Hating my past
There are times when I just wish I didn’t have Dissociative Identity Disorder, that I was just a ‘normal’ average person who wasn’t as fragmented as I am. So there are times when I try desperately to be your average well adjusted functioning person, someone who in my own case is able to do everything and anything. Sadly of course that isn’t the case I am someone who is fragmented, who has alters; the different parts of me, and who has a past.
A past that I know I so wish I didn’t hold, a past that I wish more than anything wasn’t true, but a past that I can’t change. I wasn’t the average girl next door growing up, I was the child suffering in silence, the child who was being abused.
That’s the hardest part I believe of having this thing called Dissociative Identity Disorder is my past, the reasons why I have D.I.D. For me at least it’s the coming to terms with the reasons why I dissociated in the first place that’s the hardest thing, why I now am fragmented and why I live in this chaos of triggers, switching and losing time.
Whenever I visit my birth place I am always somehow more aware of the past, I can’t help thinking of times when I was hurt and abused as we pass by places. The fear of seeing certain people is always there as is the harsh reality that this place holds many triggers for me. The accents of people and the little things that for many wouldn’t be significant suddenly seem so very important to me.
I visit because I want to and I have friends and family still there, but I also have a mass of memories which I so wish were not mine. Those memories of a past that I would rather not own and I’d rather hadn’t happened at all. The reality is of course I can’t change my past, and I can’t change the fact I have Dissociative Identity Disorder either.
I face this difficulty in two very different geographical locations because I spent part of my childhood in two counties. I moved approximately once every year, well I know I lived in at least different 15 houses by the time I was 17. I went to so many schools that I lost count of the number of teachers I encountered, but I know it was far more than your average child.
The fact my past is full of chaotic memories, moving and removing, anger, abuse and control meant that I dissociated, I dissociated to survive I guess, I doubt that I would have survived without dissociating. So I have a lot to be thankful for, in that dissociation probably saved my life and allows me to be here today the mum of three children who is determined to put my past behind me.
Yet dissociating so much to avoid the pain and the hurt is the very reason I now live with this disorder, it’s the very reason I live in chaos at times and it’s the very reason I have my alters. Now I don’t hate or dislike my alters how can I, they are parts of me fragmented as a result of my past trauma. I just hate having to live with Dissociative Identity Disorder and in turn having to accept ownership of my past.
The truth is it’s my past I hate the most, it’s my past that I so wish I could just walk away from but I know I can’t. I was talking about my past in my therapy session and doing as all victims do I’m sure that thing of self condemnation, I was angry at myself for not stopping it, for not telling, for not somehow being different, for not making my past better. Now normally when I see therapists or doctors they do that thing of telling me it wasn’t my fault and I brow beat them with my skewed logic, the logic that for years as allowed me to take this anger and hatred of my past out on me.
My skewed logic has been that given I was told by many abusers it was my fault and there were plenty of them, they can’t all be wrong. One of me, lots of them and so they must be right it was my fault. But my psychologist asked me questions back and for the very first time he didn’t accept my skewed logic he challenged it, not just with ‘your wrong’ but in a way that got me to think. Now he’s very good at analogies, and he uses them every now and again and that’s what he did in this case. His analogy made me think and I realised that I couldn’t deny that maybe my logic was skewed.
So now I guess I have to start living with acceptance, acceptance my logic was skewed and therefore I have a right to apportion anger and blame in the right direction. My past wasn’t my fault and the fact I have Dissociative identity Disorder isn’t my fault either, I don’t have to like my past or the fact I have D.I.D but that doesn’t mean I can’t like me. I can and need to learn to admit to people when I’m struggling and I’m not quite your average normal person and it’s ok not to be superwoman, to not be able to do everything.
Most of all I think I am learning that it’s ok to hate my past, but that I need to accept it as mine in order to move forward. I’m learning too that my self condemnation is flawed, I couldn’t have changed any of my past. I guess I’m learning it wasn’t my fault, the abuse wasn’t my fault.
Copyright DID Dispatches 2014