I walked on the beach for at least three hours today; picking up trash, listening to music on my earphones and writing this letter in my mind. The words won’t flow as easily tonight because I’m not “myself”…I don’t think I have been for at least two or three days. It is still hard for me to know (and to believe) when I’ve switched and I usually spend a couple days being frustrated because I can’t seem to get myself to do the things I normally do or feel the way I normally feel about things. And then, like I did today on the beach, I realize that I’m not just “in a mood.” This is still all so surreal and there is a very big part of me that resists this whole thing and wants to scream “I’m full of shit!” and confess this whole dissociative identity disorder thing is just another fucked up thing I’m “doing” in a fucked up string of things I have called “life” for 49 years.
Since starting this journey, I’ve been teaching myself to be content with doing my best each day and to focus on gently and logically leading my mind through this puzzle – undoing four decades of one reality, examining each piece and then trying to reconstruct a new reality in which I can find authenticity and, from there, a true connection to the world and to those around me. Sometimes I start to panic about how old I am, how my health is increasingly showing signs it is failing and how I may or may not have much time left to get this all sorted out. But even with these concerns, the true struggle isn’t with the pace of my integration efforts so much as with the time spent being able to even believe the puzzle truly exists to be solved. It is one thing to worry about solving a puzzle before time runs out. It is a whole other thing to fight my own mind in convincing it to focus on the puzzle and believe its real and, upon convincing myself once again that the puzzle is real, feeling the panic once again in how much time I’ve lost in working toward solving it.
I have had no single moments in my life when I felt real. Actually, I struggle in even making that definitive statement because I am still learning to grasp what is real. I am, 100% of the time, in a state of questioning if I am the real me. Am I the real one? Am I just some “part” or some offshoot of something else more real? Am I being real right now? Is this just a mood? Am I the one that is the true self? Is there a true self or just a bunch of bits? Do I just think I’m the true self or and there is actually another who is more true? Is this real life or is this fantasy? Did I die in that car wreck and all of this has actually been some other kind of existence? Are my foggy childhood memories manufactured from histrionics or real? Is anything about me real at all? Without answers to these questions that hold firm from day to day and from moment to moment, there are times (many times, in fact) I’m not sure if I’m making any progress at all. In fact, as I unfold and unravel things, rather than finding clarity, I become even more confused and it feels like I’m taking huge steps backwards; becoming less certain of what is certain and what can be considered baseline reality.
I am so deep in this rabbit hole in asking these questions that I often question the diagnosis that lead me to the puzzle in the first place. Am I even really DID? Or am I developing a role to act like someone whose is DID? If I am developing a “role” of someone with multiple personalities, doesn’t that in itself make me someone who is dissociative? Or am I actually a survivor of my past who now, in order to survive more recent events that left me without a cover or a way to make myself acceptable to others, has created this new role of someone who has DID in order to escape my last manifestation?
Is the mental dysfunction I’m describing that causes me to doubt my reality…Is it reality?
I’ve always just been going through life, hoping I’m being real but feeling like I’m acting and wishing I didn’t feel that way but not being sure if I’m right or wrong. If I’m sure in one moment, I’ll have doubts about that moment later on. And if I’m positive beforehand about a moment to come, I’ll start to doubt it while I’m in the moment because I suddenly realize I’m trusting a past me who may or may not have been real in having decided beforehand the moment I am in would be real.
Even as I’m writing this, I hear the old questions…I wonder, is what I’m writing true? Is it real or is it just a line in yet another play at being me – something the person a new DID role I’ve created would say? Will I wake up tomorrow and read this and not remember writing it? Will I be embarrassed? Will think I’m full of shit? Am I full of shit?
As I feel the spiral begin, I try cling to the little bit of logic I can construct as a breadcrumb back to a place of somewhat firm understanding and I ask myself…Am I the same person who started writing letters to you? If not, in what ways am I different from that person? And, if I’m able to say for sure that I’m not the person who started writing to you, who am I? And does it even matter, really? When I read the letters I’ve already written, I don’t remember most of them and their contents leave me feeling a whole range of emotions: embarrassed, exposed, surprised, and even (dare I say) better informed. Does this mean and “other” wrote them or is it more a matter of amnesia – a short term memory issue that leaves me unable to remember things from day to day since the car accident?
Oh who the fuck knows. I’m so sorry my friend. My mind is tired and (obviously) confused tonight. Sometimes streams of consciousness can be a good thing and sometimes it is a train wreck. In this case, Choo! Choo! The crazy train, she is a-rollin’ and my apologies if you felt taken for a ride along in this letter.
Whoever the fuck I am now…if it even really matters. I don’t think it does, so…