I have a few faded memories about the origin and causes.

There is one evening (a night?) which I had spent at my parents house. They were still together back then. I am lying on the orange couch, holding tight to my small, baby-blue backpack which I had just packed convincing myself that I want to move out if they continue to act in this way. I remember crying, but it wasn't me crying.

They argued for a long time now. As long as I can remember. Holidays abroad, house party at home. I recall how once my father told me it was me who always worked my way between them, divided them when they were hugging or sleeping together. My mother denied that, but for a long time the kid whom I was at the age of nine had strong remorse about bringing terrible events upon her own parents.

There is a morning (early afternoon?), front yard of the house. It is the first day of September, a day when children go back to school after summer break. I am standing in front of the gate, holding tight to my dog Sniff. My mother is carrying an old portrait with a sailboat in the background which she had taken off a wall. She intends to put it in her car.

-Viki, if I go now, are you ready to come with me?

I quietly nod. Go where? But not now! It's my first day at the new school, mom! I don’t understand: why are we leaving our great, beautiful house?

Worrying was needless. The painting never made it to the car. A tall dark man in his late thirties took it away from the nervous woman as she was forced to follow him back into the house.

The rest is more blurry. Sniff was still there, but I wasn’t. Screaming and pleading that I’ve heard, the time just stopped for me. This must have been going on under the daytime: by the great finale the red pulsating light of an ambulance teared apart my vision used to the falling darkness.

The neighbour who called for help, as she told me some years later, had seen my father coming from her window. Her husband is the uncle of my grandfather on the mothers side. After all, she had some affection for the relatives. She took me to my mothers parents that day.
Luckily, they lived only a half an hour away.

Living with them for a year, my mother away, my father going mad in the meantime. Timeline converged and I begun to see it more and more as a straight line; all the ups and downs evened out. I felt nothing. Who was that woman whom ambulance took the other day? Why should I visit a man in the unusually white building, where my watch and hairpins were not allowed?

I went to the new school. Even before everything started to fall apart, the decision was made that I need to move away from home. The private school I was in had classrooms nearly three times smaller then at my old school. Everything was new on inside, including the interactive white boards, computers and playing grounds.
The people though were also different: the fact that many spoke English during their free time amazed me.
Despite my excitement about leaving the cottage of my grandparents and moving back to the city filled with people, I felt very alone. The girls who were at the very same school I was seemed to have came from a very different world. Their world reminded me of the American movies where life is but a party and school is a lot more like a competition arena then a place to learn about something. I imagined that you come to school to enact a change. They seemed to try to change the school itself.
Because of the fact that I did not particularly exemplified myself on that social arena, my class role eventually turned out to be the boring girl who would rather study then engage in a gossiping circle. My best mate was the librarian lady who would always come up with new books for me to read.
I read a lot of books back then.
And it was in one of these books that I though I found a solution to my problems. A character named Regina made a vivid imprint on me as a twelve-year old child. Regina was everything I wanted to be at that time. She was popular, self-assured, pretty, intelligent, rich, and cruel. If I could be like her, no one would dare to consider me a stranger anymore.
The more I though about it, the more convinced I was that her persona is the ultimate goal for me to achieve. I shall not be like Regina. I shall be Regina.
As it seems, the fact that my father was diagnosed with bipolar schizophrenia not so long ago should leave me with a warning against splitting personalities and pretending to live the life of fictional characters.
But I didn't know his story. I didn't know that when he had a breakdown just before his finals, his father chose to conceal the fact not only from him, but even from the rest of the family. I didn't know that his father was alcoholic and that he abused, eventually with a lethal effect, his mother.
So in my oblivion I pursed the images of other people, trying to wipe away my own feelings and reactions in order to create space for all these new personalities that were to come and mislead me.
In retrospective I can trace back to how did it unravel.
It was one of the first weeks after the divorce was enacted and my father was granted a conditional leave. Before my first ’scheduled meeting' with him grandmother talked to me.
’Viktoria, you are not a little baby anymore. You are a student, and you have to think before you say something. Make sure that you don’t speak with your father about the girls at school or other things you have told me about. For him, you have to conceal the things which make you cry. Because he cannot cry, do you understand?’
It all felt very weird. Being a visitor at my own house, having a time limit I could use to be there and a pick up spot agreed on with your other family and carefully calculated as a midpoint between the one and the other place.
My father felt very weird too. He seemed to lack something. When he saw me, he started crying. I started crying too, but not because I was sad. I simply had no idea what else to do, I and I remember thinking that grandmother will be disappointed with me. Having though that and imagining her making me pray the rosary all the way again, I brought us some tissues and started to talk about the school as it would have gone for me if I were Regina.
And so it continued. After some time I felt tired of Regina, I was on the other hand very interested by Daphne, my other long lasting role model. I wanted to be her. I started to wear purple, have my hair long and with a band, speak in her words. I retreated into fantasy world having watched probably all of the Scooby Doo episodes that had ever been made.
As the years went on, there were other characters too. Britney. Ashely. These were the nice ones whom I admired for the purity of heart and devotion to others.
But there was also periods when I was tired of being so nice to people. Many of them were rude to me, especially at school. They had no right to disrespect me, but if they did, I could just switch to a very unfriendly mode.
But initially it was just a desire to be a perfectly artificial girl who was all that I was not: pretty, popular, empowered.

