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Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - KoalaGirl - 01-24-2017

I'm in a rather complicated long-distance relationship with someone I finally came to realize very likely suffers from DID, and I need to talk to someone who has firsthand knowledge.

I'm going to try to summarize this in a million words or less without sounding like I am taking any of this lightly. On the contrary, this has torn me apart. And I'm utterly exhausted mentally & physically.

I met a man who is fantastic - brilliant, creative, kind, caring, expressive...and after more than a year of the most harrowing ups & downs, I've come to realize that he most likely suffers from DID. We have a long-distance relationship, but we have chatted for hours every single day; talked on the phone, and have spent time together in person. We shared pictures & stories from our earliest memories to our everyday lives.

There were early hints of childhood trauma - disjointed stories of alarming apparent hallucinations (that I now believe were fragmented memories of something his mind won't let him remember the entirety of) and heartbreaking pictures that spoke volumes. One schoolyear, class pictures captured a face of innocence & joy & apparent happiness. And then suddenly, in a very short period of time, all of his pictures had this same face...angry, resentful, frightened...wounded. He had lost a frightening amount of weight. His weight continued to cycle throughout his life (he's now in his 40s). I've never seen such dramatic fluctuations in weight.

Most tellingly, he would literally be a different person from one day to the next. At first I thought he was likely bipolar. Then at some point it all clicked. He was cycling too quickly for it to be bipolar disorder...and more and more I had begun to refer to his uncharacteristic states as being not the "core" him. (I'll call him Tex, since he's from Texas). There were shades of Tex, "core Tex" and "evil Tex". "Evil Tex", I believe, is the hypervigilant protector who will destroy anyone he sees as a threat to the collective. Tex sees the destruction Evil Tex inflicts, and he takes the blame and is contrite and repentant.

There were strange lapses that at the time I attributed to him being slightly manic & maybe not ingesting everything I was saying or writing...a sort of selective hearing.

The thing that solidified it in my mind...I think the thing that made it click for me...was that I literally saw him switch in front of me. At the time I thought nothing of it...but in made sense. And he was clearly

There's a Joker Tex in there who, unfortunately, is a harbinger of evil Tex....Evil Tex uses the Joker to disarm make you let your guard down...and then he goes for the jugular. He doesn't care if he's playing fair....he pulls out all the tools...he told me so when we were having a discussion about some of the awful things he said to me to push me away.

Tex is in law enforcement, which I think is the perfect outcome for a man like him - noble, caring, a defender. But in a moment where I first recognized a change, he told me that in his line of work, he sees some horrible things...and in life-or-death situations, you learn to use whatever tools you can to defend yourself. That is how he somehow rationalized all the horrible things he had said to me...baseless accusations of infidelity &...well...everything in the book you could imagine to make someone go away. He used some ugly words he could not justify and that he said he never meant. He seemed to be trying to make me leave to save me from him.

I don't remember the point at which it clicked, but seeing him in person was the key. There are subtlties that can't always be discerned in chat or even on the phone. Visual cues are missing. The most inexplicable one was something at the time that was so subtle, it was hard to articulate. I would see glimpses of him just as he appeared in that happy class picture, before he became so visibly broken...and it would appear almost in a montage...momentary glimpses of that boy coming out...pure joy...he would peek out...I cannot explain it, but it *makes so much sense* in the context of DID. The subtle changes to facial muscles...that young man came out for moments...and it was so beautiful. There were other indicators of happiness, but seeing that face in glimpses, all clicked.

We had broken up...not because we weren't madly in love with each other, but because the Protector had become so hypervigilant, so overprotective, he convinced Tex that I was a horrible person - lying, cheating, keeping secrets...though he could never pin down anything to support it, and "Core Tex" didn't seem to be able to articulate it, but the details never mattered. It was all reactionary & instinct.

The thing is, I loved him purely...and I still do. At first, when I thought he was just bipolar but refused to rein in the part of himself that had no filter, I began to harden myself & pull away...I knew he didn't really want me to leave, but he made it so hard to stay....he kept attacking me...calling me horrible names...accusing me of horrible things...

But I couldn't accept it. I *knew* it wasn't him, but rather his defenses. And I tried to demand he substantiate his accusations, hoping he'd see how basesless they were. At one point he even said in such a lamenting tone, "I threw the worst things I could think of at you, and you still wouldn't leave..." Never did he say, "I don't love you. Go away."

I didn't know whether he'd been diagnosed and was hiding it or whether he had been misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed. Honestly, I believe some part(s) of him have been trying to tell me...maybe they've been trying to tell lots of people, hoping they'd see....

He is in utter denial. But I know part of him suspects he has DID. He was using language from early on that shows a clinical knowledge of the subject. We talked openly about dissociation (I myself had at least one - now I"m realizing two - dissociative episodes) and strange episodes we'd both experienced (I grew up in a very dysfunctional household with violence, abandonment, and disrespect for boundaries).

