This has been the question in the forefront of my mind recently.
My psychiatrist suggested to me that I am an alter. I have very specific tasks within our system. I forget, and avoid almost everything trauma related or stressful. I do this so that I can function day-to-day. It means I can work a small amount, maintain friendships, and appear relatively ‘normal’ on the outside.
It works. Honestly, it does! I function quite well day-to-day. Most people would have no idea that I have mental illness of any kind. It does mean that I can go from appearing okay, to being in a psychiatric hospital very quickly, with outsiders questioning what happened because I seemed okay.
My psychiatrist’s comments have made me question who I am. I’ve always thought of myself as the core, or the original person that alters or parts fragmented from. I’ve been aware that the body’s name is not my own. My name is a shortened nickname taken from the body’s name. I don’t know if we have a part that has the body’s name, or if there is an original, core part.
I initially felt quite insulted at the suggestion that I was an alter. I felt that being an alter or a part made me, somehow, less of a person. Less real. Less me.
Now I’m questioning where I fit in the system. I still know who I am, that hasn’t changed. It’s my whole understanding of our system and how it works that’s changed. If I’m not the core, or the original person/part, then who is? Do we have a core hidden somewhere inside?
Thankfully I have a hospital admission coming up, and can hopefully unravel and explore some of these issues.