Monday, 22 August 2011

How many personalities do you have?

Good afternoon fellow bloggers, I hope you are well and having a great day. Today I am having a rare day off of work. I say rare because I had to use a lot of this year's holidays last year to go on my big trip, because my annoying manager wouldn't give me more time off on unpaid leave. However, I do find myself reluctant to take time off work because I get out of the way of working and it seems I inevitably spend an excruciating few weeks after any holiday trying to get my head back around the idea of getting up and spending eight hours of my day working. I question whether it's actually worth it.

I wonder if my issue is partly because the person who goes to work is one of my alters, therefore when I take time off it somehow disrupts the switching process that normally takes place on a daily basis. I don't know. Maybe I'm just internally built like a ship (some might say 'externally' too :S ) where any change of direction is a slow process. There can be no sharp turns for corners, or in the case of the Titanic: icebergs. So once I steer myself off course for a break, it's a huge energy expenditure to steer her back in the right direction again. 

Whatever it is, when I say I wonder if it's worth it, I'm not joking. I find myself almost dreading (well, not 'dreading' but I can't think of a milder word for it at the moment) any holidays now because of the trouble I know I'll have getting back into a work routine afterwards.

I don't know why I started telling you this! Let me think....

Oh yes! I was going to tell you about my day, as I am off work today (Monday). I took it off as I went away on a family camping weekend which ended yesterday and I knew that I'd likely be physically exhausted if not psychologically exhausted by the end of it (turns out I was both). I had a bit of a lie in which was much needed and went to therapy a little bit later than my more recent 9am appointments (which I'm still undecided about: morning appointments are just being tried out at the moment. T thought it might be better given my dissociation tendencies. I'm really not sure how the time of day could help but anyway. We'll see.)

I was back home and in my jammies by 1130 and haven't had much energy today. One of those days where I am made of jelly. It's annoying because there were things I was hoping to do in the house but I've just been flaked out and feeling annoyed with my body. It could be the after effects of therapy.

T was unsure as to what to talk about today. She said she didn't want to put me on the spot with anything if I am still in function mode (it's so great that she is learning about how to deal with me in my different states. It's so amazing to be understood by someone despite my being different from anyone else I know). I told her I felt it was time she started forcing me to talk about difficult things again because it's not reasonable for me to stay this way forever and I can't get out of function mode of my own volition at the moment. So she suggested we pick up a project which I had been supposed to be doing in my own time. T had asked me to try to get my alters grouped into smaller groups with one alter who could act as a spokesperson for their group. I never really talk to you about how many alters there are because, well I guess I don't really want to admit it to myself, but there are a lot of us (numbering in the twenties... as far as I know, so far... please God, don't let there be more that I don't know about!)


I think in my head I feel I could accept having four or five or even six or seven alters, but having multiple multiples somehow makes me feel ashamed. I don't know why this is. Maybe it's my own judgemental attitude that I've had in the past when reading about other people with DID. Some describe themselves as having hundreds of alters: I have marvelled at how that could be possible. Maybe I doubted that it could be possible. I guess part of me felt that they must have been making it up to sound impressive or were just confused about what 'alter' means and were mistaking 'feelings' for 'alters'. I accept that this is a view that is possibly very naive and don't mean to hurt anyone who does have many alters, I'm just being honest about how my doubts challenge me (and as you may know from other blog posts, I have alters who don't care to believe I have dissociative identity disorder at all, so it's not surprising I am challenged with these thoughts at times). So being presented with a number that is multiple times six or seven, presents me with a reason to doubt myself as to whether it could be true for me. Because I am not always aware of everyone, it feels like there aren't that many of us. Seeing them all noted on paper in one place at one time is therefore alarming to say the least.
I guess I also like to tell myself that I have a mild form of DID and that I'm not that bad off with it. I think partly, knowing there are many alters just scares me and confronts me with a fact I don't like to acknowledge: that something seriously fucked up my head for me to end up this way.

Anyway, back to my project. So T asked me to try to group them and agree spokespeople. This turned out to be a really difficult task and something I wasn't able to manage on my own, partly because it involved looking at all of the parts and this freaked me out as aforementioned due to the sheer number of us. Partly, I just can't sort people into groups and I don't know if some parts can speak for others. Partly also, I am not the all seeing eye and working on a project like that when I only have fragments of information about alters is like trying to do a puzzle when you don't have all the pieces or the box with the picture on it. Being in function mode just made the whole thing doubly difficult too and I ended up not doing the grouping part at all. I managed to write down a summary of each alter that I am aware of on separate pieces of paper which I hoped could be used to try to get some order but as I was freaking out about how many of us there was, T took the project off my hands (quite literally as I left the pieces of paper with her and we agreed I needed to take a break from it).

OMG totally forgot we were writing this blog post today. I guess she will do the rest tomorrow?


Anonymous said...

Im just wondering how you know it is an alter that goes to work not u. I go to work but lately feel stuck in the back, I think someone else is out but am not sure. Still learning about my parts. Or maybe fog is just so heavy.

Sandy said...

Hiya Candy :)
I don't know how many parts I have, but it can be very overwhelming, especially to the parts that are still in denial. I cannot call on my parts as I see fit, let alone organize them into any kind of group. I can't speak for all people with dissosciation issues, but for me it just doesn't work like that. My parts respond to the needs of others, usually. I am who they need me to be.
When I feel overwhelmed by the concept of so many parts, I try to remember that there isn't anything that will change that. It is who I am. This is what happens to children put in unfathomable situations. It is a natural process, so I am meant to be this way. You are the ultimate multi tasker. You hold a job and help people everyday on so many levels. I know you are hurting because it is a normal thing to want to be "like everybody else". We aren't like "everybody else" though.
Look at what an amazing job you have done with you :) You survived - and that in itself is more than we can say for too many others who won't read this blog or see the sunshine or take a deep breath.
The world needs you, and it needs you just the way you are. You have so much to do here, you are an angel who gave away her wings so someone else could fly :)

Candycan said...

Hi Anonymous, that's a very good question and I'm not sure how I know to be honest. I guess it's a feeling and a separateness. It's just as though I am a different person. I am quite disconnected from the rest of me when I'm at work. I am focussed and have a different set of skills and also a different awareness of myself than I have at home. My personality would different too: much more outgoing and approachable than at other times and I suppose my memories are different too. As I am not always completely separate from myself it's not as though 'I' become unconscious as soon as I start work and then 'come to' afterwards, but I'm not really there. Sometimes the switch doesn't take place and then 'I' have to be the one doing the work and it is very difficult as I struggle to have the same skills and knowledge. When I am switched to the other part my job is easy and I'm super efficient. I guess I also become more of an observer of myself. It's like my mouth is talking but I'm not connected to it. I tend to talk with a different accent too!