This is a topic that we are very much in touch with, the correlation, confusion and controversy about Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Borderline Personality Disorder. At various times we have been identified as one or the other, and most recently as both. Why is this so common in the realm of multiplicity?, and why is the stigma around both of these stereotypes wrought with negativity and fear? Let us discuss for a minute. This post is meant to spark a creative discussion between us, the writer, and our readers. Please take the time to comment, or privately reply. Again, we feel this topic deserves more attention than it receives. All comments will be published and dialogues continued. Thank you.
For many generations, we have seen consistent upticks in the rates of traumatic relates injuries, with physical and mental. The rates of abuse have continued to increase, although we feel these numbers are grossly underreported, and the rates of the accompanying levels of diagnosed victims as well. I would like to focus here on not only the statistics, but they causal reality of what is in our opinion, the two most over stigmatized diagnosis; Borderline Personality Disorder, and Dissociative Identity Disorder. How the over dramatification and lack of understanding of both coping skills has not only served to drive people to dark places, but also go to furthering the trauma, even compounding it in some cases.
Wow, ok, there for a minute we almost sounded like some sweater vest wearing professor writing his song overdue doctoral thesis…lol. Seriously though, being plural has got to be one of the hardest things for anyone. Trying to live trapped in a body with countless others sometimes, and getting one foot in front of the other is just plain ass hard some days, most days in fact. We are sure many of our plural friends can tell you, there are times when you just can’t put together getting out of bed. The struggles are so severe inside, that outside we just appear lazy to most, and parasitic to others. Also as victims, we accept the role quite easily, taking on the fear, guilt and shame from others.
At the core of DID, as we will refer to it, Is a lack of stable identity, and constant fear of everything and everyone. Having experienced recurring trauma from somewhere south of age six years, the years when identity and character are solidified and formed, we could never cohesively come togheter. We both look and feel to ourselves, like a glob of unbaked chocolate chip cookie dough. Globbed together, but not combined; Pieces of ourself here and there, waiting fo rite heat to meld us together as one, but slowly getting eaten away by outside forces. As we dry out, we become frozen in time space, forever an unrefined suspension of selves and unrelenting pain and shame.
As we age in this body, some more than others, we are aware of our surroundings, and most importantly the people contained in this reality, in ways that others cannot imagine. Our reality is multifaceted. We exist in bursts of acute anxiety and pain, followed by another and another. The time between these months of unbearable reality, are the true influencers of the persona development of our alters. The time between events.
The time it takes to get from one event to the next, when you have no idea what is coming next, or when, for us, this is the most frightening. Just what can happen next, because you never say “This cannot get any worse.” You have made that mistake in the past too many times, only to be reminded that you do not exist to them as a human being or a child, we became the cure for an ailment we did not possess. We became the source of our abusers power, drawing on our fear and shame as from a well of spite. We used to believe they did this unknowingly and unwillingly, looking to find some excuse for their hatred of us; however.
To be honest. We really drank the KoolAde so to speak. Most kids do, and why shouldn’t they. Why’s shouldn’t they believe their families. Instinctively we are driven to learn trust, nurturing and child resting from our families. It seems an absolute miracle that in modern times more people are not diagnosed with one, or more trauma related diagnosis. As list of us know we have been diagnosed with many, if not most of the DSM at one time or another.
Borderline personality disorder, or BPD, is a label that brings many practitioners to decline a patient, fast. The name is very elusive to the underlying condition. It’s almost as if they were afraid to call it commenting, and chose to play it politically correct. All the same. These three seemingly innocuous words can make a medical receptionist say, “Sorry, we’re not taking new patients”.
At the core of BPD, is a fear of abandonment combined worth a fear of close relationships. Constantly pushing away anyone that gets close; and then in a panic, Trying like hell to pull them back into their chaos. it’s a great deal more complex than that, but for our purposes here that’s enough. This is where I think the differences between DID and BPD begin to emerge.
Multiple studies have shown not only comorbidity between the two diagnosis, but many times BPD being diagnosed when DID is also present and the main diagnosis. We feel both of these are correct on certain circumstances s other times just as incorrect. Like so many issues in plurality perspective can be situational.
Out therapist personally, who has been great most of the time. She uses a phrase to distinguish the two, as she will not personally treat those with a primary BPD diagnosis. People who suffer with BPD, do drama for the sake of drama. However they lack the imaginative creativity to build the elaborate back stories that forming alters requires. people with DID, have alters for whom have developed entire lives and memories, all just as real and valid to the alter as any other memory. The BPD sufferer, draws on actual experiences and events, and although May exaggerate or be a skilled dramatist, they do not create elaborate exaggerations to further along their beliefs.
Dissociative identity Disorder, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, and many other monachers, is quite different in many ways. Although suffering with an unorganized system for most of our life, we feel as if today we are able to start and see the light. However we were misdiagnosed with BPD, as well as a host of other above the shoulder ailments, to try and explain our bizarre behaviors. Behaviors that to us were completely reasonable.
Although there were many disorders we may have matched some or most of the criteria, they were over looking criteria, and we never comfortably fit into any of them. As if we always had the wrong size shoes, we could manage but nothing really changed or even may have gotten worse.
