I’m beginning to regret telling those I live with about my multiplicity. It’s hard enough screwing up the courage to do so, as many of you know firsthand. At first I was met with much concern, intelligent questions, and compassion. That was several months ago. Since then it would seem that everyone’s forgotten about my DID, and all the conversations we had on the subject.
For instance, don’t they know that if I say something which sounds stupid or childish, it’s most likely one of my younger parts? And why don’t they get that if they poke fun at me for it they’re poking fun at a young child? Often I’m met with remarks like, “Well duhhhh!” or “Cuckoo! Cuckoo!” I’ve noticed if someone else around here mispronounces a word or says something which sounds rather dumb, it gets shrugged off. But let me say the wrong thing, forget where I put something, or that I went such-and-such a place with so-and-so and I’m bombarded with ridicule. I feel much of the time like a sort of Rainman. (It’s worth noting that while I may be the object of much teasing, I’m the walking dictionary everyone comes to when they can’t spell a word–and most usually the most common, everyday words. Do I make fun of them for not knowing how to spell? No, that seems rather cruel to me, so why would I want to shame them?)
The other day I mentioned my driving on the freeway phobia, and was met with the type of look of amusement parents often exchange at their kids’ expense. You know, the kind of look that says, wow, you’ve no idea how incredibly funny your stupidity is, but it would be mean to laugh outright, so we’ll just do some eye-rolling and exchange looks of amusement.
I feel trapped. Do I want to go through my day reminding people left and right that I’m a multiple? Uh-uh. Neither do I want to be an old sourpuss who can’t take a joke. Even less, though, do I want to be the butt of every joke. I don’t understand why it is that people will start off feeling compassion regarding one’s disorder, but end up (and in a short period of time) treating it like a joke. Sometimes I get roasted so much that I should be looking around for the cameras. Maybe Don Rickles will show up and we can really make an evening out of how dumb I am.
What really messed with my head during my growing up years what the reality of being abused nearly every day of my life conflicting with the reality going on around me. For one reality was visible and tangible, the other was hidden away like the foul secret it was. I had to live them both, find some way of doing a juggling act, but could only acknowledge the one reality. And once my mother found out about the abuse and did nothing to stop it, it messed me up even worse. So did my stepdad’s frequent commands to “start smiling and acting happy so Mom won’t suspect anything.” I know I’m not an abused child any more. But when I get ridiculed for every word out of my mouth, it sure feels like it.
No one I live with is especially insensitive in general. And we all have a history of bantering back and forth. So why is this getting razzed all the time bothering me to this degree? I suspect because no one seems to care enough any more to talk with me about my DID. To ask how my parts are doing. No acknowledgement whatsoever that I confided this truth in them, except in the sense that their digs and barbs have increased tenfold. Maybe they don’t know they do it; maybe sub-consciously it’s some kind of Freudian defense mechanism which helps them deal with my disorder. Ah, who cares about the reason anyhow? Why dissect motives and all that? Rude and insensitive is rude and insensitive, and I need another cup of coffee now. (Thank goodness I haven’t flubbed up my coffee making in weeks, or I’d have to endure more of those jokes!)