Sunday, November 6, 2011

Long Time No....

Hello all. I know its been a while since I posted to this blog. So much has happened while so little has changed. I'm still plural, I still switch on a daily basis, but I'm learning to deal. The good news is I am regaining my ability to concentrate slowly - it truly is hit or miss, but I see some improvements with that albeit minimal.

So, let me catch everyone up? :)

Well the latest is I got locked down on a 5150 hold just last month. There was yet another incident of self harm (cutting) and we were not able to keep the cuts hidden from our biological daughter. She had the expected reaction - anger and disgust. She even yelled at me about how I was trying to take her mother away. Interesting that at that moment, she seemed to forget about the DID. I still get frustrated with the others and how I end up dealing with the ramifications of their actions. It wasn't the person who cut who ended up in the emergency room. Nor was it the person who cut who spent the time on lock down. It was me. I spent 8 days in a mental ward filled to the max with mostly bi-polar 1 and/or schizophrenic patients. Most had tried to commit suicide and failed. The only thing I could do really is just laugh at the situation. I am neither bi-polar nor schizophrenic, so I really just had to 'play the game and say the right things' so the medical professionals would let me out of there. Just typing it now is ticking me off. Do any of you deal with taking responsibility and dealing with the fall out for the actions of the others alters?

[ASIDE - In case you don't know what a 5150 is, here's a pretty good explanation from Wikipedia]:

"Section 5150 is a section of the California Welfare and Institutions
Code (specifically, the Lanterman–Petris–Short Act or "LPS") which
allows a qualified officer or clinician to involuntarily confine a
person deemed to have a mental disorder that makes them a danger to
him or her self, and/or others and/or gravely disabled. A qualified
officer, which includes any California peace officer or paramedic, as
well as any specifically designated county clinician, can request the
confinement after signing a written declaration. When used as a term,
5150 (pronounced "fifty-one-fifty") can informally refer to the person
being confined or to the declaration itself, or colloquially as a verb,
as in 'Someone was 5150'd'."

Most of the in-patients went on to the intensive out-patient program of the hospital. It goes from 9am until 3pm. Can you imagine having to be in group 6 hours a day, 5 days a week? I'll pass, thanks.

It has been now over 3 years since my DID diagnosis and I still - STILL have moments when I have doubt that we are plural. I simply don't want it to be true. Plus I don't want to have to do the hard, hard work that is required to at the least get us all working congruently. We can't even think about considering integration because we feel so strongly that to do so would kill most of us. And that's just too much for us.

It is so good to see all of you here again. We'll speak again soon.

~by: Jess Mei

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Monster Within

~by: Jess Mei

I recently read a post on another dissociate disorder blog where a person described being dissociative this way, "It’s like I’m in a dark room, swinging a sword, and then someone turns on a light and I see the blood and body parts of the people I love all around me.”

[ All0ness' Blog ]

To have to face the things inside us....the evil, the hatred, the shame, fear, and overwhelming sadness through the eyes of my kids was an eye-opener for me. They've seen my Monster... it has a name - Mom.

Sometimes I look at my kids and I don't recognize who they are. They may as well be strangers sharing my space with me. I don't feel any fear of them - but there is a definite indifference that let's me know that I'm having a co-consciousness experience with one of the alters who either doesn't acknowledge that I have kids or one that has no feelings towards them one way or the other.

As I get to know the others, I now understand that I wasn't the one who gave birth to my least I wasn't the one who took on the majority of the pain of childbirth. That certainly explains why I fell asleep in between contractions - and I mean they had to shake me awake. That particular alter is definitely indifferent towards the kids and doesn't like men AT ALL. But that alter alone isn't the Monster.

The Monster is like conglomerate rock - solid, but made up of very different parts. But unlike conglomerate rock, which is solid and stays together, we frequently disjoint and shatter. That is when the Monster shows itself. That is when people around me see the Monster within come out - filled with hatred, self-loathing, shame, angry, fear and sadness.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Guilty Pleasure of Being Molested

~by: Jess Mei

Sometimes I hate myself so much, it is really incomprehensible. And I believe I now understand why. I remember having pleasure sometimes when I was molested, and I feel wrong for having had pleasure from it.

