Another Day, Another Dilemma

Lost.  A whole day and night, for the most part, just gone.  I feel like I’ve been manic and have just crashed.  I also feel like I’ve been doing a hell of a lot of talking and socializing but I can’t remember with whom.  Pretty sure we made some new online friends….now if only we could remember their names.  That’s so annoying-to know that I made conversation with someone and we got along well but then after it’s over I can’t remember who they were or what we talked about.  Makes friendships difficult online.  In real life, I can at least recognize a person’s face (well, sometimes) but even then I still have trouble remembering conversations, or even names. I’ve been trying so hard to develop a support system for us on Twitter, and I think we’ve done a pretty good job, only when I really need to talk to someone about something important, I can’t remember just who it is that I’m close to. *sigh*  Truthfully speaking, I don’t know if I’m actually close to anyone, either online or in real life.  And it’s far too embarrassing to tweet everybody, asking if we’re friends or not.  Plus, the paranoia is stifling me.  I’m paranoid I might’ve been the mean K at some point, and perhaps said something horrible to another Tweep and maybe I’ve angered someone or worse, hurt someone’s feelings.  I worry so much about what other people think about us; that’s the number one reason we keep our illness a secret from the outside world.  My closest friends don’t know about my mental illness.  A lot of people know I take anti-depressants and so they assume I’m just chronically depressed or maybe bipolar or something they’re familiar with.  I would never dare tell anyone about my dissociative disorder.  That’s just TOO weird.  People can’t wrap their brains around it. I don’t want people to look at me differently, or treat me differently, or talk about me behind my back.  So I hide my symptoms.  From everyone.  Most of the people I hang out with in real life have been with different K’s at different times but never even knew.  Because I keep quiet.  I’m shy, and I”m scared of revealing my terrible secret.  This disorder I have is the stuff of Hollywood movies, the type of mental illness that’s always portrayed in a negative light, as though we are dangerous or deceptive. I don’t think I’m either of those things, although I am aware that one of the K’s has tendencies to do things which we find questionable or even wrong.  But that’s not all of me.

 I have different me’s, different parts of me which have different functions and different personalities and I can’t always be sure that everyone is doing what they’re supposed to be doing.  After all, I don’t have access to my entire mind, just to parts of it now and then.  I know about several of the K’s, but I don’t know how many of us there are, nor do I know which ones come out most frequently or which ones have the most friends or anything like that.  I wonder if we’d have any friends at all if we were to expose ourselves and admit to everyone we have an illness.  I don’t think they’d be able to handle it.  I think everything would change and I’d never be looked at the same way again.  So I’ve turned my search for friends online, where people can’t stare at me or pass judgements based upon how I look or dress or behave in public.  Online, I am honest about who and what I am.  Everyone I’ve met on Twitter knows I’m mental, and they accept it.  Most everyone I talk to on Twitter is mental as well, and that’s the way I prefer it.  I can’t relate to “normal” people, because I’m not normal.  I would much rather converse with someone who understands what it’s like to be afraid of people or to hear voices in their head.  I need empathy, and that’s something that my real life, “sane” friends simply cannot give me.  They will never understand.  No one can, unless they’ve experienced it themselves.  I had a counselor once who’d attempted suicide at one point in her life.  I trusted her because she’d been where I was.  She “got it”.  That’s what I need.  People who get it.  And I seem to be finding these people-everyday I get up and find evidence of my having chatted or DM’d or emailed or texted people and it seems to me that we’ve had a conversation or an exchange of some kind that has had a positive impact on my state of mind.  I know I’m finding support, I have physical evidence in the form of notes or a journal or texts on my phone.  So I’m accomplishing my mission, which has been, since I joined Twitter in December, to find others like me.  I just have to sortof start all over every morning, figuring out who I talked with and what we talked about.  This is impossible of course.  So if you are reading this and you are one of the several people with whom I’ve conversed recently, then by all means say hello!  Please don’t take it personally that I can’t remember our conversation or personal info about you. Hell, I’m doing good if I can recognize a person’s name as that of someone I know.  A lot of times I’ll see people in my timeline who I just know I’ve talked with before, but I’m too afraid to interact with them because it’s just too embarrassing to admit that I have forgotten everything I knew about them.  Now, after a certain period of time, these things get better.  If I talk to you everyday, of course I’m going to remember you better than if I only talk to you once a week.  Now I must tell you, some of the K’s are very social and love to talk, but others are quite shy and try to avoid contact with others.

