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March 17, 2013

DID & Healing: It Gets Better

Now after many years of healing I am happy, and not just on the surface. Despite how difficult it can still be to grieve and remember all I have been through, I am proud to say that I am better than I have ever been. I feel more stable. I believe this is because I am more whole than I ever have been. I have learned about the ups and downs of the process and survived them year after year. I have a wonderful relationship with a partner and am blessed with great friends.

Still I struggle (see the bumpy road of healing). The holidays are especially painful, as are anniversary dates of particularly brutal or repeated attacks. Some years are easier than others. This year the release of my memoir, The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder, threw me an unexpected twist. Even though I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment in writing the book, I had no idea how exposed I would feel when it was released.

Nowadays, when things get hard, I remind myself that I have lived through this before: the depression, the suicidal thoughts, the deep despair. I know from my experience of healing that as bad as I might feel, I have come out of similarly painful times and I will get through this one, too.

I have worked hard to balance the dark thoughts and self-doubt with positive thoughts of all I have and who I have become. I remind myself how lucky I am to have survived and thrived despite all the violence I endured. I remind myself that I am strong and resilient.

Each time I come out of the darkness I revel once again in the light and my newfound strength. I have overcome it and when it comes again, I will ride that out, too. In the meantime, I enjoy the peace of feeling happy, sane and stable. I enjoy as much of my life as I can: rejoice in my partner, our dogs, our friends. I laugh hard, sleep well and work hard.

For all of you who struggle with memories of child sexual abuse, sexual violence, or dissociative identity disorder - it does get better, even when you think it can't.

10 comments for "DID & Healing: It Gets Better"

Amy's Gravatar

Thank you for sharing what you have been through and your positive energy. Sharing your life helps everyone.

Amy wrote on March 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Joan Meier's Gravatar

Thank you Olga. Your voice is empowering and inspiring to so many people. Giving voice to the truth about abuse is our greatest weapon. Love, Joan

Joan Meier wrote on March 17, 2013 at 02:39 PM
Kathleen leahy Moreland's Gravatar


Think of you often! Hope you are doing well! One day at a time! I still tell family and friends how awesome your book is!


Kathleen leahy Moreland wrote on March 17, 2013 at 10:02 PM
vanessa's Gravatar

When my partner was diagnosed with DID in 2011, I reached out to you since you had been placed in my life via my job as you were the keynote speaker at our biggest domestc violence annual event. You responded so quickly to my desperate email and I am still so grateful for that. I purchased your book for her and she read it in a day...she is so not a reader! She is on her journey of healing and I am doing what I think is best in supporting her. I really appreciate you sharing your story so opening both in person and in writing. You've helped me more than you know. I plan on being in the training when you return to Jacksonville, FL. Blessings to you and your partner.

vanessa wrote on March 17, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Karen's Gravatar

Olga, thank you so much for sharing. My healing has just begun after 27 years of not receiving the proper therapy for DID. Your book has been so validating for me-I experience similar issues of how I am, was. At times I think I am making this up, can I trust the thoughts in my head, my body going into convulsions and not hearing or seeing anything that connects the experience. I keep reading your book to reassure myself that I am not making this up, it is real and I am not insane, even though at times I feel like I will go insane. Because of my DID, I sold my home of 18 years and have been in constant anxiety and stress and financial insecurity. I am now selling that home and going to move to a small condo which will bring many other challenges-not feeling safe, no stability......I wish I could put into words what goes on inside my head as you do so beautifully. Please keep writing,,,thank you for being you and for sharing who you are and who you are becoming....I need some hope to hang onto..the days get too dark sometimes and I am not able to see the light.............Many blessings to you and to Casey for being there for you!

Karen wrote on March 18, 2013 at 02:37 PM

I can identify with you.The memories can be extremley difficult.Thankyou for telling it as it is. You are truly courages.

ELIZABETHSPRAT1 wrote on March 19, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Ella A. Herrarte-Monterroso's Gravatar

had the privilege to meet you and an honor for me. I have much to tell you, but I can not express what I feel. Only that I admire you and you are a wonderful person.

Ella A. Herrarte-Monterroso wrote on March 21, 2013 at 11:30 AM
Sophia Thompson's Gravatar

Hello Olga,

I taking sociology at the 4'C in Massachusetts and I read your book the Sum of my Parts to do my paper on. My instructor Professor McClure gave us a heads up what to expect. I did not expect the viciusness of the book. I cried so much for that little girl, I am still sadden by the fact that your own family would be so cruel and evil to a little innocent girl. I could not put the book down because I wanted to see how she survive. And thank God you did. I am so sorry you went through all that and now in return you are helping others. My heart goes out to you and may God Bless your soul every single day. I hope to meet you one day.

Sophia Thompson wrote on March 23, 2013 at 10:17 AM
Andrea's Gravatar

My name is Andrea, I'm 30 years old and a year away from completing my masters degree in psychotherapy. I have been in therapy now for two years, working through PTSD and DID, the result of physical, emotional and sexual abuse at the hands of my grandfather, a sadistic pedophile and my mentally ill parents. I've studied trauma for the last three years but The Sum of My Parts is the first time I've read a story that so closely echoed my own experience. I'm sure you get these kinds of emails a lot I just wanted someone to know how much hope your story gave me. As I prepare for a future as a psychotherapist...and as a trauma survivor with DID...your story has helped remind me that finding peace and a way of coming home to myself is possible. Thank you.

Andrea wrote on April 21, 2013 at 09:09 PM
Jackie's Gravatar

As I am reading your book, I can relate so much of what I went through. The thoughts and constant conversation inside. I am scared of what lies ahead, yet still have to keep reminding myself that it is over what happened in past

Jackie wrote on August 20, 2013 at 10:29 PM
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