How Can We Change The View?
Guest article Shandra of Lemarath
I agree with your frustration and with comments that we can try to create change by communicating with the media. Also, alternative viewpoints are being shared and published (Set this House in Order comes to mind - although it had trauma aspects and multiple drama there was an overall healthy side to it).
Ultimately I think that the shift is going to happen one successful, out multiple at a time.
However, to be controversial, many multiples are not helping with this image. Some multiples do behave badly and then pull the "well I'm multiple" card about it. Some multiples do go to a therapist expecting the therapist to set the agenda rather than taking charge of their own self-definition.
A lot of times when multiples come out they come out badly, and then they do weird shit like getting their coworkers to parent their inner children or whatever. I mean, if you (general you) say "multiples are perfectly capable" and then you insist on bringing your Raggedy Ann doll to work and hugging it during meetings (this is a true story), or your system mates shoplift and you use your multiplicity as an excuse in court (also a true story) you really are contributing to the idea of multiples being just a liiiiiiittle - less than fully adult. Which sucks, but there it is.
And those who don't pull this kind of thing are often very closeted. For good reason, but closeted nonetheless.
It's hard to put one's real name, professional reputation, and family on the line. But eventually that is what it's going to take.
I think it will happen, but it will take a long time - a lot of multiples who are comfortable with a more empowered viewpoint are in their 20s and 30s now and probably it will take until that generation is in their 40s and 50s to feel stable enough to say "and guess what?" to their communities. I know that's sort of where I am.
So far the celebrities who've come out multiple have not done a lot of favours although I applaud them very much for doing so.
I guess what I'm saying is, it's not just a media problem. It's a multiple problem too. Other movements have succeeded not because they bullied the media, but because they had reality on their side - blind people aren't stupid; gay people are everywhere.
We need to build an expectation of health and what I smarmily think of as 'decent behaviour' to counter the pathological model before we as any kind of group (also difficult to organize) will be able to hold any sway. Right now you really can find one out-of-control multiple system more easily than one who has it together.
It's all fine to say "multiples aren't like that!" but we need people to point to and say "they're like that!" And that just isn't, overall, there yet. I have lots of faith that it is going in that direction. But we as a group need to work at our end too to get there. Which I find hopeful, 'cause people are.