Moving Into The Light

“…ever been so connected to an “imaginary” person, whether your favourite comic-book superhero, the tragic nemesis of a Shakespearean play, your fictionalised interpretation of a famous author or an entity of your own creation, that you literally couldn’t get them out of your head? That you felt as if in some way, whether silent and unmoving or active and participating, they were with you or by your side? That their worlds and experiences were a personal story that they shared with you – or that their journeys were more than merely stories, but that to the both of you, they were as real as any other?This is what we call a SoulBond.”

~Soul Whispers
http://soulbonding.tripod.com/soulbonding_intro.htm

“…the experience of many individuals sharing (and most likely cooperating together towards running) the life of a single body. Different individuals can present ‘at front’ at different times.”

~Plurality
http://resources.bi.org/wiki/index.php/Plurality_CIZ

This is what we are. This is what I am. I’ve know that “I” am technically a “we” since I was about two years old. I have always hated talking about it, because to be frank… it’s weird, it sounds nutty, and I am already weird/nutty enough without adding to it. There’s always been a lot of shame, discomfort and self-hatred associated with this. After all, hearing voices is supposed to be a mental disorder, right? What happens when they’re not just voices, but thoughts and feelings, likes and dislikes, personalities and allergies and love lives and families and friends and histories and… That’s an entire person. Not just a “voice” or a “character” or a “personality”. That’s a real, actual, existing person.

And that’s what these people are to me. People. And it’s about time I start treating them like people, not like a disease, a mental problem or a role-playing game gone too far. It’s not an over-active imagination. It’s not something wrong with my brain. It’s a difference, that’s all, and one that’s not terribly uncommon. I’ve come out about this before, on other sites… but then I got scared and deleted everything. Not any more. I don’t know what causes it or why, but it is what it is, so…

Most of our system members are from "fictional" media. For example, we have one who identifies himself as The Joker, from Batman. Is he "really" The Joker? I don't know. Regardless of whether he is or not, it's how he identifies, and that is the image he gives, the back story he gives and his attitude. For all intents and purposes, that is who he is, or who he chooses to be, so that's how I treat him. Rather than trying to debate the hows and whys, I try to focus on accepting them as-is and figuring out how we can all work together. Are they "real"? Are they "fictional"? Are they really people from fictional places that, as it turns out, aren't so fictional after all? No idea! A guy online named Dragonhawke says it pretty well:

"If you experience it, then it's real in at very least that sense. It may not be real to other people, but when you're using your own brain as the universe of discourse ... that kind of reality is really all you need to be concerned about. In an individualistic sense, the boundary between imagination and reality begins to blur; as long as you can function in both, it's really not a problem."

So, there's that.

We've had some troubling real-time side effects from whatever this is, such as allergies changing. We never used to have problems with tomatoes, but one of ours does have a problem with them, and when he's around we cannot eat tomatoes. Some of ours are vegetarians and some are not; when one is vegetarian and meat gets eaten, we get rather sick. Also, where we are ticklish changes, which is just... bizarre.

Another person puts it like this:

"However, think about this: If we were merely roleplaying or acting, pretty soon we'd get tired of it. Nobody can go on acting out a role forever. Actors periodically tire even of method acting, yet neither singlets nor persons in groups are known to tire of being themselves. Also, watch a multiple system over a period of time. You will see that persons in the group are complex persons in themselves. This would be very difficult to fake. The most convincing characteristic of multiplicity is the effortless lifelong persistence of selves."
-- http://www.astraeasweb.net/plural/faq.html#what

We've been at this for all our lives. The chances of it being just something I made up to have fun, "escape" or anything else is rather slim. There are complications that arise from it that I would rather not have, like when I was in school, I'd black out and not understand why I'd be "sleeping in class" many times a week but not be getting caught or yelled at.

I would like to clarify that Soulbonding, while a type of multiplicity (more than one person/identity in one body), is not Multiple Personality Disorder or Dissociative Identity Disorder. MPD and DID is usually caused by abuse or trauma. Soulbonders (and Soulbonds themselves) can have MPD/DID, and people who have MPD/DID can be Soulbonders, but they are not the same thing. I want to clarify this, because I myself have DID. While I have always been multiple, and our system has always existed, I suffered abuse at the hands of my family starting when I was about two or three... and it took something natural and healthy, and completely shattered it. Two of my system members scrambled about trying to cover up the abuse, and then locked away the entire system. They did this to try and protect me, to hide what was going on and help me feel like I had a normal, nice life. This probably saved my life, because it got me to a point in my life where I could defend myself and accept what was/is happening to me.

I still took a hit to my sanity, because they would slip up and every so often I'd catch bits and pieces of conversation that I knew weren't my own thoughts! I would also feel insane because I'd find TV shows, movies, books, video games, etc, and feel like there was something familiar and personal about them... take it how you will, but my system members were here before we ever found their media. Yes, this means they existed in my mental space before we saw the series, and sometimes before the series even existed. I don't know how or why; it doesn't really matter. But it is possible, it does happen. This is a real phenomena.

But now we're moving forward, coming out to people about who and what we are... so we can live a more open, honest and happy life. :) We're working to heal the damage caused by my family, and to go back to the way we were before. Life's a journey, for sure. I'm happy to not have to "go it" alone.

Centum Centum
22-25, M
May 23, 2012