This is the 9th story for the Mental Illness Recovery Series. I want to thank Jess for sharing her story with us. Her life has been extremely difficult and a lonely one, but I truly believe she has a strong will to continue forward in life. This is her story:
Jess is from Northwest Indiana, USA and she has dissociative identity disorder, for approximately 14 years now. Her different identities suffer from depression, anxiety, PTSD and phobias. Her group name is Rheeshmyu. Rheeshmyu enjoys hobbies such as, DIYs, drawing, writing, molding and cooking. Not only that, her group is a self-published author and their goal five years from now is to focus on writing and to publish the stories they are working on.
Jess was diagnosed by a mental health professional and the therapy she received was focused on helping her accept her other identities. Teaching Jess what upsets and satisfies Rheeshmyu. Before the therapy her identities were separate causing a lot of problems for Jess. Jess had to deal with terrible symptoms, for example memory blackouts, night terrors, sleep paralysis, extreme social anxiety and felt useless.
This affected her daily life because she could not remember what she learned during college. Due to this Jess had to drop out and has difficulties maintaining jobs. It’s difficult for Rheeshmyu because some of her identities have a hard time being around strangers. Jess had to move out of her home because her relationship with her parents was unhealthy. She did this despite of the fact she could not afford to live on her own. In the past six month Jess has moved four times.
Some of her identities has attempted self-harm and suicide (Jess has a semi colon tattoo to support others who struggle with suicidal thoughts) because of this Jess relationships with others are affected. Although she currently has two friends and is in a poly-relationship, living with one of her boyfriends. Her group feels sad because they have to hide their true nature in public. They also feel angry for being judged and frustrated when others think they are ill and in need of help. Jess and he other identities said, “I feel trapped sometimes, because this isn’t how I should look. I feel angry that I feel useless. I feel sad that I can’t handle school or a job. We have panic attacks and night terrors when we’re awake. We’re a mess, but we’re better then we were before. The boyfriend that we live with has been vital to our happiness, he’s the first one to show such strong support for us.”
Jess does not want to overcome this because she does not want to be alone and feels happy sharing her body with Rheeshmyu. The turing point for Rheeshmyu as a whole to become positive was her two boyfriends who helped point out the way. Her identities said, “We wake up smiling some days now. In my entire life, I honestly never thought I’d be waking up smiling. It’s amazing what true, unconditional love and support can do for us.”
Rheeshmyu used therapy to maintain control and wrote journals to help them along the way. They also confined in drawing as well. Jess would like to share this message:
“I want to tell the world that just because you’re not what society says is ‘normal’ doesn’t mean that you’re not healthy! Do not get hung over on what others think of you. They’re not you, they don’t know your mind like you do. You know yourself best. So stop listening to others who want you to believe otherwise.”
This ordeal changed Jess positively, she is now medication free, happy and optimistic. Each member of the Rheeshmyu group are called: Ria, Lexi, Alex, Ally, Pearl, Rose, Artimes, Luna, Nyx, Ray, Snake, Pheonix and Delilah. Jess would like to answer any of your questions personally. If you would like to communicate with her, write an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can send her your email and questions. Jess said, “I’m always open for emails, I’d love to have more than just two friends.”
Her story is a difficult one and she grew up with no support while she struggled to be one person. Jess and her other identities faced social discrimination. It is completely unfair to be socially alienated for not being understood. As a society we need to let go of the taboo that mental illness is scary and therefore ignored. With this mind set, those who struggle with different illnesses will be looked upon as crazy and that is just wrong. Help me make a difference by sharing your stories.