A psychiatrist has diagnosed me with “Features of Dissociative Identity Disorder” in addition to my diagnosis of Dissociative Motor Disorder / Conversion Disorder. She was the only one who bothered to give me a screening test specifically geared toward dissociative experiences.
I know how much it would have meant to the sixteen year old hiding in the library that there were actual tests made by actual doctors to help people who felt like her. And that just makes me mad at the horrific medical malpractice I was being exposed to.
I was not a lab rat. I was not a devil. I was a human child and I deserved to be treated with basic decency.
My fate was sealed the moment I walked into that hospital. And then I was nineteen in a blue coat, leaving the hostel at night, accepting roses and compliments from strange men twice my age, only to come to my senses in a random Pizza Hut and run as soon as he goes to order. In so much pain I can hardly stand it, pain undefined and undefinable, the walk back to the hostel, talking to the children in my head.
And perpetual cold. An evergreen lack of colour, blooms and bright splashes of unreality searing newborn eyes, a whole parallel dimension under the gaze of a bulbous moon. Am I having a psychotic episode? I found myself wondering, eventually deferring to trusty Dr Google.
“Clover, Clover!” Ewwww. Stop calling me that. I’m not Clover.
Wait, what? What does that even mean? Of course I’m Clover. Who else would I be? Oh God, I think I’m losing it!
“Why are you hiding under the bed?” The perplexed face of my roommate appears over the edge of the cot.
I don’t know. I don’t know. Oh my God, why can’t I get it together? Why am I acting like this??
It’s confusion and heartbreak, often. And what I want changes, sometimes minute by minute. But I need reminding. She needs reminding.
And so I write this, a step toward the far side of denial. It’s not acceptance, but it’s a start.Published in