Search results for: dissociative identity disorder

Blogging about Life with Dissociative Identity Disorder and Complex PTSD – Ep. 106

Many guests who have joined me on the podcast come from a background of writing about their experiences. This method of coping paved the way, in many cases, to their to where they are today, and continue to aid in their ongoing journey of healing. For some, writing is an exercise in anxiety and simply too difficult an experience to endure because of the painful memories the come rushing back while exploring their feelings in this manner.

Writing is usually a solo activity, which in itself can raise the anxiety level to exponential heights; something of course we’d rather not experience any longer. For many however, myself included, blogging offers a way to get those deep-rooted feelings and memories out of our heads and in some ways, make sense of them. At the very least, getting these such thoughts out of heads, can help them seem not so intimidating.

My guest on this episode of the podcast, Shirley J. Davis, has spent a large part of her life writing, which has allowed her to exponentially aid her own healing journey from abuse which started at a very young age, and leading to Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Shirley Davis shares is a freelance writer, public speaker and grant writer who loves life, and hopes to help others to do so as well. Shirley lives with a severe mental health condition known as dissociative identity disorder but has made huge strides forward through many years of hard work and the help of a wonderful therapist. Her philosophy  has become that life is not just an empty journey to simply survive and then die, rather it is a wonderful adventure to savor and enjoy.

She  writes about healing from complex trauma and DID on her blog, , , and many other outlets including NAMI of Illinois, and the American Psychological Association. 

During our chat on the podcast, Shirley shares some of her survivor story, which includes abuse that started from birth, and continuing through age 15.

  • Her personal experience in life with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and how she interacts with her alters.
  • What prompted her to seek treatment, and what that treatment looks like for her in an ongoing basis.
    • The process of giving her struggles a name, and how this helped her make sense of her life.
  • Making sense of D.I.D., especially early on in her life when research and resources were not as readily available as they are today.
  • Her daily life as a survivor and sharing how far she’s come from the child who was abuse for so long.
  • Making her way to the Fusion stage of D.I.D.
  • Why writing has been such an important part of her life, including getting started with her own blog and CPTSD Foundation.

Be sure and follow Shirley J. Davis’ work on or simply google her name for the many outlets that share her work.  You can also follow her on Twitter @ShirleyDavis18.

Please consider sharing this podcast with someone who might benefit from hearing Shirley’s story and encouragement for trauma survivors and those with living with D.I.D., you never know the difference it could make.  Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes or your favorite podcasting app.

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past







All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.


Podcast – Ep. 78 – Dissociative Identity Disorder, and the Living DID Program, with Erika Reva

On this episode of the podcast, I’m talking with returning guest Erika Reva, of The We in Me. I first met Erika through Twitter, and I reached out to see if sheErika Reva - The We in Me - Podcast might be interested in writing a guest blog post for Surviving My Past. To this day, her story is still one of the highest viewed posts  on the blog, which speaks not only to her ability as a writer, but her genuine desire to share her story, continue her healing journey, and also help others who live with DID.

Since then she has joined me on the podcast to discuss DID and Self Harm, and we’ve remained in contact through social media and periodic emails following each other’s journey. After one such recent email exchange, I learned of a new program she had created, called Living DID. After hearing more about it, I knew I wanted to see if she’d be interested in coming back on Beyond Your Past, to share with us how this program came to be, what it’s about, and the feedback she’s received from participants who’ve taken it.

As Erika outlines:

The feedback has been wonderful and many others with DID & trauma disorders have contributed their stories and journey’s for us to share as various examples throughout the discussion based course. Each week we delve into detailed discussion based lectures that pertain to various topics on DID.

Week 1- intro to us (The We in Me) and the course.
Week 2-  Protectors, these parts that are often demonized and feared will be discussed
Week 3- Triggers
Week 4- Littles, the young traumatized parts that are protected and hidden
Week 5- The problems with Docs, we have 2 systems who have also agreed to join us and discuss their struggles as well as our own story and several others who have given us permission to share, so they can remain anonymous.
Week 6- Therapy, an in depth look on what therapy can/does look like for someone with DID and as the psychologists ways to best help them.
Week 7- Relationships & Closing – Focus this final week will be on relationships within the system, people such as romantic or friend type relationships as well as the correlation of BDSM & the trauma community that is vastly overlooked.

