DID: The Baby and the Bathwater

All too often people with DID1 and those who treat them want to do the same thing: get rid of the baby (the ‘voices’ in your head) while keeping the bathwater (the things ‘they’ did).  They want the alternate personalities to be gone or absorbed in some way (so they can’t feel ‘its’ emotions; hear ‘its’ thoughts’) – while remembering what ‘they’ did.  They assume that if they ‘get rid of the baby’ they will get rid of the shame and pain of being abused; they assume this will bring them some kind of happiness – while being able to remain ‘whole’.

But in a DID system you can’t just throw the baby out – nor the bathwater.  You can’t get rid of ‘the kids’ without losing something.  After all, ‘getting rid of’ something is synonymous with ‘losing it’. It’s just the first is intentional; the second accidental.  We’ve found the better we can “connect” with our ‘other selves’, the better off we are.  And it takes the understanding and compassion of the adult to understand and forgive the little kids – even if ‘he’ or ‘she’ doesn’t forgiven or understand themselves, or the reasons for what ‘they’ did2.

We’ve been on a one-track line towards a better understanding of ‘ourselves’.  It has been a voyage of self-discovery, and its been hard. But we’ve learned things.  We’ve been on this voyage, oh, I don’t know – some thirty odd years, off and on? Yeah; I guess we’re kinda slow. And professionally speaking in some ways I’ve gotten ‘worse’ (since I am more aware of my ‘separations’, alters, and/or missing persons), not better; but in other ways I am better, not worse for reason of that same thing.

I know we’re much happier now. That’s the thing we ‘discovered’ back then; the goal is to be happy all the time. We nearly succeeded in Puerto Rico; but alarmed at our happy selves the Feds stepped in, locked me up and put a stop to this thing. Go figure. They ruined everything.

But happiness is what it’s all about, my friends.

So we’ve learned: don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater; keep it all.  After all: ‘they’ and it are a part of what ‘you’ are; without them you’re something else.

Anyway, moving on . . .

The reason we write this is to remind us of our original goal: finding out ‘the blank spots’ – which is trickier than you might think!  After all – how can you remember something you have truly shut away and forgotten?  What’s gone missing and what is?  There’s all kinds of questions we have been asking ourselves, trying to search out and find ‘the missing ones’; those ‘kids’ in us that have gone missing; those missing parts (and traits) of personality.  Trying to find where some of those ‘mystery’ voices are coming from . . .

Lemme tell you something I used to say in engineering (this was often at a corporate level):

“If you beat around a bush long enough, you’re gonna define it.”

And (I’ve found) – that same tactic works a bit in trying to track down an alter.

If you read from the Wikipedia article on DID, you will find this under the “Treatment” heading:

“Treatment of DID is phase-oriented. The first phase focuses on symptoms and relieving the distressing aspects of the condition and ensuring the safety of the individual. The second phase focuses on stepwise exposure to traumatic memories and prevention of re-dissociation. The third phase focuses on reconnecting the identities of disparate alters into a single functioning identity with all its memories and experiences intact.”

I kinda laugh – because apparently unconsciously and since I was 21 (and “21”) – I’ve been working on that.  And – apparently – we’ve moved into (or towards) the third phase of this thing.  But in order to meet that gold standard “a single functioning identity with all its memories and experiences intact” – you must be able to ‘retrieve’ those memories and experiences.

One of the ways I’ve found that I am ‘missing’ alters is the time gaps: periods or repetitive events which are missing, but you know should be there.  For example: I know we moved at least 14 time in about five years; about 16 to 18 by the time I was 14 or so – and yet I can NOT remember a single move.  Just one ‘time’ – a single vision of a yellow moving truck; a ‘faded’ memory of perhaps moving into the last place we lived in while I was a teenager – and during a year long relocation (during which we moved twice) when I was nine – well, I have some memories – but there is this huge gap ranging from immediately before and after we moved each time.

Where did those memories go to?  Doesn’t that seem odd and weird to you: here’s this person who moved over a dozen times – and yet can’t seem to remember the physical action of packing and getting on a jet plane, or on a truck, or shuffling stuff, or unpacking anything – it’s like a huge gap ‘before, during, and after’ . . .

Which means ‘someone else’ was doing the moving . . .

So you can ‘see’ the trick here now.  By defining ‘around the bush’ – we’ve managed to find this ‘gap’ during an event that was repeated during my young life. And being as that is a very consistent event/gap – I wonder: is there some ‘personality’ inside me hiding? “The Mover” or something?

And then there’s the missing emotions.  As of yet: no extreme jealousy (or jealousy at all); nor envy.  I might want something you’ve got, but only in an abstract absent minded way – if I want it at all, I will go out and get one myself – and if I can’t, I do without – and am just as happy either way.  However, thus far I don’t see where lacking a jealous bone in my body is such a bad thing – and I know where that one ‘came’ from – our experiences as a child, having to share our friend sexually and being forced to compete – we learned (or it got burned) outta him back then . . .

