It occurred to us last night: DID (dissociative identity disorder) is a state of mind. It is a way of thinking – and dealing with – the outside world. It is a trick invented by a young child’s mind to deal with pain and issues that were beyond his control.
Everyone has their own ‘tricks of mind’ to get along in day-to-day situations- whether it be swallowing that rage and frustration at the driver who cut you off to learning to forgive them for doing do. For me it has gone on so long – like tying your shoelaces – that it has gone from a trick of mind to a way of being.
And I guess I’m going to have to live with that.
The mind is a tricky thing. YOU cannot argue with me that YOU are not some alien organism living in a colony on a strange planet far away “dreaming” this thing that you call “your life” and “this world”. You cannot convince me of that – because it lays within the realm of possibility. For all you know – you may be that thiing. You cannot prove different. WE may all be in your dream; you don’t know. And you can never know. For all you know: you are a mollusk dreaming on the bottom of a far and distant ocean – and all this is a dream.
Perceptions are a marvelous thing. They make us who we are. Everything we see – everything we perceive – is done by our brains. Not by your eyes and ears. Not by your skin and tongue. But by your brain. Scientific studies have shown so. And the brain? The brain is a tricky thing. “Tricksy”, as Smeagol on Lord of the Rings might say. It is capable of drawing the wool down around not only your eyes – but its own eyes at times, for its own personal protection.
But it occurred to us – well, (wry smile) – it occurred to ME – that this is all a trick of the mind. It was (and ‘is’) the way “I” learned to deal with things during childhood. And I’ve got to learn to live with it. Apparently it’s not going away. According to the psychologists, I’m ‘broken’. Permanently. This ‘thing’ has been going on so long it’s like a habit – only more so. It’s a way of thinking.
Think about it. Imagine trying to change your entire style of thinking. Imagine trying to go from “I” inside to “we”. It would be like learning to breath again; learning to see; learning how to hold your own hands. It’s become so easy – so effortless over time – that you can’t change it. It’s what you ‘are’. Like when someone asks you what one plus one is. You automatically say (or think): “Two”. It’s a habit; it’s built in. But what if it was “three”? Could you change that automatic answer? Yeah – somewhat – but only with some effort. That number ‘two’ is always going to pop up first in your mind. And can you change it for the rest of your life? Can you go around not only SAYING “three”, but believing it? Feeling it? That one plus one IS three? Or four? Forever more?
DID is a state of mind. DID is a way of being. DID is what ‘we’ are. DID is ME – but not. DID is ‘not real’ – not really. There are not a lot of personalities running around in here – there’s just one. One who learned to “think like this”. And “I” know: this is a trick. A trick that’s been running so long; it’s so ingrained that ‘we’ (or I) probably can not change it. The tracks are too deep, the pattern’s set; the tricks begun, and there’s no interrupting the show.
But it occurred to me in its raw and ugly truth: DID (or multiple personalities) – doesn’t actually ‘exist’ – it’s “all me” – or rather, it’s all my MIND. It’s a “trick”, a “game” “we” play in order to get along; to exist. It’s our way of ignoring that bad driver up there. It’s our way of ‘forgiving him’ – and forgiving US, of dealing with our anger, our issues, and our pain. It’s a state of mind. A way of being. The way I am. I know I am “one”. But I am had to learn this ‘trick’ in order to survive. It would have been fine if I had learned it later on – but nooo . . . I learned it as a kid. I “made it up” – a way of being, of coping. (No wonder so many DID’ers feel and often say “I made it all up!” as a way of disclaiming ‘what’ they are . . . I can understand that one sooo well right now . . . while ‘everyone’ in my mind is pretty much asleep and sleeping in . . .)
And here’s the other thing: I want YOU, society, to ACCEPT us as yes – someone different – someone who thinks like you – but not. Who is the same . . . but different. Someone who learned these “tricks” – and got trapped in order to survive. What can I say except child abuse is the gift that keeps on giving . . . to all mankind.
Which leads us back to that little octopus – or mollusk – living in distant and/or alien ocean . . . that ‘little’ mind – a barnacle dreaming on a distant rock – trying to survive. Do the other barnacles hold that against him? Do they say “he must die?”. Do they gather around and attack him while he is dreaming – for the things that he is? I don’t think so. For they are dreaming, too – in their own minds.
But it bothers me – these tricks of the mind. Because it IS such an awesome trick – better than anything. “We” can go on a ride inside – ride in a child’s mind; the mind of a teenager, the minds of the insane. I can even see things through my abuser’s eyes. And yes: it IS a trick of the mind – in many ways “MPD” is not ‘real’ – there is only “one” in there – but what a marvelous one when you consider:
This is what a child did. It is so ingrained in us: this state of being, this way of thinking. Of ‘separating’ ourselves. It’s an automatic reaction, like ducking when a fist is thrown, that ‘we’ can’t change it. It’s there. I don’t want to relearn how to tie my shoes; learn to speak a new language – learn to think in a different way. I can’t. Getting rid of “we” and going with “me”; throwing out the notion of “them” versus ‘me’, “I” versus ‘we’ . . . but it doesn’t work. It’s like trying to drive a car that has no tires; an engine with no gas. “We’ve” been trained (or tricked, if you want to think like that) to think this way for so long that it doesn’t matter if DID is ‘real’ or not. It doesn’t even matter if it’s a ‘trick’ or not. It’s the way I think. And that’s something I’ve got to learn to deal with: learning to live with the way I think.
The question is: can you? Can society at large ‘accept’ me? Apparently not (the last time I tried they locked me up). Why is that? Because I don’t think like you? Talk about the ultimate prejudice! And the ultimate desire. Because when society says: “We want you to BE what you want you to BE” what they are really saying is “BE just like ME” – a single being.
And that’s no good.
I’d rather go insane.
Jeff & Friends (and mostly my friend, M3)