“I don’t have DID today.”
It’s a line I give my therapist often. I don’t want to talk about my parts or the inner world or the dissociative chaos that is my life. I don’t want to talk about how broken I am.
But that’s not enough for her. She always has to push me further. Then I shut down. Completely. Because that’s what any perfectly normal person would do, right?
I know it’s not good to deny my reality. I know that by denying my DID, I am denying my parts as well. I know that makes everything worse. But I still do it. Deny, deny, deny.
Then, one time, my therapist asked, “well, how do you explain your symptoms?”
I thought for a minute, wondering what symptoms she could be referring to, since I have so many.
“Maybe I’m just schizophrenic.”
The voices I hear, they are not my parts. They’re just hallucinations. Those feelings of depersonalization? That’s just distorted thinking. My memory problems? The cognitive deficits of schizophrenic disorders. It all fits.
Except it doesn’t. The voices I hear are my parts, the depersonalization is part of my dissociation, and my memory problems are because my parts hold those memories for me. I know that already. I’ve known that since the beginning of my diagnosis. So why do I continue to deny it?
My therapist seemed perplexed by my answer. Why would I want a disorder likely more stigmatized, difficult to treat therapeutically, more debilitating to some? “You would rather have schizophrenia?”
“Yes,” I replied.
Then the truth came out. “Because then I wouldn’t have to acknowledge all of the trauma.”
Schizophrenia is largely chemical, an imbalance of dopamine that is treated with antipsychotics. It can happen to anyone.
DID, on the other hand, is caused by severe trauma. There’s no chemical imbalances, no pills I can take to make my symptoms go away. I am broken, a type of broken that can’t ever be fixed the way it should be.
So yes, sometimes I wish I had schizophrenia rather than DID. Sometimes I wish all of the abuse I went through was just a delusion. Sometimes I wish I could just take a pill or three and quiet the voices and be able to get through the day in peace.
But I can’t.
Denial is making it worse, but accepting the truth is just too hard.