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.
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!