Our co-worker, Nick, comes around the corner. He says my name in a stern voice. I blink and look at him. I just “came back from dissociation.” He asks me, “You okay?” I say, no, I’m not, actually. Say, I’m trying to ground myself and focus on the present. He says,”Okay we need you out here, everyone is bussing their own tables. I need you to just put the blinders on…” and at this point he enacts this, putting his hands on either side of his face, “…just put on the blinders and focus.” And he just walks off. Thanks for the assistance snapping me out of dissociation. However, would have been helpful if you could understand I was still experiencing some symptoms and needed a second to come back completely present in my body.
So, this happens. Yes, often times I am not the one that takes myself to work. Some one dresses us, some one else drives, and one of a small group will work the actual job. Often times, I just “wake up” in the middle of my place of employment, in the middle of the shift.
This happened to me recently.
A coworker named Sophia came up to me, asked me if I was okay. She said I didn’t seem “like myself.”
With my signature dark humor I say, that’s because I wasn’t “myself” until just now.
She’s confused at first, of course, but catches on quickly as she was the first person I told at work about having Dissociative Identity Disorder. She has been following me on my twitter for a very long time. She knows more than anyone at work.
Anyway, so I say that I wasn’t myself to just now. I say I wasn’t “the one” who walked in there today. She says, “Ohh.” And she gets it, that it was one of the others. I still am not sure who it was. I feel like there were a few. I feel like my chaotic alter Morgana (not to be confused with her total opposite Morrighan) was there for a moment which scares me, because she really can embarrass me, and she is always laughing. She really doesn’t have any logical way of being, everything is a joke to her. She is the closest thing to something “dangerous” because she doesn’t know fear, she doesn’t understand if she hurts anyone, she can ruin my relationships, and she thinks pain is funny. She feels no pain and only laughs harder if you try to physically hurt her or scare her.
I don’t know how I was acting. I need to ask her, but when I see her again I don’t know if she will remember any details. I was just using all my energy to stay grounded that day when I was apparently triggered by something. I think where I work, when a bunch of families with children come in, it triggers me. I think it triggers me because I see a lot of boys and men being overly affectionate to little girls too. What can I do though? I can’t avoid families and children and I can’t quit my job.
Sophia asked me if that happens a lot, me switching during a shift at work. She was surprised when I told her yes, many times I can switch during the day. She said she couldn’t think of any time before this day that she noticed anything “different” about me. I told her that’s because only a few really stand out. I mean, we are all one being, similar life, and we are very similar in our views living a similar life. Some of us are more subtle but there are a few pretty extreme ones. Take Morgana for example. She is almost always laughing…..often for no apparent reason…She is hyper and moves very fast, jumps around a lot, doesn’t really stay still. I’m a pretty chill person most of the time, even when I’m silly, I don’t carry it as far or extreme (or down right CARELESS) as Morgana can.
Although….I think maybe it wasn’t Morgana. Or not the whole time. I think it may have been my one male alter, Bel, who is 16 and he is often gross, sexual, teases people a lot, and is a little snobby effeminate kind of boy. So he would definitely stand out as something strange I think.
There are others that do stand out, but I don’t feel like going into them because I don’t feel inside that they were around during this time. It’s hard sifting through fragmented memories and trying to make sense of them, but I’m doing my best.
The rest of the night after that I was in control. I could feel when I showed up people were uncomfortable around me because of who was just there. After a while they relaxed. I had been fronting as just good ol’ Posttraumatic Jess, nice but anxious, startled easy but always cracking jokes using humor to deal with life situations, and now they all recognized *me*. So they all relaxed and it was fine the rest of the night.