Welcome & getting started
01-11-2020 01:20 AM
Daughter with PTSD recent DID from Bullying
My daughter is 17 now. She was bullied at school by kids and teachers. It was so horrific she remembers very little of her childhood as a whole. We were close and still are. We were always close as in finish each other sentences and no what the other is thinking close. I seperated from her father when she was 6 and moved 2 states. It wasn't violent but we used to fight a lot and he would belittle me and his kids (my step kids). He didn't our daughter when I was there. He had little to do with her really. Never saw her for visitation or contacts her even though he has means to do this without having to talk to me.
I worked fulltime and continue to work fulltime. I got no support from work either. I have a better job now.
I can tell stories of her teacher (grade 1) a month after the seperation throwing her pencils out the window because she was naughty to Guidance Officer in highschool (grade 6) telling her psychologist to her face that my daughter was faking it. Not sure why she though the testing was wrong maybe.
And let's not talk about psychologists... I regularly heard that it was her growing up. I wasn't being tough enough. It was normal for a teenager. The government system after she was labelled her with borderline personality disorder shoved us into a course.... 2 weeks in the hallucinations where so bad she couldnt get out of bed, barely ate, didn't sleep..... I talked to them about it so the took her into a session told her she had to be more intouch with her emotions and they could help her move out of home. She wanted me in every meeting after that because she didn't trust them. I pulled the pin.
She is struggling to do 2 days a week at Tafe in cert 3 aged care. Works a few hours per fortnight looking after an elderly lady. She has good friends. Goes out and spends time away from home with friends that suffer DID too. With their help she recognised and understood her first alter. She just split with a second one today.
I firstly am worried if she doesn't get help now she won't be able to do things like hold a job or drive. She doesn't want help just trying to process it. Does someone out there who has been through this shed light?
Secondly, I am just so angry a school system for so long could do this. I was involved. I was regularly down there asking questions. I had the dept of education involved but nothing changed. I would like to here of any others who have had similar experiences.
Sorry for the length.
01-04-2021 09:22 AM
Re: Daughter with PTSD recent DID from Bullying
Hi, I'm reaching out to you as a mum of a son who has been diagnosed with DID.
His alters co-habit. He is 18 now and was only diagnosed last year. He was born a she and was my beautiful daughter until 3 yrs ago. I separated from her father when she was almost 2yrs old. He was in and out of her life often and was very mentally ill.
There were many issues at school growing up, especially in High School we sought help from many types of places, but no-one figured it out, not even a psych study at a University, finally, he researched it and figured it out for himself. I have no faith in mental health specialists. I have worked alongside many, many psychologists and psychiatrists in my job, and I have studied trauma and psychotherapy certifications for myself. I don't have the answers for my son, but I know that a large majority of specialists do not either - they just make it up based on text books. Yes there are some amazing specialists do actually have experience and are helpful, we just haven't met any yet. So far the things that my son has found work for him have been the most helpful.
He dropped out of school due to bullying over things that other alters did. Then he decided to try school again and but went to TAFE and did Yr 11 and Yr 12. They were very very supportive, and because it was a small group, it was much easier than school, and I could just go and talk to the teachers anytime. Amazingly he did really well and got a high ATAR which would not have happened if he stayed at school. He has been studying a degree in Business full time but with 1 subject less per semester. Thankfully I have studied Business, so when he is doing an assignment and suddenly freaks and doesn't remember anything or completely ignores his studies, I can step in and help out. We just try to plan ahead well. The University doesn't have a clue how to help, and hasn't taken DID into consideration if he has to submit an assignment late because his other alters have shown up and don't care in the slightest. Its very tricky. He moved into a Uni Campus and tried to study on campus, but he really struggled because sometimes he would walk out the door to go to class, switch, feel lost and turn around and go back to his room. So now he's back home studying online.
I worry he won't be able to hold a job out in the workforce, but we're aiming for a job working from home on flexible times so he can manage better. There are many jobs around working from home now, when you have tasks to do, and you can do it in whatever hours work for you - its paid per task. He is very good at social media marketing and animation graphic design work which you can do working from home. For the past year, I've been working from home for myself doing coaching, marketing and website design, and trying to get him more involved.
