D.I.D. and the Essence of Who I Am by Carla Logan

Dissociative Identity
Lovely Hope

I am really excited to welcome guest writer Carla Logan today! Carla and I have become great friends on this journey to freedom. In her process of recovering from Dissociative Identity, (the multiple personality disorder kind) Carla has focused on getting to know each of her alters as individuals, which was very different from the methods that I used to overcome dissociative identity however we have discovered that the destination for all those who travel from broken to wholeness is always about the journey back to self. We celebrate the common goal and our mutual successes. Please share your comments and thoughts with us in the comments section. 

 ~ Darlene Ouimet, founder of emerging from broken.   

 D.I.D. and the Essence of Who I Am by Carla Logan

 There seems to be a common experience among abuse survivors, we don’t seem to know who we are, as a person.  What is the essence of who I am?  Where do I find myself?  What about me is real and what is not?  There is a disconnect that happens inside us, not only from the world around us and how we see and feel and interpret it, but also from ourselves in how we see and feel and interpret who we are.  There is so much junk to peel away and so much about our true selves to discover.

 My own struggle with this has been through the world of Dissociative Identity Disorder and it has been filled with turmoil and fear and self hatred, not only throughout the course of my life, but especially throughout my recovery process.  Discovering at the age of 46 that I had separated parts of self operating independent of the whole, was utterly devastating. I didn’t know what to do with this. I didn’t know how to feel about myself.  What to believe about myself.  I didn’t know how to find the real me in this newly discovered cast of characters who had all played the role of me all these years of my life, each in its own unique way.  Which one was the most true representative of me? 

 As I started to learn of my ‘alters’, started to find out their ‘personalities’, their way of seeing the world and responding to it, their way of representing me to the world, well, the more overwhelmed I became.  How could this have happened to me, and how is it that I lived 46 years without knowing about it, and how do I even begin to find myself now?  Because some of my alter personalities were so outrageous in the way they responded to life, I was terrified that the most outrageous might actually be the real me!  What if this is true?  What if the most wounded and most outrageous part is actually the real core me?  What will I do?  How will I come to terms with this?

 What I have only recently discovered, after a lot of hard, gut wrenching work in getting to know each alter and in facing the abuse that caused this fragmentation of my SELF, I have gained so much compassion for each part of me, for the pain each part endured on behalf of the whole; for the years of suffering; the years of loneliness; the years of anxiety, fear and confusion – I have come to see each of these alters as precious, as my heroes, as my allies over the course of my life, keeping me going, keeping me alive, keeping me moving toward the day when I would be strong enough to face my history that created this coping mechanism, one that allowed my survival. 

 And in finding this compassion and respect for each of them, I have found compassion and respect for ME.  Because THEY ARE ME.  All of them.  And I am not afraid to own them, I am not afraid to incorporate them, I am not afraid to have any one of them represent me.  They have given me my life and they have paid their dues and they have earned their right to be who they are IN ME.  They (the alters) are now each finding their healing and when they do this, they will find their freedom to come home, to come home to being ME, all the best of ME.

 I have found myself in each one of my alter personalities and am looking forward to the day of integration, where they will all be welcomed as ME; leaving not one of them behind.  I am looking forward to that day, when I will have no fear for them and no fear for me.  This is healing. 

 And my hope for all survivors struggling with a fear of knowing themselves is that you will find the compassion for self that is needed for healing.  When you find this, you will find your true SELF and welcome that true SELF without confusion and without fear, but with love. Your true self has been there all along, waiting for acceptance from you.

Carla Logan

Note from Darlene:  Please feel free to contribute your own stories, feelings, thoughts or whatever you want or need to share. Remember that Dissociative Identity Disorder is not just about multiple personalities. It can simply be about disconnection from the self.

Related posts: Dissociative Identity Disorder and Reconnection with Discussion

Coping methods and trying to escape myself  With Discussion

Emotional Abuse and Identity Hunger by Carla Dippel

35 response to "D.I.D. and the Essence of Who I Am by Carla Logan"

  1. By: Carla Logan Posted: 12th February 2012

    Hi Genesis and Darlene

    It’s been a year since I wrote this guest post and reading it again was pretty emotional for me. I am still in the process, doing the trauma work, doing the work also on learning to live with DID while the healing work continues. There aren’t any quick and easy ways to resolve all the issues that are still buried deep inside. What I wrote here was a real breakthrough for me last year, and I have spent the year since then, gaining a deeper understanding of my alter system and it’s complexities; and in that process have been allowing those parts of me a lot of freedom to come out and express themselves in safe ways. It has been through this kind of expression that I am learning more and more about them and gaining insight into what happened in the past to cause the splits and how all of this impacted my life until this time.

    Integration…still my goal, but not an easy one. And not one that can be forced. It is a struggle, nothing about this healing process is without pain and anxiety and deep soul searching. I have parts that are resisting, and I have to respect those feelings as I search for understanding within myself as to why there is so much fear.

    Each of us who struggle with this disorder is a unique person with a unique history. How we came to this place of DID has some areas of commonality, but overall no two of us are the same, and our process or journey to healing will not look exactly the same. I deeply respect each person’s journey and their instinct as to what they need at any given time in regard to learning how to live with the system they have, and their own comfort level with the idea of integration.

