Trigger Warning- I’m pro-integration and anti-multiplicity. The others disagree. They call me “Normal Jess”

As we’ve come to find out, more than one has hosted as “Jess.” This gets more interesting to me, by the second. Who am I, you ask?

They call me “Normal Jess.” They, the others, my alter identities. I knew not of my alters until I accidentally found them in meditation. I knew nothing of my abuse and just was living my life until I found them. Now I am trying to make sense of what psychology is trying to explain and explain it back to my other parts. I’m trying to reconnect us all.

I’m about to say something that is going to anger every single multiple out there including parts of us

But i feel it needs to be said…And explained. I’m not good at explaining, I’m also still learning, so I keep trying until i get it right.

There is one issue I have trying to explain the most, and it is all this:
We are not multiples.

We are the dividen, divisor, and quotient.

Now let me ask you why you believe there are more than one individuals that exist, when clearly physically they amass one creature? One being. One.

Let me tell you a couple secrets…

EVERYONE HAS MULTIPLE PERSONALITIES/IDENTITIES.

EVERYONE has a voice inside that screams something opposite of what they want to do.

EVERYONE has feelings/thoughts/parts of themselves inside they dislike as much as like.

EVERYONE changes how they act in different situations, from mundane to extreme.

EVERYONE has hidden sides of themselves that only come out in certain situations.

Yet they know, each switch that happens is them doing it. They know, no matter if parts of them pull them in a million different directions, they have to look at their life as a whole. They have to pick the path that is most satisfying as well as most functional. They make a decision on how to best live their life and they only have to think about what they want and their feelings don’t get hurt by their own inner thoughts. Which is the opposite with DID.

Having dissociative identity disorder should not be equated to a subculture lifestyle of *choice*. If it’s a subculture, it’s one based on helping each other and learning how to live. This is not the same as being gay, deaf, or transgender (although some with DID may have parts that ARE gay, deaf, or transgender, respectively). This is about the function of the brain with memory and perception. This is not a choice, not a “feeling.” This is not mobility or hearing or sexuality or gender, all of which do not affect knowledge or perception, or self control. Dissociation does affect these things. Your brain didn’t have to be this way, DOESN’T have to be this way, but it was the only way you could survive something traumatic during some key developmental stages.

Some try to say that they are naturally born this way without any trauma. I tell you, you will never be able to prove that. Big secret, but much of DID is repressed memories and if you can’t handle them, they will never come to the front of your conscious awareness. That’s okay, that doesn’t make you a bad person. It just is the fact of aftermath after abuse. Another big secret is, family who work hard to hide the trauma will never tell you the truth about if it happened. Last big secret, sometimes abusers actually never get caught or even exposed. So if you can’t remember, and the only other person who knows is either family member in denial or covering up, or the abuser (and THEY aren’t admitting it) how can you ever find? Not out without recovering painful memories. You may never be able to ever come close to recovering them but I don’t believe that’s exactly necessary to heal. The only problem in your ability to heal is believing you were meant to be this way.

Really, no one can know if this can happen without trauma unless they studied billions of babies from birth until they grew up to find out if they have “naturally” without stressors become a “multiple.” That will never happen. Not enough time or resources. However, do you know what we DO know? What is it we CAN prove? What DO we have an explanation for? Extreme trauma will cause the brain to do what it can to survive. If you can’t escape physically, the brain has it set up so you can escape mentally. Dissociation is one of many ways the brain helps reduce suffering in dead end situations. Another is the “freeze” mechanism of flight-fight-freeze. I guess freezing is what will help make it less painful, help dying be less of a painful struggle, I suppose like making you numb. The brain’s job is to keep you alive, and if it can’t, then it’s job is to ease your suffering. Hence, the dissociation. Hence the ability to be “so good at daydreaming” you can forget you are even suffering. Everyone has the ability to dissociate as a way to deal with some things, like boredom or driving a long time. Everyone can be sort of “detached” from reality while reading a book or watching TV. Dissociation is not what makes you unique. Even without dissociation you can be the same unique awesome person you are. As one name, always aware, always in control. Dissociation becomes a disorder when it disrupts your life and you have no control over it or you do it too often. Too quickly before you can assess the situation, you are knocked into the back of your mind. You’ve been triggered, you’ve switched. You may not remember what happens after. Or you may know, but didn’t “feel” like it was happening to you, like you were watching a movie. You are not connected.

