Thursday, March 24, 2011

As It Sinks In

     When I was first diagnosed, it did  not really sink in fully.  I mean it was a bit of a shock.  I knew I dissociated a lot and it had become a problem, and we discussed the scale in therapy of dissociation with Multiple Personalities being on the extreme end.  When we talked about the scale I was on the low end.  Dissociation that interferes a bit with daily life.  I was told to observe and notice what happened, since I could rarely recall my day all the way through.  Within two weeks, at the end of a session, my therapist handed me a small illustrated book to borrow, saying 'This is for children but it might help you'.  'Perfect', I said - joking- we had just been talking about an incident when I felt and acted uncannily like a child.  I looked at the cover of the book.  I looked back up at her.  'This says Multiple Personalities' I said.  'Well the new diagnostic term is Dissociative Identity Disorder, but that's pretty much what it is', she answered.
     Right in the first week I could name six.  They were pretty obvious.  I did not begrudge them.  I was fascinated by them.  I was fascinated by anything relating to Multiple Personalities, as if I was an entranced spectator watching a documentary that could turn off the show and go to bed, back to my normal life.  It is my normal life, since it is really how I have always been.  But it isn't, because now I know, and now they know.  Once you open that lid, you can never put it back. 
      Sometimes I make progress.  Sometimes I shut down.  Usually that means zoning out with mind numbing tv, or repetitive tasks, or sleep, or insomnia, or leaving the body so I don't warm myself when I am cold or eat when I am hungry.  Sometimes I forget.  Sometimes I deliberately ignore it: 'I do not have DID' I tell myself over and over, determined to just be me and no one else.  Because the truth is I'm scared.  I'm scared to talk to these other people in my head.  I'm scared to have them in my head, losing control of my body.  I like to think that it is difficult to communicate with them, and that is why I don't.  But honestly interacting with them is incredibly easy for me.  I talk, they respond.  I let go, they take the reigns.  I am just terrified of it being real.
     I feel remorse, even though I may be the 'host'.  I feel I am a bad mother to all the child alters left in the dark.  I feel I am a bad friend to all the amazing survivor alters who depend on me.  I feel un-trustworthy.  Like I am denying them the right to live by shutting them out, and that way shutting myself out also.  I repetitively lose time due to switching out with other alters, but I've lost much more to my coping mechanism of sticking my head in the sand, curling up in my blankets and letting life go by while I try not to feel anything.  Sometimes I suppose this may be necessary, or at least a coping technique of some kind, but I wonder how much more time I will lose.  I guess DID, as with many other situations everyone faces, puts you swinging back and forth between desperately wanting to feel alive and being afraid to feel anything at all.

No comments: