Of course not. I had no idea I had DID & wouldn’t know until my late 20’s. Help was never had. Bandaids of sorts were applied to problems I had. Endless prayers were given, but no actual help. Just some words cast into the atmosphere of the house, church or hospital we may have been at the time. But help? No, no help. No family member or relative of mine even knows that suicide attempt occurred. I would have been in trouble. My parts were very good at being “normal,” that is, of course, until they decided not to be or couldn’t be.
Hmm... I would probably tell myself that you aren’t a sociopath. You will not kill people and you will choose correctly. Life will be difficult, you’ll hear and feel things but this does not make you insane, quite the opposite in fact.
Well for those living with a dissociative Disorder, specifically DID, the misconception of villainy is a big one. My parts and myself did what we had to and could in order to survive and for the sake of others survival. It is immensely tricky to explain what that sort of thing does to a person long term but I am working on shedding light on these deeply troubling experiences and the fears people with DID have regarding speaking out.
Regarding mental illness in general, yes. There have been major strides in combatting stigma, but like many things in life people feel they deserve so much... With DID there seems to be two steps forward and eight steps back. We’re working on it though. One issue I take and the reason I do the advocacy work I stumbled into is if people with DID aren’t willing to cross that line of fear hatred doubts or whatever it may be that keeps them hidden people who don’t know any better will always assume movies like “Split” are representative of the entire DID community. Nothing could be further from the truth.
6) What do you do to get through the bad days?
It varies greatly. Bad days can be anything from not sleeping (which is our norm) to someone harming us. Night terrors, self harm, or being in a comatose state-of sorts. In short for bad days I work on identifying the problem whether it be a night terror, a triggering time of year etc and working through the problem. Therapy has helped but it’s up to us to do the work and up to me to take ownership and control when I’m able. It’s a tricky balance to find within oneself.
7) Do you have any projects that you’re working on that could benefit the mental health community?
Endless. On our blog we have a Living DID series ongoing. We interview people living with Dissociative Identity Disorder to get a better understanding of their individual life/lives. DID is a very individual disorder. While some never leave their residences others travel more than you could ever imagine. There are various reasons for this.