Every person has different parts for different situations. Sometimes they have to do what part of them doesn’t want to do. Yet, never will they black out and give in to that part that wants to do what it wants to do. For they will always remember the rest of the facts. Say, you want to quit a job but can’t afford to. Those of us with DID could have the part that hates working not know the facts about how detrimental not working is, and that part will make the move to quit. Those of us with DID can then say “that person” did it, “not me.” This is true to an extent. That part is a person, yet that person is a part of you. You cannot be separated. Therefore, everything you do, they do and vice versa. People who are actually separate people have no access to emotions or pain that other people feel, but you all can feel each other’s pain. Empathy is the closest you get from anyone else. It was you, but it was a different you, not connected to all of your feelings and experiences. It was you but an identity whom if only had had access to all of your complex beautiful brain, would have acted differently.

What are we, but the sum of our experiences, memory, and knowledge? If at anytime someone took away any of it, it would change who you are. A big life changing event that never happens will never change your life. Or a new event may mark a new view of life. Amnesia is a real thing. Just like Alzheimer’s. Yet we don’t say these people are “becoming different people” who are “replacing” the old person. We don’t say, well guess they need a new name because they are acting different. Nope. They are still the same person who are now acting differently, due to their situation affecting them and their memory and awareness. It’s that same way with D.I.D.

You are not special. You are not different. You are just surviving in a creative different way.

You have to understand, the only difference between you and other people without D.I.D. is this:

They are connected to every identity, every memory, inside themselves. They own all their experiences, good and bad. They don’t need to be called by different names because there is nothing separate.

People with D.I.D. are NOT connected with every identity, not knowledgeable of every memory. People with D.I.D. do NOT own all their experiences, whether good or bad. People with D.I.D. actually need to be called different names to keep track of what’s going on because everything is separate.
The goal of every multiple is to get a balance with each other, and to always be connected at all times.

If that is not the goal, then that is very detrimental to you. That is self destructive behavior.

Sometimes I’m starting to feel like dissociation is addicting and people need rehab like with drugs and alcohol to learn that they can live a full happy life — a BETTER and HEALTHIER LIFE — without giving in to the addiction.

Nobody should have to live only half their life.

Nobody should have to unwillingly suffer consequences of things their body does unbeknownst to them.

Nobody should have to sit there and feel lifeless watching somebody else living life with THEIR BODY.

I see that as abusive and traumatic, like not really living. I don’t know why others don’t.

Once the co-conscious awareness takes place, I feel integration should naturally happen.

You all can see, hear, feel, taste, touch, all at the same time.

What’s the need for a separate name? People outside can only see one of you. No matter how you cut your hair or do makeup or no makeup or how you dress, they will see the same body. You can’t change that. Everything that any of you do, is all done TOGETHER, no matter how much you try to deny that.

You all make a decision and then the brain that you all are a part of controls the body to speak and move. It is not just one of you speaking or moving. It is just one brain controlling all that, and it is a complex brain with many fascinating parts. It is all of you, with your one voice. Because you are one body. One person.

Next thing, we don’t get to pick our names, our parents do. Why do people with D.I.D. get a special privilege? If you want to be called by a different name, it is just a nickname and it is not your legal name. Nobody has to call you that. However, until you integrate, it’s helpful in understanding yourself and so others can learn about you and categorize all your conscious states of awareness. This separation allows you to heal when you can organize it. I do know many people have prefered nicknames to go by, which most friends are respectful of. So to ignore your request to be known as that, is a rude thing of other people to do if they care about you and being part of your life. So don’t think I’m trying to say you don’t have a right to be called the names you wish to be called. I’m just saying, you also don’t have a right to be offended when you are called your legal given name, even if it’s family doing it and especially by strangers or in professional/non personal situations. I’m only speaking the truth, you cannot deny your birth name. Legally, it’s bound to you unless you legally change it. Which, I will get to that more.

Basically, all of your names are simply titles for categories of one person. Utilize them, so you and other people can file them and search the files, and add into the files as you gather more information. And when any other people want to know exactly how to approach you for the set of memories and experiences you currently express, they can open up that “file” on you by it’s title and know exactly what they’re dealing with.

I don’t know why it is seen a negative thing to be called a part of a person, or a different identity of one person. Why is it negative to say you are someone who’s just got a limited memory and amnesia of some facts caused by a trigger? Yes, contrary to how some feel, truly it is a limited memory if you cannot know AND feel what you do at all times. Sure, you may know what happens, but it doesn’t “feel” like it’s happening to you. Well, news flash, even if you are asleep, what happens to your body still happens to you. So just because you are numb and can’t consciously feel it, doesn’t mean it’s happening to somebody else. You are not a separate person. It simply means your identity fronting is the only part that knows the whole story. If you work on it, you can connect to that experience and feel it just as the day it happened TO YOU (yes, it happened to YOU). If you were separate people, that would not be possible. I guess we need to go over what exactly a “person” is. I guess many seem to feel person has nothing to do with the physical body. Yet, it literally is that too. I don’t get how we try to say we are more than one when logically there is only one person standing here physically. It sounds–not meant in any mean way I swear–but it sounds….delusional. You know, to deny the physical reality exists. I mean, even transgendered people know logically what their physical sex is in contrast to our gender. Just saying….And I’m not trying to be rude. I’m just being honest with such an uncomfortable subject.

I hope you know I’m accepting of people who are not integrated. We are not integrated yet, if we EVEN CAN integrate. It be silly of us to judge. You may not be able to connect fully, and that is okay, we know. I just want to stop people from encouraging people to be very self destructive by encouraging living life separately by choice. It results in having yourself partially unaware of your life. That is the only negative thing I can say about being a “part of a whole person.” It is my belief that the only ones putting a negative spin on being a “part” or a different identity, are the people suffering from D.I.D. themselves. So it’s like the actual community is helping to portray shame upon itself, as we fight the stigma in daily life from those outside the D.I.D. community.

I’m not going to stop saying this until it’s understood. WE are the only ones making this “negative.” Doctors don’t say we are bad for being a part or an identity. They find us fascinating, and just want us to be ALL of our identities, loving ourselves, not denying ourselves any of our life.

Am I making sense?

Is this coming across unfriendly or negative to you? I don’t mean it to…

Until I find a way to get the others to understand, I’ll keep rewording it.

Love every single part. Love every single person. Love every single YOU.

Learn who “you” actually ARE. Be you, without shame, without fear. Be in control at all times.

That is what I want for each and every one of us with D.I.D.

Integration is natural. Separation is not. Separation is only as natural as a self defense mechanism is.

Saying something isn’t naturally occurring IS IN NO WAY A NEGATIVE THING. If you see that then it is only YOU that is implying it. You are the cause of your own suffering. Be proud of yourself as a whole being with many amazing multifaceted complex functions of a beautiful human brain.
You may feel you must stay separate, then you still must help that part that suffers to heal. I believe in due time, if you actually help that part to heal, then it won’t have to be so separate. If no part of you suffers (as some claim they never suffered any trauma) then you still have to learn how to be aware of each other at ALL TIMES. You still have to learn how to communicate like most human brains do, quickly and easily between each identity and emotion. You still have to figure out how to balance life between all of you.

In either situation, you only need one name externally. I know some people may not want the birth name, seeing it unfair because they may see it as belonging to a specific part/alter/identity/person/whoever. If you want, pick a name all of you like to represent the new complete you and change it to that. A name like no other before, and all of you agree upon. Having different names inside may help you with visualization and healing, and coping. Having separate names outside is chaotic, confusing, and unnecessary in the external world. Really quite more complication. Ha! Do those of us with many of us NEED any more complications?

I understand some of us with D.I.D. cannot handle what happened. I understand, some may never integrate. It’s great when you still achieve balance and can live your life with people who don’t judge you and can remember all of your parts/names, recognizing when they are there, and respectfully addressing each by their respective names. You deserve respect and are not less than anyone. Happiness is the only goal.

I also understand some willingly choose to not to connect all their parts. Which to me says, “I’m willing to let someone else live my life for me, my body is just a vessel without a soul, worth as much as any machine, and you can do what you want with it.” To me, that’s kind of scary and may even be you unconsciously repeating abuse like what caused your D.I.D. By that I mean, you were treated just like this, an empty vessel to be controlled, and here you are, continuing to consider yourself just as that. When are you going to realize you and your body are the same thing? You only have one body. You only are one person.

When I say that if you all are aware you must only be one person, you can tell me “it’s called being ‘co-conscious'” but that really is just the same as integration with you simply in denial that integration is possible. That is you acknowledging all you do at all times and STILL being in denial that YOU did those things and had complete control over it.

I’m raising awareness for “awareness.” That’s all I’m doing. I care that people are suffering and nobody is giving out this helpful knowledge to encourage understanding of oneself and being one. Nobody in the D.I.D. side of the equation, anyway. It’s all over the psychologist’s side, but you cannot dare utter this to one of us “multiples” because we will say you are rude, ignorant, and disrespectful, spitting all over you as we walk out the door in disgust.

Well I’m not an ignorant psychologist. I am a suffering patient. I am an intelligent person who reads.

I can KNOW EVERYTHING THEY KNOW….
AND EVERYTHING THEY DON’T.

