White Flag - Dido

In my book Paper Doll I put this song in, amongst many, to describe the feeling of never wanting to give something up. That’s how I felt about my identity disorder

It was destroying me, physically and mentally. Baby was self destructive, deeply sad, broken and bent, black and blue, but would I give her up? Never

Not unless I had no choice

The identity was fazed out with the dissociative amnesia I think. I remember a transition period. I had a quote stuck on the mirror about transition periods and the background on my iPad said “growth is painful”

For so long I refused, I thought I would die at one point, and I made a loose connection between the two. My physical illness (an autoimmune condition) and the identity disorder (that thing I could never put my finger on)

I remember lying in bed thinking, do I have to give it up, to live, truly live and not be so ill. Some voice in my head said yes. I was devastated, I still couldn’t do it. Stop performing, pretending and being someone I wasn’t

I continued to be her

My body was protesting, autoimmune conditions are often caused by malnutrition and stress. Baby was both

But I told myself so many times, ‘I would go down with this ship’

I didn’t want to die, and wasn’t prepared to die for her

I eventually prioritised my health and mental health after the amnesia and drew a line.

No more Baby, I gained confidence slowly in myself. For a while I disappeared off of social media while hospitalised for psychosis, I picked up the pieces there on a psychiatric ward and I wrote Paper Doll

I wrote Girl behind the mask after the amnesia and before the psychosis

Girl behind the mask is out today in paperback, available on Amazon and through the link in my Instagram bio, my insta is caitlinstrommen

Thank you so much for reading my blog, I’m grateful for any and all support

Talking about your trauma is healing, but scary, you want so desperately to be understood

I hope whoever you are, you heal from what is hurting you and find ways to talk about it

Samaritans is 116 123

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