Hi and welcome to A Multitude of Musings. My name is Astrid and I am 36-years-old. I’ve had a ton of blogs ever since joining WordPress in 2007. Though I used to write pretty openly there too, I don’t share my inner experiences there. I intend to do that here.

You see, I am a childhood trauma survivor. As a result, I live with post-traumatic stress and dissociative symptoms. I am mid-continuum multiple, which means that, though about 40 personalities (also known as alters or insiders) share this body, we can present as one to the outside world. We don’t have a formal diagnosis of a dissociative disorder or (complex) PTSD anymore (we used to), but diagnoses don’t define us. Our experiences do.

One of these experiences is long-term institutionalization. From November 2007 until May 2017, I resided in a psychiatric hospital. I collected a bunch of diagnoses there, including for some time dissociative identity disorder (DID) and PTSD. These were later changed to borderline personality disorder (BPD), which was then downgraded to BPD traits. At the end, we were even told we have dependent personality disorder. Apparently long-time institutionalization causes a personality disorder these days.

I was more or less kicked out of the institution almost with no after care in 2017. I then lived with my husband in a tiny village near Doesburg, Netherlands for 2 1/2 years. As of June 4, 2019, I qualify for residential care under the Long-Term Care Act. In September of 2019, I finally moved into a care facility in the town of Raalte. My husband and I bought a house in the town of Lobith near the German border around the same time, but I only go there on week-ends, since it’s an 1 1/2 hour drive from Raalte to Lobith.

In October of 2022, I moved to my care agency’s main institution grounds in Wilp, Gelderland. The main reason I wanted to move was to actually be more sheltered, since the care facility in Raalte was community-based. I however moved to a very different type of care home too: whereas my old home was care-based and mainly served people with profound intellectual disability, the new one supports people with mild intellectual disability and significant challenging behavior. By this definition, the new home might look better suited, since I am not even intellectually disabled, but the truth is it is not.

The reason I was initially hospitalized was the fact that I couldn’t cope with independent living as a person with multiple disabilities. I’m blind, autistic and have mild cerebral palsy (motor impairments due to a brain injury sustained shortly after birth). That autism diagnosis has been confirmed at least four times, because people constantly doubted it and wanted more evidence. Now I hope to finally be taken seriously and treated like the complex person I am. In other words, I hope to be treated like we’re a human rather than a set of labels.

My main hobby has always been writing. Like I said above, I’ve had a blog on WordPress ever since 2007. Before then, I had an online diary. Besides writing, I love being creative in other ways. I’ve tried many types of crafts. My current main focus is on polymer clay. I also occasionally love to make bath and body care products, create essential oil diffuser blends and make melt and pour soap. Lastly, I love to be physically active by walking, sometimes taking my iPhone with me to take photos along the way.