On the way to session, someone reminded us why we had DID. The diagnosis made sense with losing time and discontinuous experience. But the revealing evidence to us of the in-brain divisions was in the hospital circa summer of 2018.
Our therapist there assigned us homework to document all the trauma we’d ever experienced. We were given a few days to do this.
We wrote everything we could remember in our journal. It was not chronological—and maybe couldn’t really be—because some trauma was ongoing while other time-limited events occurred during it.
We wrote as many different traumas as we could remember (just labels—not full recounting).
In those few days, we would be triggered to a particular trauma and would search in our journal to see is we had documented it. In many cases, we hadn’t documented it. This astounded us. These were major life traumas, and they were not secrets or forgotten. Just not accessible when we were listing them.
We could not seem to remember them all at once. So we tried to study the list.
A day or two later, we took blank paper and folded columns and rows like a spreadsheet and tore them into separate cells (no scissors in-patient).
We then tried to write each trauma down again. And again we could not recall them all in one sitting.
This has really brought home to us the divisions in our brain that keep the enormity of so much trauma from being discernible all at once. For us, is this what DID is? Is this a primary reason or a side function?
DID created divisions to prevent us from experiencing all this trauma at once. This is what a brain can do to try to survive.
Especially as a child, what we could tolerate was limited, but the year we turned 18 added significant traumas, and we were already so vulnerable from prior traumas.
It’s hard to write about because it’s a little mushy. What are the dangers in trying to stitch together things that are not neuroconnected?
We don’t keep trying to see traumas all at once. We don’t do exposure therapy. It might take our whole life, and we might never finish. We want to try to experience presence, even a little, instead. Maybe these don’t have to be mutually exclusive. But with so much trauma, constant exposure seem violent, the gain not worth the pain.
Those who know exposure therapy, what do you think?
Does the potential purpose of our DID make sense to anyone reading this post?