Sunday, February 26, 2012

Dissociative Identity Disorder and Schizophrenia are Practically the Same Thing and Other Misconceptions

 Dissociative Identity Disorder is Not Schizophrenia by Holly Gray

 I suppose people confusing the two can be a good way to open a discussion about mental illness and the misconceptions about it.  I don't discuss DID openly with many people I know, but the conversations I have had make me half sarcastically wonder if I shouldn't carry note cards with DID key points on them to pass out.  If I did this is what is would look like:

- No I am not possessed.  If you suggest it in any way I will be pissed.
-I am not Schizophrenic.  It is possible to have DID and Schizophrenia at the same time, but the two are not at all the same thing.  It is just as offensive to assume I have Schizophrenia as to assume a Schizophrenic has multiple personalities.  There is no sliding scale between DID and Schizophrenia.  DID does not contain some degree of Schizophrenia, and Schizophrenia does not contain some degree of DID.
-Even though I may have DID ( substitute; Schizophrenia, Bi-Polar, OCD, Depression, or PTSD), I am in no way less worthy than you.  If I had blue fangs and a third eye I would still be your fucking equal, and Dissociative Identity Disorder doesn't even come close to that.
-Yes, I am intelligent.  Yes, I have a mental disorder.  No, that is not a contradiction.
-DID is more scary for me than it is for you
-Having a mental disorder does not make me dangerous.  Dangerous people are dangerous.  Mentally ill people are mentally ill.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

To Tell or Not Tell about Dissociative Identity Disorder

     I struggle with this so much.  Some of us want to keep it hidden to keep what is vulnerable safe.  Others feel uncomfortable keeping such a huge part of my life secret from people we care about or even people we are just meeting.  We want to share who and what we are openly and DID is a part of that.  We want to be able to freely talk about DID so it will not be a secret or a stigma.  But sometimes we may tell for the wrong reasons: we want things to be the way they were, we want to be validated by someone-anyone- or we may need someone to talk to and try to create someone who will listen by randomly picking them and disclosing that we have DID.  Sometimes we regret telling.  Sometimes we feel let down by the person's lack of response, negative response, or by our lack of 'feeling better' on hearing a supportive response.
     A big question we have is what to tell people when they ask what we are doing in or with our lives.  They obviously do not want a deeply personal or traumatic recounting and we don't necessarily want to give one, but I can't give any basic facts about my current life without somehow touching on deeply personal or traumatic topics.  I cannot think of any basic happy answers that would satisfy these people without flat out lying (which I hate, and suck at anyway), yet I do not want to stop talking to them or cut them out.  Every time I talk with them, that question will come up, spoken or unspoken.  They want to know what I am doing.  I have no idea what response to give them, but I want to touch base with them now and again and am starting to think that talking about the weather is not such a bad thing.

I Have Dissociative Identity Disorder: Disclosure DOs and DON’Ts by Holly Gray

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Safety Remembrance Kit for Children

      I have been working on what I call a Safety Remembrance Kit for my youngest alters, the ones who have lived through the most violent and traumatic experiences.  It is difficult for anyone to do memory work after trauma, but I needed to put it in a context for young children.  Trauma is different in some ways for very young (especially pre-verbal) children; they have no understanding of what is going on, they have no language to express what is happening to them or how they feel, they are so vulnerable as to be in actual mortal danger by most trauma and abuse, and they have no means to defend themselves or escape.   Making sure children (or young alters) feel safe enough to remember abuse is the first step in trauma recovery.  My safety kit uses simple figurative objects to represent forms of safety a traumatized child needed in the real life past but did not have.  Now when they go 'back in time' through memory to revisit that scenario, they will have all the tools they need to remember and confront the trauma in a safe controlled way.

     The container for our Safety Remembrance Kit is just a cardboard box decorated with wallpaper samples.  Some of the ideas for figurative items to put in it I have so far are these;

A flashlight
To see and be seen.

A stop sign
Control.  The power to say no.  The decision of how far to go in memory work and when to stop.

A Teddy Bear

For comfort, company, and to guard.

A Notebook and Crayons

For expression.  Communication.

A Key
 Choice.  The power to open or close, lock or unlock.

     These are the idea I've had so far.  If anyone has any more ideas they'd like to add please share.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Getting Out of Detention

Getting Out of Detention with Angela Shelton

I love this, I couldn't download the video but it's on the link, just on the right, the woman in blue by a microphone.  One of my catapults.  

Friday, February 3, 2012

Resolute New Thing

Waves roll over me
 Try to breathe
 Try to see
Life must be worth living
In the darkest faucet
Of every single thing

I listen to myself
And I breathe
And I run
I hold to my instinct
That a link
A bond
Can never be undone

I hold to justice
While holding to hope
Knowing every person
Is great
Knowing that every love
Never broke

Light cannot be
without shadow
And shadow does not exist
Without light
So reach out your arms
Be yourself
Be full
Only you
Can determine
From right