We all remember that game played in school where we split into two team. The object was to throw the ball and hit as many players on the opposite team as possible. People would jump around, fall down, run, duck, and just about anything else just to dodge this ball so they could be the winner, the last man standing. The object was actually to dodge the ball at all costs. Hence the name, dodge ball.
I hated this game growing up! Hated it with a passion. I was not very athletic and in fact I was kind of the outcast, shy, nerdy, girl who very much wanted to fit in but never did. I was an easy target at this game and often the first person thrown out of the game.
I always regretted not being a better sports player. I never did get any better at the game. But I did get amazing at dodging everything else in our life.
When I first was told I had DID (which was known as multiple personalities at the time) I did an amazing job at dodging the acceptance and willingness to work through this diagnosis. There was no concrete test to tell me this was 100% what I had. The last thing I wanted was a “crazy multiple diagnosis”. And to boot it was a diagnosis that many disputed or didn’t believe to be real. So naturally I dodged it.
Once I stopped dodging it though, I learned the parts of me are amazing. They are comforting. They are loving, supportive, creative, passionate, and encouraging. They are also protective. Then there is the side where the other parts of me have their own issues, struggles, pains, traumas, experiences, failures, memories, and feelings.
It has taken years to get to know each other. A process. But in order to do, we had to stop dodging each other and the process. We had to embrace the diagnosis. We had to embrace our differences and similarities. We had to go through the uncomfortable getting to know each other stage. And there were sometimes when we thought we knew each other and had an understanding on what was going on, a new alter would present themselves, or a new memory would come up, or even a trigger came out of nowhere for us to deal with. I was no longer an “i” but a “we”.
This was probably one of the hardest situations we had to go through. We had a hard time learning about us, our new lives, piecing things together, etc. Even after all these years there is so much we don’t know about each other personally or what we all went through through individually. We are still learning us. Honestly, we may always be still learning us. It is a process; a very long and extensive process.
the best part is that we had to learn to stop dodging the painful truths and triggers, and start trudging through the uncomfortable situations together. We are learning to rely on each other for support and encouragement, and to stop seeing each other as a burden or a “crazy and messed up mental” person.
It’s a journey, but it is definitely worth it! So go for it. Step into the uncomfortable unknown and stop dodging the pain. The other side is totally worth experiencing!
A. G. Ballard