Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Are Multiples Responsible?

I was recently asked if I could help a friend understand how she could have known a woman for many years yet not known what that woman was capable of doing. The reason it was felt I might be able to help with this situation is because the "offending" party has been diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID).

I am not offended by such questions. I am very open about my diagnosis. Obviously I have done nothing to hide my true identity during this blogging experience because I use the same user name for my horse blog and this blog. I am not worried about what people might think knowing this fact about me. I chose to not let secrets have power over me and my diagnosis would have just that if I treated it as something to hide.

I "get" that there are many reasons that people chose to hide a diagnosis of mental illness. There's lots of prejudice in the world about such things. For me, as I've stated before, I'm not convinced that my diagnosis is a mental illness.

I'm not saying that I think someone with the diagnosis isn't mentally ill. I believe that is possible. I don't, however, think it is a given. Just because someone is dissociative does not have to mean they are mentally ill. I think how that person functions should be the determination of mental illness or not.

I hope that being open about my "diagnosis" will help others learn to look more closely before jumping to conclusions. Anyone taking the time to get to know me will find I function pretty well even through things that would set "normal" people on their ear. I do that because I am in good mental health despite the fact I still have dissociative parts.

But off of this soap box and back to the question posed by my friend. You see this friend she had known for years has committed a pretty serious crime. Her defense is going to be that she is a multiple.

To be honest I don't know if I really answered my friend's question or if I got off on my own personal tanget. You see there is nothing that frustrates me more than someone who has committed real crimes using the defense of mulitlicity to get them off the hook.

Before I go down that road I might qualify my opinion first. I do believe that mulitiples can be manipulated to do crimes solely for the sake of others. I also believe when they are doing such as a direct result of programming and through no real choice of their own, they are not responsible for those behaviors.

In other words, someone who is really good at the core will essentially do everything possible to stay that way. They might have parts that do "bad" things to stay alive (even if it doesn't appear that way upon initial discovery) but it is survival at the root of their bad behavior not what they really believe to be right. Given the chance to chose for themselves instead of being dictated to by programming, those parts will find their way to the goodness they came from.

However, I do believe that crimes can be committed by a multiple that really are the choice of that whole person. I think the direction a part takes is directly related to the abuse that formed it AND the core values of the individual. That person who started off blaming the rest of the world and expecting the world owes them will still be that type of a person even though they might concoct good parts as a way to hide in society.

Goodness or evil in an individual do not reflect the overall tendency of the core. Most multiples I have met are basically good at the core even if they don't know it. They are looking for a way to fit in and be happy and not wanting it to be at the expense of others.

It is those who are making their way at the expense of others and copping out to being multiple that I believe are the ones that are esentially not good people. They use MPD as a mask to hide their antisocial behavior and aren't really all that interested in healing because the mask works so well.

Now I know this post will open a can of worms. I certainly hope that people will post their opinons and their questions. We can all learn from the input and I am certainly open to anything that will challenge my beliefs so have at it.................let the comments fly!


Between The Minds ~ The Beehive said...

I have always wondered this question and no one has been able to answer it yet... Am I accountable for things my alters do that I am unaware of, and that I would not do? I always wonder how God will judge me one day for things that I did not do but one of my alters did. Do you have any thoughts on that?


Rising Rainbow said...

Bee, yes, I guess I do. I think that God can see through the maze that is multiplicity to what is true in your heart. I think in the end we will all be judged on that and it is the only thing that really matters.

We all do things we are not proud of and we have to deal with what those are whether multiple or singleton. It's just more complicated to understand, I guess, for a multiple because of the walls that keep things so seperate.

I think parts in a multiple may not have the shades of gray seen in the behavior of others. That makes the "bad" parts look terrible to the "good" parts when they really might not be that terrible tempered with the good parts, if that makes sense. God will be able to see those parts together with the shades of gray and the heart underneath it all.

In the end with God, everyone will have to deal with what they did that was wrong. Those who are truly good at heart will feel ashamed by what they have done. Those who are not good will think it's someone else's fault. God will be the one that knows whose fault it really is and his judgement will be based on that.

Labyrinth said...

My therapist told me years ago that even though I'm multiple, I am still responsible. Which includes all multiples. Ultimately, she said, we all have to take responsibility for our actions. If one alter were to kill someone (we never have!) then all of us would end up in prison. Therefore, we worked hard on helping everyone inside to understand this, not even necessarily about killing someone, but about taking personal responsibility for our actions. Because ultimately, all of us would pay for bad behavior, whether or not all of us had participated in it.

That was the focus of my therapy many times. For instance, if just one alter behaved badly towards our husband, then we all were held accountable for it, because ultimately it's all one brain. It was a hard concept for some of us to get because we felt so separate.

But I firmly believe that our therapist was right and I'm glad she began talking to us about it early in our therapy process.

I am totally against using MPD/DID as a defense. Not to mention the fact that it sure gives multiples a pretty bad reputation and makes us seem pretty darn weird and out of control.

Rising Rainbow said...

Labyrinth, Your therapist's direction makes sense to me. Taking responsibility for one's actions is a part of the healing process for singletons. Makes sense it would be the same way for multiples.

MultiMe said...

Accountability has been at the core of many internal 'house meetings' we've had. We have each had to commit to being responsible to and for each other, if only in a sense of fairness to others.

If one of my alters commits to go and do something with a friend, I feel like I am responsible for doing so, even though I'm not the one who made the commitment. Otherwise, it would be up to my friend to go through and ask each of us to make the commitment. And that's just unwieldy and unfair - after all, it's not his multiplicity, it's mine.

My word is our word, and we each pay the price for what any one of us do. We've made that pact between us all. I think it's the only way that we can function in the world as a strong capable person(s).