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how do you know? - nats - 10-19-2015

as multiples we spend a lot of our time feeling that our reality is different from that of most monominds or non-multiples. there's good reason for this feeling, as most of us have experienced horrendous and debilitating abuse and neglect in our early years. however, there is so much we still don't know about multiplicity. is it purely a natural reaction to horrific longterm trauma (in which case anyone would become multiple given the 'right' circumstances)? is it a combination of personal enabling characteristics and external circumstances (i.e. nature plus 'nurture')? or are some people so much more prone to dissociation and developing complex internal worlds that we are much more likely than average to develop multiplicity even with less extreme abuse histories?

over the years at MM, many multiple systems have participated, with different histories, different interests, and different internal organisation; yet all with the connecting bond of multiplicity and a recognition that here we can be understood. there is something unique about finding others like ourselves. it may be hard to identify or label this feeling, but we can usually recognise it. why do you think this might be? what helps your system feel supported? how do you know that you are still growing and healing? how do you know when you've found people who 'get' and accept you?

RE: how do you know? - The People - 10-19-2015

Everyone has an innate need to feel like they belong somewhere. (See Maslow). One thing that MM provides is that, often for the first time, people have found a place where they fit in. where they are welcomed and accepted and believed.

For the first time there is order in their interactions with people. The admin of MM (past and present) has put boundaries into place. They protect but they also teach. Most of us knew nothing about boundaries growing up. And we knew nothing about being protected.

I have been writing about online relationships. How people dismiss them as not being real. If that is the case why do we feel more connected to some people than others, even here? Most likely because there is a connection of emotions and values. Not just because they have both lived in hell on earth. Not discounting that. But even through the wires there is something about that other person that reflects something within us. Yes, sometimes that person presents as a false self and we get sucked in. But that is just practice for real life. Not jumping in too quickly. But opening a door to the chance of friendship.

There is no need for masks here. When the masks come off we become more real. Wearing a mask gets tiring so sometimes MM is a place to come and just be for a while.

RE: how do you know? - Cammy - 10-21-2015

Amazingly enough, just before logging onto this site today, I was also pondering the question of why being a multiple makes us feel so alienated in a mono mind world. And also I was thinking about how this disorder develops. I also realized that the only ones who truly relate and understand are those who share multiplicity. A feeling for the need for fellowship with those like myself drew me here today to a place where I knew I would not be judged or invalidated for what I am.

To be a multiple means mostly living in a sort of mental isolation from the everyday world. I often look back at how I became the way I am and realize after ten years of therapy who my true perpetrator was and now understand the stunning neglect that made me develop into what I am now. My therapist postulates that the DID began when I was only three years old. The realizations of how I was raised and how wrong it all was didn't occur until I was old enough to see what 'normal' child rearing was. Given the neglect, and given the nasty high octane IQ that typically seems to drive us to develop this sophisticated coping mechanism, I still too wonder at all the variables that must be in place for this particular disorder to occur.  We are not common. In fact, our condition is rare enough that many mental health professionals discount it simply because they have not seen it in their practice, or more likely because they do not know how to look for it. We are so very good at hiding it, even from ourselves. Given this, I doubt that it is likely that researchers are going to be able any time soon to be able to develop a monograph of features that place any given individual at risk for developing DID. It is such an elusive construct. The reality however is that 'here we are', we are real, we have this mind boggling coping system, and I believe that as more become more seriously interested and aware of this disorder, many more cases than were originally thought to exist will manifest themselves. In fact, we may not be as rare as first thought.

For myself, I am ever so grateful that there is a place where I can come and let the energy-expending mask fall away to just be what I am without shame and without having to conceal myself in the shadows.

RE: how do you know? - MakersDozn - 10-23-2015

This is a very important topic for us. As a multiple in a singleton world, we feel very isolated. Our way of life is so misunderstood, but it's who we are. As a result, we constantly feel marginalized and, as a result, invalidated. It's a very dark way to live.

We're glad for support communities like this one, where we can be who we are.