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  1. #1
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    Default How sharing my brain with other personality types has helped bring balance to my own

    Hi, my name is Louise, and I am an INTJ. I know my profile says my name is Doug and I am an INFJ, but that's because, well... You know that part in the title of this post about sharing my brain? I wasn't speaking figuratively. I have a condition called DID, which stands for dissociative identity disorder. You may know it better by its previous name, which was multiple personality disorder. Actually, the part of "us" known as Doug isn't INFJ either, he is an INFP. The reason our profile says INFJ is because it was started by Leyna, another part in our system who is an INFJ.

    But anyway, on to what I was actually planning to write about. When I did an online version of the MBTI test and found out that my profile is INTJ, and started reading what the website said about that profile, I realized how right it was about me. But I also realized something else: that someone who had the most extreme version of INTJ, at 100% of each of those traits, would end up looking a lot like Sheldon Cooper from the Big Bang Theory. It made me realize how lucky I am to literally share the same brain/body with others who have different personality types. So far, 16 of us have taken the simplified version of the MBTI from that same website, and we've found out that between those 16 parts, we have at least 11 different personality types in our brain.

    I thought about the two others within our system that I have been the closest to over the years: Doug, who was my best friend in the internal world when we were growing up (even though he didn't know that I existed in the external world...it's complicated), and Mattie, who is my "little sister". Doug is INFP, like I said earlier, and Mattie is ENTP. I think that Doug's friendship has helped me to learn to be more comfortable with my emotions that most INTJ's, and my little sister Mattie's bubbly, enthusiastic friendliness has helped me to be somewhat more comfortable with extroversion and being sociable. I know what you're probably thinking, how is this any different than being positively influenced by friends and family in the external world? Well, it's hard to explain to someone who doesn't have DID, but there is a closeness between us within our system that is not something that can be achieved by two people who don't share the same brain/body. We can have a much more direct, and much more profound, influence on one another. It's pretty much impossible for two people in the external world to always be together physically, even if they live in the same house or apartment. But since it is literally never possible for me to be physically separate from Doug or Mattie, or any of the others in our system, that creates a symbiotic relationship in which we all influence each other. Of course, the flip side of that coin is that it's also possible for us to profoundly influence each other in negative ways, as well. That's why we have to constantly make an effort to do the best job we can of cooperating with and loving each other, and to avoid tensions and bitterness from forming. If we are capable of forming friendships like no one else, that means we are also capable of making enemies like no one else. However, that doesn't mean that we are ticking time bombs that are likely to become extremely violent with others at any time, like most of the fictional movies that have been made about people with DID like to claim. In practice, when DID systems are thrown into chaos due to lack of cooperation, it is much more likely to lead to self-harm and/or suicide attempts than it is to violence toward others.

    In conclusion, the point I'm trying to make is this: if properly understood, DID can actually give people like us an advantage. It can help us to bring balance to our own personalities, develop our strengths, and lessen our weaknesses. It can help to make sure that we don't ever become so extreme in our personalities that we become almost incapable of forming healthy relationships with others, like Sheldon Cooper. I know that Sheldon doesn't have very many friends on that show, but I think in real life, someone with a personality as extreme as his would have even fewer friends. I'm not trying to be arrogant and say that I'm better than most of you because I have DID, I'm just saying that that is one advantage that DID can potentially have, IF the DID person puts in the work to develop a good cooperative relationship with the rest of their system. Believe me, that's not easy. It has taken us years of therapy to get to where we are today. There are some potential advantages to DID, but there are also a lot of disadvantages. But part of the reason I am writing this, too, is to make the point that we DID people are not as "freaky" as most people tend to think we are (again, based mostly on what is shown in fictional movies about us). We are just people trying to live our lives and overcome our difficulties to be the best person/people that we can be.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this, and let me know if you have any questions for me. I would be happy to answer them.

