Our friend, Jameson, he is an amateur stand-up comic. He was in some competitions, he has done many shows and we have never been able to catch him because of….you guessed it – dissociation. Well, after one of these contests, he made it to the finals for a comedy club, The Funny Bone finals. It was a day we didn’t have to work, a Wednesday instead of the weekend. We were available. I tried to plan everything accordingly. However…some strange disastrous events occurred…
One, the night before the show, we were up late. This made us sleep late and have less time to get ourselves together before the show. The children like to come out late at night. Perhaps when I’m exhausted, they are able to take control and keep us awake. Sometimes they are afraid. Mostly, it’s because these irregular sleep patterns we learned in our childhood. Our mother let us stay up all night with her, even until the sun came up. She let us fight exhaustion as we wanted to stay up with her. When we weren’t in school, we could do this every day. During the summer we did it nearly every day, and our mom often encouraged us to stay awake longer with her, or even woke us up if we were asleep when she got home, to stay up with her. I don’t know what we thought we were missing. Maybe we just loved to know we had a mother there who loved us when we didn’t feel we had any friends. Maybe we just felt safer sleeping in day time rather than night time. Anyway, I think being stuck in that time and age, then that is the pattern the children alters will keep. So, I turned on an educational documentary. One of those like you’d see on The Discovery Channel or something. One of those nature documentaries, always calming with nature sounds and soothing music. Turned this on to calm the children, laying down on the couch to relax. I lose time again…I don’t know what happens next.
I wake up the next morning in bed feeling disconnected and confused…and of course, it was late in the afternoon. On top of this…..I can’t find my glasses. I say, okay they are probably by the couch, surely we fell asleep on the couch and stumbled to bed. They are not there. So I check all the usual strange places. On the floor under the couch, behind the couch, under the bed, on the night stand next to the bed, On the kitchen bar area, on the computer, on the bookshelf, on the floating shelf on the wall..They were not turning up. I started to crawl on the floor, scaling every inch. I even threw my dirty clothes all over in case it was tangled in with them somehow. I checked around the bathroom and kitchen sinks. I could not find them anywhere.
Hours went by. I never found my glasses. I could not drive without my glasses on the highway. However I could drive a short familiar distance, since my issue is not that I can’t see what’s in front of me, I just can’t read words on street signs or license plates, basically. So I made it to Walmart, where I got an eye exam that my insurance pays for. I paid the $40 co-pay for a contact exam, and then I got a free trial sample of contacts (which I don’t normally wear, I prefer glasses) just so I could see well enough to drive to see my friend. I almost didn’t get these contacts either because…..yep, once again, dissociation. I go for my wallet in my purse….it’s not there. I have no idea where it is. However, the kind people in this optical store did great detective work, and were able to find out what type of insurance I had and called the insurance company for the account number they needed to bill. I still had no idea where my wallet was. I called my work and it wasn’t there, that was my last memory of it. We got back home and I search every where to no end. Finally, I decided this was an adequate time to work on “connecting” with the others. I tried to ask the others if anyone knew where the wallet was. I got an answer: the back corner of the computer desk. Lo and behold, there was my wallet behind the monitor, which is why I didn’t immediately see it. Ha, sometimes they can help me. We can help each other more with the more we master this co-consciousness and conquer the disorder. I got no other answer from them but got the vibe that my wallet was there to use a credit/debit card for an online purchase. Guess we will figure out what that is when it gets here or when we get our card statements. Ha-ha!
As if this wasn’t enough issues to slow me down, as i was trying to leave I could not find my car keys. Someone did not put them where we are supposed to put them. This is a new issue we are dealing with. I found them eventually but now I was running late. Then, as I try to walk out the door, I realize I don’t know where my house keys were either, also not in the designated space. I spent more time searching for those (found them too, but now oh-so terribly late). After all this added stress and anxiety about being so late, now I had dissociation interfering with me getting out the door. I know I tried to leave, but I’d switch. It’s fuzzy, but I know I came back in 3 or 4 times. I don’t remember exactly what we were doing but I know the last time someone came back in to change my outfit. I heard Suzy, the 18 year old alter, scoffing in disgust at what I wore and says “F*ck this, I am not being seen in public wearing THIS!” I don’t know what her issue was, I was in a dress. Guess she didn’t like the dress I had on. Ha. (I can only laugh at these things now). Next thing I remember is I’m driving my car in a new outfit. I was almost an hour late when I got there.
We finally arrive. I buy the last two tickets just before they close the booth. I was lucky there. I walk inside to see my friend standing by the bar outside the show room with a group of people. I pointed at him when he made eye contact with me then waved. He was sitting down and took a double-take, before jumping up saying “Jess! Hey! You made it!….I just went on…”
Really? Damn it!!! Dissociation messed us up again and we were SO CLOSE!
I felt like the worst friend ever. But he hugged me and thanked me for coming. He seemed, from our point of view, to be ecstatic that we showed up. He looked like he had teared up a bit from it. I felt silly having bought these two tickets for myself and my friend who was meeting me there, and I literally JUST missed my friend on stage. He invited me to go in still, and enjoy the 10 other comics who still had to go on. Well, my friend had arrived and we had planned to do this, so we conceded. Also, he mentioned they would be announcing a winner at the end. He asked us to stay for the “clap off” where they introduce all the comedians again and have the crowd cheer for them. Which we made sure we clapped loud and hard for our friend when Jameson was called.
After it was over, I promised him I would make the next one, because I know he performs at the Funny Bone frequently and would be there again. It’s in the same mall complex as where we work,too, so I’d be able to find out easily if he’ll be there. My friend and I walked around the mall (it was a big outdoor mall) to where my work is to sit down where we could actually chat. We hadn’t talked in several months. We talked so long I hadn’t realized my work closed 7 minutes ago. So I threw money down on the bar (with a good tip, for being an ass in the way ha-ha!) and we ran out the door. We only went as far to the smoker’s area behind, where she could smoke and we sat on a bench. There we sat for at least another half hour talking. My car was right there because I parked at my work. So, then, we drove in my car, trying to find where she parked.
Funny thing, both of us suffer from dissociation and P.T.S.D. issues. She couldn’t quite remember where she parked because of memory issues that comes with these things. Our similarities in issues is how and why we met. She and I met through Twitter almost 2 years ago, when she messaged me. She was looking for a friend who understood her situation. Because it gets difficult talking to people who don’t know what it’s like to suffer trauma and abuse. Either they get exhausted emotionally or you do. I sort of understand feeling tired of making your friends feel sad all the time when you talk about your situation. It makes you want to isolate, too.
Anyway, so she was looking for someone with similar life situations to befriend who lived close by. She is in a city less than an hour a way from us. This woman introduced herself as Irene, and said she wanted to talk to me and meet me. She even went so far to point out her name means “peace” because she knew I’d probably be a little worried about meeting strangers online. I could see her sincerity and well…..I knew who she was.
See, we are fans of anime and cartoons (most of us, not all) and we love voice actors as well as live action actors. We recognized her name, and when we checked up on it, we were right, it was the real Irene we were talking to. I had a little mini fan girl geek out moment, and then composed my-selves. We began chatting and she invited us to some native American ceremony celebration at a mound. We have met her a few times after for a few other similar important events. I also had been invited into her home, and she made me feel so comfortable and welcome. She truly is a great person. Beautiful person! Then, I finally had something to invite her to. Excited, I invited her to this live comedy show that my friend Jameson was performing in. I finally felt like I contributed to the friendship by coming up with an idea. Ha-ha! I thought of something cool to do, and it was to watch my cool comic friend live. I felt like less of a “hum-drum” friend. Ha-ha! (this is my humor, ha-ha!)
She had a great time. I was so glad she showed. Although, honestly I feared she was not going to be my friend any more. You see, one of the last times I talked to her on twitter, I said on a weekend that I’d call her Monday….I had problems with dissociation for everyday after….for many months. It was about 4 months actually, since I had dissociated and I came back not knowing what day–or MONTH even–that I was actually in. I had had slight conscious awareness but not feeling present or have any vivid recollection. This is what my dissociation is like.
I had messaged her, having discovered I had broken my other phone and replaced it but did not have her number. I didn’t get a reply for a very long time. The reason was likely that she was in Nova Scotia filming for a show that is going to be released later in the summer. Also, I think she is doing some voice recording for something animated at the same time. On top of dealing with her life situations. After having met me, she described what happened to her that is giving her issues in her life. What she described to me was very much dissociation. I told her about the book my therapist and I were working on together. She told her therapist and then THEY too began using the same work book on dissociation. So, I’ve helped her understand herself a lot and I helped her believe she is not crazy or dangerous. I helped her figure out how to get the lawyer to fight on her side, mentioning the discrimination and stigma attached to PTSD that they are using to judge her.
So between my dissociation, breaking my phone, and Irene’s own life business and issues keeping her busy, it took a long while to get back in touch. I feel a lot of my fear that she was suddenly hating me (for no real reason other than I just didn’t get around to calling her) was just other parts I was feeling and just related to the PTSD effects of my childhood sexual abuse. I believe it was the holiday season that exhausted me. As well as, my daughter’s 13th birthday was coming up….She was 11 the last time we saw her… So I believe that probably had something to do with why I just lost months of my life….I am Post Traumatic Jess and I guess I get triggered and lose control of the “front of house” shall we say.
