Thursday, 10 May 2012

Multiple personality disorder

Being here, it’s all so surreal; as if any moment I could wake up and be at home, at any stage of my life. The feeling is linked more to my sense of person than to the change of country (though that certainly helps); I am not who I have been. I seem, in many ways, better, stronger, or more fairly, less afraid, less nervous, less the young boy hiding behind his mother’s skirts. And in a way it feels as if that me is dead and a new me currently here; in a sense my development has killed another person. (No wonder he was so keen to hold me back: he didn’t want to die.) I have changed so slowly I cannot tell at what point (if any) I truly diverged from the old me and became the new one, but I know we are very different and I know that I had a personality so deeply different from my current one in many ways, that it almost seems like I have killed someone who used to be me. Does the butterfly consider its caterpillar stage a separate ‘person’ as it were? There, indeed, the change is marked by extreme physical alteration. Must the personality not change too? Or perhaps there are a million versions of me that have come and gone with each passing experience sufficient to change me. Something as simple as crossing the road, putting on a jersey, stubbing a toe. (I do not say that physical change necessitates mental change, or vice-versa, but one may surely be a catalyst for the other.) How big, what kind, and many other questions about the kind of experience sufficient to change me from one me to the next now arise. And the biggest problem with this theory of me succeeding, indeed destroying, a subsequent me, seems to be, inevitably, am I next?