Hear Hoofs.... Who Goes There?
By Lilian Mustelier
We live in a world of texting and abbreviations, second
nature to some and hard to comprehend for others. DID and
MPD are short words for something enormous, in fact most
people are unable to tell you what they stands for. PTSD
is an abbreviation which has been forced into our vocabulary
becourse of the significant amount of people, which have
DID stands for Dissociative Identity Disorder.
MPD stands for Multiple Personality Disorder.
PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
The football player Herschel Walker released a book last
month: "Breaking Free" .
By doing so he attempted to, once again, bring this subject
to the forefront.
20/20 showed a report about…. A woman which wrote
a book: The Woman Who Can't Forget. By Jill Price and Bart
In 1997 I wrote a book: And The Moral Of The Story Is…
One Person At A Time. http://www.highstrangeness.tv
Each one of these accounts touch on… in a broad sense…
what it is like to be somewhat different.
Let me invite you into my world for a short time and tell
you my story.
In 1987 I was diagnosed with MPD. It was determined I had
suffered from said disorder since I was 9 years old. Extreme
DID/MPD is brought on by severe trauma, torture or experimentations.
It serves no purpose at this time for me to explain what
this consisted of, only that during this time my own survival
mechanism found it necessary to create a path for me to
survive certain occurrences.
It created many compartmentalized files in my brain, which
are accessible by different parts of me, Lilian. Somehow
the brain managed to put in place the unique ability to
become a "DIFFERENT" person all together, when
it found it necessary to carry out a task. It was documented
that even physical changes can occur, for example during
an eye examination, in which my sight changed, from short-sighted
in the left eye and far sighted in the right eye, to 20/20
vision in both eyes. Suffering from lifelong back problems
and mild scoliosis, it was noted that during episodes I
walked totally straight. Other times I have been unable
to speak English. I am multi-lingual and sessions in other
languages have been recorded by my therapist.
Changes in style of dress, food, music and physical activities
are also common.
There was a time when I had no recall of anything, unaware
of lost time or my whereabouts. It was not unusual to be
unable to recall weeks. I jokingly call myself a "HOLEY"
person, because I am unable to remember many parts of my
life. It is not in my memory bank only to resurface at other
times. I am unable to fill out paperwork which dealing with
facts, including but not limited to medical history, work
history or whereabouts. Many times I have no or very vague
recollection of my children. I do not baby-sit my grandchildren
due to fear I don’t know who they are and leave them
in a stressful situation. I recall an instance taking a
granddaughter skating. Not having skated in 20 years I was
concerned about falling and hurting myself. Somehow I became
8 years old, the time period when I was an excellent figure
skater. When it was time to go home I asked the girl with
me to please call her mother, I did not know where we lived.
I have made arrangements with my doctors to ask how old
I am before leaving their office. Anything less than 16
is reason for concern because at that age I do not know
how to drive.
For almost 30 years I have had great therapists which taught
me, very patently, how to maneuver. There are no medications
one can take, it takes hard work on a daily basis to navigate
the maze, which is my life.
In recent times I had a therapist which, in my opinion,
was not qualified and set me back in my learning progress
by 10 years. Each time, after leaving his office, I would
find myself in unfamiliar places. After several hours I
did regain control long enough to have friends help me to
find my way home. There were also times I would, the next
day, find foreign food in the refrigerator. No recollection
where I bought them, or how much money I spend. The Lady
at my bank would pay a check …This is 2007-2008...
dated 1974. She notify me of the overdraft (without charge
) and a friend would have to come to my aid and cover the
checks. Please keep in mind while I, LILIAN, have no recollection
of many things these OTHER people occupying my body are
fully operational and function normally according to their
standards. Lilian’s brain just shifts to a different
compartment and operates according to the memory file in
that part of the brain.
For those of you, which remember an EP/LP record along with
the times your record skipped, after slightly tapping the
record you might loose a fraction of the song you listened
to, but the song would recover. Now picture a CD or DVD.
As soon there is any discrepancy, dirt a scratch or malfunction
with the disk you will not be able to continue what you
listened to. At best you can try a different player, which
is usually of no avail. The only choice you have is to reboot
and hope the disk will recover. It rarely does. With MPD
a person feels a scratch coming on, some times with masterful
skills continue play is possible with a few bumps and skips.
More often than not the only course of action is to stop,
separate from the situation and reboot.
Each one of these disorders require a trigger. A trigger
is something which tells the brain to access memories from
a certain time period. PTSD, in my opinion, creates vivid
memories which play out like a video, transporting the person
in the time period said memory was experienced and forces
the experiencer to re-live said instance and act accordingly.
