Stigma is essentially a pre-fabricated negative assessment of a class of people based on lies.
Internalized stigma destroys self-confidence and self-esteem.
People who believe that they are unworthy expect less and accept less.
Do I feel shame over my illness?
But I don’t live there.
I remind myself that my culture has lied about people like me my entire life.
Everything it had to say about gay and bisexual men was a lie.
The only way to deal with institutional bullying is for the target to say no.
But it’s not enough to say no.
One must say who one is, and even someone with DID can intellectually understand who he is as a person.
Before I move on to the point of this post I need to make the following disclaimers:
I don’t speak for everyone who has a dissociative disorder.
I am not an authority on dissociative disorders.
I don’t speak for everyone who has a mental illness.
I speak my mind without consideration for political affiliation.
I do not adhere to a political party or creed.
I don’t expect people to be perfect, but I do expect them to practice what they preach.
If you are a Republican or Democrat who places your duty as a citizen above political party and religious dogma you have my complete support.
And to all of the internet narcissists who think I’m easy prey I make the following statement:
You are not required to believe that I exist; the irrevocable fact is that I do exist and I’m not shy about it.
My subjective experience of DID is simply that of losing time and memory.
My first response to any gap in memory is to try to fill it in with what I think may have happened.
This sometimes makes it look like I’m lying, but it’s really trying to fill the missing hole.
This may be more obvious on social networks than in daily life.
The people in my daily life respond to the alters but don’t call them by name.
Bobby had a chat this morning with the landlady.
She enjoys his sense of play.
The alters come and go without being noticed by people who don’t live with me; they never announce themselves and they all think of themselves as the “real” me.
All parts of me are loyal and all parts of me remember people who treat them well.
I don’t have alternates that secretly troll, hack or seek to hurt other people.
In fact, my alternates will unite out of love for someone.
I recall a set of interesting questions that I got when I won the Leibster award.
Here is how I would answer some of those questions today.
1. Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in the fall of 2013. I tried to blog for a few weeks but didn’t have the focus or confidence, so I shut down the blog.
In the fall of 2014 I discovered a network of mental health advocates on Word Press. Reading their blogs gave me a sense of focus; in September of 2014 I re-opened the blog with The Chat.
I blog as a way to communicate with my therapist, but I know that publicly documenting a process so personal is a political act.
2. What has surprised you most about blogging?
That 500 people support me by reading my blog. I know I’m not a power blogger but I’m pleased that some people read me so consistently.
3. What one thing would you change about your current life?
I want to have better symptom management skills.
4. What is one special thing from your childhood that you treasure?
My memories of my Grandmother.
5. What is one of your favorite things to do and why?
My alternates have their own focus. Mateo likes to build computers, Bobby likes to listen to music, Matthew is interested in religion, and I am interested in politics.
Most of my political stance is based on life experience.
I consider it cowardly to be silent about economic and social policies that are designed to destroy people.
If we study the history of the AIDS Epidemic from the perspective of the activists that started ACT-UP we see that Reagan’s first response to the AIDS Epidemic was Lethal Neglect.
Reagan was certainly the right age to have been influenced by the Eugenics Movement of the early 20th Century.
Jerry Falwell’s gang of rich hypocrites was in the oval office and they couldn’t have been happier to use AIDS to advance their special economic brand of “morality”.
Nothing destroys reason faster than our primal fear of disease.
If the Gay Community had not launched a challenge with Act-Up in the 1980’s, Reagan would have said nothing at all.
Reagan was also silent about studies that showed that his approach to mental illness was a deadly disaster.
That silence continues.
The connection is there, the history of the Eugenics movement in the United States is well documented, and isn’t it odd that we somehow don’t have the money to treat and care for the mentally ill?
I invite everyone who reads my blog to do his or her own research and prove me wrong about the Eugenics connection.
I’d love it.
I think of my mind as proof of the human spirit and the will to survive; it is also proof that our “experts” don’t know shit.
It offends me that HMO’s treat the brain like a second-rate organ.
I am a man of faith but I don’t believe in organized religion.
We have the gift of reason and when we use it we can see the mysterious and be truly in awe of it.
Albert Einstein said;
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead —his eyes are closed. The insight into the mystery of life, coupled though it be with fear, has also given rise to religion. To know what is impenetrable to us really exists, manifesting itself as the highest wisdom and the most radiant beauty, which our dull faculties can comprehend only in their most primitive forms—this knowledge, this feeling is at the center of true religiousness.”
That is one of the most spiritual comments I’ve read.
Look at evidence of the Quantum Universe and understand that what we call God is everywhere.
We may exist only because we exist.
That doesn’t make our lives less sacred or meaningful.
We’ve all forgotten where we put our car or house keys.
Who hasn’t walked into a room and forgotten why?
Been speaking when the word you want goes missing, you know it’s there, you grope around in your mind, finding other words that might work in it’s place, but the word you wanted is gone.
I’m forever putting things ‘where I know they’ll be’ then fairies spirit them away, only to be found later in a totally illogical spot. Those fairies.
Forgetting is normal. Our minds are full. Overfull. We’re stressed or tired.
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