I woke up this morning in a not-great mood. Grad school is tough. The hours of study and stress of exams weighs heavy on the most stable of minds, and mine is certainly not in that category.
My name is [you mean we have to pick one?!?] and I have DID.
That’s dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder for those of you familiar with the old term. You’ve probably heard of it as a ‘rare but serious’ personality disorder. You’ve probably seen a really exaggerated version of it on some movie or tv show or sensationalist celebrity gossip programme. I’ll post some facts about DID later, but for now, I just want to walk you through my morning so far.
Wake up at 6:00 AM. Sit straight up ready to start the day. Internal child (also called littles) grumbles about not getting enough sleep, grabs the nearest teddy bear, and falls back into bed. She apparently went back to sleep, but as I was ready to get up at 6:00, I could not go back to sleep. I also could not make my body move. Sounds odd, I know, and it really is. The little who wanted to sleep called on reinforcements. I really haven’t been sleeping alot lately, and in some odd attempt either to protect me or be fair to her (probably both) the internal lady who takes care of the children took enough control of my body to prevent my getting out of bed. Mind you I did argue with them for the next hour or so until I *could* get out of bed. Rather defeated the purpose, didn’t it?
Yes, multiples (people with DID) hear voices. Daily. And sometimes loudly. The difference between that and schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders is that these are not external voices. I recognise these voices as part of me, and even if they do win out sometimes, I know they’re not odd disembodied things hovering out there to get me. Sometimes, when someone new makes themselves known, I won’t quite understand whose voice I’m hearing, but I’ll still recognise that it’s one of my internal folk and soon they’ll be incorporated into my normal as well.
After that it was breakfast. Do I pick the thing left from dinner last night? Healthy breakfast of cereal and yoghurt? Skip breakfast all together and pay the price later? All of the above, according to me and mine. The good thing about alters (the proper name for internal folk) is that they and I can discuss things internally as well. We can have conversations without disrupting the people around us. So in the middle of the kitchen I stood, waiting to make an executive decision. The cereal won out. Wow. Between that and not sleeping as much as she wanted to, the little is going to be very irritated. Babysitting is tough, but imagine a child who is literally stuck in your mind. I’m partially kidding, though. I’d miss her if she wasn’t around.
Breakfast done, it was time to decide how to divide the time for the rest of the day. I need to spend most of the day studying, running a few errands here and there in the midst. Just like last night, however, studying can be a real trick.
I like what I’m studying, and I love the career I’m preparing for. There are internal folk who aren’t so keen on it, though. One would prefer to be studying for an entirely different field, and he can distract me from my own work from time to time. There are children who would much more prefer doing what children do best. And then there are others who already feel settled, as they are much older than me. *I* however, woke up this morning scared to death that I’ll never be able to start this career. Even though I am self-supporting, had held down a variety of jobs before returning to school, and have had responsibilities a bit above what I should have for my age, I still feel like a child.
I’ll take care of the things I need to do today, and I’ll work on stuff for school as well. Still, everything is a discussion, most of the time. The striking thing about describing a day in the life is that many of the things I deal with happen to everyone. Singletons (people without DID) argue with themselves in a different way, but they still have trouble making decisions sometimes. The difference is, my thoughts argue back. 🙂
More on DID later. I just wanted to sort through my delightfully scattered thoughts of the day so far.