I spent this evening reading blogs written by people who identify themselves as having a dissociative disorder – namely Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), characterized by experiences of alter selves. This community was discussing many aspects of DID the pros, cons, advantages, foibles, therapy, practitioners, and more. Topics anyone would discuss about mental health subjects they are passionate about.
I found reference to this blog, and to me personally, in the comment section of Holly Gray’s blog titled: Don’t Call Me Sybil. The title of the article is “How Do I Blog Responsibly about Dissociative Identity Disorder?”
Before going further, I want to say that I have utmost respect for Holly Gray and the work she did on Health Place.com and on her blog – Don’t Call Me Sybil which I have not visited in a long time, sorry to say. Holly is the only person who believes she suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) with whom I am able to discuss issues in a manner that is challenging and useful to my understanding of issues and insights she struggles with. I wish there were others like her.
Holly, unlike me, says what’s on her mind – while I try to make my opinions palatable, knowing that I inflame others and incite them to come to my blog where they make personal attacks on me rather than criticizing my opinions. For example, this Spring I had a commenter so vile and threatening, I was compelled to report them to the local police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) of the United States. I’ve read comments elsewhere on the Internet that some people find my blog so offensive they tried to get me blacklisted, some made bogus reports to wordpress to shut me down, while others think I should be reported to the police and lawyers. Whaaaat? I don’t know if bloggers who write about having multiple personalities deal with these issues, but I suspect not.
I am aware of the risks I take with each keystroke and, as a result, am overly concerned about how my articles will be received and what vile posts I may get in response – and rightly so. The main difference between Holly’s work and mine is that she enjoys commenters who mostly leave kudos and words of thanks and encouragement – I receive the opposite, with a few supporters. I cannot control responses but cannot continue to blog responsibly worrying about it. As a result, I have unwittingly cheated my readers.
My blogging reality is different. I do not enjoy the liberty of blogging without remembering that I may endure threats to my personal safety by someone who disagrees with me. My questions are: How do I blog realizing I am a minority and will be treated with disrespect and disdain because of my beliefs, not for who I am? How do I blog freely knowing I may be threatened with bodily harm?
Holly taught me a good lesson tonight and that is:
Write what I want, how I want, and remember that I am not responsible for how someone else reacts to my words. But I must add… but am I responsible? Reading responses left on this blog it appears that most in the DID community hold me responsible for their reactions and, as a result, determine that I am abusive, triggering, and disrespectful – not that I am. I simply disagree with their positions. Although I know that is nonsense, it weighs on me and derails my posts.
It was ironic that the comment section following Holly’s article showed a similar difficulty as I experience. Someone read her article and instead of discussing points she made was more interested in finding fault with her opinions. But that wasn’t the main issue – the commenter accused her of saying things she did Not actually say. Holly called him out on it and I applaud her for doing so. It happens to me all the time.
Unfortunately for my readers, I have to be concerned about how my opinions effect people who believe they have Dissociative Identity Disorder because my personal safety is at stake. That reality changes how I write and what topics I explore. Can that fact change? I remain hopeful that my end of the continuum can bring these discussions to the middle where they have a better chance of making a difference in our understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder and the controversy around it. More importantly, I hope we become tolerant of differing opinions,
In closing, I am excited to see that Holly and I are evolving in our understanding of Dissociative Identity Disorder and we may be nearer to meeting somewhere in the middle – or near the middle. I have no interest in remaining steadfast to old opinions and as my base of knowledge and experiences widens, so will my views and opinions.
I highly recommend a visit to Holly Gray’s blog: Don’t Call Me Sybil.