Integrating my selves is a painful experience. In the past, I’ve had some of us in here integrated, the number of us shrinking, but in the end I see we all are still there. We can feel each other. We are thinking and talking simultaneously. That is integration, to me. Then there is a final decision of do we stay a “We” or shall we take a singular ownership of “I.” From my own view, either choice is acceptable. If all of you are internally connected and accepting it’s all happening to you, then balance and awareness is achieved. If you have this awareness but you love who you are, then why should you change your names? Maybe it helps you keep your life organized to stay as a team.
I don’t know if there is a secret to permanent integration, because I can’t seem to reach it. We keep breaking apart. I get so close, and then a catastrophe hits….sometimes it hurts to be so many emotions all at once… Sometimes we just need to protect ourselves and separate ourselves. Everyone needs a moment to escape reality. Anyone can understand. We all fall down sometimes. We all have moments of weakness where we need help. I hope you can see that we are not that different. I may have some more extreme reactions or some extra stressors you don’t deal with, but you can have an idea of how it feels to be me if you think about it. You can know how we feel and also know that if you can be okay, we can be okay after we calm down. This is the sort of empathy we need to help us with our healing, especially on a path toward integration.
On another level, we need to be heard about how we live life feeling fulfilled, despite being not fully “integrated,” and despite psychology’s refusal to acknowledge us. We need acknowledgement that we have an understanding of ourselves in a different way than science does. We want fair representation, from the mouths of those who live this life. We don’t feel like our “multiplicity” is any different than anyone else, just because we choose to identify each one in here separately. I feel that is a choice we should be allowed to make. I feel it doesn’t hurt anyone, so as long as constant presence of all parts exist, do we need to squabble over someone’s choice of what to be called? When you are a high functioning system that is not integrated, your life is not lived any different than a system integrated or the average population commonly considered “singleton.” If there is no harm to keeping names for each person in the system even if they all feel fused, why argue a person about their choice? I cannot see the point in denying someone their autonomy to choose their own way of identifying themselves. In fact, that is probably more likely harmful to a being’s psyche. Where they find acceptance and pride, you are trying to bring self hate, self doubt, and maybe even shame, just because they want their selves clearly represented. I see a problem with that, not the names.
There is no harm in keeping the “we” in you. We all know that we do need cooperation and co-consciousness to be a healthy system, and whether we say “I” or “we” doesn’t change the cooperation of all selves. Sometimes we don’t feel like a team or we squabble over a feeling of lack of representation. I suggest picking a name to replace the birth name for a representation of the system instead. I see a lot of people naming their systems, but I’m talking about doing this permanently. This is a name you all agree on and feel can equally be an accepted name for the group as a whole.
Naming the system I think is a very helpful tool in healing and acceptance. This makes everyone feel as a team or family, helps you feel like comrades united, and this acceptance is important to get the system to work together in harmony. Harmony that sometimes leads to a full integration where we identify as “I” or a harmony that just means accepting “we” are also “I” but choosing to respectfully identify and keep each individual unique identity. Its all about respect. Not trying to make drama about it.
[Oh yea, not Jess, by the way. I am Jey. I know a thing or two about self identity and how it feels to be wrongly labeled. I am genderless, genderqueer if you will, and on the asexual spectrum I am but I’m more complicated than that too, I just don’t feel like going into it now. My preferred pronouns are “they/them” but I will also accept “Sir.” 🙂 Hope I get kind understanding for my post]