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Questions that Irritate


Now we are pretty receptive to questions about our multiplicity.  We understand that this is a complicated subject and not one most people have had any contact with.  So it is understandable people will have questions about it.  In face, we see questions as a willingness to understand and discuss our reality.  by asking questions it shows us that the person accepts our multiple reality and wants to learn more, as opposed to those that say, "ok you're multiple, but just leave it at the door."  To us there is no acceptance in that later, so we accept questions about our multiplicity.  Some even welcome them, since it gives them an opportunity to talk about heir culture, their reality, their life.  However there are some questions that we consider rude, irritating or just annoying.  There are different from silly questions, they just make us laugh, but the irritating ones, they annoy.

So what's your name?
This isn't actually that irritating from those people we have developed a relationship with, a good amount of trust.  We understand that it helps people keep a track of what is going on, and we don't change much to be able to tell without asking.  However, even with those people we get annoyed when they require a name, when they won't take no for an answer.  People need to respect our right to not say our names, to know it's a choice each one of us have, some are quite comfort with giving out their names, whilst others are more secretive.  But from people we don't know, strangers, or those that have not gained our trust it becomes annoying.  Especially when they demand to know, when they get angry when we refuse to tell them.  People don't have a right to know our names, it is something we give to those we trust, it is a decision we make for ourselves.

So what's your role?
One of the most irritating questions out there.  It basically relegates us to a part that is only there to fulfill a need or role within the system.  It removes all sense of individuality, of person from us.  We are more than one role, we are mostly people, some caught in a place of deep emotion, or ability, but even then they are still complex people underneath how they present.  Yes some of us have skills that stand out.  An example of this would be Kate, people know her as the cook.  And although she is a very good cook she is also a lot more, has a lot of interests and abilities.  We people say, oh Kate she's the cook, it negates everything else she is.  People in this world, aren't regulated to simplistic parts of themselves.  If you ask us what our role here is, maybe first you should think about how you would answer that.  I don't believe you could pick just one thing that is your role in life, most would have a list.  We are no different.  We are not just simply aspects to a person's life, we are all people, individuals, we are just all stuck in this one body.

So how old are you?
Aside from age being a touchy issue for a lot of us, yes we think we are too old *laugh*, it can also make for some uncomfortable feelings.  Not everyone is aware of their age, they might be able to tell if they are a child, a teenager, an adult, but specific age is something they will have trouble discerning.  And then there are those whose age is not static.  This is something which is called age sliding.  It means that the same person may be different ages at different times.  You may ask Tryall how old she is, and one day she will say 15, a few days later she will tell you 19.  She isn't lying, she isn't confused.  She just doesn't have a static age.  This question isn't really a major issue, but it can cause stress and feelings of stupidity when they can not answer what first appears to be a simple question.

Who were you when you did....?
There are many derivatives of this question.  It is about believing "I" become someone else.  That I change into someone else.  But rather I am always me, even when I am not occupying the body.  It is not a case of me becoming someone else, but rather me moving out of the body and another person, a totally separate person coming back in.  I therefore, might not know what that other person did.  I will almost never know what they were thinking or feeling.  Unless I, like you, actually go and ask them.  We are all not one person, taking on different roles, different demeanors.  I can not be responsible for the actions of another because I am not there.  I will make amends however, when it is necessary, but I can only do that as a third person, someone that sees a joint collective responsibility for the actions of this body.  The question is offensive to us, because it comes from a lack of acknowledgment of our individuality, and it implies we are all really the same person.

Which one is the real person?
This can also come across as the belief that one, usually the one they interact with the most is the real person.  This is actually the worst question and/or belief out there for us.  The belief there is a real person is not only inaccurate but offensive to everyone.  We are real people, even if there was the first born child here amongst us, it does not make any of us less real.  Most of us have been active participants in this life for years, we have lived it, we have struggled through atrocities, and have had a life of experiences.  Does that not make us real?  Isn't living, thinking, feeling the prerequisites of being a real person.  We may not have bodies that you can see, we may all look, from the outside as one person.  But we are not invaders, making some poor little thing's life a misery.  There is no little girl waiting here to be rescued.  It is that belief that we have invaded a body, that we are nothing more than parasites or delusions that need removed to make the "real" person whole and happy that is offensive to us.  We do get angry at being seen as figments, as annoyances to be gotten rid of.

How many are there?
Honestly I have never understood the fascination with numbers.  Really, what's the difference between 3 or 3000.  Would we be more multiple if we had 3000, or less crazy if we had 3.  Numbers change, how many we thought we were at the beginning of this journey is a lot different than how many we know we are now.  It doesn't really matter though, it is just a number.

You must be a protector, an ISH, a child...?
There are a lot of those questions, statements.  But it is irritating to have ourselves catagorised.  The assumption that we will fit nicely into predetermined categories is along the same lines as thinking we have one single purpose for being here.  This is a question we get a lot, especially from other multiples.  It seems a lot have read the "textbooks" and taken that information on board as if it is gospel.  These were broad categories that professionals created to be able to make sense of what they were seeing.  However when they did they would ignore other parts of the person, squeezing them into a category so they don't have to get to truly know the person.  They become a stereotype.  Protectors are meant to behave in a certain way, same with the other "types" of people.  They do not want to see a protector curled up and crying, or a ISH being secretive and uncaring.  We are more than a label, especially a label created by someone that has had no first hand experience of multiplicity.

When are you going to be well?
This is generally code for when are you going to integrate.   Now I don't mind being asked if I am going to integrate, but the assumption that one person/one body is the goal, the definition of wellness is offensive.  Ask if, just don't assume it will happen.   Also as a multiple that has had extreme abuse in her life, the journey to wellness is a long and distressing one.  All my life I have heard the "get over it" statements.  My abusers would further abuse me if we weren't "normal" immediately it was over.  The need for people around us to have us be better is, not only, a reflection of the attitude of our abusers but it also makes us feel guilty for taking the time out to do the necessary work of recovery.  We understand that people that consider themselves our friends don't like to see us in pain, but it is the imposing their schedule, their needs upon us that is offensive.

Please don't switch when with us
More a request than a question, but still very annoying.  The belief that someone else has the right to dictate who is allowed out, and when is abhorrent to us.  We will not be controlled like that.  Once again it happens from other multiples as well, usually in the form of "why are you switching so much"  There is a belief we run into that healthy multiples don't switch, or at least can control their switching.  Whereas for us it is more the case of switching as we see fit, not needing a reason.  We will not pretend to be non multiple to keep another person happy, and no one else has that control over us anymore.  Sometimes this question hides another one, the "will they hurt me" question.  There is a fear that the people that might be there will be violent and out of control.  This probably comes from watching too many bad american programmes that show multiples as violent and out of control, so of course real life is exactly like that.  It surprised me how many people could handle us as moody and erratic, but as multiple people there was a problem.  They wanted their friend back, but usually their friend had been a variety of us, the same people that are now seeing them, but it is ok as long as they can remain in the dark on that.
 

Questions are going to be there, it's only natural.  But the thing to think about before you ask them is whether you would feel ok if someone asked you the same question, or whether you are putting your own assumptions and beliefs upon a person.  Just think first, and be polite.  Then another thing, don't ask a question unless you are prepared for the answer, sometimes things aren't going to be the way you like it, don't think you have rights when the other person doesn't.   You might have a right to ask a question, but the other person has the right to make what response they wish, or indeed no response at all.