My name is Nine.
Hello. We’re Team Nine, and we have DID.
Dissociative Identity Disorder is what used to be called Multiple Personality Disorder. We just tried to surf up some basic info for you, but we came up with crap, more or less. The diagnosis–phenomenon–what have you–is still more or less flexibly defined. Generally–
OK–you know what it’s like? It’s having an entire team of weisenheimers staring over your shoulder and kibbitzing while you’re trying to write something coherent. YOU try it sometime. Geez.
As I was saying: Generally, everybody agrees that the central feature (or bug) is that at least two different identities/personae/whatthefuckever exist in one physical body. There are nine of us. As far as we know, barring something specifically neurological going on, this only happens under some severe childhood trauma (primarily sexual abuse). The child can’t contain the psychological experience, and starts to form layers of identity around it.
That’s the basics. For everybody, it’s different–there is a big YOUR MILEAGE MAY VARY attached to all of this.
I guess (please just deal with the pronoun shit) that most people flash on Sybil, or Truddi Chase, or the Three Faces of Eve. It’s not always like that. The classic model of substantial fugue, of losing time, isn’t always dramatically present. The disorder is something of a continuum: The people who have lots and lots of parts and who fugue dramatically between them are at the far end, and most average people are down at the other. What we mean by that end is that sense you have of being, say, in parent mode with kids and earthy centered mode in your garden. Et cetera.
You can quibble about the terms if you like there; betting that there may be some resistance to thinking about an average person being attached to this at all. Resistance on the part of the average person–and also on the part of the DID who needs to feel special about it. (Don’t worry, hun, you are. Trust us.)
Anyway. We’re doing this blog for a bunch of reasons. Partly because Sam wants to write. IMHO she’s not all that good at it; I do most of the writing-type writing: Our creative project and our other blog, etc. Sam does the more academic writing.
And partly because all of us, in our different ways and for our personal reasons, want to be heard; in the words of Tori Amos, we’ve been silent all these years. We entered the serious heavy-duty once a week for at least an hour type of therapy two years ago, and our clever and perceptive therapist began getting the clue after only 8 months or so.
It was really, really hard to hear. We had already had to sit still and be good for the bipolar diagnosis. Hey, everybody’s bipolar these days. Even *shudder* children. (In our opinion, we overpathologize our kids to an enormous degree. Take it from a crazy person.)
But, <==, yes, did you see back there? Crazy Person. That’s what DID gets ya: a free trip aa-a-aa-ll the way to the back of the bus, where it’s just us and the paranoid schizophrenics yelling at the invisible mailman yeti.
So this blog is anonymous. Nobody outside our care team knows what’s up besides our bestest friend. I can’t imagine what’s up with the people who go public and go on talk shows. We’d choke ourselves with our own intestines first. There’s a lot of comorbidity with more intensely discrete psych disorders (uh, “different kinds of crazy overlap”), and we sorta think that there’s some histrionic stuff there: Need the attention, because inside sucks so bad in a particular way. Nope. As we put it, we’re not coming out of the dormitory for nuthin. Except here.
So here we are out here shivering anxiously in cyberspace.