I can’t see properly- sometimes. I used to wear glasses to correct astigmatism; sometime in 2010 I stopped wearing glasses and also became the “first person the optician had ever met in his career who has spontaneously cured their own astigmatism.” I spend an inordinate amount of time squinting, reading through one eye or just not being able to see very far or very well.
I’m allergic to lilies- sometimes. I often ‘forget’ and buy them anyway, I then find myself wondering why my face is swollen and I’m wheezing a couple of days after bringing them into the house. I’m also allergic to kiwi-fruit, bananas, latex, rats, lanolin and pineapple- sometimes. I err on the side of caution and assume that I have the potential to be allergic to anything so always keep a supply of anti-histamines in the house. Using products from Lush in the bath is like playing anaphylaxis roulette.
I have terrible eczema- sometimes. My eczema has defied explanation at various stages over the years, it appeared to be linked to hormones for a while- but then it wasn’t. It appeared to be due to allergies for a while but then it wasn’t. Some of the vast array of treatments I have been prescribed worked- sometimes.
I found out in August 2011 that I have curly hair- very curly hair- sometimes. I mentioned this to someone involved in my ‘care’ at the time; she asked if I simply hadn’t noticed I had curly hair- for 36 years- as I straightened it. I’m not sure when GHD’s were invented and I know my recall of anytime previous to right now, right this minute can sometimes be sketchy but I’m pretty sure the explanation is not that straightforward.
I can explain all of these physiological anomalies in a very straightforward way- I have enough system knowledge to tell you which parts have bad eyesight, which parts are allergic to lilies, which parts have eczema, which parts have curly hair- but I’m not going to.
What I can’t explain is why and that frustrates me. I am a logical person, I like cold, hard, quantifiable facts- this makes me curious, analytical and sceptical. The physiological anomalies of dissociative identity disorder really challenge me. I’ve looked for information, I’ve found a lot of fellow DIDers sharing similar experiences but I’ve found very little science to back it all up. I like science.
I’m tormented by my natural, logical nature as I know on one hand I can explain the weird things in terms of ‘who has what’ but I also know, that even though it doesn’t feel like it and even though I would argue it wasn’t the case 90% of the time- there is only one of me and I only have one body.
The weird things are also difficult to talk about and I’m very reluctant to offer anything regarded as ‘fanciful’ that will add fuel to the ‘does DID exist’ fire. I would never have believed any of these things either- until they happened to me. Those of you who have been reading for a number of years and indeed those of you who read who have known me in real life will know I have no reason to lie.
I am forced to simply accept the physical changes between identity states in dissociative identity disorder just ‘are’. I have trawled the internet for information and found very little, partly as I’m constrained by Google scholar and have no journal subscriptions so am reduced to reading abstracts which perhaps pick up on one key word in my search. I have other theories as to why there’s very little research into this fascinating aspect of DID. I can’t imagine that many of us would make very willing test subjects, we’re all different but our general aversions to being asked questions and the medical profession probably makes us poor participants in research. There are no drugs to treat DID, in the absence of big-pharma being interested there are very few revenue streams for funding research. What research there is tends to be on the physiological changes associated with trauma or differences in memory between identity states. I read a lot, I’m an information junkie, for the longest time this was done in a tireless pursuit to somehow ‘prove’ to myself I didn’t have DID- I never found what I was looking for.
Writing this is difficult, not least as I can’t see very well. The obvious answer is to go to the optician and have my eyes tested but for the time being that is impossible. Eye-tests involve close proximity to another person, being in darkness, extended periods of eye-contact and being touched- it’s far too triggering. Besides how would I ever find an optician willing to accept that I might need glasses- sometimes and that indeed I might need three different prescriptions- sometimes.
I’m fascinated by myself and by DID, in many ways I’ve fulfilled one of my dreams by finding something that can hold my interest and satisfy my pursuit of knowledge. Right now I’d settle for knowing why DID is so physically exhausting as it’s only just past 8am and I’m so tired I could cry.
I do cry- sometimes.