My Teacher has Multiple Personalities

I write this after reading several blogs written by women who state that they have multiple personalities and are teachers of our children.

On a blog maintained by a multiple who describes herself as a substitute-teacher, she posted a lengthily expose’ about her system of alter personalities and goes into intimate detail about suicidal thoughts, cutting & burning herself, switching personalities, having a scattered memory, and rapid eye blinking. In addition, she discloses intimate conversations with her male therapist.

I left the following comment: “With all respect, I don’t understand how it is OK for you to teach our children? Are you public about your DID? Do parents know? What does your principle say about it?” My comment is being reviewed by a moderator. As of this revision, December 12, 2014,  a response was not received.

I want to know if therapists and patients who believe they have multiple personalities disclose this to the school board overseeing teachers. While personal medical health is private, is multiple personalities and the diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder an exception? Should it be? Yes, is my vote. If the teacher injures themselves, what’s to keep them from hurting children either indirectly, or directly?

Let’s suspend our knowledge that some teachers may have unruly alter personalities. What concerns and angers me is that given the obvious and self-disclosed mental instability these individuals deem it proper to go to work and put themselves in a classroom as teachers in a position of power and trust. They see nothing wrong with being a role model and influencing an unknown number of children.

Obviously therapists don’t see anything wrong with their patients caring for our school children –  knowing the sometimes high-level of decompensation and chaos these teachers experience at home. Don’t therapists have a responsibility to disclose to someone the possible threat their client poses to a classroom of children? Sure, this would be illegal, but this childhood educational situation is outrageous!

I read blog after blog where women write detailed events of their lives and those of their many alter personalities. They live stressful and dark lives full of secrecy – not only of their alleged abusive pasts and the secret lives they live lest someone find out they believe they have multiple personalities. The trauma and abuse they report is horrific. The ensuing dissociative splitting into multiple personality states is alleged to help them cope with the chaos and fraught with behaviors, like cutting and burning their skin, that exemplifies a high level of distress, in their own words.

My point is, multiples, and their treating psychotherapists, cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, if a teacher experiences frequent dissociated states and is unable to cope with daily life without alter personalities, suicidal gestures, cutting and burning themselves then how can we, as parents and concerned citizens, accept that these teachers are fit to educate our children? Would the school board be liable if an incident occurred?

The frequent and easy answer from teachers with multiple personalities is often: “We have a particular personality that does the teaching.” Or, “So and so personality has control over the teacher personality and they agree that nothing will happen while we are working.” Or other nonsense that is fraught with  illogical thinking and rationalizations.

I don’t buy it.

I once thought I had multiple personalities too. I know the high level of dysfunction, the actions of medications on the body and mind, and the uncontrollable chaos and inability to take care of what is known in The Psychology Industry is activities of daily living like brushing teeth, taking showers, doing laundry, combing hair, or making dinner for our kids.

Multiples in psychotherapy are permitted and encouraged to be dependent on their therapists.The result is a painful existence of chaotic days, self-harm, emergency care and/or unscheduled psychiatric admissions to hospitals, suicide interventions, and what seems to be endless psychotherapy sessions. When, on the other hand, these same patients want something that requires them to put the alter personalities and destructive behaviors aside, society is expected to allow them to act as if they were mentally sound so they can step in the role of educator with all the rights and responsibilities that go with the profession.

But those who define themselves as multiples aren’t like everyone else. They live secret lives behind the closed doors of their homes and the offices of their beloved therapists. Many cuddle teddy bears and watch children’s videos while acting like a little child in need of comfort, care, and constant supervision. May talk or write in gibberish child-speak; Many go to schools and teach your children.

My point is this. Every teacher or educator needs to take all the time needed to heal. Get all the medical and psychiatric care you require. Then enter the classroom and teach our children.

updated 12-08-14.

