Recently, I’ve been sitting here going, “how am I 26”? Logically I know I am 26 years old, but it is so much more complicated than that when parts of your life feel as if you didn’t get to live them. And sometimes if another alter is sharing my body with me, I get extra confused; how are you supposed to be really sure of how old you are when a teenage alter is sharing your brain, for example?
And then I have to stave off frantic I’ve-wasted-my-life feelings. I’m sure most people get these in a way unrelated to DID. However, I do feel a little more robbed of “the best years of my life” type deal than I think a person without DID would feel. I can only guess, because I don’t know what it’s like to not have DID. To have a cohesive timeline ready for access whenever you need to think back. I can only guess just like people without DID can only guess how it is from my shoes.
So I have to remind myself of what I have accomplished, and I have to remind myself that I may not be where I had planned to be at this age, but things happened and I did the best I could. They say not to compare yourself to others, but it’s also kind of damaging to compare yourself to the “shoulds” you imposed on yourself before things changed.
Before I became very obviously ill and before my life mostly began revolving around hospitals and treatment and medication and just trying to survive day-to-day, I had aspirations and goals and drive. But what really gets me is that I had timelines for when I “should” get things done. For example, I was supposed to have written and published a book by the time I was 18. Was that realistic? No. But I didn’t even get anywhere close to writing a book either and my brain tells me I could have at least done that. So I’m also fighting off the age limits I set for myself.
I will be 27 by the time the first real show I direct goes up. I’m grateful it’s happening at all, but boy do I feel old (and sometimes young) and way behind where I felt I should have been.