On Being a Chameleon

One of my accidental ‘coping mechanisms’ is to transform myself, in the same way a chameleon does. 

Depending on where I am, the context, and who I am with, I unintentionally and rather drastically morph into another entirely different version of myself. I have so many different selves and the disparities are rather worrisome. 

I have an overly functional, mature, responsible self. I have a suffocated by emotions, debilitated by mental illness self. I have a bubbly, extroverted, curious, seemingly-joyful self. I have a childlike, high-pitched-voice, needy and regressed self. I have a disconnected and dissociated lack of a self. I have a paranoid, hypervigilant, verging-on-delusional self. I have a quiet, avoidant, tries-to-be invisible self. I have a loud, rebellious, wilful, boundary-breaking self. I have a hypomanic, zappy, immature self. I have a pained, dark, clearly-not-okay self. I am sure I have many more selves. 

The scary thing is, I change so much that I never know which one of these selves – if any – is the true me. Neither do I know where I can be found – if anywhere – amidst these ‘selves’.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s ‘normal’ to be different in different situations. But this is another level of difference. The extremes feel so huge that it’s hard to find any semblance of a ‘true me‘ running through all the different parts I present. 

I feel like a chameleon. Either that or I’m just an amalgamation of every emotion, expression and personality trait that ever was – with different parts being triggered depending on what’s needed to survive in each specific circumstance.  

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