Dear Little Ones and Normalizing Fragmentation

Dear Little Ones and Normalizing Fragmentation

Hey everybody.

I regret that I don’t have as much time to write right now. I can’t go into details but my life has been utterly batshit crazy for almost a year – NOT in a bad way. But just in ways that keep me from doing a lot of writing. I am well. And I think of you all every single day.

So I need to let you know about a decision I’ve been on the fence about for the past 6 months, and have finally decided to move ahead with. Here it is:

I’m going to be making a change to the Dear Little Ones books; it may seem like a minor thing to some people, but for others it may feel big.

I’m taking out the subtitle.

If you look at the covers, both books have the subtitle “Dissociative Identity Disorder for Young Alters.”

That’s going to go away.

 

Now listen, if you’re the kind of person who reads that and thinks, “Who cares? Big whoop.” –then awesome, the rest of this post will probably bore you to death and you might prefer to find something more interesting to do than keep reading. 😉 And that’s okay. 🙂 But if you or your little ones have questions or concerns, I want to take the rest of this post and tell you why and where I’m coming from with this decision.

When I originally wrote Dear Little Ones, I wrote it specifically for DID systems. And I am not sorry about it, and that will never change. But as the book went further than I ever imagined it would go, I started hearing little whispers here and there that more people than just the DID community can (and need to) benefit from this book. It started with an Amazon review that said something like “great book, off-putting title” and how they used it with trauma clients but tried to keep the title hidden because a lot of them would not identify themselves as DID, so the title would have scared them off. I ignored all these whispers for at least another year, because I was obstinate in my intent. The books were written for (self-identifying) multiples, and in my mind, that was that. But I have also had even recent experiences where I’ve suggested taking a look at the book but with the caveat that they ignore the subtitle. And the book was helpful.

I believe my intent, though pure, has served to limit the potential of the book, in this situation.

I am one of those people who is profoundly affected by the world; I listen, I watch people, I pay attention, I feel the emotions of other people swirling around me, I absorb the unspoken messages and I take the pulse – so to speak – of everything around me. It’s constant, involuntary.

Guys. It’s a mess. The world is a mess. It’s so very broken. So many people need healing.

As I’ve contemplated changing Dear Little Ones for these past 6 months, I’ve come to the realization that if I could do one major thing with my life, it would be to “normalize” fragmentation. Not in the sense that it’s not already normal, because it is – but normalize it in the minds and awareness of the public. To me, that is one baby step closer to de-stigmatizing Dissociative Identity Disorder, and probably all dissociative disorders. Dissociation is a very normal and human thing. We all do it. The degree to which we do it may differ, but it’s so very common. People just don’t realize it.

I believe – whether naive or not – that Dear Little Ones has the power to go mainstream. And I think, if that’s what it takes to start turning the tide of public opinion about fragmentation, then changing the books is a necessary and important thing to do.

Maybe I will change the books and it will get exactly the same amount of readership as it’s always had. If that’s the case, I’m perfectly okay with that. I’m not looking for more attention for the book because I like attention. If that were the case, I wouldn’t use a pen name and I’d probably give out my personal details. 😉 I want the book to find the people who need to read it. And if a subtitle is stopping that, then I hope that removing the subtitle will help. If nothing changes, I won’t be sad.

But maybe I will change the books and more and more people will start getting their hands on the books and benefiting from the realization that we are all a bit fragmented — and that that’s normal, and that’s okay — and maybe they will be able to heal from it a bit. Maybe the public opinion on this will start to loosen up and dissociation can become more normalized. Maybe people will start to realize this isn’t a super-human, extraordinary, circus side-show that should be associated with freaks and psychopaths and criminals. Maybe people will recognize themselves in all of this, and the stereotypes and stigmas will start to break.

I do know that this can take a lot of time, and I may not see this happen within my lifetime. And it may not (or to be more accurate: certainly will not) begin and end with this tiny little decision. I get that. I think I’m just hoping that in some maybe small way, this is a step in the right direction. This is my small contribution to making space for multiples to be ourselves – with no stigma – in the world. And creating opportunities for people who hadn’t realized or considered themselves to be fragmented, to heal. And the more healing we can achieve individually, the more healed the world will be collectively.

Make sense?