I remember one time getting molested and actually opening my legs more so that he could reach my bits better. I still feel him doing it, I still feel the pleasure I got from it, and damn it I still feel the amazing amount of guilt I have because of it. I wonder sometimes if that is why I didn't tell until I was an adult? Is it because I enjoyed it? Wanted it? God, I was just a little kid for pity's sake - in a home that was chaotic and confusing. But I can remember wanting him to touch me, for the attention and for the pleasure of having someone else stimulate me. But how can a child understand that really?

He used to expose himself to me and I'd run away. My heart would beat so fast, I was so scared. Then when I could go over to my cousin's house to get away, I'd go - and one of my cousins there would do the same thing to me. He even put me on my back a few times and tried to penetrate me. I think I was around 9 years old or so. I would just lay there, cause I didn't want him to hate me or hit me. I tried so hard to please everybody around me, to make sure they were okay. Nobody ever looked out for me though...and I never told anybody. Not anybody. I used to want somebody, ANYBODY to just read my mind, we'd be screaming in there - screaming for help, but no one ever heard us. So I had one who took it, and a few who hid everything. Hiding, always hiding.

We had to pretend that everything was fine. We had to pretend that we were not screaming and scared and tired of trying to make everyone and everything be okay. We had to pretend the fighting and violence didn't bother us. So each one took a job and executed it. One was brave and always smiled and laughed and joked; one went to school and did well - because if we didn't - we'd get beaten; one went to church 6 days a week and pretended we understood God when we didn't. One who always said, 'Yes Ma'am and no Ma'am' and obeyed her every command; one who stood very still while she blew cigarette smoke in our faces and taunted us for looking like our Father; one screamed with rage (but only inside) when we were burned with cigarettes at parties or burned with plastic by our brother; one was filled with hatred for all of them - every person who crossed our path...hatred for not helping us, hatred for beating us, molesting us, harming us, taunting us, teasing us, loving us; one who plotted revenge; and one who felt nothing at all. I live with the rage of being punished for being alive.I live with the rage for being loved. Such is the guilty pleasure of being molested.

I am so angry that I have such guilt and shame. I wonder so often how anyone could love me that I've pushed people away who actually do. But I don't understand WHY they could possibly love a dirty girl like me - I let them touch me. Sometimes I wanted it to happen. It was attention and it felt good, right? Such is the guilty pleasure of being molested.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Call to Action or Not? What to do After Someone You Love Has Self-Harmed

After my latest episode with cutting (this is not my arm), I realize that most 'common folk' are just not equipped to know what to do, or even how to react to self-harming. I think it is interesting how some people act like they are actually offended when we self-harm. Like 'how could we put them in that situation'. I do try to look at other people's points-of-views, so I thought I'd try to give some pointers for loved ones of self-harmers. Please pardon me if I come off sounding like I have an 'us' versus 'everyone else' mentality. But unless you are a self-harmer - I really don't think you can understand. This is just generalized advice. First, let me see if I can shed some light on the 'why' of it.

1. It's not about you...its not about us, and its not about suicide, either.
Outsiders need to understand that self-harm doesn't have anything to do with them...that's why it is called 'self' harm. Most times it isn't even about us, the self-harmers. Sometimes it is about the pain; sometimes it is about the blood. Sometimes we self-harm to heal another part of ourselves. But it is almost never about suicide. We're not trying to kill ourselves. Trust me - we already know exactly how to do that. Self-harm isn't about suicide...even when we're suicidal.

2. Self-harm is full of symbolism.
The scarring, the blood, the act of self-harm it self is extremely symbolic for us. Sometimes we'll even write poetry about it. For me, this symbolism has nothing to do with Satan, God, or anything like that. For example, once I've used a particular razor to cut, I'll cut with it until I feel 'okay' again, then I'll discard that razor. I don't want to even touch it again. It has served its purpose. Now, that doesn't stop me from going and getting another one (I purchased a 100 pack of blades) - but I don't because that self-harming episode is over and I feel okay again.

