Real Life With Dissociative Identity Disorder: Interview The A System

An interview with a diagnosed DID system to learn about their life! (closed captioned with transcript available here below the video)


The A System is an influencer, TikToker, and an advocate for mental health awareness. We sat down with them to discuss life with DID, the ups and downs of being a public figure, and what it is like being an entrepreneur in the mental health space.


Thank you to Art and The A System for sitting down with us and sharing their experiences!


Follow them here: https://linktr.ee/ASystemAndSpouse


For more content by Tas Thoughts go here: https://linktr.ee/tasthoughts




Transcript Starts Here


(silence)


>>Tas

Thank you so much for sitting down with us today. For our audience, we'll go ahead and we're going to introduce The A System. So if you could tell us your your name, a little bit about the size of your system, if you'd like to share and what your dissociative diagnosis is, is it DID or OSDD or...


>>Art (The A System)

My name is Art, I'm from the a system. I'm 18. I'm one of the female alters, I am also the gatekeeper for front of house. Our system name is The A System because all of our all, all of the alters start with the letter A except for the host, Chris. Our system size currently is 29. We had a new one joined in the last few months. So it is up to 29.


>>Tas

29 great. And so as is your diagnosis, dissociative identity disorder, or is it..


>>Art (The A System)

yes, we do have a diagnosis of DID dissociative identity disorder.


>>Tas

Okay And you know, just to talk about that a little bit for our audience that might not know what that is, how would you explain DID to someone who is first hearing about this disorder,


>>Art (The A System)

a lot of people that we've had to talk to you because we've been a lot of people first experience with somebody with DID that is open about it. We always help people dissociative identity disorder, formerly known as multiple personality disorder, but it is not a personality disorder, it's a dissociative disorder. It's basically, whenever whenever trauma happens at a very, very young age, and the person has the ability to dissociate, the brain can go Okay, this traumatic experience is not happening to me, and create an altar to deal with the traumatic experience. So the host doesn't have to have those memories and have that trauma. And that's how it starts. And once once the brain is figured out, it can do it one time, it continues to do it throughout the rest of the life.


>>Tas

And with that, so just to kind of touch on this a little bit, because DID is a trauma disorder. Yes. So would you agree that in order to have the DID there has to have been some sort of trauma that happened?


>>Art (The A System)

I do believe there has to be trauma. As far as we know, in science right now there has to be trauma from a very early age, I believe the age is nine and under. That severe trauma has to happen before that. That age that keeps the the brain and the the person from becoming one whole person and having different alters and that has to be trauma at a very, very early age.


>>Tas

Right, because of the way the personality forms in the brain works in the past, as far as developmentally goes. So it's like before that age, yes, gotcha. So being a DID system, what type of work do you do? What's your job? What what do you what is your day look like?


>>Art (The A System)

I'm at the moment doing this. Talking about DID making content. I guess we are considered content creators, because that's what we do for a living. We make online content about DID to show people there. A realistic look at DID and what it's like living with a day to day. Before that, we did a lot of restaurant work, and we were Restaurant Management. We've been line cook. We've worked as an associate preschool teacher, we worked at a pet store, we worked in sales, we had a lot of different jobs. But now we are making content online.


>>Tas

That's great. I love pet stores. As soon as I heard that. I'm like, Oh, that's the best. Did you enjoy the pet working at with animals?


>>Art (The A System) I personally loved it. I thought it was great.


>>Tas Yeah, it's wonderful. So what is your philosophy? Since you are doing your platform is educating people about DID? What is your philosophy on the best way to educate the world about what dissociative identity disorder is?


>>Art (The A System)

See we're still working on that. Because our goal, we didn't set out to educate people on DID. That wasn't our goal. I'm the one who started the tick tock channel that now has 1.2 million followers. I'm the one who actually started it. And I just did it so I can make friends that have DID. I wanted to meet other systems and it seemed like a cool way to meet other systems. And then a lot of people showed up and it got overwhelming. Like, the amount of support that we have now is amazing. And I've got to meet those people. The two people that I really wanted to meet. I'm in a group chat with now which is really cool.


>>Tas

Oh, that's great. When did you start?


>>Art (The A System)

March, we've only been since March


>>Tas

Wow March, that's explosive followers


>>Art (The A System)

Went from zero to 100. instantly.


>>Tas

Oh, wow, that's great. Well, and it's so important to have that type of reach. Because even though that wasn't your goal setting now, it's such a good side effect, I guess to say, of starting that that project.


>>Art (The A System)

Yeah, I think the education part comes with stuff like this, um, our wife, Sam, does interviews at universities, does lectures at universities, we're planning on doing more outreach things in the future to educate the general public about DID. But really, we just want to show what it's like to live with it, and that you don't have to be miserable all the time. If the system can work together, and the system can be happy together, that good things can happen.


