Someone I consider a good friend decided to talk more about their DID. I knew about it before, but this is the first time they've talked about it at length. And it made me think about my own life. I felt like talking about this somewhere, yet I feel that talking about it there would be inappropriate: I don't have DID, most likely. Even if I did, it would be such a mild borderline case as to be almost nonexistent. Yet all the same...I have similarities to what was talked about.
Again, I'd like to stress that I'm almost sure I don't have it. So me talking as if I know about it, that I know things about it, heck, even comparing my experiences to those of someone who actually had it, is not something I like to do. (Thus why it's here in a blog pretty much nobody reads, rather than there, where people would get to see it rather blatantly, with me showing my arrogant ignorance.)
This might sound familiar to long-time followers of the blog (or archive bingers), and to be fair, it is. It's pretty similar in concept to me talking about being borderline autism, except even sketchier. (For the autism, it's more likely I have it than don't, but I don't talk about it because I don't have an official diagnosis and there's a stigma attached to that. For this, it's more likely I don't have it than I do, so it's like ten times more than the autism. I was hesitant to blog about the autism and only did so under the pretense that "I definitely have something and this is the word that says it best, sort of". Here I'm almost considering not writing it at all, because no matter what I do, I'm sounding like I'm comparing my not-really-DID to someone with DID which is insulting to them, as if I have any right, as if I have any experience, on it, when my only experience is through the eyes of others. This is not my first friend to have opened up about DID, though I believe that this friend might have it worse than the others who talked about it. Still, I feel so guilty, so bad, making any comparison at all, yet...here I am.)
I'm not sure where to begin to explain it, but basically, inside my mind, there are three voices: mine, that of my imaginary friend, and a third that over time I gave the identity of 'David'. They've worked their ways into some of my stories, most notably my big huge Bleach ripoff of a story setting, and are a fundamental part of me, one that's been there for...a very long time.
I'll start with the imaginary friend. I've tried giving him different names over the years, yet none of them seem to stick around fully. But he's been there since my childhood, and I've had conversations with him many times. Sometimes with the roles defined clearly, other times with our dialogs getting garbled and it being unclear who said what, just knowing that a dialog between us having occurred. He's been there the entire time, my playmate, my friend, a fundamental part of me, who also has served as a guide, who's been there helping me, advising me, trying to cheer me up...basically, in the harshest of times, when I would retreat into myself, he would be there.
Yet I never felt like he was controlling me. I always felt the "screw it, I'm going to do this" that were good things was me, not him, in spite of it being the things that he was telling me to do seconds before. I've always thought, though, that the potential was there. That if I lost my mind, that if I truly gave up, he would be there to shoulder the burden.
Then, there's the other voice inside me. A slightly more recent addition, he didn't really come until I was around teenage age, but since coming, his strength has only continued to grow. Frankly, he terrifies me. David is...well, it's hard to describe what he does. He's basically the equivalent of Hollow Ichigo in Ichigo's mind. I know it's a fictional example, but it holds true all the same. He's there, constantly reminding me about all my flaws, of everything I do wrong, and the fear is there. The fear that if I were pushed too far, he would take control and do what he pleased, because in a way, he's also my darker impulses.
In short, he sometimes provides constructive criticism, pointing out my flaws, my failures, my shortcomings, and even how I could overcome them. Yet in spite of him being a part of me, he's something I wish I didn't have to struggle with as often as I do, because he also shows me that in spite of all the bad I do, I could do worse, and if my imaginary friend would say "screw it" to do a bit of good in my life, then David is the one who would say "screw it" and do something I would definitely regret.
So it's like David tells me about all the longterm goals I am giving up for short-term pleasure, both insulting yet encouraging me when that happens, and when I do go for the long-term goals, he's there telling me how much suffering I'm going through for nothing. The worst bit is, the bits about the conversations is true with him, too. Sometimes it's clear where he's saying something and I respond...yet other times, I can't tell if it's him saying something or me responding to myself.
We can have a three-way conversation, too, on some occasions, albeit rare. I don't have conversations with them all the time, either. They're there when they're there, and they aren't when they aren't. Yet even when they aren't, it's like they're there anyway, in the back of my mind, always thinking in either approval or disapproval about what I'm doing.
Like...I kinda figured they'd come out for this blog. (They weren't in my active mind when I began.) In sure form, David came out to say one simple thing: "You are an idiot." He does that. And that's the thing. This is more than just an inner voice. There's distinct characteristics and basics about each of them. Plus my own voice is my own voice. (My own inner voice is fairly androgynous, with it being closer to female when I'm alone and closer to male when I'm interacting with one of them. Which is...again kinda appropriate in that I'm generally female in my own mind yet outwardly interact with others thanks to my closeted nature as a male.)
They sound differently than I do, they speak differently than I do (David more bluntly, the other one...well, hard to describe, just not the same as me), and they seem to have their own desires. (David's a bit primal, the other one...well, mainly, to live a good life.) A fundamental part of me that I can't get rid of, and which I feel like if I snapped could come out and take control...but which as far as I can tell, hasn't.
I know, sounds like BS. That's why I didn't want to talk about it. It sounds like I'm making stuff up to try and tell a story, that maybe I'm exaggerating something that doesn't exist because I want it to. This close to deleting the whole blog post because of it. But all the same...while part of me says that it's possible I'm making them up, I felt something deeper just now. My other voice spoke up with something simple, which I felt in my chest. "No." He didn't even need to say it because I was able to finish the implied follow-through thought from that two-letter word alone: "We're real." They're there. They're a very small part of me. "Yes, we exist."
In a way, it's similar to the feelings I get whenever I doubt being transgendered. I will think about it. "What if I'm deluding myself? What if it's just my cry for attention? What if I'm trying to be something I'm not?" Yet every time I ask myself, there's always that deep answer. (Ironically enough, spawned from my imaginary friend more often than not.) "It's real. You are who you are. You are a young woman crying out, and that pain you feel...that's not imaginary. There's no way you could fake that. This is no illusion. Go be who you are." More or less, a deep call, a deep cry, telling me that I know I've spoken the truth, even if it seems like a lie, even if it takes years to be accepted, even if it may never come to be as people resist it. That telling, "I know who I am, and this is part of it."
And that's what they are. Not me making things up, but also not a major driving force in my life. Maybe this is a normal thing that a lot of people have. Maybe it's not. Maybe people think I'm fooling myself because this doesn't sound like anything they think is plausible. But it's...there as me.