Having a lot of selves.
Different from everyone else.
What’s wrong with that? Nothing at all.
This strawberry is beautiful.
It really “makes you look!”
This strawberry is truly amazing.
How did it grow in so many separate directions all at once?
Have you ever seen such a unique strawberry?
Isn’t it interesting?
I think it is mega-cool.
I thought maybe this strawberry was a plural-minded strawberry, a single strawberry filled with all kinds of internal strawberries, representing all sorts of different experiences.
This strawberry seems to be many strawberries all at once.
It just has to be a dissociative strawberry-multiple, don’t you think?
We all are familiar with the usual strawberry — those perfectly shaped red bursts of juicy goodness.
What about the strawberries who are completely different from all the other strawberries?
I think they are fascinating.
And different can be wonderful.
Different is important.
And necessary. And a fact of life.
Do you recognize yourself in these unique strawberries?
If you have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID/MPD), you may very well relate to these strawberries. Not only are these strawberries different from the usual “normal” strawberry, they are also unique from each other.
Each part of your system is also going to be unique.
You wouldn’t have so many insiders if they were the same.
What would be the point of splitting off the same someone over and over again? Each of your insiders would have been created with variety, with purpose, out of necessity. As you needed someone to manage a difficult situation different than what anyone else could manage, you would create your next system-someone.
What about the strawberries with blemishes?
What about the strawberries that have had some rough times?
Do you know what it feels like to have bumps and bruises?
Can you relate to the less than perfect strawberries?
Have you felt dirty, or broken, or weird, or crushed?
What do you do with those feelings?
DID systems need every single everyone in the system.
Everyone has done an important job and has had a specific role that has helped with your overall functioning. Everyone in your system is valuable. Everyone in your system has made their very own unique contribution to the survival of your life events.
The article, 20 Types of Dissociative Splits may help you to recognize the strengths of everyone internally.
In the meantime, celebrate the uniqueness of each of your inner people, and how the whole of them let you be the unique and wonderful person that you are.
It’s okay to be you. All of you.
I wish you many joy-filled, glorious, sweetest-ever strawberries on your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
I wish everyone thout that. Some people make being different a bad thing.
But having DID dont make you bad. Having DID is a good thing. Like a gift from God. And its a creative way of helping you own mind.
I don’t know who I am I’m crying because it’s all so hard. My parts are very secretive I don’t Know when we’ve switched. My therapist tells me someone more hopeful was here earlier. It hurts me and makes me mad because all I know is who I am then. I don’t want DID. Does anyone else ever feel like that?
Linda, for me, that is so “Yes” and “No”….. I don’t like all the confusion and the clashing of perspectives in my face…but the idea of having NO input from Inside is equally hard for me….times when everyone has gone down or is silent is so scary….I feel like I am walking through the minefield of life blindfolded and I wish they would come back and help me…..I need the feedback…..Trying to figure out where I am at from feedback of Outsiders tends to just blowup in my face….what is that saying? If you are in a hole – just STOP digging!
My boss made an attempt to “help” me with my PTSD since I “like to have anxiety”……I made it clear to him that it happens with triggers….I DON’T like it…..I saw it go right over his head. I now have to carry a rock with me everywhere and he checks to see if I am using it. He even took a picture of it so he can check in 90 days to see if it has been used…..yet he tells me “I am not monitoring you”…..Sounds like “monitoring” to me….which one of us is right?
He doesn’t know the Inside uproar he has caused…..I couldn’t figure out why all the internal chaos until I heard Rage say, “He is trying to dismantle our alarm system”……I told my T what Rage said and she said that my boss did not understand what was going on with me (of course we are NOT about to tell him)……she said that if I was NOT dissociative and was needing a coping mechanism or tactic, then a rock would be fine – but my parts went into an uproar because they felt they were being by-passed …..i.e. me denying their existence……
So now….Outside Her has to carry the rock so our boss doesn’t get mad at us…and we have to do what we can to calm the Insiders……We had to leave a meeting the other day because of a bad trigger – our boss had explicitly told us earlier that if we are EVER struggling we have his permission to step out if needed…..yet he saw me pacing outside and wanted to know why I wasn’t using my rock….we were in a BAD trigger…a rock just wasn’t cutting it…..when we struggle and have to step away – we ALWAYS make arrangements to make up our time and our work….we are VERY conscientious about our work……
So, Linda…we get what you are saying….we can get really bouncy when there are TOO many unanswered piles on our plate….we don’t know WHICH perspective is the “right” one…we don’t know what we are “supposed” to feel or think….we don’t know “which” one to “be”……the big bottom line question is WHO (i.e. “which one”) AM I….?????
