And this is a key session that many therapists are missing – a key point in things. These are not ‘living beings’ as you may have come to understand them – but think “colony creature” instead – with a single ‘way’ of expressing (the human body thing) and when one of them gets mad or sad – it can be a ‘living thing’ – causing a nightmare inside.
Think an organism ‘gone wrong’ – and organism ‘eating itself’ – and you can see where anger and depression in a multiple (colony) being would be “bad” – where there is a “disorder” going wrong. . . .
This is a really rambling post . . . didn’t get what I wanted to say said right . . .
But here’s the thing:
It’s a cool thing when everything is ‘running right’ and everyone ‘inside’ is respecting everyone else – then it’s a “diagnosis”.
But when the ‘system’ runs wild; when ‘someone’ takes over; when depression ‘takes hold’ – and runs in groups; when a ‘majority’ of the system ‘feels bad’ – or
when there’s someone in the system mad at someone (for instance, our long-going and on-going war with Mikie – that was won, by the way, on his behalf – Good going, Mikie! Tough kid – but during that war we came CLOSE – and I mean CLOSE – to killing ourselves over half a dozen times – and hurt ourselves much more often . . . and it was all due to some misunderstandings; opening some of our insider’s eyes – getting a new way of thinking – that we ‘came together’ and everything has been pretty much fine ever since.
And that’s what we call a “diagnosis”, when it’s no longer a disease – and we are fine with our self.