So, I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been focusing on other illnesses that I’ve been diagnosed with. You see, I have several rare diseases that cause me horrific pain and disability. I unfortunately suffer on a daily basis. It’s a miracle just for me to get out of bed and walk in my life each day. Well, my conditions have gotten worse and my prognosis is not good. I’ve been trying to process the truth about my health and how it affects my family and friends. I’m sad, but I know God is going to use my life as an example of hope and love for others.
The DID has taken a backseat in my life for now. I’ve been integrated enough to not be distracted by my alters. It’s like they are all united in focusing on others aspects of my life and I am grateful. I don’t have negative or destructive voices challenging me on a daily basis.
I give God all of the glory for my integrations and healing. It was not a psychologist or psychiatrist. It was not a person or pastor. It was God. It was Jesus and it was the Holy Spirit who brought me out of the chaos that DID can be. The thing is, there’s hope. There’s a Bible verse that reads, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life. (Proverbs 13:12).”
We can’t defer our hope. We can’t just push it away and expect to remain healthy. Without hope we become lost and sick, stressed and overwhelmed. So, it’s simple, stay hopeful. How do we stay hopeful when life is crazy and stressful? How do we become integrated? How can we find peace and joy in life when all things seem impossible?
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
Matthew 19:26, Amplified Bible
This verse doesn’t say “some things” it says “all things.” All things. And it’s true. I face a pretty scary future, but I can still have peace and joy during the suffering I endure. If I can experience wonderful things and enjoy a less chaotic life, so can you.
The voices in my head, that constant noise between parts, have changed. I hear mere whispers most of the day with added coherent and constructive conversation. On a bad day, there is some arguing or otherwise strongly felt communication between parts, but it always gets resolved.
How did I do it? In just one word, Jesus (Just keep reading, it will only take a few minutes.). I know people don’t want to hear this. I know how anti-Jesus people can be these days. Let’s face it, Christianity has become nearly taboo in the mainstream world, because of a few fanatics. Those fanatics take serious topics, like homosexuality or abortion, and find hate in their hearts, rather than love. But Jesus is my Healer.
Jesus showed me how to become more integrated. He showed me that my parts needed to cooperate with one another, and they must be saved. Salvation, believing Jesus as God and man, came into the world to die for all of our sins, was the only way the parts could be restored. Without restoration, the parts would remain trapped in negativity and non-lifegiving thoughts and actions. The parts needed to want to live.
At the time, I had parts that loathed each other and didn’t agree that Jesus is Lord. It was a process to mend relationships between parts and teach them about the Salvation of Christ. But I did it and it worked. I have become more and more integrated over time.
Here’s what I did (and for me this process has taken about six years):
I identified as many individual parts as I could.
I wrote about each part: I discovered their names, personalities, beliefs, values, relationships, and their roles within my system.
I never named them all or discovered all there was about them, and I’m certain the I still have parts today that I haven’t identified.
I wrote letters.
I wrote letters back-and-forth between parts that didn’t get along. I got serious in these letters. I laid it all bare. I wrote about everything I could think of, including the hate, anger, love and respect. I jumped in, as Jana (my core personality), and stood in the gap as mediator between parts to build loving relationships.
I wrote letters between my parts and my core. I met the estranged and wrote to my best friends.
I got creative.
I made art out of the letters. I scribbled, I drew, I painted. I covered the words I wanted to let go of and left some of the positive ones I wanted to save. I drew portraits on the letters, I painted shapes, turns and twists. This was a seriously cathartic exercise.
I wrote a book called, 21 Pieces: Finding Wholeness in Spiritual Truth. The book is a novel based on my story. It is by far the most difficult book I have written to date. All of the others are faith-based non-fiction.
I prayed for help.
I began to see a neuropsychologist in addition to my psychiatrist and psychologist.
Now it seems that I become more integrated every year as my parts get along and work together in my life.
I’m not like Sybil. Though I can forget things that I’ve done or said, my alters for the most part are co-conscious. I’m highly functioning, or what would be called Functional Multiplicity.
I was recently integrated some more — spontaneously. I wasn’t really trying to integrate, I just figured I would integrate if I was ready. I knew I was integrated more because the conversations in my head have become less erratic and anxious. There are literally fewer of “me” in my head. It’s really hard to explain, but I feel less weighed down by a large group. There are fewer arguments and questions in my head. I feel stronger and more sane, if that makes sense.
I asked my System who was integrated, and was told by one of my primaries, that my entire tertiary level of alters were integrated with my secondary alters. Now, I only have two levels in the hierarchical structure, and I feel great!
