Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Parts of me?

When I was talking to Steve about DID he asked me where I felt my little ones came from. I had a lot of trouble answering this and I thinnk Steve recognised that as he then changed the question to where did my psychologist think my parts come from. I told him that Margaret said that they are each a part of me - that my mind created different parts to deal with different things in a difficult situation.

Intellectually I have accepted this but when ever Margaret (my psychologist) or someone else talk about them as part of me I want to argue with them. Its a purely emotional response, I recognise that and generally I stop myself from arguing and just bite my tongue, so to speak. Steve seemed to be of the opinion that they are spirits helping me. But that doesnt feel right either.

I have always felt a sense of togetherness with my little ones, a sense of kinship, similar to the ties to family - a connection to them. I remember Paul describing a circle that encompasses all of us - I could relate to that. I have been considering this for a while and I actually found something written down in our shared journal, I am not sure who inside decided to give their opinion but I liked it and thought I would share:
When we were hurt our soul shattered, breaking into different pieces. As it healed it became a multiple of wholes; all connected but seperate, shared in a body.
I dont know how true that is, but it does show that feeling of togetherness while explaining the sense of seperatness.

I suppose Margaret would say that it is not really productive thinking like this. Margaret has been very good at helping me - she has taught me so many skills in coping, she was the one who diagnosed us, and she has help to empower me in particular in really trying to actively heal. She encouraged me to get back into my art after I took that long break. However Margaret seems to feel the only path to healing leads to intergration.

For those of you who dont know what intergration is, the idea is that all of the parts of a person with DID "intergrate" or join together to become one person again. I have heard of people who have interegrated and it has fallen apart months or even years later. I have heard of people who are currently living "intergrated". I also know of people who have full co-conciousness; in other words that are full aware all the time however who is in control can still vary. Or at least that is how I understand it.

Currently my goal in healing is to reach co-conciousness, to be able to function in the every day world. Intergration just doesnt feel achieveable to me at this point and some of my little ones panic at the idea of integration. I guess I panic a little at losing something that has protected me for so long.

When I first found out I had DID - before I could even hear my littles ones, I thought that it was a disaster, something to be ashamed of, that I was somehow broken. I believed that intergration was the only solution. Then as I started to get to know my little ones, I started to realise it wasnt the end of the world, I started to read as much as I could on DID and began to realise that there were other options. At that point I would have said I would never intergrate - that it was an impossibilitity - too hard and too far out of reach. Now? Now I think its a possibility, I feel more together than I ever have however I still feel a strong sense of seperateness at the same time. The idea of integration creates less anxiety than it used to though there is still some. It is something I will consider in the future - for now co-conciousness seems a good goal.


Candycan said...

I agree with a lot of what you're saying and this post reflects myfeelings on a lot of things to do with integration as well.
I also don't like it when my parts are spoken about as being just aspects of myself although I understand that they are. It's because we experience them as individuals with their own thoughts and feelings and sometimes their own unique history.
However, thinking of my parts as aspects of me helps me to feel less anxious at the prospect of integration because, it reminds me that if I ever do get to that stage, I won't be losing anyone, just becoming more one with them.
There is still ambivalencce about integration though!
From the research I've read and what my psychologist has told me, integration isn't the only outcome however those who do achieve it are more likely to remain 'stable' or less likely to go into a crisis phase than those who don't. When I read that statistic way back at the start, I was sure then that integration was the only option for me. But as I have come to learn about and get to know my parts I have started to love them and be able to work with them more so now I don't know if integration or co consciousness is what I want in the end.
I try not to worry about it and just concentrate on making life manageable in the here and now.
So, yeah, I can relate to what you're saying.

Evan said...

I think that the mind creating different parts could lead to the apart-together thing. The parts deal with what the rest didn't want to - so they are partly you but also partly different too, this makes sense to me.

I'll be interested to hear how you go with co-consciousness. I don't have DID so it is easier for me to think of integration. So I'm really interested to hear how you find co-consciousness.

MultipleMe said...

Evan: Welcome to my blog, thank you for your comment, it is always encouraging for me when people comment. I will definitely keep posting about working towards co-consiousness however I think I am still a fair way off it. Healing is a slow journey.

Candy: It is hard to know what the right path is, I choose to work to co-conciousness as a long term goal because I believe it will make my life more manageable and I feel that I will be able to work from intergration from co-conciousness if we choose to in the future. Its nice to know that I am not alone in feeling this conflict

MultiMe said...

The eight of us are extremely co-conscious. And we've discussed integration as a possibility. It terrifies some, and the rest just kind of snort and dismiss the possibility. We actually like our multiplicity, despite some of the problems it creates. There are some advantages that go along with it that we're not willing to give up.

Anonymous said...

while your blog seems inactive, i'd read of this one idea of you in another article already and wanted to comment on it now. that idea's primarily the one about the others as "parts of you", as well as somewhat about how some people will push integration as a supposedly necessary aim. i hope at least other future readers may find this comment useful.

in our case, i used to think that i'm "the real" person or really the only one then, and i used to think of the others as "imaginary friends" (ugh!) or some other terms like 'alter ego', 'idealised self', etc. more recently, i'd think of me as "the main" or still "real" person with the others as 'aspects' or basically 'alters' of /me/. parts of me, in a pinch. but last year, especially during some depressive phases, we've found that _i_ can detach and comment out of a distance the same way some others can, and that when the first other identified takes over (with mutual consent) she feels no less real and even like she may have been supposed to be "the main" or the 'apparently-normal' part. (even when she is only indirectly active she's developed strong opinions about her own reality.)

our conclusion on that is really that i am not exactly "the whole", i'm another part of her, of our whole person. while most of my own characteristics were based on (a lacking idea of) how to be able to manage all of everyday life, it's clear to us that i'm not identical with her; only all of us together form her.

i have more experience in running everyday life than all the others (including attending therapy), and may be closest to being an avatar of our outside adult self (most of us have some fictional backstories, which we clearly understand as being only fictional; in my backstory however, i am based on the real person as she'd presented her self externally, much like the others are based on fictional characters). despite this, in my being i'm not actually her and thus the others aren't "parts of me"; instead, all of us are 'parts of her', including me as one part. "No more. No less."

as for how productive that insight is, i'll go with our own judgement and so i'd have advised back then to you (individually and all of you). as for integration, preliminary short experiences like that were slightly better than usual for us in the best case and terribly scary and unsafe when anything only slightly uncomfortable would happen. in the negative, it's lonely and our individual skills and methods of coping fall apart, become inaccessible to her (our whole). our therapist doesn't push integration as needed, fortunately. better to improve the coordination and work together as a team than to actually introduce instability and danger by forcing integration!

clearly, any readers may have different experiences and opinions on both matters. it may be helpful to some to read of mine and ours, though.

~ Meta

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