Posts Tagged ‘Air’

On Therapy and Survivorship

As I have stated before, I’m in therapy, for a variety of reasons. There is really nothing wrong with that. I see both a psychiatrist and psychologist. For me, it’s helpful for my issues. I’m diagnosed with depression, anxiety, PTSD, and ADD. I am on Adderal for the ADD, and am not taking anything else for the other disorders. However, I have not talked to my therapist at all about my multiplicity. I’ve been told I should get a “Proper Diagnosis”, but I don’t think I want to bring it up. It would be nice to have Celeste and Eris be able to work out some of their own issues with a therapist, but of course, I’d rather not deal with the fallout from it. I wonder what would happen if I brought it up, and could convince him that the DSM is not accurate in regards to multiplicity. I think a step towards fixing the problem of being labeled unstable is to get therapists on our side. I don’t know how to do that, without the fear of being put in a mental hospital, or at the very least being labeled crazy.

My therapist is actually a pretty awesome guy. He listens to me, and helped me get past my emotionally and sexually abusive relationship, which is where a lot of my issues come from. (Aside from the ADD). Of course, you can’t be dependent on a therapist. You need to work on things yourself too, and you can’t go to your therapist with every little thing. (Like when my mom brings up my slight freak out the other week, even though it was because I was stressed and tired because life was being a bitch, and I didn’t feel that it was a problem) Sometimes you just need to deal with life. Honestly, you shouldn’t be absolutely dependent on anyone, because it can be really unhealthy.

There’s nothing wrong with therapy, as long as it helps you. There is also nothing wrong with medications if they help. Hell, Adderal has been a big help, not only for helping me focus, but because of my chronic fatigue, which made me live life in a fog for a good 3 years. Medications aren’t a cure-all, but they can help a lot. The only problem with therapy is if you rely on it to fix all of your problems. You can’t just think therapy or medications will fix everything. Life doesn’t exactly work that way. Life is difficult, and they best way to get through it is to live.

In regards to my multiplicity and therapy, we’ve all talked about the pros and cons of bringing it up. Eris has wanted to work on anger management, and Celeste has a lot of issues to deal with that she feels like getting help for. However, we’ve come to the same impasse, which is what would happen if we brought it up. If he treated Eris and Celeste as people, not as fragments of my personality, then if they chose, they could get help. However, the more likely response might be that he thinks I’m just crazy, and need medication, or you know, a padded cell. I’ve brought it up in a general sense, and I couldn’t gauge his response at all. I even brought up healthy multiplicity, and he really didn’t say much. So for now, it’s probably not something we are going to bring up. However, if anyone has a good way to broach the subject, that’d be awesome.

Also, moving on from that. A lot of people get the wrong impression that empowered multiples are anti-survivor. We’re not. I’m starting up a sexual assault support group at my university, and I have the utmost respect for survivors. You can be empowered and abused in the past. I was. I went through emotional and verbal abuse, as well as sexual abuse. I’ve been triggered by shit on TV, I’ve had panic attacks, the works. My ex threatened to send someone to put me in the hospital, and I am still uncomfortable around my neighborhood sometimes. However, a lot of survivors get stuck in a victim mindset, and can’t get past that. I was co-dependent, and took the asshole back, not once but twice, and let him play mind games with me. He shouldn’t have, and it’s his fault that he’s an abusive piece of shit, but I was also so in love with him that I couldn’t see it. It took a massive wake up call for me to finally realize what a piece of shit he was. No one has the right to hurt and abuse you, and when you recover, it’s hard as shit. I still have some bad days. But becoming dependent on therapy isn’t going to help get your life back. Therapy can help, but like everything else, it’s not a cure all. To get your life back, you need to make an effort and say I am not going to be a statistic, I am going to show that bastard that he lost.(Or she, women can be abusers as well. Either way, it’s wrong) It takes a lot, and there are days when I brood and dwell on it, but I’m fine most days. I found a lot of joy in life, despite having baggage. I write, I listen to music, sing, and I work at helping others. It takes a lot of work, but it’s possible. It’s not easy, but it’s not impossible. Whatever it takes to get back to living, do it.

The biggest help has actually come from my friends and partner. I’ve been able to talk to them, and it helps a hell of a lot.

Anyway, that’s my piece. To any survivors out there, you guys are strong as hell, even if you don’t realize it.

-Air

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Dating (Oh the humanity!/sarcasm) Someone Who is Multiple.

Eris here. We decided to create our own dating guide for singlets dating a multiple.

We are currently dating another system, which is fine. We don’t need to explain ourselves, or feel like we have to justify ourselves. We also don’t need to worry about feeling like we’re crazy. Of course, dating anyone is hard. We have the same sorts of issues that crop up, just like any singlet couple. We’ve been curious to see if any other systems date, so we googled it. Well, that was a mistake. All we’ve found are wonderful “tips” on dating someone with “DID”, with the same stereotypical misconceptions that permeate the community.  Or people wondering about if sleeping with another resident is “cheating”. Or wondering about “The kinky alter”. *Face Door, when face palm is not enough*

So, inspired, I’ve decided to create a dating guide for singlets dating multiples.

