Life with DID and Giving Your Alters a Voice, with Kelli Gettel – Ep. 131

If there’s one thing about being a survivor that is abundantly true, it’s that this whole healing journey thing is a process. It’s full of new memories, seemingly unending struggles especially early on, new realizations about what happened and when, and a host of emotions ranging from sadness to anger, to despair, loneliness, and everything in between. You often wonder how you made it through events that are so traumatic you can hardly admit to yourself that you endured them, much less verbalize it to a therapist or anyone else.

As time goes on, you continue to learn more about your past, and hopefully see some healing take place as you work through those memories, come to the realization that it wasn’t your fault, and that your future is not defined according to what happened to you. You begin to see your hard work paying off, and little by little those feelings that kept you down for so long, and felt like they defined you, no longer have that kind of power. You even begin to experience some relief, some joy, and contentment in your life.

The timetable for healing is different for everyone, and there are plenty of ups and downs, and setbacks and victories along the way, but ultimately the reason you put in that hard work is to feel better, to move forward and realize that you can embrace what life has to offer and you are capable of going after what you want to make your life as meaningful as you want it to be.

Our returning guest for this week, Kelli Gettel, originally shared some of her story in episode 80, Life with Autism, CPTSD, DID, and Narcolepsy. If you haven’t checked out that episode, you’ll want to add it to a playlist on your favorite podcasting app and check out more of her story.

During our chat today, Kelli gives us an update on how her healing work is coming along, including:

  • How she’s learning to interact with her alters, and give them the voice they need.
  • New memories of childhood trauma, including sexual abuse and being subjected to a pedophile ring.
  • The struggles with trust issues, even with a therapist who you’ve been working with for a long time.
    • The challenges of opening up and sharing, trusting others to hear your story, and how you share.
  • The strain that living with DID and other mental health challenges can put on a relationship.
    • The adjustments her husband is making and how much his support helps her and her family.
  • Taking an active role in your healing, and educating yourself, as well as interacting with the survivor community for support.

Kelli lives in the central Pennsylvania area, with her husband and 3 children, including a 4 yr old who also was diagnosed with autism. You can contact her via email,  kelligettel at gmail dot com, if you’d like to connect with her.

Please consider sharing this episode with someone who might benefit from it, and don’t forget to subscribe on your favorite podcasting app.

Matthew Pappas, CLC, MPNLP and Joanne Cipressi, CHt, CNLP


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.

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