So there’s another movie coming out about the “scary monster” with “multiple personalities.” This one another “horror” genre. It is another M. Knight Shyamalan directed movie. To a lot of people, that’s an initial sign it will be terrible. On top of that, it’s being released in January which many would say is when the worst movies are released. I am offended by this using my mental illness as a horror flick, but I understand that fiction is fiction and I can’t blame someone for wanting a great story (doubt it will be a “great” story though). To be fair-and many of you will HATE me for this-we can’t 100% say this would never happen. I mean, maybe the reason is a comorbid diagnosis, or maybe the reason is an alter who mimics the abuser they had, I don’t know. If I can think of possibilities, then I must be open to this is a possibility, all be it really rare and not likey. I mean, you have to understand real DID people to understand what triggers us to act out. I don’t understand what would make a DID person be this way. Maybe the movie explains? I haven’t seen the movie to know exactly what image they are selling, so I plan to see the movie for myself.
I watched the trailer. Yes, it was a little triggering but you see, I’m just different than most with PTSD and DID. Maybe it’s masochistic tendencies, but I’m used to it and fight through it to reach what I want to see. I want to know how we are portrayed, I want to know how much “facts” are in this “fictional” movie. I plan to see it for further scrutiny, but from the trailer I see how interestingly he portrays some switching. I see, though I don’t like the pretense of the movie, I can appreciate the lead actor struggling to be versatile between switches and it seems he may have gotten it down, for what it is in reality.
Then…It got me thinking about actors….Got me thinking…..wow…could I really know if someone was faking Dissociative Identity Disorder? Or if they were just “acting” like James McAvoy in the “Split” movie? I always felt like I could figure it out. I mean, I HAVE Dissociative Identity Disorder so I should know right? Yet, can I really know? The experience is different for everyone. Though there are a few similarities to hold on, a lot of variations of internal experiences and external manifestations exist.
So, sometimes I feel like I have this all figured out. Then…other parts of me protest, say I’m not exactly on the right path. They say don’t be too quick to judge people.
What I am talking about is how to know if someone actually is speaking with another identity and conscious awareness. How do you know if you can trust them to not be jumping on a bandwagon of attention-seekers? How do you know they don’t just mimic it as an escape? Or just want to have fun and make their life exciting by pretending to be exciting people? How do you know they are not just leeching off of your experiences to create their own story?
How do you know?
Then one of us inside utters the words,
“Does it matter?”
Hm….Interesting to think about. DOES it matter if we know that they are faking or really dissociative like us? Well, only in the context of if what they are doing is wrongly harmful to those of us trying for acceptance, balance, and healing. Does it permeate stigma? Does it cause confusion for people who actually have it? Does it make us all look like fools? Is it so over the top that no one can take any of us seriously? These are the questions I really care about.
The thing is, if they mimic it so well, maybe they really are a person in need of some help? Maybe in the same sense that those who have no choice in being dissociative identities need help accepting all parts of themselves, maybe this person needs that help accepting parts of themselves too. So, perhaps the same type of treatment can help them too. I don’t want to deny anybody in need of help.
Oh, must have close speculation to avoid mistaking manipulative types and abusive types. So I still don’t feel we should automatically accept any without our own personal scrutiny. Yet in a general sense of the community as a whole or someone seeking therapy, someone who isn’t causing a ruckus but flowing along with everything else, it doesn’t matter. Because we don’t have to care if we focus on healing and acceptance with all of us. The only problem is, if you are trying to give advice for a disorder you don’t have, and it may actually be harmful to someone who has it.
Now, the biggest problem I do have, the one that shouts to me is a fake (but not necessarily a “faker” because maybe they really believe this) is those that say they suffered no childhood trauma and this is just “normal” to give yourself different names. Yes I know we all say, What IS normal? Yes, it can be your normal, but are you REALLY dissociative? Well, their answer is of course they are not dissociative, because they are always aware or they choose to be aware or not, and choose to switch.
First I have to ask them, have you considered maybe you just don’t remember the abuse? Maybe it’s buried and nobody knows or will admit it, or maybe you need hypnosis to find out? I mean, if you are in and out of conscious awareness, then certainly you must see that this is a problem and you are only living your life partially. Yet… If you are and always have been conscious of each and every part of you, even while another is the one fronting control talking and moving, well….I’d say you are JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE.