It’s just NOT fun sometimes….we are still working on learning to work “together”….but we are also still learning who “we” all are……
Oh….P.S on the above….my T couldn’t help but laugh….she says my boss had no idea what he was doing….giving Rage a rock!!! NOT a good idea….you DON’T give Rage a weapon…..Rage keeps wanting to just throw that thing across a field as hard as he can….but at least it is just a field……
I was talking with my therapist the other day, who am I . I told her I wasn’t sure who I am. I explained, that I was just a small slices of the body. I wasn’t sure how I fit in. What is my true personality is about. I was saying how Sissy was the sexual part How Jessie is the Investigator . Baby the one that can feel emotions. Mean Man is the aggressive one. Mr D. Is the one tell tell someone’s if they are being a dumbass . What’s It Matter he doesn’t give a fuck. So I’m back to the question where do I fit into all of this? I am just a shell the host .
I have that problem too. I wonder why I exist because I am just the host, the front, the shell. They come through me (or Lawrence or Lora). We have our own histories, our own lives, but I never feel alive. I just exist to keep the body moving around and do the dishes (lol). It’s very hard to figure out who I am in this world, or in the inside world. Apart from everyone else who seems to be more than I am. And I wonder if they didn’t come through me as the mask for them, I wonder if I would ever feel or think anything at all. Anything that is my own. b
I guess one thing I know I can do for everyone is express feelings and thoughts, even if they are theirs and I am just sensing them for the time the insiders are close.
When I hear stories of things that “I” have done and all the happy memories that the daughters share, 75% of the memories thave been shared with parts. The hardest words to hear is “really mom you don’t remember that.” When stuff like this happens it make me question whom I am even more
I hear the practical implications of multiplicity that I did not address in my previous comment. Yes, I get angry too about what I do not remember. Big events in my life lost to dissociation. Some of these are trickling back as insiders talk to me. Some are lost forever. Then there is the practicality of everyday life like when my husband says, “Victoria was out last night” and I know that we had an argument but I have no memory of it and no way to defend whatever point of view I was expressing. Anger, frustration, sadness … all well up inside of me.
I cannot change what was – what happened to me in the past, how my child’s mind responded with dissociation, what I cannot remember/probably will never remember. There was a big price to pay for survival. But, I am accepting that consequence of staying alive and trying hard to focus on the here and now. What is gone is gone. All of my anger, frustration and sadness will not bring my memories back and will not change what happened to me in the past (good and bad).
I now choose to make my here and now what is important. That does not mean that I do not examine my past as I need to in order to understand, communicate, build cooperation and co-consciousness and heal nor that memories/flashbacks/switching do not make daily living challenging. But, every step forward that I make with my insiders is a step forward for me in the here and now. As my past is revealed, my insiders heard, and cooperation builds, I loose less and less time in my now. That means my tomorrows will hopefully contain more memories of important stuff that is happening now.
We cannot change the past and what was lost. Pour your energy into the here and now with the hope that we are charting a future full of positive memories.
Oh WOW Lori. That is a very deeply profound question that you are asking here. I wish that I had a deeply profound answer to offer. Hoping this will help — here is what I know about myself:
• I am an explorer of my own life. I am on a journey to find my life narrative, wholeness, integrity, fulfillment and healing.
• I am a seeker of the truth as my life story slowly seeps out of the dark corners of my memory and reveals itself to me in often disjointed pieces of terror, pain, visions, feelings and unimaginable sensations of mind, body, heart and spirit.
