Tuesday, February 16, 2016

In the Name of David

Back when I collected personalities the way other kids collected trophies–dissociative identity disorder, for those in the know–there were two who went by the name of David. I've always liked the name David.

For the first few years of my life, I believed the official government documents that said the middle name of my uncle, my namesake, was David until someone told me the government had made a mistake. My uncle's middle name had been Davis. A typo. An unforgivable exchange of a D for an S, much like the governmental transaction that had rendered a nineteen-year-old boy a box of body parts.

There was also David in the Bible, who loved his friend Jonathan as he loved himself, who went on to become King of Israel. The boy I was when I first read about David recognized in that kind of love something missing from his own life, something necessary for survival. Something the other readers of the Bible in his church, community, state, nation, world would find as a reason to condemn the kind of boy who would love another boy as he loved himself.

Eventually, David had to go. Not long after I–or he–had mustered the courage to write, "I think I have split personality," on a scrap of paper and hand it to a psychologist when I was sixteen.

When I was deciding on my new name, the name of David kept coming up as a possibility. I had always liked that name. But like my uncle, some things are best left buried in the past. Never forgotten–as if that were ever a possibility–but nonetheless still held at bay. For protection, the kind of protection that might show itself as dissociative identity disorder.

And when one writes requiescat in pace, one inherently acknowledges the unspoken and unsayable ora pro nobis.

1 comment:

  1. Dissociative identity disorder is a protective survival strategy. You are a resilient survivor, whatever you choose to name yourself.