What Is Real For Me?

I am starting to question, yet again, what is real and what is unreal.

Yes, I’m back on the old pendulum. I’ve swung all the way back up to the other side of questioning everything. That’s just the way of things I guess.


Why do I have the tendency to want to name and categorize? The very first time I heard about dissociative identity disorder seven years ago, and had someone with DID tell me they thought I had DID, I became convinced of it. I created an elaborate “system” with a whole list of names and ages. I had been in and out of psych hospitals and I was desperate for an answer to my difficulties. To map out my entire “system”, which consisted of something like ten or more alters, took a matter of days. I literally went from having no alters, with no names or ages or anything, to having a whole handful, ready at my beckoning call.

This is the power of suggestion.

However… this notion and the repercussions of this self-given diagnosis have haunted me. I can’t seem to be able to extricate myself from it. Every time I go into a different state where I don’t feel like “myself”, I automatically go into the mindset, well if it’s not me, then who is it?

How utterly ridiculous. Of course it’s me. It’s all me.

I know there are people out there with genuine DID. I do not believe, however, that I am one of them. The symptoms just don’t fit. Do I struggle with dissociation? Yes. Do I have strong bouts of depersonalization and derealization? Yes. Do I go into numbed states… foggy states… far away states? Yes. Angry states? Yes.

This then begs the question: Who/What is R? Is R something/someone I imagined? Invented?

The state that I call “R” is real. I can see myself becoming another person. I can feel myself becoming another person. A person almost unrecognizable from myself. And yet… it is still me. In a dissociated state. But it is still me. Just a different aspect of myself.

I have to stop making assumptions about what this is. I have to stop making assumptions about who/what “R” is. I have to stop making assumptions about who/what “Coraline” is. Because assuming that they are alternate personalities, with her own minds and her own thoughts and feelings is… well… dangerous. It’s a slippery slope. When my previous therapist diagnosed me as having DID, alters started coming out of the woodwork. The majority of parts/alters who “made themselves known” during that time have what – disappeared? Gone away? No. “They” were never there in the first place. I was trying to make sense of my experience, and I took it too far. I listened and trusted my therapist, who was absolutely convinced at the time that I had DID. She even took it back at the end and said she believes she was wrong, that I don’t have DID after all.

Whether my previous therapist was right or wrong really isn’t the point. The point is, I need to start over. I need a clean slate. I need to start off with this new therapist free from assumptions and old baggage. If “R” and “Coraline” do in fact have their own identities, that will emerge at some point. And then they will just have to forgive me.

I have to stop making this my default belief. I can’t keep falling back on this as an explanation for the states I get into. There is a chance that these states are something other than alternate identities/personalities. In which case I’ve already ruined my chances of discovering what is really going on with me. What I am left with is an explanation of fabrications.

It is all just me. I have to remember that. The thought that another “person” resides in my head was kind of nice, kind of comforting. Not so lonely. And maybe it’s not so wrong to think of R (especially) as having a distinct identity other than me. However, it’s not what I need to do right now. What I need to do is start fresh. Wipe the slate clean. Discover what’s really going on, get to the root of what’s causing me such distress and chaos on a daily basis.

For those of you who felt like you were just getting to know R, I apologize. This may feel like a loss of sorts to you as well. But it is what needs to happen at the moment. It’s what I need to do for myself. Me as a whole.


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