 There’s no way of knowing which K is tweeting at any particular time (except the mean one is easily recognizable, and probably the little girl too, though she’s never used Twitter before as far as I know) so if you send me a Tweet and don’t hear back from me, I’m sorry.  It usually means I just can’t remember how I know you.  Some of you I’ve grown quite fond of, but I have trouble separating in my mind the ones I know well and the ones I don’t know very well.  I see the names in the timeline everyday, so they are familiar to me and this confuses me further.  I guess what I’m trying to say is, I feel like I’ve had a very productive week, in that I made new friends and had really nice conversations and made connections with people, I’m just having trouble now remembering who those people were.  If we have interacted before, then by all means you should feel confident in speaking to me.  If I don’t remember you at all, I’ll be honest and tell you, but please don’t take this to mean that I don’t like you or that our conversation wasn’t meaningful to me.  I just have a shit memory, and with the lost time and blackouts, it’s a miracle somedays that I can remember my own name.  To sum up, thank you to everyone who has made an effort to be my friend.  We really do appreciate it.  It means a lot to us.  But if you want to talk to me, it might not be a bad idea to say something like “Hi, we spoke Thursday about the new Tim Burton movie” or just give me some kind of clue as to your identity.  If I interact with you more frequently, I’ll learn your name and personal info quicker.  I just need that chance.  If I’ve introduced myself to someone and then never spoke to you again, it’s because I’ve no memory of us meeting.  I always have to be reminded of everything. And I do mean everything.  To prove my point-it’s 6:00 p.m. now and I find that I’ve forgotten to get dressed today.  I’m still in my pajamas and I don’t think I remembered to eat today either.  This is my normal.  It’s a guessing game really.  Just be patient with me-I’m a really good friend to have, if you can just stick around long enough to get to that point. I’m not going to lie, it’s hard to be my friend. Not just because of the memory loss, but because I’m moody and just plain weird.  Most importantly, perhaps, is the fact that I don’t trust people. Not ever. This makes it very difficult to get close to me.  But I long to be close to people, or at least just a couple of people, just so I don’t feel so alone in this journey of life. I need friends. Everyone does.  It’s usually pretty easy for me to make friends, but hard for me to keep them, because I literally forget them when they’re not around.  I guess all of this sounds ridiculous, and I suppose it is, but this is my reality.  I have to be reminded who my friends are.  I don’t know what I’d do without Husband with me, telling me who people are when we are out in public. He reminds me of how I know them, when we’ve hung out, what we’ve done together.  If I didn’t have his support and assistance, I’d never be able to go out. (which I don’t do all that often anyway)  To put it simply, please be patient with me and try to understand that I can like you and be your friend, even if I don’t always remember you or our previous conversation.  I know it’s frustrating, but believe me it’s a lot worse for me than for you.  I may ask you the same questions over and over again, but that doesn’t mean I’m not listening.  I just have a hard time retaining information.  Stick around and I’ll eventually get to know you.  It just takes me a long time.  You know what? I’ve totally forgotten what this blog post is about.  I have no idea what I’ve been talking about, or whether this post even has a point.  So now I must read it over again, probably for the twentieth time… God I’m exhausted.  I wonder if I remembered to sleep last night?  To all those Tweeps out there who spoke to me in the past 2 days or 2 months, thank you. Thank you for talking to me, thank you for noticing me, thank you for giving me a chance.  Now let’s do it again.