Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Survivor's Story

Dissociative Identity Disorder: A Survivor's Story

Published on: December 13, 2015

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is a mental illness that develops through various types of abuse and traumatic experiences (i.e. child abuse, sexual abuse, and ritual abuse). These traumatic experiences will cause an individual to create multiple personalities (alters), which can range from different genders and ages.

Sarah E. Olson, a DID survivor and author of Becoming One: a Story of Triumph over Dissociative Identity Disorder, explained in a follow-up interview that a sequel is in the works as well as other small projects related to DID.

Mrs. Olson briefly mentions in a previous interview how Becoming One began formation within the first two years with Dr. Howard Asher. During each session, Asher recorded two-hour session tapes.

“I listened to the tape between sessions, sometimes on repeat,” said Olson.

“That first year I was terrified he would declare me crazy, Olson continues. “And listening to those tapes was surreal.”

Olson mentioned Dr. Asher would consistently carry on conversations with people she did not know.

“I didn’t remember hearing this when we were in session,” said Olson. “I was in denial a lot, but it’s hard to deny what you hear on a tape of “you speaking.”

“Those tapes formed the basis of Becoming One, because nothing is more authentic in terms of describing the actual therapy process,” said Olson.

Becoming One and other books about healing trauma and dissociation are ways for authors like Olson to heal and move forward in life. It is also a type of resource for others who suffer from dissociative disorders or have experienced traumatic events.

However, Olson did experience many obstacles while writing her book.

“The biggest challenge was getting everyone inside to agree to writing a book, because we’d been so ingrained with the threat that “bad things will happen if you tell,” said Olson.

“We had to learn to trust one person enough to tell despite fearing massive retribution,” continues Olson. “That was Howard.”

“We then slowly old a few friends, and later expanded to an online support group,” said Olson.

After the publication of Becoming One released, Olson began joining more support groups, engaged in peer counseling, and created Survivors Forum on CompuServe. Olson also is working on other books such as Don’t Forget about You: Self-Care Essentials for Every Trauma Survivor, a Q&A-like book about DID, and eventually a sequel to Becoming One called Becoming One Every Day.

“I’m also creating dozens of Pinterest boards in support of these projects, which will house literally thousands of organized, curated PTSD and DID resources, said Olson.

“I continued my habit of documenting my experiences, feelings, hopes, and setbacks,” continued Olson.

“I have a lot to say about both the merits of integrations, and why position on it has softened, for me.”

“The sequel, Becoming One Every Day, will explore the notion that integration is something that happens every single day, in an ebbing and flowing of life events and resilience thereby accrued,” said Olson.

With authors like Olson, people who experience these feelings and emotions have numerous support systems of resources, especially if diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Published by Katrina Wisniewski


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