    Louise Vincent

  2. #2
    Poking the poodle Frosty's Avatar
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    I think that this is... well, very interesting. I could understand how maybe your different ‘parts’ could actually be fairly clear cut- DIFFERENT personality types... but also maybe types that arent totally dissimilar to the type of your... host? Im not sure what you would call Doug.

    Anyways. I like INTJs, so Im more than excited to get to know you- Sheldon Cooper like or not!
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frosty View Post
    I think that this is... well, very interesting. I could understand how maybe your different ‘parts’ could actually be fairly clear cut- DIFFERENT personality types... but also maybe types that arent totally dissimilar to the type of your... host? Im not sure what you would call Doug.

    Anyways. I like INTJs, so Im more than excited to get to know you- Sheldon Cooper like or not!
    Hello Frosty,

    Thanks for reading and commenting on my post (even though I know Leyna put you up to it LOL!)

    Actually, you aren't really that far off base in saying that many of us are similar to Doug.

    (By the way, while many DID systems have one member that they refer to as the "host" that is the main one who organizes everyone else, our system isn't comfortable with that practice. Don't worry, I'm not offended by you assuming that Doug was the "host". That would be a reasonable assumption, since the host is often the part who has the same name as the body. However, our therapist has taught us that it's best to have as much equality as possible in our system, so that everyone has at least an equal opportunity to make their voice heard, and no one is "the boss". He said that letting one part be the boss of the others can often lead to a lot of resentment on the part of the ones who are being bossed around, which can eventually lead to a sort of "mutiny", which in the case of a DID system is definitely not good! So we have tried very hard to treat our system like a true democracy, with everyone being able to have their say.)

    Anyway, back to what I was saying. We have begun to see patterns in the parts of our system that have taken the online MBTI test so far. We have more parts in the Diplomat group (types with both N and F) than others, and so far we haven't found any of us that have neither an N nor an F. (Although we suspect that one of the parts who hasn't taken the test yet is going to test as ISTJ). I would imagine that as we continue to test more of us, this will continue to be the trend. Doug himself, as I said in the above post, is an INFP. I don't think it's so much that the rest of us are "like Doug" as it is that we sort of hover around similar traits that would have been the personality type of the whole person that we would have been if we hadn't split. After all, Doug isn't really the "real me", he is one of 70 just like the rest of us are.

    Interestingly enough, when I took the MBTI, it really opened our eyes as to how much I was a central part of our life when we were growing up. I was starting to read the profile of INTJ, and one of the first things I read was that INTJ's are very much in love with learning and reading, and are often called "bookworms". I thought, "Yep, that's me!" Then suddenly, my eyes widened and I realized, that WAS me, when we were growing up! You see, when Doug had taken the test and tested as INFP, he also saw that the profile fit him very much, since it talked about INFP's being artistic and creative, and enjoying writing and visual art. Well, Doug has always been an artist and a writer, so it didn't even occur to him at the time to wonder why his profile didn't talk about being intellectual, and loving to learn. Anyone who knew us growing up would say that most of the time, we either had a pencil in our hand, drawing or writing, or a book in our hand, reading. I suddenly realized that the bookworm/intellectual side of us growing up was me. It "jogged my memory" so to speak.

    You see, we are a bit of an unusual DID system in that we don't have a lot of gaps in our external memory, that is, events that happened to us in the external world. However, the price we had to pay for that luxury is that we had to forget what was going on in the internal world, the world within our mind where the other 69 of us live while one of us is out in the external world. (Well, it is possible for more than one of us to be "out" at the same time, but that's a discussion for another time, I think...) So, as we started to discover our "selves" through therapy, starting with Leyna, who was the first one that Doug became aware of when he was 18 years old, we were aware of who we are, but didn't necessarily know where we came from. We had to do a lot of soul searching to start to piece together the particulars of why each of us existed, and how we came to be the people we are today. Well, with the revelation that I was the bookworm/intellectual side of the person who was known as "Doug" growing up, I started to remember that even though Doug and I weren't aware that we were two separate people in the external world at the time, we were best friends in the internal world. Doug started to remember bits and pieces of this as well. We started to realize that part of the reason why Doug and I had such passions for art and learning in the external world is because we were fueling each other's passions in the internal world. We were encouraging each other to pursue our interests, and forming sort of a symbiotic relationship. I think that although Doug is an INFP and I am an INTJ, the person known as "Doug" to the outside world when we were growing up probably looked more like an INTP, sort of a combination of the two of us. I'm sure there were other parts in our system who came out occasionally during those years, but I think that Doug and I were probably the main driving forces behind our life at that point.

