Archive for May 5, 2010

Review of “The Woman with 15 Personalities”

Isis here! Well, folks out there in internet-land, it’s my first post, and it’s been decided that I do the review of The Woman With 15 Personalities on Discovery Health. It premiered last night, and we decided to check it out.

So, we, or at least I, was expecting something different from the trite, ridiculous, stereotypical nonsense that we saw. Of course, Eris wasn’t surprised in the least, but she’s cynical, so she has low expectations when people try to speak about people like us. So, onto the review, shall we?

First off, I didn’t know we made wind chime sounds when we switched. That’s news to me. Maybe the “dissociation” makes me unaware of it? (Note, some people do dissociate and lose time, but the assumption that everyone does is BULLSHIT. If you do, you do, but we don’t. You know what they say about assumptions…) Aside from sounding like a sparklepyre going out into the sunlight whenever the woman switched personalities, there were a lot of other things that were wrong with this special.

First off, the “Labeling of the separate selves”. Instead of different people with different unique looks and personalities, they are categorized into boxes like “The Inner Self Helper”, “The Protector”, “The Temptress”, “The Scared Child”, and so on. The all had their own names, likes, and dislikes, but of course, “They’re not really people”. (More on that in a bit) These labels are harmful to the person/alter who gets forced into this role, especially the ones stuck into the role of the “Self-Harmer”. You tell someone something enough, they are going to believe it, and this is true of us as well. We are seen as disordered, fucked up, crazy, insane, and other things, even if we function. We MUST have an unstable person living there. We did in fact have a violent and unstable resident. However, we have personal responsibility, and made sure that she didn’t hurt the body or others. Then, we talked to her, and sought to communicate with her. She is no longer violent, and can handle herself quite well. Celeste has been doing very well, and she is able to interact without us worrying about her harming anything. This is what a functioning system does; Takes responsibility for their family. We are aware at all times what of what the others are doing. There was no responsibility in the system. Freedom, the “Temptress”, got away with ordering porn and doing other things to make the “Host” uncomfortable and fear that she had reckless sex with strangers while Freedom was out. My question is, what the fuck was going on in the system to allow it to happen? This is disordered, not because she’s multiple, but because they can’t communicate. Example, say I had killed someone. Then everyone else is responsible for not keeping me in check. Everyone would be held accountable, because we have a responsibility to everyone living here to make sure that we don’t fuck up.

Also, the therapist was a huge dick. He was condescending as hell. “Alters aren’t people. We don’t see little skeletons popping up in brain scans” Well, jackass, what the FUCK do you consider a person? Someone with their own personality traits, emotions, thoughts, ideas, tastes, and so on, right? Oh wait, we lack a separate body, so we must NOT be people. Silly me, I guess I don’t have a fully formed personality. Or separate tastes, thoughts, and ideas/sarcasm. We have all of these things, aside from a body. So, why are we not counted? Why is it so threatening to consider us people? Is it because it fucks your perception of what is “reality”? Whatever the reason, the therapist was lucky he wasn’t talking to us. Eris would chew him out in a heartbeat.

The most disgusting thing in this “special” was when he talked about integration being the goal. He coldly talked about “integration by firing squad” and how the “alters” see it as a death sentence, and rightfully so. The “host” was crying, and she was scared and frightened of integrating. He stated that patients go through the stages of grief when integrating. One of the alters was sobbing about not wanting to disappear. If a system fully agrees to be integrated, that’s a different story. However, this is a decision that the system needs to reach on its own. The psych on there seemed like he was coercing her and her system into it. It was disgusting. If you feel as though you lost a family member, then what does that say about integration? And what of systems like us, who refuse to integrate? Fuck that bullshit, right there. Air is adamant about protecting our right to live. If she was ever told to integrate us, she’d probably flip out.

Also, this bullshit about being in extensive therapy? Haha no. Air herself is in therapy, for reasons completely unrelated to us and the way we are. We’ve never even been accused of being more than one person. This therapist gave a bad name to therapists like the one Air has, who is understanding and supportive. This one was cold, callous, and disgusting. He and Discovery Health perpetuated the same bullshit psycho circus sideshow that we see when singlets decide what we are and force us into some bullshit category and role that doesn’t fit us. Fuck that.

I feel horrible for the woman in question, and her system. They need help, and they’re not getting the proper help. Of course, the story ended with the woman happily working towards integrating into one personality. Nothing mattered except that she was just like everyone else. No mention of functionality was brought up that I remember, and it didn’t seem like she had the choice to keep everyone separate and live with multiplicity as a communicative system. It made it seem like integration was the “way to go” for everyone “suffering” from this “disorder”, and bravely triumphing over it!/sarcasm.

It is brave to get over abuse. It is brave to share your story. However, we can NOT condone the views held by experts on the show that treats us as disordered, weak victims who need some shrink to put us on meds and make decisions about what they feel is best for us, even if we disagree. Therapy can help, but not if you’re forced into things that go against what you feel is right, which is clearly the case shown in this segment. You’ve failed miserably, Discovery Health. Thanks for perpetuating the same myths we fight to get rid of.

We wrote Discovery about the issues we had about the show, and we are waiting to hear back from them. We’ll update this if/when we get a response, or if we don’t.

-Isis

Air’s update: Well, we got a response.

Dear Viewer:

Thank you for contacting Discovery Health. We appreciate your
correspondence and for taking the time to share your thoughts and concerns
with us about The Woman with 15 Personalities.

In an effort to ensure the highest quality programming, comments such as
these are taken very seriously. Each and every comment is forwarded on to
our programming executives for review and consideration. Maintaining the
integrity of all of our networks is our primary goal. It is these types of
comments that contribute to creating change and improving our programming.

Again, thank you for contacting Discovery Health.

Sincerely,

Viewer Relations
Discovery Health

Way to go, Discovery Health. Stay classy.

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