(your) others, We thought we’d throw out a slideshow we made for you … (just takes a few moments) to help explain what we are doing. Some of our conversation is confusing and some of the online platforms weren’t known. We’re hoping the following might explain better what we’re doing (through pictures ;) We do want to say, we want mostly to fit in the group and to work with you. I’m certainly willing to learn the group’s messages. To clarify, we don’t believe that multiplicity is a disorder, but recognize that yes, therapy can help, and it has helped us. I can’t say it will or has helped everyone. I don’t believe therapy is required, but do believe the position of it having helped us. We kind of look at it as if you are living the life you want and everything is good – well, if it’s not broke, don’t fix it. BUT, there are a lot of people out there (like us), who need someone to talk to and I think a therapist, especially a professional like a psychiatrist is a good person to talk to, however not all psychiatrists as you know believe in multiplicity. I happen to have had a very wonderful guy who has helped me become the person we want to be – especially as an advocate to the multiple community because that’s the thing that seems the most important for us … when you ask the big question, “So, what did you do with your life?” I think we’re extremely lucky in therapy and that because of our experience we have a huge positive outlook on us being who we are. Again, we don’t believe multiples have to or even should be integrated. We don’t want to be, always though that should be left up to the multiple involved – it should never be dictated by a therapist/doctor. There’s a lot of wrong being down by the medical model, when they believe you (the multiple) should fit in their “round peg.” Therapeutic gain should be decided by the person in therapy. We are very “PRO-multiple.” I am not an authority by any means, but do have some strong opinions. For example, if a multiple system is out of control – cannot verify the safety of his/her life – acting out suicidally, then that person has to be responsible for getting help from a hospital or something like that. It should ALWAYS be there choice – to be safe, or get help and that a hospital (good one) can be a safety, until the crisis part is over. It should be a safety though, and not a punishment. I think it’s important to agree on safety for all the parts within the system. Not everyone would agree with me here, but it’s where we stand at this point. It’s been ten years since we were hospitalized, but thankful for it when we couldn’t keep ourselves safe.
I do have a situation where after twelve years (1999-2011) we were employed by an agency for adults with developmental disabilities. Through a lot of “bad stuff,” we as a system needed to get out – and we HAVE been out on disability since that time. I also have physical problems, such as I can’t walk/stand for more than 8-9 minutes without sitting or lying down. We’ve gone through some angst, but are very comfortable at this point being on disability rather than forcing our system through all the negatives we find in the working population. This is just us, doesn’t have to be anyone else, but we feel we are much more productive as an advocate in an environment that we can have more control, ultimately we’re using our minds more focused on our REAL interests than ever before. We also moved with our partner (Rich and I’ve been together 19 years), to a small farm community – outside the hectic area of Chicago. It has taken a lot of stress off of us as a system. We have some of our masters’ work done, but we also couldn’t do the pressure and stress in completing. I don’t think that makes me less strong - it just where our tolerances are set. Most days we get up and “work through” the thoughts, feelings and behaviors that are important to ALL of us. In school, we couldn’t all agree when it was time we HAD to work. I still believe that multiplicity/plurality is positive, but I will need some time to find through all of you how you use the term. I believe it is a lot of “life out there” that is disordered. Within ourselves – lots of order, just need to work on the balance so that all parts get time and energy to best express self(ves). I believe that’s something done with MORE order, than less order. Tracee, I really appreciate your efforts to understand those principles for yourselves and through the way we communicate. I apologize for some of the ways our words string “more uneasily” together. To be clearer, I want the relationship to and with other multiples. I don’t want any more support than we’re able to give back in return. It’s nice to have others believe or at least try to understand what is important to you. I think this group would be able to do that, and I believe our core values match up. I do appreciate Andy that you’ve come to a point in accepting some of the “mental health creature” that we are … still giggling there. I wouldn’t believe people here to be disordered; we do appreciate the open-mindedness of the group. The reason I included what we’ve been doing and our encounter with Moline (psychiatrist formerly working with UIC/author), was that I wanted to introduce ourselves along with the good and the bad. Working the NEWS is good … Moline … VERY bad. Beside Moline … I don’t believe anyone is in trouble. I don’t think anyone has been mean to us. It’s been especially complimentary to get this kind of consideration and kindness from you – Jay and Andy – especially thanks to you not having given up on us over the years. Lots of transformations, but very nice to see we may be now working toward the same direction. To this day, if anyone wanted a strong position on what it can mean to be a multiple, I’d point them to your website. You’ve been all along my firmest foundation and my “go back to place” when I’ve needed more confirmation on there being strong multiples out there too. I do apologize; we’ve never been very “succinct” in our responses. *YEEKS!!