On Revealing Multiplicity

******This post mildly mentions ch*rch and d*mon possession.******

 

 

 

 

 

One of the hardest things about being a multiple is the lack of understanding by the general public of what it is, what it’s like, and appropriate ways to respond to the knowledge of someone being a multiple.  Most – if not all – people with DID experience countless occurrences of rejection, misunderstanding, misinterpretation of their words/actions, and insensitive or inappropriate responses when their mental state of being is revealed…even when the multiple does not necessarily view it as a problem or a “disorder.” I have not heard from anyone thus far who has been lucky enough to be raised in and continue to live in an environment that was both aware of, and supportive of, their multiplicity from the beginning of their awareness to present-day.  Maybe those people are out there; if they are, I haven’t talked to them. I HOPE they are. (If that describes you, would you care to drop me a line?? I’d love to know your story.)

Mostly for these reasons, I personally do not reveal my multiplicity to a group except under very specific conditions.  For example, if the group is specifically geared toward the topic of DID, dissociation, or multiplicity, such as an online support group, I would consider it relatively safe. Of course, not all online support groups are created equal, and you still have to use common sense and the regular cautions about online interaction with people you don’t know. But I have had generally positive experiences with online support groups. I even help with some admin duties for The Dissociative Initiative, and have met some amazing people there. (Note: you should know beforehand that if you’re interested in joining that group, it is an OPEN group and everything posted in it is public on the Internet.)

The other circumstance in which I would reveal my multiplicity to a group is if I personally knew everyone in the group, OR someone I know and trust very well knew them and recommended them.  This is actually how I met the small group I’m currently with. I did not know them personally, but my T did, and I trust her recommendation.  They have been an amazing, life-changing group and I’m grateful for them every day. But I consider this an unusual situation.

I would also tend to be extremely cautious about revealing it in a church setting, because unfortunately a lot of well-intentioned but still misguided Christians tend to associate a lot of dissociative symptoms with demon possession, and that’s how they interpret it. Just about every Christian multiple I know (including myself) has either experienced an attempted exorcism, or been told they needed one. People, this grieves my heart.  I have scoured the Internet and cannot find – as of yet – a good resource on the subject of demon possession vs dissociation. If you know of one, PLEASE SEND IT TO ME. I will post and share it.  My conclusion is that I’m going to have to write one. I’m not sure when, but it’s on my list.

At any rate, regardless of the nature of the group, unless the group’s focus is dissociation/multiplicity, there are just too many unknowns involved with revealing this aspect of one’s inner experiences.  There’s no way to know how everyone in the group will react, which ups the chances of hurtful experiences.  There’s no way to know their background, their knowledge about trauma or emotional wounds, their personality and ways of responding to difficult situations, etc. All of these things increase the likelihood that multiplicity will not be well-received.

Alternatively, my preference (before meeting the group I’m in now) was to make friends one by one. This definitely takes longer, but is more fool-proof and worth it in the end.  Finding a single person here or there, and getting to know them slowly, allows me to check them out, see how they respond to life’s ups and downs, investigate what kind of friend and person they are, and slowly discover whether they are safe to reveal to.

Even the sweetest, safest, most loving people are usually uneducated about trauma…unless they have some reason to be.  However, if they are truly safe and loving, they will be open-minded and willing to learn about it, rather than harshly judge and reject others with out-of-the-box experiences.

The sad thing is that trauma is not actually as out-of-the-box as the public has been led to believe, but that is another topic for another day.

These are my thoughts about revealing multiplicity, but I’d love to hear from others who have had different experiences. I’m sure there are many people who could share more tips, thoughts, and knowledge about what is helpful and what isn’t, in terms of deciding whether or not to let others know about being a multiple.  Talk to me.  Cheers.  ~J8


7 thoughts on “On Revealing Multiplicity”

  • 1
    ridicuryder on May 13, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jade,

    I know multiplicity is more common than people think. It seems we all dissociate to some degree. What are your thoughts on everyday dissociations (e.g.. the homophobic repressed homo/bisexual etc)?