    That all changed, unfortunately, when Doug met Leyna at age 18. You see, at that time, we had different areas within our mind that were sort of "communities" where we lived. Before Doug met Leyna in the external world, Doug and I both lived in what we now call the "Sci-fi/fantasy community" within our internal world. Leyna, on the other hand, lived in what we now refer to as "The 80's Mansion". When Doug met Leyna, her room in the mansion was cut off from the rest of the mansion as a defense mechanism, to keep Doug and Leyna from knowing about the others who lived there, and Doug was cut off from the Sci-fi/fantasy community. He began to live in Leyna's room in the mansion whenever Leyna was "out". So Doug and I lost the "connection" that we had, and as a result, although Doug still enjoyed art and I still enjoyed reading and learning, we both began slowly to lose the strong passion that we once had for those things. Doug began slowly becoming more similar to Leyna, who is an INFJ (she's the reason why our profile on this site says INFJ, because she's the one who started our account on this site). Of course, when I started to realize all of this, I couldn't help feeling a little jealous of Leyna, since she has become Doug's best friend in our system now. To her credit, though, she hasn't gloated about it at all. She feels bad about the fact that she unintentionally hurt me, and for my part, I realize that it wasn't her fault. She didn't ask to be the first other part that Doug met in the external world, it just sort of happened that way. And she and Doug went through a LOT of mental anguish in those early years of starting to figure out our DID, anguish that I was spared from as I was living my life in the internal world, blissfully unaware of what was going on outside.

    Well, anyway, I think I've probably rambled on enough for now. You said you wanted to get to know me, be careful what you wish for LOL! But seriously, thank you for caring about learning about us. We enjoy teaching others about our DID, so we really like it when others are eager to learn.

    Gratefully,

    Louise Vincent

  4. #4
    Senior Member wildmoon's Avatar
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    Hi Louise, thanks for posting this! I like learning about the experiences of people with DID because it seems like there's not enough information out there about it, and a lot of misinformation.
    I was wondering, when one of you is interacting with the external world, what are the rest of you experiencing? Like are you conscious? Are some of you sleeping? Do you interact with your internal world in the same way that someone would interact with the external world? Are you all able to communicate with each other?
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wildmoon View Post
    Hi Louise, thanks for posting this! I like learning about the experiences of people with DID because it seems like there's not enough information out there about it, and a lot of misinformation.
    I was wondering, when one of you is interacting with the external world, what are the rest of you experiencing? Like are you conscious? Are some of you sleeping? Do you interact with your internal world in the same way that someone would interact with the external world? Are you all able to communicate with each other?
    Yes, we do have an internal world where we can interact with each other. I don't have time to write a lot about it right now, but I will say...yes to all of your questions, pretty much. We are usually conscious when the body is conscious, but sometimes some of us can be sleeping inside while the body is conscious. We interact with our internal world, but for us it's not quite the same as interacting with the external world. It's very real, but in a different way. Think of it as like "The Matrix". The interactions with others within that world are very real, but things like the laws of physics and so forth only apply to the extent that you want them to apply. "There is no spoon!" Unless you want a spoon, and then there is one. And yes, we are able to communicate with both the other parts who are in the internal world and the part (or sometimes more than one) that is "out" in the external world. I can write more about what our internal world specifically is like later, if you're interested, but for now I need to get to bed.

    As always, thanks for your interest!

    Take care!

    Louise

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