He told me he was researching DID for a book he was working on (I know that the subject matter has no relevance to a character experiencing DID), and that he knew he did not have it.

I realized that in trying to help, I may have been encroaching a bit too much on his defenses & his boundaries. He had been acting as though he despises me for increasingly awful transgressions that were the complete opposite of how I was behaving. I was moving on...assuming he was bipolar & suffered from BPD....

But I couldn't shake the DID possibility. (There is a whole other layer I desperately need to address later, which is possible alternates engaging me on social media.) I sent him a simple messaging saying that I think I understand what's going on (I did ask him outright at the end whether he suffered from a dissociative disorder.) I said I was sorry if I violated his safe space or breached his boundaries. I said I think I understood what he was experiencing, and if I was right, he would need an ally. Even if I could never be with him in a relationship, I wanted him to feel that I was someone he could trust and who believed in him and who knew he was a good and kind soul. I said I knew these terrible things he said were just the Protector, who was doing his job keeping Tex safe, but who was too defensive and was keeping out the good with the bad.

I told him that despite all the horrible ways he was trying to make me leave, I was keeping a channel open...that he could always reach out to me and know that I was there for him, that I supported him, and that I knew he wasn't the weak, broken, fragmented shell he said he was. I told him I knew he was brave and noble and stronger than so many more people who would have completely shattered in the same circumstances. I knew he was amazing and remarkable and resilient and strong.

He sent me a simple message that let me know that he heard me and understood and appreciated it...and that he would always love me.

Unfortunately, we started getting close again, and I tried to have the talk with him again because I think the alters are contacting me, and the eerieness of being contacted by strangers who have too much "guilty knowledge" about me can be frightening. At first I thought he was "catfishing" me to get me to reveal all the horrible things he accused me of doing.

I became very paranoid and confused. I suspect everyone who contacts me out of the blue on social media to be him - or an alter. I just wanted to set all the mumbo-jumbo spookiness aside and say, look, this explanation is *so much more logical* than him being a sadistic, sociopathic monster who was stalking me & enlisting strangers to help torment me and mess with my head. It makes *so much more sense* that, seeing my distress at "evil Tex" attacking me, the predominant kind alters selflessly stepped in like guardian angels to try to save me.

I'm sorry this is so long....I need someone who believes this and understands it and can help me ...and help me to help Tex....

I just wanted to have a rational discussion with Tex about the alters. They need to identify themselves when the step in, just as one would identify on the phone that a different customer service rep has taken over a phone call, so you know how to adjust your demeanor, what needs reiterating, what is already understood.

He's back on a a painfully unhinged campaign of denial and accusation of me being psychotic. I don't think I am. I think DID is a *very* logical and rational explanation (think virtual machines on a computer to divvy up the separate components of memory-holding.) But Tex being evil is the least credible explanation. I just need some support to keep myself sane and to do what is best for Tex.

Again...sorry...this *is* the short version.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - Cammy - 02-01-2017

DID is extremely frustrating and complicated for the person who has it. It takes that person a long time to come to terms with the diagnosis. After I was diagnosed, I bolted out of the therapist's office and it took two years of observing myself to come to the conclusion that the tests and observations of the therapist and my family doctor were correct. It is not something that anyone could have "made me" see, but a realization that had to be made little by little...only as much as my own mind could handle the trauma of the truth about me.

My husband has DID as well. He learned it first from me, and then from my therapist. For him, the knowing was a great relief of finally being able to put a name to what he had been experiencing, but still he does not have a great deal of control over the baser and more volatile personalities within him.

From your description, I would say that it is a pretty good bet that your love does have DID. What you are describing is far too complicated for anything as simple as a mood swing or bipolar disorder. If it looks like a duck, and walks like a duck . . . well, you know the rest.

As to what you can do at this point? Well, very little, really. If he is in denial, there is just not a lot that is going to influence him to accept a diagnosis or seek professional diagnosis at this point. But you have planted the seed in him, and this seed may well start working its way through him in terms of him beginning to question himself and starting to watch himself from the inside out. There is no way to accelerate this process, and in fact trying to do so will be met with resistance, resentment, and outright denial. His acceptance, if it happens at all, may take years. He seems not ready to believe this about himself at this point, whereas my husband was quite ready for an explanation of a lifetime of "incidents". You might even try sending him a readable text on someone else's story of their DID journey. He might even read it and start relating to it. There are a few of them out there if you go to Amazon, but the only one that sticks out in my mind right now is "First Person Plural". This book is written by a PHD in psychology who outlines his journey through DID and his struggles with this disorder. Perhaps your friend will relate to the fact that this is a functioning intelligent professional who has this disorder. The book might be acceptable, or he might just throw it aside depending on how receptive he is right now (and he doesn't sound overly receptive).

