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Hi Anne,

I have recently integrated 4 of my 23 Alters. They were the most dominate ones. And yes, I feel empty! I feel like the hollow chocolate easter bunnies you see for sale this time of year (preEaster).

Along with feeling "empty" there is a marked lessening of the "chatter" I have always had inside my mind. There is actually "open air time". I read a book this week. I haven't done that for years. When I feel lonely I pour myself a cup of tea, sweeten it with honey (for some quick energy) and try to do something I enjoy, like baking bread, cooking, re-potting plants. Sometimes it helps. Sometimes it doesn't and I end up pacing the floor or crying or just feeling empty and staring out the window. I want to believe that "this too will pass" and that one day the emptiness will be filled with "me".

I think I have been used to a "fullness" when ALL the Alters were present. When I read your note, I cried with relief. It was so good to know there was someone else feeling empty. It is also possible that I still need to grieve the loss of the Alters who have been my closest companions for so long. I know know that I have all the memories, skills and abilities that they had, but I still miss the feeling of their "presence". It must be a large part of the emptiness.

In an attempt to FILL "me" I have been cleaning out every closet, cupboard, etc. I am keeping only those things that I believe are "me". For example: I weave, but I am keeping only the linen and silk threads because I like to weave with them. I am getting rid of the wool yarns-they were the favorites of someone that is no longer here. It seems to be part of the process of "filling up" the new "me". I have always been a weaver, but I know know that "I" really like to weave with fine threads. When all the sorting out is finished, I plan to begin weaving, but not until I know that everything around me is a choice "I" have made. It is a slow process, but I am finding out that, while the basics of who I have always been are not changing, there is a "me" emerging that has preferences. I am hoping that this process will fill the emptiness I feel with a solid feeling of "me".



Hi Anne,
I have dissociative disorder, not otherwise specified, not DID. I dissociate but do not have alters. Therefore, I can't respond to your query about integration. However, I have experienced intense loneliness. I was unpopular in grade school and had no friends. I still feel lonely whenever I think about that and I cry when I think about it. For me what helps is to talk about loneliness in therapy.

Are you still in therapy? To "fall apart" and cry in therapy sessions and realize that my therapist is still there for me even though I am feeling intensely lonely.
Hope that helps.

Mary K.


Hi Anne,

I have not integrated yet but I too have had these feelings and for the same reasons.

I decided that I needed to get some outside activities to help fill the voids left by family and /or the lack of it. I also had an intense need to make a difference, to make my life count. I started out slow by volunteering my time at the local library. Then my granddaughter wanted to take guitar lessons and I joined her.

I now have started a new job part time and although it was difficult I am glad I stuck with it because I am really starting to enjoy it. I left work today feeling so full of joy and happiness...well it was wonderful. All of these things have increased my self-worth, self-respect, and given my life meaning. I look at myself and say I am doing it hurray, I did it!

I am working at a nursing home and the residents give me back a lot more than I give them. It fills my heart knowing that I am giving of myself and I haven't had time to feel lonely. Sometimes service does more for the person doing the service than vice versa. After all these years of hard work I am finally building a life for myself from the ground up and feel that it is full and well rounded. Sure there are times that things are still bad but I can fill myself up with good stuff too. I told my "selves" that we deserve a life and to be happy. All the struggles and pain, the fears and disruption to my system have been worth it and if I had to do it again; live through all those difficult moments to get where I am I would say okay I am ready because it is worth it.

Find something you love, and go for it! I hope that this helps you and that you can find a way to find the same joy I have.

Best Wishes, Donna