By Nicole Hilton, January 14, 2020
DID isolates each part of the victim that’s been hurt. These parts can distrust and even hate one another. They have different priorities and memories, and it is all arranged to produce stark, unsettled isolation. Relationships with others becomes complicated, and if the programming is threatened with a healthy, romantic relationship then disruptive defenses are triggered.
During Zumba tonight, I felt it. I felt the dissociation as it happened, and my love for JJ slipped away from me. It flew out of my grasp before I could catch it, and my heart closed off again, saying, you only need you. Who else matters?
It’s been seven days since JJ left to go back to Virginia. This happens every time he’s gone for a week or longer. And then every time, without fail, whenever he comes back or I go visit him, he has to win me all over again—even with me trying to open myself back up.
It’s strange…having this Dissociative Identity Disorder and being in a relationship at the same time. I dissociate from JJ when it comes to my feelings for him and to most of our memories. I literally feel like I’m in the movie The Vow or 50 First Dates. Sounds touching, but it’s not. It’s exhausting. It causes misery and heartache for both of us. I have had to work through so many feelings of shame because I know, intellectually, that I should love this man…that I should have feelings for him, and remember him. But in these moments I don’t. And the part of me that is afraid of relationships sometimes ends up treating him very poorly, indeed.
Can you imagine how patient a man would have to be to stay committed in a relationship like this? And that’s not to mention all the other problems my DID and SRA bring to the table.
While I was dancing (or, attempting to dance would be more accurate), I kept turning over and over my newfound feelings of “freedom”, of independence, in my mind. I didn’t just accept them like I normally do—I studied them. I thought about why it’s so easy for me to dissociate from someone just because they are physically apart from me.
I’ve noticed this throughout my life. I only grow close to the people who I am in close proximity to every day. Any friends or family who move away, or who I move away from, I soon forget or I lose feelings for.
The phrase occurred to me, defense mechanism.
As I walked out to my car after class, and it hit me. Just after the Incident happened in second grade, and during the worst of my years being bullied and tortured from every source imaginable, I didn’t physically have my mom present much of the time. She would drive from St. George to Salt Lake City to work as a nurse in the hospital for a week. Then, she would come back home and sleep for about three days in a row.
She was trying her best, but right when I needed my mom physically present the most, I didn’t get her all of the time. And when I did have her there, it wasn’t in the way I needed because she wasn’t able to identify my PTSD or mental illness. (To be honest, just how is anyone supposed to identify spiritual SRA?) Because of this, I probably decided to “go it alone” whenever she was gone. I think Satan took advantage of this situation (as he always does), and taught me the program I’m currently dealing with—that I should dissociate from anyone who is physically apart from me as a defense mechanism. SRA programming ensures that the victim will always be alone.
Thankfully, with JJ the affliction has always been temporary. It takes effort, but I find my way back to him, where he’s waiting patiently.