He has completed more than 120hrs of driving on his L's and is ready for his P's test - and has been ready for about a year, just not confident to do it. I got a private instructor to do the first few lessons. I don't know how he would go on long trips by himself - probably switch and come back home. But getting around town seems to be ok.
I'm so glad your daughter has friends with DID. I wish that for my son.
I'm not sure if our journey is relevant to yours, but I hope this provides a little insight that might help.
05-04-2021 04:09 PM
Re: Daughter with PTSD recent DID from Bullying
Thanks for sharing your story @Lighthouse . Well a lot has happened since then. My daughter prodominently has PTSD.
I was told by a special forces veteran that PTSD and DID go hand in hand. I didn’t want to believe him but here I am. He also mentioned the Richard Trauma Process and made sense of a lot of the symptoms she suffers.
The Richard Trauma Process is working on the trauma directly with the subconscious via hypnosis. My daughter has aphantasia. Aphantasia is the inability to visualise mental images. This is really significant as it only effects a small percentage of the population therefore all therapy is based on the fact you don’t have it. You also can’t be hypnotised if you have it. This means all the years I was told that she was being a difficult teenager and my gut told me she wasn’t is now explained. The psychologists who pushed her telling her basically that she wasn’t trying hard enough slip into being part of the problem. She saw a therapist who dealt with trauma and while he couldn’t do hypnosis he did use another method to help move 1 nightmare. Unfortunately, it was a few months before the DID started which was out of his scope of understanding to help. I respect professionals who are happy to admit it is outside their scope.
DID is not a disability in the fact people with DID can have careers and live a normal full life. It is just the way that deal with things is different. It is called a system and each alter has a reason to exist within the system. I don’t like the word system because it is too clinical and refer to them as a team. The way I explain it to people is it is like a village. In a village each member has a job to do, each member is important to the overall goal and the life of the village functions. No 2 villages are the same as no 2 systems are the same.
It isn’t uncommon for alters to appear and emerge as per what is needed. For my daughter she ended up with 6 alters and now has stabilised more with 4. She still hasn’t had professional help as the psychologist who was highly recommended seemed to become uncontactable. We have moved to another one but as yet haven’t seen him yet. A lot of what we know comes from a blog Sapphiresstory. She has a wealth of knowledge and explains the types of alters and purposes better than I can.
The household my daughter used to go to was detrimental. It ended in November with her trying to take her own life and an alter stepping in to prevent it and alerting me to the problem. I had started to notice behaviour which was concerning and had started trying to talk to her. They have since had to block the household on all social media due to the comments and personal attacks they have made. The household did try to get mutual friends involved after they were blocked too. I would say that the household emotionally and financially abused her but having said that they were not functioning. Their idea behind DID is each alter had their own personality, likes, dislikes but it went further. Each alter had a right to their own relationship decisions and their own metabolism. (To me this didn’t make sense because a relationship to one alter could be detrimental to another due to the trauma the other deals with. And a body can only have one metabolism this is a physical thing.) From what I understand each person not only had their alters fighting amongst themselves they also had different alters from different people fighting. It was very chaotic. The house was filthy all the time (I know I am a neat freak but we are talking walkways between piles of stuff) and they were not paying bills nor had food in the kitchen. This is not working as a team and is not functioning. My idea of functioning is able to hold a job, pay bills, eat/keep enough food in the house, keep a clean enough house to be healthy and maintain your health which may include seeking help when needed – living a full life is more about healthy relationships/friendships, goals, achievements and enjoying life. So while they helped my daughter to understand what is going on in her head, their way of dealing with it was not productive to living a full life. We were since told it can be difficult to have friendships and relationships with another person with DID.
She has other friends that except her for what she is. When they found out she had DID they asked questions to gain an understanding particularly on how to support her as a friend.
