I am in favor of all personalities, whether fragments or not,
to be considered people in their own right... in other words...
I am in favor of people being real.
I believe in identity. I believe that your people are your people,
not some form of a woman wearing a male-shaped mask. With all the
rights to be considered and treated as such. It is not a case of
someone sitting around and guessing how another person might act
while talking to themselves.
Other people are other people. Go back to ideas that only your
mind exists, that everything else is only a figment, or to ones
which say that everyone else is just an expression of who you are.
Or not, reject those theories, and keep going. What is the division
between You and Me? If there is enough of a difference in base aspects--reaction
patterns, moral values, and the way information is handled and
received--then it is a different identity, and so is the same as
a different person. Want to contradict me? Define the nature of
a soul, or consciousness. And then we'll talk.
Taken literally--ignoring the people involved--the range is more
of a statement of how many different patterns can be balanced within
a single mind, and to what extent, depth, and force of each.
The presence of a personality is more clearly defined as how much
an effect they have on a daily basis, in life's affairs, and how
much they can throw their mental weight around on other people.
The presence of a personality is not required to be directly linked
to how developed they are. Fragments are capable of developing into
people with full ranges of strengths and weaknesses. That's how
even central personalities begin--from the fetal stirrings in the
subconscious to when they fully open their eyes.
To do so, however, requires there to be a space for those fragments
to stretch and grow into. They must have time closer to the surface.
If a person's mind is full, then there is no niche for them to set
up space of their own.
People can fade back to fragment-level without returning to fragment-status.
And the longer a person has been around, the more experience they
will have, and the harder is it to have them magically disappear.
Time gives a person staying power.
Fragments do not necessarily require a loss in preexisting personalities.
They can be made from bits and pieces that have been lying around.
Even if they come from another person, it does not mean that that
person is lessened forever. People grow. And, often, fragments come
from the unused areas where the subconscious lurks--hardly used
by the waking mind. Habits thought long-buried resurface in personas
years later. Talents never realized to exist can express themselves
likewise. There needs no lessening.
Of course there are exceptions. There are always exceptions. These
divisions are only here to provide a clearer means of seeing the
gradation of the mind.
Give fragmentation a softer role. Keep it from the sharp and severe
idea that it is cut and dry; allow it the range of the voice
of your conscious, strip it of the requirement that it must be completely
separate. At the smallest roles, it is as minor as a pretense, with
the half-life of a breath. Lose the supposition of division. Nothing
need be lost.
Time shows that personalities of any type can and will grow to
be quite solid and definite, regardless of their classification.
I need to devote more time to defining the category of fragment,
as it applies not only to nature of a personality, but also to their
potential, strength, and quality.
Personalities are also, on the whole, hard to judge unless there
are others to compare them to. To people who have only had one or
two minor personalities kicking around, it's very easy to count
up the level; and even one or two fragments can be utter and constant
hell. It's the eternal case of upper limits: until you have placed
your hand in a fire, you can only guess at what level of pain it
might cause. Full persons can make you a prisoner in your own body,
forcing you to watch as they paw through the precious things in
your life, rip your own sense of identity to shreds under constant
emotional barrages. Fragments can override urges and instincts with
ones of their own, travel with you and overlay you in the curious
sense of duality as you see the world and receive input from another
standpoint at the same time. It's all an extent of presence capable
of being exerted.
Incidental fragments relates to the number of minor fragmentary
personalities which tend to be created by 'number-jockeys' (read,
multiples out for attention with high numbers) and are of very little
depth or development. They, of all cases, are the closest to the
stereotype of the word. Instead of saying, "How to tell that
they have?", I should have said, "How to tell that they
> I'm also a control freak, and the idea of having anyone
other than me in control of my body scares the hell out of me;
You're right. There's a very important connection there. A friend
of mine who I talk with on occasion cannot stand the thought of
anyone else inside her head with her. She does not like the idea
that someone else could see her innermost thoughts, judge the emotions
and reactions that she does not let show.
The expanse of a person's mind is, I've observed, even more rabidly
protected and sensitive to identity than the body. Everyone is assured
of the traditional 'privacy of their own mind', because it is perhaps
the only aspect which we can claim ownership and control over. We
react badly to those who play mind games because that is a method
of violation which is more damning than one of the body.
And even losing control of the body is a terrifying thing. Drugs,
imprisonment, basic stimuli--all serve to remind that we, for all
our advances in science and intelligence, can be laid low by a base
animal instinct. No matter how much control we think we have over
our flesh, we can always be overridden by the whim of whoever chooses
to pump us full of a chemical cocktail. Illness is the terrible
specter that it is because we often cannot understand it or drive
it away, while all the while, it racks those vulnerable places inside
of us. It is the reminder of the ape within the angel.
A good number of people resist the concept of such intrusions
exactly because the mind is considered to be such a private place.
Multiples can be the same way--unerringly, they choose integration,
and are happier for it. Other people can accept the loss of that
sanctuary, and can accept and follow the will of others, or remain
Also... what I haven't mentioned yet and probably should have--as
I already assumed it into the list of variables--is the issue of
age and trauma. Research and specialists invariably point to the
reasoning that the events which teach a child to split their own
identity must occur before, at most, six years of age.
The running theory for that is well... long and equally strange...
and, truth be told, still getting hacked out. Here's an unedited
list of a minor brainstorming that I and a few friends are working
on.... sorry that it makes no sense and still has a lot of holes,
but I thought you might enjoy reading it:
Stella: Part of the requirements--along with imagination, intelligence
and creativity--is the impulse or need for the identity fluidity.
In other words, a person must learn while they are still learning
how to behave in the world that one possible way of handling things
is to jump over to another identity pattern. If that does not happen,
then they will grow up normally, and stay at level B, or even C
instead of jumping to E.
When a child is still young, their mind is forming the pathways
for understanding and handling the world around them. If a child
is taught--or forced to resort to--to be other people, then that
is ingrained in--the mind stays fluid, instead of solidifying into
a firm mental identity.
That is a trait which is hardwired into the brain. If the mind
does not learn while it is forming that it is acceptable to jump
identities, then it will not do so to the extent of if it had. Hence,
even if a person could have been level E, if they had no reason
to learn to do so, they will be at level B or even C. The mind is
still halted on the idea of 'one mind, one body'. They can
be amazing actors, incredible authors, and dazzling artists, but
they will not lose their own identity to another in the same manner
that a multiple can, and still recover their own self without damage.
Reb: Imagine the mind as being divided into compartments:
The mind before six years of age is still all mixed up in terms
of who and what it is. It is still putting together the habits of
behavior--this is the part of youth development when a child learns
the difference between I and You.
The young mind is all mixed up.
Now, as it gets older and is taught that there are limits between
it and other people, it forms a strong and definite identity and
pattern of behavior. It sets down the manner in which it will learn
things and process information. It begins to set priority over what
it will retain, and what it will not.
If a child's mind is forced to behave in radically different ways,
it will come to the logical conclusion that the Identity value must
change. However, rather than just one way (say, if a child's parents
suddenly acted much differently and wanted the child to behave in
a constant, yet different manner), it must still retain the old
patterns of behavior. At the easiest level, let's say that a child's
father tends towards the extremes of behavior. When he is very happy,
then he wants the child to act in a certain way toward him or be
punished. When he is angry, the same--but the child must act in
a different way. So the brain divides into two tracks: One for Good
Daddy, and one for Bad.
Sparrow: Isn't this getting into Freud again?
Reb: Drop it. Just drop it.
Sammi: We're assuming trauma here as well, right?
Reb: Yes. Blunt always works.
Stella: Which is why she regulated it to the easiest level, as seen
in the first declaration.
Reb: Shaddup! Anyway.
Now let's say that the mother does this too. And, even better, the
child must act differently in school and around friends.
The mind learns that these identity patterns must be held, and held
intact and separate, so that they can be called up and used whenever
they're needed. It's basic survival instinct at the very heart.
Hence, the mind never sets down the boundaries, but keeps them fluid--because,
as the child gets older and enters new situations, it must either
make new behavioral structures or adapt the preexisting. And those
structures become quite separate from each other, all the better
to preserve their own space and way of life.
|----| |--|--|----| |----|---|
A multiple adapts to situations much differently than a single person.
If they require a new set of behavioral patterns to keep from getting
hurt, they will make it almost literally on the spot, instead of
a single person trying to balance what's going on and then making
themselves either pretend to it or actually change over time. The
reason they can do this sooner is because the new identity values
do not have to impinge upon the preexisting ones--and single people
have it affect that base value of Who They Are. A multiple can make
new people and act in strange ways without even touching that Who.
|----| |--|--|----| |----|---|
Where a normal person might have to struggle with moral issues,
a multiple dodges any sort of stress like that because, for, their
new personality, whatever they're doing is exactly right in the
world. It's how sense was made out of abusive home relationships--instead
of a multiple growing up and becoming a hardcore abuser of their
own, they cut off parts of themselves to suffer it, and who expect
such abuse to be normal. Therefore they do not struggle with guilt,
and can make sense out of totally senseless situations.
Multiples are like lizards, in that they can lose their tail to
a predator. You cannot touch a multiple if they become desperate
and down to basic survival--they will cut off parts of themselves
and sacrifice them instead to be remolded, hiding their own vulnerabilities
where no one can reach.
Reb: The heart of multiplicity is survival through fluidity. Can't
stress that enough.
Stella: Even more so than active people, they are continually
shaping themselves to meet their environments, always on edge to
notice if someone new needs to be made. The sacrifice in exchange
is memory and burnout. Multiples have an extremely high rate of
burnout due to their constant mental activity, and they can process
Personalities can be made who have the habit of core dumping memory
onto others; they live for the moment. Other personalities stay
arrested at certain stages of life. Multiples have a better memory
in some respects because an instance can be remembered by six or
seven different people, but at the same time, they can forget things
because only one person remembered it and they're not available
Multiples also make the sacrifice of being slightly out of touch
with the immediate world--multiples who have stable working systems
and coexistence are basically living with another set of stimuli
overlaid onto yours. Ever walk around with the news on your headphones
all day and with no way to turn it down? Do it for long enough,
and you'll see why multiples can be so spacey--there are worlds
of factors that single people never have to deal with.
>In cases like this, I think I would say that fragmentation
is not necessarily taking place; the person is simply using an assumed
mask to express parts of themselves they can't express in their
Right again--it's not, as such. Fragmentation that will go on
to create another personality or fragmentary personality has or
develops a root severance of self. If you took them apart to the
very base identity value, you would not find "This is Mary
pretending to be Pretty Mary Jane", but "This is Jane".
If pressured, the answer, habits, and core behaviors would not change.
It is this sense of difference which is so keen in picking up
the difference between those minor times when a person is simply
acting--even for extended periods of time--and when it is possible
for an actual fragment to form. As there is between a person and
an external person, there is the sensation of 'Me' and 'Not-Me'.
In cases where people have been around for a while, they do not
have to and often will not react in ways that you might have thought
they will. As any authored, envisioned, dreamed or woven character
tends, they will grow and stand on their own. They do not have to
rely on their creators to ask them for input, or for any sort of
basis to judge and react to the world upon.
This does not mean the person is necessarily a multiple...
these instances can occur quite often to people. What is also needed
is the range of other factors, ie, creativity, etc etc, and the
mind that is wired to fit.
>is it the person (primary/core personality, or whatnot)
who's required to develop in other ways, or the character?
The character. People who spend more time out become exposed to
more situations, and, unless they want to eternally rely upon others
for the solution, must act and react--even if it means refusing
to be affected.
> I'd be willing to bet that she doesn't handle more than
a dozen or so at any given time. I don't see how anyone /could/
without becoming a possibly unstable personality themselves.
Yes... well, that's the balance point. Just how many different
and distinct people can fit inside one head at a given time? And
not only that, but how many can do so while the overall system remains
stable? I've dealt with multiples who go nuclear at any number above
five, and I've dealt with those who can take that number in stride.
It really does differ from person to person, which seems to have
a direct correlation to those levels.
> rather see most of the cast in my head as a nebulously
defined spiritual link to other people in other worlds
This has pretty much just me sidetracking... *sigh*... but...
Do you remember the theory of archetypes?... That there are base
aspects in the world which create reflections of themselves throughout,
and those are what we see and interpret. Even in taking the Major
Arcana of Tarot as an example, there are the Fool and the Magician.
The Moon and the Emperor. Partake in Jung's collective subconscious.
The variations of stereotypes--almost laughable in what they thought
of as, and yet become so because we have forgotten precisely why
they are so powerful. That's pretty much off topic and might be
of no use, but perhaps we're all just trying to touch perfect ideals,
and coming down halfway.