Friends are everything

Tonight I feel alone on an island with no connection to any human. I am in a tunnel that is growing narrower and narrower. The view is nil and the ride is solo. My body feels broken from the inevitable tension throughout. My breath feels caught in my throat, and my mouth goes dry. There seems to be no place for relief.

Then I remembered my friend, with whom I watched Parks and Recreation episodes when we both got freaked out and anxious, reached out to me this week. I have a tendency to forget I have friends. Sometimes, I have to make myself sit and write down names of my friends to remind myself I do indeed have friends. Even so, I still forget! I emailed my dear friend and fellow Parks and Recreation fan a bit ago to say I needed to reach out because I was feeling alone in the world. And, even in the midst of her own difficulties, she emailed back to say she was thinking of me. I cried just reading her succinct email back to me. So short, yet so everything to me in that moment. She wanted me to know she was thinking of me, of us, all of us. Sometimes that’s all you need to get through the night.

Perhaps the start …

Inexplicably, for years there have been moments when a particular face from the far off past will appear in the crevices of my memory for no apparent reason. I would just see his face in a flash. No explanation as to why, and I have no ill memories of this person. But, recently the flashes have become more frequent. I did this complicated web search in an effort to retrieve his last name because it was lost to my memory. I had lived next door to his sister in the early 90’s. She was an accountant, but I couldn’t remember her last name either. I threw her first name, the word “accountant” and the city where we lived, and surprisingly got few hits. I recalled her last name was unusual, and recognized it as soon as I saw it. Then I did a Facebook search and found her profile along with her brother as a Friend on her profile. With my DID, the way I figure out if people from my past are safe is to look at their picture and listen to my system. If there is unrest, the person is likely bad news. This is especially helpful when I know someone is from my past, but don’t remember them.

As soon as I saw his picture I knew my system didn’t like him. My stomach flipped, and I felt myself hold my breath for a second. A cascade of disconcerting feelings came over me. I lost my grounding and floated away for a bit. I know something, and I know nothing.

A Letter To My Boss

I have dissociative identity disorder. You do not know this, and cannot know this. If you did know this, the pieces of the puzzle would finally fall into place for you. Alas, I cannot tell you. It would be too scary for both of us.

I lost the run of myself yesterday. One of my parts leaked out sideways when I became upset with one of our attorneys who causes me to have more than a few face palm moments. His thoughtlessness brought on an anger in one of us that rendered the me you know to the backseat of my system. I felt like a spectator to myself watching me tell you in a very demonstrative manner how thoughtless he was, and how the office had different standards for him, and I vehemently disagreed with you about changing the date of the event because of his carelessness. I don’t remember all of it, but I do recall I felt crapped upon by him, and was quite angry about it.

Later you came back to talk to me about it, and, initially, I didn’t know what you were talking about. I must have shifted again. When you started talking about what happened it all slowly started coming back to my consciousness.

I asked you what your experience was with the interaction. You said you wish it had gone differently. I’m with you on that sentiment. Sometimes I think you may suspect the DID because you asked me if I remembered certain parts of the interaction. We had a good conversation about it, and you asked if you could suggest to me in the future to take some time to myself when you sense I’m getting emotional. I said it was a good idea, except that I’ll always assume I’m in trouble. And then you suggested that you could say to me to take some time for myself, that we’re good, and to come talk to you when I’m ready. It’s a very kind and understanding suggestion, and I have to tell you that I feel broken that you need to make such accommodations. I wish I could be the girl wonder employee I used to be long ago in 2007 before my PTSD and DID came rolling out of me like a broken hot water heater.

These days I try to hide it all, to no avail. It all inevitably leaks out. I’m sure you notice the vacant look I sport when I’ve had a haunted night of nightmares. Days like that I usually also have “second day hair.” No amount of dry shampoo can completely fix that with my naturally oily hair.

Thank you for the undeserved kindness. I wish I could tell you all this about me, but it’s not a good idea to do that. And, so, from afar, I’ll appreciate you, and try to be better.