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The Multiplicity Controversy: Our Perspective

The controversy is enough to make the most stable mind spin. Are we suffering from a disorder that needs to be fixed, or are we perhaps really only suffering from the ignorance of a community too wrapped up in denial to see the reality that is ours? We pose this question to you: How long are we going to continue to allow people (the so-called experts) who haven't traveled our road to define our realities for us?

An expert says: "Individuals most likely to develop (DID) MPD present several factors in a common profile. They have endured repetitive, overwhelming, and often life-threatening trauma at a sensitive developmental stage of childhood (usually before the age of nine), and they may possess a biological predisposition for auto-hypnotic phenomena (a high level of hypnotizablitiy). (DID) MPD is often referred to as a highly creative survival technique, because it allows individuals enduring 'hopeless' circumstances to preserve some areas of healthy functioning." -Multiple Personality Disorder From The Inside Out edited by Barry M. Cohen, Esther Giller, and Lynn W.

A multiple says: "First of all, our system does not believe that multiplicity is caused by abuse. We believe it is a manifestation of the creative mind - something that is discouraged by the adult world. Most children have imaginary friends as they grow up, or worlds or other dimensions they visit when they play or dream. Well, we live in a society where imagination is discouraged. It is even treated as childish. As a result, most children discard the world of imagination by their teens. The few that don't are usually loners who stay inside their own heads a lot." -DARKPERSONALITIES.COM

An expert says: "Until recently considered rare and mysterious psychiatric curiosities, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) (until very recently known as Multiple Personality Disorder - MPD) and other Dissociative Disorders (DD) are now understood to be fairly common effects of severe trauma in early childhood, most typically extreme, repeated physical, sexual, and/or emotional abuse." -SIDRAN.ORG

A multiple says: "Consider the possibility that multiplicity is neither a pathological disorder, nor a 'highly sophisticated coping mechanism' for dealing with childhood trauma. Could these simply be labels which the psychiatric community uses to describe something it can't understand? Is it possible that multiplicity is not always caused by childhood trauma? Is it possible that people in multiple households need not define themselves in terms of abuse experience in order to acknowledge themselves and each other?" -ASTRAEASWEB.NET

Our understanding of our therp's belief is that it's possible that all people are born "fragmented" or multiple if you will and that the absence of a traumatic childhood allows for a natural fusion to take place in which one functional personality presents itself to the world. We find this to be an interesting and also refreshing theory considering the professional community in it's majority seems to either desire to label us mentally ill and in need of fixing, or to label us delusional and discount our reality entirely.

In our opinion the answers as to which came first or what caused what are individual and varying. We believe that there is in fact no right answer that fits everyone and that no one can effectively fit all multiples into any kind of boxed explanation. It's all relative to each system, family, or household's personal experiences and there are perhaps as many answers as there are multiples.

We know for certain that for us, the two issues must be separated out and the answer to the riddle is irrelevant because regardless of the entire debate or the answer if it exists, we are both. We are an entire family of survivors. If we did or could know for sure, it wouldn't change where we are now and where we believe we need to go. For us, we feel that there are much more pressing things that we need to solve.

We consider ourselves to be empowered multiples. Having separated out "victim" from "survivor" we've come to understand that victims didn't survive and we believe that survival isn't the end of the story. Empowerment is defined as "to promote the self-actualization or influence of". Some think it is not possible to be both empowered and a survivor, but in fact consider the terms to be mutually exclusive. While we are very pleased with the empowerment movement that is taking place in the multiple community, we strongly disagree on this point.

While it is sad that many so-called survivor groups have much focus on "safety" and avoiding ones triggers, we suggest that these are not in fact survivor groups at all. We have long been sick of victim-mentality multiples (and singletons too) walking around hiding from their triggers and expecting the rest of the world to protect them from those triggers as well. There is no healing, no growth, and no forward motion in such behaviors. There is only stagnant complacency.

Consider what kind of message such complacency sends to the world that is looking on. We believe it sends a clear message that it is ok to continue to perpetrate against us. If victims are dead and survivors lived, perhaps the so-called survivors who refuse to grow really are just victims who don't know they didn't make it.

Clearly, we do not believe that being an empowered multiple is mutually exclusive to being a survivor multiple. We have many parts who are survivors and we will journey to our healing together. We are an empowered family of survivors because we do not and will not look to you or anyone else to protect us from reality. Ever. We believe in self-responsibility. We believe in accountability. We believe in facing our triggers and taking away their power over our lives. And we believe that growth is the only sign of life.

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