5.0 Shades of Grey

It will be a long drawn morning.

7:30 am: Alter wakes up to face yet another lousy day at his school.

8:15 am: Spirit of Water runs to shower.

9:45 am: “Oh no, I’ve done it again” Well, She wore her brother’s clothes, for the second time in this week.

11:00 am: “Where the hell have you been?” Sachit’s voice screamed out as Adira walked through the door.

She simply rolled her eyes at her current boyfriend. (Inner mind: But at least this one stuck around for a few months. The others were always long gone by now.) They had a busy week. Holiday Season was upon them, and the magazine had to be ready for publication before Christmas. With a hustle around the office floor, Adira found herself lost amongst the crowd. As if an alternate reality suddenly dawned upon her, as if she no more recognised her own world.

“Oh, I didn’t finish milk. Dad will hit me harder tonight” Someone in her heart was always scared.

She knew where she was, but still didn’t quite fathom it. She knew who she was, but still didn’t quite stick to one. With her unfocused eye, staring blankly at the window, she felt a shudder. It was as if he did not recognise the reflection jarring from the tinted glass in front of him. (Not now. Not again. Not ever.)

“Why is your blouse undone? This is becoming more frequent than before. I am trying to understand this but how should I take care of you 24/7, Adira?”

The concerned eyes of the boy standing in front of Raul filled him with anger and disgust. “Get off me you lunatic! Do I look like your ‘girl’? It is not your job to take care of me!” Violently he shoved Sachit back, knocking him against the edge of the table. Nearing hysterics she paced up and down, back and forth, wanting to tear her head apart.

Sachit kept his fair share of distance. He knew how to read her now. Read her moods, and her changes. In the few years they have been together, he had learnt the art of dealing with her selves. It was like he built his equation with all of them. There was something about Adira. Of all the things he was uncertain about, Adira was his only truth. He was not going to walk away, leaving her alone and isolated as all the others had done. He was determined to see this through. When Adira landed in a tearful heap on the floor, he knew it was his time to step in. He had to glue the pieces of the puzzle back together. Lifting her off the floor, he held her tight, while gently rocking back and forth. “It’s alright baby. I’m here. Let’s go home and call it a day.”

It was Wednesday. The session with Dr. Foster was scheduled for 4 pm. As Adira entered, she felt as if a weight of a 1000 kilo was lifted from her head. Whilst they sat for the hypnosis, Adira drifted away to the calmness in Dr. Foster’s serene voice. “Take a deep breath and relax. You are in no danger or harm here. Let us take it from where we left Adira. Yesterday you were almost about to enter the room behind a black door. Do you feel you are ready to see what is behind it? Once you decide, you will open it with your right index finger”

With a gradual and a rather manly shift in her posture, there came a reply;

“Adira is sleeping… I will take it from here.”

The end.

Life is never totally black or white. To understand the different shades that life has to offer us, we need to read between lines. Understand all the shades of grey. Can you imagine the state of a person’s mental condition when she finds herself at a complete unfamiliar environment, with no recollection of how she got there? Can you imagine how it feels to wake up one morning and see a reflection of a stranger staring at you? A Dissociative Disorder of Identity Crisis, commonly called Multiple Personality Disorder is a vast ocean of untrodden depths, that psychologists till today are trying to decipher. Majorly accepted derivations of how this myriad disorder stems, is through verbatim abuse, physical torture or exposure to frightful events during childhood. With personalities ranging from dual or quadruple in number, an individual can take infinite alter-ego personalities. It is one of the most controversial psychiatric disorders, with no clear consensus on diagnostic criteria or treatment.

As in the fictional story of Adira that I created, she is a young girl battling with 5 other personalities who stem irregularly through her experiences. Alter is a young boy lazy to go to school every morning. Spirit of Water is a non-gendered, two dimensional alter ego who emerges only in the act of self-cleaning. Raul is a young violent boy who stems from emotional repression of violence, that Adira otherwise was subjected to, during her childhood. Raul protects himself from any form of physical touch, thus, demonstrates an act of alienation. The two most important personalities are unnamed. She (Someone) is a little girl who resides deep in the corner of Adira’s heart. She has faced the brunt of her abusive father and fragmented herself into a voice instead of a whole personality. ‘I’ is the protector. ‘I’ assumes the role of safeguarding Adira from any sort of infiltration. It almost seems as though Adira has given birth to this personality that helps her to survive in the cruel reality.

Often the concept of Multiple Personalities has been abused and misused by today’s generation. We fleetingly label any person showing erratic behaviour as a MPD patient. Let us not be insensitive to those who actually have to suffer living in a world of complete unknown. Let us not be inhumane and leave them at such crucial times in their lives. Any psychological problem is as serious as a biological ailment. The only difference being that medical conditions can be treated through allopathy; psychological treatment needs the care and affection, and most importantly, acceptance of loved ones.

Why do we always have the urge to pick out negatives? Stop it. Stop it in yourself, and then stop it in others. We’ve spoken a lot about the problems, it is time we start finding solutions. You know what is attractive? Seeing people change for that once person. Whether it is lessening the cigarettes, quitting alcohol, or stop doing drugs, it is the first step that matters. Stopping habits is a hard thing to do, and when I actually see people change, that is the most attractive thing to me. We are all entitled to this feeling you know? Just because you are ‘considered’ normal and someone else is not, doesn’t give you the authority to start with labelling, belittling, and passing comments. If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything at all.

However, most important of all;

Find it in yourself to stand strong and be the ‘Sachit’ to a certain ‘Adira’ in need.