As you’ll hear, Erika has fostered collaborative relationships with her local NAMI chapter, and the Chicago Police Department to help educate first responders on how they can prepare for and have a better understanding of, the challenges of walking into a situation involving victims of trauma and those living with DID.  She’s also been invited to speak at an event sponsored by #SickNotWeak, not-for-profit corporation started by Michael Landsberg.

It’s always such a pleasure to talk with Erika, and to discuss Dissociative Identity Disorder with her and others who live with it and have decided to take their story and use it to try to help others. The more light we can share on this topic, the more we continue to educate ourselves and those who are affected with DID.

Be sure and follow Erika and her work with Living DID on , – and follow her on Twitter and Instagram @TheWeInMe.

Oh, and don’t forget to subscribe to Beyond Your Past on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, iHeartRADIO, Spotify, or your favorite podcasting app! 🙂

Matthew Pappas









All conversation and information exchanged on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 28 – Dissociative Identity Disorder and Self Harm with Erika Reva

Welcome back friends, and thank you so much for checking out the podcast! This week’s show centers around the topic of Dissociative Identity Disorder, and Self Harm.

I chat with friend, blogger, and survivor, Erika Reva of – Erika gives us insight on what it means to live with DID, and we discuss alternative healthy strategies and tips to self harm.

I hope this episode resonates with you, and if you would be so kind as to share it with someone who might need it too, that would be amazing. We are all survivors together, navigating this healing journey.

Be sure and check out – and follow me on social media.

Twitter: @SurvivingMypast

Podcast – Ep. 99 – Discussing Dissociation and DID, with Kathy Broady, MSW

Since I began recording this podcast, I’ve covered the topic of Dissociative Disorders and specifically, Dissociative Identity Disorder, quite a bit. Each time I talk with a practitioner or survivor of trauma who lives with DID, I always walk away from the conversation having learned something new, and with a further appreciation of the amazing people who live with DID every day of their lives.  You never stop learning on this healing journey, no matter how much research you’ve done or how long you’ve been at it.

I would definitely encourage you to check out some of the previous podcast episodes on Dissociative Disorders, with guests like Erika Reva (The We in Me), Robert Goldstein, Lisa Tobe, Erin Fado, Analie Shepherd, Elisabeth Corey, and more!

Kathy - Discussing Dissociation - Podcast on Beyond Your PastThis has always a topic close to my heart since I too am a trauma survivor and living with dissociation has been both a struggle and enlightening experience for me over the years. 

Anytime I have the opportunity to talk about Dissociation, I always jump at the chance because it means that someone else wants to speak up and share their story, or a practitioner wants to share their work and how their approach is helping trauma survivors with DID. This episode is no exception, as I’m so honored to talk with Kathy Broady, MSW, of Discussing dissociation. has been around 2008, and has been steadily growing ever since; offering a place for survivors, their family and friends, practitioners, and anyone who wants to come and learn about DID and share their experiences in a safe place. This incredible website offers videos, educational materials, shared artwork, therapy resources, blog articles, podcasts, and a host of materials on recovering from trauma. If you’re interested in learning more about DID and Dissociative Orders of all types, you’ll definitely want to make Discussing Dissociation a regular destination on the web.

I’ve been talking with Kathy for quite a while and we were finally able to get our schedules to line up and chat for a bit on the podcast, diving more into some specific aspects of DID, some of which have not previously been covered on past episodes.

  • Living with DID does not mean you are crazy, psychotic, or looking for attention.
  • When talking with someone who lives with DID, how do you address them? Should you address all of their parts or alters?
  • When and Why do people who live with DID switch from one alter to another.
  • The differences between dissociative amnesia and losing time or missing time.
  • Some primary keys for healing:
    • Safety, both inside and outside worlds.
    • Internal communication / System Work
    • Connection to the here and now
    • When and How to do memory work without destabilizing the survivor.
  • Tips for spouses, partners, and friends of dissociative survivors.
  • Are there certain types of trauma that can increase the likelihood of developing DID?

Kathy also wrote a blog post over on her website, and her listeners are offering their feedback and responses…check it out!

