Thank you to Imgur user SteelMakesMeH for sharing his experiences living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Hopefully this can open up a conversation about a much-stigmatized topic, and allow people to understand it a little bit more. Because knowledge is power!
First, to answer some basic questions...
What caused me to develop MPD/DID?
I will answer this question at the end, because it's a bit traumatic so I don't want to start with something so dark. Most MPD/DID is usually caused by a severely traumatic event/s.
What is a "switch"?
A switch is the moment an alternate personality (a.k.a alter) takes over and I loose all track of time.
What causes a switch?
Many things can trigger a switch. Anything from a song or smell, but usually it's caused by large amounts of stress (for me anyways).
Do I know whats going on when I switch?
No. With the exception of one time, it's usually like flicking a light switch of snapping your fingers. One moment I'm living my life then in the blink of an eye it could be 5 hours later.
What is the longest switch that has happened?
17 years. I'm the primary personality but not the original. I have been in control for most of our life. But occasionally the others wrestle control from my hands.
Can others tell when I've switched (or I'm about to)?
Yes. when I'm about to switch I develop an uncontrollable tick in my jaw (sometimes a strong tick that looks like a seizure. It usually happens because I'm fighting back).
How different is each alter?
Apparently each alter talks, walks, writes, eats and has sex differently (yes.. I just said that)
Is it painful to switch alters?
From time to time. It can be violent (for me)
How many "Alters" Do I have?
4 but it used to be 6. I have (with professional help) managed to integrate 2 alters (making me more "whole")
Can I "hear" my alters?
For the longest time... No. But about 3 years ago I began hearing Fynn in my head (you will learn about him soon enough). I thought I had schizophrenia but after some testing we found out I didn't. As for the others.. I don't want to hear them.
Okay, here are some stories...
1. So here's how it all started...
The start of the blank spots. One of the first times I developed a blank spot (switch) I lost 4 hours. Thankfully it happened at home around my (now) ex-wife. She was only my GF at the time though. I was standing in the kitchen making some soup when I was suddenly standing in the backyard with my GF looking at me very strangely. All I could say was "what the hell just happened?". I didn't understand what was going on and my GF wouldn't tell me anything. I didn't find out that my first alter had shown up until one month later when she finally broke down and said I turned into a very intelligent child before her eyes who called himself Fynn (my favorite alter). I spoke with a lisp and knew things about my childhood that I normally couldn't remember. It was then that I began seeking professional help. Many people trained in psychology will agree that those who have MPD/DID are either faking it or too much of a risk to treat (it could ruin their career). So finding help was hard. Very hard.
I just remember those days as being very taxing and frightening. It's not easy having doctors think you are lying.
2. The Day The Doctors Believed...
I will never forget the moment I was finally able to get help. D.I.D was starting to take its toll on me. I had a nervous break down. I was brought to the hospital and they were (Continued)