Let’s talk about shame. Let’s crack open that box no-one wants to look at. Let’s discuss the hard stuff about DID and BPD; the stuff that makes people feel uncomfortable. Let’s expose the truth because let’s face it… DID and BPD is not fun. Not at all. And sadly, there are those who glamourize it and turn it into a fashion statement. Especially DID.
But it’s anything but a fashion statement as those who suffer daily would attest. Fear, guilt, shame, self-loathing… these are the constant companions of sufferers of both disorders. We fear telling people because we fear being judged, misunderstood, rejected, ridiculed and disbelieved. We feel guilty because we worry we are faking and attention-seeking. We feel guilty for taking up people’s time and resources. We feel shame for what we went through; as though somehow, it was our fault we were abused. It must have been our fault, we tell ourselves. If we were good when we were a child, we wouldn’t have been abused, surely! So we carry around the shame of clearly being so bad that we deserved what happened to us. And we end up hating ourselves because of it.
But deep inside, we also have a little voice that screams out for justice. That voice knows we did not deserve the pain, but we drown it out with the lies we tell ourselves. We push it down. What do they know? That’s just the selfish part of me saying those things. Of course we deserved it! We were punished for bad behaviour and we deserved it.
Shame on us!
Sound familiar? I’m betting most of you who suffer with DID and/or BPD will have felt at least some of those things. But here’s the thing: It’s all lies! Every single one of them. Lies.
Let me ask you something: If you have a young son or daughter, or cousin, niece, nephew, godchild or any young child in your care, and someone who should have protected and cared for them abused them instead… would you immediately blame the small child? No! Of course not! You would do everything you could to get the perpetrator to stand trial for the abuse! No-one blames the child for the abuse they suffer. So why do you blame your child-self for the abuse you suffered at the hands of someone else?
Let me tell you a truth: YOU ARE NOT TO BLAME FOR THE ABUSE YOU SUFFERED AS A CHILD! Read that again. And again. And again. Read it until you believe it! If someone else’s child does not deserve abuse, then neither did you.
Why does this make you feel uncomfortable? Ponder that question. Only YOU know the answer to that.
Why does having DID or BPD, or any mental health disorder for that matter, make others feel uncomfortable? I guess it’s the same reason people don’t know what to say to someone who is grieving the loss of a loved one. They don’t know what to say, so they say nothing. How do we make this less uncomfortable? By talking about it. By educating people about it. People fear what they don’t understand, so let’s remove the fear by helping them understand! I know you feel shame and embarrassment and fear telling people about your disorder, but don’t! Be brave! Help to remove stigma and fear by teaching those around you about what you are going through and bit by bit we will shed light in the darkness and those lies will no longer have power over you.
Be brave! Be strong! You got this!