With all the misinformation and bad rap multiplicity receives, and the way much of society uses it as an epithet to have any kind of identity disorder, I understand why you might consider it unfathomable that dissociative identity disorder could ever have benefits.
But, uh, most of my experience with dissociative identity disorder (DID) after I learned self-awareness is benefits — not struggles or things bearing negative connotations.
1. I can multitask.
One of the reasons people often tell me I can’t possibly be autistic is because I multitask — that’s a stereotype, because I’ve read stories by many autistic people about how they can do things the autism stereotype supposedly can’t.
Also, hello ableism??
But I don’t just multitask.
As I type this post, I’m watching Supergirl. Looking elsewhere whilst typing isn’t special, but what makes my multitasking special is that a part of me is typing and knows exactly what to say here, while the other is binge-watching TV and actually processing what is happening.
That’s not to say I’m not easily distracted — it’s more that I won’t accidentally type what’s happening on TV or get so caught up in watching TV.
If the part of me watching TV fades and another part of me watches — there’s usually another alter watching at the same time — then I may have to rewind. Or pause entirely. It depends.
So you know how, in posts or videos, people are like, Turn off your phone! I’ll wait. like no one has emergencies or family or friends? because distractions are apparently that bad?
I binge-watch TV, reply to phone messages (usually, and it depends who you are), sometimes listen to music, and type blog posts.
I look at it as…well, me. I don’t look at myself in parts. But if I must so you can gain some empathy towards plurals…then I shall.
And I’m not gonna tell you to disconnect yourself from the number one device society uses to stay connected. Nothing is more important than being there in case of an emergency, and tech-related disconnection is ableist for a plethora of reasons.
2. I remember more of my life.
I am plural. I am not “merged”; it is not integral to DID therapy.
I’m learning about myself all the time, so I don’t know all my internal alters. The more I do know, however, the more I remember.
The science is…lacking? Incomplete? It’s something alright.
But I remember intricate details. And if I get something wrong, there’s someone in my head to say No, it was actually like this…
Some memories are fuzzy until the identity primarily associated with them fronts.
Fronting is what happens when an alter comes out to play, basically.
3. I realize the importance of caring for myself — like, self-care is important because it’s more than just me.
Telling me I should keep living for people outside my body does nothing.
Being aware, though…it’s not just me taking care of myself, or holding me accountable — it’s the whole system.
The system — the body — holds the system accountable, because ultimately, the body wants to survive.
Every single suicide attempt I made in my younger days was just an attempt because of the protective identity.
4. Sometimes, I can function on little-to-no sleep.
The problem lies more in energy, which I’m working on. My body requires a lot of energy to function, and I’m learning the importance of having a balance between making stuff from scratch and meal quickies so, for whomever is at the front at the time, choices exist.
Choices are better than no food.
However, after a spurt, or multiple spurts, of little bodily sleep, I will sleep up to 12 hours at a time. There was one exception to this, when my grandfather passed and I was criticized because I didn’t handle my grief in a socially acceptable way; the criticism added to my depression and PTSD, and I slept for 20 hours. It freaked me out.
Then a therapist explained to me the importance of sleep, even though scientists don’t know why we need it, and helped me find ways to allow my alters to express themselves and their energy.
So even though I can do something, it’s not a reason to do something.
Of course…there are more. 💁♀️ But it’s not my duty to prove such a state of being can be beneficial. 🤫 It’s definitely nothing like what Hollywood paints it to be.