| By Paul | | Comments (16)

My main accomplishment during this hospital stay was coming to terms with acceptance. Acceptance doesn't mean you are a quitter or that you have lost the battle (whatever that battle may be). Acceptance is about freeing yourself from burdens and allowing yourself to focus on healing.

For those who struggle with severe dissociation, we are constantly getting messages that what we experience is not real, that we make it up, or that we are addicted to drama. It's difficult to be understood because our experiences are not like the masses and we are often isolated.

My doctor here tried to impress upon me that these are mere distractions. We have to look past all of that. What we all need to learn to do is accept who we are, however complicated our internal structures may be, and navigate through life to create as much happiness along the way as we can.

One example of this is that I struggled in the hospital with long-lasting dissociation. I had not been used to the timescale of these experiences lasting on the order of days. For me, these experiences at this point in my life usually last on the order of minutes or hours. All the grounding skills I was used to working, really didn't. And I sort of began to panic. My doctor said something like: "Paul, you have to accept that it is what it is, but you know that these experiences do have an end because they always do."

Another example was this perception that a certain part of me was pure evil. I have struggled with this for many years mainly by ignoring and shutting out. I was in a battle that didn't need to be. When I accepted this part as me and made an effort to communicate, this part told me that their job was to protect younger parts in a very specific way. That was huge for me, this new communication.

Coming to the hospital is about recharging my "battery" which contains acceptance. When it drains to zero, that is when I end up here. If I didn't have dissociative identity disorder, then I would perhaps be able to get support through normal life experiences, like work colleagues, friends, etc. But how do you talk to your friends and neighbors about having dissociative identity disorder? Having this blog does help with that, but not completely. When I come here and I am surrounded by people who accept what I go through and can understand and can help me. When my battery is charged, I leave. It doesn't mean I feel great. It just means I accept and can go on with my life.


Nansie said:

Hi Paul!

You are very brave and I admire your perserverence. I am new to this and am still taking in information. I teeter in and out of denial of DID. But you are right on about us not being able to find support in normal life. I too believe there is an evil part of me: "there must be because the awful things that happened to me would not have happened if I had been good". I have to accept the fact that sometimes things happen to people for no good reason and they didn't bring it all on themselves. As young children who were supposed to play, it is so sad to me that when the world fell down on us we in turn blamed ourselves for it. Thank you for having your blog. It is comforting to me and I find it supportive. I am just entering this maze that I have been fighting to keep from myself all my life. Very scary for me. I so much want to stay at a high level of functioning while all this goes on. Any advice for that? Thank you.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Nansie:

Nansie, Thank you so much for your very kind words. I wish I had an answer to your question on staying high functioning. So much of what we learn involves a long and windy road and some of that may involve living life differently.

Ivory said:

I am so glad you are at the end of your stay there. You're right, finding support that is close by is nothing, to nil. I thought I'd lose my mind with need to just talk to someone who knew understood what I was going through. There has been only a few times where I lost more time than just a few hours. I panic every time I miss even a few minutes.

Until I began blogging, I had only my therapist to confide in. As good as he is, he is not enough. It's good that you have somewhere to go where you are nurtured and protected. I'm also very happy you are back.

castorgirl said:

Acceptance of yourself, your parts and a feeling of acceptance from those around you is vital... I'm glad you have a safe place to go to get that feeling :)

I've often associated acceptance with giving up or giving in, but I can see from what you write here that it doesn't necessarily mean that. It's more about me getting out of the "fight for your life" mode that I seem to be stuck in.

Wishing you well on your return home.
Take care,

MeMyself&Who said:

Glad to hear you've gotten some useful time out of your stay and glad you are headed home again!

Thank you for this:
"For those who struggle with severe dissociation, we are constantly getting messages that what we experience is not real, that we make it up, or that we are addicted to drama. It's difficult to be understood because our experiences are not like the masses."

I get caught up on that a lot. Just goes around and around. Never know what to do, speak or shut up. Yup, it's around everyone on these blogs that I never question what to do. That's so wonderful but stinks majorly at the same time.

Other than that, "But how do you talk to your friends and neighbors about DID? " Only when we've been drinking. That way they either forget or think I was just babbling drunken nonsense. There is really only one person I followed up with the next day to let her know I wasn't joking. She's been the second person in my life to give me hope that there are some good people in this world.

