As I’ve said before, my mother had DID. Growing up with that was a bit interesting, even though I was familiar with the concept because of my SRA background. From a very early age, I took care of my mother. Some people with DID, and I’d like to include myself in this group, are very high-functioning. My mother was not one of those people. In her best times, she needed to be told when to take her meds, reminded to take showers, and highly supervised during activities like cooking. In her worst times, she was incredibly abusive and manipulative. I’m not at all attacking parents with DID; I’m merely stating *my* experience growing up with a DID mother.
Probably the most difficult thing to deal with was the uncertainty. I never knew what I was coming home to, the loving mum, the abuser, or a child. I feel like I only saw rare glimpses of the person who was my mother, and unfortunately, my sister saw even less of her. Even though I feel lucky to have been able to do it, filling that parental role for my sister and attempting to grow myself up at the same time was rather difficult. Now I *am* grown up, and I’m starting to understand, to some extent, what it was probably like for my mother.
Some days I feel like I’m only getting a glimpse of the person I am. I feel like I get lost somewhere in there and have to go searching through old journals to reconnect me with who I am. It’s a very disorienting feeling. Part of my issue is a pining for the fjords (Monty Python reference). My life truly has changed dramatically over the past few years, and I feel like I’m struggling to put back together the puzzle that is me.
Nine years ago, I was living in London with my family. We had a decent enough flat in a decent enough neighbourhood. My sister was at a school she actually liked, and I was attending a health sciences programme at University. We were a bit cramped for space, but we were *happy.* Move forward to the present time, and nothing of that life remains, aside from a few friends across the Pond who I still keep in touch with regularly. My relatives have passed on, mostly due to cult activity, and I’m living in a country that will always feel foreign. In short, I’ve lost most of the connections to who I was at the happiest time of my life. Sometimes during meditations or in conversation with my friends from home, I can close my eyes and bring it all back. I know that, even if I moved back to London, I would not have that life back. Most of the time, I’ve even accepted that fact. Days like today, though, I really miss the life I had.
Learning about my others has both helped and hurt this feeling of disorientation. I don’t know if this is true for everyone, but some of the memories my others have given back to me are *good* memories, which help flesh out those blank spots. Also, since my closest alters are highly unified, they provided a more cohesive feeling. I suppose their keeping good memories as well as bad helped me adjust more quickly to life here. Adjust is a funny word, though. It doesn’t necessarily mean grow to love. To some extent, I don’t believe that old adage ‘home is where you make it.’ For me, home is 5000 miles and nine years away. I like my life now, but I need to find a closer bridge between the present and the good parts of the past. To state a cliche that I *do* believe, the past can’t be undone. I should hope, though, that just as we try to avoid bringing with us the patterns of abuse we learnt as children, we *can* bring along the good things about our pasts that shaped who we are and incorporate those in to our present lives.