 

I want to make space for any questions or concerns there might be. If you or your little people have anything to ask or say, please let me know. If you don’t want to comment, you can email me. I’m the same place I’ve always been, and you can write any time. It may take me a few days to respond but I try to get back to everyone who writes when I can.

 

Cheers.

J8


24 thoughts on “Dear Little Ones and Normalizing Fragmentation”

  • 1
    Jazz on February 11, 2018 Reply

    Hey there J8.
    Like you ,words are very important to me (Jazz). Many others who share this body feel as intensely aware of the way they are received by others as I. Way back I and Debbie (who is no longer with us) use to do disability awareness days with kids at schools in the St. Louis area. We placed a lot of emphasis on words and terms, along with unconscious gestural responses.Giving the history of words such as “handicapped and “invalid” really hit home with a LOT of them, in fact that part of the involvement brought out the most responses and questions than any other part of the program.

    I am so impressed with the book, how you make them comfortable, feel safe, put decisions as choices for them. Since you are going to change the subtitle of the book, it seemed like an opportune time to express what I wanted to say to you for quite some time now

    I really hope this isn’t hurtful to you, or mean spirited. I DEFINITELY do not have any intentions even close to that..Some of the words and definitions you use are often not perceived or received with the purpose I think you intended. I do not want others to feel it is normal to be fragmented, broken pieces, lives that are shattered. It’s not normal,not for anyone. That is certainly not who we, Oure Gaiya, are. We are complete, whole, undivided, in one mind/body individuals.

    I am part of a Yahoo! activism site. We are presently discussing the word “alters”, another word you often refer to when speaking of or referring to Multiples. Most are very unwilling to accept the word for themselves. They differ but lean towards being ok with other Multiples using it when referring to us in a positive light, but I seriously doubt that if asked they would accept the word being used to describe Multiples generally. I will ask however and if I am wrong I will certainly correct myself here.

    All in all the stigma of many words are incapable of redefining themselves and ever be accepted as anything but abnormal.

    Jazz of Oure Gaiya

    • 2
      sarcoline30 on February 11, 2018 Reply

      I hope you won’t mind me asking, but isn’t the word alter used because it is the shortened form of altered state of consciousness that was established because this is how therapists described the phenomenon of dissociative identity disorder? Personally, I understand what you are saying to an extent because a lot of terms I hear are difficult for me to use because they are not the words I was told originally. Therefore, I am curious what word you would suggest that would be more acceptable to use in place of alter?

      • 3
        Jazz& on February 19, 2018 Reply

        Hi sarcoline30,
        One of the things that we’re trying to do is move away from the medical model. What they want to “label” us as. When they use they use the word “alters” they are saying that the others that share our body are not real, but altered forms of reality. Merriam Webster says As a thesaurus; 1.Alter means; alter implies a difference in some particular respect without suggesting loss of identity. Perhaps I am out of line, I refer too much to a more activist view, instead of DID. DID is more difficult for me to understand, which I try very hard to do, I really do. I KNOW DID is real and I apologize to all, I think I responded from a different perspective.

        As far as the word I would use instead of “alter” would be “people” or “individuals”.

        • 4
          Jean on February 19, 2018

          I always thought alter meant alternant personality, like what happens when you shift

        • 5
          sarcoline30 on February 20, 2018

          I think it is really cool that you are into this subject from an activist perspective. I do think people need advocates. 🙂

        • 6
          Jazz& on February 20, 2018

          That is so very nice for you to say and it really made me feel so good. Thank you!

    • 7
      Jade on February 11, 2018 Reply

      Hey Jazz and friends. Thank you for your thoughts. I am not offended or hurt by them. I do think that in this post I made an intuitive leap with the communication that I could have handled better. I do that often, and it’s not something I’m aware of until someone points it out. The statement I was trying to make is that fragmentation is a normal response *to overwhelming circumstances. * With the understanding that what makes something overwhelming is highly subjective and individual. I did not clearly communicate it exactly that way, so that is my error. But whether you agree or not, this is something humans do when they are overwhelmed. It is not the only thing they do, and not everyone does it, but many people do and it is very common in a wide variety of situations. With the many advances we are making in the field of neuroscience, it can now be investigated on a biological level, and to some extent (depending on what the word means to you), proven. So, while it would be my desire that no one would ever *need * to fragment, that’s just not the world we’re living in right now. So my hope with the books is to facilitate as much healing as possible where that does occur, and to broaden people’s understanding and acceptance of it.