    Like you, Genesis, I feel that when it happens for me, it will be a process that takes place as a result of each part finding their healing and it won’t be with great fanfare, but an assimilation of sorts. This is how I envision it, but I could be wrong….I will know when I get there!

    Wishing you all the best in your process, Genesis. You are a beautiful person, it has been a pleasure for me to have interacted with you elsewhere and watch the progress you have made over the last year as well! My best advice is to follow your gut, but never give up working on your healing, it is a hard journey but worth every step!

    Hugs to you both!

  2. By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 11th February 2012

    Hi Genesis
    DID was what saved me as a child. What I found out was that as an adult it was in my way. The only way I could heal though was to find out WHY I needed to split. Integration happened for me as I faced the past (not even all of it) and some of the memories and conclusions about myself from those memories were exposed to me, I didn’t need to be split anymore. (not quite that simple, but that is the nut shell version) It was in finding out why I needed to have all those splits, that I realized I didn’t have to have all of them anymore. Lots of self validation, etc. Putting guilt, shame back where it belonged.. all the stuff I write about in this site all contributed to natural integration. My alters were created to protect me. When I learned HOW to protect me, I didn’t need them anaymore
    Hugs, Darlene

  3. By: Genesis Posted: 10th February 2012

    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this. I’m on this journey towards healing and I really wanted a perspective from anyone with alters and what integration was for them. I loved reading how you embraced them (their existence), because they are apart of you. It’s especially hard for me because the development of my DID was induced FOR me. I was trained this way. As I grew older more “voluntary” splits occurred i suppose. Sometimes I get defensive or just hurt when people speak negatively about DID. Maybe because I try to look at the positive instead of saying “my life sucks because of DID” (although sometimes it does suck). I think also because those within are such distinct personalities (specific likes, dislikes, looks, names, ages, separate experiences and even friends) and not just altered conscious states. Lastly i think because some people speak of dissociation and I assume they have alters and they don’t (which just confuses me but I’m starting to understand differences between diagnoses) they just basically go blank. Its taken a lot for me to finally accept BEING DID. Its taken a lot to accept parts of me that are so different from MY beliefs. At least in my world oil and water CAN mix. I REALLY needed to read the explanations/contributions provided in the comments as well. At this stage I’m NOT going to worry TOO much about integrating. I’m at a stage where there is a lot of co-consciousness (most days) and a way of sharing info when that doesn’t occur. It sounds scary but I do believe that as I heal the past change (integration) may automatically come. Especially to the parts my abusers created (those parts are the ones that are currently disrupting my life). That’s my real focus (for now) continuing to face my abusive past to resolve it, face the memories and the information my alters have for me. Piece my life back together as much as i can, I’m sure I can’t retrieve all of it. Later down the road I can focus on healing this part. Thanks again to both of you (I read Darlene’s article that linked to this one somehow) and I apologize for rambling. 


  4. By: Lynda ~ Coming Out of the cRaZy Closet Posted: 23rd February 2011

    My dissociations were like a self-hypnosis. I would hypnotise myself to not be present in a very painful situation, or to behave like a different person, to be someone who could do or handle what ‘I’ could not. In those cases it was almost like a kind of acting, a performance, only it felt, on the inside of me, that it wasn’t me, it was someone else sharing my body… several someones.

    Most of the time, my dissociation took the form of nothing seeming real, everything was dream-like. I was in a movie, watching the movie, and also in it, but none of it was real. Yet it was real. Hard to explain.

    It was really like I was dreaming, while I was awake.

    I remember feeling so hurt and jealous, because my ex-husband clearly preferred one of my other ‘personnas’, to ME! I had to ‘perform’ in this other person, or hypnotise myself to be this other person, that he wanted me to be, because he didn’t love the ‘real me.’ All shades of my childhood, my mother telling me she wished I were totally different, wished I was like this little girl or that little girl, never telling me she liked/loved me for ME.

    None of my “alters,” if that’s what they were, were full-blown separate personalities, like my dad, who was diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, his different personalities were completely different, dressed different, talked different, had different religious beliefs, different morals, all of that. Also when my dad split, when he was someone else, he seemed to have little or no memory of when he was in that other personna, they were all split totally off from each other, as far as I could tell.

    But ‘I’ was always present, regardless of who or what had ‘control’…. ‘I’ was always able to regain the reigns, to retake control, if I didn’t like what the other personna was doing or saying. It was a fight sometimes, but I always won.

    When I integrated, it seemed to happen spontaneously. I just accepted that all of these different personnas were me.

    Strange, tho. I never wanted to admit that I had anything like that going on inside me, because I thought it would prove that I was ‘crazy.’

    Love to all here ~ you are courageous and beautiful, everyone of you.


  5. By: Carla Dippel Posted: 22nd February 2011

    Carla, I truly enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing it. My coping mechanisms didn’t take the form of multiple personalities, but I really relate to the root of the struggle of learning to know and love my real self. Your courage and confidence in your process is inspiring.

  6. By: Carla Logan Posted: 10th February 2011

    Patricia, just wanted to say that I used DDNOS as an example of the different types of Dissociative categories, there are several of them. The difference with DID among all of those is the Identity confusion within that dissociation. 🙂

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