Saturday, January 12, 2008

My Thoughts on Integration - Part 5

Part 1

One of the things that Keepers mentioned on her post was fear that if she integrated and dissociated later, that would be some kind of failure. She wasn't sure that her system could take another defeat. My guess is that message is some evil leftover from her stint with an unethical therapist. It is a message specifically planted to keep her stuck in the trap and away from healing.

Dissociating to survive trauma is not a weakness. Personally I see it as a gift. Without this skill I never would have survived. If it happens to me again, and dissociating is how I cope, then I know that was a necessary choice. I would gladly dissociate than be dead.

I've had some severe traumas since I finished my therapy. One was my youngest child was diagnosed with brain cancer. If that was not enough she had complications from her surgery and had to learn to walk and talk and just about everything else all over again. I did not revert in any way during that time.

Also since that time, I have had two horses that were extremely special to my system who each died in very traumatic ways. Neither of this instances caused me to revert either. While this may not make sense to some because they were horses, there will never be anything anymore painful to my heart than these losses or watching my child suffer through radiation, chemotherapy and brain damage.

I guess if I didn't split apart from any of these things, I'm probably not going to split again over anything. I think that once a system unites and integration takes place, it's pretty darn hard to cause it to fracture again.

My belief is that it would take something really horrendous like what happened to us in our childhood to cause us to split off in that manner again. The odds are that isn't going to happen. I am no longer a small child unable to protect myself.

As an adult, I am able to process horrors that a child isn't capable of understanding. That is what the professionals believe causes multiplicity in the first place. The child cannot make sense of the situation so locks it away.

I realize that the professionals refer to this coping skill that saved us as a disorder. But then they have little understanding of why it really happens or how it works. All they can see is that some multiples are struggling to cope in their daily lives. So they've slapped a label on it and called it a mental illness. That doesn't make it an illness. It's not a problem for every multiple.

I think when a multiple is having trouble coping in every day life (which is usually brought on by some stressor that has set the system out of balance) that is when the multiple needs help from a professional. And as far as I'm concerned that's when the term mental illness might apply.

I suppose if you must have a diagnosis for someone who is suffering from past child abuse, then it makes sense to me that they would apply a label for a multiple that is out of balance as well.

The fact is they make no such distinctions and I think that is what makes multiples feel like they are somehow damaged and different from others. It appears that even if they are coping just fine, as I am, that they am somehow flawed. I could tell you about my flaws, but they'd probably make you laugh. They have nothing to do with being multiple.

The professionals can think that if they want. That does not make it true. I know that I am healthier than most of the people around me. Yet I am still fractured into parts. How can this be so?

I think it's pretty easy to see. The world is not black and white and neither are multiples. It doesn't matter if we are integrated or split off in hundreds of pieces. We are people just like everyone else with the same hopes and dreams and fears. The only thing keeping us down is our fears and the same is true of singletons. If we can set them aside, and learn to accept ourselves, the sky is the limit.


Kahless said...

I think you have summed it up nicely. I don't see multiples as any more or less healthy than singletons. Each and every one of of is unique. I too see MPD as a gift to survive trauma.

But I guess society likes labels; a few of them could be assigned to me and I hate that idea, so I try and ignore it!!

kïrstin said...

this was really eye opening for me. ive been reading your thoughts on intergration and how you discovered you are multiple. i went through some horrific times in school, and later in my home life, and actually tried to split off onto someone else, but it didnt happen. i thought i was the weaker one for that.

Enola said...

Is there a danger if someone intergrated and then dissociated again later?

Is MPD like a coping mechanism with the fear being that integration will mean that coping mechanism won't "work" later?

Rising Rainbow said...

kahless, I'm with you on labels. I believe it's about ignorance and I just ignore them.

kirstin, I think many of us can relate to being in so much pain at one time or another in our lives that we want to escape. It doesn't matter what that escape might be, or whether we accomplish it or not, we're not weak because we did or didn't escape. We're just hurting.

keepers said...

Your entire series of posts on integration is a wonderful series, and we agree with you, especially about the walls and such. We think a lot of people will get a lot out of these.

peace and blessings