Embodied Heart

Piece by Piece

I’m a they in two ways! I have dissociative identity disorder and am a sexual abuse trauma survivor. I’m also now much more fully aware of my gender identity, which is nonbinary. I’m not sure exactly where in the nonbinary category to place myself yet, so I’m working with the general label for now. I’m planning to spend time this summer adapting my online presence to better reflect who I am; part of this journey will most likely be launching a new blog*.

Before I process what’s coming up for me in living as a nonbinary person, I want to make sure to state that dissociative identity disorder and being nonbinary are in no way inherently related; lots of individuals fit one but not both descriptors. I have had awareness of being DID for much longer than I’ve had awareness of being nonbinary; I remember telling people repeatedly after learning that I was DID that I couldn’t even conceptualize my sexual orientation or gender identity because the entire core of who I am as a person was fragmented. I came into awareness of being a collective and it has taken me a quite a long time of internal work and processing to feel comfortable assigning labels to who I (as a whole being) am. I’ve settled (for now) on describing myself as a asexual panromantic nonbinary person.

I am having feelings of sadness and grief come up with coming out as nonbinary that I can’t completely articulate; I feel really hyper-exposed and like people are seeing into me and are seeing more fully who I am. I am working with a young girl part of me that is highly feminine and trying to share with her that what we are doing is to create a representation of us as a whole entity rather than just having an identity that highlights only certain parts. Asexual panromantic enby doesn’t fit every part of me equally, but it fits the collective me. I feel like I’m losing something as well as gaining something; I’m losing the “showing only” and gaining the “showing all.” It feels scary and like I want to cry because I’m being reborn/re-molded and there is a nakedness to it. Someone with whom I shared that I am nonbinary told me I don’t seem like someone who cares what people think of me, but, in reality, I’m acutely aware of the consequences of showing up only to be told that certain parts of who I am are not real, don’t exist or are un-loveable. For instance, I’ve consciously been this collective for over a decade and only now is it becoming outwardly visible; I don’t look “normal” anymore.

Choosing my own name feels so powerful, so declarative, and yet little me just wants to smile, look pretty and be a “good girl” so that maybe someone will care about her. Empowerment, bursting out, feels like a shattering too. But what’s breaking needs to break. The allure of stay quiet, be hidden and head-down no one will notice me denies me the very community, connection and hope that I so desperately need. I want people who interact with me who perceive my oddity to embrace, in some small way, their own. I am a shame-eater, someone whose purpose in life is to collect the buried, pockmarked and discarded shells of self and mosaic them into a vibrant creation. I keep thinking I’ve arrived at my destination, that the final piece has been laid and I get to enjoy my creation, only to discover more frames to be filled. I know only the why of my existence. Who I am to become and where it will take me are open spaces.

*My relative lack of technical skills led me to unintentionally purchase an entirely new website and domain. I own this blog as well for some time to come so I have plenty of time to see if I want to move posts or merge the two sites.