I hid. Jokingly, I called myself a feral cat, but it wasn’t funny. I felt like I had to stay away from people, isolating myself to avoid explaining my
often unexplainable behaviour.
I found it difficult to make plans in the morning because I couldn’t predict which part of me would be present in the evening. When I did agree to do something later in the day, I made up reasons for changing my mind, like being tired or other excuses that made me appear flakey.
Parties or social gatherings were also challenging. Not all parts of me wanted to go, some were afraid, others didn’t have the skills and one part is an alcoholic which could get us into trouble.
There were so many triggers that activated the very different parts of me. I couldn’t predict my behaviour. Sights, sounds, smells, a particular meal, a circumstance, or a memory from the past, usually traumatic, could cause another part of my personality to come forward or take over. What I used to call “a meltdown”. Before getting well this would happen most of the time without warning and often without my own awareness.
I lived a lonely life. Even when I thought the environment was neutral, the time of day and the temperature just right, I couldn’t forecast what would happen. So, I limited the amount of time I spent with any one person.
Often, I couldn’t get things done. Some people think they are procrastinators but for me, all of the parts of myself just couldn’t agree on things. And I didn’t even know all of them. At times my inside community was like a government of opposing political parties; a body of unrest. There needed to be a lot of time for internal processing which made external productivity impossible.
Before I got well, I lived in fear and shame about multiplicity. I believed I was defective, and I didn’t know what to do. The turning point was when I began to embrace all the aspects of my personality. I accepted that sometimes all I could do was work on getting to know “my selves”.
I reframed what I believed about having a diagnosis of DID as an ingenious and positive coping strategy that my brain created for survival.
Now, I understand human uniqueness as mental diversity. A diagnosis is for information and communication, but it does not have to be a permanently debilitating condition. I am confident to go anywhere and I have close friends and loving relationships. I am a successful homeowner and business owner. I show up when I make plans and I can experience happiness and even the feeling of joy.
I have proven that people can change, regardless of what the research says and beyond a diagnosis.