DID and me

When I began this website in March 2014, I believe I was in a late stage of integrating my alter egos. In 2012 I had ceased therapy and had begun 'body work' to deal with the corporeal aftereffects of PTSD; I was struggling daily with these issues. So, it was natural that I put these topics front and center on the website. Today, in March 2017, for a year or so my DID is no longer a daily struggle. I seldom (twice a year) have outbreaks of alters, and although I recognize them (in retrospect) as alters, most outbreaks have become so mild that those around me just take them for a 'bad mood', graciously accept my apology, and we move on.

And so, in moving on, I have removed the main texts on DID away from the front of the website. However, they retain their importance as part of my DID chronicle, and so I am re-posting them here in the 'topics' section of the newly organized website. Thank you for your interest. 

MY D.I.D.   (DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER)

For decades I sensed that I was living with sets of mutually exclusive value systems. But no friend or therapist ever explored this notion with me, and my sense of contradiction was too distant to rise to the surface of my cognition in any way I could deal with, save as painful internal impulses I dealt with as sleepless nights, frantically energetic days, or emotional bursts: anger and depression, but also creativeness expressed in writing poems, founding musical groups, pursuing diplomas, or changing locations, careers, and lives. 

After my ‘conductive hearing loss’ around 1993 or 1994 and a first rehab, I found a therapist who suspected the roots of my problems and we began focusing on trauma as source of my persistent psychic problems. It wasn’t until my second rehab, in 2003-04, that the extent of the traumata was plotted (i.e., no new events surfaced in my memory; the memories remained constant) and I began to accept the wreckage Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder had wrought on my life. 

I thought I had it wrapped. But with the diagnosis of DID in 2008, my psychic landscape was again thrown into flux, with another period of plotting personalities, causation, effects, with concomitant suffering. I learned that there is no DID without PTSD, that very severe childhood trauma over a long period of time, in some cases, results in DID. 

One constant trait of what I’ll call my ‘character’ (in order to distinguish it from my ‘personalities’, which are changeable) seems to be a love of logical consequences. Another seems to be working to find them. Something in me wakes me up at night (has done so for as long as I can remember), prods me with the illogic of my own actions, and demands a ‘straightening out’. This, to a large extent, is the goal of my latest ‘life’ as writer, as chronicler, as ‘logic finder’ of Juni Shimata’s actions. 

DID, as far as I understand the theory, occurs spontaneously to help a child bear repeated traumatic pain that would otherwise be unbearable. I see that in my case, while some pain was physical, most was mental, in particular, being forced from childhood onward to exhibit different sets of behavior that were, on a logical level, mutually exclusive. It seems I was expected to endure different forms of abuse in different circles, but forbidden to speak about them to anyone. And this dissonance makes itself felt—unbidden and autonomous—in interruptive, nocturnal bouts of ‘awareness’ and futile cognition. Midnight bullfights with logic in which I, as torera, end up tossed around and gored by the bull. Probably no one’s life fits without contradiction into one system. Perhaps that is why confession exists in the Catholic Church or lengthy mediation in Buddhism. But neither gets me out of my quandary. It all refuses to fit into a coherent system.

When I first began writing down the traumata as my doctors requested—it was in my third rehab 2008-09—I could only do so at night. I felt that the things I was expressing were so terrible, they could only exist in the darkness of night. They would put the light of day to shame. Getting up at 2 a.m. and writing for several hours, then going back to sleep until 9 or 10 is a very disruptive life pattern. Bit by bit, my current pattern of getting up at 4 or 5 a.m. emerged. This allows me two or three hours of dealing with night topics, allows me to see my husband off to work, and lets me then attend the morning sport courses I need to keep my back pain at bay.

But the contradictions remain. And even today at this late stage, at age 61, I am still left mouth-agape when I sense the opposites in my behavior, which I am striving so hard to ‘integrate’. The contradictions sap my energy. They lead to paralysis. I can neither decide nor act. How, then?

(March 2014, revised and re-posted March 2017)

Hear my comment "DID Somatoform 1" on SoundCloud from 2015.

Hélène Cixous, again and again

My serious writing efforts grew out of work around author Hélène Cixous beginning around 2006. Her style, 'écriture féminine', fascinated me. I have perpetually sought inspiration from her first novel, Dedans (1969). And today, I draw new sustenance from her work on Samuel Beckett, Zero's Neighbour (2010). Thank you, Mme Cixous.