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Archive for June 24th, 2008

Flowers (c) Lynda BernhardtI recently went on a weekend getaway with five friends from high school. The woman with whom I shared a hotel room (R) was my closest friend in high school. R has always been extremely perceptive. While I always liked her, I would sometimes gets nervous around her in high school because I feared that she would “see me,” and I could not risk “being seen.” However, I did not know why this frightened me so much because I was unaware of having Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

In my post Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and the Movies, I stated that I was only aware of one person ever “catching” me switch from one alter part to another. As it turns out, R saw it, too – she just did not know what it was.

According to R, I used to have a mannerism that she chalked up to being a personal quirk. I would bend my head down, swallow, and then look up. I have no recollection of doing this, and nobody has ever mentioned this mannerism to me before. I could rattle off a long list of quirks and mannerisms that I have, but this would not be one of them.

R also talked about different things that I did not remember but that she remembered very well. One was the time that she and I went shopping with a third friend. The friend was talking about how the secret to getting customer service to take you seriously was to “practice being a b@#$%.” According to R, I said, “R does not need to practice being a b@#$%.” However, when she mentioned this conversation to me a few years later, I did not remember it.

R brought this conversation up again, in conjunction with the discussion of my quirky mannerism, and I did remember that conversation this time (now that I have integrated). What I remember is that I was complimenting R’s ability to be forceful in appropriate situations and not let other people take advantage of her. However, that would not have been the perspective of the host personality, who thought that being called a b@#$% was the worst possible thing imaginable. So, I totally get why my saying that to R was very hurtful at the time.

Apparently, I switched during that conversation. It was probably Irate who made the comment. Irate (as the name implies) did not take any crap off anyone. I used to joke that I had the world’s longest fuse – that I would be a doormat most of the time but then, about once a year, I would snap and put people in their place. That was Irate coming out, only I did not recognize this about myself. All I knew is that, in certain circumstances, I suddenly had a backbone and did not fear confrontation.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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