Some Things I Just Want to Say
It must be nice to become someone else for a while.
There seems to be an assumption that I, whoever that may be, become someone else. Like a creature morphing from shape to shape. I can understand how the belief occurs when faced with someone that is constantly shifting from person to person. But therein lies the truth, a person replace a person rather than a person becoming another person. It seems such a small different in written form, but in its meaning it is immense. I am always constant. I remain myself no matter in which world I dwell. What you see as me becoming another person is simply me stepping back to Idian, and that other person stepping forward to take my place in the Earthen World. I still exist, in all ways, even if you are unable to see or interact with me.
Questions like "who were you before?" imply it was simply me in another persona and also that I should be aware of what has happened. How could I not know what was being talked about since it is always me regardless of the personality I become. To me that is the assumption that comes with the belief that I have become someone else. Therefore I am simply being uncooperative (rude) or dissociative (mentally ill) when I claim to have no knowledge. The truth, that I simply left, that I was in fact no longer there to have such knowledge seems unacceptable.
In recent times I have heard a few non-multiples stating how wonderful multiplicity would be. At first glance I was excited at the idea that multiplicity was being seen as something more than a horrendous disorder. But on closer inspection most of thse people acclaiming multiplicity as wondrous are speaking of something else entirely. They say they would love to become someone more assertive, more creative, more social. The idea seems to be that the other people can be put on, can be worn like clothing around you. That you remain yourself but have the skills or abilities of the other. Personally I would like to feel more comfortable with expressing my opinions. In that way I suppose I would like to become like Seven, but that is not possible. I can not become her. What I can do is learn from her and develop those skills for myself. But that has little to do with multiplicity and more to do with growing as a person.
Multiples are wonderful people
Now I do not doubt that some multiples are wonderful people, or even that there are wonderful people within a multiples community. However what I am getting at is this assumption that there is something in multiplicity that will make anyone that experiences it a wonderful special person. It is just yet another stereotype. And to me no better than saying multiples are all crazy. Sure it sounds better, it sounds like a compliment. And to be generous, I think it is meant to be complimentary, but to me, I see it as yet another way to confine me into a small box.
I have heard people say things like "I love being around multiples, they are always so interesting, challenging, inspiring". Now this may definitely be the case of the multiples they are around. After all I am all of those things *chuckle* But I seriously doubt all the multiple's I have met would fall into such categories. In fact I have met my fair share of shallow, inane, depressing multiples. For they are, like everyone simply people. And as such there is a wide range of personality types involved. For so long multiples have been faced with all kinds of negative stereotyping. We are often seen as mentally ill, unable to function, or simply disturbed. So the opposite view of multiples being more adapted, well developed interesting individuals can often look like the much awaited recognition of us being something more than a disorder. It is one thing to say the people or multiples on the list or group are wonderful, but when the statement is a sweeping generalisation it seems to me as offensive as saying negative statements.
The assumption that all multiples are wonderful is akin to the belief that all multiples are superior. There are some amazing people that are multiple, just as there are in the non multiple communities. It is said that the very nature of multiplicity makes people investigate themselves and their beliefs more. I agree that multiplicity can be the incentive for such self-investigation, however such work is still a personal choice. A lot of multiples when faced with that choice find it necessary to do that investigation, but others decide it is too hard and therefore stay trapped in their old modes of thinking and ways of being. If someone has the desire and motivation to look at themselves, they will probably end up doing a lot of thinking about their existence. Multiplicity may often be the catalyst for such investigation, and maybe more multiples are likely to do such work. But many still wish no part in such exploration.
I think what it is about the idea that all multiples are wonderful that upsets me is that we are being all labelled together. I would like to know my existence is more than my multiplicity. My self-discovery, my desires, beliefs and attitudes come from me, and not my multiplicity. Multiplicity is a part of my life, I have to live with it each day, it shapes who I am. But yet, like the abuse I lived through, it is not all I am. I do not want to be defined by my multiplicity, as I do not want to be defined by one single aspect of myself. The statement that all multiples are wonderful seems to me to make my existence, my way of being solely related to one aspect of it.
So she's the angry one.
I have seen so many times, this need to box the people within a multiple's community to specific characteristics. This is to make a person simply a dissociated emotion or aspect of the whole. Surprisingly this comes just as much from multiple communities as it from non multiple believes. In the books on multiplicity you will generally find a standard list of the alters you will find within a person with multiple personality disorder. They are all pretty standard and go something like this.
- A host, usually depressed and withdrawn
- A wise all knowing ISH
- The ever angry usually abusive Persecutor
- The strong but mostly angry Protector
- The carefree happy child (sometimes seen as the core)
- The sexually promiscuous Temptress
- The traumatised damage child
There are, sometimes, variations on this theme. But this standard belief is that all the people in a system will fall into one of these categories and not be able to move out of it until integration happens. So according to this paradigm there is no chance of the host being angry, or persecutor to actually hold wisdom. These alters are simply manifests of certain roles or emotions. This is often the view of professionals that see the people of a multiple community as simply parts of the whole. This is one of the reasons integration is touted as the main solution. And under those circumstances I can see why integration would be so important.
However a lot of multiples do not see the members of their community as merely dissociated aspects of the whole, but rather as true individuals. The idea of others treating them as simple one-dimensional characters is often seen as offensive. And yet many pin single aspects to one person within a multiple's community. Whilst claiming to believe each person is real and not just a part, there is also the treatment of them as personality types rather than people. One person becomes the angry personality, the next, the carefree personality, yet another as the intellectual one. It is a contradiction that might come from the need to be able to identify those within the system. By having something to cling their understanding and recognition to, they inadvertently stereotype that person into the simple characteristic.
When faced with a number of people that you can not tell apart merely by looking at them then it can be tempting to make them simply one aspect and therefore be able to pin your understanding of them down. But to do so would mean you lose a lot of who and what that person really is. Like all stereotypes you are only limiting your knowledge of someone, boxing them up and not seeing all that they are. It is tempting to say someone is merely an aspect, the angry one for instance, but this does not allow for the fine range of details.