      My use of the word “normalizing” refers to the public opinion about fragmentation. The public, broadly speaking, is unaware of what fragmentation is, and/or they have a very negative and narrow view of it. They think it only happens in extreme cases and that it indicates a level of “craziness” that is uncommon and un-relatable. This needs to change. In a perfect world, you are right, this would not be normal. This is not how we are intended to be or to live. But this is reality.

      As far as the use of the word “alters,” I understand that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. I don’t even use the term with my own inside people. There were reasons I chose that word, but I won’t go into here because I just don’t feel the need to hash out the reasons for every decision I’ve made. It’s okay if not everyone can identify with what I write or what I say. I’m okay with that. I am grateful for the times that it helps people and I’m supportive if it’s not helpful and people need to seek info elsewhere. I had a great many things to consider when writing the books, not the least of which was wording. In the end, I chose what I chose after a lot of thought and knowing that (like everything else) it was not going to please everyone. I felt that DID systems could either choose to check the book out anyway, and maybe it would be helpful (the terms notwithstanding)…or they could skip on by if the wording was not something they could overlook. Either way is totally fine.

      I’m glad you shared your thoughts. Diverse opinions are welcome here.

    • 8
      Jean on February 11, 2018 Reply

      I’ve noticed that when a condition is stigmatized, using a new word to describe the condition doesn’t change anything. The new word is first not understood, then considered PC, then becomes a slur.

      But if the name is chosen by the stigmatized group and used in proud defiance ( eg gay, which once was an insult) it is not replaced by a euphemism.

      So multiples choose the words they use to describe themselves and do not feel shamed by those words. They are usually accepting of various words to describe internal realities: alters, parts, people, littles, etc. and often use these terms interchangeably.

      Somebody who does not identify as multiple may be put off by words that suggest separate internal entities (alters, people, littles, fragments) but easily relates to”inner child” or the general term parts.

      Hope this makes some sense – it’s early in the morning. I have two thoughts in the front of my mind: we gotta fight stigma whenever we see it, and it’s darn hard to write a book that everybody can relate to.

      • 9
        Jazz& on February 19, 2018 Reply

        Yes Jean, I agree with a LOT you said. What I don’t agree with is;

        “{Multiples choose the words they use to describe themselves and do not feel shamed by those words. They are usually accepting of various words to describe internal realities: alters, parts, people, littles, etc. and often use these terms interchangeably}”.

        This is very off base. I would really like it if some would be willing to join plural_activism. It is a group on yahoo! Check out some of the other replies. Perhaps be willing to ask your own question(s), respond to others posts, or just plain lurk and watch what others have to say or ask. It is a very friendly and acceptive group. It’s members range from siglettes, DID, fictives, tulpas, Multiples… most all types of groups and individuals.

        I posted the same question there with the word “alter”. The feedback given by most said they would NOT refer to themselves in those terms. They also replied they would NOT accept others referring to them that way. They felt It was very acceptable and absolutely should be, if you were referring to yourself and/or your own personal reality. That was what I was trying to say in my original post. I didn’t do such a good job of it.

        Some words were not taken back from fringe groups, Words that were too intensly believed by society as an accurate portrayal concerning certain groups/people.

        Some will often refer to each other in some of the negative terms used in the past. As an example, all of us (Oure Gaiya) have several physical disabilities, just because the body we use does. We will refer to ourselves when speaking to other people with disabilities as”crips” “invalids” or “handicapped”. We will not accept those descriptions used by others, in reference to us.

        A few of us have bipolar and refer to themselves as “crazy” or “bonkers”. It would be very offensive to them, even if used by others who use this body, to call them the same.

        Some of us are also gay. There are a lot of words we would be offended by if used to describe us. The past public viewpoint of us had been abhorrent, but they were also accepted as factual.

        MANY despicable depictions are so rooted in society with negative connotations, that trying to take them back is a losing, uphill, war. Many Multiples have started using the word “Multiple” with a capital “M”. The word “Multiple” is not viewed as often in negative circumstances.

