A short story on Dissociative Identity Disorder sparked by “Sybil”

(What little I know about DID came from my Psych textbook and a movie, so there might be some mistakes in the minor details that I overlooked. I don’t understand DID at all, but this is my attempt at trying to understand.)

There I was again tonight: trying to fit in, forcing myself to socialize, faking an ever-so-pleasant facade. Any second now, I thought, tapping my fingers nervously. Any second and I’d turn into someone else. Someone who can deal with all of this socializing effortlessly, as if it was meant to be. I can feel it coming, but I didn’t know or understand how it came. At the flick of a switch, although I didn’t know who flipped it, she appeared. She was comfortable, adaptable, sociable. Exciting. Fun. Glamorous. Not a minute spent with her is wasted. Her laugh is contagious, her smile infectious, and every part of her radiated off confidence. Her?
It was like seeing things happen from another space in time, although I was watching things happen from inside of me. I was confused, so confused, always confused. So many questions flooded my mind: where was I? who am I? who are they? what am I doing here? But I have to get through tonight first.
Laugh a little, but not too much. Or else they’ll think I’m a try-hard. Talk a little, but not too much. Or else I’ll give too much of myself away. What I say can’t be thoughtless, but it can’t be too intelligent. Or else they’ll think I’m being a smart-alec. Everything has to be just right, because we’re a bunch of people striving for perfection yet never obtaining it. They, they, they. An endless amount of theys.
“Of course we’ll keep in touch. I’ll miss you so much!” I exclaimed. Yeah right. I’ll see her in two days. Keep in touch my butt.
“No, it actually looks so good on you. The color brings out your eyes” I smiled. Uh-huh. Her dress is blue. Her eyes are green.
“You’re joking! She did what to you?! No, you definitely deserve a better grade!” I comforted. Like complaining will give you that ‘A you don’t deserve, hell ablaze.
But I did what I was expected to do, naturally.

I woke up pissed off today, And lately everyone feels fake; Somewhere I lost a piece of me; Smoking cigarettes on balconies” sings Troye Sivan through my headphones. I’ve replayed these four lines maybe 6 or 7 times, and it speaks to me every single time. I’m drained of all emotion. All I can think about is how to be practical, logical, stoic. Because how else can I live?

The next morning, the sun was shining, the birds were chirping, and I was happy. Content. I greeted everyone I saw with a genuine “Morning!”, humming on my way to school. TO SCHOOL! Nothing could dim my spirits, as everything I saw came as a vibrant shade of color across my eyes. Color. COLOR! And then it happened. All I could see was red. Red everything. Red walls, red lights, red desks, red people. I was panicking because red meant anger, and anger translated to a lack of control, which…When I woke up, they told me I was expelled. With a simple, “You should see a psychologist” they sealed up my future. With this kind of record, which college would want me? I wouldn’t even want myself if I was working at the Admissions Office. What’s wrong with me? I was constantly worried, to the point where I couldn’t function, afraid I might start panicking and see red again. I couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t breathe. Life was sucking out all the life in me. The irony. The worry. The pain.
That’s when I knew I had dissociative identity disorder. The 3 existing personalities would soon split into more. My brain couldn’t handle any more torture, so it fractured into different personalities.

In a sense, every existing human being has bits and pieces, characteristics and symptoms of mental instability, although it’s the extent to which those characteristics affect their lives that determine whether or not it’s a disorder. Everyone gets sad, but it’s not classified as depression unless it becomes maladaptive to the individual. Everyone is self-centered, but it’s not narcissistic personality disorder unless it starts to interfere with what’s agreed upon as “normal”. Everyone gets anxious, but it’s not an anxiety disorder unless it’s completely out of proportion with the norm.
But what is the norm? Isn’t it constantly changing? We are ALL confined to the realities of society.


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