Tag Archives: multiple personality disorder

“Dissociative Identity Disorder” by Therapy Glasgow

Broken-down house, Source https://www.flickr.com, Authors Forest and Kim Starr (CC BY-SA 3.0 United States)

This post from “Stephen” at Therapy Glasgow eloquently conveys the essence of Dissociative Identity Disorder:

“Still Like A House

Fractured?  No, curiously I feel fractured but I see myself in the mirror and I’m whole, standing still like a house.  The mirror may be fractured, but my eyes still swivel like windows in this head, guided by a nose that acts as a weather vane.  I open and close my mouth like a door and my ears sit like unoiled hinges.  But I don’t feel like a house.  I feel like a room: a room divided against itself.

Whole Not Hole

If I am whole, how come there are holes in my experience?  Not holes; they just feel like holes.  They’re no more holes than my forgetting what I had for breakfast last Tuesday is a hole.  If I decide, out of my indecision comes a need to follow a trail of breadcrumbs, walking backwards in flip-flop sandals: Shameday, Shatterday, Frightday, Thugsday, Whensday, Chewsday: vegetarian bacon that tasted like cardboard soaked in lapsang souchong.

Not Broken

Broken.  Like a wine glass washed in a lapse of concentration, snapped stem in the sink?  No, I just feel broken.  I’m no more broken than my daydream in the bubbles is a symptom of a broken mind.  I just went travelling for a second and broke a glass, not my hip…” [Continued at https://therapyglasgow.com/2019/02/02/dissociative-identity-disorder/?c=166#comment-166. ]

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Filed under Child Abuse, Child Molestation, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse

Humpty Dumpty

Illustration of Humpty Dumpty from “Denslow’s Mother Goose” by William Wallace Denslow, Source http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/18546 (Literary Work – Author’s Life plus 70 years, PD)

We tend to have little sympathy for Humpty Dumpty. What was he doing on that wall, anyway? Surely, he must have known how fragile and ungainly he was.

No one is certain of the origin of the nursery rhyme. Some have speculated that Humpty Dumpty may have been a parody of the evil (and humpbacked) King Richard III. Other possibilities have been put forward.

Whatever his origins, Humpty has found himself in a number of literary works, among them Alice Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll and Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce.

Abuse victims have a surprising amount in common with Humpty Dumpty. Our lives, like Humpty’s, were shattered by traumatic events. And we, too, may find ourselves in strange places.

The human mind is amazingly resilient.  When subjected to severe trauma it may involuntarily disconnect or dissociate from reality.  Many abuse victims describe this as “going away” – somewhere far from the pain, somewhere the abuser could not reach us.  Victims speak of leaving their bodies, watching events involving themselves from above or from a distance.

A defense mechanism, dissociation is protective, in the short term.  It can shield us from intolerably painful experiences.

Depending on the severity of our abuse, however, awareness, memory, and identity may be disrupted [1].  In extreme cases, alternate personalities (“alters”) can develop.  These may assume different physical and vocal mannerisms, even different ages, sexes, and races from one another.  They may or may not be aware of one another’s existence. Continue reading

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Filed under Child Abuse, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Sexual Abuse