I'm glad that, that "evil" part and you are communicating. I think mostly they all do mean well and there are very very few that truly just don't mean well at all. I'll shoot you my favorite quote, I fell in love with it when I learned the same thing about our headmate Dth. I'd post it but I'm kind of paranoid because everyone knows me by this quote.

Best wishes

Kate said:

Hi Paul,

I'm so glad that the stay in patient was so productive and so healing. I recall going through this exact same thing when learning of my dark ones. I was so scared stiff, it was hard to stay in my own skin. It took me some time to meet them, accept that they each had a place and a role in helping us all by taking on darker roles to protect the littles, and to really look at them and see how loveable they are. I know that we each need to do that difficult and challenging process for ourselves.

I hope this doesn't sound dumb, but we are so proud of you.

Good and healing thoughts to yous.


Ethereal Highway said:

I'm so glad to see the post and know you are okay. I had the same experience with protector = evil. But back then I didn't even know what dissociation was. I was very confused and afraid and convinced that I was secretly a very awful person. It was truly frightening.

Paul Author Profile Page replied to Ethereal Highway:

Thank you so much to everyone.

Nansie said:

HI Paul,
I hope you made it home and are settling in okay. Is your battery recharged good? Are you still feeling positive? I would love to hear more about this. Wishing you well.

jumpinginpuddles/lifesspacings said:

We hope you get the rest you need.

Thanks. Well, it's really interesting how different things are out of the hospital. I'll write on it later. But the gist of it is that I need a rest from my hospital stay.

jahda said:

Paul said: "But the gist of it is that I need a rest from my hospital stay."


Hi Paul, looking forward to your posts on your new perspectives whenever you are ready to write about them.

Enjoy your rest. You earned it!

castorgirl said:

Hi Paul,

It would make sense that you needed a rest after the hospital experience, you worked hard and learned a great deal. That is exhausting. Try to take some time to relax and get your balance back.

Take care,

Faith said:

Acceptance, isn't that a kicker? It takes more than strength, it takes reason and humility.

One of the things I had to accept with my disorder is that I lose stuff...all the dang on time I lose stuff. I use to belittle myself and get angry but then it was like, why? Why go through all of that when I know darn well it won't help? I'll yell at myself AND I'll keep losing things. After I reasoned on that I had to accept the fact that my disorder sometimes gets in the way of my memory. From there I learned to ask inside, has anyone seen the keys? Has anyone seen this or that? I usually get an answer. I get an answer but from time to time I get belittling too. It's so much less than before though. I'd say after acceptance I'd say belittling myself over lost items is down by 80 percent.

Acceptance bites and keeps on biting.


Nansie said:

Your right about acceptance, Faith. We spent our whole lives with our "selves" keeping this secret from our host and we functioned and did all of the things we did... this in and of itself is amazing. Many professionals will tell it's a "gift". Somehow through all of the chaos in our heads we found a path called "life" and we lived it in a way that allowed us to main stream with the world. Well, all the while some of us knew "something" was different and not like the rest. Now at this point in time I have decided to work myself out and face myself and all of these heros inside of me that sometimes want to talk all at once. I can't really talk to any of them except for the "protector". She is the gatekeeper to the rest of them... so far anyway. Some days life is so confusing but at least now I can understand the "why" of it. My therapist is great and I know I can call him anytime if I feel it is all too much. I also have you guys! You guys mean alot to me. You and Paul are my heros. Is there really any other choice here but acceptance? The craziness will have an end at some point... there is another side to this and that is why we must go on and endure the journey. My therapist keeps telling me that there is an end... this is not infinity even tho sometimes it feels like there is no end. I am just beginning I know and you guys are way ahead of me. I do wonder what it will be like when my symptoms get more intense which is bound to happen as I discover them. I hope my husband will be able to cope with it should it begin to affect him too. I thank my "parts" everyday for saving my life. I also ask them to please go easy on me and that it will be better for all of us this way. I can only hope. I admire all of you and send you all my best wishes and hopes everyday. Please keep posting.

Wow! I'm so glad you found out that the part you thought was just pure evil is actually a protector part. You're doing great work. I know it is painfully hard.

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This page contains a single entry published on August 13, 2009 3:49 PM.

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