My Big-mouth Regrets

I’m beginning to regret telling those I live with about my multiplicity. It’s hard enough screwing up the courage to do so, as many of you know firsthand. At first I was met with much concern, intelligent questions, and compassion. That was several months ago. Since then it would seem that everyone’s forgotten about my DID, and all the conversations we had on the subject.

For instance, don’t they know that if I say something which sounds stupid or childish, it’s most likely one of my younger parts? And why don’t they get that if they poke fun at me  they’re poking fun at a young child? Often I’m met with remarks like, “Well duhhhh!” or “Cuckoo! Cuckoo!” I’ve noticed if someone else around here mispronounces a word or says something which sounds rather dumb, it gets shrugged off. But let me say the wrong thing, forget where I put something, or that I went such-and-such a place with so-and-so and I’m bombarded with ridicule. I feel much of the time like a sort of Rainman. (It’s worth noting that while I may be the object of much teasing, I’m the walking dictionary everyone comes to when they can’t spell a word–and most usually the most common, everyday words. Do I make fun of them for not knowing how to spell? No, that seems rather cruel to me, so why would I want to shame them?)

The other day I mentioned my driving on the freeway phobia, and was met with the type of look of amusement parents often exchange at their kids’ expense. You know, the kind of look that says, wow, you’ve no idea how incredibly funny your stupidity is, but it would be mean to laugh outright, so we’ll just do some eye-rolling and exchange looks of amusement.

I feel trapped. Do I want to go through my day reminding people left and right that I’m a multiple? Uh-uh. Neither do I want to be an old sourpuss who can’t take a joke. Even less, though, do I want to be the butt of every joke. I don’t understand why it is that people will start off feeling compassion regarding one’s disorder, but end up (and in a short period of time) treating it like a joke. Sometimes I get roasted so much that I should be looking around for the cameras. Maybe Don Rickles will show up and we can really make an evening out of how dumb I am.

What really messed with my head during my growing up years was the reality of being abused nearly every day of my life conflicting with the reality going on around me. For one reality was visible and tangible, the other was hidden away like the foul secret it was. I had to live them both, find some way of doing a juggling act, but could only acknowledge the one reality. And once my mother found out about the abuse and did nothing to stop it, it messed me up even worse. So did my stepdad’s frequent commands to “start smiling and acting happy so Mom won’t suspect anything.” I know I’m not an abused child any more. But when I get ridiculed for every word out of my mouth, it sure feels like it.

No one I live with is especially insensitive in general. And we all have a history of bantering back and forth. So why is this getting razzed all the time bothering me to this degree? I suspect because no one seems to care enough any more to talk with me about my DID. To ask how my parts are doing. No acknowledgement whatsoever that I confided this truth in them, except in the sense that their digs and barbs have increased tenfold. Maybe they don’t know they do it; maybe sub-consciously it’s some kind of Freudian defense mechanism which helps them deal with my disorder. Ah, who cares about the reason anyhow? Why dissect motives and all that? Rude and insensitive is rude and insensitive, and I need another cup of coffee now. (Thank goodness I haven’t flubbed up my coffee making in weeks, or I’d have to endure more of those jokes!)

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3 thoughts on “My Big-mouth Regrets”

  1. Wow, I hate that you are going through that. I wonder if they know it is having that effect on you. My father in law used to treat me that way. He would say things like “you need to toughen up just this much”. I felt like I could never complain about anything without him calling me a wimp. He always said it in jest, but over the years, it just bugged me more and more. I finally just said to him, don’t say that to me ever again, it hurts my feelings. I think sometimes people are used to communicating with humor, or what they THINK is humor, and sometimes, we move on and no longer find humor. But they don’t always know we are in a different place. I hate when that happens. What you said makes me think maybe I’m not ready to talk to any of my friends about my stuff either. I thought I was, but maybe not.

  2. But when I get ridiculed for every word out of my mouth, it sure feels like it.—

    yes, it is so hard to tell the difference between now and then. it gets mixed up so quickly and the little peace we thought we had gets shattered and takes longer to fix again. It is my hope that they will come to realize that your disorder is not about them, it’s about you. All of you have feelings and pain, however divided, hurts. pain is not a joking matter. pain is not funny.

    i am truly sorry about this. sometimes the family doesn’t know how to handle it but hurtful comments never help. I for one would ask myself if I wanted to wait it out or tell them now that they seem to have missed the definition of disorder and that no where in that definition will they find the phrase, “butt of every joke.” Its hurtful in every way. You’re a human being, no matter how fragmented or divided you’re a human being with feelings and those feelings can be hurt.

    Austin

  3. im sorry youre having to endure this. telling them how you feel isnt easy in this kind of situation. sometimes the people closest to you are the least able to handle what you struggle with, and their way of deflecting that challenge becomes an unintetional barb to us. but a barb is a barb, regardless of the intentions.

    i had to deal with that very kind of thing all through school from my peers, and some from my step family as well. and then husbands. i finally became willing to set clear, firm bounderies, although i may not always do it with grace and eloquence.

    you dont have to ‘smile and act happy’ just to accomodate some one elses comfort level anymore.

    behind you all the way…
    kïrstin

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