Guest article by AdrielReading about experiences of multiplicity, I rarely see anything on medians. Recently, I was talking to a friend who doesn't understand. In fact, if I were to tell her that I was a multiple (multiple minds within one body) then she'd understand that better than when I said I have multiple aspects in one mind. But I think this is true for a lot of people, even multiples. I think the most important thing for anyone to understand is that medians are not multiples and are not singlets.
The glossary on Pavilion & Astraea's Web defines Median as:
* Being neither multiple nor singlet...Probably the main characteristic distinguishing medians from singlets and multiples is the presence of more than one person in the body, but without the independence of persons in a multiple system. Persons in a median system may be dependent upon a single individual (who may have created them at some point), and unable to exist without that central person. Some people in a hosting situation might think of themselves as median...You might say something like "there are many of us, but we are really all Karen" or "aspects of Karen", etc. Various metaphors have been invoked by median systems to describe their experience, such as a stem with leaves, the spokes of a wheel, pages in a book, or a sun orbited by planets.
Before this definition and term I didn't even know this was a possibility. I never identified as a multiple, but knew that I was more than a singlet. It just fit so perfectly!
The Book Metaphor - A median is neither a singlet or a multiple and yet can identify as both. It's one body and one mind, with multiple aspects of this mind. Taking an example from the above definition, a median is like pages in a book. The book is the whole, but it's made up of separate parts (pages) that each have something different to contribute to the book, but are still the book.
I also have a diagram that I created which I think might help:
Click on the picture to see a larger version. The interactions between the minds/facets, core, hosts (etc) can differ. This is just a basic idea.
Everyone Already Does It -- Another way of explaining it is with the way many people speak. How many people have used phrases like "inner child" or "my crazy side"? These phrases take on new meaning with medians. These different sides - different aspects of a persons personality - actually exist outside of metaphors. "A part of me likes the nice guy, but another part wants the bad boy." Again, this sentence has a different meaning to a median, where that "part of me" exists outside of a metaphor. A part of me, a separate part of me, but still me.
References in Media -- You've all seen cartoons and even some live-action sitcoms where the viewer is shown what's going on in a character's mind and we find the brain being controlled by a bunch of people who might call themselves the "subconscious" of that character. There are usually a lot of these people, each with a separate role, like anger, happiness, jealousy, etc. They are all just a part of the whole character, they are what make up that character. In several dramatic series, someone is shown having an impersonator who looks exactly like him and is going to his job, getting all the girls, or whatever. But it's not actually an impersonator -- it's actually one person, split into his best and worst qualities.
My Median BrainI identify with archetypes. I have three aspects within me all of whom I have identified with and who I have given specific roles. I have the Empath, the Scholar, and the Child. These are my aspects that make up my median brain:
* The Empath has been there since forever. She is what I considered "truly me" for a long time. Me without all the masks. Me stripped. My true personality: sensitive, empathetic, kind, loving, passionate, compassionate, reserved (etc).
* Later in life I realized that the Scholar existed. She's colder but definitely smart. She has a hunger for knowledge; wants to learn everything there is to learn. She's super logical, she's super opinionated. She's very self-righteous.
* And very recently (within the last month) the Child came to light within me. I can't tell if she's actually a young age (though she seems to be) but she is the embodiment of my childhood. She is that simplicity and innocence that comes with childhood. She is what singlets would call my "inner child".
These three archetypes make up who "I" am.
Belief -- I have learned that I am capable of believing two contradicting things at once. For example, the Scholar is Pro-Choice but the Empath is Pro-Life. The Child often doesn't understand why certain people do certain things, like hurt, hate, kill, or regret. With this happening it becomes tough to actually know what my belief is in something. I have to do a lot of self reflection and thought which happens a lot! At the same time one might like something that the others don't care about. For example, ALL of me loves my boyfriend, but only the Empath likes his type of music.
Decision Making -- This gets really difficult. Sometimes there will be a decision that needs to be made and I won't be able to easily. A simple example is, "What do I eat today?" The Scholar might say, "We've been tired lately, lets eat a salad." The Empath might say, "But we're kind of empty, lets eat tacos!" The Child might say, "PB&J!! With milk!" This happens with everything constantly. Writing this post has proved to be rather difficult.
System of Balance and Hierarchy -- Something else I have recently learned was the difference between my body and my mind. My mind holds these archetypes, while at the same time projecting my body into my mind. I've named this after myself. This projection is not a separate aspect but It is the embodiment of EVERYTHING that is me (including all aspects) projected into my mind.
For a while this projection had little voice, was small, submissive, not very powerful (etc) but recently she has grown and now is the final voice that ends a disagreement between two aspects. In essence this projection is law. I may have different contradicting beliefs and passions and understandings that are ever changing and flowing, but there are certain things that will never change, certain things I will always believe, certain ways I will always act, and these things are held within this projection. In essence, this projection is my mind watching itself.
My JourneyThere are a couple of personal things that I wanted to share. I recently have come out of a horrible suicidal depression which came about because of medicine that I had been taking. I stopped taking the medicine and got almost instantly better, but I realized that the medicine had not only been messing with my hormones, but in the later months had clouded my brain. It made it almost impossible for me to connect with my aspects. It literally was like a thick fog had invaded my brain that wouldn't let me see them or hear them or feel them and it was horrible. I learned how much I need them and more importantly I learned how much I am them.
Now that I'm doing much better my brain is clearer than it's ever been. I can reach them again and this past month I have learned so much about myself, I have opened up to myself, if that makes sense. And that's when the Child emerged. Another part of me. And I think there are more that haven't surfaced yet (I'm sure they will in good time).