3. Self-harm usually occurs when we are under a lot of stress and are frustrated.
Sometimes we cut because we want to express frustration but don't want to express it verbally. The cuts then become like little screams, a way to yell, let out that 'pressure', and not have to confront the source of the stress and/or frustration. Sometimes we cut when we feel like we're not being heard or understood. Whatever the reasons, the underlying cause is a great deal of stress and/or frustration.

Okay, so knowing all this, you as the bystander are supposed to do what exactly?

Here are the suggestions:

  • Don't look at us like we're crazy. This is an addiction and coping mechanism...just like smoking.
  • Don't jump to conclusions and assume that we're trying to kill ourselves. Dying a death by a thousand cuts isn't something we're interested in.
  • Don't panic and try to remove our instruments of choice. That makes us feel like a child and when the next time comes up, we'll find something else to self-harm with. And because we would be self-harming with something less familiar, we risk potential fatal injury.
  • If we want to talk about it, please - please just listen. Don't try to fix anything.
  • If possible, help to keep the stress levels down.
  • Keep a medical first aid kit handy. Be prepared to take us to the emergency room if the cuts need stitches and be willing to fight with us for humane treatment at the hospital.
  • Don't crowd...give us some space to regroup.
  • If we have DID, know that this cutting episode may be triggering or may have been a reaction to a trigger.
  • If you see us wearing long-sleeved clothing in the middle of summer, don't make a big deal about it. More than likely, we are trying to hide our scars.
  • Don't help us if we don't ask for it.
Basically, the best action to take is to just 'be' there...follow our lead. We usually find our voices after the self-harm and are able to articulate clearly how we will need your assistance and support.

Friday, April 10, 2009


So, I cut today. I needed to see the blood well up and spill over and I didn't quit cutting until it did. The urge was on me heavy and none of the tips I tried from the list I posted earlier worked. I walked the dog and got out of the house. I knitted, I screamed but in the end - I cut.

This is my housemates first time with the urge...Urge...shouldn't it become a proper noun? I think so. I think it has earned that from the number of times it has coaxed and enticed us to self-harm. I had an HUGE, ugly argument/discussion with my ex. We said things we've wanted to say even before I ran away to Australia back in September.

I thought I started blogging to try to help others through my own experiences. Now, I know I started blogging because I needed you...every one of you who has ever visited this blog.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tips for Significant Others of Multiples

Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder - or any dissociative disorder for that matter - can be HELL! I can only imagine what it must be like for those of you who live with us. Our actions are difficult to understand on the best of days and some times infuriating on other days (I know). For some of you, you've been living with a multiple for years and years and still haven't recognized the signs of it - or been introduced to the multiple's alters. I want to present you with some tips for living with your DID loved one in hopes that these tips might help you to navigate your way through the turbulent storm of DID.

1. Don't take it personal.
I set this one as #1 for a reason - you really cannot take what a multiple may say or do personally. I know this is easier said than done, but please try. You have to understand that while the body may be a certain age, we have young children, babies, inanimate objects, seniors, bee-bop young adults, and teenagers inside of us, and these alters can and do come out and control the body at times. Not all of these alters are pleasant - in fact some are downright mean and destructive. So sometimes you, as the significant other, will get targeted by these alters. I have one who hates everything and everyone and deeply resents the fact that anyone would or could love me.

2. Alters can and do mimic each other.
I'm not sure why this is - but it happens. I'd imagine it is just a game for the see if she/he can 'fool' the SO (significant other) or those that are around. Get to know some tell-tell indicators for the alters, so that no matter how much they joke around, you'll know with whom you're dealing with.

3. Be vigilant of reckless behavior.
Some people with DID will engage in fast, reckless driving, over-indulgence in alcohol or recreational drugs, gambling, and other general risky behavior. It isn't that we necessarily think we are invincible, it is generally because we simply don't care. Or one (or more) alters in control of the body at the time don't care. I must also say that more than 1 alter can not only behave this way, but also develop addictions because of it. Imagine trying to quit smoking when more than 1 of you is addicted to nicotine. I mean, how do you know if the others want to quit? My SO has alters who come out, smoke his cigarette, then leave. He still wants to have a cigarette himself, so he lights up again. Can you see the difficulty in this?

