My name is TJ. I guess you can call me the host of our expansive system. But it’s not quite accurate because none of us is ever the host full time. Not even in the past before anyone knew about alter personalities and Dissociative Identity Disorder. I’ve always heard voices and made intuitive leaps that defy logic. And I’ve always been different.
As a child, different meant being a target for bullies and racism. It meant being too smart for my own good and labeled a nerd with no personality among my peers. Within my family, being different got me excluded from group activities and punished or made fun of for being too slow, emotional, mouthy, disobedient, or ditsy. Never for being smart or capable.
I had friends for a little while, but then they slowly disappeared. As they left, I retreated to my amazing inner world. When that didn’t work, books were my escape. Crafts helped too unless Mom found out and decided to interfere. Then crafts became a punishment. Either I was with the cult, alone at home, or somewhere supervised by my mother.
The memories are fuzzy, but I do remember the following:
- Climbing up high to hide from “monsters”
- Crawling under sofas, beds, etc. to “escape” from something
- Hiding in cabinets, boxes, closets, etc. and getting punished because no one could find me; then having my hiding places blocked
- Lots of pain and fuzziness from “medication”
- Lots of adults and secret games
- Shame and despair and suicidal thoughts
- Middle school hell because I got stuck with the “popular” kids
- High school drama and worse because of “popular” kids, death of family members, being forced to go to prom, and graduation
- Suddenly losing time and being abusive and angry all the time without understanding what was happening or why
- Hating my body and wanting to be invisible – aka negative body image and sense of self
- Being a social outcast for most of my life because I never learned “proper” social skills
Who am I now?
I am one of many in our system and the face most people in the outside world meet or interact with. I have a stable job in Corporate America, friends, and loved ones. Lucky for me, I’ve had the same job for more than 10 years and earned the respect of my co-workers. They accept my panic attacks and PTSD as part of working with me and value my skills.
The job provided me with mentors and an alternative family that taught me how to be a real person. From those people, I learned how to be respectful, accepting, honest, and trustworthy. They taught, through modeling and personal experience, how to interact with people and be social in positive, safe ways. Without this job, I’d never have gotten away.
My favorite hobbies are: reading, cooking, writing, walking, and sleeping.
When not triggered, I also enjoy knitting, sewing, discovering my personal style, working with my hands, and learning about a variety of topics.
I am interested in alternative medicine, nutrition, personal finance, mental health, intuition, spirituality, wellness, and living a conscious, authentic lifestyle. I am an empath, a highly sensitive person interested in learning more about angels, spirit guides, guardians, and energy healing. I want to find ways to work with my alters and integrate so that we all can enjoy life in the outside world.
Personal relationships are difficult because most people can only accept part who I am and reject everything else. Friendships take time, work, patience, and trust. Do I want an intimate relationship someday? Yes. Will that happen in this life time? I don’t know. Do I have hope? Yes.
Finding a man (because I am heterosexual) who can accept all parts of me sometimes feels like searching for a unicorn. I mean who could ever accept, not only the darkness inside me, but also that I am a multiple? Yet I still have hope and am open to all of the possibilities my future holds. So maybe one day…
Thanks for reading.