• I am confused and lost much of the time as I stumble through the rubble of my life lost looking for a clear path to existence.
• I am a multiple by circumstance and choice — the circumstances of horror and the choice to live.
• I am terrified, soothed, befuddled and awestruck that I share by mind (and, hence my body) with a number of dissociated MEs (alters).
• I am angry that I have to deal with a history of abuse and the chaotic mind that was created to sort, sift and share the burdens of this past amongst a host of internal others.
• I am honoured that my little self loved us so much that she sacrificed mental cohesion to keep us sane under the forceful tyranny of our perpetrators of the untenable.
• I am a survivor who has lived multiple to remain intact – living in parts to be whole.
• I am never going to be a singleton and that is okay because living multiple is far more interesting, challenging and full of endless potential.
• I am not afraid of the silence and solitude of self because I am never alone.
And, the big thing that my T is working with me now:
• I am ALL of my parts — they are ME … I am THEM – and together we are so much more than just the sum of our PARTS.
Embrace who you are Lori in the here and now. You are Lori, Sissy, Jessie, The Investigator, Baby, Mean Man, Mr. D and What’s It Matter. You are all of these incredible parts that helped you to survive and you are much more!
Deep breaths and some self-soothing rituals may help (like hugging a pillow or stuffy or pet or yourself). Wish that we could share a cup of tea and some time of mutual knowing. We will do that virtually. Soothing thoughts and positive energy sent your way.
One of my favorite self encouraging speeches is : This is my life story I cannot go back and change any of the chapters. However I can add all the ones I want as an adult.
With that being said it’s not always easy. Finding you way in this game we call life has a multiple .As we find them. Our chapters in our life story get more confusing. It’s a good thing I have a great Support system to help me make my life story a bestseller,
We are all at various stags in the “rising action” of the dramatic arc of our life stories. I have not reached the climatic turning point that will see this character’s ultimate fate brought to healing, wholeness and cohesion. And yes it is confusing, painful, frustrating and incredibly disorienting these current pages of my life … but I keep on chapter after chapter in the hope that all will be revealed and the ending will be worth it. Oh and yes, you are a best seller now long before you get to the final page.
Living multiple is not for the weak of mind, heart or soul.
I sure would like to know what your T said regarding your “Who am I?” question. I’m assuming your T knows you pretty well? If not, they still are pretty good at observing people. I just wonder what their reaction was. I hope it comforted you.
I think it’s good to wonder who you are, because it can mean that you are growing, developing and morphing into a new person. When I think about who I am, I guess I look at myself as a “we”, not as distinct parts but as the host, my identity is wrapped up in all of them. (However, I do have to say that I have a faith system that I would use to describe me first, as the host individual.) I just was thinking while it’s good to wonder, maybe if you find yourself beating yourself up over it, try to know that you’re just always developing and you may never have a concrete answer. That’s just my perspective though.
I hope you have a lovely day and feel a little more peace and comfort.
She said the typical therapeutic stuff. I’m a mother,a grandmother.Ia caring loving person,Ia best friend,and a crafty person.she tried to reassure me I am someone also and not just a shell or host I tried to believe her but it’s not easy.
It’s so not easy. I’m glad you are those things. They sound like very nice things. You sound like a very lovely person. I wonder if you perhaps have a hard time believing those things about you that are so lovely? Like maybe you don’t believe they are so true because of bad stuff? I’m only saying this because this has been my experience. Your experience may be vastly different, so I’m sorry if I’m completely wrong here. I just feel like I struggle with this too. Thanks for speaking up about it.
Yes I do have a hard time believing what she saying,
When your a child and your trying to grow, and the people in your world are throwing all negative comments toward you.
Now that most of those people are gone and I’m trying to change my thought process it’s not easy for me to take in the positive . I can give it to others I do it all day. I feel other should have it. I m just not okay with me getting it.
That all be ni stuff to say kathy.