* I look forward to time defining “positive message” and dialogue about the inclusion/exclusion of DID. I agree most multiplicity known in the outside worlds are through the terms DID/MPD. I’m open to being MORE than coping (even in our book), with early abuse. And, I agree to address public perception one has to recognize the term. Think it’s like difference from working within their system rather than outside. I don’t mean within – that you have to think or feel
“label.” I agree it’s important to change the negativity that comes with being “under” the term directly as to feeling you’re not capable of more than is being prescribed by SOME bad therapists, or that there will be a transformation IF THEY fix you and/or intervene. I do like being open to change, just because I think every human being could learn to be better at being themselves. I agree to working toward a group ideal of positive messaging and that it should be consistent. Mental illness does need to be redefined, and problems with perception and behavior need to be less judged as “illness, sickness.” Mental Illness in general has a very bad stereotype. People are insecure with it. I do believe humans at all levels sometimes act out “bad behavior choices.” But, in general, people aren’t bad or lesser for doing it – they are just presenting in a less than optimal manner and sometimes against behavioral norms. It happens with multiples and singletons. By anyone though … murder is the ultimate “bad behavior” … there’s a lot of press with multiples and murder and the insanity defense. I know it’s sticking my head out there, but I believe that even multiples have to be responsible for that behavior. I believe guilt when guilt is proved, but that most would do better in a psychiatry unit for life, than general mainstreamed prison. But, this is a big topic … will wait to hear eventually down the line where you all stand there – independently or as a group. It is just something else out there in the in the “multiple community conversation.” I do apologize there too. I think of myself being a strong positive member in a “multiple community,” more than in a plural activism role. Most likely because it is a new concept to us – I would like to hear more on the usage of “plural” over “multiple,” but I think I test out for being an activist. I’ve talked back and forth with Nancy Preston as well … through emails and appreciation of each other’s work. I don’t think she knows as much about general multiplicity as maybe one of us, but she’s strong in her belief of a very famous multiple and as that multiples advocate … we support her message. She portrays Shirley Mason as being a normal person, and even gifted. We think after reading the book, that Nancy over her lifetime with Shirley Mason worked very hard “NOT TO” objectify her as an “anomaly.” She seems to have been a good friend. It would be good to see something in writing (can be a “go-to” set of statements) very clearly stating plural activism goals. Right now … it is a very big help to me specifically, but also really needs to be out there for anyone to find, look for, or be shown. It makes sense that multiplicity is realism, and that multiples can live healthy lives (with or without therapy) and be socially accepted in having families and jobs, and so on. And, I’d also say that integration is a point of view, not a valid reality for those disinterested in it. As to the normal case of spouting the extreme abuse as “the message” in books, it could be a choice for the multiple to write about, but certainly not optimal as the “only possible” message. Andy, I agree with you multiples can and should be able to speak for themselves. Most books (psychiatry) are written about us as objects. I believe strongly in the group of people we’ve found online who are multiples and write openly in blogs. Most the work is written about the daily ins and outs of life. I think there is a strong message about that. Again, if you’re interested now and/or later, there are connections to these blogs on our blogs. At this time, some of the multiples are relating to others, but from what I know, no one is relating to “all of us” as a
(there are duplicates through the parts), but there are about 200 multiples listed as “being multiple like me.” There are good and bad things with lists. But, I’ve always considered “the known community” of multiples as something worth knowing better. I don’t know what a “cell theorist” is. We will look forward to learning more. I hear you on thoughts of being a “fringe group.” I have always thought you to be – Andy and guys, to be the strongest “multiple group,” we knew. Thanks for your acceptance of us in your world. I hope others find confidence in us too. We’ll give our 120%. Ok, AND we’re long-winded. Sorry about that. Never figured out a way to fix that, short of stepping on our tongue :P Our best, Anns What follows is a pictorial of what we’ve been doing “in the news.” We’ve worked hard to keep ourselves in the Google searches under “dissociative identity disorder news” with some success.