    Mark

    • 2
      Jade on May 13, 2015 Reply

      Hi Mark…I’m not quite sure what you’re asking. Do you mean what are my thoughts on discussing the more milder forms of dissociation with other people? Or just my thoughts in general about everyone dissociating to at least some degree? If you can flesh out your question a little more, I’d appreciate it. 🙂

  • 3
    ridicuryder on May 14, 2015 Reply

    Milder forms of dissociation, say along a continuum from horrible stuff like abuse survivors have down through the DID NOS stuff to more average blinders worn by people. I think if you are up for outlining some of this stuff another post could work. Sorry to sound vague, my curiosity gets jabbed whenever I read you.

    Love the new look of your site!

    • 4
      Jade on May 14, 2015 Reply

      Got ya. I’ll give it some thought. I think I even have a post started that I wanted to put up awhile back about some of that. Thanks for the nudge. Glad the site looks better now. 😉

  • 5
    Sam Ruck on May 27, 2015 Reply

    Hi Jade,

    glad we are in touch again. I’m not sure quite what you mean by your first paragraph. I certainly didn’t ‘raise’ my wife and her parents are both so dysfunctional in some ways that we haven’t told them about my wife’s d.i.d, but from the first day my wife told me she ‘might’ have d.i.d. 7+ years ago, it was like ‘eureka’ for me because our marriage for the first 20 years was so confusing and painful. I immediately began to reach out to the insiders and learn about d.i.d. and…deal with my anger over our dysfunctional marriage so that I could be a better help. At this point I spearhead my wife’s healing journey and we’ve debated dropping the counselor, except they consider her a friend and like to get together when possible, though nothing like they used to do.

    Anyway, it’s sad to me how people react. Most of my immediate family has NOT been supportive. Of course, they were never very accepting of my wife from the day I married her and just used her diagnosis as a ‘confirmation’ that they were right in their ‘assessment’ of her. But I’ve had other relatives who have been very accepting of things, though my wife/the girls have chosen not to speak to anyone except me, our son and their counselor. But my entire uncle’s family knows about the d.i.d. and my wife/girls know they know and everyone is ok and it’s just an unspoken acknowledgment and also helped in the beginning when we couldn’t partake in family events. I would explain how it affected the little girls and my relatives were supportive/understanding and didn’t feel insulted when we had to bow out of stuff.

    Once upon a time, I came across a Christian website that talked about demon possession and also d.i.d. Sadly I didn’t keep a link of it, so I can’t tell you where it is, only that, if I remember correctly, I didn’t have too many issues with what the author said.

    Good post! I hope for the day when people with mental health issues are no longer treated like that family who’s daughter had autism and the pilot forced her off the plane because of ignorance and fear a couple of weeks ago, or the multiple people who are killed by the police each year because of ignorance. But for now I feel like we’re part of the problem because my wife refuses to let us drop the secrecy and fake names and speak out. But maybe some day she’ll get to that point and we can help be a part of the solution.

    Sam

    • 6
      Jade on May 31, 2015 Reply

      Sam, I should probably re-structure that first paragraph. I simply meant I’ve never met anyone who was accepted and supported from the get-go, without ever experiencing any misunderstanding or rejection. It’s a catch-22 that the possibility of educating the public carries with it such potential for pain if (and I’d say when) it goes badly to reveal our inner state.

  • 7
    Faye Russell on July 8, 2015 Reply

    I have experienced rejection, but I have child part who wants me to tell people to find out who is going to accept us or reject us. She & I are working together with other parts to realize not everyone has the emotional capacity to handle that. My friends who are DID are much more private & cautious than I am. I also have a open transparent personality & don’t like feeling I am keeping secrets, but we need to use discernment & wisdom in who we tell. I agree with your approach,jade. I do not believe or have seen any evidence that Dpossession has any connection with DID. We have demonic attachments ( lies our little ones innocently believe). I have had two people Several years ago who thought being DID was possession, but if anyone else has I am glad they didn’t tell me. I told them. Jesus takes up all that space inside of me.

    Sam, you are amazing. My husband doesn’t have the emotional capacity to learn about or relate to my parts. We just love each other unconditionally & accept that we both have stuff to deal with. My husband is an amazing man & kind & loving to all of me, but how refreshing that you learn about & understand your wife’s little girl parts.

    I am having so much fun reading your blog & being able to process my stuff. Just now, many little ones stood up & started applauding you, Jade, for what you are doing with this blog.

    Keep up the good work,

    Faye

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