It dont relly be true thowe. It dont be ok to be you. Not if who you be is rong and makes pepol mad and makes pepol do bad things and makes evreybuddy go away. It dont be ok to be you if that make a problem for everyone else. You have to lern to do what oher pepol want you to. You have to lern to say esactly the right words of what pepol want to here you have to lern to smile even when you dont want to. You have to pertend evrething be ok even wehn it dont be even if you feel like diing inside. Because pepol dont want to here how you relly be. You have to lern to pertnd to be what evryone else wants you to be. Thats a fact of life.
Reblogged this on The Shattered Memory of a Broken Girl.
I read all of your posts. I have been in the same deep dark place that you described in you first post. Although I did not create internal personalities to deal with what may have occurred to me as child (I do not have any memories – only an awareness), I did produce manifestations similar to MPD in order to deal with my self-hatred. I created a whole story to convince myself that beliefs about myself were true – that I am responsible for everything that has gone wrong with the world. I even brought other people into my story to help with bring it to life. I do not know whether any of it is true or not.
The point is I refuse to give that story anymore thought or energy. It is not healthy for me to believe that I am a bad person. I have certainly done bad things in my life that I cannot take back and I am not proud of, but I AM NOT that person now.
I remember there were two times in my life where friends – for apparently no reason – started chanting “Dave is the devil. Dave is the devil.” Where that that come from? Did my mind or the universe unconsciously motivate my friends verbalize what I was thinking about myself. No doubt. Our minds are extremely powerful. They seek to reinforce what we believe about ourselves. Am I really society’s definition of the devil? I don’t like to think so, because DOES NOT serve my needs.
Please do not do this too yourself. Realize that you are putting yourself in a bad place in doing so. This is not hell we are living in. This is the reality we have create – as crazy as it may seem.. The events of our childhood and the definitions of beauty society wants us to accept, do not need to be true for you. Mental illness, addiction, obesity, and trauma experiences, are all things that can be successfully dealt with if you choose to.
You are strong enough to lift yourself up and conquer your fears. Stop testing your friend’s love and who wish to support you and who wish for you be healthy. I believe in your goodness despite yourself. You are welcome to contact me if it feel the urge. Other people’s judgments of you are irrelevant. You know who your friends are. You know the truth. Please recognize it.
I want to address the alcohol matter. My good friend, who I admire greatly, has a kind way of pointing out some my less desirable qualities. I appreciate that in her.
I grew up with alcohol dependent family members (and my mother’s alcoholic boyfriends). I saw how their behavior negatively affected other people when they were under the influence. It was apparent to me that they were not aware of behavior while intoxicated.
Alcohol does nothing but bring out the worst in us. It’s a mind altering substance that serves to suppress us from feeling the emotions that we do not want to deal with. The behavior that we display while under the influence leaves an impression on the people we love. We are still responsible for the things we say and do while under the influence. I have chosen not drink because I have seen how it complicates relationships and mental illness.
I do understand why people choose to drink. The things you brought up in your post are definitely painful. I am sorry.
I just took a walk around around my neighborhood to get some air. Sometimes it helps to remove yourself from a depressive environment and the change the scenery. I love the variety of trees, the sky, and the moon outside right now. My mood and feelings about the thoughts I am having often change when take a walk.
Yes. You are unique and special – like the strawberries in the photos. Don’t believe me. Believe in your own words. There is NOTHING wrong with you. I wish you would understand that. You are OKAY.
Kathy Broady says
My New Truth3,
Thank you for all your comments. I appreciate hearing from you and I can see that you are a deep thinker. You’ve got interesting things to say — and I apprecate your taking the time to write here, to share your thoughts, and to give encouragement to others. I like that. Thank you for posting. Please keep reading!
Reblogged this on Many of us's blog and commented:
I believe in this completely…thanks for such an inspiring post.
Kathy Broady says
Welcome to DiscussingDissociation and thank you so much for the reblog —
It’s always good to hear when a post reaches the heart of someone else, so I appreciate that.
Many thanks, and please keep reading!
