“So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” Galatians 3:26 (NIV)
Labels. Again. More labels. This time DDNOS and codependent. The shame began to return. Will I ever be a normal person? Then I thought…”What is normal anyway?”
When my therapist first said, “Well, anyone with DID…..” I lost him there. Anyone with what? I don’t have DID. Not me. I do not have a personality disorder. I am completely normal. There’s the word again. Normal.
I jumped into the conversation, “Excuse me, DID? I don’t have DID do I?”
“So what if you do? It’s okay.” He said.
“No it’s not!”
“Why not?” He asked.
“Because it’s another label. It’s …..it’s…it’s just not me! I do not have DID! End of discussion.” I stated.
He asked, “Would it help if you filled out the questionnaire?”
“Yes, yes, I will fill it out and show you I am normal.” I said.
He gave me the questionnaire and I filled it out and then a few sessions later we discussed it. “You came out as DDNOS, meaning Dissociative Disorder Non-Otherwise Specified.”
Gee thanks, it was clear as mud and it wasn’t DID, but it was something. I listened and he explained. Basically I have some characteristics of DID or Dissociative Identity Disorder, but not enough to qualify me for the diagnosis because I do not carry enough of the characteristics.
So it is a personality disorder, similar to Borderline Personality Disorder, only it’s called DDNOS.
I am familiar with Borderline Personality Disorder so I understood what he meant now. I dissociate and have parts of me which are from my trauma.
From being sexually abused and assaulted for so many years. I began dissociating when it was happening and it continued now into my adult life. It became a way to cope.
It is not a death sentence. Neither would DID have been one. It does not make me or anyone else with it weird. It is something which can be resolved when the trauma resolves itself and all ages which were affected have been dealt with in therapy.
Even if it doesn’t resolve, I’ll still be okay.
Then, yesterday he mentions codependency to me. I said I want to discuss that tomorrow. So today we discussed codependency. Maybe you struggle with this too. If you’re a survivor it comes with the territory.
Codependency is when a “person belonging to a dysfunctional, one-sided relationship where one person relies on the other for meeting nearly all of their emotional and self-esteem needs.”*
It also describes a relationship that enables another person to maintain their irresponsible addictive or underachieving behavior, or addictions. Addictions to food, alcohol, whatever it may be.*
I am definitely codependent. I have low self-esteem, I am people pleasing, I am a caretaker helping others so they don’t reject me, and trying to fix the other person even when they clearly aren’t taking my advice.*
I have dysfunctional communication; obsessed I might make a mistake and the other person won’t like me, brings great anxiety. Lastly, I am dependent needing other people to like me to feel okay about myself.*
These are only some of the characteristics. My therapists and I talked in length about how I can change. Starting with God. Trusting God to be my all. Walking with Jesus by my side. Releasing my anxiety to Him. He also told me we could work on the issues in therapy.
You may have these things going on in your life as a survivor, or other things. Maybe these resonate with you and you learned you too need to turn to God, and of course professionals for help.
Maybe it is something different you are struggling with right now. Whatever it is, I do know this, it is not you. Just like these things are not me. They are things I need to work through and on, yes, but they do not define me.
God defines me, and He says, “So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith.” Galatians 3:26 (NIV)
Children of God. We are children of God. You are a child of God. Not DDNOS or codependent, or any other label given to you. I know I have written this before about labels. It is a tough thing to get through my head and God saw fit to bring it to my heart again and so I’m writing it down for you too.
We are not labels. There is no normal in life, but there is God. Thankfully, we are all His children.
I am a child of God. You are a Child of God. Let’s not forget it.
So often our world likes to label us with so many different things. Help me to cling to you during these times and remind me I am not a label, I do not need to conform to this world, I am Your child. You are my God and I need You to teach me how to navigate this journey through recovery. Thank you for always showing me the way.
© 2018 Susan M. Clabaugh. All Rights Reserved.
*Definitions and information on codependency from Psych Central