A Chorus of Agony (The Dissociation of the Artist Part II)

This post is going to be a hellride. I put even more pieces together after last night’s post where I talked about being on the Dissociative Spectrum.

What I came to realize is more about the nature of my intrapersonal communication. Some of this will sound like madness, but bear with me.

When you think of yourself and your actions, do you use first-person (I)? Second-person (you)? Third-person (Jessica/she)? Think about that for a moment. Think about how little you’ve probably ever thought of such. I’ve actually thought about this for a long, long time, and have always been troubled by it.

There is a narrator that processes my actions, a narrator from within, that I know is emanating from myself, as compared to the voices a schizophrenic may perceive coming from outside oneself. This narrator refers to my actions in second-person, makes commentary about me in second-person, and bizarrely enough, does not seem to be whatever [points to self] represents my (core) self. And I’ve known this for over a decade. And I’ve been scared shitless to talk about it, because I feared it’d be misconstrued as schizophrenia, a condition I most assuredly do not have. So why on earth would there be a distinct part of me making commentary about another distinct part in such a manner? I never thought too hard about it before the realizations of yesterday.

In the 2010s, I loved seeing my blood. I’d get tattoos, have blood draws, engage in art, anything to see actual real-life blood. There was never any trauma with any of this, but by the end of the decade, it was often noted that I was terrified of it … except when I wasn’t. I was either the most chickenshit blood draw, or an absolute champion that wanted to watch every drop enter the tube. It confused the hell out of the routine blood draw people, and in hindsight confused me too, though I’m starting to realize things about myself in the light of identifying the Big Trauma in 2008 and the dissociative symptoms ever since.

People familiar with parts theory may understand the concept of having distinct parts of oneself with different roles, responsibilities, and characteristics. It can be argued everyone has parts in this manner. Earlier this year, before shit hit the fan with bipolar mania, my therapist and I identified some parts of mine as part of eventual trauma work we wanted to do. The core ones that I can think of are the egotist (self-grandiosity / narcissist), the enforcer (antisocial), the forsaken (Borderline Personality Disorder), and the orchestrator (wise-mind, “core”). I never thought too much about any of it at the time as it seemed more a curiosity than anything.

However, when I finally admitted to friends the thing about the “narrator” above, it got me to think back to some of these parts. And, as I dug deeper, I realized that my actions, reactions, cognitions, all of it, are informed by these (and possibly yet more undiscovered) parts. There is a dialogue. Usually whichever influence is loudest wins, but I can tell that there is a give, take, and bargaining between these parts that influence the orchestrator to make a decision. Ok, that’s weird, right?

These are things that Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder alone do not explore nor explain. And these are things that are certainly not from the realm of neurotypicals. I’m not quite ready to commit to what I 100% believe is going on, but I’m closing in on 99% certainty that after the repeated Big Trauma in 2008, I either fragmented, or previous fragmentation became way worse. I cannot completely preclude the latter, as childhood trauma was pervasive as well, but I know for a fact that I was more integrated and present in everyday life before 2008.

I wish it were the workweek, so that I could make an appointment with my trauma specialist and better understand what’s going on. But I’m quickly preparing myself for the probability that I may be plural. If that’s the case, my bet is on OSDD-1 (some subtype ‘a’ or ‘b’) because this doesn’t feel full DID, but I could definitely see a DID-lite reckoning coming soon.