  • First things first. Don’t ask stupid questions. Don’t try to figure out what kind of terrible, horrible trauma your SO has been through. Maybe there was none. Maybe they weren’t involved in horrendous child abuse. Don’t try to get the juicy, gritty details if they were. If they were, respect them and their space. Don’t hound them. It’s disrespectful.
  • Don’t assume that they need a therapist. Don’t assume that they have some tragic unlocked memories of child abuse. You know what they say about assumptions. They make an ass out of you. Just because you took a psych class or watched Sybil or The Three Faces of Eve does not mean that you know more about your SO’s multiplicity than your SO does. If she is in therapy, that does not mean she is in therapy for being multiple. We’re in therapy that has nothing to do with our multiplicity.
  • Don’t, don’t, don’t, DON’T GO ON SOME HELP SITE BAWWWWWWWWLING TO STRANGERS OVER THE INTERNET ABOUT IT. Why? Because they will give you the same regurgitated nonsense they learned in some psych class. Want to learn how to deal with it? Ask your SO. Talk to his/her residents, and make an effort to know them. People on the internet don’t know your SO. They won’t give you anything more than that stigmatizing mumbo jumbo that everyone accepts as fact. This could very well not be the case, especially if your SO is a natural multiple.
  • Don’t treat all of the residents as less than they are. That means treating them as the valid people they are. Frankly, this worries me should B(Our partner) and Air break up. Then we have to worry about this all over again. I’m quite hard-headed, and won’t stand for someone treating me as some sort of figment, or “tumor”, as our room-mate put it in jest, needing integration.
  • Don’t baby us. For Christ’s sake, don’t act like we’re stupid. If you insult our intelligence, hope to the gods that the resident isn’t like me, because I would chew you a new asshole. I would not tolerate your shenanigans. (Isis’s note- I may act more childish, but I’m not fucking stupid.  Don’t judge the resident on how they act. Ask questions. Don’t assume because they have a high pitched voice and are easily amused that it’s because they’re a kid. They could be an adult, and could rip you a new one for assuming they’re not)
  • Don’t assume that everything is a result of their multiplicity. We also see this with women(PMS), and Bi-polar. If they get mad, angry, hurt, scared, ect, don’t assume it’s “A new “alter” emerging (Air’s comment: A NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHES!), or that he/she is splitting, dissociating, or having a flashback. Maybe you pissed your SO off? Did you think of that before blaming his/her multiplicity? Not every emotional reaction has to do with another resident. Some days Air get’s mad at B, or annoyed at him, but he doesn’t sit there and blame it on me. (Frankly, if he did, he’d have a whole system pissed off even worse, and he knows it 😉 ) Your SO has valid emotions, and don’t write them off because YOU think you know what’s going on.
  • Don’t try to pigeonhole us. Contrary to popular belief, not everyone has a “Kinky alter”. Also, if you have a resident who is into more… diverse tastes, don’t assume that is the only thing they’re there for. Don’t use them for sex. They have feelings, just as you do. Hell, I’m into different kinks, but that doesn’t mean I go off screwing whoever or doing whatever. I don’t even sleep with everyone in the other system. I have one mate, and he and I keep it monogamous. The ones who like sex aren’t toys for your pleasure so you can feel like your sleeping with someone else, or a free and easy way to cheat on the frontrunner. And yes, I do consider this cheating, as sure as if you were sleeping with someone outside the body. Unless there is some kind of agreement on who you are able to sleep with, it’s wrong. Which brings me to the next point:
  • Don’t coax a resident, ESPECIALLY a child resident, into sex. It’s still sex with a child, even if your SO is not a child physically. It’s wrong. Don’t think you can get away with it. If you bring out that child specifically to use him/her for sex, you are disturbed. It’s abusive, and you are a rapist. congratulations, seek help.
  • Same goes for other residents. Don’t try to force them into sex.
  • Don’t try to force your SO into therapy if they are functioning. Be aware that therapy carries a heavy burden, and could get your SO put in a mental hospital against his/her will, should he/she admit to being multiple. If you don’t want your SO to end up living one of the many horror stories we’ve heard about forced hospitalization (Read The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls by Emilie Autumn for one such story.), then I don’t suggest trying to force her into therapy if he/she doesn’t want it, simply on the basis of being multiple.
  • Don’t assume because they don’t have all of the crap associated with “DID” that they are faking it. Erase that Sybil nonsense from your head. Don’t accuse them of doing it for attention. They already get that enough from all sides of the debate, and it’s not helping them.
  • Don’t try to psycho-analyze them, or study them. Air made this stupid error of judgment somewhat, before she knew about me. Granted, her reaction was more of fascination, and wanted to show people how wrong they were with regards to multiplicity. However, it was embarrassing. (Like I said, n00b) Don’t do this. Our SO took it in stride, and was probably happy that it was a far more benign reaction than it could have been. However, don’t pry, don’t try to say, “Well so and so is a result of…”. It’s ignorant. Thankfully, after the initial child-like wonderment, Air pretty much accepted it, and moved on. Of course, she met me shortly after, as well.

