Everyone is DID, at least a bit. You have to be. Those ‘masks‘ you wear to work, that home-time persona – the lover in the darkness, the player with the kids: all ‘aspects’ (in a way) of a DID system.
Everyone has ‘parts’ or ‘sides’ to themselves (ignoring the Ten Percent Rule, which says some don’t – and those I wouldn’t trust with a ten foot stick – something’s ‘wrong’ with them). Everyone has ‘voices’ in their head as they argue with themselves, agree with themselves, or hold internal conversations. You use words for that. You have to. (Hear these words echoing around in your head? I do.)
Talking with my grandsons awhile back I began to get a feel for when this sort of thing might start happening.
It seems to start when you are presented moral choices as a young child. When what you’ve learned is the socially right thing to do conflicts what you feel and want, or have been taught perhaps by cultural differences. The choice can also run in the other direction: your peers encourage you to commit a crime, and you don’t want to – but do, don’t, or might, depending on what side ‘won’. This seems to generate situation specific personas for dealing with certain situations. Those masks emerge as a way of expressing one’s self in a socially safe method, one which won’t get you attacked. Meanwhile, however, there is a ‘part’ or you or a ‘side’ of you which disagrees, fights, or attacks you on a mental or emotional level. You feel guilty or you feel bad. Or you feel happy, glad. Depends on the choice you made.
My grandsons and I were talking about a knife one stole. He (9) had admitted his crime – no pressure, no anger by me, though his older brother (12) was mocking him, saying “admit it! You did it!” – until he did. I am sure the 9 year old was having his own internal arguments as well, albeit in those wordless ways children do before they have the words for their thoughts. It’s more just emotions. No doubt he was wondering if grandpa would love him anymore; afraid to stir my anger. They used to call me “Mean Grandpa” for a reason. I insisted they do as I say. And grandpa would run him down in the yard. Unlike with mom, there was no running away from his punishment. Which he tried just one time. The look on his face as I bore down on him (‘grandpa doesn’t ever run’, I know they were thinking) – was priceless. Eyes all big and round, and that silent “O” of surprise.
But we started discussing why he did it, knowing that it was wrong, and that of course fell into contemplation of temptation, doing vs knowing what’s right and wrong – and why you sometimes make the wrong choices. That’s when the older one quipped a story (real long – I’ll shorten it:)
“There’s an devil that sits here,” he said, nodding towards one shoulder, “And he’s saying, ‘Go ahead! Take it! You know you want it!” Then he nodded towards his other shoulder. “And there’s an angel that sits right here, saying ‘No don’t! You know it’s wrong!”
He laughed, looking at me a bit confused. Too many cartoons, I thought, picturing those old Walt Disney cartoons that indeed, featured such a picture for their characters making decisions. So this is where DID comes about, another part theorized, analyzing this stuff in the background. Another was still pissed about my knife (it cost me $12, and was hard to find). And yet another – the adult in me (M3) was looking on, while “Jeffery” was patient and kind. ‘Jeffery’, I suppose, was running the show; I was just rambling around – leaping into the ‘Grandpa’s’ seat whenever I had to come.
“And you are stuck in the middle,” I finally noted. He nodded his head.
“I hate that,” he said with a pout, looking at his little brother, who was looking at him with a faintly astounded and confused expression. I don’t think he got it. I think he saw the knife – debated with himself about whether he could steal it or not and get caught. I don’t think “I” or any moral debate really entered his equation, not much. (He really is quite a sneak thief; we’re working on catching him up.) But he got busted at school with it, and got punished not once, but thrice. I wasn’t going to punish him anymore. I just wanted to teach him a lesson – one down in his soul. But how? We know, and are still working on that. It’s going to be a rough one. No pain – but a lot of public shame and guilt. Worked on me as a child. Should work on him one day. We’ll see.
After talking it was quite apparent he ‘hears’ these voices in his head: he argues within himself. ‘Pieces’, I was thinking, looking at him (bemused). ‘Sides’. Angels and demons.
Everyone’s DID. And it begins early. I’m telling ya! (lol!)
Think about it. Don’t YOU have sides and parts you argue with? When did theyy start to form? Temptations which pulled you about. Doesn’t it drive you crazy sometimes? That can be what DID is: parts arguing and pulling too much, in too many directions . . .
What if you could assign them names – their opinions, dislikes, likes, shames – and then shut them out of your mind?
Wouldn’t that give you greater control?
What if . . . now just imagine – you have a ‘part’ you named ‘Jeff’ and he’s cool as a cucumber; a humanist; another who is that ‘inner child’ in you – but oh! – the pain of childhood – sometimes you just wanna shut it out. All that interior ‘evil’ – assigning ‘that’ – and all the bad and evil emotions it emotes – out? Shutting it down, putting ‘it’ to sleep – giving ‘it’ a name so ‘you’ know what you are talking about? Even to yourself?
Imagine you’ve had to build a number of personas – not just one or two, not ‘daddy’ and ‘husband’ and ‘lover’ and ‘father’; not just ‘child’ and ‘teen’ – but numbers of ones within each one? One who was ‘teen’ the civilian adult, one the “teen scholar”, one that becomes a Marine, a killing machine; one for this surface environment, one for that – one for in the house, one for out. One meant to survive in the woods; one for preachers and rednecks. One for the Jehovah witnesses who used to come around. And you ‘name’ them by their ages . . . or their wildly converse / diverse attitudes – so ‘you’ can seal them out . . .
and be ‘you’.
The only thing is: you’re not. Not ‘without’ those pieces up and about. Not like (I assume) normal people, where ALL of those things are ‘out and about’ all the time, and you keep a constant connection with those ‘parts’ of yourself. ‘You’ don’t put them on a shelf and let them live – live on for ages, like dolls waiting to come out and pose on stage – an ancient stage, no doubt, but you learned a long time ago: keep anything useful. Useful once, useful a long time. Sharp tools should be put away safely.
So when you hear the term “DID” – think about it. Look in yourself. You will see – or sense more than likely – sort of what “DID” is about. A shattering of ‘selves’? Or a building with a congregation? Souls inhabiting one plane? Or a mind making it all up? Either way: it’s a method of coping with those ‘sides’ and ‘parts’ when they get too divergent, too conflicting – cutting that out of ‘yourself’ and building another ‘self’ out of it. You can’t “throw it away” for it is a part of you. (Try to ‘throw’ your inner self out. Go on, I dare you. I doubt you can. If you’re a monomind, anyway.) Some people can do it – firemen, EMT’s, nurses, emergency workers – shutting off their emotions. And if you can do that . . .
then you’re DID, no doubt.
(Now . . . go and argue with yourself about what this was all about. LOL’ing my way outta this yard . . .)