4. People with DID LOVE to play mind games.

We tend to be extremely secretive and are generally distrusting of others. This is a fact that has nothing at all to do with love or the foundation on which the SO relationship is built upon. We will 'try' the SO and will most often test your love and commitment to us. This is primarily where the mind games come in, but not always. We absolutely HATE to be manipulated and recognize it quickly and will sometimes turn the tables on the manipulator so that they become the manipulated.

5. Be patient when it comes to making love.
Sometimes we act 'weird' with sex and we don't even know why. Sometimes we get triggered (it could be a smell, a touch, a position, a 'look' in the eyes of the SO - anything) and off we go to whatever memory of a past event that got triggered. We might be able to work through it then and there, but sometimes, it might take days, weeks, months (or more) for us to recover. 1 step forward, 20 steps back - but as long as you don't give up on us, I think we'll make it.

6. We need PLENTY of alone time.
So, don't get upset when we take it. If you think about it, we could literally be on a deserted island in the middle of the Pacific and not truly be 'alone'. There is an entire group of us there in the 1 system, talking, screaming, crying, and watching. Some people in every day life come home and turn on the TV because they need the background noise. I stay at home all day without one on because I don't want to add anymore to the chaos already going on inside the system.

7. Sometimes, people with DID come off as indecisive.
Most times, we're not really. We're just trying to get a consensus from more than 1 person inside the system. This indecisiveness shows up for me most when deciding about where to eat and what to eat. As the host personality, I tend to mediate most times within the system, but this isn't easy by any stretch of the imagine. YOU try getting more than 3 people to agree on any 1 thing! As the SO, please allow us to change our minds without reprimand and know that in general, we want to please those around us, especially our SO - and when you reprimand us, it hurts so deeply. And please don't take our ability to choose away.

8. We Lie - A LOT.
I don't know if this is rolled into our need for mind games, secrecy or what, but we lie, omit the truth, stretch the truth, hide the truth, make stuff up - whatever you want to call it - we do more than our share of it. I honestly can't even remember all the lies I've told or why I told them. Was it to make myself more interesting? Was it to keep someone out of our business? I do remember lying a few times because I couldn't remember doing what I was accused of having done. I have also lied and said I recognized someone who clearly knew 'me', when I didn't. We hide; we lie. And as the SO - just know this going into a conversation that a DID person may (or may not) be completely forthcoming might be helpful to you. Sometimes, alters come out, drop the lie and leave whoever is out to deal with the fallout. This can be extremely frustrating for everyone concerned. I have personally stood by, watched the body's mouth moving, heard the words coming out, knew what was said were lies and couldn't stop it from happening. I got depressed knowing that eventually, I'd have to come out and try to untangle things.

9. Sometimes - we cheat.
And I don't mean 'lust in our hearts' cheat, either.
This is closely related to the reckless behavior point made earlier. We engage in on-line affairs and real life affairs. Sometimes it is more than one alter engaging in this sorted behavior as well. As the SO, I advise you to please be vigilant. If it looks like a duck, it probably is one...maybe even two or three. Even if the person you married would NEVER do something like cheat - bear in mind that she/he isn't the only one in the system. There are oft times alters of both genders within the system who don't have the same value system as your beloved. She/He may not even be consciously aware of what has occurred. Which brings me back to point #1 - please don't take it personal. If you're willing to work through these issues and stand by us, we will too.

On a personal note, I want to say that because of all of these various behaviors and different alters, I generally hate myself. I don't like the way that 'I' behave at times and I look at the behavior (and myself) with great disdain. I wish it were a matter of improving my impulse control, but it is so much more than that. So, I have taken a personal stand to not do things that would increase my feelings of self-loathing.

I hope these tips have given you, the Significant Other, some insight into our world. If you'd like to add another tip - please do so in the comments and I'll incorporate it into the blog.

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