Now that I’ve had several years to adjust to my DID diagnosis, now that I’ve spilled the beans to most of my family–where do I go from here? The past threatens to drown me in its exhausting undertow; the present is at best murky, the future unknown. How do I reinvent myself with the knowledge that I am many?
Does this knowledge help, or only frustrate and hinder? Am I hobbled by this unexpected diagnosis (for once upon a time I only suspected the depth of my freakishness–having it confirmed by a professional is totally a horse of a different color.)
Will my piddling or monumental struggles, documented here in this blog, really be of any use to anyone? Am I doing nothing more than spinning my wheels, thinking that if I think and write about my disorder I’m somehow getting somewhere? I don’t even know what progress is for someone like myself. Do I strive for normality, as I did with all my failed attempts at marriage? Is my life meaningless if I never find it?
Confusion clouds my judgment, my perspective, my attitude, my dreams. There is no handbook for day-to-day living as a multiple in a singleton society. I’ve written about this before, and obviously it’s still nagging away in the back of my crowded mind. There are handbooks for expectant parents, new parents, books which delineate how to deal with a divorce, how to be a single-parent, how to overcome addictions, how to lose weight without exercising. There are articles galore on how to be the perfect mate, the considerate guest, a valuable best-friend or memorable mentor. Where is my handbook?
There are books, like Sybil, detailing the struggles of a multiple. Books like When Rabbit Howls whose chilling tale of the most perverted sexual abuse imaginable turns the blood cold. But where is my handbook? Where is Aussie and Keepers’ handbook? Where do we turn for advice on how to be the best multiple possible? The most popular multiple, the most attractive multiple, the most productive multiple? Assuming we want to be any of those things, where would we turn? There is no Dear Abby for those with DID, no Ann Landers with wry wisdom to let us know when we’re off track. How do we even know when we’re off track if we don’t know where the track is to begin with? Did I start at GO like everyone else–at square one–or not? I can’t figure it out.
No, these are not the unhinged ramblings of someone drowning in depression. I don’t even know if I’m depressed, that’s how well I know my self. I may very well be numb. You see, I had certain dreams and goals, most of them formed in childhood, which I’ve always known would happen one day. I would make them happen. Nothing, not all the abuse in the world, was going to pry them out of my clenched little hands. But that was before multiplicity, or before I knew about the multiplicity. And so I ask, now what? Do I have to let go at long last of these treasured dreams, hoping I’ll find something with which to replace them–knowing that if I let go of these, no other dreams will prove worthy of me?
I don’t know where I’m going. Many “normal” people could say the same, and so this hardly rates as newsworthy, or a tragedy. But the “normals” don’t have to drag around a dozen or more personalities wherever they go. They don’t share a body with many, come what may. Planning for one must be . . . well a lot simpler than planning for a dozen, all with different tastes, perspectives and drives. Oh, I don’t even feel sorry for myself, that’s not it. I just don’t know where I go from here.