First Person Plural
Dissociative identity disorders association

Partners, Safe Family & Friends

These people are likely to be the most affected; through being able to understand, recognise and respond to their partner’s needs while working on their relationship will enable it to develop and help to reduce anxieties and fears. It is hard having DID and also very difficult for those closest to you. Often a family will have ‘muddled through’, not understanding what appears to be extreme, contradictory fluctuations in many aspects of that person’s life. They may disappear for a time having no knowledge of being absent and have few memories of significant events in their own life. These make building and sustaining a healthy relationship complex and challenging.

Age appropriate information needs to be shared throughout the family. Supporting roles will become easier when the confusions and misunderstandings are understood within the broad context of their origins. Unhealthy and confusing roles may have developed and need to be identified and changed.

Respectful reflection and working towards parenting in partnership can be the start of a relationship that has never been possible before leading to some positive outcomes. With all family and friendships it is important to have a balanced relationship allowing everyone’s needs to be addressed. At times this might be difficult to sustain because of the many and complex needs of someone with DID but should remain the ongoing aim

Managing everyday living and responsibilities will at times be impossible for the person with DID, how to manage this needs to be discussed and negotiated when life is calm. Removing responsibilities without this can be damaging reinforcing the childhood messages of being powerless and worthless. Feeling a failure plays a big role within DID so discussion, compassion and negotiation need to remain constant factors.

The role of supporting partner is at times exhausting but can be equally as fulfilling. The need for those offering support to understand their limitations, needs and that they are human. There will be times they might need to make decisions that are not easy or popular but essential especially if there are children to consider and to have built-in time away from the situation.  Paul who supports his partner with DID talks compassionately about his role in his chapter of FPP’s training film “No Two Paths The Same”

compassion, communication, collaboration, co-operation connection