        We owe our thanks to the medical community for this. They kept changing how they referred to Multiples as a whole, DID then MPD. Then the DSM 5 changed their definition of “Multiple” after months and months of public replies and even arguments amongst themselves.

        So they (the medical community) did a wonderful job of confusing society who we actually are.

        Many are also trying to interchange some terms that weren’t as often used in a disgusting way. For instance, some have started using the term “Plural” in the same sentence or as close to it as possible with” Multiple”.

        For some reason, I can’t see the responses from others, so they are safe from my very lengthy feedback.

        • 10
          Jean on February 20, 2018

          Telll me how to join plural_activism. I have never been on a yahoo group . Hope I don’t have to have a Yahoo account.

          I think this part of the paragraph is mostly okay “So multiples choose the words they use to describe themselves and do not feel shamed by those words.” It simplifies things: there are instances where a person would chose to use a word they considered shaming, but in general, I think pple choOse when possible to use self-describing words that are acceptable to most insiders.

          This part “They are usually accepting of various words to describe internal realities: alters, parts, people, littles, etc. and often use these terms interchangeably” Even I have trouble with rereading it! I was describing “some” pple I know. Sorry about that. It certainly doesn’t describe all.

          So hard to write well about complex subjects.

        • 11
          Jazz& on February 20, 2018

          I apologize, I don’t quite understand your last paragraph. As far as joining plural_activism You first have to go to Yahoo! and register as a new member. The best way I know how to get to the actual site is to open a new tab and paste this in the search bar;
          https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/Plural_Activism/info
          that will take you right to it.
          Jazz

        • 12
          Jean on February 21, 2018

          I got there – apparently I have a yahoo account and so I introduced myself and they approved me and welcomed me. I read some of the articles and found them very interesting. Thanks for telling me about the group.

        • 13
          Jazz& on February 22, 2018

          You’re so very welcome. We’re really glad you came!
          Jazz

        • 14
          Jade on February 20, 2018

          I think the point being emphasized even by the comments on this post is that every system has its own preferences and things that they are okay with or not okay with, and that a difference of preference can even be found within the same system. And with that being the case, no matter what wording I – or someone else who may be attempting to help sway the public perspective toward a more positive view – may choose, it’s going to be offensive/not okay with someone out there. So in the end I have to make a choice on wording, knowing that no matter what I choose, someone is not going to like it. I am okay with that. I am focused on the bigger picture which is trying to reduce the stigma surrounding all of these topics, in the public opinion. As much as I wish I could please everyone with my choice of verbiage, I can’t. So it’s my hope that those who dislike the words I choose can recognize that I am trying to do something that benefits them, my exact method notwithstanding.

          We need everyone. Keep doing what you’re doing, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully many more people will join in and we can turn the tide on how people view these topics.

    • 15
      Jean on February 11, 2018 Reply

      Jade, If you change the title to “Dear Little Ones: About Grown Ups”, or “About Love,” or “About Getting Hurt,” say, I bet you would reach a lot of children as well as adults. I say go for it!

  • 16
    sarcoline30 on February 11, 2018 Reply

    What an exciting opportunity. I think it is so cool to be recognized in such a broad way. I think this could be an innovative approach to reducing the stigma too. Many people have trouble with it because they can’t imagine how it could be possible, but it is a very common mechanism.

    • 17
      Jade on February 11, 2018 Reply

      Thank you, I appreciate you reading the post and leaving a comment. I am going to answer your email soon, BTW. Thanks for sending it.

  • 18
    Jim Bunkelman on February 11, 2018 Reply

    I support your decision to change the title. The more people that you can reach with your book, the better. It is such a beautiful book.

    • 19
      Jade on February 11, 2018 Reply

      Thank you, Jim! I truly appreciate all the support you’ve lent over the last few years. It has been so encouraging to me.

      • 20
        Brad Gustin on February 18, 2018 Reply

        So true Jade. Like it or not most people judge book by it’s cover. Go for it. I had a conversation a while back with inside and heard their was resentment towards me calling them parts. So I know it can go multiple ways. So thankful for you. Just got your audible audio of book to littles and I started crying just listening to sample. Thank you.