I am sorry that I do not have more to offer you in way of advice, other than to seek out counselling for your own edification. Make sure if you take this route that you seek out someone with trauma therapy background. There is also an Institute for Trauma disorders (or something like that). Just google "Institute Trauma Disorders" and it will list one or two. I wish I could remember the exact name, but something like ISSD rings a bell. At any rate, they have excellent support material for people who are close to people with trauma disorders like PTSD and DID. It might give you some excellent resources.

I wish you luck with this, and please, drop by and write any time you feel you need to understand or want support. We are a very close and empathetic community of people here and you will find us most welcoming and supportive.

Remember to take care of yourself through all this turmoil - if you need counselling, please seek it out.

My thoughts are with you as you press forward with this perplexing situation.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - KoalaGirl - 08-26-2017

I'm sorry it took me so long to reply to this. I wanted to let you know how helpful it was and how it made me feel so much better having read your response.

Part of the reason I didn't respond sooner was all the ups and downs with Tex these past few months. Some of it was horrible; some beautiful. He would reach out to me, then chase me away; tell me I was amazing and the most caring woman he's ever known, then call me a lying, cheating wh*re and shut me out.

I'm more convinced than ever that he has DID. I can see the switches, even when we're not in person. I can identify the changes based on language, word choice, speed of replies...our personal references suddenly not picked up on.

These were all things I saw from early on but really didn't understand full until after we spent in-person time together. I also went back and saw on one of the video messages we exchanged. I remember at the time thinking, "that was abrupt". Now it makes sense. He's one of the most articulate people I know - a writer with a gift for using colorful, descriptive, meaningful language, but the man said "cool" five times in one sentence to describe arranging another visit. (I recognize him now as one of possibly two teenage alters, I believe, or else one who is prone to going from giddy to tantrum-y in short order.) He was looking around everywhere but the camera, slacked posture. Then abruptly he sat bolt upright, looked right at the camera, dropped is voice a register, and said directly that he loved & missed me.

The last time we messaged each other, he was so open and emotive, so introspective...perhaps to a degree that he felt too vulnerable. I believe he may be in therapy or at least using self-help techniques to stay focused and not pick fights or start falling back into accusations, which I know is his defense mechanism to push me away.

But all of a sudden one night, out of nowhere, there was this accusation about some guy he's convinced I'm carrying on with (which I absolutely am not). He started getting combative and, frankly, arguing like a teenager. Then it struck me. He said (paraphrasing), "why shouldn't I think something's going on? The last time we were together, you just started talking about this guy out of the blue, and you were still going on about him when I leaned in to kiss you."

That was one of two exact moments I was already sure I'd identified a switch. The other was maybe 15 minutes before when he was confronted with a discrepancy about the timing of an event (creation of a strange twitter account) that I'm fairly sure was done by an alter. It was irrefutable fact of the timing. He stammered, "no...", then blinked a lot, got sort of confused and mumbly, then switched to what I call cop mode, complete with the kind of switch in demeanor I described above with the video. This guy is definitely a Protector, and he admitted that his philosophy is you pull out whatever tools are at hand to survive, even if they aren't fair.

And then after a few minutes, the cop started interrogating me...about this "other guy". *That* was why I was talking about the "other guy". Not because I was just bringing him up out of the blue, but because Cop Tex grilled me about him. I was all self conscious because he was clearly interrogating me, and I looked away, then felt the need to clarify that I was intimidated - not because I was guilty but because he was grilling me. He said nothing, so I looked up. He was sitting there, smiling gleefully, almost giddily. I remember laughing and saying, "what?" For a second I thought the interrogation had been a prank.

Tex just leaned in and kissed me. His eyes - they did this thing that I've only seen in a couple of pictures of him when he was a teenager, where he smiled and these muscles around the eyes contracted a certain way. It was so beautiful. I remember watching the change in coloration under his eyes, like a change in bloodflow.

And here he was, arguing like a much-less mature person, insisting that when we were together, I had started talking about some other guy, then he leaned in to kiss me and I shut up. And to him, that's the truth, the reality. He stepped in at that moment. The teenager came out right then.

Holy crap, I just realized one of the triggers. It was indirect and inferred on his part...a misunderstanding about a person's profession. A guidance counselor...I wonder if that' his situation.

I'm not pushing him. But I am compiling some articles and blog postings from a woman who has DID and is an advocate, as well as a couple of books - "My Fractured Mind by Robert Oxnam" and "So You've Got Parts". As well as a letter to assure him I am here for him and support him because I know he's confused and scared and frustrated.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - The People - 08-27-2017

Welcome Koalagirl. You are not the first person to come here looking for help for partner or family member, Welcome. I hope you find this place to be helpful!

