This week I’m trying to work through some issues about myself, it’s odd to think I actually put myself through difficulties by being over critical or judgemental of myself. But apparently I do self judge and it’s not good, I am also inpatient which I didn’t realise fully either until it was spelt out to me the other day.
I have known I’m self critical for some time, I mean I constantly put myself down and yet I had never realised how much I judge myself. In therapy the other day I realised that actually I am repeating behaviours from my past and judging myself. I think part of this is the fact despite thinking I now accept my Dissociative Identity Disorder, in my heart I still don’t, well not fully.
I have always wanted to be normal whatever normal is and I have always striven to just be good enough. As a child and an adult I always wanted to be good enough to be loved by my mum, but I now realise no matter what I did it wasn’t something I could achieve. Not because I lacked something or was flawed but because the women who gave birth to me wasn’t able to love me. It was her flaw not mine and that’s taken me time to both realise and accept.
As a child I was taught only A grades were good enough and so I learnt to judge myself and see myself as a failure when I didn’t quite make the grade. I also learnt to judge myself as a young mum and wife, my mother taught me to judge myself by her actions of judging me.
As an adult I felt a failure when I was mentally unwell and needed to go to hospital, yes some people in society judged me but that wasn’t my fault, those who judged me were being misguided. Since I’ve been home I have continued to judge myself every step of my journey, because it is a natural reaction that has been inbuilt in me by the way I was raised.
Yet now I realise I don’t need to judge myself in this way, I can be honest with myself and accept my positives instead of being so harsh. This is a strange concept for me and it’s going to take time to get used to but I will, I deserve to. I am having to learn that in truth I don’t know what normal is, who is to say I’m not normal and other people without D.I.D are anymore normal than me. We all have individual strengths and weaknesses, no one is perfect and the reality is society is geared up to be judgemental. But I’m kind of accepting I no longer have to keep on judging myself, I can stop being my own worst enemy and just accept me for who I am.
I’ve also realised that despite trying hard to not be self critical it’s still my automatic response and it’s going to take time to change this. I’m also aware that I find being out of control very difficult too, which is another thing from my past and this is impacting upon me and my alters.
As a child I wasn’t in control, life was chaotic and my abusers were in charge, they dictated how and when I was abused. My mother dictated and controlled everything about my life and I mean everything, who I spoke too, where I went, who saw me, what I ate, what I drank, when I got hit, when I saw my dad, where I lived, who abused me, the list could go on and on. She dictated everything about my existence at that time she had total control.
In hospital the nursing staff and doctors had control and I found that difficult too, but people did not understand why. I sure now that the healthcare professionals who have treated me think I am just a bit bossy, disruptive and maybe even wanting to just be awkward and know too much. Yet the reality is I just desperately need to feel in control, this is out of a desire to not find myself back in that position of terror in my childhood. I fear not being in control of me, my life and what is happening to me, that fear means I do ask lots of questions and I challenge certain rules. If only the professionals understood me then maybe things wouldn’t have been so difficult, I know being sectioned was my worst nightmare for I was truly robbed of control, it was terrifying.
Today though it’s impacting upon my interactions with my alters, the other parts of me and it is causing me difficulties. My desire for control means I can’t willingly give my alters the opportunity to be in control, so instead they take it without warning causing chaos and creating many challenges.
In therapy I find it hard to let them in, so use a vast amount of energy on trying to not switch, to stay in control. When in truth it would be the best place for the other parts of me to be open, able to express themselves and take over this body that we share. My fear of losing control and all the feelings and fear that this action evokes means I impact upon my therapy in a way I don’t want to. I impact upon my alters too in a way they don’t deserve and this in turn causes me difficulties as we encounter the challenges of switching, losing time and dissociative amnesia.
All of these traits, being self critical, judgemental and fearing a loss of control don’t help me to accept who I am, who my alters are or indeed that I am a fragmented person with many parts. I know all of these things logically, I can explain Dissociative Identity Disorder as a concept and understand it. Yet when I look deep within me my heart hates D.I.D, it hates the fact I lose time and it hates this fragmentation that is me. This has to change in time, because I have to accept who I am and accept my alters if I am going to make progress.
The good signs are that my Psychologist wouldn’t be working with me if he felt I was a lost cause, so he must think I can learn to accept me and Dissociative Identity Disorder. I guess it’s just going to take time and meanwhile I need to learn as much as I can about those traits I have. I’m trying harder to stop being self critical, I’m slowly finding ways of telling myself when I realise I’m judging me and aiming for things that simply don’t exist, perfection is a nigh impossibility if I’m really honest.
I’m still unsure about control and letting go of it to give my alters space I have questions that I need to get my head around and yes it will be different from before because these are parts of me, not people whose goal is to hurt me or abuse me. I know that accepting the alters who I care deeply for is important and whilst I know I hate the fact they rob me of time, I can’t hate them. I have to learn to accept them, accept my D.I.D, I guess if I’m brutally honest with myself I am a bit of work in progress currently.
copyright DID Dispatches 2014