Because I have dissociated identities, I can understand what they are. I want to encourage more of us to do this. To formally educate ourselves. It’s like reverse research. I’m trying to understand them “singletons” as much as they are trying to understand us “multiples!” Haha!

I hope my point is made nicely and not met with aggression. Though I’m quite sure it will be misinterpreted and get me at least one or two angry backlash…

Bring on the debates. I welcome it without fear or anger. If I am wrong, then help me learn. That’s what I’m trying to do, learn. So far though, I find nobody can grasp what I am saying with a calm rational mind, too busy blinded by anger of how I dare even suggest that we are one person and not special or unique. Yes….how dare I care to help other people get control of their life and accept and love themselves. How. Dare. I.

 

**************EDIT: 1/31/2017***********

There have been later blogs where you will hear opposite to this point of view. It happens as all of us alter identities who are mature enough will discuss our own different point of views. We have debated this many times amongst ourselves.

Please remember, each blog only represents who is writing it, and we all are very different. There are 16 identities outside of 3 different “hosts” who go by “Jess” and have different knowledge and memories.

Please do not react to this whole system over a feeling one of us made you feel. We only ask that you get to know us and help us see all find common ground and end stigma.

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3 thoughts on “Trigger Warning- I’m pro-integration and anti-multiplicity. The others disagree. They call me “Normal Jess”

  1. (Sorry, I accidentally typed my email address wrong the first time I tried to post this, so I am posting it again in case it didn’t go through…)

    Dear Normal Jess,
    Although I do not agree with all of your viewpoints on DID, I want to be the first to try to “grasp what you are saying with a calm and rational mind” and not be “blinded by anger”. Because although I don’t fully agree with you, I can see that you are trying to explain your viewpoint calmly and rationally. One of your parts in a later post described this post as you “venting”, but ironically, although I agree with that part’s description of DID more than yours, I disagree with their characterization of your post as purely a vent. I think you are simply trying to explain to others why you believe what you believe, and yes, I do see parts of your post as being emotional, but most of it remains very calm and rational. I commend you for this.
    However, I also saw your comment toward the end of your post “If I am wrong, then help me learn.” So, with all due respect, I would like to attempt to do so.
    First, a little about myself. My name is Leyna, I am a female part within the system of a male body named Doug Vincent. I am the first other part that Doug became consciously aware of, a few days before our 18th birthday. At the time that Doug became aware of me, I didn’t remember any of “my” (“Leyna’s”) memories before that point. I didn’t even know what “my” name was, all I knew about myself was that I was a female in a male body who was separate from the male identity who was already living in that body. In fact, I ended up giving myself a name based on a Billy Joel song, simply because Doug needed something to call me so that we could have conversations.
    For many years, we saw different therapists who didn’t really understand DID, and in fact, were refusing to admit that what we were experiencing even was DID, despite the fact that I, Leyna, talked directly to them quite often. They seemed to have the opinion you do, that my feeling of being separate from Doug was “delusional”. They recommended that we needed to “integrate” or “merge” into one whole person in order to be “normal” and live a “normal” life. We tried to listen to them, and tried very hard to accomplish this. I can’t even count how many different ways we tried over the years to “merge” Doug and myself into one whole person. There were times when we thought we had succeeded, but eventually, we always realized that we were still separate. And all the while, this process was filling me, Leyna, with a sense of deep shame and guilt about myself. I was being taught that I was not a “real” person, and that I therefore had no right to be separate from Doug, which I took to mean that I didn’t have a right to exist. There is no more confusing feeling in the world than having someone in your life who says they are trying to help you to learn to love yourself, but is at the same time filling you with a sense of self-loathing.
    I eventually met a therapist who actually did diagnose me with DID, and I could tell when he started to describe to me what DID is, that he understood it more than all my previous therapists combined. I want to tell you that many of the things you said in your post are the same or very similar to what he described to us. However, it is my opinion that while you have many of the facts straight, you are coming to some incorrect and potentially harmful conclusions based on those facts. First of all, he told us, as you said, that all people dissociate sometimes, and all people have different aspects of themselves, different ways of behaving in various situations, opposing viewpoints on certain issues within the same mind, etc. However, he told us that the difference with DID is not just the fact that those sides of ourselves have names. If it were that simple, then integration would be simple and easy to accomplish. He described the difference as being that the different parts in a DID system have developed their own separate sense of identity, with not just their own name, but their own belief system, likes and dislikes, hopes and fears, etc. He said that once these identities have developed their own sense of self, it becomes pretty much impossible to merge them into one truly merged sense of self. He said that he realizes many have claimed to have done this, but in his experience of dealing with DID clients for about a couple decades by that point, he has never seen anyone successfully do it. However, he went on to say that he doesn’t believe it is necessary to be “merged” to become a happy, healthy, “normal” person. He said that integration should be the goal, BUT “integration” as he sees it does not mean merging all the parts into one whole person, but rather developing “co-consciousness” and a sense of all the parts working together as a team to APPEAR to be one person to those who don’t know about our DID. He has also told us, as you stated, that parts in a DID system are not truly “people” in the standard definition of the word, but they are separate identities with their own feelings who deserve to be respected and loved for who they are, not bullied into changing.
    You say in your post that you are accepting of other DID systems who want to remain as separate identities with separate names, but in reading some of the posts from others in your system, it seems to me that others in your system feel threatened by your beliefs, and don’t think (either rightly or wrongly) that you respect their right to be who they are. This is where I believe your opinion becomes potentially dangerous to your system. Regardless of whether you believe your opinions to be threatening to them, they do seem to believe that to be the case, and that is a problem. Parts who feel threatened can sometimes lash out in anger as a result, which causes problems for the entire system. You have a right to your opinions, but that doesn’t give you a right to force those opinions on the others within your system against their will. I realize that, because your opinion is diametrically opposed to theirs, it can seem impossible to find a compromise, and that is a problem. I’m not sure what to tell you about that, other than my own experience: I have never been able to find a way to merge myself with Doug (or with any of the other parts in our system, which we now know to be much larger than just myself and Doug), but I do know that once we stopped trying to merge and started learning how to live in cooperation and respect with each other, our lives/life became a lot happier and easier. The effort to try to “get rid of” our DID, we realized, was causing us a lot more pain than the DID itself. We agree with you that we should not be ashamed of being a part or an identity. We agree with you that we should not be offended if others external to us call us by our birth name. (Some of our parts do get offended by this sometimes, especially when it is someone who knows “us” as multiple, but our therapist has tried to teach us that although we have separate names, we are all still parts of one “whole” system, and we cannot expect others external to us to deny that basic fact.) We agree with you that DID is a coping mechanism that is started by early childhood trauma, not something we are born with. We agree with you that all of us should take responsibility for the actions of all of our parts, not try to “cop out” by saying “they did it, not me!” We agree with you that it is not okay to lose time and not have any accountability for that lost time from the part who was out during that time. However, we disagree with you that a true “integration” of all parts into one whole person is something that we should strive for, or even something that is possible. I would challenge you to think about this: if your desire for integration is causing others in your system pain, is it something that is worth continuing to push for? Isn’t the most important thing, in the long run, the happiness and healthiness of all of you, not the semantics of what you choose to call yourselves? I realize that compromising what you want for the good of others is difficult to do, but it also can be very rewarding to sacrifice for others and see the good that results from that decision. Something to think about. Well, I think I’ve probably rattled on long enough, I just want to close by saying that I am not angry at you for expressing your opinion, even though I disagree with it, and I hope you will not be angry at me. I think those of us with DID need to stick together, and encourage each other to be the best “us” we can be.
    With respect,
    Leyna

