What’s in a name?

Life’s been funny lately. I’m not complaining, it’s just kind of strange. I feel different but I can’t properly explain how. Almost like I somehow merged minds with some other parts of us but couldn’t tell you who, why or when.

I just suddenly have different perspectives on some people in my life and seem to have gained a stack of childhood memories, not bad ones or anything traumatic just random stuff. Lots of stories of my formative years, connections between people and places, things that I know I didn’t recall a few weeks ago.

I’m also suddenly unusually competent with paperwork related stuff in regards to Hubby’s work, I’ve always had trouble with computers, they frustrate the shit out of me, other parts of us handled that for the most part, but I seem to suddenly just know how to do things but can’t explain how I know; which is a bit of a weird feeling, kinda like if I just understood a foreign language all of a sudden without learning it.

My head is unusually quiet. Scribe rattles away in the background but Catherine seems to have taken a leave of absence after our last therapy session a month or so ago; I’m really going to have to ask what went down because something must have. Kate’s not about much either. I can just reach out to two of the little ones but I’m almost afraid to, it feels unsafe.

I look around the house at the legacy of the others and I struggle to relate to it. I shouldn’t say legacy, it’s not like they’re gone. I know they are still about somewhere, but everything just feels different. Or I feel different, less connected to them or something.

Like there was make up and hair products piled around our bathroom for easy access I guess but in the end I just got the shits, gathered it up and stuck it in a draw in the cupboard. I don’t wear make up, can’t use it to save myself and frankly I’m not interested, whereas Kate won’t leave the house without it. Our hair is thin and the short hair cut is hard to do anything decent with, I’m not going to spend any time styling it to cover up chemo bald spots when I can just wear a beanie.

It’s funny, Kate changed our name on our IRL FB to her own a while ago and a most people hadn’t noticed but just recently few people have commented.

One fairly close friend of ours recently told me she’d seen it and asked me outright what I prefer to be called. It was a really hard question to answer. Kinda like when one of the few people in our world who know about the DID asks who I am. I’m not sure why I hate that question so much, it feels too vulnerable, almost violating somehow. I prefer to stay in the shadows of anonymity.

This friend knows about some of our mental health issues but I’ve stopped short of telling her about the DID. I explained that I (we) passionately loathe our birth name and changed it on FB to pacify the frustration of seeing it all the time. But of course I couldn’t explain that I have an alter named Kate who will always just introduce herself as Kate because she can get away with it so a good percentage of people we’ve met in the last 6 years call us Kate anyway.

I joked that I wish our birth name was Catherine because there are so many more variables of that name and it just sits better with me. So she laughed and asked if she should just call me Catherine then and honestly to me it sounded a lot better out of her mouth than Kate did, she’s my friend not Kate’s anyway, so I was like “Yeah! Why not!”

I’m not Catherine of course, but my name is too different to even bring up without raising far too many questions. We’d always said that if we ever changed our name legally we’d go with Catherine because it really matters to her and it can be broken into enough nicknames and variants that we wouldn’t need to explain ourselves to everyone in our life, they’d just assume that it was always our full name.

I’d be fine with it because honestly I don’t really care, where as it’s important to Kate to be called Kate and the real Catherine literally cried when our psychiatrist used her name for the first time. So anyway, said friend is now calling us Catherine and we laughed that if anyone comments then we can say it’s a reverse nickname.

3 Comments on “What’s in a name?

  1. “Kinda like when one of the few people in our world who know about the DID asks who I am. I’m not sure why I hate that question so much, it feels too vulnerable, almost violating somehow.”

    Relatable. It’s jarring as hell, even though the few medical providers and friends who know are accepting. Even in therapy, the others tend to hide or stick to passive influence or communicate to me internally.

    So when someone picks up on my changed demeanour, often better than myself, yikes!

    Liked by 1 person

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