Apparently I am Not a Real Multiple

I was told that some time ago, but I have to admit it still stings, it still burns, it still hurts when this kind of talk comes up again. So when the topic comes up again, let me just say I get a little irate.

First let me say that not having a diagnosis of DID does not mean that you are not multiple. I went through years of therapy before my diagnosis. Neither does not having lots of doctors or therapists believe in you, know about your case, and confirm your diagnosis mean that you are or aren’t multiple.

Being multiple is as much a fact of life as the color of my hair and eyes, the current shape of my nose, and my current favorite dancer on Dancing with the Stars. I like being believed, but someone not believing in me doesn’t make me any less real or eliminate any of the childhood pain and abuse, effects, and aftermath from child sexual abuse.

Many years ago I got up enough courage to join a facilitated support group for ritual abuse survivors. All of the members were multiples. I explained to the group in one of the first sessions that I was co-conscious for the most part, though not integrated. I didn’t think to be anything but proud of that.

At that time I had only disclosed being multiple to my therapist and this group. I had gone through a few bad years accepting that I was multiple and that many factions of society did not believe in me. I will have to say it was a very sharp pain back then.

The stigma against DID was bad and even though there was more information about multiples out there in the general public and in the therapy and research fields I was acutely aware how innaccurate we were perceived by others.

A few weeks later one of the other members came up to me and said, I told my therapist about you. I told her I don’t believe you are real. You aren’t a multiple anymore if you are co-conscious.

I don’t think I said anything in response, sort of struck silent. She was a nice sort of person, really. Except for the fact that she refused to accept my reality and my multiplicity. Which I guess you can’t really divorce from her other actions and beliefs. I don’t get to divide her up into little pieces and say what I like and accept about her and keep that and throw away the rest. Her relative abusers had already done that to her. But she felt that she was entitled to do that to me.

I don’t know why she felt the need to say that to me. I just knew that this was not someone I could be friends with or trust with my heart. This was someone who would not want to be friends with me.

It didn’t stop me from being real. The wound was also real, and deep. I thought that at least there I would be accepted for who I was, a survivor, and didn’t feel a need to explain or mold my reality to suit others. Several decades later and I feel even less desire to give up me to be accepted by anyone, even someone that I love. This is it. This is me.

I don’t understand someone who is not multiple would want to pose as one for attention due to their own mental health issues. I have heard about that online, but am not sure if I have experienced that or not.

I really don’t see how a multiple could or would want to accuse another person of not being a real multiple.  I’ve read about this kind of drivel going around the blogs recently. I am sickened and appalled. I wonder at the need to judge and demean others. I wonder at how little compassion and basic human kindness someone would have to have in order to conduct themselves in this manner.

Multiples come in all shapes and sizes and are at different ages, stages, and healings in their lives. Only a professional is competent and trained to diagnose and certainly no one but them can. No one has the right to decide whether I am real or not. No one has a right to compare me to another multiple or themselves and to decide what is real and what is not, not then and not now. I am real.

Multiple Quotes #1

One of the major aspects of healing from childhood abuse is to begin to love yourself. With multiple personalities, this task is much more difficult, because I have to love parts of myself that have been so walled off that I didn’t even know them.

Diane Hugs, The Courage to Heal (p. 455).

Multiple Myths Part 1

Myth: Multiples don’t exist.

I had been thinking about how hard it is to say what being multiple is. Today I was reflecting on how much easier it is to say what multiples are not. So I thought I would start writing about what we aren’t.

Multiples are real. We exist. We are real people. We have real problems. Most of us were abused. We live our lives. We are like other people, with extras. And we are real. We exist.

For a time I was an assistant manager at a video store. I remember very clearly the conversation I had with a wonderful young man who worked there. He was a freshman in college and for some odd reason was taking abnormal psychology already. He was quite animated when he explained to me how Dissociative Identity Disorder did not really exist.

I can’t remember that he explained how that could be possible. He hadn’t retained enough of what his professor had said to explain his reasoning in detail. However I wasn’t going to listen. I interrupted him and said that multiples do exist.

I told him that I was a survivor of abuse, I had been in a number of women’s support groups, and had met and knew a number of people who were multiple. His eyes glazed over a bit while I explained about multiplicity, how his professor was wrong, and how multiples deserve being validated, believed in,  to be given compassion and support in their healings and lives.

At the end he still had that look in his eye. That he believed in his professor and not me, not what I said, not in multiples. He was too polite to say it, but I saw it, and to look at me like that was just cruel. He didn’t realize it, but he was telling me that I didn’t exist. Yeah we exist. I exist.

We deserve better than lies, untruths, myths, and denial from society. We deserve better.