Now moving on to Air’s list of Do’s. She spent some time as a “singlet” before she realized we were here, so she can create a good guide.

-Eris

Now, what you should do while dating a person who is multiple.-Air’s guide

  • Treat members of the system as people(Because they are). Call them by their names, should they ask you to, and make an effort to get to know them. Once you get out of the mindset that they’re not people, it’s pretty easy. A week after meeting the first alter(Boyfriend uses this term), I’d gotten all they’re names down, and talked to them individually. I’d even been able to tell them apart pretty easily. It was a bit strange at first, but not overwhelmingly so. It was different. I think what made me stand out from his other “singlet” partners(Before I was aware that I was multiple and was living as a singlet, that is) is that I had treated them all as people, not as some roleplaying game, or anything like that. Tyger, the “Scary scary eeeeebbbbbiiiilllll” alter had even said this. He was not fond of anyone else because they thought he was part of some game. How would you feel, if you were never taken seriously? Same goes with the others in his system. It’s why we’ve been dating for over a year. If I had decided to act like a moron about it, I doubt I would be writing this now.
  • Get to know them. That means learning about them. Have a conversation with them. It’s like meeting your SO’s family, except a little more nerve-wracking because they share head space. Try to make a good impression. Again, this goes back to the Don’ts in Eris’s list.
  • If you get into a disagreement with anyone, try to deal with it civilly, in a reasonable manner. Ask if your SO can help intervene and get them to talk to you. If you have done something to offend someone, work it out like if you were dealing with any other inter-personal relationships. It’s not that different, the only difference is being in the same body.
  • Treat everyone with respect. This is a biggie in any relationship. Treat those in your SOs system with the same respect that you would with your SOs outer family.
  • Communicate.
  • Anything that is proper in singlet relationships, it’s the same with multiple relationships.  You don’t have to be best friends with everyone in the system, but you do have to treat them with dignity and respect. Don’t think you can get away with any kind of mistreatment because your SO is a multiple. It doesn’t work that way.
  • Ask your SO for help with telling people apart, names, and whatnot. It can be a bit confusing at first, but it will get a lot easier.
  • If one of their residents is abusive towards YOU, don’t tolerate it. Make sure you inform your SO about it, and if they refuse to talk to the resident, or do anything about it, then don’t just sit there and take it. Do whatever you have to. Make sure your being treated with respect as well. Being multiple does not excuse abusive behavior.
  • Talk about sex, and what is OK and what is not. Make sure you know what the boundaries are. Talk about what happens in certain awkward situations, like dealing with children and what not.
  • Trust your partner.

And I think that covers the basics. I know there is another good guide, better than this one, on Amorpha’s Collective Phenomenon, by Azusa, Anthea and Shiu. Go there for a very awesome collection of anything healthy multiplicity. They were the first we’d ever read, and they’re simply amazing. Go check it out!

http://www.dreamshore.net/amorpha/so-faq.html

-Air

A Message to Violent Residents and Their Systems.

For violent residents,

I have been there. I have been the one who put the body at risk for harm. I almost put a hand through a car window. I am still an insomniac. I still become triggered. I am still a bloody mess.

You do not have to live that way. You are family. No matter how you came about, you have people there to help you. You can work together to make sure you do not end up in a mental hospital. They’ve not changed since the Victorian Era. You also have those damned psychologists who make it seem like you have to fit into some role, people see you as batty because you are not alone in your own head, or because you have been through horrors that no person should go through. I remember when I could not speak a word, and would lash out at others in the system. I would have ended up harming the body and others, if I had the chance. However, I had so much support from others in the system, and from some outsiders as well. I made an effort to change. Now, I am not perfect. I still have very bad days, but I have good days, as well. You can change, too. I believe that. It is not going to happen over night. It is going to take time and patience on behalf of yourself and your system. You may feel alone, scared, and helpless. You may even feel worthless. However, you are not. I know I thought those sort of things about myself. You just need to work through it, any way you can. You will get through it.

-Celeste

For those with violent residents.

Celeste came around last year. In a role play class, we had to work with masks, and look in a mirror and act. I remember that day clearly. I remember looking in the mirror and feeling like I was not in control anymore. Eris and Isis were in the background, monitoring, and making sure that everything was kept in check. Nothing happened, and we’ve never had an incident of self harm with her. We were afraid of her, and she was impossible to communicate with.

We were unsure of what to do. Then we talked to her. We were finally able to get her to communicate. We found out why she was so fucked up. And we were able to help. She’s part of our family now. You don’t have to fear the violent ones, if you have them. They’re part of your family, too. Give them the same understanding as you would with your outer family. They have their own stories, their own history. They’re still people, and they may frighten and frustrate you, but you can try to talk to them.

I know, it sounds preachy or whatever, but it’s upsetting to see so many people who have this kind of problem. It’s upsetting to see our family not considered people, not worthy of help. It’s sad. One of the reasons we started this blog was so people who are multiple don’t need to feel like they’re crazy, and that no one gets it. There are a lot more of us out there. Hopefully soon, People won’t see you as a freak, or feel like one either.

-Air