The Dietician and The Alter

I’m in the Clinic in Burwood as I mentioned in my post last week following a self-harm incident and raised suicidality. I feel just awful. My Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is out of control and I am switching constantly. It is very discombobulating.

It’s so hard to be in Group sessions and I suddenly switch to the four year old who doesn’t understand a word of what is being said, doesn’t recognise any of the people in the room. She’s scared and just wants to go home. She runs out of the room and still doesn’t know where she is or where her room is. She sits on a chair outside the room and then eventually I switch back again. I then go back to my room too tired to go back into the Group.

At other times it’s the fifteen or seventeen year who do understand some of what is being said at the Group but again don’t know where they are but they stay interested in what is being said. They are not so scared. They are used to being in strange places and are starting to recognise the Group room and the Facilitators. Last week the Dietician was giving a talk when the seventeen year old was out and she was fascinated by the talk and listened intently and even asked a question!!!!

There is a new alter, the one that caused the most recent cutting. She’s eighteen and is the one that my parents kicked out to live on the streets of Dublin as she was too old for the men in the paedophile ring they were operating. She is scared, though angry too and intent on self-punishment. She blames herself for her Mother not loving her. She has Stockholm Syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity. These alliances, resulting from a bond formed between captor and captives during intimate time spent together, are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims. No matter what my parents did to me I still love them and want their love in return. They have been dead for some years now and I still miss them and yearn for their love. It’s just plain bizarre I know. I just can’t hate them for what they did.

This new alter has been coming out but only in the safety of my room. She has been wanting to self-harm but there is nothing in the Clinic to self-harm with so I am safe in here. She has been coming out the psychiatrist and talking with him about her feelings and emotions. He has gone to great lengths to get her to examine her hands and ask her are they the hands of an eighteen year old? Look at your clothes. Are they the clothes of an eighteen year old? He took a photo of me and asked is this the photo of an eighteen year old? Of course the answers were all no. He was re-orientating me to the present and trying to explain that I was part of Erin and part of a system of other parts/alters who come out and switch and that was what was happening to me. I found it very confusing and confounding. I found it even more confusing when he told me I had a husband and four kids. I then quickly switched back and he told me what had been going on.

I am often co-present when I switch so I remember what is happening when the alter is out but many times I am not so I rely on others to tell me what I have done or I rely on things I have written or texts that I have sent to my husband. My Mother Alter communicates with him via Gaelic (Irish language). She doesn’t like him so doesn’t say very nice things. At the moment she is threatening to kill him for interfering with Erin self-harming herself. I hate that. It really disturbs me. I would never knowingly hurt my husband. I love him dearly. He has been so supportive of me and would do anything for me.

I hope this visit is a productive one, where we can achieve some more integration especially of the eighteen-year-old and the Mother alter who are both the most dangerous. Integration is more than about personalities. It is about full acceptance of all dissociated aspects of oneself. Integration is a process not an event. It occurs throughout therapy (and outside of therapy) as dissociated aspects of one’s self become known, accepted and integrated into normal awareness. It is a natural process in the recovery from trauma. It brings a kind of peace that comes with fully accepting and loving yourself. I hope I can achieve it.

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I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin

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