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Hi Kari.

What you wrote was very similar to my experiences with freaking out when personalities showed up and talked to people. It happened to me the most, when I was stressed. But there were also some triggers. Other times it just seemed random and very unpredictable. Sometimes it would be kind of cute, when one of my little ones would want to play with a toy or a ball and toss it to a person I know. Other times, it would be embarressing, when one personality who would just blurt out anything, would let it fly. I'd hear it coming out of my mouth, but couldn't stop it. And then I never knew what to say after that. I never really got totally used to it. I became more accepting of it. I was always told that whatever personality was out at the time, was out because they needed to be. I learned to accept that. Whether they were out to fill me in on something, to share a memory, to get used to being around people, or to just show the others they were there. I learned it was ok they were out. It still remained freaky to me, and was unsettling, but I tried to figure out why they were out.
As far as the triggers went, anything could trigger a switch and somebody would be out talking to people I know. Somebody would see someone that resembled one of my abusers, or see someone wearing a shirt like an abuser wore. Or just someone looking kind would trigger some personalities to come out and talk to them. I learned to accept it.
I learned too, that my stuff was in proportion to the abuse I suffered. Just like you mentioned. For years I thought of my MPD/DID as something horrible. I was ashamed of it. Until I started going through the integrations. Then I saw MPD/DID as a blessing. It got me through all the abuse, and I was thankful for it. I had learned that each personality had it's own purpose and learned to honor them for that purpose.

Take care.
Debbie E.



Dear Kari..

First of all, your therapist is right.  It is perfectly normal.
Even if one had full blown DID, it would be perfectly normal in conjunction with the life experiences that person faced.  How do you get used to it?  I don't know if this particularly helps, but here's what I did initially and continue to try to do...

1)  I honor the fact that "it" is.  I honor the part of self that at age 4 said "I matter" in a way that no one else or alternative states as they can be called protected "me" and parts of "me".  I honor "them" because those special parts of me enabled"me" to be who I am today.  They are a part of me and I am a part of them. We respect ourselves as a whole being and we also respect and honor the individual talents of the various parts that comprise this person. 

2) We work with each other and we try to discover our talents and work with our system.  We developed joint projects that would involve the talents of those we knew and in the process discovered talents that had never before been seen.  We go to certain events that are of specific interest to certain parts.  We celebrate those special interests.  We celebrate the common foundation of all parts while at the same time, we celebrate the diversity of parts. 

3) We read and research everything we can find to understand more about ourselves (books approved by therapist).

4)  Each part that we know about has a special day.  We built a calendar and every part we know has a day where their interests and special time take precedence over everything else.  We share their experiences with the others inside and we find a special way that day to say thank you to that part for what they did on our behalf. 

5)  When a part has an 'Oops' or an "outside of the head appearance" we try to learn from that and understand what the trigger or need was at the time. 

6)  No matter what, we have group prayer time and we thank God for the gift of dissociation that enabled who this person is.  I owe my life to those special parts I never knew until 18 months ago.  I thank God for them every day.  I make mistakes in trying to help these parts of myself.  I make those mistakes all the time just trying to understand everything I never knew. 

Sometimes it's a lot but you know, I have total faith in this system of mine and with a little self-patience in the discovery process, we're going to get where we need to go. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is the worst part of having DID is the initial fear of it. For me, the best way to deal with a fear is to address it head on and start to work creatively with it.  To empower myself more in my life, I must understand and empower those unique aspects of me we call 'parts'.  We have to learn a little something called coordination and build a better team.  We work towards communicating better. 

Is it challenging?  Yes it is. 
Is it easy?  No it isn't. 
Is it scary sometimes?  Yes, it is. 
Is it funny sometimes?  Yes, it is. 
Is it embarrassing sometimes?  Yes, it is. 
Would I change anything about it?  Yes, I would change the history if I could, but I wouldn't change a thing about a single part of me I have come to know.  They are changing piece at a time. 

Oh, and about your therapist...listen to them.  They are right.  It's normal.  It's always been you.  Your awareness of you is changing.  Fasten your seatbelt.  Growth is good.  Sometimes painful, but growth is good.  Honor them and honor yourself. 

I had to ask myself a question one day when I was totally staggered by the whole thing and freaking out over having it in the first place...
hey, you, have you ever been afraid of yourself in your whole life? The answer was "no". 
Another answer was...then why start now?
You have nothing to fear but the fear itself and you have everything to be thankful for.