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To Anyone Newly Diagnosed With Dissociative Identity Disorder

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Getting a diagnosis of DID (dissociative identity disorder) can feel like your world is over, like you will never be whole again. It can feel devastating. And then to find out that DID is the result of significant early childhood trauma, it can feel like nothing will ever feel right again.

As someone who got this diagnosis more than 20 years ago, I’d like to share some truths I’ve learned along the way:

1. There are going to be hard days, really hard days, but pay attention to what worked on the good days and try to replicate that.

2. Learning to work together and face the world as a team will work way better than trying to do it alone.

3. Journal as much as possible in the beginning to open communication and get to know each other. Communication is the key to cooperation.

4. It may not feel like it, but you are already whole, you just have barriers between all your parts.

5. Set boundaries within the system early so everyone knows where they are.

6. Be prepared to meet more inside than you know of now, and welcome each part as though it is coming home — because it is. They are a part of you who is no longer too scared to stay hidden and they just need love.

7. The big bad scary parts are usually young scared child parts that have a really good “costume” and vocabulary.

8. Young doesn’t mean incapable.

9. A child’s imagination has no limits, be prepared to encounter everything.

10. Child parts sometimes have big people capabilities and knowledge, they may be young, but have lived as long as you have.

11. Expect to have days where curling up on the couch crying all day is the best you can do. Accept that.

12. Expect there to be days when you accomplish and overcome more than you ever thought possible.

13. Remember the goal is to work together, not against each other, and you’ll get more cooperation with thanks than ridicule.

14. Every part has a purpose.  Every part!

15. The times when you all feel safe will be the times the most growth happens. Work on keeping you all safe.

16. DID is a very individual disorder with common characteristics. Don’t expect your system to work just like anyone else’s.

17. Even the things that seem absurd to you now as an adult might be the answer to the child’s way of “fixing” things.

18. Insiders are not always human.

19. This is your journey, no one else can do it for you.

This will not be an easy journey as you get to know all the pieces of yourself that have been hidden away, but it can have beautiful results.

Getty image via Benjavisa

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