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Writings : Essays

6.20.01 : A Year's Testimony : by Reb and Lexa

We've forgotten everything. I'll say that now.

Or enough to be able to identify ourselves with the group we were last year (or was it the year before that? Or that?), which is normal and natural and change. Enough to put us back to square one.

I *know*, clinically--in the same manner that I can borrow a memory from another and have the same distant recollection of facts--that we have known some of you whose names we see when we browse anew. We have looked at places, and emailed others. Even I myself--as Rebekka--or I *myself*--as Alexandria--have dealt directly with things. We miss some of you and don't know why.

We're lacking our resources.

Again, I know that we used to know at least our casual way around the online communities with other multiples. But the people who have had those knowledges directly or stored it for us have gone out back and dumped most of it in the river.

I suppose it wasn't considered important enough to keep room for--not when there were other things to keep track of.

Our own interrelations in our system have always been a point of dangerous pride. We were--and are--decently in control of the collective's actions in the external world, or at least we can take responsibility as a whole. This is because we grit our teeth and pull every stubborn step of the way for it. We can tinker with each other if the emergency need hits. We can adapt. Above all, we can adapt. With the resolution that we can borrow, beg, or steal traits as needed in order to better fit the situation, we have driven ourselves through at a sort of hyper-Darwinism of our minds.

What wasn't of direct use had to make way for something else. Who wasn't of direct use had to evolve or be left behind.

Did this mean we had a responsibility always to be at top performance? That, *because* we had the remorseless potential to change ourselves and each other--or at least force them away--we now had the obligation to prove this at every waking hour? Or was it that we had a certain internal flexibility, meaning that it was now our responsibility to be considerate of singletons who might not toss themselves casually away to better further relations? We could change. Should we, that others would not have to?

Apparently some of us thought we did.

Around the same time when we had fallen sharply offline, a good friend of ours had passed away... with his last email to us only a few hours before. In it, he asked for us to go into psychology, as he and we had been casually researching the field together for almost a year.

He thought we could help to do some good in the medical community against the negative treatment of multiples. We hadn't had the heart at the time to email him with the confession that we'd had no intention of such. As it turns out, we never had the chance. But at that point we lost heart in updating our site and in browsing the online community--that was how'd he first met us, after all, and we wanted some time off.

A year went by and only a passing nod was given to our webpage. The longer we stayed away from it, the easier it became to forget about the rest of the world. We'd become enmeshed in events around us rather than remembering to take care of each other. It didn't matter if we were happy--oh, we could *make* ourselves happy, couldn't we? A shuffle of people here, a forcible ripping out of a trait there. Because the society around us didn't care if we were functional -and- multiple, but only if we were productive.

And that, we were.

Were we also running from multiplicity itself, even as we rapidly became more open about ourselves in various social circles? The group inside outweighed the individuals which formed it--and furthermore, the group of Society was higher still, a concept picked up by some of the Court's philosophers. What we could do with ourselves to prove we were capable was what society would care about, or else we would be pinned down by hyperactive psychs as 'proof' that multiples were dysfunctional. Our minds were objects. We had to do things with them, because we *could*.

Just like doing pony tricks.

And the rest of our faint memory of other multiples online backed that up. *We* wouldn't be the 'weak link' in the chain that might condemn them. If we wanted to be known offline or on as multiples, the last thing we wanted to do was to have them judged on our failings.

As more and more condemnations of multiplicity crashed down around our ears in the media--and more and more painful spoofs were being done in film and literature--we reacted by protest through example. Hence. Even online activities only ripped us apart further, rather than just giving people a chance to breathe as themselves instead of being judged by the body or as a group. We actually RPed multiples--but instead of relaxing, we had to show how they could be strong without integration. We had a significant other with a worse memory than ours who would still claim *we* were the faulty party for remembering something he didn't--instead of allowing occasional failings, we had to keep as rigid a standard as we could with ourselves in order to defend the idea that we weren't delusional.

In retrospect, I'm not sure if it was also trying to prove to a ghost of a man that we were as strong as he told us we were.

Capable, capable, capable. We *couldn't* show anything that could be interpreted as a weakness, lest people doubt--whether they knew we were a collective or no. We had a problem? Hah! We could rip apart our own selves and remake our brothers and sisters in order to prove that we could adapt to what we needed to, rather than crawling into a corner and taking the stereotypical reaction of sucking a thumb at the first sign of stress. We could do it. We *had* to. Otherwise... why else had we fought so hard to try and keep from any risk of fulfilling the negative image of the multiple?

We couldn't be 'strange'. We *couldn't* have a rich interior landscape. We couldn't have people around who wouldn't fit easily into the outside populace at any random time. We couldn't be anything that skeptics might scoff at, because we had chosen to play by the singleton's rules, waging a petty and fierce little war of our own on their ground to show that we could be just as good as them. Anything that seemed too 'unrealistic' was a danger--after all, it could only be turned to proof of how 'detached' from reality we were.

Let's not even get started on how much time the children had.

We stopped talking to each other. The idea itself is boggling in retrospect. We stopped talking. Not out of denial--but because each person *had* to be capable of working on their own or made to be. This might have worked, save for the fact that those same people never had time to relax or recharge. We would get home from a day at the office and immediately have to pass time out to those who had been shut away during the nine-to-five hours. We fought over individual times with each other, rather than sharing as we had before.

Where along the line did we choose to think of each other--and ourselves--as only resources and numbers? Our own memories and unique traits dumped left and right to make room for the ever-dynamic reconfigurations in our lives, our desire to sacrifice ourselves rather than hold our own ground against the wills of others. When did we lose our own mercy for those we consider to be closer family than ever our body's relations could have?

Does that blame society in turn for what we chose? It must sound like that, but again, we of the Courts realize that it was our collective decision to make. We wanted to make the lives of those around us easier because we had the capacity to more directly alter our reactions than they did. We wanted to take the challenge of society and prove that one didn't need integration in order to excel. We wanted so many things where the Courts themselves no longer mattered--only what could be made of us.

And just now we're picking up the pieces.