Multiple Personality Disorder, which has been renamed Dissociative Identity Disorder, involves the presence of three or more alternate personalities (alters) within a single mind/body. DID is an extremely misunderstood diagnosis. While it has defining characteristics, it takes a psychiatrist who specializes in the disorder to diagnose the condition. To put this into perspective, there is one doctor qualified to diagnose DID within 200 miles of my home.
Why am I telling you this?
Because, in my world, I love an individual with DID. I talk often of the mental health issues my partners have. To us, they are simply a part of life. I am a strong proponent that Mental Health should always negotiated, and renegotiated, while in the lifestyle. It does not matter if you are just getting into the scene or have been in it for decades.
But what happens when these diagnoses happen in an existing relationship?
You must make a decision. That is the easy part. You are either going to support your partner and figure out whatever is happening, or you are going to leave.
I chose to stay.
We have learned over the years that the “early episodes” that we had attributed to her Bipolar Disorder, was Callie Anne testing the waters. In her own words, she was trying to come out of “the dark” and see if it was “safe.” When I asked her why she had never come out before, she said it was “cuz she had to watch and wait to see if I was safe.”
Then, in the middle of the night, seven-ish years after we started dating (and two years into our marriage), this little voice talked to me. Quiet, skittish, and unaware of her surroundings. She looked up at me with these wide eyes and asked who I was. She wanted to know why I was in her room. She refused to tell me her name. She said I was a stranger and she was taught to never talk to strangers. So, in the softest voice, I introduced myself.
That’s right; I introduced myself to my own wife.
The following morning, I asked her if she remembered waking up. She did not. She told me she had not dreamt and had not woken once the night before.
So, I let it go. I figured it was one of those things that just happen.
Then it happened again a couple months later.
And again, two weeks after that.
Then, she finally introduced herself. She told me her name was Callie Anne R.—vroom, vroom like the car. And I laughed.
Slowly, but surely, she would come out more and more. She would visit only when I was alone. Because, even at four, Callie Anne recognizes that DID has a very bad stigma attached to it. She had no desire to be “hurt again.”
Through research, and our own experience, DID often happens due to childhood trauma. It is not an absolute cause but is a common among diagnosed cases. Many alters fracture to protect the ‘dominate’ personality, from remembering/experiencing something.
We kept this secret for three and a half years before we sought out a proper diagnosis. I am deeply protective of both B and Callie. So is the rest of our polyquad. In fact, Callie Anne had a whole escape plan drawn out (in crayon of course) for her first therapy session. Drampa (what she calls our husband) would fight the doctor, Diddy (me) would sneak her out the back, Drama (our second wife) would be the getaway driver, and Tigger (our service dog) would snuggle her on the ride out.
She was so nervous to meet the therapist.
Because she didn’t want to be put back in the dark again.
And the most common “technique” associated with DID therapy is called Integration. This, basically, is when the dominant personality absorbs all the other personalities and they cease to exist as their own entity.
I respect people’s decision to choose this option. I disagree with the belief that it is a cure.
Callie Anne is as much a part of our life as B is. She writes to Santa at Yule. She waits for the Easter Bunny every year (since bunnies are the bestest). She cries when she gets a booboo. And she has the sweetest laugh when Drampa picks on her and tickles her. Her love and innocence are that of any four-year-old. Although she was born of trauma, she is full of happiness.
Therefore, integration of any kind would be murder in my eyes. I would be consenting to snuffing out the life of my babygirl.
Which, if you have not guessed, is unacceptable.
**On a side note, Callie Anne is sitting here with me and I wanted to record her reaction to the last two statements above. She said “That’s Good. I don’t wanna die either. If you try Diddy, Imma hide behind Drampa and He will beat your butt.” She then proceeded to dance a little and sing “Drampa’s gonna beat you up, uh huh, uh huh.”** –All I can do is shake my head with a fond smile.
As I have discussed before, Callie considers herself a little. This allows her to find others who are accepting of her, and don’t often question anything too personal. As such, I am a Diddy (Daddy), though our relationship is far from BDSM/dynamic related. She has found acceptance with the other littles in our community.
