What is self? Is it possible to be selfish if you don't know what self is? Is self-awareness a component of self or can I be self-aware without understanding self? Or is it that my definition of self does not 'fit' into other peoples description of self?
Multiple personalities, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), True self, Innerkiddies all try to describe what self is and how to function as self. I always thought I knew myself, so at age 45 I found out I had more than one self I was distressed. How could I know myself and not know their was more than one of me? Then I was asked by KavinCoach which one was real. KavinCoach always showed me respect, kindness, encouragement, and I yelled at him. I was furious. How dare he imply that any one of myselves was not real. We were all real. But now I am back to being one self. And this week I had an experience that I feel like myself again. How can I be myself again but not revert back to we? How many people experience such massive changes in self? How can I understand what self is if myself has changed so dramatically I barely recognize myself? Today I have more questions than answers. I am thinking that one of the problems generated by DID is trying to convey a definition of self. Who is I?
In high school, I was aware that I had a problem with identity. I took an English class called Search for Identity. (This was in the era of experimenting with English classes trying to make them more engaging.) I still remember being assigned to read the book by Daphne du Maurier Scapegoat the class was supposed to take the whole 9 weeks to read and discuss this one book. I devoured the book in the first week. I then spent the entire 9 weeks having a one on one discussion with the teacher in class since no one else kept up on the reading. (Or maybe I was so fascinated by the subject that I cut others out in my enthusiasm to explore this identity story.) The story is about two men that meet and realize they are almost identical in appearance even though they were unrelated. One man steals the other man's identity by getting the fellow drunk and leaving him in a hotel room with all of his own identification. The man that woke up with this new identity was dissatisfied with his own life so the story centers on the man accepting the switch and living this new life. The book center on the problems of taking over another persons life. I still remember huge sections of this book. My own life I remember practically none of that year. Safer to remember a book than my life. The one nice side benefit was the final exam was an essay exam with question about Scapegoat. My teacher, Mrs. Standish (I actually remember her name and her habit of always fiddling with her hair), excused me from taking the final. I was elated because writing has always been difficult for me. I felt real pity for the Englishman that found himself switched with the identity of a Frenchman. (I can't remember their names just my teacher's name, sorry.) I was fascinated at the time partly because my mother is an identical twin. I couldn't always tell my mother and my aunt apart. I knew first hand how much a like two people could look. My mother talked about the difficulties of having a separate identity when she looked so much like her sister. What I didn't know at the time was that I functioned by switching. I didn't know then that the reason my memory was so faulty was that there wasn't one identity with all the memories. Self, identity, who am I? Age old questions that sometimes leaves you with more questions than answers.
Quote from my quotes widget:
Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they've stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.