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Explaining multiplicity to non-multiples
Chordal
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Post: #1
Explaining multiplicity to non-multiples
Hi,

I've got this project going on where I want to explain the multiplicity angle of my experience to members of a group which is not based around multiplicity (it's based around gender; my own experience of "multiplicity" just impacts my experience of gender). I hadn't wanted to stick to the DID/MPD explanation, because I really don't know if that's what I'm experiencing; however, doing otherwise seems to require that I divulge my personal understanding and personal mythology (about being a soul-collector), which frankly is going to sound pretty crazy. I don't feel that I can trust non-psych experts to understand it. At this point, I'm unsure if I should broach the multiplicity at all, even though I've mentioned it in group already.

There's a lot of vocabulary to get through, and by the time I'm done introducing vocabulary and context (and probably debunking popular stereotypes), what's left is to introduce my different positionalities...which is difficult because I generally only notice them when I'm doing something which typically is their "thing", or when I have a certain energy about myself, or either want or do not want to do something (like explain multiplicity). On top of that, there have been at least five or six of these identities hanging around, and I generally don't know who I'm being, when. Because of this, "who is who" is hard to get straight in my mind. I haven't been offered any sort of training around the multiplicity, because I'm often written off as "not multiple," (because I'm "too stable") and so I don't get access to resources which could help me manage my experience.

The purpose of introducing the multiplicity at all would be to clear up why my own self-concepts and self-descriptions have been unstable. I get that I don't have to explain this; my fear is that I end up looking flaky if I don't explain it (though I'll probably end up looking flaky if I *do*, as well). At this point I feel isolated, because I'm the only person who I feel understands what I'm going through, and it's making me not want to stay there. Hence the self-care part of trying to get across my experience...and the questioning of if I'm multiple and not exactly trans*.

I also have an appointment coming up where I might be able to explain this, but neither of the people I'm meeting are probably going to know anything about multiplicity, and one is not a psych professional (though he'll be sitting in). I'm afraid that if I broach this, I'll completely blow my chances of receiving testosterone down the line, and alienate my primary care provider. So I'm not sure what to do. What needs to happen is that I need to see someone who has experience both with DID and GID, to help me out with differentiating the two; but there isn't really anyone I know who has that experience. My gender specialist doesn't have experience with dissociative disorders...so even if I did see her about this, it's unlikely she'd be able to help.

Any recommendations on what to do? I do see an intern later next week who may be more open to my talking about this. I can also shoot off an email or so. I'm just feeling "stuck" at this moment, and in addition I'm unsure if I'm essentially a transman-in-(slow)-process or if I'm overall androgynous and multiple.
2013-05-04 0:56
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Rain
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Post: #2
Re: Explaining multiplicity to non-multiples
Quote:I hadn't wanted to stick to the DID/MPD explanation, because I really don't know if that's what I'm experiencing; however, doing otherwise seems to require that I divulge my personal understanding and personal mythology (about being a soul-collector), which frankly is going to sound pretty crazy. I don't feel that I can trust non-psych experts to understand it. At this point, I'm unsure if I should broach the multiplicity at all, even though I've mentioned it in group already.
I see no potential benefit explaining multiplicity to people of a group largely unrelated to the subject matter. You've already stated that you don't trust non-psych experts to understand it, and I personally don't see what benefit there would be even if they, in fact, -were- able to understand it.

Quote:At this point I feel isolated, because I'm the only person who I feel understands what I'm going through, and it's making me not want to stay there. Hence the self-care part of trying to get across my experience...and the questioning of if I'm multiple and not exactly trans*.
People may not understand your multiplicity, but considering the nature and topic of the group, I can assume that they know very well what you are going through on the very subject that brought you together in the first place. If you wish for someone who understands your multiplicity, seek a psych expert -- the one thing you feel confident would be open to and perhaps even shed light on the condition. But the purpose of the group, I assume, is primarily to deal with gender identity; instead of allowing your difference to form a rift between you and your peers, focus instead on the similarities and branch from there. If in the future you think it worthwhile *and* are fully comfortable explaining your multiplicity to these people, it will be a different matter.

Quote:Any recommendations on what to do? I do see an intern later next week who may be more open to my talking about this. I can also shoot off an email or so. I'm just feeling "stuck" at this moment, and in addition I'm unsure if I'm essentially a transman-in-(slow)-process or if I'm overall androgynous and multiple.
Stop trying to apply labels to yourself and look for happiness. Whether you call yourself a trans, androgyne, multiple, whatever-you-want-to-put-here, it doesn't really matter. These are labels, they are not clear reflections of who you are, and they're really only useful when talking to people beyond oneself for convenience purposes. Explore. Settle into something that you are happy with free of these labels; they very easily become self-imposed restrictions. Only when you're confident you've found this happiness should you start trying to give it a name.

I've also implied it before, but while the root cause of something is certainly interesting, it is not as immediately important as the trait itself. The reason you have a certain gender identity is not as important as the identity you have.

~~~
2013-05-04 12:46
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Chordal
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Post: #3
Re: Explaining multiplicity to non-multiples
Thanks, Rain.

I talked to the group leader about this, and it looks like I probably shouldn't try to talk about dissociation in the gender group, even though it directly impacts my understanding of my gender.

I think that a large part of this "crossing over" stuff that I tend to do in different groups, stems from early college...that I was a member of, say, 4 groups and felt like I had to be a different person in each of the groups and not let who I was in any of the other groups cross over into a given one. This was something that I saw happening with myself which I think contributed to my feeling fragmented, so I tried not to let it happen and eventually consciously tried to bring in something extra. But the whole thing about "topicality" seems to mean that I only bring that which everyone experiences (regardless of if the etiology is different)?

I will be seeing the person who runs the group on a 1-on-1 basis, which was the alternative offered. Right now I think I need help in getting myself together, which isn't really something offered in the gender group; and I'm wondering if I need to be in a different group setting if I want to deal with this holistically.
2013-05-04 19:27
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