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    1. Hello Leyna,

      Just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your words. Many of us here thank you. A few in particular very happy for how it seems you “stick up for” them and their beliefs. Yes, we do have this conflict with our Normal Jess host and it does feel like a destructive disaster, for her reluctance to accept us seems very painful. She is contemplating quietly the words you have said, and words we’ve added to it. Thank you for taking the time to give Normal Jess an objective view point and thank you for sharing your own personal experiences. Also, thank you for a kind response and not an angry one.

      Sincerely
      Jey

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  2. Dear Jey,
    You’re very welcome. I’m glad you-all appreciated my words. (Just to let you know, when I say “you-all” I mean “your system”, not necessarily literally every single part in your system.) I was a little worried that I would come off as “judgy”, so I’m glad you understood that that was not my intent. I know that I am not perfect, I have definitely made my share of mistakes in the past (and present). I tend to try to analyze and “figure out” emotional issues, so much so that some of the other parts in our system jokingly call me “the therapist” of our system. I try to always give constructive criticism in a helpful, loving way, though. I’m glad that Normal Jess is thinking about what I have said, and I would be interested to hear her reaction to my words (as long as she can try to keep anger out of it, as I have tried to.) I hope that what I have said will help you-all to understand each other better and come to some sort of compromise or agreement. I have been reading a lot of your other posts, too, and I find them to be very interesting and well written. I will probably make some comments on some of the other posts, too, at some point. It seems that you are trying very hard to figure yourselves out and understand your DID, and I wish you all the best of luck with that. If you ever want to know more about our experiences with DID, don’t hesitate to ask.

    Sincerely,
    Leyna

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