I want to propose a question:
What if I really don’t have dissociated parts/ego states/ identities – whatever you want to call them – but I am actually, on an unconscious level, making them up due to my tendency toward wanting to morph myself into what other people expect of me.
What I mean is… I have always been what other people needed. I have an uncanny ability to sense what someone else needs, perhaps even before they do. In my friendships, in my partnerships, I have tended to do this: be whatever/whoever they needed me to be. There was no “me”, there was no “self.” My only sense of identity lied in becoming what others needed.
What I’m wondering is, what if the idea of Dissociative Identity Disorder was suggested to me, many years ago in a psychiatric hospital (by another patient who actually had DID), and rather than dismissing it as invalid and unfitting, that maybe a part of my brain actually began making that a “reality.” I remember taking the idea and running with it. I believe I’ve talked about this on here already, but I figure it’s worth mentioning again. Within days, I had already “mapped my system”, and for those of you who aren’t intimately familiar with DID lingo, this means creating a “map” (either literal or metaphoric) of every part or identity within the larger body/person. So within days of someone telling me they thought I had Dissociative Identity Disorder (and they were “sure” of it – they said they had an ability to detect this sort of thing in people), I had already come up with an extensive list of everyone in my “system.” Their names, their ages, and their role in my life/our lives. There were maybe… six? seven? eight? Something like that. There were names like Charlotte… Katie… Trey… Trevor… Kevin… “Wise One”… There were more I just can’t remember the names offhand. In one of my journal entries, “Charlotte” wrote about how mean men had entered the safe place inside our head and had killed all of Katie’s animals. And that Katie was so upset that she was hiding and was nowhere to be found, and of course this distressed Charlotte immensely.
See, the problem is… none of this happened. And these identities never existed. I was creating them, albeit unconsciously, to fit into the mold of what I thought DID should look like. There should be “protectors.” There should be scared “littles” who stay hidden inside in the inner world. There should be “persecutors” who scare and torment the littles. Of course, I had learned all this stuff from my good friend who has DID, who has a very complex system of alters/identities, and who had explained to me how her system of alters works. I didn’t know better at the time, but I assumed that all DID systems/presentations/symptomology was the same.
Of course, when I took the Dissociative Experiences Scale test, to help determine where my dissociation stood on the spectrum, I scored so low that they didn’t even spend a single second considering it as a possible diagnosis for me. I wasn’t nearly dissociative enough to even qualify for that diagnosis.
So I have to ask myself, how did I out of the blue have these identities (of course this time with different names) begin to pop up all over again. It began when a very misguided therapist decided to diagnosis me with DID only a month into our therapy together. So of course, all I needed was a little nudge, and I could be a “star pupil” – well, in this case, a star client. She would tell me things like, “You know, my DID clients are actually my favorite clients,” and stuff like that. It made me feel really special, like I was a member of some cool, unique club.
The sad and disturbing part of this whole thing is, DID is not something anyone would choose. And yet, as my own experience has shown, there are some deluded people who find some sort of sick pleasure in creating and maintaining this elaborate lie, maybe to make sense of one’s experience, maybe to have others think a certain way of them. It’s like, you only need to tell yourself something so many times before you truly start believing it is true. And I think this is what has happened to me.
The most upsetting thing about this whole thing is, however much I tell myself that I’m not going to continue doing this, that I’m going to stop perpetuating the lies about their existence, I continue to do so. I fall right back into my own trap. I somehow am able to convince myself that these parts are real, that they have their own independent ways of thinking and acting, and that I should treat them with kindness and respect.
Now this part who I’ve somehow conjured up and who I have called “R” is now wanting to change her name. This is not going to happen. The reason it’s not going to happen is because she isn’t even real. She is a lie. I have been lying. And somehow, nobody seems to believe me. Least of all, my therapists. It’s like I’ve got them going along believing these convoluted lies. Am I really that good of a liar? Am I really such a master manipulator? I must be!
Maybe I can’t stop. Maybe it’s like a drug. Maybe I’m too far gone, like I’m past the point of no return. That my brain has already embraced this notion that I have these dissociated states, identities, whatever, and incorporated it into my mind as truth. That now I’m actually incapable of extricating myself from this web of lies in which I find myself, because my brain no longer is even able to tell the difference between truth and lies. That in my reality, the lies have actually become truth.
So… I just figured I would give all you readers a fair warning: when you read about these different parts of me, who have different names and so forth, READ WITH CAUTION. Please understand that this most likely isn’t even the truth, but is actually a fabrication that my mind came up with and has accepted as truth. I feel like I need to give people a warning, because… well… it feels like the ultimate deception. Like I’m pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. It’s such a good deception that I’ve actually deceived myself into believing it.
So when you see posts in the future from “R”, or whatever “she” ends up changing her name to, please understand that she is not even real, that she does not even exist, that she is in fact a big lie that my mind has created.
I’m not sure why I was drawn to this image, and now I’m not even sure it conveys what I had originally wanted it to convey. But, I wanted to include it anyway…
At first, I was thinking that the figure in dark was not real, that it was a projection of oneself by the figure in white; a projection of herself outside of herself. But then as I looked longer at it, I didn’t think that the figure in dark was false and the figure in light was real, but rather that they were both real, and linked somehow. Two parts of one whole. Is that, perhaps, what R and I are? Two parts of one whole? Why then, if she makes up a part of the whole me, does she feel like such a lie?
Sorry, it seems like I’ve begun questioning myself even before I was able to publish this post! It appears that I need to spend more time thinking about this and trying to figure it out. Perhaps I will spend eternity trying to figure out whether she is “real” or not, when in fact I never will really know.
Some people have said, “It doesn’t even matter so much if she is “real” or not, what’s more important is that she’s real to you.”
I wonder though: Is she?