For a long time, therapy sessions would end with a fairly typical exchange. I would express frustration at myself for not doing enough, and gently but firmly the response from my therapist would go, ‘Be kind to yourself.’
So I’m curious. On what do you base your belief in dissociative identity disorder? This was a tweet I received from a fellow twit based in the US a few months ago. The more I use social media, the more I realise how controversial dissociative identity disorder is. For me, after the last 5 or 6 years, it is ‘normal’.
Who should pay for treatment for survivors of abuse who have gone on to develop a dissociative disorder? For many conditions the expectation would be that help would be available on the NHS, but this is rarely the case for conditions arising from trauma.
Powerlessness is such a core experience for victims of abuse that often we don’t even notice that it’s there. It is played out in the way that we interact with people and the world – it’s the shadow cast by the sun, rather than the sunlight itself.
I look up and I am in my therapist’s room. I look up and I am in the cafe area of the shopping mall. I look up and I am in bed in the dark. I look up and I don’t know if I am I. There is no thread of continuity between these places, these experiences. Who am I now, writing this, re-reading this, re-writing this?
A brief guide to dissociative identity disorder, a post-traumatic condition, by Carolyn Spring.