this week has been kind of sketchy for me. a couple of different times at work i had to pretend like i wasn’t crazy. an incident occurred where another person’s sanity – or more accurately, INsanity – was exposed and people were talking about it. about HER. a woman alone, by herself, talking in two distinctive voices. this seemed to rattle the mental cages of several people around me, which i guess is pretty understandable. most people don’t have multiple voices that they use interchangeably.
but i can relate. that woman probably (surely) had multiple personalities, as do i. and the people that were freaking out about the whole situation work with me every day. if they knew I had multiple personalities, is this how they would behave? make fun of me? laugh about my oddness? run around and tell everyone else at work that i was crazy?
i kind of think the truth of the matter is that most people don’t know a person with MPD. or they don’t KNOW that they know someone. i guess it’s fairly rare. or at least, maybe lots of people have it but they don’t know it cause they can’t afford treatment. a lot of therapists aren’t trained specifically for this area of mental health, and finding a good shrink/therapist is hard for us MPD’ers to do. it’s not like trying to find a good dentist; there just aren’t that many people out there who have treated Multiples, let alone specialize in this area. and then there is the cost issue. so if you don’t have awesome Canadian medical insurance, you may not be able to afford to be told you are a nutball.
anyway, with people kind of making fun of this “crazy” throughout the week, it was hard on me. i felt shame. embarrassment. i felt fearful. i was jittery and switchy and had a hard time controlling my body. i wanted to run away and hide. because it isn’t easy being a Multiple, and it isn’t socially acceptable.
i’m not socially acceptable.
and that sucks. because those of us that have this condition have it because once upon a time, we were scared shitless and couldn’t do anything about whatever we were scared of. so we ran away to another part of our minds and created different worlds, people, languages and memories.
we aren’t scary monsters that need to be locked away in a dungeon.
we aren’t contagious and about to spread our ill on mankind.
we aren’t wicked cast offs from the fiery pit of hell spawned by Satan as a curse on the head of mortal man.
we’re just…many. many of us in one body. we’re just people. and little. and scared.
so don’t be mean to us. ok?
but … well, clearly i’m not. i woke up and started fiddling on the computer for quite some time before i realized i had the window open and my box fan going in there. which isn’t how i went to sleep. not a big deal; i’m sure people do this kind of thing all the time – adjust things in the middle of the night. but i always find it humorous because i don’t know if it’s just something i did, or one of my “others”. i’ve woken many times (is woken a word?) to find myself upside down in bed, in the living room on the couch, or in a completely different get up (or none at all)
this is all good and well, cause it doesn’t really matter to me. i just hope this doesn’t ever happen to me if i’m on a group outing, like an impromptu sleepover after a good party at a friend’s; ’cause waking up in someone’s house naked, when you didn’t mean to be…that can get complicated!
I was very Stormy the other day.
Stormy is one of my alters that I haven’t quite figured out. Well, most of them I haven’t figured out yet.
Stormy seems to be a mix of things; part tomboy, part ska beach girl, part free spirit. She has a littler body than most of us. When Stormy has taken over, I can tell, because my body feels like it’s shorter than normal. I suddenly have a junior high sized body, and a different walk. She’s a little more slouchy than most, and walks like Meg Ryan in Prelude to a Kiss. Or maybe that’s how Meg walks all the time, I don’t know for sure. The tomboy aspect comes out in how she does her hair, what shoes she wears, what clothes she puts on. She is spunky, quirky, and has a definite viewpoint that I haven’t figured out. I’m not sure yet what propels her, but she has a mind of her own and plays by her own set of rules. She is uninhibited, sporty and free, which is not really how I have spent most of my life up ’till now. At least, not in the way she does it.
Stormy will dance in the middle of the street if she hears a song on someone’s radio she likes. She won’t worry about what the drivers or people around her will think, she’ll just turn to her sister or friend and say “ooo, I LOVE this song!” smile a huge smile and start swinging her hips. Stormy will walk confidently into any room and not even consider what other people are thinking about her, go about her business, and leave. She can tell when a boy thinks she’s cute, and she might smile at them or wink, but she is so involved in the moment that she just LIVES it and doesn’t worry about any of that other stuff.
