Recently, I wrote a blog post regarding being honest with other people about my mental illness (Should I Come Out?). After much thought and some advice from a couple of online friends, I decided it best if I started by telling my older sister. I’ve been trying for several months now to figure out how to tell my sister about my diagnosis of Dissociative Identity Disorder. I even thought about emailing her some links to information about dissociative disorders, as a sort of preparation for my announcement. My sister lives a thousand miles away from me, so needless to say I don’t see her that often. We used to text or call each other a good bit, but I’ve noticed that in recent months I never heard from her. I finally had an excuse to call her one day recently, and we started talking about how stressful things were at home, with Mom being so sick and me having to take care of her by myself. Apparently, my aunt had phoned my sister and told her I was having a difficult time dealing with all the pressure and stress at home. So my sister brought up the subject of my mental health, and I admitted I’d been having a hard time.
At some point in our conversation, I got up the courage to tell her about my dissociative disorder. Oh my God that was a hard step to take…my heart was racing as I said the words. At which time she told me that she already knew all about it! I told her how hard it had been for me to tell her, and how I’d worried about the conversation for weeks; she told me that we’d already had this conversation, months ago. I couldn’t remember that at all. I told her about my plan of sending her an email with information and links to mental health websites, and she said that I’d already done that as well. I cannot remember any of these things… and I feel silly now for being so scared to tell her. She already knew! She hasn’t been calling me or texting me like she used to, and I was under the false impression that she was avoiding me because I’d emailed her while in a switched state (something which I’d done a few months ago). I thought perhaps she freaked out and couldn’t handle it and was just avoiding me now because she felt uncomfortable. The truth is, she was waiting for me to contact her. She said “I don’t ever know where you are”, and I told her I was usually at home, taking care of Mom. She said “That’s not what I meant” and I realized then that she meant she didn’t know where I was at mentally. She was afraid to call me because she didn’t know which K would answer the phone! I told her that it hurt my feelings when she didn’t talk to me, and said for her to call or text me and I’d respond when I was ready. Then she told me that I could call her at any time if I ever needed to talk. I was grateful for that offer. I might even take her up on that.