Living with Dissociative Identity Disorder can be excruciatingly lonely. I endured my loneliest moments with DID in the first few years after diagnosis. Granted, my primary relationship at the time was drawing its dramatic last breaths and I’d recently lost my job. I had virtually no support system and was barely able to feed myself and my child. There’s no doubt my loneliness was the result of more than just my Dissociative Identity Disorder diagnosis. But when I look back through my diaries from that time period, it’s clear the diagnosis was partially to blame. In hindsight, it’s easy to see why.
I Felt Aberrant Because of My Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis
Over the years I’ve heard from many people newly diagnosed with DID and almost without exception they report a pervasive but vague sense of otherness that’s accompanied them nearly all their lives. That’s been my experience too. Even today, no matter how well I blend in with others, I can’t shake the nagging feeling that I’m different, abnormal. Nowhere is this feeling more pronounced than in my diaries from the first few years after diagnosis – the first years after someone validated that yes, I’m different.
It doesn’t matter how much I like someone or love someone, there’s always this chasm between us. It feels like I yell over from my side and every once in a while someone yells back. After a while though, it gets too frustrating – what with all the “What’d you say?” and “Come again?” – and they give up in favor of people who don’t have to shout. I don’t blame them.
I Felt Rejected Because of My Dissociative Identity Disorder Diagnosis
Other than my therapist and an online forum, there was no one for me to talk to about my diagnosis and the intense confusion and fear I felt. But I can’t make sense of things when I can’t talk about them. So talk about it I did, in inappropriate places and to the wrong people altogether. The rejection I repeatedly experienced was humiliating. Loneliness hollowed me out and threatened to bleed me dry of hope for anything other than more of the same.
People would like me better if I didn’t have DID. They wouldn’t think I’m talking weird or acting weird. They wouldn’t think that I’m a game-player. I can’t help [having DID] though. And I don’t want to lose [my alters] anyway. It’s like I have to choose between being alone in the world or alone in [my head]. I don’t want to choose. I don’t want to be alone either place.
Fortunately, I’m astonishingly stubborn. Though my experiences during the first few years after my Dissociative Identity Disorder diagnosis made it exceedingly difficult, I operated as if the degrading loneliness I felt didn’t have to be permanent. And though loneliness is part of the human condition, and though DID is isolating, I did eventually begin to feel a part of the human race again.
Complete Series: Diary of a Newly Diagnosed Dissociative
- Part 1: Confusion
- Part 2: Fear
- Part 3: Loneliness
- Dissociative Identity Disorder Video: Diagnosis and Shame
- Part 4: Desperation
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