After being solidly in the path to organizing our system, we started to explore the commonality of several of the diagnosis we felt closely explained our sense of emotional chaos and other sported luggage we carried with us. When the idea of DID, was first out upon us in 2016, instead of rejecting it outright, it felt, comfortable. Even with the rejection that we wanted to feel when we heard the words, we knew it was true. Like meeting your child years later. You know she’s yours without ever saying a word.
Both BPD and DID carry similar amounts of shame and prejudice as the other. We find that schizophrenic patients receive less controversy in modern times and even more empathy than us. We couldn’t quite understand why, but the fact remained we truly were multiple. However, could we also have BPD? We certainly carried b0nding issues, fear of abandonment, idealization at times and splitting. Under the guidelines we qualified; However we ARE multiple. Both disorders require a very unstable sense fo self, an unstable identity, and are borne from trauma. PTSD, seems almost too generic a label to include, but at the same time PTSD is definitely a feature that we struggle with on a daily basis. So where does one end and anther begin? IS this our fault for having both? Does this make us a bad person, or are we just too damaged to be loved by anyone? All of these ideas and more were flowing like a raging waterfall through our mind. We questioned the very fabric of our existence. Was this all an elaborate fabrication for attention, as many see in BPD? The torture, though self inflicted, is deafening inside the realms of our mind.
So as you can now see, yes it is possible to have both DID, and BPD. One of the most shocking revelations we had about this, came inadvertently from our family doctor, several years ago. Dr Prasad, a very kind and learned man. I honestly beehive he would have been happier practicing medicine anywhere else than America. However like may, he was lured in and once there, caught in the web of shit that is modern medicine.
We had recently come to grips with our diagnosis, and even better, we were in that “newbie” phase of DID, where you want everyone to know, there is a legitimate reason for your behaviors, not that we just don’t give a fuck, or are seeking attention. We had been in for one reason or another, and told him we had DID. He liked up and said, ” Yes that’s a personality disorder”. This could not be further off base; We were shocked to say the least. We had known this man for almost a decade.
The same theory made us question our own DID diagnosis, even though nothing had fit so well, made more sense, and yes, we learned we had been diagnosed three times before. Since age six, we had carried the label. But how can I have TWO personality disorders? This did not make any sense, especially when we felt like recent events had taught us we were in fact less than one, we were broken.
How could the act of being broken into pieces be a disorder? How could we be both benevolent and at the same time display th traits of a narcissist? When our therapist, and doctors, all professed to us, as we threw ourselves under the bus for every [robem known to us. Then, just like the bus rolling at us we see the answer. trauma is the cause, DID was the effect, and BPD was a coping skill we had to adapt, as we had none to unsafe bonds with our mother. Our father was easy for us. We hated the ground he walked on, bar none. He felt the same about us. But our mother we loved, our grand parents we loved, and that was the most difficult part.
As DID is borne from Complex Trauma, BPD is borne from a lack of stable bonding. Maternal bonding is usually quite easy fo the male child, just as daddy to daughter bonding is seen as much easier than mother daughter. What about when there hate from the father, and not only no protection from the mother, but severe emotional, physical and sexual abuse from the mother? Even though we loved our mother, the confusion about what love was and meant was astronomical. The lack of a safe space was also a huge issue. Where would we run too?
We want to ask any of you, who may have experience with these diagnosis. As of this writing we are on the downside of a BPD episode, albeit a minor one, just as painful to all involved. The fear of abandonment, and then pushing people we love away, is a sure fire pattern of trauma. The ensuing dramatic gestures are acts of desperation to avoid again being unloved to the world. The idea of being insignificant is a powerful one. To be all alone in the world, without even a bartender tat will talk to you. Now, place that feeling into the mind of a child. That child lives in solitary confinement, of their own mind. Believing even that they are too fucked up for anyone to ever care about again; Demonstrating an obvious lack of object constancy.
As these features become enmeshed in each other, the diagnosis as a name loses relevance to us. We are no longer concerned with WHAT is wring with us, but are trying to focus on what is RIGHT with us. As a system, we struggle. As a boyfriend and father, we walk on mental eggshells for fear of triggering emotions that will surely drive the choices of my alters, who will undoubtedly show up right on cue to handle things their way. In their defense, they did get us this far in life, and we all carry that scars to prove it. Today we seek harmony through leadership and communication in our system. The leadership truly needs to come from the owner of the body, me. To first lead anyone we must first believe in ourselves. We had to begin to know we are, rather than how we got this way.
We see great decline in both our negative symptoms in our DID, and BPD. We have also made administrative choices in how we live and organize our life outside as well. Everything from changing our country of residence, to how we organize clothes. All of these things are not only acceptable, but commendable. Learning to live with any trauma related diagnosis is amazing, as you first have to survive some terrible shit. Thats the real skinny. We believe the reason so many do not want to accept eh reality, or responsibility for trauma related diagnosis?; they do not want to accept humanity is not only capable, but efficient at destroying its children. That we are truly no better than any animals that eats or kills their young.
Even though humans are flourishing, Humanity is in threat of extinction. So what is the answer then if we forget what we are? We must now then return to our existence, so that we may then learn to define our essence, and thus ending our existential crisis.