The first time I heard this phrase, I wasn’t offended… I actually felt a little supported and happy. I’d never heard any type of support around my D.I.D. before and until the year I came out, only my partner at the time was aware of the other alters I shared a body with. So, I took the comment with a smile and kept on going with a feeling that I was doing something very right for myself and the D.I.D. community by being so open.
As time passed, I heard a lot more of people being “fascinated” with my disorder. People enthusiastically responded to our Facebook and Instagram posts where we were opening up about being multiple and they asked lots of questions. So many of these responses started with asking if it was alright to ask questions because they’re “just so fascinated” and want to learn more. Feeling paid attention to and honestly seen for who we are for the first time our life ,really, I answered every question with a smile until I was exhausted.
What I was supressing was the knowledge that a lot of the people who were there to “educate” themselves and were fascinated, were really just bored and found me to be an enthralling topic for a minute. As we shared more and people realized that we’re pretty mundane and normal, the comments and support faded, and I was left to feel like a true crime television show used for entertainment.
Almost every person who has used the phrase “I’m just so fascinated by it” has been stopping by for a moment, to look for something interesting, and then they go along not being a true advocate or ally. This left me with a much bigger impact then I thought it would. I started to internalize it and feel like I was only good for educational purposes and that by being honest about who we are, people no longer wanted to talk with me to be my friend.
These days, I actually find it a lot harder to connect with people. I let this idea sink in a little too deep for too long and have some undoing in the way I think about myself. I’m learning to get back to connecting with others instead of trying to always be “on” to educate when being honest, and learning to say no again if people ask me questions or say things that make me uncomfortable.
Now, when I hear the words “I’m so fascinated…” I know to have some guard, to not allow myself to be viewed as a “buzz topic” and feel like a lab rat. I know that when so many people use this phrase, it’s not out of a place of ill intentions. Yet, if you’ve ever said this to anyone with D.I.D. or another “something” that put them outside of the “norm” (whatever that is really), I urge you to re-evaluate what you’re really feeling and why you’re really asking these questions. So much more can be learned by forming actual, meaningful relationships with people.