Being multiple…. It feels like having a number of holograms of oneself occupying the same body. Most holograms are connected and coordinated, but oftentimes there’s misconnection, and it’s not so easy to be as graceful in social situations as I’d like to be.
But it only sometimes feels like a serious disability.
Often it feels like a super-ability – though not easy socially. But that’s okay. Being me is very interesting. It’s like having seven (or more) sets of eyes on the world.
I have lots of conversations with myself, about everything. In social settings, I often feel “slow,” but sometimes I might have been super-fast: I might have had a few different responses to the subject in discussion, and my brain might have been working over each point of view, weighing merits, comparing ease versus economy across a few parameters, brainstorming mediating possibilities for various negative aspects – and wondering which streams of thought might be most interesting to share with others – and then the subject might change and I’ve not had a chance to weigh in.
Sometimes I try to summarize, but that’s hard to do on the fly, and often fails.
Other times, if I know I’m facing a social event that will be demanding, I prepare, sleep well, eat well, pray, do yoga, go slow, dedicate myself to the responsibility, and put in the work. And lately I’ve begun accomplishing my goals. Feeling very strong.
Off and on throughout my life, I’ve been very proud of my work and won awards, and other times I’ve experienced the most pathetic failures, including the failure of the will to live.
But so have many people. We’re living in a time when personal crisis should happen to everyone.
Most people, though, can’t bear to hear the next person’s story. It’s too intense. And so we live in a culture where everyone is under stress, but no one can talk about it, further stressing ourselves with isolation. A huge percentage of Americans are medicating themselves. We can’t take our own stories.
But, with drugs, hope, news control, entertainment, and other forms of social mind control, we compel ourselves to do what we can hardly believe we have the ability within us to do: we create beauty, fight for just causes, love, and sacrifice. (Or we work our jobs and fight for others’ causes.)
As a multiple, my sense of time is quite fractured. I start out each day, usually knowing what day it is, but when the days flow behind me, they’re in a jumble. I have feelings about something being a few days ago, or longer or closer, but I’m often not sure if an event happened three days ago or seven, yesterday morning or the morning before.
There’s just no single flow. Different parts of my days are handled by different parts of me. One comes out in the morning to keep me slowed down so I can do yoga before I begin flying around being productive – as I was trained to be. The business woman gets on the phone. Someone else cooks, someone else socializes. They are all pretty aware of what each other does, but they don’t seem to have a system that allows any of the “presenting” me to know what order things happened in.
And if the part who sees an acquaintance in the food coop isn’t the part who interacted with that person at a workshop last weekend, then I will be disappointingly awkward when we pass. Within a minute or two, a connection would be made in my mind, and I might remember we’d had a deep conversation. Just seconds too late sometimes, which can be very disappointing.
I used to get depressed about myself, and embarrassed, but also confused. Why? Why? Why did this happen? And what’s happening? I feel weird, but I can’t explain it. And for decades I didn’t know. At least now I know.
In 1994, at age 42, one year after I’d slid dramatically into a serious spiritual crisis of Bigger Why’s?, essentially a nervous breakdown (some call a “spiritual crisis”), I was reading Michael Talbot’s The Holographic Universe, and came upon a description of people with Multiple Personality Disorder. The funny thing was: as soon as I read the sentence, I couldn’t remember what I’d read.
The blankness was weird. I read the sentence again and again, and every time I reached the period at the end of the sentence, the excitement of some provocative idea reverberated through my body, but my brain was totally blank – and I wanted to know what had excited me so. Creepiness grew as I read and reread the same sentence. Finally, I stopped and asked myself how I could approach this a different way. I thought to read it aloud.
Involving both eyes and ears, I got past some gate and realized I was reading symptoms that seemed a perfect description of me – but not anything I wanted to consider.
The description was of a person with Multiple Personality Disorder (today called Dissociative Identity Disorder).
As usual, I had a range of responses: No!, dread, humiliation, loss of hope that I could pretend to be like others, crushing defeat, loss of dreams, fear of loss of respect – of my children’s respect, of anyone’s.
