So, here goes…
I am an adult living with mental illness. And a lot of it.
I am diagnosed with Schizoaffective Disorder, Anxiety, PTSD, and Dissociative Identity Disorder. I also have several medical issues, including chronic pain and stress seizures. I currently live with my mother, who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, because my disability check is not enough to support myself at the moment.
I have been in and out of the psychiatric hospital multiple times, since 2003. We’re talking close to 30 times over the years… I’ve been in therapy and taking medication for mental illness since 2003. I was first diagnosed with depression by my primary care physician. When he realized I may have Bipolar, he referred me to a psychiatrist. Where I live, and in many other places, the waiting lists to get into psychiatrists are outrageous. Between when I scheduled the appointment and the date of the actual appointment, I ended up in the ER after an intentional overdose and was sent to the psych hospital from there. When I finally got in to see the outpatient psychiatrist, she was sympathetic that the waiting list was too long and that sometimes patients need to get in faster than the offices can get them in. I was one of those cases, apparently, seeing as I attempted suicide while waiting for my intake appointment with her.
That psychiatrist is the one that diagnosed me with Dissociative Identity Disorder and helped me get onto Social Security. When she asked me if I ever heard things that other people couldn’t hear or see things that other people couldn’t see, my answer confused her for a moment, but she recovered quickly and it was barely noticeable. I noticed it anyway, however.
My answer was, “yeah, doesn’t everybody?”
She started asking questions about how the voices sounded, what they would say, etc. I explained that some of them were outside of my head like they were standing next to me talking, that those were the mean ones, and then others were inside my head, and they were nice. The outside voices would hurl insults at me, tell me to do things to myself like self injure or kill myself, and sometimes just scream outright. Sometimes, I could see them too. (Not often, at that time. Now, they are almost always visible as well as audible.) The inside voices were sometimes like my own personal cheerleaders. They were all different; there were kids and teenagers and adults. Sometimes, they would just be talking amongst themselves, ignoring me altogether, having little conversations with each other. She seemed intently interested the entire time I was talking but was doing the typical thing people imagine when they think of psychiatrists, writing and saying “I see,” and “okay.” She asked more questions, about things like losing time or all of sudden being somewhere and not knowing how I got there, losing things often, how often I felt tired. I just kept answering her, even though she never really told me what the questions were about or what she was thinking.
Somewhere along the way, I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, and then after more time psychotic features was added.
After a few months of seeing her every couple of weeks, I dissociated during an appointment. I don’t remember what happened for most of that appointment, even to this day. When I “came to,” she said my name and asked if I was back… it was my turn to be confused. I asked her what she meant. She then asked what I remembered of the last 45 minutes, and I must have looked surprised because she told me to look at the clock. We had been in her office for an hour already, and I only remembered 15 minutes of it. I asked about the patient after me, and she told me that they had been told that there was something that had come up and the previous patient was going to run over, and they didn’t know how long, and that the patient decided to reschedule. I knew it was already time for the patient after them, because appointments were 30 minutes long, usually, and I told her that and said we could stop… she stopped me mid-sentence. She told me she wanted to make sure I was okay to leave. What did that mean? What happened in those 45 minutes? What had I said or done that had her concerned? She was just staring at me, at that point. She said, “you look like you’re still a little dissociated. I don’t want you driving until I know you can be safe behind the wheel.” I had to ask what that word meant. She said that when I lost time or found myself somewhere without remembering how I got there, that I had been dissociating. She then told me that she thought she knew why I had been dissociating, what disorder was causing it. At that point, all I knew was Bipolar with Psychotic Features. (The outside voices, my demons, are hallucinations, while the inside voices are from the DID. The inside voices are the other personalities.) She wouldn’t tell me, even though I asked probably 15 times. She kept saying I was too “fragile” at that moment, and that she would tell me soon. She believed that if she told me then, that I would dissociate more and she would end up having to send me to the hospital. As soon as she phrased it that way, I stopped pushing. But we ended up scheduling an appointment for two days later. She was concerned; I had been self-injuring pretty bad and had been having some suicidal thoughts recently at that point. She felt more comfortable after another 20 minutes to let me leave, knowing that I had an appointment to come back within the same week. She told me at that appointment, that she thought I have Dissociative Identity Disorder.
That’s when my life became Chaos; that’s when I became a Chaos Child.
Welcome to my blog.