New member needs help
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Phoenix1221 Offline
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#1
New member needs help
Hi all, My spouse has DID and cptsd; been in therapy for years but newly diagnosed. Married almost 20 years. 2beautiful boys. Things have been up and down since our oldest was born 13 years ago (got very, very bad after his birth) but there were good times with concentrated very bad times. Lately, things have gotten way worse. Angry alters surfacing. Husband working late hours. Often distant at home. Spouse not speaking to me and boys for over week now (over a minor complaint of mine which has unleashed a floodgate) and says he's "stuck". Silent and angry better than lashing out. I am so lonely. Have been for months. Angry teenage alter seems to be in lead for past week and there is no way to reason with him. I haven't had good boundaries all these years; I think that is what has let us get this far. I'm burned out. I love my husband dearly...but I worry about my mental health and that of my boys. I sometimes think he would be happier without us--that maybe we would all be better apart. I don't really want that, but it hurts so much. Any advice? Suggestions? Thoughts? Thank you
02-05-2017, 11:02 PM
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Cammy Offline
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#2
RE: New member needs help
Hi Pheonix. My name is Igraine. I have DID and so does my husband. He is newly diagnosed and is not fully in control of some of his angrier alters, so I can empathize with your situation. My husband also has PTSD and this just compounds things. The first thing I would wonder is what kind of therapist he is seeing - I hope that it is someone trained in trauma disorders and has DID training as well. The problem being that if they don't understand DID they can do more harm than good. Having said this, I have personally found that when things are not going okay with my alters, I simply go see my therapist and she makes brilliant suggestions on how to remedy the situation. I recently had some serious problems with my angry teen alter, Fagan, coming out and wreaking havoc with my mom and my husband, so I went to see my T (therapist). My T made the rest of my personality system acknowledge and appreciate how much of all my pain that Fagan is actually carrying, and then my T gave Fagan permission to email her anytime she wanted to. This settled Fagan down right away.

As for your husband. I don't know how you two have decided to handle the situation when he switches into an unpleasant personality. My husband has asked me to let him know, but I have found that it is better to talk to him about the switch after he becomes "himself"again. His alter would be resentful. It sounds like you and your husband need to establish some kind of protocol for communicating with him when he is switched to another individual. What works for one person, might cause another to boil over, so it is important that you are both on the right page. Above all, you must not suffer in silence or your mental health is going to be impacted negatively. I would seriously suggest going to see his T alone, by yourself, and explain what's going on, and then ask for suggestions. If anything, you will be able to express how you are feeling about all of this. The T might well be able to help you in ways you never thought of.

In the mean time, please come here and post. We are very helpful when sincere individuals seek our guidance and experience. Please let us know how this turns out. I'm sure that others here will chime in with their own suggestions. We have some very clever individuals on this board, so hopefully they will be able to assist you as well. Above all, if you need to vent, come here and do so. We have big shoulders and will give you all the opportunity to speak out. You are not alone in this.

Warmest regards . . . Igraine
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Disclaimer: Any words or phrases used in our posts are meant in a completely respectful manner. Please know that we always endeavour to be kind and supportive.
02-06-2017, 02:29 AM
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Phoenix1221 Offline
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#3
RE: New member needs help
Thank you, Igraine. I appreciate your insight and support. For years we had no idea what was happening; I honestly just thought he had a really bad temper. I think he is still a bit in denial about what is happening...the first realization was just in December. I like the idea of deciding how to handle ahead of time. When he switches, he can't see it, and he gets very angry if I talk about it.

So, we see the same therapist. Just switched in May; had seen a previous therapist for 4 years without much progress-and no DID diagnosis. New T is experienced with DID and trauma, but my husband seems to be reluctant. He throws himself into work (always has, but more do lately). it is his safe place. But makes home Very lonely for me and boys. Also frustrating because that energy could certainly be useful for healing. But, maybe he isn't ready yet.

T has made it clear to me that some of the behaviors are definitely abusive. How do you make the boundary clear? With the angry alters showing up more often, I am concerned that the boys will learn these behaviors that are not ok. I tell them that, but they are seeing it, feeling it. Everyone is tense. It's really awful right now. So, how do you create clear boundaries for no abusive behavior?