But one part of me said, very sensibly, Or this could be the first step to healing – which you have been craving for a long time – the solution, the understanding, the answer. Accept it and get to work with it. Tomorrow.
I said Okay. There was nothing else to do.
I/We went to the medical library early the next day and learned MPD is not always as bad as the movies about the most extreme cases, thank Goodness. MPD, the books said, is actually quite healable, once you have a diagnosis. I actually felt hopeful of making progress. But I couldn’t take the noise of the city anymore.
Within a week I’d decided to leave the city and, using credit cards, build a small hermitage on some land my ex and I had purchased and I’d agreed to take in our recent divorce. I would become a hermit, and the silence and solitude would serve my healing work there. I’d always lived month to month; I’d make it work.
The previous year, my son had battled and recovered from cancer, and he and his sister didn’t need me and my breakdown emotions around any more. They were barely (or almost) old enough to be on their own, so, with their good riddance and my apologies, I left them in their first solo apartments and moved 100 miles away into the desert. And I began to heal with spiritual assistance.
All my parts, together, have a lot of wisdom – that’s the upside of multiple-ness – and we began to try to figure things out.
It didn’t come along fast or easily. Most researchers believe that those of us created intentionally to be multiple have commands inside us to avoid healing – which seems the case for me.
And healing’s painful, so there’s natural avoidance. I’ve had energies build so strong in me sometimes that when the emerging memory comes through, it has dropped me to the floor, entirely unable to stand.
I’ve also felt parts of me see each other for the first time, recognize each other, and make some sort of connection.
As good as that is, it’s also disorienting. I wonder what I’m supposed to do next to make sure I don’t slip apart again, unsure whether I should be paying attention to how I orient myself newly to the world.
I’ve heard parts of me speak brilliance from somewhere inside that seems beyond this dimension of me. And I believe it is.
I’ve channeled healing energies to others, and received goodbye’s from friends and acquaintances just passing over, when no one knew they were.
I’ve read people’s vibes, accidentally, and knew they knew I’d read their vibes.
Steps forward and backward. Side trips. Or swirls – and then I realize it was an amazing spiral upward. And I keep going.
Socializing is most difficult. I prepare, and then take it in small doses. Otherwise, I hit the wall and am exhausted or do something that’ll make me cringe for weeks.
I’m like herding cats. Imagine a few versions of me connected for various purposes – but not for socializing. Sometimes I just have to go home.
I am less hard on myself these day, and more often philosophical: Life on Earth is crazy now.
I guess I’m what they call “a sensitive.” And it’s not easy being sensitive in a global Apocalypse – and I don’t say that with any tone of hysteria or naive hyperbole or joking. I mean it literally: apocalypse means “unveiling,” a time when we see. And we are.
I have a bunch of me seeing, which can get overwhelming sometimes.
But acquaintances seem to forget or forgive. So I forgive myself too, and keep on keeping on. Creating beauty where I can. Singing because it feels good. Trying to be useful. Don’t know what else to do.
I trust all this struggle has been for a good purpose. It has certainly opened my eyes and let me see what I would either have missed, or not wanted to see, or pretended I didn’t see if I didn’t have to.
Of course, I always wonder if I couldn’t have had my eyes opened in some easier way, and I get no answer. Or I get answers I don’t like. So I wait.
FYI ~ I added a bunch of recent photos to my “Multiple-ness” post and a poll to ask whether I look like one person or many. Thought you might be interested, and I’m interested in your thoughts.
Some doctors, counselors and researchers believe *everyone* is somewhat multiple, just to different degrees and in different styles. ;}
Thank you for offering your journey. Although I don’t believe I have multiple personalities (a fact my husband quite lovingly might dispute) I have heard voices most of my life and receive visions but waking and in dreams. I never told anyone, I guess, that I heard voices, so I was never drugged. Which I find useful.
Oh, that last comment was for you, Janet. Thanks for commenting~