Mom Worries I’m A Psycho

Recently I talked to my mother.  Granted, I do that every day, as I am her caregiver, but this time was different.  This day she got all serious on me.  She wanted to know “what was going on with me lately”.  She asked me about what happens when I go to therapy.  She actually wanted to know what my diagnosis is and what it means… and then it turned out the reason she was asking is because she thought I was Schizophrenic and she heard on the news that the Colorado shooter was being treated for Schizophrenia.  She actually asked me if there were any chance I could ever “snap and do something like that”.  I was flabbergasted.  I was shocked and offended.  I didn’t know what to say at first, and I knew that I had to be very careful in choosing my words. The first thing I did was tell her that my diagnosis of Schizophrenia had been dismissed and no longer applied to me.  Then I had to figure out how (or if) to explain DID.  My mom is 82 years old and not very wise to the ways of the world, especially the fantasy world of a person who has an assortment of mental illnesses including Dissociative Identity Disorder.  Or that’s kindof  how I described it to her.  I told her that when I was a little girl, and “that bad thing” happened to me, that I used my imagination to create a different reality in my head so that I could escape the scary situation.  I asked her if she remembered me having imaginary friends when I was a child, and she said yes. I then told her that I “never really outgrew my imaginary friends”. I figured that was the easiest way to explain it to her.  I told her that sometimes I get overly stressed or frightened or anxious and that I will go somewhere else in my mind, to escape the perceived threat.  She said she noticed that sometimes I stare off into space and seem to be in my own little world, and I told her that was all part of the disorder; I didn’t tell her about Kellie World and its cast of characters, all of whom are different me’s.  I didn’t tell her specifically about switching, only that I can sometimes seem “like a different person” and she said she knew that already.  I guess it’s impossible for her to live with me and not notice something strange, but you must remember that the K that Mom knows is The Good Daughter, an alter whose job is to take care of Mom and be responsible.  Mom doesn’t know the real K, whomever that may be.  In the end, Mom told me she was very happy that we’d had this little talk.  I don’t know if she better understands my condition, but at least she now knows that I’m progressing in therapy, and most importantly, she knows that I’m not a threat to anyone.  (Well, except to myself…but that’s a different blog post)