This is a video from Youtube that explains a bit about Dissociation in a very practical and understandable way. Those of you who follow my blog know that i have DID or DDNOS.

My DID has been triggered a lot since Baby Emily came back (see my blog – Now We Are Six). Emily is one of my alters or people as i call them. Some say insiders etc. She was absent for a very long time but since she has been back with me (which is only a short time), she has been here quite a bit of the time to my conscious knowledge to the extent that i have found myself (as Emily), sucking my thumb and eating Farleys Rusks. This might sound disturbing but to me, it’s just one of the things that happens sometimes and i don’t think much of it as my DID started at about the age of eight during continuing and prolonged child sexual abuse and rape and later rape in my adult life. I say this like i am sounding really matter-of-fact and calm but actually, my insides are doing somersaults, i feel sick, i feel panicky (although writing helps to ground me a bit). My other alters are Chloe who is 8, and Gut, who’s in his late teens and Liz and Caroline (in their twenties and early thirties). Chloe has been quite present too – she was the most affected by Baby Emily coming back.

This video gives some good grounding ideas so that if i am able to feel myself beginning to dissociate, i am going to try them. In particular, i think, for me, smelling something strong from your ‘present’ as Kati, in this video suggests. For me, personally, it could be a perfume i wear often; coffee, fresh orange juice, curry powder etc, etc,

I wouldn’t go down the route of hitting myself or holding ice cubes in my hand to stimulate my sense of touch as for me, personally, my sense of touch is very distorted because of my self-harm.

Much of the time, Chloe is present but now, recently, it has been Baby Emily who has been present and needing cuddles, rusks, her thumb or dummy etc. My therapist today suggested that possibly Emily ‘came’ back because of even earlier than the abuse trauma in my life being that i was born very prematurely and spent the first few weeks of my life in a perspex incubator where i was tube fed through a tube from my nose down into my tummy. I was clothed in only a nappy and a hat, and at the time my mum had me, new and especially prem. babies were separated from their mum’s for long periods of time. I was even in a completely different part of the hospital and then my mum went home, leaving me for the nurses to care for until i weighed a healthier weight for a new baby and was then able to be taken home with my mum. But, now it is known how important early bonding is between mother and baby, breastfeeding if possible (I was bottle fed once home) and early skin to skin contact.

I was ‘denied’ all these ‘privileges’ as a newborn and this too is now classed as very early trauma (a cause of DID or DDNOS). I found this most interesting and when i got home from my therapy, i did a bit of research on the web to find out more on this subject and also found the above video.

I apologize if this blog has sounds really boring and long but to me, i found the whole topic fascinating and informative but then it’s something i experience and therefore feel passionate about as is no doubt obvious by the time you have ploughed through this far through my blog!


  1. Some other things that help ground me: playing with silly putty, a stress ball, playdough—- anything I can squeeze the stress into. It ALWAYS works to keep me from dissociating in therapy. Also, stomping my feet and clapping my hands works. I have a lavender candle to smell starting today, but I cannot light it because my husband is sensitive to smell. Tomorrow I also try samples of essential oils… we’ll see—- again, strong scents give my husband migraines, but he is willing to work through them if it helps me. xx

  2. I had wondered what silly putty was as you’ve mentioned it before. I think it must be much the same thing as Playdough which i can get quite easily and will give that a try. I also love the smell of lavender and could use that as another of my ‘smells’ to ground me.Thanks so much for these suggestions. I will definitely try them and to see if they help me too xxx

  3. They didn’t know about attachment back when you were a baby. They didn’t realize preterm babies need their mothers, and they didn’t realize breastfeeding was important or skin to skin contact. When my son was in the hospital for being early, they never did skin to skin for him, and they discouraged breastfeeding. I learned more and did them both with my daughter, who was full term and came home with me. Now, if I ever have a baby who has to stay behind in the hospital, I’m going to fight tooth and nail to breastfeed and do skin to skin as often as possible. Touch burns calories, which makes it hard for babies to grow, but attachment is very important too. And silly putty is rubbery. the same concept as playdough, but if you pull softly it stretches maybe 2 feet. and if you pull hard, it breaks. it’s nice to mold. http://biologysnippets.blogspot.com/2010/04/what-is-silly-putty-made-of-guest-blog.html

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