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15 Comments

  1. Lam

     /  06/13/2015

    ” If the teacher injures themselves, what’s to keep them from hurting children”
    The same thing that keeps most self harming people from going on murdering sprees?
    “thank you kindly for expressing your opinion. You are one of the few to do so in this manner – other than me, of course.”
    Hah! If by ‘kindly’ you mean “passive-agressive-as-hell,” then sure.

    First, some background. I am an intersectional feminist working as a software developer. I most likely have DID or DDNOS. I have never been treated or plan to be treated for it.

    I have been aware of all my parts (the ones that dont cause amnesia) for many years now. I have a high emotional intelligence, and over the years of my life I have learned what sorts of things will trigger a switch to whom. One of my parts has always been a small child, long before ever learning about borderline or DID.

    I think that maybe there is a communication problem between people with DID and those without. It is much easier for someone with a dissociative disorder to understand what it meant, especially when not conveyed articulately.

    First –I need to say– obviously, I do not speak for all people with DID or DDNOS.
    Since first learning about alters, I immediately decided that this was an innacurate descriptor which made me feel uncomfortable. I decided on the word “facet” as it FEELS much more as different sides of the same thing, or exaggerated and more complete facets of personality of neurotipical people. Apparently, I’m not the only one who feels this way, as I have found many other systems that use the term facet as well.

    Sometimes, but not always, I will have a personality that is “fronting” but the others are still there in the background. The fronting personality has main control, but the others are still aware and listening, and will come out if triggered. When I am working main control goes to 2 or 3 of my facets because that’s the type of environment that encourages so. There have been times when the child facet is triggered at work, but most people don’t really notice, and my child facet is aware of what is supposed to be happening and is still highly functional, though has different thought processes.

    I know very well the gratuitous exploitation of disabled people; we live in a highly ableist society. I am not discounting your experiences, and I’m am certain that many people have been misdiagnosed and mistreated, but just because you didnt really have DID does not mean that other people do not.

    Also, on the note of people with DID not being safe to work, I’m going to have to disagree. Plenty of people with mental health issues work just fine, especially people with major depression that fight with self harm and suicidal tendencies daily. Your wanting to put so many people out of work to be further exploited based on your bias and ignorance is disappointing. (Obviously you should get help if you have an illness, but you CAN get help and work at the same time. I do agree that it is best not to work if you have a crippling illness)

    Finally, statistically speaking, mentally ill people are more likely to be victims of violent crime that the perpetrator… So who should we really worry about?

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    • Hello, Lam

      Thank you for expressing your opinions.

      There is nothing you said that I did not experience. I’m pretty sure I understand what you are saying.

      This post is not about people who self-harm or suicidal tendencies. As you expressed, little parts come out. What happens when those little parts come out in the classroom? What if a teacher’s little part comes out and there is an emergency, like a fire? How is a little part supposed to lead little students to safety?

      I don’t subscribe to the notion that a particular part teaches and other alters agree to remain in the background. It is an example of a major contradiction – that is people with DID often claim they are unable to control alters, lose time, don’t know which alter they are. This is what I am addressing.

      It seems that many people who believe they have multiple personalities want it both ways.

      I wonder how many parents would agree to have their impressionable child taught by another person who thinks they too are a child? I doubt many parents would agree that this is OK. If indeed the teacher believes they have other personalities, perhaps another line of work is more appropriate.

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    • Since being a “multiple” for nearly 7 years, I think I’m hardly “ignorant” of the issues. I must say that although you have not been formally diagnosed with DID or DDNOS, you are living the lifestyle. I wonder, where did you get your information?

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  2. M

     /  12/08/2014

    “As of this revision, December 12 2014″… Did you make the revision in advance? It’s only December 8th.

