Self induced split personality? -
March 1st 2010, 06:47 PM
Hi. Okay, my name's Shy and I really want this story to be taken seriously. I'm realizing that I may have a problem, and I don't want to be made fun of for it. I know I should expect truth on this forum and I do expect it, but I only want to be taken seriously.
Alright. I'm Shy, I'm 19 and from California. When I was 12, in seventh grade, My best friend Jane* and I were totally normal pre-teens. We talked on the phone every single night, etc, etc. During one of these long nights, I forget the details, but we used to have "pretend" conversations with boys we liked. Like we'd put ourselves into scenarios and help prepare each other for the real thing. We'd use male voices, male personalities, Eventually we created for ourselves, or own male identities. We went outside of just the two of us, sometimes crank called our classmates with the identities. She was Tony, and I became Shawn. Sometimes we'd have conversations just as Tony and Shawn. For hours. Sometimes I'd have conversations with Tony, Jane would have conversations with Shawn. Sometimes it's be a group of four, just talking, like no biggie. It was easy, we were just...good at it. Things continued to develop from that, We created them, myspaces, facebooks. Also, an online journal that both Shawn and Tony wrote in every day. Not to mention commented on each other's entries, including my own and Jane's, just as we, Jane and Myself, commented on theirs. Any third person would have no idea we were only two 12-14 year old girls.
As Junior High/High School went on, Life got a lot harder. Boyfriends and friends came and went, sex, alcohol, homelessness, drugs, anything and everything with us combined. So the talks with Shawn and Tony became deeper, the journal entries were less of a joke. When I was 15, in tenth grade, Jane dropped out of the high school. Just because of the forces that be, we spoke less and less with each other. Never stopping completely, but weeks and months would pass without us speaking. I didn't really have anyone to talk to anymore, So much going on all the time, It was hard to handle. We had mutual friends, but no one knew her like I did...No one except for Shawn. This is when Shawn really stopped being a pass time for me and Jane to joke with and became a friend. I created...in my head, and I think I have a hand written journal with his biography. Every detail about him I have in my head, anything you or I can question about ourselves, I don't have to think about to have an answer about Shawn. He really became my best friend. I had a time from ages 13-17 where I was a self mutilator. I was a cutter, bulimic and generally self loathing. Times when I was at my lowest, Shawn was there telling me I'd get through it, Times where I really didn't believe it, Not one bit.
Not long after my mother was diagnosed with Bi-Polar disorder, I began seeing a therapist for some custody issues. I'd later also be declared bi-polar as well, But I'm unsure if that is relevant. Sometimes when I would talk to my therapist, we would reach an issue that scared me. I also have a history of pretty intense panic attacks. Not wanting my therapist to be concerned (I really didn't want to live with my dad) about my "home life", I didn't want to have an attack in front of her. At these times...Shawn would appear. It was past the point of him telling me to suck it up and it'd be fine. I would now go into "Shawn Mode", I could...and can, stop being Shy for a little while. My voice needn't change, but I answered as Shawn, who is protective of me, So it lead to me being defensive, smarter sometimes, I tend to have wittier comments as Shawn. It wasn't just inside my shrink's office that this happened. After I had stopped cutting myself, my panic attacks became more frequent, but after discovering this little trick, they also died down. At home, alone in my room. I'd be Shawn. I'd even sometimes, put my hair up, take off my makeup and just lose myself in him. I've had classmates stop me and ask me who I am talking to, only to secretly realize that I am talking aloud to Shawn, sometimes even having small arguments. I think...some of my freakiest moments are when I'm Shawn, I find myself attracted to girls. Bad. Now, I feel like I'm as straight as they come, I'm actually in a 4 year relationship with a guy. I can't see myself with a girl, they're manipulative and mean lol, okay, that's a generalization but, hey, I'm one of them. Well...sometimes. But when I'm Shawn, it's like I just forget that, I see a girl, and I sometimes feel the urge to go up to her and flirt with her, as Shawn.Sometimes, over the web, I do.
So it's seven years after Shawn's creation and he's still here. He's still with me, I mean...like RIGHT NOW. It's like sometimes I can feel HIS blood pulsing in my veins. I can't describe it, just sometimes I KNOW that I'm not me, I'm just NOT. Some of my friends and my boyfriend know about Shawn. Of course it's all a joke to them. It's not their fault either, I make it seem like it IS a big joke. They don't know that I sometimes don't...control these "Shawn Modes" and they don't know I still pour out in Shawn's journal, I put all the entries past 2005, and all the entries that aren't funny on private. They don't realize that there is a reason my handwriting dramatically changes randomly. I sometimes wish I could contact Jane and see if Tony still hangs around her...I've barely spoken to her in two years now, she has a child and more important things going on, and it makes me feel like I'm crazy to think she's spend any time on a middle school creation.
