Quick Thought to Consider:
I had a conversation this week that reminded me of a very important “thinking spot” for trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Which is worse — being multiple? Or being dissociative?
With multiplicity, you are leading a life combined with lots of others inside, making everything a plural existence.
Being dissociative — in the way that I am referencing the term for the sake of this article — is about dis-associating, not associating, and not being aware of what is happening. It’s separating yourself from whatever is happening, and being the ostrich who is absolutely not looking. It’s about time loss, not being present, and not being aware. It’s the amnesia that occurs between the insiders.
In your opinion, which is more dangerous, and which creates more problems in your life?
What are your thoughts about these questions?
This is a “quick spot”, so I’m not going to delve deep into all the pro’s and con’s right at this moment.
But I have a quick answer.
In my opinion, it’s not the multiplicity that is the ultimate problem.
Being many people and having many parts inside — while incredibly challenging, yes — does not have to get in your way of high functioning. You can be very multiple, have a whole system of inside people, and still be very successful at whatever it is that you do. This requires excellent team work and internal communication skills, of course, but it is absolutely possible.
In my opinion, one of the things that can potentially knock you down and mess with your life in a matter of a few disastrous seconds is time loss, especially the amnesiac version of time loss, where you don’t know what happened while you were “away”.
If you lose time, then that means ANYthing can be happening.
It means others in your system are able to be, or required to be, completely separate from you and many others in your system. That kind of separation or segregation can certainly impact healthy living and safe choices. It increases vulnerability and leaves some of your system members stuck in places they can’t get out of.
When there is time loss, and a void of not knowing what is happening, there is little or no accountability for what is happening.
This means ANYthing could be happening — good, bad, scary, neutral, happy, sad, etc etc.
For example, you could be struggling away at maintaining a healthy diet all week, and someone else can come out, without your awareness, and binge on their hidden stash of chocolate and cookies. Your efforts at weight loss will be completely undermined, and you might not realize why.
A far more serious example is when someone in your system comes out, without your awareness, and has conversations or interactions with dangerous people of one variety or another. Or they could be involved in some form of self-abuse or self-harm or suicidal behavior. These periods of time loss could lead to any number of scary outcomes, of course.
If there was no time loss — meaning, even if you switched from one person to the other, but were aware of what the others were doing — there could be a chance at negotiating these problem spots in life. A compromise or a healthy solution could be arranged.
Here are a few other Dissoci-ACTION “thinking spots”:
- How does time loss affect your life?
- How do you work with your system to decrease time loss between you?
- If you were a team, without time loss between any of you, how would that impact your life?
- Would you want to know what’s happening in your life at all times of day and night?
For more information and discussion about time loss or missing time, take the time to watch the following video:
What do you think? Ever thought about switching or losing time during in your sleep? It can happen, so…. please alert folks in your system to watch for this.
As always, I’d be glad to hear your thoughts on these topics. Please feel free to leave your comment below.
And of course, I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2018 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation