Pro-Choice on Integration
Guest article by Lesley and Larry of the Anachronic Army
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IntegrationLesley Pierce, with some added thoughts by Larry the Harmonica Player
Recently we got well acquainted with an integrated multiple, Tesserae. She has received a lot of hate mail and flames for taking that step.
When we first started going online, it seemed like all the multiples we met were planning to integrate. It was assumed that all multiples needed to integrate in order to be healed and "whole". After our diagnosis, we were striving for integration because we knew of no other option.
We've been out about our multiplicity for four years. Our site, however, is only two and a half years old. There have been a lot of changes in the community. Now, many multiples are planning to stay multiple, and are striving for cooperation rather than integration. That's wonderful. It's wonderful that people are finding out they have a choice between cooperation and integration (or a combination of the two.)
Most multiples who are attracted to our list and site have dealt with being pressured into integration, or told that they are mentally ill and will only be "better" once they integrate - once they get rid of their "demons". We've heard a lot of horror stories of people being forced into integrating. Indeed, we have our own stories. That's why we wanted people to realize that they had a choice. Being able to choose is powerful. Knowledge of your choices is empowering. Any multiple knows that integration is a controversial issue, and a difficult and personal choice each multiple has to decide upon for themselves.
We are pro CHOICE when it comes to integration or non-integration. We are NOT anti-integration, as many people assume. I've noticed many multiples who plan never to integrate are very hostile towards those who have integrated. The whole anti-integration attitude disturbs me. I'm disturbed by people who tell me I have to integrate just as much as I'm disturbed by those who tell people that we have to stay multiple.
It reminds me of how people view bisexuals. We, the Army, collectively identify as bisexual, and we know the stereotypes associated with that label. Bisexuals are seen as fence sitters. Sometimes both gays and heterosexuals mistrust bisexuals because you can't be sure which side of the fence they will be on. Straight or gay?
Most multiples don't trust singlets, but they are polite enough to their faces. A lot of multiples believe that they are more intelligent and superior to singlets. Multiples have referred to singlets with all sorts of derogatory terms. Monominds, deadheads, sniglets, simpletons (instead of singletons). It all seems to be an attempt to make themselves feel better. Make themselves feel special and important by slamming someone else. There is this dividing line between the multiple world and the singlet world that many believe Must Never Be Crossed. Singlets are seen as never being able to understand the wisdom and awe of what it means to be multiple.
I say rubbish to that as well, but that's the topic of another rant.
I think most people fear change. People are attracted to others like themselves, and it is easy to fall into the habit of slamming those who are outside the clique. I hate this mentality. We were never welcome in groups and cliques when we were children, and the last thing we want to do now is be part of some clique which slams other people.
Ever seen Chasing Amy? Remember when the main character admitted to her lesbian friends that she had a boyfriend? They viewed it as a betrayal, even if they had no problem with straight people or bisexuals, so long as that is how they define themselves from the beginning. It's fear of change. It's fear of people who can drift from one label to another.
Integration is not contagious.
Anyone who sees it as murder should not integrate. We do believe that for some multiples it IS murder, and those are the multiples who SHOULD NOT integrate. However, they should not insist that their experience of multiplicity applies to ALL multiples. All multiples are different, remember? Every multiple's experience of multiplicity is different. To some, integration is the most horrible, destructive thing anyone could ever do. To others, it is joy, or going home... finding the happiness and peace they spent so long working to achieve.
A lot of multiples are skeptical that it's even possible to integrate permanently. I can't say one way or the other. I don't know many integrated multiples... and the ones I've met, I haven't known them for long enough to see if it does last or not. If it isn't possible to integrate permanently, why the fear of integration? Why equate it with murder? A few people in our system integrated in the past, but it didn't take for too long. They didn't die. They just fell back into themselves again.
We, the Anachronic Army, will never integrate. We have found peace and happiness in working together and being ourselves. This is who we are.
We will stand up for a multiple's right to choose. Being able to choose is the powerful thing - not in making what some people perceive as the "right" choice. There is no right choice, except the choice that brings happiness and peace and life to the person/people involved. I can't tell you what that looks like. It's something you will need to decide and discover for yourselves.
Lesley & Larry of
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