Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Public vs private personna

I have been visiting lots of sites in order to aid in my healing process. This in addition to reading several books, going to therapy and journalling. It has become evident to me that many people have developed DID in order to cope with their abuse. Although it is likely that I dissociated during the abuse (hence why I remember bits and pieces and have lost large chunks of my memory about my childhood), I'm pretty sure I do not qualify as DID. That being said, I do have two different personalities -
1) The public personna - this is the successful female, doctor, wife, mother. I appear in control and generally do a good job in all of these areas. I have friends, a social life. I'm respected at work - often a go to person. I'm a good listener - people confide in me. I know things about some of my friends that their spouses don't know. I am not saying any of this to brag. I don't understand why all of this doesn't make me feel good inside. Then there is the private person in my head.
2) The private personna - the one who doesn't feel success despite evidence to the contrary. The one who frequently has a knot in her stomach. The one who doubts her parenting skills and her friendships. Although the inner person feels mostly confident about the job, sometimes the littlest thing can set off waves of doubt. The one who feels like a failure at therapy because I don't talk about the things I've read during the week.

I am really tired of this feeling. T thinks I am pushing myself too hard to get through this. She says there is no timetable or quick fix. I'm beginning to wonder is there will ever be a fix. How does someone heal after 40 years of doubt? I think I will take a break from the reading, but will still go to therapy. At least for now.


  1. I can relate to this feeling of having both a private and public persona - I am similar in many ways. Hope that you can begin to give yourself a break and let yourself heal in your own time.

  2. thesamesky - Thanks for the words of encouragement. After reading some of your blog, I think we do have similarities. Although I started this public (I also have a private one) blog for catharsis more than anything, it is helpful to hear from those stuggling with similar issues.

    As for healing in my own time, I am a type A personality and like quick results and am used to getting things accomplished. I think that is what makes this process even harder.

    Thanks again.

  3. I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your experiences of a private/public persona and that I personally know what it is like to feel even confident in your private world about your profession, but still be able to be knocked off that pedestal by the smallest of issues.

    Perhaps it is common...though whenever someone tells me that it is common, it doesn't actually make me feel better. I just wanted to let you know that I can personally understand what you are going through. You are definitely not alone.

  4. One thing about blogging that has helped is knowing that I am not alone. This past week was high anxiety - hoping for a better week.


  5. I think this public/private split is something all people experience. Yours may be a bit more pronounced because of what you went through. It's all okay. Your therapist is right. If you push too hard, there will be a push back on the inside (I'm not saying anything about this being parts or DID). It's just normal. You cannot rush healing. I've made this mistake. But some people cannot help themselves and aren't good at pacing. Some people are wired to try to solve everything ASAP. It's a waste of effort. I've written on my blog that the healing thing is almost like a dance, I've likened it to the molecular level of inside a glass of water.

  6. Paul - I like your molecule analogy. I am definitely Type A - fix it now please!

  7. Hi,

    I can well understand the need to fix it now. It is something that takes, like most healing things, time. I know it is an odd thing to say that it takes time to resolve how you want to heal quickly, but it does.

    For me I know that I needed to work on establishing boundaries, getting a therapist, going to a support group, having friends, reading books, and improving my self esteem, coping skills, and self care. All of those things combined made me better able to cope when more memories started coming in fast and furious. I, and probably every survivor who has ever lived and worked on healing, want to have a quick healing. As one therapist told me, you were abused for years, it will take at least the same amount of time and that's okay.

    Good and healing thoughts to you.


  8. I have heard the "abused for years and healing will take the same amount of time". Although you perhaps didn't mean it this way, I think your comment about resolving how I want to heal is an interesting one. That is something I haven't worked out yet. Do I want to remember more? Do I just want to be able to forget (not likely to happen)? I think for now I just need to talk - when I can - about it. It was bottled up for so long.

    Thanks for all of your comments. I don't usually check this blog on the weekends, so my responses can be prolonged. I write many blog posts in my mind - I need to have some telepathy powered computer.

    Healing thoughts to you also. :)