Who am I? I don’t know.

In many ways, I am an open person. I’ve shared my life. I’ve shared my experiences. I’ve shared my diagnosis with the world. But there are still aspects of my DID that I am just not that open about.

I’m a member of quite a few online DID groups. I don’t participate very much on a personal level; I tend to stick with answering questions, diffusing conflicts, and offering support. I think some of that is because I don’t feel like I belong, I don’t feel like my experiences are close to most other people’s.

People talk about their systems like they are a well-oiled machine. Everyone communicates, everyone loves each other, everyone has a purpose. Hell, everyone even has a name. It seems so perfect. It seems like the exact opposite of what I have. No one wants to hear oh yea, I am pretty oblivious to many of my parts, and there’s a lot of anger and sadness and stress and my parts are existing in chaos.

And then there’s the numbers. It’s so common for people to introduce themselves and include a number. My name is Bobby, I have five alters. There is so much focus on how many parts each person has. While I was contributing my writing to the book on living with DID, I was asked to state how many parts I had. I was the only writer that did not include a number, and that genuinely surprised me.

How many parts do I have? Way too fucking many. I don’t count. I don’t keep track. That seems like the most daunting task in the world. Why do people need a number? Why do they need a list?

My parts don’t all have names. I may have a K and a Charlie and an Anna, but I’ve also got a whole lot of KJs and even more than that who are nameless. And some of them aren’t whole; some are pieces and pieces of pieces. I’m not Bobby with five alters. I’m KJ, and I’m a broken mess.

I go through life on autopilot. Who is running the show? I don’t really know, but it’s probably not me. I may wake up in the morning as KJ, but I can guarantee by the time I get to work, I’ve already dissociated at least twice, five more times by lunchtime, and a dozen times more by dinner. I may start a conversation with you, but 9 times out of 10, I’m not the one there when the conversation ends.

It’s my name on the paycheck, but it’s not always me doing the work. But as long as the work gets done, right? I play it off when my boss notices things. “Hey, your voice changed again!” I respond, “Oh, it’s because I’m not from here.” But I know that’s not the reason at all.

I don’t remember things. What I did last week. What I did yesterday. What I did ten minutes earlier. I try to fill in the gaps when I can, but it’s not always easy. People get frustrated. I just tell them I have a bad memory. How can I explain to them that I’m not always me? Hell, I don’t even know who me is to begin with.

I don’t know where I end and another part begins, or where I begin and another part ends. I don’t even know if I am someone, or maybe just a part. I know I exist, in the physical sense. But I don’t know who I am any more than I know who my neighbor is.

I’m so ashamed. I fear that if people really knew just how out of it I am so much of the time, they would know how broken and how out of control I am. They would know how much I have failed at my own life. I am too broken, literally and emotionally. To know that side of me is to know how much of a failure I am. So I try to hide it. I can admit I have DID, but I damn sure can’t tell you how broken I am. Let’s just keep pretending, please.

Who am I? I don’t know.

Who am I? Ask me again in five minutes or so. Maybe then I will know.


9 thoughts on “Who am I? I don’t know.

  1. I don’t think there are any rules about how to have DID. Maybe it’s the people who have already been working on their trauma and DID for a long time who write the most, and they’ve had time to sort out their parts. Maybe some of them aren’t entirely sure about their parts either but have found it easier to number and name them because that’s how they are often written about.

    I used to think that I must be lying or exaggerating or making things up because I don’t remember everything that happened and am not even sure some days whether anything happened. It’s helped me some to read the range of experiences people have had here. But mostly over time I have come to believe that whatever the damn DSM V label is, and whatever description I do or don’t fit, whoever did or didn’t do some specific thing to me, I deserve to heal from the wounds I carry. I had to start with “everyone deserves to heal, even me.”

    For me at least, I can only heal if I let go of the idea of needing precise memories about everything or exactly fitting a certain diagnosis. As soon as I get caught up in that again, I stall out on getting better. I don’t know if the same is true for you, but I offer it up as something for you to consider…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that.

      I know there aren’t any rules — especially seeing how everyone has such different experiences under the same diagnosis. I think I may have a bit of envy of others’ experiences that plays into it, too. That if I have to have this disorder, I want it the easy way.

      My memories are weird. I can remember things clearly in one moment/day, and not remember it at other times. It’s why I like to write things down so much, because I want to be able to remember in case I do forget.

      I’m not really sure where I was going with this. Everything is so mixed up. I want others (therapist included) to understand my experience, but I don’t even understand it all myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Living in a fog, so many thoughts and voices in my head, not knowing who is making what decision and why, trying to hide my mental illness from the world and sometimes from myself, knowing I have no control over thoughts or actions, having parts with different ages (no names for mine either) and all these different ages behaving like their age which is my body’s age…it’s all so scary and completely confusing. Who am you? Each is Kyra Jack, just at different ages. You are the combination of all those ages together. But, much easier said than to believe and live out, I know. Much love.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “No one wants to hear oh yea, I am pretty oblivious to many of my parts, and there’s a lot of anger and sadness and stress and my parts are existing in chaos.”
    Actually that’s exactly what I want to hear because that’s my experience too. I read blogs where like you said people refer to their systems and parts as if they’ve known them for years. I know nothing other than what my therapist tells me. Which at this point is very little.
    Maybe because I am very early in the process. Only Dx for about two months. I’m still in the “I’m not buying into this phase”
    I have no awareness of these parts. How can I not hear words that come out of my mouth when I’m another part talking in therapy? It’s still my mouth and ears yet all I am aware of is time loss.
    I have so many questions like how will I know if a part tries to talk to me? Will I wake up one day and just remember everything they remember?
    I wake up to realize my hair is a different color. I feel more chaotic now than I did before the dx. Why is that?
    And am I just one of the parts?

    Thank you for writing and being real. I would love to hear from others more about how their parts came to be or at least how they came to know them. Why will my parts talk to my Therapist and not to me? Do I really want them to? Idk it just seems so scary and overwhelming.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think…I think you will know when it happens, when a part tries to talk to you. When I first heard one of my parts (well before diagnosis) I ignored it at first, because I just thought I was crazy. But I think once you understand what’s going on, you open yourself up to being ready for it (not that everyone is ever fully ready for it). It takes time.

      When you remember things, I’d like to think that you’re remembering for a reason. In some way, you were “ready” for that memory, or your part needed to be heard. It won’t be a flood of memories. For me, I tend to have trickled memories. They come in pieces that I eventually meld together.

      I don’t think the diagnosis makes you more chaotic, but maybe brings everything to your awareness. For me at least, I dismissed a lot of what was going on before my diagnosis. Then once I was diagnosed I had more focus on everything I was ignoring before. It made it seem that I was a mess but I was really the same mess I was before.

      It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, especially so early in diagnosis. It’s been about 15 months for me and I still have denial, and I still get overwhelmed. It’s not easy in the least.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I wanted to thank you again. Your comment actually pushed me to write a piece on my mental health blog about not knowing your parts, and how we don’t all fit the same mold.

      Liked by 1 person

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