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About : The Courts

What is life like for us?

By Sparrow, Sammi, and Silence.

Well... I'm not very good at using technical terms, so you'll have to bear with me.

We all know what it's like inside our own heads. There's clutter from random thoughts, bits and pieces of reminders, and the daily thought process which basically runs continuously. (When was the last time you actually paid attention to the process of thinking and processing input from the outside world? Odd, isn't it... thinking about thinking...) We know what our internal voices are like because they're our thoughts. We can imagine/remember what other people's voices sound like, and picture memories and scenarios.

Now, imagine someone else in your head with you. Someone else with random thoughts, reminders, and a continual thought process, who not only reacts to the world around you, but also to what you're thinking and picturing. Someone who adds their own comments to what you're doing. Someone who is independent of your own prejudices and inclinations. Someone who has emotions which can be radically different than your own.

Got it? A little distracting and confusing, right? But valuable at the same time, if only for the different viewpoint and perspective.

Ok, you're probably saying now, I can deal with this, no problem. A little disorientating, but I can cope.

Now add about fifteen more. With their own agendas, dreams, phobias, interests, emotions, and opinions.

Dizzy yet? We total... a whole bunch of wackos (our labels, not another's.)


Why isn't life miserable with such 'chaos'?

Simple. Multiples become very, very good at multitasking. Besides, it helps when you have to do five things at once, and you have a person looking after each one. Or is that cheating? *grin*

When we started out, it was living hell. Half of us tried to force the others out, the rest undermined what the others did in revenge, and no one came to any sort of consensual decisions.

We came up with having a general, fluid Council. Originally, we divided ourselves up into strict Summer and Winter periods, but after we left high school and moved on, time blurs as it so often does... so now we have a Council of seven or eight, with whoever is needed most often or is spending time out taking a seat. It's logical--whoever is dealing with the outside more often has more of a vote since they'll be dealing with the consequences, right?

We tripped up in forgetting to keep people who would also keep an eye on the rights of the others inside healthy... that was our little draft of 'A Year's Testimony' too.

See, the heads of each Court--like Reb, or Judith--are generally elected to be in charge of it. They have the responsibilities for making sure that everyone in their Court is at least dealing well enough to not cause a fuss elsewhere, to be happy, etc. They have more authority and time because of this, but they also have more responsibilities. Each head of a Court who is on a Council must also remember to keep an eye on the entire whole... although in practice, we mostly have one or two people who spend their time alone on that while the others goof off.

For example, Rebekka has always been one of the best in being able to see internal networks and manage them. She's our hacker in the server of our souls. Kyth, in contrast, by nature does not force his dictates on others, but is also highly important to the rest of us and gets his own time to exist and be protected. Reb is better for paperwork, and K is better for enjoying a good bit of peace.

It helps to sit down and draft out times or responsibilities. Again, we're a very structured system that is highly fluid at the same time... other multiples have a different method, and so do midcontinuums. But we have our downsides too because of it.

But many of the same rules continue to apply: what happens to the group, the group must deal with. Even if someone else does something in the public world, the group as a whole still has to take responsibility for it. It's the lack of this that has led 'mpd/did' to being misused. Also, everyone has a right to a say, to their own time and preferences, and to letting other people have their space. Naturally, due to physical constraints, not everyone can have the same amount of time.... our kids get their time in occasional ice-cream treats and co-playing video games, not in being able to watch Sesame Street.

We have to trust each other to guard our own interests, and we have to keep them in mind while we do things. That's a rule no matter where on the continuum you are; the difference of how much you have to adhere to it is dependent on where you stand on that line. We're multiple and couldn't be any other way, so we have to always remember it.

And it's also not to say that you have to keep -everyone- in mind all the time. If I had to estimate every situation for the people who I never deal with and who never deal with me, I'd go mad (or... more insane, by society's standards.) Instead, I have to allow that if they have issues, it will be communicated down to me, and I leave their space alone as they leave mine be.

We also have our Fronts... that's how we keep our communication net up. Some systems have only one Front; some have many. We have specifically pared-down Fronts who do nothing else with their time /but/ that... of course, things can change.

It's a taking up of responsibility, really. It's learning to live as a group. We believe strongly that multiples or those with multiple ways of life are just the same as anyone else... rather than the groups who feel that plurality means automatic genius or superiority.