        • 21
          Jade on February 20, 2018

          Thank you for commenting! I’m glad I could be helpful to you in some small way.

  • 22
    Jazz& on February 20, 2018 Reply

    Hi everyone,
    I’m have severe dyslexatechnitis, so couldn’t find a way to reply to Jades Post that was in response to mine. I feel like the response to my replies were, that what I was saying was unexceptable. I apologize to ANYONE I may have offended or made to feel unheard or hurt. I also felt that some were voicing that I didn’t support the book and all behind it.

    First and foremost, in my first reply (and now) I said I really love the book “Dear Little Ones” and have even stronger sentiments towards the purpose behind it.

    I hope I can convey better what I tried to say originally. What I was attempting to say was;
    1. words used to define someone can and often are, seen and felt by others quite differently. On top of that, one word could have a LOT of differing definitions or meanings, some even totally opposite depending how it is used.
    2. Definitions are not mutually understood, seen as accurate, sometimes even offensive.

    You ask your dad what the word “train” means. Your teacher wants you to write 10 sentences about it . Like any red blooded dad, he tells you to look it up in the dictionary. So you obediently yank down this big thick book that nearly breaks your arm that you were using to keep your head from needing stitches.

    Looking under “T” you try to find “train” in the dictionary. DANG! What you find is there’s nearly 2 pages of possible definitions! You can write about a “a row of people” or about a “self propelled vehicle that rides on rails” even “an aggregation of vehicles, animals, and personnel accompanying an army to carry supplies, baggage, ammunition, etc”, Heck, what does aggregation mean? The definitions go on and on. ARGH! that’s enough to write 10 pages!

    As far as possibly being misunderstood, you wouldn’t want to give your partner a couple of definitions, under that same word “train”. I want you to “bring focus or bear on some object”, or “make you fit”. In other words using the same given definitions you’re either trying to convince them to go bear hunting or go get a membership with the gym! Many definitions don’t mean the same thing, not even close. When given a word, a lot of people wouldn’t even have the same definitions, some wouldn’t agree with the definitions given!

    2. In a previous response I wrote that; ” I posted the same question to a different online group, about the word “alter”. The feedback given by most said they would NOT refer to themselves in those terms. They also replied they would NOT accept others referring to them that way. They felt It was very acceptable and absolutely should be, if you were referring to yourself and/or your own personal reality.

    So in a pecan encasement, I was trying to convey that some words can have the opposite even negative meanings when referring to others. You can’t refer to anyone else’s feelings or identity but your own.

    Again, I have a lot of respect for Jade and really like the book, I mean I REALLY like it. I’d be proud to accomplish the same thing. However, had the terminology been the first exposure to the ogglettes, the kiddos that share this body, I would have been very upset. I hope I have been more clear and no one is as upset with me.

    I don’t have any right to describe, refer to or define anyone as being Multiple or Plural. My reality is just that, my reality. My acceptance of a word is my choice. Accepting or refuting any given word can be shared by many or few, seen as positive or negative.

    Words and definitions are so dang important. Oh golly, don’t even get me started in that direction. I feel strongly that it’s extremely important to pick and use words carefully. I wish I had at least an hour to think through and have a great response with everything that flows in between my teeth.

    I don’t want to be referred to or have impressionable others, define themselves feeling they need to identify with another’s reality especially if seen as a negative by many. There has to be a middle ground somewhere, there just has to be. Anyone have any ideas or suggestions?
    Jazz

    • 23
      Jade on February 21, 2018 Reply

      Hey Jazz, I didn’t pick up on anyone saying that your comments/viewpoint was unacceptable. So I’m not totally sure how to address that. I am doing my best to listen and respond. Dialoguing over technology can be tough; there’s no nonverbal communication to help with understanding what the other is saying. I also didn’t take your words to mean you were saying you didn’t like the book (but even if you don’t, that’s okay with me! it’s not for everyone, and that’s cool). I’m sorry if you’re not feeling understood. I’m trying to, I am just not sure if I understand what you’re saying.

  • 24
    Jazz& on February 22, 2018 Reply

    I know you are Jade, and I really appreciate it. I really do like the book. Like Jim said, any way to get others engaged on us, the better. I guess I just get a little sensitive sometimes.
    Jazz

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