Last week I saw my dear friend T. again. She was in the neighbourhood and invited me for coffee or lunch in a place nearby. I opted for coffee but, and we should have known, it turned out to be both. We have so much to talk about, that next time we should just go for lunch straight away! At some point during our many conversations, she asked me how she can spot the dissociation signs, both obvious and less obvious. She told me she doesn’t want to send me home by myself when I am in a dissociative state and afraid.
Honestly, this is the first time anyone cares for my well-being. So many people have left me to fend for myself in confused states and let me roam the street in the middle of the night on my way home. Abused my child like state to emotionally abuse me or use me because I am unable to set boundaries or call out their behaviour, or have me take blame when I actually do. I am lucky to have found such a good friend who truly cares about me, like I truly care about her.
The more I find out about dissociation related to PTSD, the more I discover the symptoms of DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly know as Multiple Personality Disorder) . I wrote in my previous blog how I was afraid I might have DID. My therapists haven’t gone further in to it except that I need to learn to stay “adult”, I wish it felt as simple as it sounds. I decided I want to be tested or at least have someone look further in to my dissociative symptoms. They have been around for at least 15 years and I think that it’s only recently showing obvious signs because therapy hit the time where it all seem to have begun. There’s also the problem I never spoke about the symptoms because I felt ashamed of them and didn’t know why I had those problems. Nor did I know I was dissociating or “changing alters”, it just always felt like I was either on auto-pilot (memory gaps) or running around like a headless chicken never getting anything done. Learning more about my symptoms brings a lot of peace and “aha!” moments.
So, to let people around me help me, I made a list with symptoms and signs. That way, they can learn what’s going on with me, when I am with them.
- A change in the sound of my voice
- Change in my facial expressions/feature
- Change in my demeanor or body language
- Change in my train of thought or conversation without warning or reason
- An obvious drastic change in the above together with a change in thought pattern, emotional levels, cognition, perception and behaviour.
- Inability to keep track of the conversation
- Losing significant details about recent events, personal information or something that has happened earlier that day.
I think these are the key symptoms that people are able to notice in me. When they know the symptoms and when they know me.
I hope that therapists want to look further in to it. I will demand it if I have to, like I did with trauma therapy. Until then, I hope to be able to blog about other things than dissociation. This has just been a massive topic for me lately and the more I learn about myself and my mental health, the more can I tell you about it. Right now it’s dissociation.
Love & Light, Sandra