Dear Sabrina:

For me it was like a large room filled with filling drawers with each file marked by event, feeling,reaction,and outcome. It took a lot of time to pull out each file and begin to put each piece together with the proper event. When you are secure in your surroundings you will begin to start that. I used to hear many stories of people being afraid of losing themselves in this process. As if they felt that part of them would be put to sleep and never wake up again. This is frightening if you, like me, have relied on other parts for survival.

As I went through this process, my protectors, as I called them, were needed less and less. And I remember at one time even feeling inside that they were sad because they were losing their worth to me. It may sound strange to some people, but someow I was able to make that part of me realize that they never needed to leave me and that I didn't want them to. I only asked that they stood beside me as I learned to take care of this adult person I was becoming. Even the parts of myself that were hell-ent on addictive behaviors were able to be overcome by the healthy life I wanted. I'm 49 now and have learned so much in the last 20 years that I am sometimes even amazed at myself as to how far I have come. One of things that has been the most helpful to me has been being able to express my feelings to others who truly understand and have been here or there with me. The more I have been able to express the real me, and all of me, the more secure I have become. It's a journey and I like this journey. I know that I'll have things to learn the rest of my life and that's what makes me go on. As a dissociative person, my life is forever changing so I guess I'll never have to worry about having nothing to do with my time! Keep writing with questions and listening to what others have gone through and your journey will be less frightful and more empowering for you. "It's never to late to have a happy life."


Integration.....strange word. I remember telling my first therapist about my horrific fears of my children and other parts dying.....Questions like, how will I know???what will I do next???How long does it take???? The answers came with time. Slowly, very very slowly and in "G-d's" time, not mine. One day I realize my gangster children didn't come up with all the ammunition to shoot someone down. One day I felt like my lower lip rising over my top as a little girl does.....Little by little I stay together during anxious times.....I am "combining forces" which I prefer to say, as it is less frightening an expression for me. My system feared dying without ever living and that is not going to happen, as we are living together however it is. I am still many parts and a multitude of fragments.....these are the little parts who come about in split seconds and do all kinds of things, helpful and not so helpful. Example--I saw myself take my Macy's bag off my couch, throw an inside fit that my cleaning help left garbage on my couch and immediately put it in the garbage......That was my new bathing suit. I watch these workers and have no power over them. The good news???? I am not angry, just a little upset and will see how we can work out this cleanliness stuff --which is a little compulsive-- and use it to our advantage, especially since most of us are all over the place. Don't know if this helps you any, hope so.....


I have never had any "formal" integrations, but after years of treatment (and more years out of treatment) things inside have really settled down. I don't have the "wars" in my head anymore. I am able to respond as a "collective force," with one opinion, in most situations, and it doesn't take a long time to come to the conclusion either--usually. But there are exceptions. When I am in a situation where a person or a work problem is constantly changing direction, I find myself "subdividing" again, into different factions that support the various changing directions. Then I do get internal arguments again, and begin to feel the fringes of dissociation and amnesia. This is extremely unsettling, and I do everything I can to extract myself from these environments or stabilize them as soon as possible. I think one of the factors that has helped me recover to this level has been an active effort on my part to avoid destabilizing environments, including people who are quarrelsome, overly critical, or show even a hint of violence. When I become superstrong internally, someday, I may be able to deal with such things the way 'normal' people do. But for now and the forseeable future, I am protective of myself and my goal is >comfort< and peace for me, inside and out.