Talking with Kathy was a joy, and I’m sure that you’ll get as much out of hearing her share her wisdom as I did. Her approach is genuine and validating with just the right about of humor; you’ll feel as though you’ve known her forever as you listen to her speak about her experiences and her work in the field of trauma recovery and specifically with dissociative disorders.

I definitely encourage you to check out and all of the incredible resources Kathy and her team have put together. Be sure and follow their Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube channel.  Be on the lookout for a future episode with Kathy as well!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP

free one hour coaching sessions - beyond your past







All conversation and information exchanged during participation on the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 84 – Rob Goldstein, No longer sick with DID, I am well with DID.

My guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast is Photographer, Digital Artist, Blogger, and Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist, Rob Goldstein. He is also a former guest blogger on Surviving My Past, where he shared some of his story in a post titled, “Life with DID where everything is a trigger“. That post has been incredibly helpful and validating for so many who live with dissociative identity disorder, or those who have a loved one who lives with DID.

As outlined on his blog, Rob writes:

I’m a Certified Mental Health Rehabilitation Specialist who became symptomatic with a dissociative disorder in 2010. When I started this blog in late 2013, it was to advocate for myself and other people with trauma related mental health problems.

I wrote in my first profile statement that as I evolved the blog would evolve and over time, I learned about photography, digital art and I rediscovered my writing. I call the blog Art by Rob Goldstein but I can just as easily call it life by Rob Goldstein.

This is my life as I live it, evolve, process its history, and prepare for an uncertain future. My life is my work and my work is my art.

Art by Rob Goldstein is an expression of my emotional and intellectual evolution and an ongoing journal of my psychotherapy. I’m blunt, passionate in my beliefs, and willing to state my mind. If an honest exchange of ideas is what you want you’ve found the right place. 

During my recent chat with Rob, we dive into more of his life leading up to getting the true diagnosis of having DID. As you’ll hear him describe so eloquently and in detail, there were so many things going on in his life that just didn’t add up; people were saying things like, “you aren’t the Rob that I knew before”. He knew that things going on in his mind and in life were fragmented, but hearing things like that was devastating to him. After all, he’d been living his life for decades knowing that something was going on, but wasn’t able to put it all together with a true diagnosis from a professional who understood dissociative identity disorder and was able to get him a proper diagnosis much later on in life.

As Rob points out, what drove him to seek the help of a psychiatrist was the realization that his alters had a constant desire to log into virtual reality to have their own lives. This became such a pathological routine that it was consuming all of his time and finally something had to give.

Our conversation continues with his experiences in life, 6 months after his psychiatrist referred him to a therapist that specialized in DID. However, it wasn’t until about a year and half later, that he finally called and made and appointment with that therapist, because he didn’t want to accept that he could have something like dissociative identity disorder, and due to his research, finding out that DID is often caused by sexual trauma. Quite simply, the thought of it all was overwhelming and something he just didn’t want to deal with.

Rob continues to share more of his story:

  • How things finally started to make sense since he began receiving the help he so desperately needed.
  • He also discusses the challenges of his relationships, and how the evolution of healthy boundaries in all aspects of his relationships was life changing for him and his recovery.
  • You’ll learn how something like VR, that was completely taking over his life and becoming nearly toxic to his well being, is now something he is using to help others and himself along his journey.
  • We discuss his view on how DID has truly been a gift for him, as he’s lived through all of the challenges in his life to date.

There is so much more I could tell you, but I don’t want to miss out on this amazing conversation, so I definitely encourage you to check out my podcast with Rob Goldstein. Whether you live with DID or not, I’m sure you’ll be as enlightened and memorized by Rob’s story as I was. It’s a true honor to know this incredible survivor and talented artist, and I look forward to another podcast in the future with him.

Be sure and check out this recent post on his blog , inspired by our conversation on the podcast: Coping with DID, I Love All of You” and follow him on Twitter: @Robrt_M_Goldste

Thank you again to my incredible sponsors, and Daily Recovery Support. Please consider checking them out, as they’ve come together to keep the coffee brewin’ and the mics powered up on the podcast!  🙂

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP









All conversation and information exchanged during participation the Beyond Your Past Podcast, on, and is intended for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing on these podcasts or posted on the above mentioned websites are supplements for or supersedes the relationship and direction of your medical or mental health providers.