Because (and I say this many times and psychologists know) that everyone has “multiple personalities” that switch around but these people own all their experiences, have access to all memory, and know that they make one unified decision to keep their one body living, in spite of having deep feelings that could even conflict the decision. They know, and own, all those feelings as theirs: the good, the sad, and the uncomfortable. Conversely, people have the separate identities because they cannot feel what other parts experience. So, therefore, I’m highly skeptical of these types running around with an agenda to be accepted as normal and called by different names at different times for no necessary reason, and act like there is absolutely no problem about it.
Problem number one:
If you are going to tell people you are okay, they think I AM OKAY TOO.
I cannot get help because you insist that it’s my fault for not getting along with my other selves. I cannot get help because when you are a faker, people can see the ridiculous notion you throw out there and so they can’t believe I’m really having issues with myself. They don’t believe I can go through switches and not be aware. The question I ask these groups is, if you were always co-conscious, how are you separate? It’s impossible. You are simply deciding to call yourself a different name, based off your mood and what you are trying to do at that time.
Problem Number Two:
What of the children who suffer and who wouldn’t have had this without suffering? Oh but you were “born” this way? So they must be born this way and doing something wrong, its not the abuse causing it? No wait, you want me to believe it can happen either way?
Dissociative Identity Disorder is known by science and psychology to happen to children who were abused during the developmental stages that the “identity of self” is formed, and such abuse interfered with that integration of experiences. You denying that this happens from child abuse is further causing a problem in bringing to light of the negative lasting effects of child abuse. Or you claiming that it can happen “naturally” as not involved with abuse, can then be turned to claim that the abuse DID NOT actually cause the disorder. So, you are only hurting children with this notion and minimalizing their suffering. This isn’t like being born deaf or some accident or age that causes deafness later in life, which has no affect on your awareness or your personality. This about a disruption of the mind developing and it takes a long period of time with a traumatizing experience. What would be the reason to deny identity of self or deny experiences that occur to your physical body during your developmental stage that is a “normal” thing? The brain doesn’t develop that way. Where as being deaf changes nothing about you as a person, your identity disruption affects EVERYTHING about you as a person and your ability to relate and function in the world.
Problem Number Three:
Since many of us don’t easily figure out we have D.I.D. you could also be leading them to misinformation and disaster.
If they hadn’t sought therapy that led to be diagnosed, but become aware of their alters without it, they may seek out information for help. They may find this information and want to stick with it because it’s really appealing. Come to be led to believe they were born this way, and have to just learn how to deal with it. When in fact, they could be harboring hidden memories of abuse that needs to be addressed and healed. Seriously think about what you are doing advocating for this as “normal.”
These three things said are my only issues with people claiming to have multiple personalities but not have D.I.D. It feels worse to me than someone pretending to have suffered like me and is in therapy like me too. See, if I met a person who says they suffered child abuse and have D.I.D., who were actually faking but wasn’t out in public trying to have fun with it or use it as an excuse to commit crime, why would that cause me any problems? Actually in a way, if they can perfectly mimic it, they are kind of helping raise awareness by letting it be known of as a disorder that needs help. Them being caught faking doesn’t hurt me because they were correctly acting it out. Just like people can fake pregnancy and are shamed for that, but pregnancy still exists as real. Same goes for fake D.I.D. cases. Them being fake, doesn’t make us any less real.
That being said, going back to my original topic talking about the movie, Slit, I can see it as a means to get people curious. I always try to see not the bad, but the beautiful. I find beauty in some of the darkest places, but that’s just me. I don’t expect you to agree, but hear me out.
They do say, “No publicity is bad publicity.”
I agree with that philosophy and plan to use it to my advantage. I just want to hand out informational pamphlets about D.I.D. at the mall to anyone interested in seeing the movie Split. You know, enjoy the movie, but understand that there were exaggerations for entertainment purposes and does not fairly represent my disorder. I already found a helpful pamphlet to use. I was going to make my own but I am pressed for time and this one is beautifully fitting anyway!
In the end, I hope any who has this identity association problem can learn to accept all parts of themselves. Just as we are struggling to do here in my own personal system. Which, we prefer to call ourselves a team, by the way (and I will write a small bit about that maybe later!) In the end I hope all people learn more about D.I.D. with the more widespread it is even known of……Cause believe it or not, I’ve met hundreds of people who don’t even know what “Multiple Personality Disorder” is, much less D.I.D. or dissociation in general. So yeah, help this world even know there is this subject that needs attention, so we can start giving it proper attention. That’s a good thing in my book.