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Learning to Live with the Moving Parts of DID

December 15, 2020 Krystle Vermes

A critical aspect of living with dissociative identity disorder (DID) and all your moving parts is having multiple personalities to manage on a regular basis. These personalities often vary in age and appearance, and they typically have traits that make them unique in the eye of the individual living with DID. Taking care of parts is essential to managing DID on a daily basis, but what happens when their needs are not met?

Managing the Moving Parts of DID

Caring for your moving parts while living with DID can often feel like a handful. Think of a parent who is trying to manage a number of children without any assistance. This is one of the simplest examples I can give when it comes to describing what it is like living with DID.

Not all of my personalities are young, but most of them stem from my childhood and adolescent trauma. This means that they “split off” from my personality at varying ages, giving me a diverse group to manage on a daily basis.

While there is no hard rule that says that people living with DID need to manage their parts, there are many downsides associated with failing to do so. For instance, I may begin to absorb the emotions of a personality that is in need of attention, whether it be sadness, anger or anxiety. This results in becoming “blended” with a personality, rather than remaining grounded and living in the present moment.

But how does one know when a personality needs immediate attention? Is there any defined way to address the desires of a specific personality?

Meeting Your Needs (and Those of Your Moving Parts) While Living with DID

The easiest way to identify that a personality needs attention is by taking a moment to gauge my own emotional state. If I’m feeling “blended,” there is a good chance that it is because a specific personality is taking over and requires attention.

Once I am able to identify the problem, I can begin to address it through different means. I often choose to meditate, or simply give myself some quiet time, to have an inner dialogue with the personality that needs my help. Most of the time, all the personality needs is a few moments to air its grievances in order to feel relieved.

In the event that a quick conversation doesn’t work, I’ll specifically ask the personality what it needs. Compassion, attention and love are the most common needs I come across, and those are easy enough to resolve.

Understanding your position as a host is essential to managing DID. It’s up to you to ensure that your internal family system is happy, healthy and functional on a regular basis. A mental health professional can be critical to providing guidance in this area as well.

How do you manage the moving parts of DID? How much time do you spend a day checking in with your parts? Share your story in the comments.

APA Reference
Vermes, K. (2020, December 15). Learning to Live with the Moving Parts of DID, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, December 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/dissociativeliving/2020/12/learning-to-live-with-the-moving-parts-of-did



Author: Krystle Vermes

Krystle Vermes is a Boston-based freelance writer and editor who is dedicated to raising awareness of the importance of mental health. Connect with Krystle on LinkedIn and her website.

Joanne
November, 7 2022 at 2:24 am

Can you tell me why a therapist told me that my 3 yearl old child "part" is not allowed to call me (the "adult part") mummy? She was really upset when I told her he said that I had to tell her I am not her mummy and that she needed to say who I was so the best she could come up with is that I am the "adult part" but she keeps slipping up and I still "hear" "mummy" but on the whole she is currently thinking of me as a "big sister".

Lahvue2
August, 20 2022 at 6:34 pm

Been living blended the majority of my life. 2/3 has been with OSDD. In the UK it was only DID so whoever’s version is fine. I feel like it’s similar to autoimmune disease and I get flare -ups. Yes, I have a we/us system. I thought we DIDs were rocking the pronouns movement first TBH but then felt overlooked once again because I wasn’t sure if this new crisis on trauma was going to “blend” Gender Dysphoria with strictly DID… We’re so confused. I have Them and They & They are internal. They come down stairs to put their two cents in or for roll call. I have a pant suit and a homesteader, board members and practitioners, an Arm Candy/Hood Ornament and I have a mastermind. There’s a Willams and Sonoma, A Strip Club manager… it’s weird. There are like three of me that are different ages. These are all not dealt with, just operating in the background. We have an area that we’d consider the upside-down like in Stranger Things but it’s not haunted like in the show. Just there.
This wasn’t a thing.. now since Covid, the resources are seriously everywhere… what’s going on. We’re like recognition circa 1989~
I need good DID therapists in SD CA. USA and my son needs one in ARKANSAS. We have victim witness compensation if you know any therapists that take it for payment.

Anna
July, 1 2022 at 3:13 pm

I manage my peoples through a LOT of validation. I have 4. The Witch (split when I was 8 and is a leather BDSM Mistress - Highly logical who loves black), Angel (Split when I was 16. She used to scream all the time and has BPD. She is a traditional conforming monogamous WASP), Bergen (split when I was 30, he (yes... he) is a 6'2 Norse Warrior who loves Guinness and bi-sexual/cross-dressing men), and the Goddess "Imagination" (Split 2021 and is my rainbow loving, Bohemian-Hippie, Free Loving, Polyamorous Self). In my mind SOMEONE is ALWAYS unhappy.
Every morning, I meditate for 30 minutes, then I sit down with everyone in my head and we "check in" with everyone. Angel has Borderline Personality Disorder and Depression, which, when she is "out," tends to make chaos of any situation. Goddess is fond of writing letters to my Alters and Angel as a means to communicate that she is present. In fact, this is how my partner and I discovered my Alters. I was diagnosed 7 years prior, but had NO idea that DID was Multiple Personality Disorder. My therapist saw no need to address DID because we had more urgent issues like my PTSD. Mostly, it's just making sure everyone has been validated and everyone is satisfied "getting a turn" to come out and play.
My memory issue is the BIGGEST obstacle. I have full black-out blocks of memory that leave for so many bits of time I can't account for. Also, My peoples ALL have ethics. All my peoples participate in therapy.

Rene'e S
June, 10 2022 at 12:34 pm

I have DID and I just recently passed the 6 month mark at my full-time job. This is a huge accomplishment since I have never before been able to hold down a full-time job for more than a couple of moths. I am really struggling to manage everyone and keep my job. My support network includes some really amazing people that accept me and love me, but they don't understand why a full-time job is so difficult. I hear "just relax on the weekends" or "your job is not that stressful, is it? Why is it so hard?" How can I explain to them why it is so challenging? Anyone else have this issue?

Patricia Sophia PhD
September, 21 2022 at 4:46 pm

Rene S, What to don't realise is you can ask your Alters to be supportive and lend an extra hand. Get to know them and work as a team. To will be amazed that among your Other's , they can assure in areas to have never imagined on how reliable, resourceful and supportive they can be. Create a Team Force and delegate asking for assistance when and where you require it.

Tam
January, 6 2022 at 7:15 am

Help..I'm 60yrs and recently diagnosed and on a wait list of a yr for therapy. I don't know any or how many alters I have so how do I communicate with them...they have full control.

Patricia Sophia PhD
September, 21 2022 at 4:39 pm

Dear Tam, I believe that we are bits and pieces of the scattered personalities, that we call Alters, and perceive them as separate entities from ourself. Start a journal where you can ask the other selves, to introduce themselves. 1. Ask them also what is their purpose for them being in your life. 2. Ask them how in the Now you can work together towards Living in a peaceful space together.
3. Coming to a mutual agreement to ensuring that there will always be respectful and supportive in their sharing the space, namely your physical, mental emotional and spiritual body.
As you get to know each other, you will understand how best they can contribute being resourceful, reliable and supportive. Ask them to help you in the present Now, to everything you have always wanted to freely experience, become and accomplish creatively and joyously. Wishing you and the New Team Force all the best. Stay blessed always.

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