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  3. Pat

     /  03/07/2013

    I agree, I don’t want someone with DID watching my kid. DID Is too unpredictable and some people don’t have enough control and one intensive therepy session or one trigger especially those who were seriously abused as children could see a child in the class room do something that triggers a switch and then what? What if they switch to a little one and have no control anymore?
    No, I think it’s best it’s either disclosed to the school or they choose another profession. It’s all well and good that the goal of therepy may be normalcy but I don’t really think that’s a justification for putting children at ANY risk whatsoever. Let them achieve normalcy somewhere else and then choose a different career that doesnt involve the lives of small helpless people.

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    • Jeannette Bartha

       /  03/07/2013

      Hi Pat, thank you kindly for expressing your opinion. You are one of the few to do so in this manner – other than me, of course.

      The DID theories explain this totally differently. I think most of these teachers are capable of doing a sufficient job, thing is it can’t be both ways – society can’t be expected to accept that if you suffer from DID and regress and have “little” children come out and so on and then you can’t turn around and also want society to accept that there is competency and the ability to be responsible for specific hours on specific days. In theory, it defies common sense.

      The argument is that the “alters” are compartmentalized or there is agreement within the family system of alters that only so and so goes to teach and the other personalities have to be quiet and stay inside until the job of being a teacher are done for the day. The theory that has waaay too many holes in it.

      I tend to agree with you. If you have mental health needs, go get the help. Teaching children isn’t a way to make a living if severe psychiatric issues interfere with daily life. There are all types of jobs out there where no innocent child and unsuspecting parents aren’t unwittingly put in a compromised position where, if they were privy to the teacher’s problem, would likely choose another teacher or school.

      DID theories change and morph to suit the needs of patient and therapist. IMHO

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      • Pat

         /  03/10/2013

        Yes there are way to many holes in that theory and while some may have it like that, why risk it at all ?? and I think someone with DID who wants to retain their level or thought of “normalcy” may be willing, knowingly, to compromise the well being of people’s children for their own selfish desires thinking to themselves they have it under control when yet may not have as much control as they think. But irregardless again why risk it? Speaking from my own experience with my own “system” or whatever you want to call it I wouldn’t really want me being in charge of other people’s kids. Not because I dont feel I have control over my disorder but for the reason that the nature of DID is by in large a mystery and unpredictable is its middle name.

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        • Jeannette Bartha

           /  03/10/2013

          Hi Pat,

          Thank you for your candid response. You are likely the only one defining themselves as multiple who is able to see that the unpredictable nature of this illness as problematic to the teaching profession. That is not to say that someone defining themselves as multiple aren’t good and effective teachers.

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  4. K

     /  02/12/2012

    Well, having an alter to handle school would actually probably work. DID is fundamentally a coping mechanism, after all, and alters do all come from one brain; while their reactions and thought processes differ, they usually can’t go against core values. So if it was important to take care of the children, all the alters would, at some level, follow this ideaology.

    But my real reason for commenting here is this:

    “On the blog written by the substitute, she posted a lengthily expose’ about her “system” of alter personalities and goes into intimate detail about suicidal thoughts, cutting & burning herself, switching personalities, having a scattered memory, and rapid eye blinking.”

    “…suicidal thoughts, cutting & burning herself, switching personalities, having a scattered memory, and rapid eye blinking.”

    “…and rapid eye blinking.”

    Murder, arson, and jay walking. 😀

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    • What? What point are you making?

      To say: “So if it was important to take care of the children, all the alters would, at some level, follow this ideaology.” puts a lot of unsuspecting children and teachers at risk.

      Again, according to MPD/DID theory, there is always the possibility of bleed-through regarding switching personalities. There is no 100% guarantee that one alter will stay around.

      If mental illness cannot be controlled properly, these individuals have no business in our schools in charge of hundreds of children.

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  5. Jeanette, I submit that your premise that multiples are encouraged to live out of control lives is not valid. I am not discounting your experience, as horrible as it was. And I am not saying that bad therapists do not exist, for they surely do. But clinical guidelines by ISST&D are focused on exactly the opposite of what you say they are encouraging. The goal of therapy is to achieve normalcy.

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