We are again grateful to the countless at this point who've messaged our Twitter or emailed about wanting to share their DID stories. Without all of you wonderful systems this simply wouldn't be possible. We're looking forward to many more of our "Living with DID Talks" in the future and continuing this series to show people what those of us living with Dissociative Identity Disorder actually experience. We all share similar diagnoses but our lives can vary drastically as you've come to see over the last few months.
Let's get started, here is Arien Smith...
Name: Arien Smith (Arien told us that his birth name is shared with an abuser and so they go by Arien now)
System Name: They joke about their system name being, "The Company" because Arien is largely anti-capitalistic, but they don't really have a designated sys name.
Age/Body Age: 22yrs old
Parts Age Ranges: 5-30 years old
The System: There are 5 alters within Arien's system:
- Little Arien, 5-7 years old.
- Ava, mid 20's-30 years old. Ava uses the pronouns They/Them and holds more of the trauma and are more traumatized than the others by these experiences, according to Arien.
- Bael, in his 30's and a protector.
- Sion is 25yrs old. A Protector but a different type than Bael is.
- Arien is 19-25yrs old. Definitely the most tentative but now is speaking out more.
Arien's system is not alone in their avoidance of the birth name. Bael becoming agitated when people use it makes perfect sense to us and through this venture we've found countless systems for which this is true. I think their pointing out the trickiness for systems when going to any doctor, whether that be a routine appointment, ER, or psychologist it is definitely important for the medical AND mental health community to be more conscious of DID. It could make these already difficult and potentially triggering situations much easier for the patient and doctor(s) alike.
As is true with most of us they hate the violent myths that are prevalent within society. Arien expressed they aren't violent, not at all. We aren't dangerous or malicious. People with DID are not "crazy" we, simple put, have to adjust our lives to the world around us and apply living in a different fashion than most.
Too true. Realizing that these parts of oneself are there for a reason and accepting this diagnosis is where the journey to recovery begins. For my system, they tried very long and through--lets say difficult-- encounters they found doctors who helps, got us a psychologist who saw it and finally did diagnose the problems occurring, but that was the pre-recovery struggle. Now I'm in therapy. We are in therapy. We work together after I, myself, had accepted my diagnoses and are continuing to work together living a more unified life. Which does not mean *POOF* the various parts of me are magically gone, but now we work together.