Welcome to the Two Houses podcast!

We are a married couple both professionally diagnosed with the condition Dissociative Identity Disorder, previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder. Our life is hectic, and we have a lot to share. Hear from first-hand experience what this disorder is like, and in what ways it is nothing like Hollywood portrays it.

We will have a blog post shortly after each episode airs that goes more in-depth about the topics discussed. 

Our podcast is available on Anchor, RadioPublic, and Spotify!

-Hikari

 

Episode 4: Classification of Alters

Deej again, hey. I love all this podcast stuff so I’m often the one putting it together. I’m sure you’ll hear from others soon.

In episode 4, Dimitri and L talk about the different types of alters that are commonly found in systems.

First things first, alters can vary in age, gender, orientation, species, etc. anything and everything can be different.

Child Alters: Often called, “Littles,” in the DID community, they are alters who are typically younger than 9. After that they are called, “Middles,” so, between about 9 and 12. And 13-19, well, that’s the category I fall into (16-years-old), and quite unsurprisingly we are called, “teens.” Child/young alters typically act in an age-appropriate way, as they were formed during a certain biological age and retain such mannerisms. Many are traumatized, holding memories of pain or neglect, but some are carefree because they were alters that were, “spared,” the abuse.

ANP’s: Apparently Normal Parts covers a variety and can overlap with other parts. They are functional and able to socialize, utilize executive functioning, and do ordinary tasks that many traumatized alters (EP’s — emotional parts) cannot. Vader, DeVon, Trin, myself, and others, are good examples of ANP’s.

(As an aside, EP’s can become functional with therapy or some other intervention, so some ANP’s between our two systems used to be EP’s — Hikari for example.)

EP’s: Emotional Parts are alters who hold memories/feelings/beliefs etc. that were caused by trauma and they are therefore not particularly functional until they receive help. I’m sure some of our recovering EP’s will share their stories, given time.

Protectors: There are many kinds of protectors that may exist in a system. Emotional Protectors, such as Lacey (who you will hear from in an upcoming episode), can numb the overwhelm that others feel, or, like Hayzeus, they can help other alters process their suffering and bring them down from a crisis level. There are also physical protectors, who are adamant that they keep the system’s body safe (often these exist in systems where there has been some kind of physical abuse — as opposed to emotional/psychological abuse, or neglect).

Persecutors: Misguided protectors, in my opinion. Many try to sabotage others in the system but often this is because of a deep misunderstanding about what “safety” is. If a persecutor alter is trying to sabotage a relationship, maybe they believe that it is unsafe to trust people and want to remain safe from harm. This sort of thinking can obviously develop from abusive circumstances early in life. In situations where self-harm is involved, often the persecutor believes something along the lines of — if I hurt us, then other people’s abuse won’t hurt as much. Also, many persecutors have additional diagnoses — alcoholism, emotional dysregulation (BPD perhaps), eating disorders, etc. They are, in our experience, tortured souls who really need and deserve some love and attention rather than the scorn that is often the first reaction by the rest of the alters. I would venture to guess that persecutors almost always fall under the EP category. L and Dimitri are both persecutors (or were).

Hosts: The alters who routinely take control of the body and live a life that is usually supported by other alters. Hikari and Vader are our hosts, and their marriage is a union of more than just the two of them, but of our entire systems as well.

Introjects: We’ll get more into this another time, but at the basic level, introject alters are an internalized version of an external person who exists out in the physical world. They can be echos of abusers, or echos of loved ones, and anything in between, but I would offer the thought that for an introject to exist requires a huge upheaval, a crisis or traumatic event, so they are likely to fall into one of the two extreme categories.

Think that’s all the ones that were covered in the podcast, and all the ones that come to mind right now.

Oh wait!

Animal alters: alters that are non-human. These can range from “real” animals like cats, to “imaginary” animals like unicorns. A child’s mind creates self-states that make them feel safe, or loved, or help them escape into fantasy that is unlike their abusive external life. So, both L and Dimitri give examples of animal alters in our system, and why they are there.

That’s all for now, tune in for our next episode, all about Inner Worlds.

Episode Three: Hosts and Dissociation

In this episode, you meet Hikari, who is Vader’s honest-to-goodness-yep-it’s-official wife. The two of them discuss a little about what dissociation is and what it feels like.

To elaborate here, I’d like to say that dissociation is on a spectrum.

There are plenty of times that people without DID dissociate. Driving a well-known route in the car and forgetting how you got to your destination is a pretty common one. There are lots of times people may dissociate feelings or memories of unpleasant things and “just not think about them” or avoid accessing them.

