Integration has been on my mind for quite some time now.
On one hand, I think it could be good to be “whole” but my heart (and head) goes more to the “no” for integration.
Let’s see it that way: I always lived with parts, I don’t know life without them, I love them as they are, why would I want to get rid of them? Also, by integrating, I will lose what make me “special”, my creativity, my inner child. I don’t want a life of adulting, I love my inner child, playing in the mud, painting, running, play on the snow. I also love being creative. Don’t forget that most of the creativity people with DID have is due… to their DID ! By integrating, you are losing part of the creativity in the process, the freedom I have when I create something.
When I face a problem, I always have my alters to turn to and ask questions, we do what’s best for us. If I integrate, what would I have ? Silence ? I’m not sure that this appeal to me either. Yes the noise is hard sometimes, yes hearing voices is challenging but do I really need to integrate to have a “better” life ?
I talked about it with my therapist yesterday (Monday) and she agrees with me that integration might not be the best for me or for most of people with DID. She also reassure me that I DO NOT NEED to integrate.
I was terrified with the idea that I will HAVE to integrate but no, it is my choice, like it should be to any DIDers.
I came accross some articles about integration and one upsets me a little bit:
- “As a fully integrated person (formerly DID) and a trained therapist, I decided it was important to speak out about the naturalness of integration, the benefits of integration, and the peace that comes with full acceptance and ownership of all parts of oneself. I want survivors to understand integration as a friend, not a foe. To see integration as a goal not set by therapists, but sought after by survivors who want normal lives as whole people.”
So, for this author, if I want to be happy, I need to integrate ? I do own all my parts, I am the host, it doesn’t mean that integration is the solution for everyone. I have a good control of them, we have a good system in place, I recognise my switch, I can even prevent them, we have a schedule of switch, etc.
And “normal” life, I really would like to know what is a “normal” life. NOONE has a normal ! We all have baggages, a past, a family, friends, problems, challenges, fears, etc. This “normality” doesn’t appeal to me either, I am not “normal” and will always refuse to be “normal”. If I need to be put in a box, I won’t certainly choose “normal”.
- “I feel sad when I read accounts by individuals with DID who choose to stay dissociative. I fear they do not understand integration as a natural part of the healing process.”
For this “therapist”, integration should be happening, no matter what. No you can choose and live a happy life as a dissociative. It is not a natural process, it is if you choose it. And pity really doesn’t work with me, I don’t like people to feel “sad” for me. It would be good if this “therapist” can actually take in account people’s feelings before making this kind of comment. Who is she to actually “feel sad” for someone that doesn’t want to integrate. We are not a weak little kitten, we are an individual, we can choose. I feel sad for people that don’t see further that their own noses ;)
Anyway, that’s only one article. There are a lot of them out there (like this one that is very interesting + the comments), some for integration some against. We have to do what’s best for us.
As you may have gathered, I have chosen not to integrate. I have a good balanced life even if not always easy but I’m sure that many without DID can also relate to that. Everything is down to finding balance and that is a permanent job in itself.