When I was 16, I started praying to God to free me from the desire to be each new awesome character I could have been inspired by reading the books. It was very tiresome, not only for me, but also for the other people.

First thing that the new personality requires is to gather all the information on the subject; create a database using a variety of sources. If some of them contradict each other, a more balances view was needed. Usually fun-fiction, literary commentaries if there have been any and all the chapters concerning the particular persona were enough.

What follows it is the character development: their way of speaking, dressing up, thinking.

That consumes a lot of energy of a teenager.

One day I could be the nicest, helping everyone, the other I wold turn around.

You can imagine, my dear reader, what my surroundings must have been going through. But they though it's a natural part of growing up, to seek heroines and your own position in the world. Especially if the real life has been so disappointing so far. Thus I was never at a psychiatrist.

The process was wearing me down slowly.

Some time later my prayers had been answered. In fact I should have left religion out of it, I usually mean it merely as a figure of speech. Here the reference were made because it was a sort of a miracle to me. I just woke up one morning and everything was 'normal'. I was just Viktoria.

As you can see, nowadays my name has been changed too. But there was never a Viktoria Carshaw before. Being too young to grasp a concept of a personality I skipped the part where you design yourself under the adolescence. Now it is an idea of reinventing yourself, like the American Dream of Jay Gatsby, that I employed. A self-made man. I hope it is not unhealthy. Besides, my last name is really difficult to be pronounced abroad and I don't like it indicating my past.

The self-made me did not solve my problems, just as expected. My family was still broken and school did not console me socially.

I guess today I can say that I was bullied. At that time I just felt really bad about myself. On my first day the children didn't know anything about me. As a matter of the fact, I didn't know a lot either. But they did not refrain from ostracising me because of being an outsider. They were cruel.
One often say that children can be worse then parents. I would say children of rich parents are even worse then their parents.

I would like to abstain from white-washing myself. Looking at it now, I made a lot of mistakes too.

One I regret the most is the disappointment of my teacher when I betrayed him in his class.

It was an autumn afternoon and the class that we were supposed to take in the afternoon had a test planned. Being not-so-serious about it most of the pupils tried to memorise any facts under the current hour. The problem was that our teacher asked questions, and his distraction made it difficult for them to study.
I was naturally prepared for the test.
By some chance I started discussing an issue within the subject with the teacher. I just want to ask a question, but the conversation was interesting so I continued talking. After a while I noticed that the other students wave at me to continue speaking so that they can study for the test. I remember thinking how unfair it is against the teacher. He was always kind to me and encouraged me to be curious about matters. But for once they needed my help. I could be on their side, earn some approval. So I continued speaking with the teacher.

I had one friend in that school. Her name was Iggy. We got together after 5th grade. She was smart and funny, and I loved spending time with her and her parents. We would built pillow fortress in the middle of her living room and watch films. She lived close to my mothers parents, so it was really convenient. We even took art classes together. It seemed that finally all was about to be right. As a Capricorn, I counted on some strong astral sisterhood since she was a Virgo.
How very wrong was I.

After a brief period of maybe a few months, Iggy started hanging with the girl in our class who really disliked me. And eventually, both turned me down speaking against me. I thought I broke my heart. I loved Iggy. She was my first crush, a girlcrush too.

By that summer, we had been spending almost every hour together.

In the autumn we barely talked on the corridor.

To continue with the next grade in the lower high, which was in the building just next to the primary school, made me sick just to think of.

My desire was to go to any other school, but my tutor decided that this one, despite being a really heavy strain on me, is going to prepare me in a better way for the collage. I wanted to escape.

Iggy and I started competing in grades. I was a fine student, but she was more hard-working.
For two out of three years she was ahead of me, with one or two grades which were higher (usually it was the a PE grade… I never liked tennis).
Ironically, during our last year, when I was suffering a bit extra from another set of circumstances, I made it. I can still see her sour smile when she said ' Congratulations, you finally made it', after I had received the prize of a ’student of the year' for having an average of straight As and being socially involved. (irony)

That was my last encounter with Iggy.

I must confess that after some point I no longer cared about her. I was mad just once, I think.
It was when her mother started to mess up with my father.

Iggys mother worked in a bank. My father worked as a security engineer in that very bank. Therefore, sometimes the two worked together. She was telling him nasty things about me and my school performance. Every time I had to set things straight in a particularly gentle way.
I think that was way out of line. But what should I do?