DID and MPD act different in as much as it forces the experiencer
to shut down and leave, therefore totally switching the
brain to a facilitating alter. With intense praxis after
30 years I sometimes recognize when I am "Scrambled"
If I catch it in time I am able to maintain enough of my
composure to stop a switch. Other times my skills let me
down and I have to do the best I can AFTER the fact. Example:
A friend owns a small aircraft. She offered to take me on
a flight in order for me to film aerial shots for my TV
Show. I was excited. However, she called while I was writing
this article, an almost impossible task. She called to tell
me to come on we were going to fly. I said NO. It was only
the next day I was able to tell her that one of my OTHER
loved skydiving and I easily could have jumped out of the
plane, without a parachute
far as we can tell the "Persons" which occupy my
body are as follows:
1. Male, in charge of logical decisions.
2. Small child, afraid.
3.Young woman, terrified of riding as a passenger in cars.
3. Woman, creative and excellent painter.
4. Male, prone to failure.
5. Woman, brilliant in business an PR.
6. Woman, mother and defender.
7. Woman, social butterfly as well as dancer very popular
with opposite sex.
8. Woman, writer/researcher very focused producer/director/host.
And there is the ME, LILIAN. Nondenominational, wise, extremely
psychic, happy and the facilitator of everything which is
ME. I am unemployable since I am unable to function at all.
When under stress I am not able to control which part of my
brain is going to be access, who takes charge of what needs
to be addressed next. There was I time I would argue about
events, things said and attempt to explain why I would never
have done or said what I was accused of and search my memory
for days to remember what people around me made reference
to. I would have to actually recover physically, much as one
has to after surgery. With time I learned that, at running
the risk of being called a liar, I now just answer with, this
is not in my memory banks at this time, ask me again later,
I might remember.
So, what do we need from the people around us?????
Most of us attempt to notify the people which we have close
relationships with. Family, select friends, and people we
work with, on a need to know basis. Health care providers
should be notified, except there is no training other than
how to deal with distraught people. In present times that
can be a life threatening event for people like myself. Emergency
personnel, ER personnel and Police are not trained to allow
a person like myself to gain control, at which time everything
becomes intensified. For example: I lived under occupation
when I was small. A day after Sep.11 I saw soldiers driving
by. A police car followed and for a moment I panicked. I realized
I would not have been able to tell anyone my name. I was on
my way to therapy and it was decided for me to wear a medic
alert bracelet identifying me by name and to state I had MPD.
When spoken to I visualize everything a person tells me, sometimes
it takes a couple of seconds longer to answer, than it would
the average person. This is often mistaken for not answering
or disinterest. The response of a person I am conversating
with can sometimes act as a trigger. Triggers are different
for each person. In my case it can be an odor, an event, holidays,
a sound or the person I am dealing with themselves, their
tone of voice when speaking or questioning me.
Picture yourself watching a TV program. You follow the story
line. All of a sudden someone behind you changes the channel.
You have little or no objection since you understand there
are more people present that yourself. You get involved in
the new storyline only to have the channel changed again and
again and again at which time you are dizzy. Your blood pressure
and adrenalin rises, your choice is to become confrontational
or leave. My eye movement will change when someone switches
the channel and I will always decide to walk away to reboot.
Unfortunately even the people we attempted to educate are
not able or willing to afford us this luxury. In rare instances
people will deliberately create an instance to switch me in
order to accomplish an agenda which is NOT in my interest.
A law was passed in the 90’s to charge people with a
crime if they were aware of a persons diagnosis and created
a situation in which sexual favors are involved. The charge
The suggestion of calling 911 for help does not serve a purpose
in as much as a person such as myself is not able to explain
to an untrained person what the problem is, it only intensifies
the situation. It will add panic to the equation. If I was
able to explain my dilemma, I could reboot and fix it myself.
What is needed is TOLLERANCE, it is almost more important
than UNDERSTANDING. Even people aware of the situation forget
or do not want to deal with an episode. They take things personal
and are unable to RECOGNISE something is not right. AT THAT
CRITICAL MOMENT. Stand down... Do not offer an aspirin and
any medical solution. There is no pill, we need a clear mind
and the luxury of composing ourselves. When the episode is
over DO NOT ask questions trying to reconstruct what happened,
this will only delay the recovery from that incident. Often
there is NO memory about what happened. DO NOT TAKE ANYTHING
PERSONAL. DO NOT BABY THE PERSON. DO NOT EXCATURATE THE EVENT.
Or outright lie.
I live by myself. Each room is decorated in a different theme.
I can tell my frame of mind by which room I spend my time
in. I create myself a focus point. I do well when traveling
becourse it is not necessary for me to explain myself since
I am only at a place for a very short time. I do things at
my own pace. I ask to be reminded of appointments. I do one
thing at the same time each week, so I know at least once
a week I will return "HOME". Unfortunately there
are many people, which are not able to maneuver in this fashion.
They live with others, they may not be as skilled as I have
become after 30 years, they may not even know there is something
which prevents them from functioning properly. My hope is
that more education will be available for ALL of us, especially
since so many people have at least PTSD.
Close your eyes, you hear hoofs. You assume, no, you know
you hear a horse.
Open your eyes.
IT IS A ZEBRA!