I don't know what sort of advice I'm looking for in this. I guess my questions are...Is it all just a severe delusion? Do I need to just get over myself and quit self-obsessing? I understand that Shawn is fictional, I KNOW this. But when I think about that fact, it's irrelevant, It's not what I think. It's how I feel. I feel him. Is this just all my fault? I don't...I don't feel like I need professional help. Shawn has never, ever hurt me, He's only helped me. Helped me get passed all my...issues. Told me to stop, stood up for me, taken care of me. How could that be a bad thing? Is Shawn just my own personal therapist? Is it okay for him to be around? Because...I can't imagine being me without him. I wouldn't be. That's plain and simple, no way. I really love him, more than I love myself. But...sometimes I feel like he's gone too far. I really don't know where I am on this, I know I'm ready to tell...at least the cyber world, what's really going on. Please tell me your thoughts on this, I need to know someone else's perspective on all of this. Thank you.
I think as you said, Shawn is your way of coping with things. I think the biggest thing is the depersonalization and the derealization in MPD (DID). I'm not 100% sure on this, though.
But with the fact you realize that Shawn isn't real, I think you're just dealing with alot right now, and having someone there who you've had in your mind for a long time now is your mind's best way of dealing.
Even though it's highly unlikely that you have a Split Personality, you should probably still talk to your therapist about this. Not only should you probably find a more healthy coping mechanism (if this is all it is), but also, seems to be affecting some aspects of your life, which isn't good.
Re: Self induced split personality? -
March 2nd 2010, 01:41 AM
Thank You for advice. I agree, I do not believe I have DID, I've looked it up before, and I know in that case people are not aware of their other selves and even note loss of time from being in the other Identity. Whereas I am fully aware and I understand that Shawn is not a real person.
Unfortunately, I no longer see my therapist due to insurance complications, I can't afford it anymore. I know there are clinics where I can go for free, but I'm nearly 20, and I don't know if I feel comfortable in a teen clinic anymore. Especially, where I am from Teen Pregnancy rates are extremely high and I just feel like they have more important issues to worry about.
I don't know what to do to help...It's like every way I learn to cope with things is somehow the wrong way, you know? Sometimes, I see Shawn as an escape from being me just for a little while. That's what I mean by self-induced, I don't think there's some imbalance in my brain (aside from bipolar) because I sometimes will myself into the switch. Although, like you also mentioned about depersonalization, it scares me that I could lose myself to him, because the way I feel...It's like...sometimes without even thinking or willing myself into it, he comes when I'm feeling bad or lonely or scared, it's like I'm running away...but more like...being pulled away. I just don't want to completely lose me.
Re: Self induced split personality? -
March 2nd 2010, 01:58 AM
Well don't feel bad going to a teen clinic. You're still in your teens. And getting to 20? Still not all that old. I have a friend who is 21 and her, and her friends around the same age, STILL hang out at the Youth Centre for fun.
Re: Self induced split personality? -
March 3rd 2010, 07:49 AM
I'm not going to mention much of DID because it's such a controversial issue, many researchers and clinicians are unsure if it even exists, especially with the "DID fad" years ago. I happen to share this view with them. It seems to be more of a self-made delusion, which functions as a placebo in that you think you're Shawn and this makes you feel safer. To me, there's an issue of directionality in that does pretending to be Shawn make you more confident so you act like him or do you become more confident then act like Shawn. Either way, it appears to be a delusion you're well aware of and in control over to some degree. It also seems to function both as a coping mechanism, so whenever you're stressed you "become" Shawn so on that hand it's beneficial but on the other hand, there's a clear social dysfunction when you're unaware of Shawn's emergence.
I think if you want to prevent Shawn's emergence, then you have to put yourself into those situations that cause Shawn to emerge. Perhaps a person (therapist, friend, etc...) can simulate this situation. Once in it, if you feel threatened or want confidence, then you do that, not Shawn. The reason I say this is that since Shawn is confident and witty, it indicates part of you have those traits but have them inhibited, so you need to inhibit the inhibitor.