I don’t fit, or at least if I do, I don’t know where. This feeling is nothing new to me; I’ve never fitted, always felt different. I suppose I should be grateful that at least now I know why?
I didn’t think I had a problem with being different, in fact I’m still not sure I do after all I can’t imagine I’d enjoy being normal. Just a quick reminder to anyone even thinking of saying or even just thinking “oh but what is normal anyway?” I don’t know, but I know what it isn’t. That question rates even higher up the irritation scale than any of the wanky platitudes, don’t do it.
When I went mental, I started to feel a bit like I wasn’t different anymore; I was the same as all the other mentals. But that’s just it, I am the same
I have a lot in common with the depressed, the manic, the obsessive compulsives, the voice hearers, the eating disordered, the self-harmers, the suicidal, the psychotic, the delusional, the gender confused, the insomniacs, the narcissists, the anxious, the attachment disordered, the selective mutes, the substance abusers, the paranoid- I could go on…..
I can identify with everyone; I’ve been there, am often there and will no doubt be there again at some point. I suppose if we’re looking at transferable skills at least I can rest easy, safe in the knowledge that I have a promising future career in writing leaflets about mental illness?
I left a comment on a blog last week; it took me some 4 days of writing and deleting to actually click ‘submit’. My comment wasn’t anything controversial or even particularly interesting or important but it was different. The topic of the blog piece was labels- what we mentals call ourselves and are called by services. I’m a firm believer in self-definition but of course, for me this means selves-definition. My comment reflected this
I cut the comment short, I define myself in numerous different ways but I was feeling incredibly self-conscious about what I’d said.
So I feel different from other people like me, other mentals
I don’t fully understand why I felt so self-conscious, I’m not ashamed of having DID, I’m happy to talk about it. You may have noticed.
I feel like I ought to say “my illness doesn’t define me” but it’s simply not true. When your illness makes you believe you are more than one “me” it does tend to dictate how you operate.
I’ve felt uncomfortable within the Madosphere for a while, I don’t read many blogs at the moment and I comment on very few. Whilst I have something in common with everyone and can offer advice, sympathy and understanding in all and any situation, I shy away from doing so. I don’t feel unwelcome, far from it but I do feel very different and quite alone. The ultimate paradox of sharing your head/body/life with [number I will never reveal] people is that it can be incredibly lonely.
I know there are several people out there with DID, I read some of their blogs; I don’t even feel like I fit there. Why? What makes me so special? What makes me think I’m different from all the other multiples out there?
On paper, nothing. Whilst all multiples are unique, there’s a sameness about us too, we share similar experiences and face similar struggles. There are a few tangible things I can point to that make me feel out of place within the online DID community.
Other DID bloggers use different terminology to me, I can’t discuss this further as it’s triggering, therefore other DID blogs can be triggering for me. So I’m like the meanie of the madosphere, I have no blogroll and generally don’t follow blogs. I have some in my reader as then I can carefully choose when to read them. I tend to avoid using terminology at all, I slip in the odd technical description but my story-telling approach to blogging often doesn’t call for it.
Other DID bloggers share names, I nearly fled Starbucks in terror last time I went and they asked for a name to put on my drink (why do they do that?!). I can’t work out if my reluctance to share names is symptomatic of the denial that we had any for so long or indicative of my overall secretiveness. I’m happy, for the most part to hide behind the collective noun, it feels safer that way.
Other DID bloggers share system information, I am like the MI5 of the multiple world when it comes to sharing information. I think it would make me feel incredibly vulnerable and unsafe to detail parts of my system.
Other DID bloggers talk about therapy; I allude to it but can never imagine retelling a session. I’m not ashamed about what happens in session, I often don’t know and am in no doubt that it’s always overtly mental but I think that therapy is for me, whoever I may be on the day and the <?> therapist.
Other DID bloggers talk about trauma. I have no trauma. I know that’s the typical multiple response but I genuinely have no memory of trauma. Sure my childhood was less than perfect and I can remember a lot of the less than perfect bits- which suggests they don’t count as trauma, but more unhelpful additions to a psyche that was already teetering. I can’t imagine if I ever uncover any trauma *clings to denial* I’d want to share it outwith therapy though.
So I feel different from other people like me, other people with DID
I’ve done the sums and if I’ve correctly identified ANPs (apparently normal parts) and EPs (emotional parts) I am 63% normal or apparently normal anyway. So the majority of the time, I’m technically, apparently normal. Twenty minutes in a room with me however and it becomes glaringly obvious that in spite of the mathematical evidence, I’m not normal. In fact, you don’t even need to be in the same room as me, anyone who’s ever received an email from me will know that bits of apparent normality do not compound into something totally normal, indeed it has the rather opposite effect. Those of you who’ve been lucky enough to receive hand-written correspondence from me (always unsigned but you can tell it’s from me as you recognise the handwritings) will appreciate that whilst there’s no doubt I can be normal and often am, all the normal together or even just a few of the normals together at the same time makes something completely abnormal.
So I feel different from other people like me, normal people
I think I feel different because I feel different and have always felt different. It’s causing me some angst it’s fair to say, especially as I think I’d be equally angst ridden to find out I was just the same as everyone else.