Prepare to enter the wild and wooly world of an adult with Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism characterized by intellignce, quirks, social difficulties and downright strange and oddish behaviours.

People with Aspergers generally are high functioning in everyday life but have great difficulty connecting with others due to the inability to read faces, body language and subtle verbal clues. They also tend to take words literally and have a hard time multi-tasking.

Oversensitivity to touch (clothing has to be soft and often the tags removed), light (do not leave home without the sunglasses), sound (loud noises and noisey places are avoided), taste (many Aspies have quite a limited diet and are frequently very picky eaters) and smells makes the everyday existence more of a challenge.

Fasten your seatbelts and come on in...
To find out more about what Aspergers is..please check out my earliest blog entries

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, Basic Understanding

DID is near and dear to my heart as I have lived with this disorder all my life. Here's what I have learned:
DID/ Multiple Personality Disorder MPD means that a very young individual, usually under the age of three, is exposed to some type of overwhelming trauma, often physical or sexual abuse. Stop right there and picture a child you know around that age...beautiful, full of life and wonder, trusting, curious...then picture that child being hit once or fondled/ molested. Hard to imagine, isn't it? That anyone could ever do that to a child.
Now, here's the sobering news...adults rape, beat and starve children by the thousands Every single day. No one wants to talk about it. No one wants to even entertain such horrendous thoughts but it Is reality we choose to ignore.
Okay, back to the small child. A child's mind is an incredible, dynamic invention. When experienced trauma overruns the child's neural network, this wonderful survival mechanism kicks in. The child is able to dissociate, withdraw deeply into her own psych or float away to a safe place until this trauma can be dealt with.
The child's mind "split" although I tend to think of it more as a fracture, like an iceberg cleaving off a glacier only to float around in the vast ocean, never losing its size, content or shape, just drifting near and far, near and far.
In a family like mine where my dad, a victim of physical and sexual abuse himself, routinely, weekly sometimes daily, would sodomize his children and engage them in performing sexual acts, in addition to believing hitting/ beating your child was appropriate, I was exposed to graphic sexual acts...oh, let's be conservative here, say, on a weekly basis, let's say three times, every week from birth till 16.
Being autistic may have set me up in that I was more sensory sensation than most. On the other hand, I consider autism to be one step removed from reality thus it was easier for me to get safe and dissociate/ leave my body, the present painful experiences.
Dissociation is an extraordinary survival mechanism utilized and developed for horrific traumas.
Let's face it, dad rubbing his hands or genitals all over my body= sensory overload not to mention it felt dirty and like ick. Having no means to physically escape, I mentally left.
So my childhood was spent in various states of pain, confusion and dissociation. I was kept busy "organizing" if you will, the traumatic experiences while also working to maintain a decent "front" or "face". You know, like I had to pretend nothing was wrong. I had to go to school and make sure no one suspected otherwise dad would carry out his threats. I don't know how much of my covering up was due to his threats...sure, I didn't want him hurting me, my mom or my siblings but part of me didn't want anyone to know that I was thus whorish 5 year old little girl who regularly felt icky at having to entertain my dad's penis. When someone has there hands routinely on your genitals you feel creepy, dirty and diseased. Damn, it's almost impossible to have any sense of self-esteem or goodness at all, really.
What I did do was organize my "system", my parts, alters or, as I like to call them my people into categories kinda like floors in a big office building. One floor was for the physically abused ones. If mom or dad raised a hand, broom or brush to strike, I would switch, change to a personality that knew how to handle that. A personality that was used to beatings and could deal with that much physical pain. Oh, and this group of alters learned to not show emotion, no tears as my parents seemed to thrive on sering the hurt written all over my face. Helk, it didn't do any good to cry, so why bother?
Another floor housed all my people that were created solely for socializing and to put on a good, happy front. I have to laugh because these were the adorable and friendly ones kinda created out of thin air, very superficial and the first to show up in therapy and integrate, picture the floating iceberg returning and melting into the glacier.
There were two wings in which one group loved mom and a bigger group of those who loved dad. It's do complicated I'm just going to leave that there for now.
Then, the largest group of all, we're the parts of me that were tortured and sexual abused. These very vital, core parts of me lived within often heavily fortified rooms with thick walls. I tried to protect them within and used separate rooms in quiet locations. Each violently damaged that it often had other alters specifically created as protectors and helpers or companions.
The numbers of alters Does Not Matter as one alter could have carried the memory of one trauma or all the rape instances that took place in a certain year or in a certain place. When first diagnosed, I was hung up on "how many" erroneously thinking the higher the number, the more difficult the healing. Sooo Not the case!
I stopped counting after those first few years.
The toughest part about being Multiple is that first year when the diagnosis is made. Those first few years were by far the most confusing and chaotic of times. Finding a psychotherapist was the key to getting my chaos under control.
I'm not going you, bring told you have DID is frightening because it's like your known world has suddenly turned upside down and you find this inner world of hurt.
I did not know anything about my incest until I was 27. My body and brain were so brutalized that I had wall upon wall built around the incest memories. I had no resources to handle that much pain.
I was worried about these "others" living inside of me, like bring in a big group home with strangers of various names and ages, each with a unique, painful story harbored within.
Therapy helped me understand what DID/MPD was. It allowed me to most slowly explore one floor or one room at a time. One of the cruel things about DID is that you get to experience the traumas twice, when the incident first happened and Again when you choose to bring it into consciousness and out in the open.
Face it, most people don't want to hear about your DID. Hell, I lived years with a significant other who never mentioned it or asked about it. It's hard to find others that understand that unique pain and how it feels. I felt degraded and dirty and, of course, the big guilty. Perpetrators want you to feel like it's all your fault and they work real hard to make you believe that.
I know better now. I really do know that none of that, the incest, sodomy, performing those sex acts, the beatings...none of that was my fault. I didn't deserve it. My dad just manipulated me into believing it was my fault for a few decades.
And mom, well, mom knew and she reinforced my silence. She liked to call me a whore among other things. She was a co-conspirator as most mom's of incestuous husbands are. See, if her husband was having sex with her daughter then she didn't have to. Yeah, way to go mom.
Anyway, this is just one segment of my life living MPD/DID.
I hope it has answered some questions and maybe helped a person or two.

No comments:

Post a Comment