No. Nope. Not I. Not Now. Not Anymore. I am Daring to be Different.
I am an author.
I am a mother.
I am a person.
I am a wife.
I am a sister.
I am a daughter.
I am a niece.
I am a friend.
I am an entrepreneur.
So many common ways to describe who I am. But I tend to like these descriptions just as much:
I am a survivor.
I am a multiple.
I am not silent.
I am daring to be different.
I am teaching my children to accept differences.
I am speaking out.
I am a survivor.
Yep, I repeated a few. It was needed for my own sake. And hopefully for others.
We are a multiple. No, not a twin. We are indeed a multiple. We have Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). At one time it was referred to as multiple personalities. However, as we learn more about DID the name changed to reflect a more accurate portrayal of who we are.
In my writing, you will often see me refer to myself as ‘we’. At times the word ‘we’ is used to talk about ourselves and those around us. Other times, it is used to encompass all of me. We are not one person. We are many different individuals with our own thoughts, feelings, triggers, memories, emotions, likes/dislikes, fashion sense, a taste of food, interests, and so much more. We are “a we”. It is difficult to write or speak referring to ourselves as ‘I’ because that is not who we are.
DID is the inability to merge personalities as a child due to trauma incurred before the age of 5. At least that is the theory most recognized by those who recognize DID. DID was finally added to the DSM V, however, that does not mean all therapists, doctors, or psychiatrists agree or believe in the concept. Those of us who live this way, we believe it. It is who we are. Even at such a young age, we learned how to become a survivor. In order to survive the trauma and abuse we endured, we learned to dissociate. It was our way to protect ourselves.
Everyone’s story is different. Everyone’s abuse is different. Everyone’s level of abuse encountered is different. What has one person develop DID over another person is not something which can be analyzed or explained in concrete. There are too many variables involved.
I didn’t learn about the others in my system until later on in life. In fact, it wasn’t until I was in my late 20’s before I learned about most of them. For the longest time, I believed Victoria was actually my imaginary friend who only I could see and talk to. She is our Protector. She is an alternate personality in our system. Over time, you will learn of the rest and how we connect.
After growing up in an abusive environment, we had no self-esteem. Even today (at age 41) we struggle with self-esteem. Feeling like we did not deserve to be loved, we entered abusive relationships and marriages. We believed it was my only way to live. It was all we deserved. It was all we would ever know. For 35 years we were emotionally, physically, sexually, and mentally abused. Not always by the same person or at the same time, yet many times they did overlap.
It has taken us 41 years to find my voice. It has taken us 41 years to say we are a survivor. We deserve to be loved. We deserve to be protected. We deserve to be happy. I have found my voice.
We are an author. Which is where we are daring to be different. The books we write are not a happy go lucky kind of fiction story. My books have storylines which include emotional, physical, sexual, and mental abuse situations for the characters. My goal is to show reality, in a fictional setting. Although the books are inspired from my life, they are also a work of fiction. Part of the goal is to show how so many individuals deal with abuse. Therapy is a reality. Healing is possible. Staying silent lets your abuser win. My goal is to raise awareness through books. We love to read, every genre however mystery is our favorite. So through books, I hope to raise awareness by writing a different type of story. Sure there are love scenes, drama, and all the elements that make a story great. But there is also the reality that trauma and abuse exist in the real world. So I am daring to be different by writing the uncomfortable topics.
A. G. Ballard