Sunday, February 9, 2014

Stress and Living Openly -- Morrigan

In the past, we all dealt with stress very badly. It didn't even matter what was causing the stress. If we stressed due to dying in a video game or if we were not getting along with our parents that day, we dealt with it in just about the same way: we pretended that things were fine.

Since December 2010, the month that I interacted with others as Morrigan, I have grown a lot. Not only me, but all of my family within has grown so much. I realized this today as I'm trying to sort through some decisions that are facing us all. There are two things that can drastically change our life, and I'm not sure what is the right course of action.

First, there is an opportunity at work to possibly go overseas for a year to study various skill sets as well as become fluent in Japanese. Our company has already been investing in us by paying us to go to Japanese language classes. We have also been told that how well we do will directly effect our chances of going to Japan. I've looked at the literature regarding the program we would be in. There is a huge amount of technical skills and knowledge that Bloomer is simply over the top excited to possibly learn. The rest of us are more hesitant, mostly because we don't think we will enjoy it. However, it is one of our goals to eventually get to and live in Japan for a while. This program would not only send us there, but it would pay our way there, during, and back. It's an amazing opportunity.

However, I worry about where we are in our healing journey. Granted, if we even go, it's a year or more away. We will be in a much different place then, just as we are in a much different place now compared to a year ago. I ask my God often about this opportunity; if it is one He has planned for us. As the Main, I'm not sure what the "right" decision is.

The second thing that has me a little confused and concerned is our goal to "live openly." We keep saying to one another that "one day" we will live openly about being a Multiple. One day things are going to be different. One day our friends will all know and interact with us as individuals. But when does "one day" start?

I talk about this subject with those within constantly, and our conclusion is always the same: one day must start now or else it will never happen. This is easier said than done. We understand (sort of) where we want to end up ideally, but we have no idea how to get there.

My counselor and I came to the conclusion that my church may be a safe place in which to figure out this idea of living openly. So, last Monday, I spoke with the pastor of my church, who knows about all of us. He actually baptized me when I became a Christian and I have had a series of talks with him regarding faith and how it interacts with us being a Multiple. I spoke with him this time about the general attitude of our church regarding their openness toward mental disorders. He couldn't give me any simple answers and that this was something I had to figure out for myself. Though he was able to shed some light on the generational differences within our church and how it relates to stigmas surrounding mental disorders. The conclusion my pastor and I came up with is that those of us within need to use wisdom and discernment when and how we decide to tell people.

After a lot of thought, I realized, how can I expect to live openly about having DID, if I can't even be open about my emotions and experiences (that don't require an explanation of DID)? It's silly of me to try to take this gigantic leap if I can't even manage this smaller step.

So tonight I decided to try to be more open. I went to my weekly Bible Study and was open in a very small way to a woman who has warmly encouraged friendship with her. Earlier in the evening, I had decided she is a fantastic person that I would like to get to know more and we had begun to make tentative plans for meeting at least once a month to try different kinds of tea. When she asked me how I was doing, I admitted that I am a bit depressed. I didn't say why, but her immediate response was empathy, the encouragement to let her know if I needed anything, and the promise that she would be praying for me. I am trying not to get my hopes up about this potential friendship, but it's looking like a good start. Maybe this will help me to get used to be open and honest about what is going on before I take that huge plunge into living openly as a Multiple.

I am no longer pretending that everything is fine. I am depressed. I even know why I'm depressed, which is a change. I am learning not to hide what is going on from my friends who know about us. I have even decided to try not to hide my voice from my parents... Which may seem silly because, of all people, they have been the most accepting and wonderful people throughout the last three years. But that is how deeply I am afraid of people seeing me. It is easy to throw up the Erin front and pretend like everything is going well. Externally, everything looks amazing! But internally, things are a bit rough. So, here's to not hiding as much. I can only pray that it goes better than I can even hope.

-- Morrigan