I often feel like I’m two different people. This is the ‘pretend’ or ‘fake’ person. It’s not that I’m being fake, I’m just holding back. I’m one person when I’m around people I trust, such as my husband and my mom. I can fake being okay and my paranoia, anxiety, and fears decrease. This is the person that I make up; the person I let others see. I can also be this person around other people such as family members and friends. It’s just harder for me to keep up this person. But for some reason, I always feel like I need to put on this other persona. I don’t exactly know why, especially with the people I trust the most. Maybe, I’m just trying to give myself a break from the other person that I am; allowing myself to release some of my anxiety and paranoia. I usually need the help of Valium to do this with people other than my husband and mom.

Then, there’s this second person, the real me. I’m the person who jumps at every little noise. This is the person who sometimes keeps a baseball bat by the door and keeps a knife in my pocket when out for a walk, just in case. My paranoia increases when I’m alone. I have more auditory hallucinations when I’m by myself, although I’m learning to tell which things I hear are real and which are hallucinations. When I leave the house by myself, I’m constantly looking around, especially behind me, so I can see everything that’s happening. I never want to be caught off guard. I rarely ever take anti-anxiety medication when I’m by myself in my house. I prefer to use it when I leave my house or when I with others, that way I can be that other ‘pretend’ person.

I wonder if I’ll ever feel safe again when I’m by myself. Despite the fact that I’m pretending when I’m around others, I do feel safer than I feel when I’m alone. I feel like two different people. Each ‘person’ comes naturally. People I trust tell me I don’t have to pretend to be anyone or anything, but it just happens. For some reason, I don’t feel like I have control over which person appears, it’s just instinctive. Does anyone else have this issue or feel this way?

8 thoughts on “I Feel Like Two Different People

  1. I’m totally the same way! I’ve never really known how to vocalize it. All I’ve been able to convey to my therapist is that I feel like a fraud or like there are different versions of me according to my surroundings and situation. I think it may be the anxiety/bipolar combination that makes this happen, and perhaps other things, too. I don’t know, I wish I had an explanation for it!

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  2. Yes. You guys see more of the real me than anyone else. I guess there’s something to be said about y’all not really knowing me. I can show you the true me. I know about fear and paranoia. I was robbed at gun point. I am terrified of guns and going places at night now because of that.

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    1. I’m definitely much more of the real me on my blog than I am with other people. I’m sorry for your experience. Your fear is completely understandable. I hope it improves with time. I know that my anxiety has; I used to not be able to be touched by anyone. That’s no longer an issue, but the anxiety is still there; it’s a huge improvement. I wish the best for you.

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  3. Maybe that’s the reason that I isolate and don’t like to go to social events. Going gives me anxiety. When I am there I put up a front/pretend to be happy go lucky. It’s exhausting!

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  4. I struggle with depression – while not bipolar it still isn’t easy. I used to say I showed people everything that is nothing and nothing that is anything of myself. My own belief is that everyone (whether struggling with mental illness or not) has many personas. The work persona, the family persona, the social persona and the essential self to name a few. I think it is exacerbated for those of use who struggle with mental illness as we don’t see the shift as normal or easy.
    I was stalked for years and spent a long time living in fear. The guy who stalked me even broke into my home and took my dogs’ collars and then left them on my front steps months later. I wish i could say what it was that changed that helped me get past much (not all) of my fear, but I don’t really know. All I remember was being fed up with allowing someone else to control my life. He was determining how I felt every day and how I lived and I didn’t want to be a victim – physically or mentally. So I made a choice to live my life instead of staying shut in my house. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t and still don’t live fearlessly, I make smart choices – rather than going into a garage at night alone I would ask someone to go with me or wait til other people were leaving etc., But I took control of my life back and it felt good. I am in charge of my choices not him.
    It has been many, many years and there is still a small amount of fear, but now I look at it as a gift that keeps me safe because it helps me look at things with an eye to safety that I wouldn’t do otherwise.

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    1. Good for you for not allowing someone else to control your life. That must have been, and still must be, terrifying. That’s amazing that you made the choice to be in control instead of being a victim. I wish I had that strength. I have come pretty far, I used to not be able to let others touch me, and now I’m fine with the people I know. We all continue to grow every day.

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