'I'm a dinosaur loving 5-year-old, a Southern belle and a sex addict called Rogue': The personal assistant, 24, who claims she has EIGHT different personalities
- Victoria Vega, from California, has dissociative identity disorder
- It means she has eight alter egos taking control of her body at any time
- Condition triggered in childhood when her parents struggled with drugs
- Says she does not consider it a disorder and loves her different 'alters'
It's hard enough for anyone going to the office in the morning but imagine having to get your other eight personalities to come with you.
That's the problem facing Victoria Vega.
The 24-year-old HR assistant, from California, can be any one of eight different personalities when she goes to work.
Miss Vega has a condition known as dissociative identity disorder (DID) which results in her different personalities taking control of her body at any given time.
It means she has eight 'alters' in total.
Victoria Vega, 24, from California, suffers from dissociative identity disorder which results in her eight different personalities taking control of her body at any given time
These personalities include Southern Belle Allie, AGE, tough New Jersey gal Goldie, AGE, and dinosaur-loving Senka, 5.
She can also be party-loving Dee, 16, hypersexual Rogue or the more quieter alters: Citizen, Lucy Lovelace and Celia.
Despite her problem, Miss Vega holds down a full-time job and maintains a positive attitude, saying she loves all of her personalities.
She blogs about her experiences and has even written a memoir about her experiences with DID.
Miss Vega, who holds a 'morning meeting' with her alters before heading to the office, says: 'I'd be lying to you if I said it's not stressful because there have been moments where I've switched at work.
'Imagine working at your desk and then all of a sudden there's a five-year-old and no-one knows what to do with you.
'But even though it's scary and sometimes painful, my alters have shown me so much about myself, my past and what I am truly capable of as a survivor.
'There's not one boring day with all of us. When I'm feeling lost, Allie is there by my side and when I feel threatened, Goldie protects me. There are a lot of positive aspects.'
Her personalities include tough New Jersey gal Goldie as well as party-loving Dee, 16, and hypersexual Rogue
Miss Vega says she often cannot remember her stints as other personalties and says it's hard to keep track of things she's done
Miss Vega had a troubled childhood with both her parents struggling with homelessness as well as drug and alcohol addiction.
She remembers when the personas started to develop.
Miss Vega - whose self-published memoir is titled 'Solipsist' - explains: 'My alters started developing when I was around 4 to 5 years old. There's a lot of childhood that I don't remember.
WHAT IS DISSOCIATIVE IDENTITY DISORDER?
Dissociative identity disorder (DID) is the most complex dissociative disorder and is also known as multiple personality disorder (MPD).
Some people see it as a personality disorder, although it is not. The defining feature is severe change in identity.
People who have DID can experience the shifts of identity as separate personalities.
Each identity may be in control of their behaviour and thoughts at different times and each has a distinctive pattern of thinking and relating to the world.
Dissociation can affect a person's perception, thinking, feeling, behaviour, body and memory.
The impact of dissociation varies from person to person and may change over time. How well a person appears to be coping is not a good way of telling how severely affected they are.
A person's sense of reality and who they are depends on their feelings, thoughts, sensations, perceptions and memories.
If these become disconnected from each other, an individual's sense of identity, their memories and they way they perceive themselves in the world will change - and this is what happens to sufferers of Dissociative identity disorder.
'My first alter was called Allie who has been my best friend ever since.
'This carried on until my teenage years. I've been told by friends that even in high school, I would sometimes act oddly or would even introduce myself by a different name.
'I have some very deep-rooted abandonment issues and a tough childhood. Looking back my alters helped me cope with what was going on around me.'
However it wasn't until last year that she was diagnosed with DID.
Prior to this, she was wrongly diagnosed as bipolar at age sixteen and then, schizo-affective disorder at 22-years-old.
'When I was finally diagnosed with DID, I had mixed emotions about it.
'But with the aid of therapy, I suppose if you look at it for a more psychological viewpoint, each of my alters are kind of like a filing drawer, and I'm the cabinet itself.
'Through therapy, I am learning how to unlock the drawers safely, how to read through the files and accept the information.'
Her personality switches can last anything from a few minutes to several days at a time, which is typical of the condition.
Often, she can't remember doing things when her other alters take over.
'Sometimes I honestly have no idea when my alters come out and I only find out when a trusted friend tells me, ''Oh Dee came out and wanted to party!''.
'It's hard to keep track and al the alters like to do different things. When Dee comes out, it's usually to have fun.
'She likes to be around party and sometimes I'll 'wake up' and have temporary tattoos all over me! It's Dee's thing.
'Five-year-old Senka like to play. She loves dragons or dinosaurs so I've bought plenty of stuffed animals for her.
'When Goldie comes out, she is brutally honest and doesn't take abuse from anyone or anything. Goldie has punched a couple of guys in the face too.
Miss Vega said her alters started developing when she was about 4 after a difficult childhood which involved periods of homelessness as her parents struggled with drug addictions
The HR assistant has now published her memoirs in the form of confessional poetry
The HR assistant does not let her condition get in the way of her life and says her colleagues are accepting of her disorder
Miss Vega holds down a full-time job and maintains a positive attitude saying she loves all of her personalities
'There have been instances where I have dissociated at work which can be very stressful. When Senka came out in the office, I panicked but now I've taught her not to do that any more as it could endanger my job.'
However Miss Vega has gained an element of control over her disorder by holding 'meetings' with all her personalities at the start of each day.
'I usually have a morning ''meeting'' with all my alters. We do a quick scan of how everyone is feeling and more recently, we've been discussing whether any of the alters feel they need to take over for a while.
'For example, Goldie likes to drive in the morning and Senka wants to colour after work so we can take turns.'
She does not let her condition get in the way of her life and says her colleagues are accepting of her disorder.
Wanting to raise awareness of DID, she blogs about the illness and has just published a book about her experiences.
'The people at my workplace who do know about my condition, have been very understanding. I have never received negative comments from anyone for which I am extremely grateful.
'I want to help other people by sharing my own story and spread awareness about DID. DID is a very real and complex experience.
'I hate to call it a disorder because I genuinely don't feel sick. I love my alters and without them, I promise I would not be here today.'
Read more in her blog here
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