That’s not been me. A lot of my adult life – or a lot of the life I can remember – has been spent observing people, trying to gauge their reactions to me so that I can change my behavior if I sense danger or disapproval. If I’m too hyper, I can calm down. If I’m too loud, I can alter my voice. I need to be in tune with the situations around me in order to shift myself – either my personality or my characteristics – to stay safe; to blend in. Stormy isn’t like that. She just is what she is.
I reconnected with a friend of mine from my past, and he told me he was madly in love with me when we were young. I thought he had a thing for my sister, but no, it was me he was crazy about. He described a time we were in the back of someone’s truck, driving along on a summer night, and I was singing a song by the Eagles, or Styx. He said I was the most beautiful thing ever. I thought to myself, “Stormy”.
Stormy isn’t afraid of life.
She IS life.
She runs and loves and feels openly.
She embraces trees and people and ideas openly.
She is the essence of vitality, and what people dream of finding at the bottom of the fountain of youth.
And I have her in me…
I just have to figure out how to let her out…
i’m emotional now.
driving to pick up my sister (whom i missed and i guess she had to take the bus, ooops) i kept getting a stab of a headache now and then.
i recognize this as one of my people, wanting to come out. i haven’t yet determined if the headache occurs when they are trying to take over, or if it happens because someone else doesn’t want to let go of the “driver” position, and shoves the other away, who then gets a headache. but headaches do seem to be associated with one or more alters specifically.
and since i’ve just been jilted by my shrink, i imagine it’s someone wanting to come out.
at this point, i guess i don’t know why i try.
i don’t know why i open myself up to people, when they just throw me away like an old McDonald’s wrapper. i don’t know, that is probably over stating it. it’s not uncommon for therapists and their clients to part paths. but, i guess because of my condition, i feel it might be useful for me to have someone who can help me, show me information i need about my condition, guide me in how to assimilate, or integrate, or just deal with this. i don’t really feel like i was an overwhelming client, but either i was and didn’t know it, or it was just time to move on.
but it’s excruciating for me.
it’s a diabolical difficulty for me to open myself up to people and trust, and let them in, and expose myself to them. because of this. because i get left behind. i’ve been given away too many times, and it literally hurts my brain. so i don’t know, i guess i’ll go it alone, without a shrink. what do they know that i can’t figure out? what can they tell me that i haven’t already discovered, or can’t teach myself? they’ve never been all that much help anyway, and i’ve kind of always been treating my own self for my own illnesses. ah well, physician heal thyself, i guess.
the more important thing to me is not closing up. normally, at a situation like this, i would hunker down. batten up the hatches. seal up all the openings. everywhere that i have opened myself up, i would pull back and slink inside. new friendships, old ones, lovers and hopeful lovers, all would come under the category of “toss overboard” when i’m feeling vulnerable and discarded. not because i don’t want these people in my life. but because i have to apply the statistics. i have to look at the numbers. i have to assume that the people in my life that claim they love me, or care for me as a friend, or don’t even say either of these, but occasionally look at me with fondness…i have to assume that these people will also, eventually, find me distasteful. unappetizing. disgusting. i normally sense this coming on, or the potential of its potential, and i pack up my bags and move along.
but i can’t really bring myself to do that now. i’m in too deep with the things around me. i’m too close to my sister, i could never bail on her now, because she is the life line that ties me to sanity. she has been there for me through everything and more, and i could never just escape the world if it meant leaving her behind. i want to sometimes. i want to run for Chicago, or make a break for Seattle, and just start over. create another name and identity, like i’ve done before. assume a new mannerism, a new role in life, a new personality. this gets me away from everyone that knows me and allows me anonymity.
but it is constantly severing. it brings new friends, but leaves me without people that know me well, and love me still.
but it’s safe. and sometimes safe means more than love.
but not today. not right now. i have too many people around me that i care about, and actually see as friends. i have too many hopes for my future to run away now. i have too much potential for happiness – FINALLY – in my life to ditch it all because i’m hurt and scared and have been told, once again, that i am too much to handle. but it is tempting.
still, i have to believe that somehow, someone out there can handle me. and maybe it IS only my sister that can do it. ok. but i hope there are others who can handle me as well, and will rise up like zombies in the night to surround me with their love and friendship. or maybe they could rise up like something less apt to consume my flesh, but i’m hoping that i’ve finally found a network of friends and lovers that can tolerate my reality.
and if not – if worst case scenario plays out and all my friends turn away from me – there’s always a Motel 6 with a light on i can run to.