Even Callie wonders sometimes if she is classified as a little. To the best of my knowledge, the answer is yes. She is a regressive little.
I have tried, many times, to find others with a similar diagnosis. If DID exists in the BDSM world, it has been beyond my reach to find. The single article that addressed DID and kink was a very long rant about judgmental individuals within the community who do not want to play with people with mental disorders. I will never discredit their experience. We have been lucky to find an accepting community who simply say hello to Callie and her stuffed bunny (Foo-Foo) and invite her to join them in coloring.
Then, our core had a discussion. There are more personalities than just B and Callie. In fact, there are eleven currently known alters.
So, my core sat down and wrote out some questions for the alters. With Master as Head of Household, myself as Diddy, and our second wife as Dramma (grandma), it is our job to take care of them. But, we have only negotiated formally with B. How do you take care of eleven people and only talk to one?
So, what follows, is a record of the negotiation questions we needed answers to, in order to continue in our relationship with the consent of all parties involved.
Here is the Code to who is who:
B- She is the host personality.
Callie Anne- She is a happy-go-lucky four-year-old.
Blue- She is eight and generally sad. She is the only one besides Callie and B to successfully control the physical body, even for a short few minutes.
Black- She is nine and generally feels everyone’s guilt.
Callie Rose- She is nine and she hides in the safe space (a playground within the mind that the children built) and has yet to speak to anyone.
Cally- She is fifteen and she refuses to interact with the adult alters (or adults in the real world)
Bahloo- He is an adult alter who acts as a caregiver and therapist to all the personalities. We often refer to him as A.
Anger- He is the protector of the children.
D- She is the logical voice and cannot feel, or be influenced, by emotion.
Shadow- This is the protector of the child still in the dark. S/he has no identifiable gender.
Girl in the Dark- We know she exists but have yet to be able to break her out of her trauma cycle and interact with her.
Do I have to negotiate with all of your alters or just one?
B: I would say you would have to do the detailed negotiation with the one you scene with. And try and touch base with the others.
Callie Anne: your negotiation is with the one alter. But then it is the job for the one to check in with the others. To make sure that they all have a place to go when the scene happens. Whether it’s our hand built safe space in our brain, or that they just don’t care what happens.
If I violate the consent of one, do I violate the consent of all?
D: as the logical one, I would say no. You made the deal with one, not all.
B: for me this is a grey area. I know it’s not all about logic when you feel violated.
Callie Anne: when everyone has their own rules for play, I think unless you violate one of their rules, you are fine
Should people with DID play since they have blurred boundaries?
Callie Anne: each of us have our own reality. I feel as long as you have conversations with each alter that can control the body, it is ok. If there are alters that do not live anywhere but the brain, the dominant personality should talk with them and see what they believe, or will know, or will feel.
Do all alters have the same safeword?
Every alter has its own safe word. B has one and Callie Anne has a different version of it.
Example: B’s safeword is Alligator. Callie Anne’s is giggleator.
How do you compartmentalize kink if you have underage alters?
B: This question is difficult. Each person has their own ways of doing this. For us personally, we have spent the time and energy building a safe space in our mind. Our safe space looks like a glass snow globe. Inside is a waterfall, a lake, an open sided building that holds toys, books, crayons; anything that interests the kids. There is also a gray/black foggy space for when they are not ready to interact with people. No one or nothing can get into the safe space unless we build it. So, it is a place that is free from bad memories, bad feelings, and “monsters”. When getting ready for a scene, all the littles, and adults alike, that do not want to witness what is going on sit in there.
How do you explain kink vs abuse to alters?
Callie Anne: It was hard at first. Then Diddy and Drampa explained that the biggest difference between them was if you like it, it is kink. If you do not, and it bothers you or scares you, then it is abuse. We have found a new piece who was stuck in a bad memory loop. Her name is Callie Rose. There has been no explanation for her yet. She is still sitting in the black space in the safe place because she is still trying to deal with the fear and pain from her loop.
Does each alter have their own limits?
Yes, each personality has their own limits. B loves spankings, hard floggings, light electrical, and some voyeurism. Callie Anne loves rope, light floggings, giggles at Drampa when trying electrical, and if out during other scenes, pops in her paci and headphones and avoids paying attention
Are some of the alters unaware of kink?
Yes they are. All the adult alters know, and so far the only child who knows is Callie Anne. (Even then, she is not privy to the more edgy side of kink).
Do the alters that know about kink all have different roles?
Depends on what you mean. They only have different roles in kink depending on what they enjoy. They do each have different roles in my “normal” life.
Does a switch mid-scene require the scene to end immediately?
If it’s from an adult to a child, absolutely. If it’s from a child to an adult, I would yellow the scene and check with the adult to see if we can figure out why the child left. Making sure they weren’t scared, hurt, or upset for some reason.
**You must pay close attention to body language in case of a switch. If one alter is afraid, it can be a deer in headlights situation**
How do you deal in sub/Dom space?
B deals with it by cuddling up with one of the spouses. Callie Anne deals with it by becoming a “sad burrito”. She rolls up in a blanket, cuddles with her bunny, uses her paci and watches Disney until she falls asleep.
Does aftercare and drop look the same for all of them? Does each alter feel the drop? Is it only the one in charge?
After care and drop are different for each of the ones that participate. The alters do feel sleepy when the drop hits and don’t quite understand why. But it is part of the way my brain helps to protect the rest.
How do you accommodate one alter without hurting another?
It is a long process. There are a lot of discussions involved over many weeks until everyone can come to an agreement.
Can you safely participate in pickup play as a person with DID?
In my opinion, the answer is no. I can do it with my core group, and maybe one or two of our closest friends. But otherwise I feel it would be unsafe on both parts.
If the controlling alter does not disclose the DID with their partner, is it a consent violation for the other partner?
ABSOLUTELY!! It would be the same as not disclosing metal in your body when doing electrical. It should never be done.
I have found that my journey into kink, and those who participate with me, has been vastly different than the average person. It is my goal to let you see into my world, so that in the future, if you meet someone like B, you can understand that they can offer you far more than you expect.
DID is surrounded by a stigma that those who have it are incapable of functioning. That they cannot make lucid decisions and cannot actively consent to their own participation in the world around them.
I understand the trepidation, especially if they are in a D/s dynamic. As a Dominant, you become responsible for yourself and your submissive. If they have multiple alters, you become responsible for the well-being of each one. As a submissive, it can become convoluted if only one has submitted (or if they phase out mid-scene).
Like any mental health issues, it has its own ups and downs that go with it. There is no shame in choosing not to accept the responsibility of someone with DID. It will bring nothing but misery if you begrudge someone for being who they are.
But I wanted to give you a glimpse into our reality. To let you share in the joy and the frustration that comes with DID and then trying to incorporate Kink into that. I have learned more patience and understanding since I met Callie Anne, then I ever did in most of my adult life.
I want the community to be able to have open discussions about kink and mental health. I want the community to accept that just because our brains are different, we are no less valuable than those without our mental struggles. I want people to know that we are more than capable to give and withdraw consent at any time.
Being Kinky with DID is no less fulfilling. It just means there are always spectators and opinions.
My name is Joji. I am 29 years old currently and I have been in and around the kink community about 15 years.I am a collared submissive to Magick42. I am also a Daddy to a wonderful babygirl, and have been for more than three years now and I find it very fulfilling. I am being mentored in and being taught electroplay. I am a masochist at heart and thoroughly love impact play, especially caning. I enjoy reading anything I can get my hands on and am a die hard Harry Potter and Doctor Who fan. I am also the secretary for a group in Idaho called Moscow S.P.A.R.K.E (Simply Providing Another Route to Kink Education). It is our mission to teach safe practices to those new to the community and give them a safe haven to ask questions and learn without judgement. We accept all kinks and all we ask in return is respect between all our members.
I have just recently been diagnosed and I’m trying to figure out what part of me going into a little space/submissive headspace is different than my little alter. Sometimes I can’t tell when we are both out so going into my own little has been worrying because I dont want my little to get scared. If anyone has advice or has also experienced this, please let me know. Thank you.
Agreed! This had me tearing up at parts
intriguing topic. It’s so heart-warming to see what legnths a dominant will go for their submissive. Keep it up!