One of the most recognizable symptoms of dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the presence of alternates or as many call them, “others”. The alters in a dissociated system may have different tastes in clothing, foods, and friends. However, there is one taste often avoided when speaking of the differences between alters, sexual orientation.
How Does It Feel If One of Your System Is Gay or Lesbian?
If you normally figure yourself to be heterosexual, it can be an awful shock to find out a part of you is homosexual. I can remember feeling confused and overwhelmed because I was married to a man. I have little prejudice against those who identify as homosexual and I say little because there is no such thing as absolutely no prejudice against anything. I found myself trying to deny that part of myself and pushing her away. The result of my actions was not pretty, as she began seeking female companionship without my knowledge.
I remember being co-conscious with S.J. when she made a series of phone calls to speak with women doing phone sex. It was not the sex that she was after, she wanted to speak to someone who understood her and would not think her odd. I did a lot of harm to that part of me, and for that, I am terribly sorry.
Why Would One of Your System Choose Orientation Toward the Same Sex?
There are many reasons why an alter would seek out the companionship of a same-sex partner. I am going to write about only a few.
Fear. I believe that a homosexual part exists in all humans. That would raise the hairs of many who believe homosexuality is a freak of nature, but I think it is because that part exists that my statement frightens them. For too long society has demonized people who love a same-sex partner. Honestly, there is nothing to fear by admitting we all have homosexual parts to ourselves. In fact, I honor that part of me for not hiding away in my mind afraid to come forward by being honest about her existence in this piece.
A Need for Gentleness. Some may not agree with the following paragraph, but it is true, nonetheless. Women are more willing listen and respond to the needs of each other than men are to women. Any woman who has had sex with a man must admit that the male in their bed is more interested in giving himself an orgasm than their female companion. Now, before you holler it is true that not all men are like this and not all women are good listeners. However, people of the same sex, men included, seem to be gentler with one another and better at listening to what their partner needs in a sexual relationship.
I believe the reason for this propensity for gentleness with the same sex is because it is much easier to relate to someone who is like you than someone who is not.
When I was present for the elicit phone calls with S.J., I can remember this part of me saying to the woman on the phone that all she wanted was someone to be gentle with her. I (she) was sobbing. That is how desperate many of us feel who live with DID. We crave a gentle touch even if it is from a perfect stranger.
You Were Born This Way. There are some people who identify as gay or lesbian who are because they fear intimacy with those who remind them of their childhood trauma. However, the majority are simply born gay or lesbian.
I sincerely believe as the song by Lady Gaga states, that God doesn’t make mistakes and baby we were born this way. It is okay, truly, it is.
How to Manage Finding Out You Have a Gay or Lesbian Part
Unfortunately, speaking to my therapist about my discovery that part of me is gay was out of the question. My therapist was liberal in her thinking, but knowing I was having same-sex thoughts and actions would have been extremely uncomfortable for her. Thus, I never talked to her about any of that.
The way I managed my lesbian tendencies is to set some ground rules that did not make having sex with another woman impossible. My rules were simple. There was to be no alcohol or drugs involved if S.J. was to have a sexual encounter she would do so sober. No lying to the other person which included leading someone on by making them believe S.J. was in love and would remain. It was a big enough lie to not tell the other person about the rest of us in the system.
The biggest way I managed finding out I have a lesbian part by accepting it. In fact, S.J. is not the only lesbian part in my system as I believe all of us would prefer a woman partner to a male. That means we are all lesbians and that is okay.
I have been very honest in this piece and said things about myself that have been secretive until now. Part of the acceptance of all of me is to acknowledge my sexual orientation. I may never act on my feelings toward other women but not because I deny who I am. Rather, my lack of action involves my fear of intimate relationships of any kind.
Life does not end because you find out who you are on the inside. Instead, it begins.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” ~ E.E Cummings
“It takes courage….to endure the sharp pains of self-discovery rather than choose to take the dull pain of unconsciousness that would last the rest of our lives.” ~ Marianne Williamson