I could share with you the symptoms of dissociative identity disorder, but anytime anyone shares a list of their symptoms for a neurological diagnosis, it is met with at least one that applies to everyone, but does everyone have ____? NO!
You also can’t completely understand what life with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is like if you don’t have examples, so…these are the things I experienced that I eventually gained confidence to share with a trusted medical professional.
Each paragraph/line is a new instance of me being conscious.
I heard my name. A light pulled me out of the darkness. I tried on this skin that didn’t feel like my own — wasn’t entirely my own — and hated my hair. Why is it this brownish reddish color? It’s not a natural color in my head.
Looked in the mirror. Didn’t recognize myself.
Felt like I was in a corner watching my body retaliate against someone who wasn’t comprehending what was happening, who just saw everything wrong with my body that didn’t even look like mine — yet still, I had to suffer the consequences of all actions. I just needed quiet. I just wanted my mom. I ran to her — down the driveway, on the road, to her house next door. Wills Point. Blood came up my throat. My lips were chapped. She gave me a glass; I filled it with the blood.
“Home.” Fading in and out, I can’t keep up with anything. I don’t like the feeling of someone else’s head on my shoulder. Don’t cry on me, I don’t like it. I’m hot and sweaty. I can’t be bothered with someone else’s emotions and drama when my own mind is crowded. Whose thoughts are whose? What are mine? Why do I feel so many fucking things at once??
Can’t escape this body. It doesn’t match what I look like, yet it’s me. Everyone tells me this is who I am. Then again, no one calls me by my name — it’s someone else’s, the one I watching. Does everyone else share a body with another? Or just me?
Living in a different house. Don’t know why. It’s weird here, different, suffocating — hot. Got so many more people telling me who I am, how to act, how to dress…I’m not a fucking doll, and this is my fucking life. I hate it, but I don’t know how to escape it. Every time I think I’ve got something, too much time has passed.
My mouth is saying words I never would.
I can’t control my arms and legs.
Everything about this outfit is what I hate about her. They keep calling me her name.
The medicine they gave this body to knock it out for dental work is making the voices in my head grow louder, louder, until I’m talking to them.
I started keeping a journal, but then yesterday turned into a month later.
Wrote “hi??” on a sticky note. Someone wrote “hi :)” back. It’s not my handwriting. I’m scared to ask their name. If it’s hers, then this is all real. I don’t want it to be real.
If it’s real, I’m crazy. It can’t be real. I’m faking it. I made it up or something.
I never meant to tell anyone, but it slipped one day. There’s a deep feeling as though you’re doing something wrong when you tell people you think you might have dissociative identity disorder — at least there was for me. I felt it in the pit of my stomach and wanted nothing more than to run out of office right then and there, because telling? Our worst fear was that we were going to be locked up, villainized before we’d even done anything worth being locked up for, because that’s what stigma does to people: teaches them to fear instead of understand.