Jul. 24th, 2017

krystale: (Default)
Dissociative Identity Disorder, D.I.D for short, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is the presence of distinct personalities who take control of the body.

Everyone dissociates, long drives are the classic example. You get there and you're surprised to be there even though you know you drove. I find road hypnosis a lacking example... I don't dissociate on drives like the rest of you. I either have a passenger to worry about and focus on or with, or my car LOOKS empty to you and my personalities are sitting in the other seats and we talk business. I think that the "I don't want to talk about it," reaction where you hold in what you're feeling and shove it back to focus on what is in front of you is a much better example. I suspect it's a combination of those and more.

Everyone has, in a way, different personalities. You may have a work face, a parent face, a play face, never mind who you'd be if no one was watching.

In
Hello, Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks & Other Outlaws
Kate Bornstein
who is not, as far as I know, a multiple
says
"Everyone consciously or unconsciously changes who they are in response to their environment or to some relationship that they are negotiating at any given moment. Every life form does that. It's a kind of phenotypic plasticity, an observable biological theory that says more or less that all life forms evolve according to their surroundings. They shift and change what they are so that their identity doesn't wind up causing their death and/or eventual extinction as a species."

"We don't learn to shift identities for purely whimsical reasons, or because we're bored or want to entertain people. It's something we do in order to survive. The ability to control who and what we are or seem to be in the world is a life skill we learn through practice, just like any other life skill."


The usual difference between clinical D.I.D. and "singlets," those of you who identify as one person, is that early on, so much bad stuff happened that entire systems of filing and staff are needed to handle all those held-in reactions and buried things. And there gets to be so much stuff that none of the staff can deal with one another, they're so busy keeping guard of the files and graves, keeping secret the location of their un-treasures.
I had some serious advantages in life, but I really believe that the D.I.D. saved me, too. I believe that abuse is the disorder and dissociation is simply the best solution available to some. Since I was three years old, at least, I've been in therapy more weeks than not, but therapy worked because somewhere in here something in me wouldn't stop going, was willing to die and be born anew to keep this body and it's place in the world active and functional. Later, along with therapy, isolation in my life and an appreciation for those within me who had gotten me through to where I was, brought my system back to talking to one another.
And that "going" goes so strong, I'm talking to you, too.

I've done this subject before, or some of us in here did, but I was asked to link this discussion either more to spirituality or what can be done. At first, I felt like I had failed to convey my whole point the first time, but dissociating from my ego, I realized it was just an opportunity to share it again, in a new way, with new words and new people. It's messages that do well with repetition.

Well, spirituality is tricky with DID. On one hand, DID is spirituality, it is the spirit of life and persistence, with rebirth and cycles, mythologies, histories, heavens and hells, but within an internalized congregation. On the other hand, the subjects of spirituality link closely to religion and religion and DID are a tricky mix that I'm not addressing here, there's a whole corner of the internet debating that genre and it ranges from arguing those of us with D.I.D are possessed and need to be exorcised, or making everything up, to stories of ritual abuses that survivors believe caused their DID, some of which are not unlike those "helpful" exorcisms.

As for what can be done, there's many routes to go with that. Abuse prevention is a cause that can use a lot of attention, it is a valid cause that I cannot stress enough. If you want to "cure" D.I.D, prevent child abuse. But then, so much of the problems in the world would fade if abuse was no longer. When you're not an abuser, it can seem difficult to know what to do to help. Calling child services only goes so far. People want to know what they can do to help directly. My message to those folks is that no help is too tiny.

A woman, who goes by Felicity, herself with DID, baby sat a young child one day. The child was clearly, to Felicity, also DID and within an abusive home. Felicity spent just a few hours with the child, but she treated her wonderfully during that time. Felicity was unable to change the child's circumstances despite efforts and she felt guilty for that. However, years later, Felicity met the young woman this child had become. The child had remembered Felicity and taken a part of Felicity inside, so that Felicity and her kindness were always there. This young lady had become someone kind and pleasant and articulate enough to tell Felicity these things. She thanked Felicity profusely, she regarded Felicity as the mother to herself as a young lady, even though Felicity was not the mother that made her a child.

So, even if you can't rescue the child slapped in the grocery store, you can whisper "I'm sorry you got hit, that wasn't nice, you deserve to be treated better." That seed will grow. For someone starved for kindness, even a sympathetic smile can keep the door to their goodness from cementing shut. I knew a baby in shelter, when this INFANT would cry, his mother would call him a fag and verbally abuse him regarding his lack of manliness. She never hit him, so he wasn't too badly off, but one day, in a few moments I got to hold him while she was busy, I told him that some of the best people I knew were fags, so if he grew up gay I wanted him to know that was OK and if he wasn't gay, it was still OK to cry because women like men who can be in touch with their emotions. Remember, I told him, it's OK to cry, it's OK to express yourself and it's OK to be whomever you are. On some level that baby understood, because from that day on, he'd smile at me. His mother couldn't understand why he didn't cry with me. I hope I planted a seed that will grow strong in that little one.

If you're confidant, or perhaps crazy, you can express to abusers that what they do is wrong. I'm either confidant or crazy, so I am comfortable declaring things like "that child deserves to be treated better." If it's said where the abused person can hear, even if the offender doesn't learn, an awareness of rights may dawn. Dealing with abusers is tricky and really not recommended, but I feel it's needed. Some people were abused themselves and simply know no other way. I firmly believe that these people are in need of seeds, too. So many of us come from darkness, muck and despair.

