The workplace on the eve of a holiday weekend is a buffet of questions. Questions about the weekend, children, and the like. People are nosy …
“It’s a long holiday weekend. What are your plans, Beatriz?”
“Oh, you know, pick up my place a bit, do some reading and writing, relax.”
Translation: I will try not to dissociate too much, try not to lose too much time. Find the will to carry on, and not die. It will likely be another Saturday where I wake up feeling heavy, and it takes me hours to get in the shower, and then another good bit of time to get dressed. After that, there is no making breakfast or lunch in that apartment because I’m likely to lose more time the longer I stay there. The apartment is a fine apartment. This would be the case whether it was public housing or a penthouse off Central Park in NYC. It’s being alone that triggers the time loss and/or switching. It’s a holiday weekend, so I get to do this one extra day!
“Going anyplace special for the long weekend, Beatriz?”
“No, just staying close to home.”
Translation: You can see me at diners, coffee shops, restaurants and bookstores all weekend long. I do better around people, especially if I can just enjoy the sound of people without interacting with them. What makes me not like the others? Is it the mental illness? The DID?
“Do you own your own home?”
“Nope, I”m enjoying the benefits of having a landlord do all the maintenance.”
Translation: One of my biggest fears is not being well enough to work. The last thing I need on my mind is a 30 year mortgage. If I become too sick too work, it will be easier to deal with an apartment instead of a house with a mortgage. I would love to own a home, but as it is, I have trouble being in my apartment by myself. So, buying a house that needs to be maintained is not a good option for me.
“Are you married?”
“No, I’m not married.”
“Not married? How can that be … a beautiful woman like you?” (Yes, this was the actual reply. She must be confusing me with someone else.)
“Just not, it happens to the best of us.”
Translation: When you have issues such as PTSD, sex addiction, alcoholism, depression, and DID it’s not easy to be “like the others.” Perhaps people can’t put a finger on it precisely, but they can assess that you are different. These issues add up to some unwise relationship choices early on in adulthood, and, quite frankly, a lot of time was wasted with a couple of poor choices. That aside, I’m not exactly a shining choice as a partner at the moment as I’m in the midst of grappling with my new DID diagnosis.
“Do you have kids, Beatriz?”
“No, I don’t have kids, just waiting for the right time.”
Translation: Are you out of your mind? I may look fine at work, but the truth is that I can barely take care of myself. All of the effort expended to get to work on time and looking professional leaves me crazy tired by the end of every day, and especially the end of the week. It takes me longer than the average person to get my act together everyday for work. It’s the hardest thing I do everyday, though it’s easier now that I have a job I like, but it is still excruciatingly hard. I can’t trust myself not to lose time while parenting. Can you imagine the scene? “Ma’am, can you explain how your 3 year old broke a tooth trying to eat the remote control?” “Well, I must have lost time and switched … ”
Is there not some other single woman in this office you can accost with your nosy questions?