Podcast – Ep. 73 – Lisa Tobe, The diagnosis & challenges of DID and Complex Trauma

If you live with any type of mental health challenge, or know someone who does, you know what a struggle each day can be. No matter what you deal with each day, you have learned, and continue to learn to adapt to what faces you. You make your way through life, one step at a time, building up your resilience along the way. Gaining confidence, perspective, and self-compassion in the face of tremendous adversity that not everyone can understand.

However, before we can begin to live, learn, and adapt, we first have to figure out what it is that’s going on inside our minds and bodies; the diagnosis.

That’s a challenge all to itself, and one that can unfortunately take years or even decades to assess correctly. Unfortunately for so many that is all too often the case; misdiagnosis or no diagnosis at all leads us with endless amounts of unanswered questions about who we are and why we are the way that we are.

My guest on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast, Lisa Tobe, talks about her struggles with being diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and Complex Trauma.

Lisa is a Executive Director of Wildflower Consulting, LLC. – partnering with clients to design, facilitate, and evaluate policy, system, and environmental strategies that improve public health.

During our chat, we discuss topics including:

  • The challenges she faced in getting the diagnosed at 27 years old, and the years leading up to the diagnosis that included a hospital stay.
  • The depression, and suicidal thoughts that plagued her for years before she was able to get a proper diagnosis.
  • Triggers and Flashbacks associated with PTSD and Complex PTSD.
  • How writing helped facilitate healing and understanding of her alters.
  • The power of sharing stories with yourself on a clinical level.
  • Her memoir and starting a non-profit to help women who have survived all types of violence.

I always find it so amazing that during a simple conversation on a podcast, you realize you have so much in common with someone. This show with Lisa was no different, especially when she talks about learning about her particular type of DID and how similar that is to Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS), which is what I am recovering from.

There is safety and validation among survivors and those who get what it means to live daily life with these types of challenges. It’s a testament not only to the resilience of the human spirit, but the willingness to reach out and share and help others who struggle.

Thank you again Lisa for coming onto the show, I look forward to talking with you again once your book is published.

If you’d like to learn more about Lisa, her story, or about her non profit for women survivors of violence, you can email her at at or at

I hope you’ll consider leaving a review and rating Beyond Your Past on iTunes, Google Play, iHeartRadio, or your favorite podcasting app!

-Matthew Pappas, CLC, CPNLP


Podcast – Ep. 60 – Living with severe dissociation and DID, with guest Erin Fado

Dissociation, a topic that has fascinated me as much as it’s frustrated me ever since the first time I ever learned what in the world it even was.  For all of the research I’ve done on this topic, it never ceases to amaze me how the brain takes over during trauma to remove us from being fully present in order to protect us.  Of course, long after the trauma has ended, the effects can still linger on.

I can remember sitting in a therapists office years ago, when I first came to terms with the fact that I was a survivor of trauma. She caught me staring out into space, while looking right at her. She noticed when I would tune out during a conversation that was particularly troubling for me to have. Even when the topic wasn’t anything particularly difficult to discuss, the ease with which I transitioned out of being fully present to “never never land” was a clear sign of Dissociation.

Some time ago I reached to guest blogger and friend, Erin Fado, to see if she wouldn’t mind coming on to do a podcast and share her experience of living with dissociation and dissociative identity disorder.

Erin has written extensively on SMP and on her own blog, You Will Bear Witness, about her experiences of being a survivor of trauma and now living with dissociative disorders. She uses her experiences to help validate others and encourage survivors to keep fighting; to never give up on themselves.

Erin joins us from Australia, where she is now medically retired after working as a Professor of Sociology and lecturer at the University of Wollongong in Sidney.  She lives with her husband in the countryside, and undergoes extensive EMDR therapy to help with her DID.

Some of the topics that Erin and I discuss on this episode of the Beyond Your Past Podcast:

What is dissociation?
Do you usually go to the past, present of future:?
How long does it tend to last for?
Is it usually triggered by something?
How does dissociation impact your everyday life?
Have you found treatments/solutions useful?

Be sure and subscribe to the podcast on itunes, buzzsprout, spreaker, stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app…and if you could be so kind as to leave a review, that would be awesome!