Dissociate with me here and fast forward.
Set aside that dark beginning for now.
Look at the good.

Countless of us are "multiples" already, we're adults now, and we're unlikely to ever be any other way, although some may integrate or become cooperative. Multiples fight always to get through life as best as they can, just like everyone else. When I asked online what other multiples wanted to tell the world, it was that they wanted kindness and to be recognized as "just like everyone else." I think you know what they mean, they want to be seen as people, not disorders. The "just like everyone" part is a bit contrary to my next lesson, but it's a repeated direct message. I like to think of my multiple friends as I would a group or meeting place. Like "the UU church." I never know who I'm going to see here, there's some likely suspects, but I just never know. But I know the UU church and they're good people.

Other than accepting us as we are and being kind, the best thing you can do for us now is learn from us. Let these mutations we suffered be evolutionary steps for all of us so that our suffering was not in vain.

While you're accepting, helping and learning, if that's not keeping you busy enough, here's something else important to remember: touch and consent. People don't touch enough in the good ways. So, touch more, just remember to ask first, or in circumstances, as you begin saying "is this OK?" can accomplish a lot. Becoming a touchy feely person who seeks permission will send a message to everyone around, not just the people you touch, that we each have a right to decide who touches our body.

Looking at the good was your first lesson. I snuck that one in on ya back there, didn't I? There's another one sneaking about showing the essential yin and yang link of micro and macro.

Diversity, Individuality and Democracy are three parts of another lesson, although it sums up easier than it used to for me, five years ago, right here, just this part took twenty minutes.

The things that you think make you a freak are actually the important bits; what makes you different is what makes you valuable. It gives you your own unique voice, vision, path, style. It makes you an individual. It's what will generate that wonderful comment that lets you know you made an impression: "Oh, I'd never thought of it that way before."

Individuality is important, when we are comfortable with our individuality we can focus on what we can do for ourselves, rather than what we can do to be like everyone else. We have skills. If everyone in history had just tried to do things like everyone else, instead of following their own wild ideas, history wouldn't have much of a story to it.

Even though we shouldn't try to be LIKE everyone else, we do have to be WITH everyone else, so democracy, in the sense of a group of equal members, is essential to being with the diverse individuals around you. Cooperative D.I.D systems are based on personalities working together, distinct and separate, yet cooperative. Maybe, for example, you're scary good at sorting, but you're too weak to carry things. Alone, that's only slightly useful. Get you cooperating with someone who can carry things and another person who can put things together and you have an assembly line. If one of you couldn't do what you could do, you wouldn't have the assembly line. You're not weak or limited, you're specialized, focused and essential.

That high and lofty dynamic aside, there's plenty to be learned from multiples. Aside from how to put on a brave face and go on in the face of unspeakable danger even though you yourself don't feel courage and trusting your body to go on even though your emotions can't, or considering various viewpoints before forming an opinion, there's day to day things and practical applications all over, apparently.

I found THIS tidbit in
March/April 2012 Writer's Digest
in an article titled
Giving Nonfiction an Audible Voice
by Roger Morris
"Those of us who write for multiple print and online publications often need to be adaptable and channel multiple voices like a ventriloquist."
"The purpose of conjuring a voice is not to ensure that the reader identifies it in your piece; rather, it is to use the voice to make a difficult passage read better."

And isn't that just what multiples are doing? They're making the difficult passages of life easier to get through.

And making life easier to get through can save a lot of pain.
In
Hello, Cruel World
Kate Bornstein
says
"When we consciously evolve toward an identity that we can live with, life becomes more of a game or a sport, like surfing. I'm not saying it's an easy or fun thing to do, just that it takes skill, it's exciting, and it's absolutely worth the commitment and sacrifice."

Talk to yourself.

Evolving oneself takes a certain level of multiplicity. You must raise, nurture and guide yourself, so you must show yourself the mother face; to counter that negative trains of thought in your head that says you can't, you talk back to it and say that you can. To truly nurture yourself you must find the little part of you that needs the love and care. You must speak to your fears, give yourself pep talks and advice. Then there is the creative voice that whispers. You can "therapize" yourself, talk yourself down from stress and pain, soothe yourself when you're sad. Remind yourself that if a retreat means surviving to fight the next day, it's not a loss, it's a win.

Doing these things for yourself helps you to see people around you differently, too. It also keeps me a little too busy to be judging other people much.

For me, knowing other people could be speaking from a place shaped by a past trauma gives me the patience to say to myselves, wait... maybe this one needs patience and teaching.
When you remember that our minds, all of us, were created by children, sometimes frightened children, it becomes... maybe not easier but more natural perhaps to handle things well. When you talk to yourself with your kind voice, internally, you feel better and your brain takes in more. So too is it with other people. Some people need the firm voice, some the kindness.

A multiple, better than anyone, can put on a genuine smile even when something is terribly wrong. So, we would ask you to remember this when you see people, also. Don't judge on face value. And while it's good to learn from us how to step aside from a mentality lost in a bad situation, to box it up and set it aside, you can help us by opening those boxes and fighting the injustices that were inside them and create new good things to plant within them.

Remember that sorrow shared is halved and happiness shared is doubled.

If you see this church or a group you belong to, as a whole, then you are a personality within it, working together towards goals
You are many things, and yet you are also a fraction.
You are a whole, and a part.

Work together, find good and cultivate it. Empower yourselves and those around you.
Be all of you and appreciate the facets of each person you meet.

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krystale

July 2017

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