Hi Kathy… I have been reading your blog for years now and have found wonderful information here… your posts often make me think and or calm me.. I am a multiple and I do not want to integrate..(loved your integration post) you mentioned Blending which I found interesting and am in search of more info…I’ve tried searching your blog to no avail… do you have a post dedicated to blending? do you know a reputable place where I can get more info… I appreciate any and all help.. thank you for this blog…
Out of the Ashes says
Thanks for the reminder that it is okay to be ourselves. Okay to be different and even proud of it instead of ashamed.
Interesting note. I am growing strawberries this year and noticed that some of them are “not perfect.” I researched the reason and found that these berries were not properly pollinated by bees. Relating this to your original thoughts works well when you draw the parallel that abused children were not properly nurtured at the correct time in life just as these strawberries were not. So, yes, we are different on many levels BUT that in no way makes us inferior to the “perfect.” Personally, I enjoy being a stand-out.
I’m the big strawberry in the upper right of the first pic of “unique” strawberries. The add-ons are less notable, but still there.
The rest of the questions are too hard to answer.
Reblogged this on Marci, Mental Health, & More and commented:
Found this via a fellow bloggers site. A great read if you have DID or even dissociation or identity confusions.
Kathy Broady says
Thanks mm(Marci?) for the reblog 🙂
Glad you enjoyed the article and were willing to pass it on. 🙂
I wish you well –
Yep, Marci or mm both work for me.
It was a great eye opener with some really good points on why it makes sense to dissociate and how it has the positive characteristics.
This is awesome!!!! Thank you! As a society we need to include and celebrate diversity in all forms. The path that got us to being multiple sucked ass but it has it’s strengths and we need take time appreciating that side of the coin too.
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for your comment — welcome to Discussing Dissociation. 🙂
Glad you liked the post, and yes, diversity is just a fact of life. We are all different, and that is just how it is, so… yes, appreciating our unique strengths is important.
Well said – thanks!
Ashana M says
I was just thinking that!
Kathy Broady says
Hello Ashana, and welcome to Discussing Dissociation. 🙂
Thank you for the comment — maybe Great Minds Think Alike ? 😀
Thanks for reading –
Using the strawberry as an example, the ‘imperfect’ ones are scrapped before hitting the shelves. Yes, an abnormal piece of fruit includes all the same nutrients and taste as the rest, but people don’t want to buy, eat or even look at them because of the abnormal appearance.
People are drawn to uniform ‘normality’ and instinctively reject abnormality, whether that be in a piece of fruit, or in a fellow human being (just look at the prejudice faced by any and all minority groups).
Yes, the majority of people want to fit in/be normal. DID’ers seem to be no different in that regard.
Think that’s where the self-stigma and shame linked to Mental health problems in general and dissociative disorders in particular stems from.
As a person who reacted in a ‘normal way to abnormal events’, my brain developed ‘abnormally’.
I/we need to accept the abnormal levels of harm we experienced aswell as accepting the D.I.D diagnosis. What is now referred to as extreme abuse was my normal. The shame at being ‘abnormal’ is only heightened by the fact that D.I.D is so disregarded by Mental Health Professionals in the country I live in (it seems to be similar in pretty much every other country, too).
So…..there are our thoughts on being D.I.D. Not very p.c but it’s our reality.
Kathy Broady says
Being Repaired —
I challenge ANYONE else to see what they would “look like” if they lived the same life, especially the same childhood as anyone with DID has lived.
I bet they wouldn’t be so judgmental then.
Thanks for the comment.
Thank you for appreciating the point we were making.
Was a bit worried that I’d said the wrong thing(?).
Sharon Henison says
Thank you Kathy – yes – it’s good to be who you are. And it’s also really good to integrate all these wonderful components into one. I’m living proof.
Reblogged this on Crazy In The Coconut and commented:
Just what I needed to hear. Sharing the hopeful thoughts. Thanks Kathy.
Kathy Broady says
Hi Bourbon =
Thanks for the reblog — I appreciate that. 🙂
And, really glad to hear this article was helpful, and hopeful!
I hope you’re having better days –