Hess Sakal, 2011
There’s this idea that there’s got to be a ‘real one’ in a plural system, especially if the system is partly or totally trauma-based.
Admittedly, I do have some traits in common with classic DID ‘hosts’, in that I’ve been here for the body’s entire existence, and have been a dominant frontrunner throughout that time, and had no awareness of my headmates until 2005/06. I remember just about everything, and in a lot of ways, this life was largely mine (and a few others’) for years. I also experienced a less defined sense of self than a number of my headmates.
That being said, the other Plures are no less ‘real’ than I am. They each have their own ways of perceiving the world, and have their own likes and dislikes. I don’t think of them as dissociated fragments of myself, and even if, for the sake of argument, I am the ‘original’ in the classic DID sense, and everyone else split off from me, there’s been enough time for them to develop their own personalities and become, well, fully-fledged people whom I should respect for who they are. They have the same level of consciousness that I have, and have their own emotions and opinions and beliefs, and for me to just say that they’re not people because they weren’t here first just doesn’t seem right, or fair. I know that the psych model tends to lean towards seeing non-original system members as dissociated fragments (not everyone who uses the psych model believes that, but it’s a common belief that I’ve come across), but as far as I’m concerned, my headmates demonstrate that they’re people to me, and I’m not going to treat them as anything less.
I view plurality as just a different form of existing, and I don’t need a ‘cure’ from it in order to function in society. Actually, my headmates have helped me become more emotionally stable and functional, and more aware of social cues than I would be otherwise. I think that our multiplicity is beneficial, not detrimental, and I don’t feel that it’s necessary for me to be here alone, or for the rest of my system to integrate into me, or anything like that. I value the relationships I have with them—these are my friends, my colleagues, my family. I don’t want to lose my goddamn family, so the Integration Evangelists can honestly stuff it. Even if you want to call me delusional for having these other people around me, my life is much better for it, and far be it from anyone else to tell me otherwise, especially when there’s tangible proof that our life’s improved since we found out about our plurality four to five years ago. I don’t want to be cured of something that’s made my life much better than it could have been.