Multiple Personalities

A friend of mine who has a psychology degree asked me one day if my ex had ever been diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. We were discussing his odd behaviors and symptoms and she said what I had often wondered myself. He would often talk to himself in a low, gutterul, muttering sort of way.  It was as if he was having a heated argument with himself or someone in his head. He would be so angry, he would often punch himself in the head like he was fist fighting himself. He would bang his head on a wall or a doorway.  Many times, I would hear him in the garage or in a room in the house angrily shouting and go running to find him alone and in a rage with himself. I would ask him who he was talking to and of course, he would say nobody. Then he would focus on me. I would become the object of his anger. By distracting him, I could stop him from hurting himself.  Later, he would say he didn’t remember the incident at all. It seemed like he could just block memories of bad behavior so he didn’t have to deal with the consequences. He had an overly exuberant childlike side and could play Candyland or Uno for hours with young children. His voice would take on a childlike tone. He seemed to really identify with young children. Then on the other hand, if he was napping or concentrating and children were playing louder than he liked, he would fly off the handle and yell at them. It didn’t matter if they were our girls or neighbor kids.  My girls learned  very young not to have friends over unless their dad was gone.  I encouraged them to go visit their friends at their houses instead. We just didn’t know how to predict his moods. Talking to senior citizens was really easy for him too.  He at times had infinite patience and compassion with them.  He would listen to their stories and share his own. He required a tremendous amount of sleep.  He would nap for a few hours every day.  If I woke him, he would just be horrible to be around. He could be super charming and sociable to the neighbors or to our friends, then be completely cold and disinterested in the next moment.  You just never knew who you were going to get, friendly him or cold and angry him. He could be sad too.  I would hear deep, pitiful crying and find him bent over with his head in his hands.  His sadness would emanate from his soul in shaking sobs.  Sometimes for no reason he could verbalize.  In contrast he would at times be so happy, he would dance and sing and couldn’t contain himself.  It was at these times you could be sure a huge ugly fight was imminent. It could last for days and he would just walk around snarling and glaring. When he was finished being angry, he would just act as if nothing happened. He told me a few times he suspected he was schizophrenic or had more than one personality.  He insisted I never tell doctors because he didn’t want to be labeled crazy.

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