Giving a Voice to the Silence offers positive angles to the issue that faces those with mental illness. Living with Schizo-Affective Disorder and being able to share my experiences with others, is the best way I know how to pay it forward. Life can be difficult, my goal is to bring a bit of hope to a place where many feel there is none.

Friday, April 4, 2014

“D” is for Discovery and Dissociative Identity Disorder #atozchallenge

I sat down a few days ago to plan out each letter for this month and when I came to the letter D, there
were several that came to mind, so instead of trying to pick only one I am going to touch on two of them to the best of my ability.

My first step in discovery of my illness and the fact that I needed to find a way to survive, for lack of a better word, was when my father died in 1999.  My dad was Paranoid Schizophrenic; he was lost to this world his illness taking his mind and life away to a place we could never understand.  The saddest part was his refusal to seek treatment; he preferred who he was and spent his days wandering.  The day I learned of his death. I was devastated; the illness had won.  I didn’t care what the coroner said, massive heart attack was his opinion and only I knew the truth; schizophrenia took his life.  

With this news, I realized what was ahead of me, the battle I was facing, and it was up to me to make the change and fight what my mind was challenging me with.  I came to see it this way; my dad gave life to me twice.  Being my father was the first, the second he saved my life with his unfortunate early death.  For that I am forever grateful and his picture sits on my desk, my spirit guide and strength when every part of me wants to give up. 

“D” is also for the one part of my illness that I almost never talk about, Dissociative Identity Disorder.  Mentioning this brings the idea of the movie Sybil to most people and that is what is believed to be the truth when it comes to Multiple Personalities, unfortunately it is merely a fabrication, and the reality is far less exciting.  

My dissociation was created as a way to survive years of horrible abuse at the hands of a man who should not have been allowed to walk the earth for any length of time.  It wasn't only him though, there were others after him, but he forced  the different parts of me into reality, and that is where they have stayed.  I wish I could tell you some dramatic story of things I have done, or how they have exposed themselves, but I cannot.  I have four total, three female and one male; two of them are protectors and keep me safe.  I know I do not need them anymore, but I am so used to their presence that getting angry is difficult on my own.  One is still the little girl hoping for someone to rescue her from the hell; she is experiencing, and the last one is probably more of who I am at the very core of my soul, who I didn't get to become.  She is a dreamer, a seeker and wanderer; she wants to explore the world and discover all that was missed in our days of silence.

They have served their purpose, pulled me through many days when I wanted no more than to die and unfortunately have also gotten me into a lot of trouble.  There are times when I have done things I either didn’t remember or didn’t realize what the repercussions would be, but it goes with the territory, and it is my job now to keep myself under control – all of me.  

So the letter D has been quite interesting, and I am hoping a bit informative, I do not talk about it much, but it is a part of me and in order for me truly stand up for what I believe and to fight the stigma of mental illness, I need to bear it all. 

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