We all have come across skeptics of one form or another about our multiplicity. We used to feel we had to prove ourselves, to plead with people to believe what we are. We no longer do this. It is not important to us if people believe us or not. If it hindered our therapy then it might matter. What is important is to function and focus on being well.
It is unfortunate for us who truly have DID to have people out there jumping on the mental health bandwagon of this most interesting diagnosis. It is unfair, as life is at times, to have to struggle with the isolation of our disorder. People who claim to be multiple and are not make it difficult for us to achieve the support from the mental health arena that we need so much. The feeling of doubt clouds those who come in contact with us and we may be denied proper care.
We believe the biggest factor in those who think we are not for real is ignorance. If more people would take the time to listen, understand and use God given compassion there would be less humiliation and embarrassment for people like us. We have to remain secretive about what is wrong with us ,yet, function normally while our world feels chaotic. We run the risk of losing friends, loved ones, our jobs, and so on all because of the fear of them finding out our secret. We have had an incident where the mother of our children's friend found out we were multiple. She knocked on our door and said "You're a nice person and everything but I don't think our kids should play together anymore". That hurt deeply and how does one explain this to their children? The guilt was awful.
Just recently we received an E-mail form a person at the Religious Tolerance organization. Here is a snippet of what he wrote(I leave him anonymous):
"We have a similar problem with respect to topics like Recovered Memory Therapy (RMT) and Satanic Ritual Abuse (SRA). There are hundreds of thousands of people, mostly successful, creative women, who have gone into therapy with relatively minor, treatable emotional problems and have emerged with what they feel are recovered memories of childhood sexual abuse. In about 18% of these cases, they have what they feel are memories of Satanic Ritual Abuse. Law enforcement has been searching for SRA perpetrators for over two decades now and have yet to uncover a piece of hard evidence that it exists. Parents of RMT clients have taken polygraph tests. Both point to the fact that these all or almost all of these recovered memories are not of real events. A professional association in Britain has even gone on record as stating that NONE of the recovered memories are of real events".
What do people think? Do they really believe they're going to find hard evidence? We're sure there's been evidence but it doesn't make the news headlines. Again, it really doesn't matter what people think. If you are truly multiple then you know what is true. That is the most important thing of all! Do not let skeptics get you down. They are afraid, deep down, to believe that such atrocious things really do happen so they choose to put blinders on.
If you are newly diagnosed with DID and you choose to tell your family and maybe a close friend think about all the different reactions you may receive and be prepared. Let them know they are entitled to their opinions but do not let them bully you. You may be surprised at the positive reactions you receive from some family members. Most of our family were not even surprised by our diagnosis. It gave them a sense of relief because it made sense. They all knew we were different and the diagnosis told them why.
Lastly, if you must defend your diagnosis ask the person who's challenging you these questions:
1. Why would someone want to have this diagnosis and the stigma that often follows it?
2. Why would I want to spend time and money on a pretend diagnosis? Do I seem that desperate for attention?
3. Do you realize (if I'm faking this) that I have to do this for the rest of my life? Also, it would take an extremely intelligent person with an awesome memory to keep it all straight.
4. This is not a question but a statement you may make: This may be considered a disorder in medical books but it is a life saving gift in mine! I believe I am a intelligent, creative, strong person to have survived the things that were done to me. I did what I needed to do to keep going. This is who I am! I'm the same person now as I was before the diagnosis. I am not my diagnosis. It is only a fraction (literally) of who I am.