Aimee, 14, doesn't know who her Mum is going to be from one moment to the next. She explains how they manage with her multiple personalities...
Most girls are closer to their mum than anyone in the world. And that's no different for me. It's just that I can't always tell which mum I'm getting. My mum has DID Dissociative Identity Disorder which means she has one dominant personality and more than 20 other personalities too. Her real name is Kim, but Kim is just one of many identities that shift in and out, taking control of her body, and then letting go, and sometimes vanishing altogether, only for new ones to appear. And there's no way of knowing how or when it will happen.
But it was through one of the personalities that I really started to understand Mum's condition. She was called Katie, and she was three years old. Because she was so young, when she was in control, Mum didn't act like an adult, but like a little girl playing hide and seek, and acting childishly. So one minute I'd be playing with her, when she would suddenly switch and become an adult again.
It's funny how the different personalities change how Mum looks and acts. One is a man called Ken. Mum's got long hair, and generally wears it down, but when Ken comes out he puts it up so it's more 'manly'. He'll always wear jeans and if he comes out and he's wearing girlie stuff, like shoes, he'll just kick them off. I get on really well with him. He's funny, loves spoiling me, taking me out and buying me presents.
Although I've always been fine with Mum's condition, it's caused her a lot of problems, and often put her at huge risk. One of the personalities called Rebecca, who isn't around much now, used to keep taking overdoses while Mum was in her teens, and she had to have her stomach pumped numerous times. It also led to her spending time in a psychiatric unit. She's also come to and found herself sitting on the edge of a tall building because the previous personality had taken her there, and had to clamber back to safety. Other times she'll be in the car and switch to a personality who can't drive and have to try to stop the car without crashing.
In a way I think I'm really lucky, because I don't just have a mum I have lots of other friends too. One of Mum's personalities is a 15-year-old girl called Judy and we're really close. She has issues around eating she thinks she's overweight, even though she isn't, because she's frozen in time when the body was larger, and she'll always wear clothes that are too big. Despite this we have a lot of fun together.
I get on with all the personalities, but some come out more regularly so I have more of a relationship with them like Judy and the main personality Patricia. She's been dominant for the last eight years and she's with me about 70% of the day. She looks after me. She's funny, kind and very sociable.
Obviously Mum's very different to other parents. Luckily I've never had any problems with friends or their parents judging us everyone's been really lovely. I've had a couple of boyfriends but nothing serious. Mum's condition hasn't been a problem and I wouldn't want to be with anyone who didn't understand it. My school has been great too. They've known about the DID from the start and they've been very supportive providing me with a therapist in case I need any extra help.
But generally if I need to talk, I go to my mum. We have a really open relationship and I love spending time with her. Things might be a bit unpredictable, but I actually think it's a good thing life is really exciting and adventurous, and I feel really lucky. I'd never want it to change.
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