Dear Boss, today was different.

I’m just as confused as you are. I know you’re dying to ask how one day I can be the gal with the haunted vacant look, moving robotically in the office, steadily working, but trying to stay hidden from the world. And then, the very next day, I can interrogate someone for an hour and a half, and get a couple of admissions in the process. Trust me, I’m never sure if the magic will show up when I need it. The magic in this case was Sabrina. She’s the calm, cool, collected interrogator that looks like a sweet librarian with her cardigan and pulled up hair, but make no mistake, she is waiting for the target to slip up with his words.

Me? Hell, Sabrina got me into this profession. If it was up to me I would have been a writer in a cave somewhere far away from the populace. Sabrina is handy because she can bring the intensity that’s necessary for this job. She can write, analyze and look for patterns. Oh, yes, and she can argue. But, she’s no diplomat. You would never want to send her to the U.N. That’s where we get into trouble, along with the fact that she has a temper.

I listened to the audio file of the interrogation after it was over, and it still stuns me to not quite recognize myself when I hear my voice. It’s my voice, and it isn’t. It has a self-confidence I do not normally possess. It excites me and terrifies me to hear such quick thinking, yet have little recollection of it.

Unfortunately, once the interesting part of the job is over for the day, Sabrina disappears as well. I wish that weren’t the case, but I don’t seem to have control over that at the moment. I’m left with a moving carousel of parts, which is why you see confusing and differing parts of me. You see uber confident Sabrina during interrogations; vacant, depressed Belle when triggered; at lunch time, Letty jonesing for a sandwich if we’re running late to eat; and me when there’s a heavy writing assignment that allows me to close the door to my office.

I’m sitting in your office chatting with you when one of the gals pops her head in and says that the number 2 guy in the agency wants to speak with me on the phone. Usually, it is not good news to get a phone call from this guy, especially at my level. I’m not exactly one of the big dogs. You and I exchange terrified looks, and we head to my office together. I answer the phone with my heart in my throat, and I hear, “Beatriz, what did you do? The interrogation must have gone well! Did you Perry Mason him? This is great! Good job! He’s spinning out. You must have really hit a nerve.” I couldn’t find my words for a bit, likely because it wasn’t Sabrina on the phone with him. I looked over at you, and smiled. You could tell that it was okay.

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.

Where is my head?

I’ve been in a roulette of parts moving in and out of my system very quickly. This makes me tired, and fuzzy. It’s not a trigger free world that we live in, and therein lies the challenge. I get triggered very easily some days. Sometimes it’s predictable. Other times, it isn’t. I’m forgetting entire conversations with my partner. Though I know they happen because slivers of them will float back to me when she tries to help me recount them. Sometimes I do not know which part of me is doing what. It leaves me feeling broken and unfixable. I get intense feelings that make little sense to me. It scares me when I do not understand the intensity of my feelings. Today, among other things, I’m triggered by someone that I perceive as needy. Yet, they’ve made no demands of me. However, even from my place as a spectator I’ve become triggered and annoyed just by observing from afar. I am not proud of this, and I wish I did not have these feelings. It is my greatest desire to eradicate these feelings as having them feels like wasted energy. Yet, here I sit thoroughly annoyed by this person. Neediness must remind of something from my past that left a deep imprint on me because I flee at the first sight of it. And when I cannot flee, I resent being in its presence. My brain comes to a full stop with neediness, and has trouble chugging past it.