Developing DID: Culture Shock!

We’ve finally figured some of it out – what broke ‘us’, and contributed as greatly towards our DID (multiple personality) symptoms as the child abuse (emotional neglect, social isolation, and mental torture among other things) did.  And that was the “culture shock” thing.

They say a child requires love, nurturing, and a stable environment.  We had few to none of those things.  For one thing: our mom hated men, and has yet to ever express any affection towards us.  Our dad – military, usually gone – and even when he was home he was ‘gone’ – studying or reading or doing his own thing (which did NOT include kids – he is a very self-centered and selfish man.)  We moved so many times – literally from one  culture to another, often without ‘warning’ to the small child – that it sets my head a-spin.  My mom just told me the other day we moved five times in less than a year.  This was in the military; we were always moving around.  But sometimes . . .

The weird thing is I don’t remember a single move that we made.  Total amnesia.   None of ‘us‘ (that I am aware of; there are always hidden alters ‘hiding’ inside) – can remember a move.  And yet we moved more than two dozen times by the time I was fourteen.  And those moves weren’t just across town.  They were across the nation – crossing state and national borders and on into the cultures beyond.

Yet even here in the good ol’ USA we were in for culture shock – over and over again.  Like a hammer falling on a crystal, the moves and the abuse fell on my personality, breaking ‘us’ into pieces.  One ‘trip’ stood out so much I wrote about on it in the “Little Shop of Horrors” (tales from my childhood) called “Escape From the Hood” – and even still I can feel that “shock” and amazement ‘he’ felt over how different it was.  How screwed up we were – even then.  And I guess I sorta ‘separated’, building a new part of myself to handle that ‘culture’- and I’ve (or ‘we’) have done it over and over again.  I can mark down on a calendar when the ‘personalities’ change – when a new one was born and an old one put to rest.  And (I assume) – I must have a ‘special’ one that used to come out and handle all the moves we used to make.  (I can remember the moves I’ve made since 21 – being both an age as well as another ‘personality’ of mine.)  Strange, odd I know – both me and the wife agree.  I am an odd person on the inside.

In one of our alter’s cases (one of our little ones), he was held in “time out” – he ‘invented’ a new being to handle a new culture (an overseas one) – but didn’t ‘grow’ and hung on – because he thoroughly expected to come back from that trip and find everything the same.  And it wasn’t.  Violently and drastically so in some pretty weird and strange ways.  Wikipedia defines it as “Reverse Culture Shock“.  And he built “13” (another one of our alternate personalities which has been resurfacing again – long story) – who then went on in one year (and one day) to built “Matthew”, our teenage being (who then commanded the “Soldier”, who was tamed by “The Marine” – though none of them created the Beast, which has existed from early on.)

So we are figuring it out.

You see – they keep saying children require a safe (we had none) and secure (there was none) stable (there was none) environment.  We had no “loving parents” to guide us on our way.  You either did it yourself or you suffered the consequences – whatever they are.  You learned to stand independent – or you fell and got kicked and beaten until you stood back up again.  There was no “fucking around” as my mom often put it.  Nor was there any crying to be done.  “Crying is useless.  It doesn’t solve a thing,” I often remember hearing (usually right after – or before – I was being beaten . . . for crying, that is.)  If you had a problem you kept it to yourself.  To do otherwise was to risk punishment, restriction (not just to your yard and house, but your room – and not for days and hours on end – but for weeks, even months . . . which is where that ‘social abuse’ term comes in . . .) as well as humiliation and ridicule.

But that constant ‘moving’ – is it any wonder my ‘personalities’ – especially the transitory ones – coincide so tightly (usually within a year, if not less – much less in some times; once . . . less than fifteen minutes went by).

I think it had an effect.  We had to keep on ‘adjusting’ to our new environment – while maintaining a certain ‘persona’ for the one within – one for our ‘friends’; one for the strangers in our life; one for the military sort of things; one for this foreign culture we’d be in – and we were constantly moving around!  Sometimes in the country – once for almost five years – right off the Tobacco Road area (really poor, really rural, and really Southern).  The people were wonderful . . . but there were ‘things’ going on . . .

Sometimes we’d find ourselves on military bases; sometimes in the woods.  Sometimes in a house or apartment  – but only for a short time! – never long enough to make it ‘mine’ or a home of any sorts or consequence.  “Home” was just a word – a place where we’d been before . . . and hoped to go again . . . but like they say:

You can never go home.  Not once you’ve left.

The thing is: we never had a home to speak of.  Not a ‘real’ home. And were forced to go it alone.  From basic childhood onwards . . . always ‘marching on’ – and we can ‘see’ it in ‘our’ dreams, or at least ‘his’, the little child . . .

He left home a long, long time ago . . . and has been searching for it ever since.

I don’t think he’s going to find it.  Ever.  But we hear for him and are here for him – that’s about the best that we can do.

Poor child.  It makes sense: culture shock all the time.  No wonder it broke his mind . . . and ‘mine’ – way back then, way back when.  And all we can do is offer open arms to him – and say “That’s your home.  By being one with us.  All inside.”

Who knows.

Maybe it will happen.
Maybe he can come home again.


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle ( ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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