I and Me, in the context of We.

I am me, but so are we.

Because of the way my brain decided to cope with my childhood trauma, I refer to myself as “I” and “me”, but I don’t always mean I and me specifically, in the context of I and me being Izzy Lively.

Grammatically speaking, dissociative identity disorder pronouns make absolutely zero sense.

We grew up referring to ourselves as “I” and “me” rather than “us” and “we”. No other options existed at the time. Dissociative identity disorder is meant to function in this way, protecting each alternate part of the person secret from the other  —  to protect them from harmful memories, so the body can cope, so the brain can survive.

"WE ARE FREAKS" sticker on metal pole
Photo © Markus Spiske via Pexels

I struggle to use the correct pronouns in reference to myself on the daily. I’m not always referring to me, Izzy, specifically. I am Izzy and Izzy is me, but Izzy is also we. Sometimes, Izzy is Jane, but ultimately Jane is the endgame, with Izzy as a nickname.

The body is Jane, but Jane is also an individual. The system, collectively, may be referred to as Jane or Izzy interchangeably, but Jane and Izzy do still want to be acknowledged as singular beings — but again, as a dissociative identity disorder system, it is so complicated.

In a community where being a system — a multiplicity, a plurality — is celebrated, we don’t celebrate our systemhood. We don’t want to be a system. Life is so hard as a system, too short to spend it living under one identity when you’ve got about 15 in your brain.

It’s not a fun trend to hop on online, only to hop off when you put your phone down or lose WiFi. It’s forever. It’s constant. It keeps going.

There’s the occasional alter in our system who can take over and switch on cue for trendy party tricks, but we keep her locked away, deep in the headspace.

We don’t hate systems.

We just don’t want to be one.

It’s not a perk.

It’s not an I-survived-my-abusive-childhood-and-I-all-I-got-is-this-trauma-badge badge.

It’s an I-survived-my-abusive-childhood-and-I-got-this-trauma-disorder-while-my-abusers-got-away-scot-free badge.

I am me, but so are we.

I am me, but so are they.

But all the grammar rules I learned in school tell me that’s not ever okay.

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