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - KoalaGirl - 09-01-2017

So far everyone has been so helpful. It has been extra confusing because he's not diagnosed, and I'm not 100% sure it's DID, but the longer I know him, the more it is consistently characteristic of DID. I believe he suspects it on some level. He knows something's wrong, and he doesn't want me to know. He told me the last time he pushed me away that he didn't want me to know "what he had become".

I've already sent him a couple of kindly-worded messages to let him know that I think I know what's going on, and I'm sorry if I encroached upon any defenses or unknowingly violated any boundaries. I only want to help him find a way to get some relief from these things that have been tormenting him. Whatever was going on, I think I may be able to lend some insight, but no pressure. I assured him that if it is DID, it's not a sign of weakness; it's a sign of strength.

He responded warmly and receptively, and expressed how deeply he felt about me and how he couldn't live without me. And then he woke up with a blinding headache. And I knew what was coming. I asked him if maybe this was too stressful for him, us being together. He said no...that I heal him. But when he faded back, I wasn't surprised. When the Protector came around, I could recognize him by his distinct characteristics - language, word choice (very pedantic), intimidating, and mean. Cruel, sometimes. Often.

Anyway, he has vascillated between being on the cusp of telling me something and then chasing me away with things I now are designed to make me hate him. I don't. I can't. But now he tells himself lies about me so he can be ok with pushing me away. And in another lucid moment, he told me he knew what he was doing and that he was sorry he put me through it. And then he put me through it again. Or...he let the Protector do it.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - nats - 09-01-2017

hi KoalaGirl, it's great to be supportive, but just make sure you don't try to be his knight in shining armour. none of us can rescue someone who isn't willing to rescue themselves and system responsibility is as crucial for a multiple as personal responsibility is for an individual. you can give him support, but he'll have to do the hard work himself and part of that hard work includes choosing to be decent and respectful to you. please take care of yourself.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - The People - 09-03-2017

So true Nats and Koalagirl We all need to rescue ourselves. When I met this T she asked me to describe how I viewed a T relationship. I explained that it took me a while because of TV but I now view it as walking my path with support people standing and holding a torch as we found our way. She agreed. A T or friend or anyone else who tried to push or pull me down the path is failing me.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - Shadows - 09-03-2017

I think also that diagnosing a multiple is really hard, even for trained professionals. It took me a solid seven years and numerous therapists to accurately diagnosis me. I'm not saying that he doesn't have it, just a word of caution that the signs and symptoms are confusing and hidden - DID is considered to be a disorder of hiddenness.

So you might well be right in your assumptions. But I agree with nat and The People that your partner needs to do the work, and will appreciate your support in allowing him to do the heavy lifting of figuring out what is happening in his brain.

RE: Newbie Loved One With Probable DID - KoalaGirl - 09-12-2017

Hopefully this reply or an alert to it gets to everyone who was on this thread. I'm a little tech challenged. Big Grin

I could be wrong. It's just...there's so many more layers than even what I mentioned here. This volume I've written is actually the "short" version.

I know what you mean about it being a disorder of hiddenness. He absolutely is hiding something. He knows something is wrong. He has referred to himself as fractured and broken...then evil. I've always told him that isn't true. I am almost certain he suspects DID because he has done extensive research - he claimed for a book he was working on. Although a zombie with DID might be a very unique plotline, I'm pretty sure that's not the way he's going with it.

He said he thinks he doesn't have amnesia episodes, but I think he does & is either in denial or doesn't realize it. I think he is aware or suspects he has lost time and is afraid of what he does during those periods, and he struggles to piece it together based on people's reactions to him and evidence he finds that even he can't refute had to be something he did.

He has done a number of utterly inexplicable things for which he has the oddest explanations. He seemed to lie about things that were completely irrefutable, yet he was insistent he wasn't lying.

A couple of times he was ready to open up about something, then quickly shut down & ducked out - literally disappeared from our chat, then came back like a different person, deflecting, accusing, and oddly hostile. I realized that unconsciously, I've been referring to "Core Tex" and "Other Tex" since long before I ever thought it could be DID - even asking if he had a twin he hadn't told me about; telling him I didn't know who this guy was, but to tell Tex to get in touch with me when he got back.

I'm going to send him some books, articles, & some printouts from a blog that a young woman with DID runs. I'm going to write up a little about what I've observed and reiterate that I'm here for him. But I do realize he has to want to figure it out & fix it himself. I just want him to know that it doesn't mean that he's crazy or weak or that nothing can be done. On the contrary, I am afraid his problems stem from trying to deny these fragmented parts of his psyche/ego a voice. From what I've read, they at least want or need to become aware of each other and be allowed to work together in a system vs always fighting for an ounce of control or say in anything.

I should/will probably post this part under another subject to get a wider audience -- it's about what I believe but can't confirm are his alters engaging me, and how I suspect they have been showing me enough pieces of him to try to get me to notice. (That's oversimplified, I know.)