Dreaming in DID©: Using DID to accept your self-worth

Comforting to me is this idea that DID is a natural response to unnatural events. A creative defense response. Not a bizarre aberration in my head suggesting some underlying psychosis.

I’ve read that one goal of therapy is reintegration of the individual selves who have been split off.

There are debates about whether integration is truly necessary or desirable (or even controllable). I’lI withhold my opinion because I am simply not far enough along in the process to make an intelligent decision.

Or, perhaps, I cannot yet reach a quorum. <smile>

But I just learned something. With growing awareness of the splits inside me comes the possibility that separation of selves can help in the healing process. Interactions among selves facilitate knowledge and recovery.

Let me tell you about a dream I had last night.

I have incredibly vivid dreams where I can recall minute details of dress, behavior, color, and surroundings. Even my thoughts and feelings. They are truly intricate and meandering. On analysis, the real meaning of the dreams often becomes quickly obvious, although often unrelated to the superficial plotline.

My therapist says they are amazing in their obvious symbolism, revelations, cautions, and advice. I think it’s because I am too obtuse to pay attention to the subtleties so my brain has to construct plot lines for 6 year olds to get the idea through my thick head.

I learned an extra lesson with last night’s dream.

The exact details are not important, but the characters in my dreams all tend to be aspects of me. I can often count the characters and end up figuring out which are parts of me, and then from their behaviors in the dream, learn about why some splits happened and how different parts of me were “born.” Birth dreams we have called them.

Last night I had a dream about my second attack. I can recall how I was approached by the perpetrator and the first few minutes of the abduction, but of the rest of the event and of my subsequent journey home I have only snippets.

In my dream, a woman and child got into my car unbidden, and then after a gap, I was driving 80 miles an hour through a playing field on school grounds, nearly hitting a young man, simultaneously in rage and in great fear as part of me floored the accelerator as another part attempted to lift it back up. Afraid we would be stopped for speeding in the suburban area.

A nice female cop flagged us over but not for speeding; she showed me that the front end of my beloved car was crushed and I had not known it. Something happened while I was unaware. But somehow the two in the back seat seemed to have information, but were reluctant to talk. The child knew all; the woman, perhaps something. I cried over the crushed car knowing nothing about how it had been damaged, but relieved that we three were safe.

Based on details I haven’t shared here, I realized the dream represented my attack. Some small child in me saw the attack but was silenced. A protector part of me was nearly hurt but left behind as we swerved to avoid him. The broken car who saved us is the part of me who was attacked and hurt in several ways, but she protected her cargo both physically and by blocking our memories partially or totally. It took a concerned part of me in authority to point out the damage to me and quickly understand that the information about the accident was only to be gotten from someone else.

Okay, so all this makes sense. It clarifies that although I only remember parts of the attack, that the rest of the memories are in there but still blocked. So how does this help me?

So, to the revelation

I recognize that the story is inside me. I can’t force it out. In fact, it will come from another part of me, although I am now able to mourn the damage.

Patience. <Hard for those of us who are extremely Type A.>

Not only that, I am no longer viewing that damaged part of me as just a pit of seething anger and thorns on fire to fear and shut away forever. Even though she floored that accelerator and might have killed us all in her rage.

She gave so much of herself to protect me/us. In the dream, I hugged the car, calling out her name…so that hurt part of me knows that I no longer run from her – that I love her and want her back whole. Even though the car seemed totaled and I couldn’t stop that from happening.

I also learned that I need to stand back while others open up to finally say what happened. Let Emily, sitting in the back seat of that car, have her blog. That gentle police officer saw that she has the story and respected her.

But that’s just the first part of the revelation

Perhaps like others with DID, I had rejected major parts of me inside long before I finally got the diagnosis. Could not see or accept those parts as belonging to me.

Those feelings are not mine; I didn’t do those things you claim I did.

Hey, I know they are all me; they just don’t feel like it. And they do shit sometimes without me realizing it. I’m not psychotic, just a little crazy. <smile>

These dreams allow me to accept those still separate people as actual distinct aspects of me.

In the dream, my feelings for those characters were as if they were real people, and through them I was able to feel a range of emotions – rage, fear, concern, confusion. Perhaps I could never feel all that directed against myself at one time.

The conflicting and varied emotions are easier to accept and comprehend if they are attributed to different people.

But those separate people are really all just broken parts of the same whole. And it is then easier to realize by transitivity that they and their varied simultaneous emotions really all are just me. Freaky as it seems.

DID allows you to remove the barriers of shame and self-loathing against yourself and to think about those parts as real people worthy of respect. Emotions of self-worth that we have trouble attributing to ourselves.

DID has allowed me to realize that the love and concern I feel for those varied parts is really just love and concern directed at myself.

Now it just takes a boatload more therapy and trust to truly believe that all the way through me.

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