Matthew Pappas, CLC

Podcast – Ep. 45 – Analie Shepherd Podcast – Survivor of Abuse in Therapy and Life with DID

In this episode, I talk with Analie Shepherd, author of Mending the Shattered Mirror: a Story of Recovery from Abuse in Therapy.

We talk about her life as a survivor of abuse in therapy, living with Dissociative Identity Disorder, and her book. It’s a show you don’t want to miss, and be sure to head over to for more information on Analie.

So grab those headphones or plug us in to your car and join us for a time of sharing, validation, and healing.

Be sure and stay tuned to for weekly blog posts, more podcasts, and my future coaching work!

Podcast – Ep. 38 – Elisabeth Corey – Inner Parts Work – DID – Trauma Recovery

I’m honored to be joined by Elisabeth Corey, MSW, in this episode of Surviving My Podcast.

She is an author, advocate, and survivor of child sex abuse and trafficking. Elisabeth uses her life experiences to help others through her Coaching practice, and to generate awareness about sexual violence and complex post-traumatic stress disorder.

We cover so many amazing topics in this podcast, so you definitely don’t want to miss it. Things like Inner Parts Work, Inner Child, Dissociative Identity Disorder, and healing from Chronic Pain.

Podcast – Ep. 35 – Nikki DuBose – Survivor-Author-Advocate-Ambassador

Trauma survivors come from all walks of life, all over the world, and while each of us are unique individuals in our own right, our survivor stories is often very similar. It’s that similarity that helps us all connect, relate, and unite in a common goal of healing and awareness.

nikki-DuBose-Podcast-on-surviving-my-past Nikki DuBose - Her inspiring story of survival and advocacy.Those similarities were evident once again, when I recently had the opportunity to speak with Abuse Survivor, Author, Advocate, and Ambassador, Nikki DuBose.  It was such a privilege to spend some time talking with Nikki about not only her past; the abuse and trauma that she endured, but also about her advocacy work now and her amazing story of survival.

As a former model, Nikki has spent time in the public spotlight, living and working all over the world, but at the same time, also hiding a secret of a traumatic past that she could not escape.

As you’ll hear during the podcast, Nikki describes her life as a child growing up, enduring repeated domestic and sexual abuse, and living with her mother who suffered from Mental Health challenges such as Bi-Polar and Dissociative Identity Disorder.  It’s a story that will tug at your heart as you listen to her share so openly and honestly, about not only her childhood, but also how a career that started out as a dream come true, offering countless opportunities for success, was also taking her down a road of invalidation, self-destruction, and even more abuse; sexually, emotionally, and physically.

Nikki also shares how her faith in God has carried her through this troubled past and into a new world of Healing, and Mental Health and Abuse Survivor Advocacy work. As you listen to her speak passionately about her role as Board President of the Peaceful Hearts Foundation, I’m sure you’ll feel as inspired as I did.  Peaceful Hearts  was founded by Matthew Sandusky and his wife, Kim, out of the ashes of the “Sandusky Scandal” of 2011-2012.  You can read more about it here.

Her message of hope, and being a kindred spirit for childhood sexual abuse survivors, those living with eating disorders, and other mental health challenges, is shining a hopeful light for survivors across the country and around the world.

survivor-author-advocate-ambassador-chat-with-nikki-dubose Nikki DuBose - Her inspiring story of survival and advocacy.

I encourage you to check out her first memoir, Washed Away: From Darkness to Light, which you can find on Amazon both in paperback and kindle.  As described on Amazon: This book recounts the experiences of model Nikki DuBose as she overcomes a more than seventeen-year battle with abuse, child sexual victimization, eating disorders, psychosis, alcoholism, drugs, depression, suicide attempts, body dysmorphic disorder, and various other mental health issues, all while trying to navigate through the dark side of the fashion industry.

If you would like to learn more about Nikki, head over to – and be sure to follow her on social media, including her YouTube channel where she regularly posts up videos in support of her work as a Mental Health advocate.

You might also be wondering what else Nikki is working on? Well, I’m glad you asked because she is also a Trauma & Eating Disorder Recovery Coach. If you would like more information about possibly working with her and joining her program, head over to

I hope this podcast inspires, encourages, and validates you. Please consider sharing it so we can reach as many as possible with this message of hope.

Thank you again Nikki for the privilege of speaking with you, and I can’t wait do it again on a future podcast!