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I was surprised to learn in 2013 that I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (aka multiple personality disorder). Not knowing the full extent of DID, I only knew of that condition from TV shows and movies, which would feature someone with 6 or more personalities, sometimes each with a different name. I lived through my severe depression from 1981 to 1995 while in high school and early adulthood when I barely made it through high school and was struggling to hold down jobs, with the rest of my time full of deep depression. During this time, I talked to myself more than to others, though I only did that when alone. I kept saying that I wanted to move to Minnesota someday. It seemed like a safe enough state that was far enough away, at least in my young way of thinking.
After I broke out of my depression, I stopped talking to myself and was more productive at work but developed bad habits, like listening to constant heavy metal, driving too fast, drinking too much, and spending way beyond my means. Then I went through a moving phase where I lived in 4 states in 8 years. Since moving back to New Jersey in 2014, I’ve had the first stretch of time in my life where I’ve had no depression, no excessive behavior, and good job performances. What was interesting is the dynamics behind my DID diagnosis. Upon learning of my diagnosis, I assumed that this only occurred during the time I was severely depressed and talking to myself. But my counselor explained that DID can manifest itself in other ways.
While I wasn’t saying out loud that I wanted to move to Minnesota someday, I was still holding on to the little child inside of me – my Minnesota child. It was after I moved to Minnesota and 2 other states that my little child in me began to disappear. I became less aware of this “little me” inside myself. It disappeared altogether once I moved back to New Jersey. I could then take regular trips to Minnesota each summer and enjoy them as what they are – trips to Minnesota with trusted friends, and nothing more.