Integration: Not For Natural Multiples
Guest Article by House of the Moon
It is a little-known fact among the singleton world that very few multiples who supposedly "integrate" actually stay "integrated". In reality, almost every "integrated" system becomes a "dis-integrated" system again at some point. Often it takes less than a year, but sometimes it happens years down the road.
Consider this: Might this be proof that multiplicity is natural? Even in cases where multiplicity is trauma-based, this re-"splitting" almost invariably happens. Perhaps this is because even when multiplicity starts out as a so-termed "coping mechanism," it becomes natural -- becomes the state where everyone is happiest and best functioning.
Yes, that's right: If multiplicity really is or becomes a natural state for a body, then trying to force it into the "one body, one mind" paradigm might actually make the resulting mass a lower functioning, less happy person than the system would be. Sure, systems often have their problems, but every relationship does. Stick any bunch of people together and they'll have their agreements, their disagreements, their fights and their alliances. That's the way societies work, even when they're peaceful societies with no violence or hatred to speak of.
Consider, also, the word "integrate". This word falls into the paradigm of a disorder that needs to be cured, of one person who has fallen into little bits and needs to gather up the bits and glue them together again to make a whole. This word carries with it the assumption that none of the people are whole, that none of them are real people. If the paradigm is shifted to a premise that trauma-based multiples also end up as natural multiples, regardless of whether the body had started out with more than one person, then the word "integrate" and its associated paradigms become meaningless. In a world where multiplicity is considered natural in all (or almost all, to appease the devil's advocates out there) bodies associated with it, there is no need to "integrate" because everyone is already whole. In fact, in this paradigm, integration becomes more dangerous than multiplicity, for the "integrated" becomes less functional and lonelier than before.
We have also met a number of multiples whom, upon "dis-integrating," feel like failures, like they couldn't take the "pressures" of being singleton and had to "fall back" on their previous multiplicity. This, too, shows a belief in Western society's pervasive paradigm that multiplicity is automatically unnatural and singlet life is the desired norm -- and the implicit assumption that anyone who can't live in the norm is somehow "defective".
Yet trauma-based multiples have been told their whole lives that they were defective. This Western paradigm is one of many attempts to revictimize the victims. Instead of claiming themselves as all worthwhile people who all deserve to exist in their own right, Western society would rather multiples try to squish themselves into the "norm". For if trauma-based multiples become empowered -- if they become accepting of all of them and refuse to "integrate" or apologize or deem themselves defective and worthless -- then people in Western societies might have to admit that abuse and other traumas exist, which is something far too scary. So Westerners live happily with their denial, and make bad jokes about multiples (so bad that they usually say "schizophrenics" when they mean 'multiples'), and keep their little status quo world safe.
It's time for multiples to stop being party to our own revicitimization. It's time to reclaim what people attempted to wrench from us. It's time we define us ourselves in terms we choose, not in terms chosen by a society that doesn't understand and often doesn't want to. It's time that more multiples realize that integration is not only not the only choice, but can often be a harmful one. It's time to realize we don't have to be working with therapists and that, if we do, we don't have to have multiplicity as the focus of therapy. It's time to realize that multiplicity can be a natural state, and that it can become a natural state even if it wasn't originally one. It's time we take back what was rightfully ours all along.
House of the Moon