My boyfriend is used to this. We’ve been with him for almost 4 years now. Would you believe we are the longest relationship he’s ever had? A year and a half was all he made in all his dating life at 32 years old, when he met us. Didn’t even have children or a divorce. Well, he had 4 years in the Navy which I believe that makes finding love hard if you don’t already have it. He always likes to joke that he just never knew he always needed to date a multiple and now he “can’t go back” after dating one. So, he says, if we broke up he feels he’d have to date another multiple. Ha! (all forbid we actually broke up, which yea pretty sure it’s not happening. Ha-ha! He loves us all. Having no children and no real close family ties because of his own childhood trauma, he feels like he got a “family” in me, in us. ) One of the reasons we love him is he shares our quirky, weird, and at times dark or twisted sense of humor. He makes us smile, always knows how to make us laugh.
So here I am with my friend Irene, who is the voice of a favorite character of ours who is also going to be seen in an upcoming show on SPIKE TV as well as heard in an upcoming animation, and we are at this comedy club to watch our comic friend, having a boyfriend who has sailed around the world and is at our home lovingly waiting for us to return, hoping to hear we had a good experience…..Here I am surrounded by all these awesome people who have done awesome things and…….and I am just a “nobody.” Ha-ha! I don’t know why these cool people hang out with me. I guess there must be something nice about us, that they see something good in us. It really kind of annihilates the negative things people used to say. Those people, boring every day people, who were probably just envious of the light that shines in us. Because I know we know, we are good people. At least I know that now. We’ve always tried to be kind and be helpful to people. I just never let the meanness make me a hateful person. I understood suffering and can’t bear to see anyone else suffer too because I KNOW HOW THAT FEELS. So see, being abused and having a hard childhood does not make an abusive person.
I just wish all peoples who suffer with dissociation or Dissociative Identity Disorder or some type of Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder issue like we do, could have these kinds of positive experiences. I can’t make that happen for everyone, but I can share my story to give you hope that the world is not always going to treat you like a freak. There are people that can love you—-ALL of you’s. Everyone close to me has spent a lot of time with me, and whether they know it or not, have met many alters because I switch several times a day and at times I can be gone for weeks (or months, as you read) and they will see a “completely different Jess.” Since people are used to us changing so much, they just see it as our way of expressing ourselves and it doesn’t surprise them if I switch appearances or attitudes. They know me, and can pretty much know how to deal with all me because they have dealt with me as “that me,” in some situation at some point.
Our friends didn’t have to know our different names when we switched, because they like us and just know how to react. They may not have understood it was D.I.D. so they made some other reasons (my favorite is the time-old joke that’s been around since high school: Jessica likes shiny objects and that distracts her and makes her forget. “ooo shiny object” has always been an inside joke in our close circle) All-in-all though, they never *feared* us, just thought we were weird at worst. When I finally “came out multiple” to close friends, they kind of give you this “Aaahhhhhhh!!!” reaction as SO MANY things now make more sense.
I hope my story has given you hope that people can accept you and love you. Honestly I had to cut so many people out, and be hurt so many times. I even felt the need to move to a different city to find different people. Which, I recommend doing that if everyone in your town is a jerk. Start up a crowd funding, something, for it. Get yourself out at all costs and save yourselves. No matter what, you do not deserve rudeness or abuse. No matter what, know that these lower intellect, BORING everyday plebs of people, are just limited in their capacity to love and not judge. And remember, those awesome cool people who have transcended the monotonous rut of live-work-die and break out of the barriers of society’s boxes can see you.
Awesome knows awesome. See the awesome in yourselves!
Oh, by the way, if you all were wondering….I did find my glasses. They were inside a box that I put my make up in. I can only guess that one of the children had wanted to play with make-up and they just ended up dropped in my make-up box. You may wonder, if I am working on co-consciousness, why did I not try to connect with the children and ask them where they put our glasses. My boyfriend wondered exactly that, and to his questioning I replied, “I actually DID ask the children….but…they are children. They can’t remember what they did 5 minutes ago, you know how kids are, they can’t really explain well either.” So yea, I tried that, and all I get back is little kids kind of shrugging and “bouncing off” in our mind, being kids wanting to not be serious any more. Oh, an interesting life we live, with Dissociative Identity Disorder. And still, people think this is fun and games, pretending, and planned or “premeditated.”
This is my reality, whether you are looking or not. We are real, separate, conscious awarenesses within one smart, talented brain. I like to joke that humans are nothing more than anthropomorphic brain functions, and a brain can be smart enough to become as many as necessary. Ha-ha (weird humor, remember? *grins*) Primary function you can say the brain has, is survival at all costs. That, my friends, is D.I.D.