These episodes are crazy making--my husband doesn't always remember what he has said, then denies, tells me I'm "creating my own reality". Counselor wants to see us together, this week, but he is still saying no.

So, that takes me to my biggest fear, which is that maybe healing is just too scary and painful. Struggling

My husband is a good man. He cannot remember most of his childhood. It makes me so angry that this stuff from the past is dominating our family life. T said it would get worse before better? Can you or anyone else confirm?

Thank you!
Phoenix
02-06-2017, 03:03 AM
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Cammy Offline
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#4
RE: New member needs help
Phoenix: One of the most difficult things I had to do with my DID diagnosis was to accept it. I simply could not, would not believe that I was a multiple, even though my family doctor and a DID therapist had confirmed the diagnosis. I bolted from her office and spent two years away before I returned. During those two years I began to watch myself from the inside out, and sure enough, I found irrefutable confirmation that I had DID. So I went back to the T with my tail between my legs. She told me that this was typical behaviour, and that most people newly diagnosed do not want to accept the truth.

I don't know your husband well, or I could give better suggestions. Another person recently came to the forum with a similar issue and I suggested that they introduce their significant other to a book written by a multiple called "First Person Plural". It is a highly accomplished professional person who has this diagnosis and wrote the book, so it has a lot of merit for someone that feels that being multiple is equated with being unemployable or other such nonsense. He may be able to relate to the book and perhaps he may even start seeing bits of himself there. You can buy it at bookstores or online at such places like Amazon, or download from the usual sites. It is a bona fide story of this person's journey through DID.

The other thing you might want to do is start a journal where you record each time he switches, for how long, and describe the personality you are witnessing. Even try filming with it with your iPhone to show him later. That will dispense with him denying that it ever happened. He may well be quite shocked to see himself in another persona that he is unaware of. Tread carefully here - make sure he is a milder host when you show him the footage, and approach it from a quiet, understanding point of view. The last thing you need is to sort of an in the face approach that he may well be badly triggered by.

Both of you need to have a communication about the abusive behaviour. Regardless of the cause, it is not acceptable. This is where you and the T need to iron our a strategy for some counselling for both of you. You both need help at this point. I would never suggest to anyone to stay around an abusive person, especially when younger family members are being exposed. So, this has to be brought under control. Believe it or not, multiples can obey boundaries - we are capable of it. He needs to learn to be accountable for his other personalities, which also entails acceptance. And yes, you are right, until he wants to accept that he is a multiple, things may well get worse before they get better. Discuss all of this with your T and find out what strategy will work best. The T is the only neutral person you both have right now that can negotiate a cease fire and try to establish some healthy boundaries for him.

Please let us know how you fare. We will keep trying to assist as much as possible, but we are not therapists here. All we know is what we've each experienced in our journeys, and all of our journeys are different.

Best wishes . . . Igraine
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Disclaimer: Any words or phrases used in our posts are meant in a completely respectful manner. Please know that we always endeavour to be kind and supportive.
02-06-2017, 04:43 AM
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nats Offline
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#5
RE: New member needs help
yes, it will probably get worse before it gets better. we also had people who massively resisted T and threw us into every possible distraction - easy enough as work was/is demanding. those who resisted 'healing' expressed that it would make our system too weak, that it was a waste of time, that being functional (i.e. maintaining a job) was too important to risk, etc. some of his people may be scared of what change and healing actually means.

obviously, you can also see these as excuses to avoid something very unpleasant, but the issue about being a community in one body is that everyone's perspective needs to be listened to and compromises need to be reached. none of this helps you directly as the person who loves and is living with this currently dysfunctional community, but maybe talking to people here can help with understanding and with understanding can come coping mechanisms and ways to support this process for them and for you and your sons. it's important not to ignore bad behaviour but how you assert yourself is important. your T should be able to help with this too.
Blush Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain - E. Walsh Smile
02-06-2017, 04:50 AM
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The People Offline
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#6
RE: New member needs help
As the others stated it often gets worse before it gets better. However, the ages of your 2 boys could be triggers. Not that they do anything wrong. Just that they may remind him of himself at these ages. Do the boys know what is going on? I doubt if they would understand all of it as most adults don't get it. But perhaps you should discuss how much to say with the therapist.