Anyway, a funny thing happened on the way to the farm, it appears – every time we moved.  And that knowledge of that ‘missing’ time/events suggests a ‘hidden’ personality. And without this ‘mystery meat’ – who knows what else we’re still missing?  It’s kind of hard to know.  After all, it’s hard when you’re missing both the baby AND the bathwater!  So be careful about what you are throwing out (or trying to!) . . . it might just be YOU!

DID: Dissociative Identity Diagnosis/Disorder/Disease
2 –  Often an inner child doesn’t “get” that what they did was for – or out of – love, and therefore there’s nothing wrong with it. It is the adult who went along who should be held culpable, they were supposed to say “no”.

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 (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). 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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10 Responses to DID: The Baby and the Bathwater

  1. Michael says:

    If you define than it is a limit. Most scientists are really technicians, they define they do not discover just as most engineers do not create they take someone else’s concept and apply. Thing is the non-creative people believe those that can create are doing the same thing they are..

    The goal of therapy as you describe is for the good of society not self. The higher you function the better off for society let self be damned other than a few moments of self.

    You already seem to have experienced the functioning thing and found it wanting.

    For me you have it upside down, backwards and reversed. Think an angle is both obtuse and acute depending on the measure. It is not they young ones do not know why they did what they did it is the adults can not accept it. For me you would be teaching what is already known and not learning/discovering

    Moving is a time of transition.


    • jeffssong says:

      You assume your feelings and views correspond to mine; they don’t. The child did NOT know ‘why’ he did what he did; it took the adult self to understand it. I teach them the reasons for their actions and let them know it was okay. And yes; the ‘adults’ need trained, too, which is why ‘Jeffery’ was ‘born’ – as a negotiator between all parties.

      Agreed that ‘the system’ of society is about society and not self. To make a “productive” person – no matter that person’s life or feelings.

      And you assume ignorance is the key to creativity; which is why you shun school (perhaps afraid?). The more you know, the more you can put one and one together to make two – or three. Ignorance creates nothing but sloth.

      I have seen ‘copy-work’ artists who can copy anything. I am not one of them. I could never ‘copy’. And seeing as I was certified by a number of tests as the most creative out of 480 people tells me that when it comes to creativity, I’ve ‘got it’. Not to mention the dozens, if not hundreds of people in my life who had told me so. You CAN be both of a scientific mind AND a creative mind; it’s just considered unusual. Which I am.


      • Michael says:

        Miss communication going on here. I am going with it is the limits of writing.

        I have no thoughts or feelings that your and my or anyone else’s feelings or thoughts correspond to me. I just throw out what is true for me as best I can.

        I like learning. School was and often is boring to me. Most of it can be replaced by the book the instructor/teacher/professor is using at the time. Graduate level courses tend to be okay for me which is what I started my second semester in college. I am still “in school” and expect I always will be. 3.8 something GPA. Cleped out of mundane classes.

        No idea where the ignorance is a substitute for creativity comes from other than that is what I observe often n happens. Knowledge being seen as understanding. “Imagination is more important than knowledge:” Einstein

        I do abstract work. Abstract expressionism is as close as I come to copying. I am often told that if I practice realism it will take my abstract work to a different level. I respond if you do abstract work it might take your realism to a new level. “I always knew how to paint I had to unlearn what I was taught.” Bastardized Picasso.

        If I want an image I will take a photo.

        I was not saying you were not creative rather most engineers and scientist are not. I just picked on them as I am one and have to deal with the un-creative ones all the time. They seem to gravitate to universities and government work.

        We have corresponded on global warming. It is all based on the temperature is 1 degree plus or minis warmer than 1800. Any prediction of the future is bullshit not science.

        The faster than light particle that was discovered turns out not to have been bound. It is blamed on a faulty cable/wire. It is a human error as far as I am concerned blaming a cable is not credible. I would want to look real hard at what having a faulty cable might somehow lead to discovery.

        As for a test for creativity. Like all tests I feel it is just a measure of how much like the person is who made up the test is to the one who took the test. That being said I test off the charts for imagination.


      • jeffssong says:

        “Miss communication going on here.” – Agreed; my bad, and I should have known this as we figured out in PR that 90% of human arguments are based upon miscommunication. Plus it was early and my coffee hadn’t kicked in!

        One of the things I saw in engineering was a strict adherence to ‘the rules’ – those rules being dictated by the FDA and other agencies. Once I saw the opportunity to save $250,000 in stainless steel pipe with orbital welding (this was a sanitary process line; pharmaceutical) – simply by routing the lines diagonally across the room instead of ‘straight and true’ (running and 90 degree angles up and over and 90 again; 90, 90 . . . sigh). The flow characteristics were also affected; my 45’s were swept clean, less turbulent fluid flow, lada lada lada . . . but the Chief Engineer said “no” – the FDA might walk in, see these lines – and the 45 would be ‘unusual, might catch their eye – would not be ‘industry standard'”. So we spent the quarter million – just for looks. So much for a creative thought. And the bigger the industry the more it holds true. Creativity is smothered by big business every time. (We even did a study one time – it took a YEAR – involved a TEAM – just to prove to management: you can save some money if you simply turn the lights OFF when nobody is in the rooms – and/or it is light outside. The year’s total first savings were blown by the cost of the study. And they set the payback cutoff at 3 years – 3.3 year payback? No deal. I told them: “It’s like you think the factory won’t be HERE in four years – you’ll be MAKING money by then!” – but no, due to capital depreciation purposes, they said “no”. Ditto solar panels on the roof. “They” (the accountants and penny-minded upper management) listen only to marketing, ride the engineers for costs, and compromise the designs. Seen it a hundred times over if not ten.

