Nobody likes walking around with secrets, being perceived as someone they’re not, because those secrets have a tendency to eat away at us from the inside out while we come to feel like frauds in our own life and no longer recognize our reflection in the mirror. Conversations come to feel like we’re outside ourselves and we’re no longer a part of our own existence. Our realities become separated of who we really are. We begin perceiving ourselves in the ways others perceive us and we hate it, and hate that perception of self, even if it’s a perception worthy of greatness and envy. We begin identifying with the categories we fall into such as being a parent or a worker or a friend instead of identifying with self and who we are as a person and the life we’ve led and the experiences that we’ve had that shape us into who we are now, in this moment. There’s no deeper need than the need of purging all of one’s secrets and telling one’s story so as to no longer hide behind the perceptions of others and to just be known and accepted as who we are, right now, in this moment. Not who we were or who we might be in the future, but who we are NOW.
I’m finally ready to tell the world my biggest secret. One that I’ve hid from the world in my 35 years of life. One that only few people know and remains the secretive humorous logistics behind Almondie Incorporated. I’m going to start the coming-out process and hope that others will follow because I’m about to share with the world my biggest secret. My biggest secret is … I have polyfragmented dissociative identity disorder and I operate with over a hundred different identities/fragments/parts that I share my body with, only two of whom actually identify with the name Almondie and both of whom stay inside the body, which means I have always had to answer to and respond to a name that isn’t even mine. I’ve had to turn and respond to the name Almondie being called out my entire life even if it isn’t who I am. I’ve spent my life introducing myself under a name that isn’t my own. I’ve dedicated everything to that name. The 4.0 student in college. The professional singer. The writer. The author. The mother. The 40 jobs worked, and all but one of the over 30 places moved. (When I moved to North Carolina and began introducing myself as a name other than Almondie, my 7-year-old daughter at-the-time was quick to point it out).
Because Almondie is a 7-year-old child to this day that never got to live or grow up because she was in the midst of this almost cult-like extreme religion that involved a whole lot of abuse -physical, sexual, emotional, psychological - with the whole tell no evil, speak no evil shi**, and never speak against the ‘elders’ without risking exorcism and having to be reborn. I was reborn all right. Into over a hundred different people. I(We) protected the most innocent of self, but in the years it took to finally escape, a 7-year-old was no longer suitable for an older body and life, so we kept her inside and now dedicate everything we do to a small child that lost her life, sacrificed her life ‘in the name of God’ to those that would have done horrific things to her and destroyed her and hurt her beyond repair, a child that never got to live her life or grow up, because there was no way she could have survived and kept her innocence and beauty at that young of an age, so I (we) took over and endured those unspeakable things so that she wouldn’t have to.
But now she can never live or have her life, because the body aged, but she did not, because we locked her away too long in order to protect her. So Almondie maintains the purity and innocence of being untouched and untainted and has this beautiful heart full of love and hope and joy and beauty while we maintain the memories of the horrors without anyone ever even knowing our name. How’s that for a life-long secret?
Now it’s your turn.
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