Derealization is a kind of dissociation. It is when you do not feel real, nor do your surroundings. It’s like you’re in a movie, watching yourself and not feeling attached to reality.

There’s a thing called Dissociative Fugue,  or fugue state, which is on the extreme end right before DID. It is a phenomenon in which a person may be completely unaware of what they’ve been doing for a stretch of time. Agatha Christie supposedly experienced a fugue state for 10 days (though there were actual reasons she may have disappeared “on purpose.”) If you’ve ever seen the show Breaking Bad, Walter tries to convince the doctors, and his family, that he’s been in a fugue state for days which is why he can’t remember what has happened (this is a ruse, in the show). These examples are of more well-known, and are questionable, but the fugue state is a thing classified in the DSM as a real experience. I know that with DID, we have experienced bouts of dissociation/amnesia which meet criteria of a fugue state, I also know some otherpeople personally who have had this experience.

And then of course, there’s DID right on the end of the spectrum — at the extreme. Two or more distinct personality states with differing thoughts, memories, feelings about life etc. There also has to be amnesia between these personality states for it to be DID.

There is also a dissociative disorder called OSDD which is Otherwise Specified Dissociative Disorder. It can have aspects of the other dissociative disorders but maybe not completely filling all the criteria for any one of them. For example, if someone has alters but does NOT experience amnesia between personality states, that would be OSDD.

So that’s a brief overview.

As for Vader and Hikari as hosts — it means they are the two we all try to support in fulfilling their dreams. They are both kind, loving people who care about their systems and want to do what’s right for us all as a whole. We respect them greatly.

Hope you’re having a rad day.

-Deej

Episode Two: Is DID real?

Hi, Deej here. In episode 2, Vader and I discuss the controversy around whether or not Dissociative Identity Disorder is real. There’s a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation out there about how the condition manifests, so it’s worth thinking about the reasons why.

A couple things we mentioned in the podcast that didn’t get elaborated on —

The star who has talked about having alter egos is Nicki Minaj. Here is a video of her talking about them on the Ellen show.

 

The military program that was mentioned which allegedly tried to create a version of DID in people is called Project Monarch. I personally do believe this might have been a real thing, though it is generally considered conspiracy theory. I don’t think of myself as much of a conspiracy theorist, so I am not trying to convince anyone of anything. However DID itself is considered controversial and is in fact real, so I try not to discount other people’s experiences. That’s one thing I have learned from having this disorder — just because it may not seem real, doesn’t mean that it is not.

If I can recall any of the footage of people who claimed to have been part of the program, I will post it here. Ultimately though, I’m not here to make a stand about it.

I believe Vader was referencing this story from Scientific American, entitled, “Could Multiple Personalities Explain Life, the Universe, and Everything?” which is a very interesting article, to be sure. I don’t think it’s as sinister as it was described to be, so by all means just take a look at it for yourself and reach your own conclusions.

We mention that Hollywood gives people the wrong idea, so some media that has sensationalized DID: Psycho, Sybil, Identity, Split, Glass, and many more. United States of Tara was an over-the-top depiction because all of the alters changed outfits etc. which is not really how it goes in our experience, though it’s true we may all have different favorite items of clothing. I would however say that United States of Tara is a good example of the fact that a person with DID can be loved, have a family, and experience everyday problems as they come up. It was a good show, and made some excellent points, but was ultimately very sensationalized. (I mean, it’s a tv show, they want to capture the audience’s attention. Watching someone with DID do mundane tasks wouldn’t be as interesting.)

The Entropy System is a DID system that has a Youtube channel, and they’re the ones that did the paper-ripped-in-half example. Here’s a link to their channel, I highly recommend watching their videos here.

Hope the episode was a good listen, have a great day!

 

-Deej

 

Episode 1: The Basics of DID

In this intro episode we meet Deej and Hayzeus, two alters in separate DID systems. They give an overview of what Dissociative Identity Disorder is, and explain some terms used in the DID community at large.

Both male alters are living in female bodies, which can be confusing and difficult at times.

It is explained that though legally the two systems are married, Deej and Hayzeus are simply friends. The two alters who are married, Vader and Hikari, you will meet in a later episode.

The title of the podcast was derived from the first line of Romeo and Juliet — “Two houses, both alike in dignity.” Hikari was pretty proud of herself for that one.

Join us as we begin a journey of education and anecdotal experiences around what it’s like to BOTH live with this condition. Not only do we experience it first hand, but also through the lense of loving someone who has DID as well.

Through many voices and viewpoints, we will tell you our stories.