Leave now if you don't like people tearing off on occasionally
self-righteous #%*#&%* sessions.
Right. Thanks for stopping by.
This rant is for July 17nd, 2001.
Let's try a knee-jerk reaction. Shall we?
You've finally given in to the desire to have a child and are dedicated
to raising them well, giving them everything you've never had, protecting
them from anything that could hurt them. The pregnancy was difficult
and both you and your spouse thought it would be disastrous on more
than one occasion, but they've turned out just fine so far. When
you drop them off at the day-care center, you meet one of the workers
The credentials of this person tell you that there is a multiple
taking care of your only child while you are away.
Does your knee jerk?
Let's try again.
There is another conflict, this time in Africa, involving the very
real possibility of all-out war between nations as well as crimes
against humanity. You vote, place your trust in the speakers for
your political party, watch the news eagerly. One of the representatives
takes a major role in the party's status on this matter.
This person who will be instrumental in the upcoming peace talks,
requiring a great amount of training and consistency, is a multiple.
You have been in the middle of an unpleasant divorce settlement
with your spouse and need an unbiased judge. You are working for
a manager whose approval rates very highly for your paychecks and
with those your ability to feed your family. You are counting on
your local governor to improve on living conditions in your county.
You are deep in enemy territory and need the rest of your unit to
You are going into surgery. You are sending your child to school.
You are in the position to count on an unknown multiple group
for something very, very important to you.
Did your toes twitch, just a little?
As multiples, we know that we're not only trustworthy--we can be
as focused, as dedicated, as careful as we need to be. But we also
know how untrustworthy we can be to ourselves. Do even *we* have
faith each other? Really? When we know so very well sometimes how
mutable and frustrating our own internal interactions can be, can
we deny that they happen in other people?
We're our own worst enemies a lot of the time. *Because* we know
ourselves, we know that we are both highly competent and untrained,
skilled and unskilled--everything you could pin down on a range.
Including the endpoints. The only thing we can even predict in ourselves
is that we'll try. And we'll survive.
Let's step back for a minute and think about the future. That's
what a lot of us intend to do even by living by example, isn't it?
Most of us would like to see the day when being known as plural--in
whatever degree--is acceptable when out in the open, just like a
person's hair color. But what exactly are we looking for? What vision
is there in the future we can work towards?
Is it also like a person's religion? Their sexual orientation?
Are we going to someday form a cause and rally behind something
that is labeled firmly as 'special', if only until we can win equal
respects from others?
Let's pull back again and look at it.
Will plurality have to be noted, as in a marking on our driver's
license? Can only drive while appearing coherent enough to do
so. How can we keep from being misused, with the claim of 'one
of you guys said yes'--will we have to note down a list of our fronts
as having the legal authorities for the body? How can we keep from
being exploited? Do we become a catagory? Yes, I want to protect
my rights as a multiple by applying for mental disability.
Will we get to be registered? Unknown quantities must be controlled;
they will be placed as separate until they can be considered normal
Dibs on being Mystique. She was always great in the original series.
Anyone an early Prof. X?
Shall we cover it up by the blanket statement that the *details*
of plural people aren't important? That they'll never be known as
different from the main body, since they have to obey the same laws?
But doesn't that just tell us that we personally don't matter if
we exist or not, so long as we obey the picture of the body?
I want to be known as real. I want to do this without being
automatically attached to another group, but I'm not sure if this
will be tolerated. Can I claim that my personal existance here is
a job, and so there is my recreation time, my work time, and the
hours that I rest?
Multiplicity is even more nebulous a concept than homosexuality--come
on, guys, we know that we're as hard to track as smoke if we really
want to be. Will our marriages be legal? Can we be trusted with
state secrets? Can we be relied on by the government, by the people?
Damn right we can say yes... but at the same time, isn't
there that little voice that says, those of us who are what we are
will be who they are. We will not stomp out those who are not fanatics
to your cause just to appear 'safe'.
We won't be limited by you. We aren't going to be anything
you will force us to be, because by our very *natures* do we circumvent
that sort of thing. We'll be anything and everything and it's a
given that you'll only be friends with half of us and never really
know the rest. That always sounds like a threat to some, doesn't
There's the ideal of things--let's all realize that plural shades
and states of life are the average, not the rarity--and then there's
the path to get there. Let's check out where we're walking.
*Do* we even want plurality to be listed? Naturally it'd be easier
if it was just accepted--but hey, how much can any of us really
be tolerated to working on our own then? Will we get tagged under
even a wide range of labels--complex multiple, centralized multiple,
midcontinuum, average, singular? Can we get called subsets of each
other, so that I could be (body's name here) p. Reb? "Hi, I'm
so-and-so, currently e. Rebekka. Pleased to meet you." Insert
shake of hand. "My colleges, e. Kyth and e. Stella will be
along shortly once they've assembled their notes."
Will the *collective* manifestation be that which is registered?
That we are allowed to be as open as we need to so long as we fall
into the same loosely knitted impression that we internally decide
upon--like simply noting ourselves down as a culture or a corporation
with a motto? Do you think we'll be able to get away with that?
That way, at least, when people look at us they can see a shadowy
mini-nation hovering around a single, arbitrary body.
Hi. I'm M-(bodyname)-i.Reb. I'm here to pick up a car for us.
It's registered under M-(name)-i.Kyth.
Think of an entire society where you have collectives open on a
regular basis. Would people continue to be lumped together if only
for the ease of it--who really, really has the time to learn the
ins and outs of a group when they just want to deal with a single
client? We'd have the same issue that all the people in the network
are considered as automatically in tune with the others, but we
have that anyway these days.
Maybe that's what we need, though--for it not to be so much on
that we *are* multiple, but what we *do*.
Systems all over know that we must be responsible for the collective's
actions. One of the biggest reasons multiplicity has hit sensationalism
and then misuse is how people seem to think that it excuses a single
soul from the group. And yes, the taints of one person catch up
innocents in them unfairly--but yet, that's the hard fight we all
have to go through, isn't it? That which we do and do not do and
that which we suppress lest it give others the bad impression of
a kindly one. If we took away the illusion of it being an excuse,
can we save ourselves?
Still, the problem with that comes back to the root again; do multiples
have the luxury of getting different treatment? Of course we *don't*
really need it. But, speaking for us, we need the occasional break
from being thought of as an individual. Living rigidly by singlet's
standards is *not* what we either need to do or should; our traits,
strengths, adaptabilities, virtues, they all come from being able
to be fluid and to be able to depend on others. We don't need 'special'
treatment. We need the ability to be accepted and still be ourselves.
Being open gives us more potential for being misunderstood as well.
That's the downside to it all--but it's still mostly unavoidable,
isn't it? Something so intangible as the mind, seeming both unimportant
in practice and important in details...
When's the day going to come when our boss is going to look at
us in exasperation and say, "Can't you people just *make* someone
to do it?" I don't know if I'd welcome that line, or just resist
the urge to punch him in the face.