If you are a reader of this blog, you probably already know about my “condition”, which – officially – is called crazy. The less flavorful and more restrictive term is MPD or DID, which means, crazy. Multiple Personality Disorder, i/e “Lots Of Crazy”. Actually it’s been rather fun lately, but that is a recent development. Here’s a little back information:
In February of this year, being the year of our Lord 2010, I was pleasantly surprised to find an invitation on my favorite time consumer, Facebook. I’m addicted to Facebook for a good many reasons, including but not limited to Super Poke Pets, Bejeweled Blitz, Trip Advisor, and Pieces of Flair. Oh yeah, and things like friends and family. One day, while I am tickling my pet monkey – and I know how horrible that sounds, because my dear friend raises his eyebrow at me whenever I mention to him I’m doing this, but I really AM tickling my pet monkey…anyway – I get a message from an old friend of mine. I mean, she is only forty, like me, so not TOO old, but she was my partner in crime in high school, which was a good million years ago. So old enough. Back then, when we were young, and supple, and perky, we used to hang out and go skinny dipping in her pool. We’d tromp outside in our bikinis and quickly lose half or more of our outfit and splash around in the pool. Interestingly enough, her next door neighbor always had a sudden urge to clean his rain gutters on the roof whenever he heard us splashing in the pool, or had a pressing need to adjust his wind vane. Funny that. This is also the friend that somehow managed to get her hands on the skin of a cat from a biology experiment or lab castoff, and proceeded to hook her fingers in the nose of the cat and fly him out the car window making noises from the movie “Monty Python’s Search For The Holy Grail”. If you’re a fan of the movie, you probably know what I’m talking about…and if not, it’s rather hard to explain it on paper. Suffice it to say, we had loads of fun together.
Receiving a message from her on Facebook was unexpected, however. We stayed in touch after high school, even until I was about twenty five or so, and as I recalled it, we had something of a falling out, which ended our friendship. I remember thinking our blowout was permanent and final. And here she was, friending me!
And on top of that, she was very excited to get in touch with me. “I’ve been looking for you for years!”, she tells me, “I’m so glad to have found you!” What? I thought our divorce was quite ugly. So of course, my response back was thus. “I thought our divorce was quite ugly! I didn’t think you’d ever want to talk to me again, or hated me or something”. I also mentioned to her that I was crazier than she would believe. That’s all I said, because I thought it bad form to throw in on her my recent diagnosis of MPD. Well, not so recent, I’d been diagnosed in the summer of 2008, and it took me a good six or seven months of therapy to admit to the diagnosis. I still found myself grappling with the reality of the situation in February, a year and a half later. So no, I didn’t want to open up that can of worms just yet. But she did already know what a weirdo I was, which is probably why she unfriended me in the first place, right? Just thinking about tenth grade French class makes me shudder. And giggle. So I wanted to warn her of my increasing craziness…or, deteriorating sanity.
In her reply, she reminds me that the last time we spoke was in 1996 – almost fifteen years ago! At that time she had a lot of difficulty, because her father was ill, and the whole situation was stressing her out. And, she reminds me that I was seeing a therapist at that time, and had just been diagnosed with MPD, so she understood when I didn’t recognize her when I saw her around town, sometimes.
Wait a minute. What now? I’ve only JUST BEEN diagnosed. WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT???
But no, apparently I was diagnosed with Multiple Personalities back in 1996, and whoever heard this – whichever personality of mine received this diagnosis – proceeded to tell my dear and close high school friend, and NO ONE ELSE about this condition. Then, I guess, went into hiding. And for the next fifteen years of my life, I went about my business, I guess utilizing other personalities from time to time to deal with my life. But never coming back to this information about the MPD.
At least, not fully. Oh sure, I’ve always WONDERED about my sanity.
That’s a topic for another blog…or maybe seven. But the night I read her email, I had a fit. A tantrum. A sort of nervous break down. I was off work, getting ready to go home, when I got the email. Luckily, my sister was around, so I grabbed her out of where she was and forced her to come with me outside to the parking lot, where I fell to my knees and started screaming and crying. A man close by came to check and see if I were being mauled by an escaped lion. Or perhaps I was having my eyelids removed with a pair of fingernail clippers by a madman aimlessly roaming the streets, who happened upon me and thought my eyelids particularly fetching, and ferreted out his nail clippers to keep them as a souvenir of this otherwise dull Tuesday or Wednesday evening. But no, the howling was really just caused from my own insanity, and I tried to tell him, “I’m just crazy”, but I’m not sure if he really understood.
Because, at that point, when I heard this startling news, I thought I knew myself.
I’d gone through a number of self transformations, which are also topics for other blogs.
I’d seen inside myself, and didn’t always like what I saw. I’d made moves and efforts to change my person, and I had worked through a good many things. I had old desires and dreams I’d laid aside, and hopes and aspirations I was still trying to make good on. I’d learned and grown and bettered myself. At this point, I’d even faced the fact that I’d spent my entire lifetime hiding myself from other people; hiding what I thought was a horrible evil which made me unlovable and frightening – this collection of people I had inside myself. This football team of personalities. Or maybe rugby team, rugby is so sexy. Anyway, to find that I had actually been diagnosed FIFTEEN years ago was earth shatteringly bizarre, and made me question everything I knew about myself.
I’d always thought I’d been very spiritual and religious all my life, since I was three or four. Was that the case? Or was that the perspective, and perhaps ILLUSION of one of my personalities. This called into question other things, like the status of my virginity. I’d always been something of a ‘good girl’. I was a Christian for umpteen years, and tried desperately to stay a virgin until I got married. Which I never did, so you can imagine how impossible that was for someone as continually horny as I am. I thought I was a virgin until I was twenty seven! (shut up. i know that is waaaay old, but i’m telling you, i was a serious christian. it took a LOT of determination to stay chaste that long) But was I really a virgin for all those years? Now I didn’t know. There were indicators and questions I’d had before, that maybe I had lost my virginity earlier, in junior high…but I had no memory of that time, so who knew?
Suddenly, in one evening, everything I knew about myself felt a lie, and nothing that I thought I knew for sure was really stable. Had I ever murdered anyone? Did I do illicit drugs? What about jail time? When you can hide away information from yourself for fifteen years, information like this, that includes a lifetime and a personality and a friendship that spanned decades – what else might I be hiding from myself?
And I don’t know.
I don’t know the answers.
I’m only in the beginning stages of this investigation.
I’m only just coming out of my own closet, and finally starting to look at myself in the light of day. I’ve finally told two family members of this situation, and several dear and trusted friends, many of whom I work with. I’ve only just started to peel back the folds of my mind, and begun the task of sifting through old stashes of memories and mental images. I’ve no idea what I’ll find in this mystery of a person that is me.
But it’s getting interesting…