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On being a multiple

Over on FanFiction.net, someone sent this "review" of The Many Faces of Harry Potter:

"This story has an interesting idea, but you're completely glossing over the details of the transformation and having everyone treat it as perfectly normal. I can't imagine multiple personalities (not to mention multiple BODIES) are a common occurrence, nor a healthy one."

Which prompted this response, which I feel is amazing and needs repeating:

Multiple personalities are more common than you think, and can be healthy. Have you not been reading the notes wherein I explain my own collective is using our own experiences to inform this fic? Sure, the transformation bit is fantastic, but it's a fantasy story. The rest of my portrayal of the Potter collective is true to my own personal experiences.

We specifically started this fic to counter some of the nonsense that is spread about multiplicity. MPD/DID is not the only form of multiplicity, nor is it usually as extreme as the stereotypes. Multiplicity is a spectrum, between singlet and DID with a whole boatload of flavors in between.

There is a huge online multiplicity community. We are more common than you think, because most of us hide what we are. Most collectives can communicate internally and mimic being a singlet. And from what I've read of the experiences of collectives with the more extreme forms of DID, singlets tend to not notice multiples even when they live in the same house as one for decades.

As for healthiness, I can attest that I wouldn't be alive if not for the actions of at least one of the others (who stopped me attempting suicide), and we all cooperate to a high degree. I doubt I would have gotten as far in life as I have without them. In fact, before the others started showing up, I was a non-functioning mess. I was so lost in my own inner world I barely passed enough classes to keep progressing through school, despite being very intelligent. The others helped pull me out of that lost state and have helped me over the years to function. I would not be able to function without them, their strengths counter my weaknesses and vice versa. I'm timid and submissive, Alex is assertive and dominant; I would not be able to be anything but a doormat without Alex around to help me stand up for myself. He also grounds me in this reality when I'm tempted to float away again, by being so very realistic and skeptical.

I don't know what I'd do without Djao-Kehn's advice, She is always there for me when I need advice, and She's the one that stopped me attempting suicide. She cheers me when I need cheering, challenges me to be more assertive and to not let life pass me by, comforts me when I need comforting, calls me on my bullshit if Alex doesn't get there first (or if I don't listen to him). She loved me when I hated myself, and helped me learn to love myself again. I wouldn't have gotten through high school without Djao-Kain.

Pi does for me similar things to Alex, but more calmly and rationally, for when Alex's energy gets to be too toxic for me.

Molly reminds me not to take everything too seriously, and to relax and just enjoy life. She's also the only one who can coax me into crying when I need a good cry.

Fayanora Ahnabahn is the parts of me I want to be IRL, not just online; compassionate and kind and calm and helpful, without being invisible, without being a doormat.

Negarahn helped me find Pi, and helped me realize that my body was starving on a vegan diet, that I needed to go back to eating meat.

And for a time, Ian was the only one of us who could feel romantic love. On antidepressants, that's different, we all have that again. But at our worst, Ian protected that for us, kept it alive. He was a light in the dark, for that. (Don't know where he is anymore, but I suspect he'll be back if he's needed.)

I didn't have these parts of my personality before. They did not result from me being broken into pieces, they arose in order to help me live and be functional in the world. Without them, I would doubtless be in some mental institution somewhere, still lost in my own fantasy world, barely able to feed and clothe myself, much less anything else.

But as aggravating as your comment was, I'm glad you made it. Now we know to focus on the positive aspects more, the cooperation more. So thank you.

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1308829.html
You can comment either here or there.


The Djao'Mor'Terra Collective
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