My Husband and his Imaginary Friends The many faces of pain Living with a person with DID
My husband has DID.
This means that at a young age he experienced trauma that was, to him, so severe his mind "fractured"
From that point any strong emotional response, even in the positive, would cause a new persona to materialize in his mind.
A majority of people with DID have no more than 7, with 5 or fewer most common.
My husband has 7 with names that face, or "take control" and at least 3 branches off of each those that respond to specific circumstances.
Conflict resolution is nonexistent. His reaction to hearing "I am frustrated with ____" is always "you're mad at me, I need to leave"
I know he has been physically, emotionally, financially and sexually abused, each of these manifest in his personas.
Protective persona tend to come out when people are actively fighting him on things that may or may not matter. These ones usually walk away, but not before acting in an aggressive and violent way.
He tends to voice his opinions, no matter how hurtful, without realizing he says something.
I have had to explain that calling a food other people enjoy "gross" constantly makes those people not want to eat in his presence. That does not make sense to him.
His opinions should not matter to others.
He has severe aversion to bodily functions, but one of his persona like to make him fart because it aggravates him.
He has a serious shyness about his body, but one of his persona like to show off his body.
He is Asexual, unless a specific persona manages to take control before he wakes up, then he is hypersexual.
He hates to argue or feel like people are angry at him, but will fight about how dishes are put away until he gets so angry he storms out of the house.
He says to people things like "if I was home all day, I would have a clean house, and dinner out every night." However he spends a lot of time on his games, and sleeping, not accomplishing anything.
When he is tired or filled with anxiety, either he is determined and adamant about getting something done, or he is shut down and not able to understand simple directions, and sometimes he is unable to hear or understand words well.
There are a lot of ups and downs while living with him. For myself, I often feel affection deprived, frustrated with how situations are handled, mentally or physically exhausted, and at times, flat out fed up with his behavior.
There is a persona who is still madly in love with his ex wife, and outright hates me. I have never been bothered by it by that aspect of things, because a majority of the time that persona is shut away. There are times, however, when I know a situation with his ex is going to be a problem for him.
Recently she moved out of state. He was and is severely upset about it, even though he has not been an active part of her life, he was most hurt by her not telling him.
He has been forlorn since finding out about it.
On my end, that means picking up the slack, which I already have quite a bit of painful, resentful, emotions regarding this type of situation.
He is still her puppy dog, and acts like she holds the moon. Even though she has cheated, had children, and moved on with her life without him. I am convinced there is still part of him that is waiting for her return.
When that persona is around, I might as well paint myself invisible, because I have no place with him.
We have discussed and argued about his behavior in the past...it has never ended well.
Recently I watched as my husband grieved the loss of that relationship anew. I was the bearer of the news that she had moved out of state. Watching him fall apart and say "I am alone now, I only have my parents here" was beyond devastating for me.
There is a persona who is adamant that he is the only one, and there is no others.
I think many people underestimate the complexity of a personality like DID. There is so much misinformation out in this world that many believe that this is a controllable disorder.
It really is not.
I don't know when my husband will turn into a crying 5 year old who needs comfort, or a rage monster who had had enough with the planet and "everyone can die in fire" is his mantra.
It is only through counseling and intense emotional understanding that this disorder is in anyway manageable.
Unfortunately there are too many who are left alone with their mental health and expected to "get better" on their own.
There is so much more I can write here about living with a person with DID.
Ultimately it comes down to understanding that it will never be an easy road, there are challenges that come with each persona. There are emotional, intellectual, and social challenges, as well as physical and sexual.
Each persona is their own being. Their own mental system.
"I am in a relationship with my husband and his imaginary friends" seems like the best way to describe my life with him.
PS. There is a persona who is a fire breathing, flying, circus panda...it's a very odd disorder.