Grief is the primary component of healing from dissociative identity disorder (DID) or other trauma-based mental health conditions. But what happens when your grief isn’t acknowledged but belittled as nonsense?


This article will focus on grief, what it is, and how grief is a part of healing from DID.


Grief is Grief



Grief, whether from a loss such as a loved one or the loss of your childhood, is painful and may last for a lifetime. So long as a person is grieving what happened to them, they are moving slowly down the road to health.


Stop the grieving process too soon, and you leave the person trapped in a prison they did not make but are subject to. Grief needs to be expressed, wept over, and come to a satisfying completion. Without closure, the wound remains fresh, and healing cannot happen.


Although grief is no fun, it is a necessary and a fundamental part of the human experience. No, you did not cause your grief, but it is up to you to find the door of escape and live again.


Fair? Of course not. But life isn’t easy or fair for anyone.


What is Disenfranchised Grief?   


Disenfranchised grief is the concept that grief isn’t acknowledged on a societal or personal level anymore. Perhaps this callousness has arisen due to television and movies where grief is not absolute, and thus the actors’ reactions are not real.


Whatever the cause, disenfranchised grief means others do not like how you express grief, but the same people are uncomfortable if you do not grieve. The people around you may be judgmental and not understand why you don’t get over it.


For most people, this reaction to grief isn’t conscious thinking; the behavior is deeply engrained in their psyche.


Disenfranchised grief leaves you feeling lonely and extremely isolated, leading you to rethink your feelings about the loss you have endured. Because those with dissociative identity disorder have much to grieve, they are very vulnerable to questioning their grief reactions.


Disenfranchised grief causes denial to rear its ugly head, causing the survivor to wonder if they have anything to grieve over.


The Right To Grieve



You have the right to grieve, and there is much to grieve about if you live with DID. It isn’t fair, but you must walk through the stages of grief, sometimes over and over again, before you reach a stage where you have accepted your present condition.


Grieving is the entirety of healing from dissociative identity disorder. After all, isn’t all the therapy we go through geared toward healing through the grieving process? We must allow ourselves to feel the intense emotions kept from us by amnesiac walls made of grief. Once we break that barrier, we can process what caused the grief in the past and leave it where it belongs.


By allowing ourselves to grieve, windows to healing finally open.


We have the right to grieve; no one should tell you otherwise. If they do, it is time to find a new support system. Most of us cannot depend on our family of origin to be helpful, so we need to branch out and find people who will bolster us, not tear us down.


When the Grieving is Done



It is vital to remember that grief never ends; it just changes into a different form. Those with DID may never come to the end of all their traumatic memories, but how they see those memories will change.


Memories of what happened to you are here forever, as they are part of who you are.


For me, once I had remembered much and grieved sufficiently over them, I have been able to allow the memories to become part of who I am and look at them from an adult’s point of view.


You can overcome your reaction to the grief you harbor. Allow those feelings to surface, and don’t be afraid. These memories are only shadows of what has been and cannot change. They are what they are.


One day, after much work, you will awaken to the knowledge that you have remembered and grieved enough. Finally, you will have reached the point in your healing where you feel it is time to dry your eyes, get up, and move on.


I say these things not to disenfranchise your grief but to reinstate it and encourage you as you walk this tough road to healing.


Ending Our Time Together


Through the grieving process, I have achieved much. I have managed to break down many amnesiac walls by expressing grief about my past and what I will never accomplish or experience, such as receiving my Ph.D. or having children.


Go ahead and grieve; it’s okay. It really is. Ask your therapist about this article and see what they say about grief and its role in dissociative identity disorder. I believe grieving is the key to healing.


As for disenfranchised grief, if anyone says your grief isn’t valid, ignore them. They aren’t worth speaking to or sharing with.


I believe in you because I have been where you are. Healing takes time and a lot of patience with yourself. I believe your grief is real. You can count on that.


“The healing power of even the most microscopic exchange with someone who knows in a flash precisely what you’re talking about because she experienced that thing too cannot be overestimated.” – Cheryl Strayed.


What I needed was for someone to tell me that it hurt because it mattered.” – John Green.




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