Well, this is weird. But it feels so … us.
We are discovering so much. We don't want to share much… but we do want to share some things.
We're a bunch of people who can get all tangled up. We feel more comfortable when we know we're tangled up, or, ideally, detangle ourselves a little. We started out thinking we were 4, now we are around 10 that we know of. We're usually not alone in this body, there's usually two or three of us around, influencing who we are to the outside.
We're not completely different from each other, but we aren't the same person, either. We are a bit like parallel universe versions of each other. We vary in age, but don't get (much) older than our body is. We like different food and different pronouns. We have different relations to gender and to our pysical existence.
Our memory is mostly continuous, or at least we are all forgetful in a similar way. We know things that we weren't noticably present for. We value different things, and we have different emotions. We can't necessarily talk enthusiastically about a book someone else liked. We might need to be reminded of things that are more important to someone else than to us.
This was by far the most sudden Big Discovery in our life. Being queer was never an "oh, damn" moment for us. These things dawned on us slowly, grew on us. Plurality was different. One evening, a lovely internet acquaintance who is part of a plural system gave us advice on something else, and that advice was explicitly plurality-informed. We thought it was good advice. We always liked the non-normative views on mental health and craziness that come from this community ~
And before we knew it, we were talking to each other. Our singlet-sona was never good at coming up with characters, at finding names, any of that. But there we were, having opinions, having feelings, insisting on our names. Some of us were delighted, others were scared. It was so overwhelming and freeing.
We soon realised that this perspective was helpful in our exploration of trauma, too. When before our big achievement was to take a step back and see the picture frame around what seemed like a horrifying world, now we can see the whole room, see ourselves positioned in it, find connections between us and help each other out. This inevitably leads to the question if trauma is the reason we exist the way we do – we have different opinions on that and are unwilling to share them.
This here are texts that feel good to us.
Plural Selves FAQ by Meg-John Barker.
We loved their zine on plural stuff long before we knew they were plural, or we were plural. This FAQ is very, very queer. It is not trying to give definite truths about plurality, it's more about… which things are relevant to that question? What do we need to consider? That's so comforting to us. We don't do well with the "here's 50 words currently in use about plurality, with their one true definition" kind of intro texts.
It's rly good too. For us, noticing our plurality was a sudden, huge change. We thought we were singlet, then bam, one evening we discovered we weren't. We went at an incredible speed with our discoveries. This text helped us be better to each other, respect each other's needs and boundaries in this whole mess, and made some of us less scared.
Which label somemany uses or how they get categorised by others is not a good indicator for how relevant their writing on plurality is going to be to us. We've learned as much from median systems as from DID systems as from systems who'd rather not be bothered with any of those concepts.
Spirituality is not only bad. One of us is a witch, and we're all kinda fine with it.
We like saying we're bodymates rather than headmates. We aren't all super close with it, but we still share this whole body. (sysmates is cool too, but it's not our cozy word)
When someone is begging for attention, it's good to give them attention
Some of us go really well together in certain situations