I actually wrote this Tuesday but for some reason it didn’t post, glad I caught it now.
So I saw my therapist yesterday. I thought the best thing to do was to print out two of my previous posts as that was how I had expressed myself most recently in writing. The first post I read to her was the one I wrote about doubting my DID diagnosis and wondering if deep down inside I’m just a liar making all of my symptoms up. I had also addressed being aware of the differences in being bipolar and dissociating and whether I really could have both, DID and Bipolar Disorder. I went in very anxious and I was having trouble breathing so we did some breathing exercises to help. I know breathing exercises have been mentioned by several of you as a useful tool to have and I now agree.
I went in thinking that no matter what she said, I would have to accept it. “It” being that if she believed I was lying and making up my symptoms, I would have to accept that I’m a liar. And, if she said that she didn’t believe I have Bipolar Disorder, if she believed that I had been misdiagnosed and that I’ve really had DID all along, I would have to accept that as well. So either I was lying, misdiagnosed or what I feel inside: that I have both Bipolar Disorder and DID, is the truth.
Before declaring the outcome of this discussion. I have to say that I felt my entire sense of being hinged on this discussion and on what she would say to me. I was prepared to hear things I did not want to hear, because above all else I need to know the truth about myself and look at myself honestly even if it sucks. I asked her my questions and it scared me to death when she prefaced her comment before actually answering me. I thought she was going to say…well a lot of things occurred to me and none of them was good. You know how it is when you want a straight answer and someone hesitates or says “Well…” or “First let me say…”? It was like that and I had a total inner freak out moment in that split-second. So here was her preface. I’ll be wording it as best I can but it’s not an exact quote obviously. She said she has several clients with DID. She said that she can’t know for sure if someone is lying (Yea I freaked right there internally thinking “Oh my God she thinks I’m lying”!). Then she said that it doesn’t matter if someone is “making it up” or not. To which I was like “Huh”? She said that what matters is why whatever is happening with them, is happening. Whatever the person is doing is happening for a reason and that’s why she’s there, to help deal with what’s bringing that about. If a person was pretending to have the symptoms of DID, it wouldn’t matter to her because they would be doing it for a reason and they would still need her help. I asked her if she thinks I’m lying. She said she knows that I am not a liar in fact I’m honest to the core. So basically, no I’m not making it up so to speak. I told her part of the reason I started wondering about myself is because I watched that special I while back “The Woman With 15 Personalities” on Discovery Health when I was first diagnosed with DID, I wanted to see what it looked like to other people like a therapist when an alter came out. the woman I saw on the show seemed to be acting to me. I’ll explain why I say that. the therapist would be talking to her and he would say something like: “Would so-and-so like to come out?” and she would say “Yes.” and then she would pause kind of and then the alter would be there. It seeme…too easy. Like, “Sure! Let me just go get them for you!” and I thought there was no way she was for real. That show planted a seed of doubt that grew subtly and then exploded when I was told my angry alter’s name is Nicole. I started doubting everything about myself at that point. My therapist said that DID never manifests itself exactly the same in every person. There are similarities of course, things people with DID would be familiar with, but she said every person manifests DID differently, in their own way. She said that the woman on the special could have been just manifesting DID in the way that is particular for her and that it has no bearing on the way I experience it. I can experience it whatever way I need to. If my alters each have names so be it. If they don’t so be it. She said it doesn’t matter. It’s all coming from inside me and that’s what’s important. She continued by saying that there are different degrees of DID as well and of course, that changes each person’s experiences. So each of us will have things in common as we’ve seen many times, but we’ll also have unique experiences too. She called it “the miracle of being me”. I had to laugh because I personally don’t feel like a miracle.
So bottom-line: I am not a liar. And I do indeed have both Bipolar Disorder and DID (which makes sense considering my already established diagnosis of PTSD).
Even though I was fully prepared to make myself listen to whatever she said to me, even if it hurt or if it destroyed my self-perception, I’m not gonna lie and say that I wasn’t glad she told me what I hoped to hear. I actually like that she didn’t jump right in and say “Oh no, I’m sure you’re not making it up”! She gave a very thoughtful and experienced answer, that was honest. She was honest about her own ability to detect if someone is “lying” and honest about her thoughts about it not mattering either way. She did that so that if she said she wasn’t sure about me, I would know that it didn’t matter to her. What mattered was the why. Still, I’m glad I know who I am. That’s a funny thing to say since I’m actually discovering more about “who” I am then I ever have before. 🙂
She thought it was wonderful that we have a community of people with DID out here talking to each other. She was really happy about that and she encouraged me to continue blogging all the way through this. All-in-all, a very good visit. I needed to hear what she had to say.
Oh! She also agreed with everyone’s previous comments that my last experience, the one about the picture frame that I mentioned a few days ago, was me experiencing co-conciousness. So that was a big step for me personally.