Today I have been reading an article written by Rob Spring from PODS. (Positive Outcomes for Dissociative Survivors) http://www.pods-online.org.uk/forbetterforworse.html
It is very well written and shows the trials and tribulations of living with someone with DID. Not only is it the every day struggle of having a spouse who changes from moment to moment, but also the after affects of the trauma.
My husband and I met on an online dating site nearly 5 years ago. Our first date consisted of meeting for coffee and then going on to see a movie. Before long we were inseparable, and spent most of our free time together. He is an amazing man and I quickly realized he was not like any other man I had ever met. I love spending time with him and he with me.
At seemingly the perfect time in our relationship he informed me he had an ongoing health problem that could one day prove life threatening. I had to choose weather to continue in this relationship or to cut my losses and run. There was no guarantee how long he would live or remain healthy and I could, with in a few years, end up having to support him and our family. (together we have 5 boys). It was a decision I put a lot of thought into. In the end I obviously decided that to have loved and lost is better than to have never loved at all. For me it was the right decision. He is an amazing man. He has a generous and friendly nature. He is kind and honestly believes in treating others how he would like to be treated. On top of all the he is the very first person from whom I have experienced unconditional love. I have never felt so comfortable with any other person in my life. He is my best friend and I depend on him immensely.
All this happened years before my diagnosis of Dissociative Identity disorder. Back then I knew I heard voices but I thought every one did. I knew my head was a bit crazy at times but I really wasn't different to any one else. There was absolutely nothing to warn my husband about. I thought I was normal. As the years went on I began to feel safe, loved and accepted. The first time in my life I had known these things. Many people will tell you that this is the time when they start to remember past abuse, when they finally feel safe. It is because of his love and support that I was about to embark on a journey that would change our lives forever. A year ago I was diagnosed, and it has been an amazing learning experience for us both.
Then there is the trauma recovery. The body memories. The things that he innocently does as part of a loving marriage relationship that will instantly send me into a flashback or trigger dissociation or a switch. It is not an easy life to live, and he does it all with no warning of what is to come. He married a vibrant, intelligent, caring and self sufficient woman. Now he is married to at, last count, 20 Alternate personalities, and years and years of trauma recovery.
The tragedy of this disorder, and of child abuse, is that it affects many lives, not just that of the abused child. Those of us with DID are often referred to as resilient survivors, but our spouses are resilient too. They walk so much of this journey with us, and must face the reality of child abuse that most people would rather ignore. They too live the affects of Child abuse.
To my wonderful husband and the other amazing resilient spouses out there,
Thank you for sticking with it and for showing love when you are receiving nothing in return. I cannot promise and easy ride, but know that deep down, I am extremely grateful.