How did it happen? I let it go. I gave my situation over to God and kept living life as normally as I could in His strength and power for me.
The Bible says that all things are possible with Christ, and now I believe it more than ever.
Arriving at the house I was composed with my makeup done and ready for the gathering of people. Having had to talk myself out of turning around and heading home at least a dozen times. The first step out of the car was mine and then Ray came forward and in excitement went through the door making her presence known. Thankfully I was able to play it off and asked Ray to please behave. Then again at the time to eat, Ray served herself a big hunk of cheesecake dip with cool whip, and sweets galore. Looking at the plate my stomach felt nauseous.
Shortly after, it was game time, and another alter lost her cool and went into panic mode because a gentleman of great size sat next to her and his leg touched hers. She was so freaked out she grabbed her purse, stood up, and was going to leave. This particular alter has an eating disorder. I moved seats and was able to play some games and had some fun. Eventually, severe anxiety rose up again and we had to leave the gathering and head home.
Several of my alters showed up to the gathering and some even came out but didn’t talk. It felt like I was on a spinning wheel that went round and round. Social situations are hard, but I survived, and I’d do it all over again.
Everyone’s dissociative to some degree. People daydream, fantasize, and distract themselves from the realities of life. People fall into addictions to get away from the world. We watch television and movies, listen to podcasts and music, all to find some temporary relief from the stressors of our personal existence. And some of us, like myself, check out altogether with D.I.D.
There’s a small social gathering coming up on Thursday. It’s a bring a Dip & Game type of evening. Could you imagine the reaction of others if I showed up with at least 15 different dips for 15 different parts—all with different tastes and personalities. So, I opted out to bring none. Maybe no one will notice.
A D.I.D. friend of mine asked if I was showing up and we looked at each other and laughed. Both of us laughed knowing how hard social events can be. Hopefully I’ll be the one who arrives and not a little one who has no filter or another that loves to dress up and is crazy for boys.
So, who’s showing up Thursday? Is it personality one or personality two, three or maybe fifteen? I’ll have to let you know.
I like to do prophetic art during our worship time at church — sometimes dodging flags and dancers.
First I pray, asking Holy Spirit what He wants me to draw and I get into my Bible and read. I always begin to see part of an image, colors and shapes but I don’t get the whole picture until I begin to draw. The picture emerges so-to-speak and becomes something I may not even understand. Every quick drawing that I do speaks to someone, which is a blessing to me.
The moon settles in as the sun majestically sets leaving a display of colors painting a picture of a thousand words. Shortly the adventures begin with Ray (a one-year-old part). The nightly fights of why we can’t wander around the house in our underwear with an adult male child in the house begin. Eventually she relents and the hunt for her amazing “blanky” goes on. This blanky is a miracle worker that puts Ray right to sleep—It’s better than cold medicine. Every day the blanky ends up in a different spot in my room due to Ray’s restless sleep patterns. Finally, her blanket is in hand and she is off to dreamland allowing me to go to sleep.
Morning comes all too fast as I wake up to crumbs sticking to the sides of my cheeks and broken morsels of food in my sheets. The crumbs of a half-eaten granola bar, wrappers of fruit snacks thrown to the side of the pillows and an empty box of frosted mini shredded wheat on the floor. When asked what happened? She simply replies “I hungy.” Somewhere between nightfall and the morning Ray woke up and hit the snack station blocking me in the process, leaving me to wake up for clean-up duty!
Answering the question of “Who am I?” can be very difficult. With D.I.D. we often lack the ability to say who we are with confidence. D.I.D. eats away at our self-esteem and self-worth because our identity isn’t easy to define, especially since we’ve experienced trauma. Knowing who we are is important in life as a human being and with D.I.D. who we are gets complicated.
Knowing who we are gives us a solid psychological (mental and emotional) foundation for maturing, changing and living our lives. D.I.D. forces us to define ourselves with multiple identities. It’s important to define ourselves in order to understand not only who we are but also where we are at in life. If our goal is full integration of identities (personalities, parts or alters), or functional multiplicity, it helps to know who those identities are.
I found that mapping my identities helped me to know more about who I am. I can get to know, understand, and relate to each of my parts because I have defined them. I can now explain and relate to my parts by name, personality and character attributes. This has laid a foundation for me to define and redefine who I am as I mature. The better I know myself the better my self-esteem and self-worth are. I can stand in confidence of who I am today, and I can look forward to who I will become.