The first two of her alter egos I encountered were Low Blood Sugar Kellie and Tired Kellie. If not handled properly, these two personalities can rapidly dissociate into a myriad of other characters. I needed several years in residence before I earned my home degree in Kellie Psychology and mastered the techniques to identify and treat the underlying pathology. My choice of the word treat instead of the word cure is a deliberate one; you don’t cure Kellieness, you simply learn to live with it.
Low Blood Sugar Kellie needs to eat, and Tired Kellie needs to nap. You might think it’s easy to discriminate between the two, but it takes years of clinical practice to learn how to perform the differential diagnosis. What makes the evaluation so difficult is that the Kellie doesn’t recognize which personality is in control and both conditions often manifest themselves as Cranky Kellie. It’s easy to mistake Cranky Kellie for someone who’s just being unreasonable – a big mistake. Arguing with Cranky Kellie quickly leads to the appearance of Bitchy Kellie, often with her friend Angry Kellie; and Angry Kellie is scary.
Eventually I learned that the time of day was often a clue to which personality reigned. Morning crankiness is almost always a low blood sugar problem. Past noon, the appearance of any strange characters usually means it’s nappy-time.
Treatment for Tired Kellie is rather simple; shuffle her off to bed for an hour or two and the problem is solved, at least temporarily. Dealing with Low Blood Sugar Kellie can be tricky. Early in our marriage, I frequently made the mistake of asking Low Blood Sugar Kellie what she wanted to eat. If her glucose levels were dangerously low, the inquiry immediately manifested a new personality – Indecisive Kellie – a babbling, incoherent woman who can only whine, “I don’t know, just feed me.”
I’ve long since learned to deal with almost all the Kellies; Angry Kellie is still scares me. But managing her cast of characters is like playing whack-a-mole. For the past ten years I’ve been living with Vacation Kellie, a pleasant woman who insists on referring to vacations as travel. She thinks vacations are tawdry and common whereas travel is noble and refined. Over time, Travel Kellie has morphed into Cruise Kellie. Treatment for Cruise Kellie is simple but expensive, sometimes requiring six or more ocean voyages per year. On the positive side, Cruise Kellie often asks her hot friend Horny Kellie to join us, usually in the late afternoon after consuming several shipboard cocktails. I don’t mind administering Horny Kellie’s medication, though she sometimes complains that it makes her gag. Did I go too far?