As well, perhaps you could find your own support system where you could learn more about the importance of boundaries. Because they are important for all 4 of you.
I Am My Only Chance For A Hero!
02-06-2017, 05:01 AM
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Phoenix1221 Offline
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#7
RE: New member needs help
Hi again. Thanks for input. I will get the book and It is so helpful to hear from people who have lived this. My Mom has been with me through this since the beginning and even she is saying I'm crazy to stay. My husband keeps telling me I can go, too.

My husbands family of origin naturally had two boys, just like us. So yes, the boys are a powerful trigger--now it is more day-to-day stuff that triggers. Was way worse when they were younger. Main focus seems to be on me now. Spouse had very controlling, narcissistic and emotionally abusive mother who was involved in the physical abuse along with the father. There are major issues with Mom and it seems there is a lot that gets transferred to me.

Seeing T today so hopefully she can help me find clarity. The silent treatment is killing me, thanks to my own abandonment issues.
02-06-2017, 11:09 AM
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Cammy Offline
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#8
RE: New member needs help
Phoenix: You have a lot on your plate to work through, but I also get a sense that you are a very strong person. This situation is NOT hopeless, but it IS going to take some doing to get through it and arrive at a place where things are more peaceful. Of course, the crux of the matter is your husband's acceptance, which all here have told you will take time. We have also pointed out the importance of getting therapy for yourself, and perhaps even your sons. I am gratified that you understand the importance of receiving help for yourself, and that others here have pointed out that while your husband's alters require acknowledgement, they also require boundaries. Please keep in touch with us and we will gladly continue to support you through this process.

Take special care . . . Igraine
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Disclaimer: Any words or phrases used in our posts are meant in a completely respectful manner. Please know that we always endeavour to be kind and supportive.
02-06-2017, 12:05 PM
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Phoenix1221 Offline
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#9
RE: New member needs help
Update:

I scheduled counseling so husband and I could go together on Monday as T requested. Husband refused. Silent treatment of me and kids continues--started sat 28 Jan. Over the weekend, he left for 8-9 hours at a time with no word. Yesterday he left for work 7:15am and not home till 11pm. No contact with me or kids. Nightmares have started. I usually email what he says and does so he knows; this time he sent an email back telling me he takes that as a threat and says I'm being passive aggressive. Everything is being turned around on me, though I am the one caring for our chidren and staying in this game. I am at wits' end. When he is in this place, he starts doing strange things like monitoring my texts, emails, locking me out of our apple account. He does same thing every time. It has all started. It is very scary for me as last time a big break like this happened, he wouldn't let me and kids in house. I ended up having to get a restraining order, which was awful for all of us and he still hates me for (though of course, it was my last resort). Husband is able to work and be completely fine and together while there...in fact with everyone else he is fine. I do not have the ability to dissociate...my life is crumbling before my eyes. I do not know how much more of this I can take. My kids are stressed to the max. I don't know how to proceed.
02-08-2017, 08:19 AM
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The People Offline
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#10
RE: New member needs help
It is OK to leave for the safety of the 3 of you. Whether it is mental illness or addiction or anything else they don't have a right to leave your family in fear all the time. It is hurting you and the kids too. I am not telling you what to do but I stayed single with no kids because I knew I wouldn't be a good partner/mother. It is your choice and I would never tell another person what to do. But you have rights as a family.
I Am My Only Chance For A Hero!
02-09-2017, 03:46 AM
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nats Offline
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#11
RE: New member needs help
what you describe is abuse. it doesn't really matter if the abuse stems from childhood issues or neurological ones. if you are concerned about your children's safety and/or your safety it is better to leave. if you simply can't deal with it anymore it is also ok to leave.

if his people aren't able to show boundaries with his family, despite the fact that they can at work, then that is something that he and they are responsible for. you can't actually help with that unfortunately.

it sounds like a very tough situation and and can't presume to tell you what would be the best thing to do. we're opinionated on many things Wink but we know we don't have all the answers. maybe it might help to think what you would advise a friend to do if she described herself and her children in the situation you are in?
Blush Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain - E. Walsh Smile
02-09-2017, 07:09 PM
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