I have come to the conclusion recently that quite a lot of what I experience on a day-to-day basis is a function of my personality, rather than my illness. Yes, I am dissociated a lot, and because of that every sensation is either heightened or dulled depending on what state I’m in. But a lot of core things about who I am are, actually, a result of who I am.
For example, I find planning really difficult and stressful. I feel like I’m often led to believe that this is either some terrible character flaw or a ‘diseased’ part of me that needs healing. And, I have to admit, some healing is definitely needed in this area. But in fact, the main reason for this is that I am a personality type that actually finds planning very restrictive. As a ‘perceiver’ on the Myers Briggs personality paradigm, I tend to thrive on spontaneity and feel diminished or threatened by too many planned events.
Similarly, I find small talk and large social events very overwhelming… to the point where, if I stay too long, I start to feel ill. Again, this is partly a function of there being altogether too much going on in my head as a result of the dissociation. But it is also that, as an introvert, small talk was just never going to be my thing. If I’m able to track down someone at a party that I can have a meaningful discussion with, then I (and everyone in me) is a whole lot happier. But if I am stuck with being polite, I feel trapped and dead inside.
So I’m coming to realize (with the help of a great friend’s wisdom), that a lot of what my munchkins (alters / parts) do is actually pointing me towards who I really am. They tend to get upset about things that, actually, I’m not too crazy about myself. If I start living out of a place of pleasing others, rather than living as me, things get out of balance in my head. If I have too many things planned in, and no space to be spontaneous, likewise. If I have several social events in succession where I’m unable to have a decent conversation, to feel like me, I get exhausted and depressed.
So thank you, munchkins, for reminding me of who I am. And although at times it’s painful, and frustrating, and distressing, I imagine the consequences of living a false life would be far worse.