Why I try not to switch

The Indomitable Bourbon from Crazy in the Coconut asked me today why I try not to switch. It’s a very good question, especially since I mistakenly assumed that all of us with DID tried not to switch. I also had the mistaken assumption that we all lost time. This is one of the many reasons that I love the blogging community. I learn so much from you guys everyday.

I’m not sure if I conveyed the following story here, but here goes anyhow: The first clue I had re: my DID came a couple of years ago. I reconnected with Mingo, an old high school friend on facebook. He asked me why I changed in high school and became so gruff with a don’t-mess-with-me attitude. I laughed because that’s not me at all. I thought he might be mistaken in thinking that he was talking about me. Then he mentioned that I wore camouflage pants all the time along with a pink beret. Well, then I knew he could not possibly be talking about me. I’m quite the girly girl. I wear mostly dresses, and I would never ever dream of wearing camouflage pants! My inherent sense of appropriateness also would never allow me to wear such pants, especially since I’ve never been in the military.

Mingo insisted that he has a very good memory, and that he was sure he was talking about me. I told him we would settle this once and for all, and I emailed my sister, and asked her to confirm that Mingo was out of mind. Her reply was unexpected. She replied immediately, and said that I wore camouflage pants, and not only had a pink beret, but a red one as well. I was absolutely flabbergasted because I have no memory of any of this. I still don’t. I’ve tried and tried to conjure up these memories, but they are not there.

I asked my sister why she did not try to talk some sense into me ,and she said that she tried. Apparently, according to her, we had huge arguments about my attire where I called her a “snob.”

Mingo also asked me if I remember how we became friends, and I have no memory of how we became friends. All I have is a feeling that he is safe and kind. He then conveyed the story of how we became friends, and it made me sad because there is no such memory in my brain that I can fish out.

I also tend to lose time when I switch. That’s the biggest reason I try to avoid switching. I’ve found journal entries in different handwriting after I’ve lost time. Scares the heebies out of me!

Even the innocuous things scare me like discovering shows I’ve recorded on my DVR have been watched when I have no memory of watching those shows, or discovering that my Nook has been read without my knowledge.

I try not to switch because it scares me that I do things without remembering.

8 thoughts on “Why I try not to switch

  1. I felt this way a lot 6 years ago when I started therapy with our trauma/dissociation specialist. But with lots of internal communication (and lots of practice), the time loss decreased. The internal communication eventually brought about cooperation, instead of struggling for control because parts felt ignored or neglected.

    It’s not perfect. I still have parts where I need to enact “The Telephone Game” or “Whisper Down the Lane,” and even then I sometimes just can’t get the internal communication to connect. In those cases, if I switch with a part where there is little to no communication bridging us, I will still lose time.

    Especially on trauma anniversaries or when highly triggered — still shakes things up inside.

    I guess my point is – it gets better the more you work on yourselves. Keep that journal going – that’s a great idea! 🙂

    -Nel

  2. Agree wholeheartedly with Nel. It does get better, with paying attention and work. Friends in treatment showed me that when I came across something “i” didn’t do, a “part” was wanting my attention. As long as I ignored her (out of fear of the unknown) she would act out more until I journaled with her. The very first time I tried this, I wrote to this unknown, acting out part of me, “The doctor says you are inside of me and I don’t know who you are or whether I believe him or not. Is there someone inside me who has something to say?” I sat quietly for a few minutes, swapped the pen into my less dominant hand and wrote, “Yes” in childlike scribble. I was shocked. I cautiously asked a few “light” questions, and then ended the conversation. It was probably 6 months later that I attempted to converse with “her” again, for I just kept telling myself it couldn’t be true. I added a Spiritual Companion to this journey of discovering my parts, because I was so afraid and didn’t want to go inside of me alone. His presence gave me the courage to find the pieces and bring them all together. Today, I don’t switch any more. Life is not perfect, but it is much, much more manageable and happy. I thank God for that.

  3. Switching gets easier and less scary in time. It sounds like your still quite new to all this did stuff. It does get easier. It depends on whether you want co-operation, integration, or whatever you want as a final treatment goal. For us we dont want to integrate, we only want communication and co-operation. We still lose time. We just let what happens happen now cause its too much of an effort to try to hold insiders in and control things. Safe hugs…

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