I haven’t been writing a lot on this blog. Instead, I have been making a habit of talking about Dissociative Identity Disorder very casually. Sometimes, I just refer to it as “my mental illness,” other times I make sure to concentrate on the facets that have a wider mutual understanding, like complex-PTSD and anxiety as well as Major Depressive Disorder and Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I have been diagnosed with all of those ailments, this is true. However, I’ve been using my other mental health issues to avoid talking about, or at least focusing on, the reality of being a multiple.
Then, today, as Maggie was finally calming the Tribbles and toddlers in the brain we call an Enterprise, we came out and shared a selfie as a form of “mental health awareness” post only to have an ignorant singleton start off their shaming statements including the phrase, “…you know you don’t have multiple people living in your brain…”
Okay, we have been coping relatively well with this diagnosis for over six years. In that period of time, we have learned many things. A primary thing we have learned is to RESPECT the personalities who we time-share the body with.
Allow us this opportunity to describe how it feels from this side of the body:
Inside the brain, there are personalities that have developed, starting in our infancy, and some have been frozen in those ages when they developed.
As the body has experienced more traumatic events, each event brought with it a different coping mechanism, as the brain and body learned different things and the body grew and responded to outside stimulus, both negative and positive, different personalities were created with different perspectives and functions.
Now, as a 54 year old shell, the brain triggers the embodiment of selected personalities as different outside and inside stimuli occur.
So, although there may not be “other people,” there definitely are multiple personalities, in our case embodying ages from infancy to old age.
These last few weeks, we’ve been dealing with multiple trauma memory triggers. Those triggers started a process that would see the primary personality, Maggie, completely out of consciousness for nearly a week, after weeks of co-consciousness with difficult protector-type personalities.
Eventually, days after the world disappeared to Maggie, she began to awaken to a world that she didn’t know if the people in her body had completely destroyed.
Although she would rather hide in a fetal position, dissociating into a brainless entertainment screen, we gradually began reaching back out to trusted friends.
Once again, attempting to rebuild our life and our world. Each time, with more structure and understanding in place of the broken vessel that we embody.
A broken vessel and brain that is deserving of love and is shunning shame.
We have started a little podcast over the past month. It is just a short conversation about dissociation, mental health and self-advocacy. It’s called Slightely Maggie. It is available everywhere you find your podcasts.
Here’s a sample.
We’ve also compiled a couple of the podcast with some photos and video clips to create this promotional video: