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A Median's Operating System
There are times I say "It's complicated in this here head." I'm not sure I'm right about that, but I say it anyway.
Most of my life, I've considered myself singlet. There is, after all, only one of me in here. Likewise, for a large portion of my life, I've considered myself aspected: I thought of the different presentations like transformations performed on the same base, simple things emphasising certain traits and de-emphasising others, depending on the situation. I named the aspects years ago, with descriptive terms, many of them with the flavor of craft names or use-names from Wicca or similar traditions.
Somewhere along the way I learned about the concept of being "midcontinuum" or "median" -- someone who is neither truly singlet nor truly plural. And I thought about that for a while, and after a while more came to the conclusion that that was probably more accurate as a description of what I am. Or of who we are. Whichever.
If I look at the flux of thoughts which is my consciousness, the ongoing communication amongst myselves, closely enough, I can pull loose the individual threads, things which I can associate with one aspect or another, one person or another. For the most part, this takes conscious work, because the entirety is too fluid; it is a gestalt, shifting from one side to another or from one consistency to another depending on the pressures from outside and the responses inside, without a center or necessarily a distinct voice. It often processes things simultaneously, with the flow from one thought to the next being more a process of seeing what washes ashore from the tides than anything particularly linear.
What I have is not so much an operating system as a growing awareness of what the strengths and weaknesses of the members of the system are. We have never lost time, perhaps because we are as much one as we are thirteen; however, the skills and weaknesses of the aspects are varied. Before I thought of myself as median, I was never entirely certain how to deal with the variety of responses that I might have; I knew that I had a variety of weak points, not all of which were present all the time, but had no way of judging which ones were there.
Within this new self-knowledge, though, we try to keep track of who are the major forces in the gestalt that is the front at any given time; with that knowledge, we can judge what pitfalls we're liable to come across, what things to be careful of, and sometimes keep better controls over the transitions from self to self. Knowing the boundaries between "me" and "other me" is as important a skill for me as knowing the boundaries between "me" and "some other person". Who hurts? Who is frustrated? When something happens to make someone unable to hold front, who is most likely to step in to fill that gap?
With that knowledge also comes a certain amount of control: the assemblage of all the selves, the I of all of us, can encourage one aspect to work with another, or find the person who knows how to dislodge someone who's being an idiot. Now that I can identify that one set of deep desires belongs to a particular self, I can deal with the pain of having those desires unmet and unmeetable by doing other things that that self values, finding that self's other goals and working to meet them. Now that I know that particular sets of skills belong to different aspects, I know who to ask when I need something done, or who to keep away from certain situations.
Front is like a stage. There can be several people out on the stage at once, some upstage, some downstage. Too many people out there and it starts getting cluttered and often hard to follow the action. The people who aren't visible to the audience are in the wings, or back in the rooms getting their next costume change, touching up their makeup, reviewing their notes. Everyone's generally aware of the entire production, and since life is improv, they go on and go off as they see fit. Sometimes someone hogs the stage, and won't go until they either get bored or someone else drags them off. Sometimes people shout suggestions or good lines from backstage. Sometimes we disagree about whether we're doing a romantic comedy or an action flick. There's no director except for the flow and feeling of the story, the contributions of everyone pooling into the sense of self, of the person that we are. Sometimes we're sufficiently unified to speak with one voice; sometimes one speaks for the entirety; sometimes we only speak for ourselves.
I've always been a very intuitive processor, someone who operates more on feeling and a sense of rightness than logic or things that go well into words. As such, the system of self that I have is arguably something that's under language somewhere; this is the best I can do. To the extent there's a system, it seems to boil down to "Know yourselves" and "Know who's driving"; everything else derives from that.
Lightweaver (mostly), speaking for K&.