>>Tas

Exactly. And you know, one of the things about DID it's such a stigmatized diagnosis, and a lot of that is because there isn't accurate information. There's so much misinformation available to the public. And so, while you're opening up and showing what your life is, like, as a system, what barriers have you faced by being that transparent? Has there been any obstacles that that's created for you?


>>Art (The A System)

Um, in our personal life? No. Because we were, we'd known about the system way before we started Tick Tock. It wasn't like, we started Tick tock, and then we discovered the system. Most of us most of actually, me, Alex, April, Ashley, and Andrew all knew that we weren't Chris. Chris found out about us. Couple years ago, a year and a half ago, and then we started in March. But the other biggest obstacles that we've had to face is definitely the the hate, the online hate is and the fake claiming that is something that I don't know, we were prepared for mentally. And we didn't see it coming.


>>Tas

Could you explain what fake claiming is?


>>Art (The A System)

Fake claiming is going to a system and saying you're not real. This is why you're not real. I don't believe you. It's it's called fake claiming a system. And it is one of the most hurtful things you can do to a system is say you're not real. Because we are real people, we're real individual people. Yes, we're alters who do not identify with the body. But we're real people.


>>Tas

That is, that is something that is really damaging for systems and the DID community as a whole. It's part of that ablest type of society we live in, and people aren't very open minded, which causes a lot of distress to an already traumatized system. Its just..


>>Art (The A System)

I really, I really think that people will just number one, they don't understand what's going on, they don't understand DID, they haven't researched it, they haven't looked into it. And or they've seen one system, and expect every system to look like that whatever system is set up differently, every system is completely unique. You're never gonna find two systems that are the same.


>>Tas

That is such a great point. I think a lot of times we run into people that feel there's a blueprint. This is what a system looks like. And it really leads to a lot of stereotypes and generalizations. And it's hard to interact when people think Well, hey, you don't do this. And that's what this system does. So what that means you're not real. And it's a lot of that misinformation, is why it's so important that people like you are actually out there sharing and being transparent in that it's really an important step. And it's one of those things with it being so stigmatized. Is there any specific stigma that you feel is the most harmful to the DID community.


>>Art (The A System)

We've told when we worked in a restaurant we were aware of the DID and we told our co workers and our management staff we were open we're like this is what we have. This is what's going on. This is this is what's up and we were 100% open. We are no longer a hidden system. We are a public system, we are never going to hide again. One of the biggest stigmas that we got asked is which one's the evil altar. Everybody thinks there's a bad one everybody thinks there's some evil altar that's gonna hurt them. And it's one of I feel bad because Asher is usually the person that told everyone he might he's really close to the front right now. But he is Hold on. Hold on.


Asher (The A System)

Hold on.


>>Tas

No rush


>>Asher (The A System) I was that's going to be we're a trigger sensitive system. She was talking about when I used to work. Hold on, let me get this adjusted. Okay. Why is this light so bright?


>>Tas

Oh, I've been having that problem. I'm learning with mine. I can't get it right on my at all.


>>Asher (The A System)

It's fine. I know. I've told probably 20 to 30 people in real life about the DID. I mean, millions of people know now, but I've called probably 20 or 30 people, and probably half of them say Oh, like Split or is there evil alter? Are you gonna hurt me or which one's the murderer? That's that's usually the reaction I got.


>>Tas

You know, that is actually that's reaction that we've had as well. And it's like you said, entertainment movies. That's what people see. And it perpetuates this idea. Just a little bit for audience to kind of explain where that idea comes from. In a system. There can be an altar that can be known as a persecutor or possibly even an avenger. That is a trauma holder, and may have a difficult time.


>>Tas

Hi


>> Art (The A System)

Hi, it's art. I'm sorry.


>>Tas

No, no, you're fine. No worries, no worries. And persecutors are not evil. first of all they're not evil. They are just somebody that has experienced a lot of trauma. And they deserve respect and kindness.


>>Art (The A System)

The best thing I've heard is a persecutor altar is a protector that got hurt too bad.


>>Tas

I love that. That's a great way to put it


>>Art (The A System)

That's the best way I've heard it. I've heard of put persecutors are just protectors, I got hurt too bad. We do have persecutors in our system. Alex is very open about he used to be a persecutor. But now he's primary protector. Just because you're a persecutor does not mean that you cannot change your role.


>>Tas

Exactly. In, in systems, one thing that we've when we interact with other systems, there's always different roles and ways that people describe the roles. So like, for us, we have like protectors, and we've caretakers, and we have social people like me that that did the interactions. Is there anything in particular as far as roles that you'd like to share with audience that's like what, why are roles important?