        Anyway; our inner children really don’t/didn’t really realize what they were doing or why; they just knew there was something ‘they’ needed; lacking the words/concepts as children do. (Like “molestation” – we hadn’t a word for that until we were about 17; didn’t ‘apply’, really didn’t sink in until we were about 24 or so. Really weird stuff.)


      • Michael says:

        I once did a federal job and some requests for equivalents just sailed through and others that made sense did not. When everything arrived on site I noticed that the requests turned down were from the same company. Including a $7,000 automatic flag pole that was not going to work in the winter. Come to find out the engineering company owned the company that was supplying the items that were turned down as equivalents.

        They way it works for me is I go back and know what was going on when we were raped and such. I knew I did not like it. I did not understand as an adult that it was wrong that others did that to me. I needed to go back to the feelings and thoughts at the time. Accept that it was not me that was wrong for having those feelings and thoughts. In fact they were right on and an expression of who I am. It was no till afterwards that I got confused when I thought about it.


      • jeffssong says:

        Part of our problem was (and still is in that it troubles some of our teen selves – as if they don’t have some problems themselves) – we did enjoy the sex. Usually. Not always. That comes from having been trained and groomed into obedience and obedience in giving pleasure. THAT one thing became more important than it all in some ways; we didn’t want to get rejected anymore. “It” (the sex) felt like love (sometimes) – sometimes it felt like and was just carnal pleasure – but we were doing all the ‘giving’ most times. Being used for someone else’s pleasure. Of course we were looking for love; there was none to damn little at home (unless you count just taking care of us ‘love’ – nothing else, tho’ we did have birthdays and holidays, gifts of some kind.)

        And even still, even now – I am ‘into’ giving pleasure, something my wife often enjoys. But when I say “I” – during sex I feel the ‘push’ of the small child. It’s wonderful to know where that hard HARD push (which is also why I couldn’t say “no” sometimes) – came from. And why it ‘is’. It helps me control it by identifying it, and ‘counseling’ this kid. (“You don’t have to do this anymore to get some love if you don’t want to” type of thing. Allowing ‘him’ or ‘it’ or ‘me’ to draw some boundaries once and awhile.)

        We definitely don’t play the shame-blame game anymore within ourselves, or at least try not to. There’s still some issues going on; still missing some ‘elders’ and some missing things – but we’re ‘on the way to recovery’ – knowing it is a long road, and we’ll probably never really be done with it. Which is okay by ‘me’. (actually – we ALL seem sort of fine with it; a kind of ‘group patience’ kinda thing. And inner hugs all around – because there are some bruises here and there from the past few days of ‘therapy’. LOL.


  2. DollyPopper says:

    I think for me too that accepting my other self, and maybe listening to her I’ll be able to accept her into my self – I suppose that’s what was drecribed to me when they planned my treatment as re-intergration and re-association. I can understand your struggles with your memory, mine is the same. I can remember snippets and shots from home but barely anything at all but i remember every summer at my Grandma’s away from my parents as clear as any other child memory, and I remember school and some child minders, but when I think of home or my parents, they’re not there, but I know they were always in the picture. It’s difficult sometimes to comprehend how that could even happen, and it’s like a puzzle to solve when it comes to finding the lost memories.

    I hope you manage to succeed, you’ve come so far reaching what is described as phase three, heck it’s been long but you’re nearly there (as in it probably wont take another 30 years)


    • jeffssong says:

      It was finding the blanks that we’ve been better able to find our ‘selves’ – though not complete, we’re remembering more of things we’d never really forgotten – which is nice. And it is like a puzzle (had to laugh when I read that; I had thought the same thing a few weeks back: we are a puzzle with a few of the pieces missing – and no picture to look at to guide us).

      Perhaps the best thing we ever did was decide “I’m gonna be me!” – even if it means embracing our multiplicity, and our ‘selves’ – and learning to ‘get along’; helping our young children work through ‘their’ issues, work through our ‘own’ (the teenage alters / protectors felt some shame for them). So we’re looking towards the future with a quizzical smile – not really sure where we are going to, not absolutely positive where we’ve been coming from – but certainly working on ‘getting their’ – with happiness as our goal.

      Thanks, and we hope that you and yours have a safe ‘journey’ as well.


      • DollyPopper says:

        exactly that. I think that’s an apt analogy, it’s like we have to go back through time and find the missing jigsaw pieces that are missing in order become whole again. It’s like we were so distracted by whatever happened to us, we dropped a couple pieces along the way, and now we’ve realised we need them. x


  3. Hizzz Oder says:

    Dolly Popper said, “It’s like we were so distracted by whatever happened to us, we dropped a couple pieces along the way, and now we’ve realized we need them.” So true. So true. Like a certificate. http://tinyurl.com/6eenp84


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