She suffers a lot with the PTSD physically so we are working on those things slowly one by one. (By physically I mean – she has nightmares, hallucinations, insomnia, allergies to smell, skin allergies (mainly grasses), food allergies that randomly change, pain shooting up her legs ever step, pain throughout her entire body, her joints pop out but I don’t know if that is a joint locking or muscles tightening, spasms, shaking mainly in her hands and lack of appetite – to name a few. We were basically turned away by the doctor she has seen for the last 6 years. This is a common thing I have found. Professionals are happy to work with her but at some point they expect a super success story and when there isn’t one they start trying to pass blame onto her as a teenager. The doctor had been involved from the beginning but we found another doctor.
It is hard trying to explain PTSD. People seem to think being a ‘troubled’ teenager they just have to build up a relationship with her and all is good. This is true for teenagers coming from ‘troubled’ homelives that are seeking caring and accepting ‘safe’ people. She doesn’t so doesn’t behave the same. PTSD means there is no trust. They are always living on the verge of flight or fight looking for threats. So the most recent situation is the dentist. She seemed to think after 3 sessions using gas she had built up trust. The next appointment she rushed without doing the standard of introducing every one in the room particularly those that would be behind him and making sure he was comfortable. Dismissed his alert saying he was feeling pain in the middle of the filing. I think she thought it was his anxiety more than pain. So at the end he just couldn’t open his mouth to have the filing filed back. The dentist started with if we don’t do it now you will have to come back. Immediately I saw red flags with flashing lights and sirens. I would never get him in the chair for her again every. Anything she had ever done to get his compliance is destroyed in those few words. We have been to see a special needs dentist which is only a new concept. They are trained to deal with people who have special needs so they have a higher level of understanding. They connected to each other immediately. This week we will be going to the first visit to start work.
My daughter was always good at asking for help and I encouraged her to be open and honest as I see it as extremely important skill to learn. I won’t be here for ever so my job is to train, encourage and support her to not need me. The issue throughout school is no one listened to her. In grade 5 when she went to the deputy principal and reported her bullying in writing he ignored her and she was labelled as a liar. This affects her ability to handle education. Six years ago when she had her first nervous breakdown she forgot her alphabet and couldn’t read more than 6 words. Doing a page of easy maths would have her in tears. She did mainstream school, alternative school, courses online and Tafe. The alternative school worked when she brought her work home. I sat with her in the beginning then she started doing the booklets herself when I was at work. The problem is as above… Change of teachers and all of a sudden because it had been going well for so long they wanted to pressure her to start doing it at school. They even hinted that I could be doing the work for her. They also lost her completed work even though she handed it to the deputy principal. (Of course the teachers in class immediately didn’t trust she had handed it in again confirming they are prepared to call her a liar so she can’t trust them to treat her as a human being).
She did enjoy Tafe (they listened to her and treated like a human being), but she was only just getting symptoms of DID. She had to leave until we were able to get the DID functioning as a team. I think the biggest thing is not that someone doesn’t know how to support you but you knowing what to ask for that will support you within the scope of what they can do. So before she left Tafe we asked what they could do and discussed what would be useful to support her. This was to set her up to return to Tafe.
I think it is important and healthy for both of us to have goals and hobbies as DID does not define us.
I work 10 – 12 hour days, 5 days a week as a debt collector from home. I work for a medical retail company so deal with a lot of sick and elderly people. I am an advocate for understanding mental health and ethical conduct. I am also almost finished a Cert 3 in Fitness and have a Cert 4 lined up after that. I love fitness even though I am not really fit. It is my goal. (I was a body builder before my daughter’s first nervous breakdown). I have a lot of support from the love of my life, my Rhodesian Ridgeback. She is happy to walk or run for as long and as often as I like….lol…
They do resin. They have sold some of it and were doing a stall at a cosplay convention until covid hit. They also cosplay and tik tok. They want to work so we are working on getting the extra support through NDIS and Centrelink but it is a process with a lot of speed bumps at the moment.
We are also working on a holiday which we really haven’t had in quite a few years.