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questions and answers about multiples

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Posted by: lysergia Mar 27 2007, 11:15 AM

just wondering if maybe we should have a sticky thread where everyone gets a chance to comment on how they would like to interact with singlets. i know singlets have lots of questions about tact and language that could just stay there so no one has to ask smile.gif

- "what happens if you switch while i am talking to you?"

(my answer: well, if you really want the original conversant back right NOW, then you're SOL because we can't always control it. you can ask politely to leave a message, but it's considered rude to stop talking to whoever is now around in an abrupt way. you aren't "encouraging our delusions", you're talking to a complete person all of her own. a person with feelings, so be tactful).

Heh, my mate is getting pretty good a carrying on several conversations these days.

Are you dangerous?


do you need some kind of medicine if you switch personalities?

most of the time you won't even know there has been a switch, but I may need meds from dealing with you.

How do you keep everyone straight?

we don't, most of us, most of the time

Does switching hurt?


Which one of you likes to party


Do you all have different lovers?

now, wouldn't that get complicated

Do you all get along???

no, not all of us

This is fascinating...can you switch for me ( A tdoc said this)


What do I do if one of you gets out of line/gets dangerous/ tries to hurt me??


how do I know who i'm talking to?

you can ask, but for me, many won't tell


Anyone feel free to edit or comment on my posts, I'm rather new to it all

Posted by: wifezilla Mar 27 2007, 12:42 PM

This is totally awesome.

Why didn't you think of this 6 months ago when I first met Abi? (Slackers!!! laugh.gif )

A singleton's observations....

Having a friend with littles is not much different than having a friend with toddlers. Treat them as you would any other kid who is 3, 5, whatever age the little you are dealing with happens to be. Boundries, rules, love, a sense of humor...I interact with them like I do my neices and nephews.

After a while you will start to notice when a switch happens...but not always. If the conversation gets a little choppy, don't worry about it. You may have to repeat yourself sometimes if messages don't get passed from one person to the next. Just be patient.

The longer you know a multi-the more people you will meet. Some people will like you, some wont. Some will want to talk to you, others won't. You will develop favorites, but never admit who they are biggrin.gif. Just pretend you are at a family reunion of sorts. TThey all all "related", so you still have to be polite to everyone.

Posted by: Guest_presentjoy_* Mar 27 2007, 01:17 PM

I think this is a wonderful idea.

It would help if others can respond to the thread with their answers, or PM presentjoy if you don't feel like posting to everyone what your answers are.

i think it would be good to compile these and then have an FAQ-type sticky thread.

Does that sound good?

or, we can just sticky this one!

thanks for idea lysergia (rita and dictus)

pj (unlogged)

Posted by: reddog Mar 27 2007, 01:28 PM

i liken it to talking to a group of people simaltaneously, like working on a group project or having a group conversation. as long as i have that 'feel' for the conversation, i don't worry about who i'm talking too...we are all following the same topic/interacting together as a group.

i haven't met anyone outside the net who has admitted being multi to me, so i don't have any f2f experience.

questions about 'am i in danger' are just dumb imho.

a friend of mine does have some alters who want to be called by their name, so we are encouraging her to use a specific font/color to identify herself, so we always know when she is posting. that may help with the 'who am i talking to' issue.

Posted by: abifae Mar 27 2007, 04:39 PM


just wondering if maybe we should have a sticky thread where everyone gets a chance to comment on how they would like to interact with singlets.

i like this idea!


- "what the hell do i call you? what if i call you by the wrong name? what if i can't remember who is whom?"

we go by our system name or our generic name (wolfs or abi). however, if someone knows us well enough to call us by name, we love it. we like that we are close enough to our katharyn that she knows over a dozen of us and knows those dozen or so by name.

you know, we don't always know who YOU are either. we come up, we know we're supposed to be with someone and you are probably that someone, but we just call you "hey you" too tongue.gif


- "how do i talk to kids/littles?"

wifezilla has it... just like any other kid. and like any other kids, they hate being condescended to. and if our littles think someone is a schmuck, they're usually right and we go with their opinion.

ournate even has permission to send them to their room or ground them if need be. if they need a swat, he can swat them. they need boundaries and love and attention and put in their place!


- "what happens if you switch while i am talking to you?"

could you repeat that? i switched while you were talking.


- "is it alright if i talk to one of you and not the others?"

sort of... it depends on the situation. i've people in here and friends who abhor one another and if they are out when that person is over, they won't speak. we don't mind.

however, when people pull the "i'm only speaking to abigail because she's the only one i like"... go screw yourself.

i think it depends more on if it is because there is simply a personality clash versus you are scared of multiples.


- "Are you dangerous?" and "What do I do if one of you gets out of line/gets dangerous/ tries to hurt me??"

we are very dangerous. wooooo! boo! rowr!


that is probably one of the most frequent questions i've been asked. which is weird since i've mostly told people who've known me/us for years. and suddenly they wonder if we're dangerous??

and i suppose that during the worse of memories, people wig out enough that "what do i do if you scare me" makes a bit of sense, but honestly, you watch too much television. everyone is dangerous and anyone can hurt you. what do you THINK you're supposed to do?


- "do you need some kind of medicine if you switch personalities?"

i really hate being asked to medicate away the voices. dissociation is not a chemical imbalance.


- "How do you keep everyone straight?"

heh. there's over two hundred people in here. how on earth are we supposed to keep ourselves straight??


- "Do you all get along???" and "Do you all have different lovers?"

picture any large extended family all getting together and living in the same house. i guess you'd have to picture somewhere eastern because it isn't a western concept. anyway, can you seriously picture them all getting along or liking the same people??? hell no.

the best we do is compromise. we make deals. we use politeness and certain formalities to "grease the social wheels" as heinlein would say. and we only date people who understand we cannot and will not choose monogamy.


- "how do I know who i'm talking to?"


online, especially in chat rooms, we like to choose a font/color for each main person who comes out to chat. easier to keep straight that way smile.gif


Posted by: dust Apr 10 2007, 10:41 PM

OK, here's one. Only, I'm not quite sure how to put it in simple Q&A form.

My wife, L, was recently dx'd DID. When I first encounted her multiplicity, I was afraid that her switching might be just random-- like, I feared what would happen if she were home alone, and a five-year-old came out... and, say, the house caught on fire. Or, how can L take care of her small daughter if at any time that same inner five-year-old would come out to play, leaving no adults in charge?

That was perhaps my biggest fear a year ago, when L's inner posse started revealing themselves.

I now know that, at least in L's case, the swtiches do have a certain logic to them... and it seems that there is always someone else on the inside ready to jump in when the situation warrants.

Or maybe this is just L?

Posted by: wifezilla Apr 10 2007, 11:06 PM

Sounds about right Dust. In Abi's system, some have specialties...like I recently met Tish. She is a wiz when it comes to sewing and fabrics. I had not done a lot of fabric cutting with Abi before, so I never had a reason to meet Tish until that time.

And while a little may be up front having fun (coloring, watching TV, playing monsters, whatever) the bigs (or some of them anyway) are just in the background keeping an eye on things.

People become multis to deal with increadible (horrible) situations...when someone is needed to come forward to handle a crisis...well..that's what caused them to come in to being in the first place.

Posted by: presentjoy Apr 10 2007, 11:22 PM

still here and contemplating how to best put this in a sticky.

good stuff, all of you.

i wonder, a lot of discussion so far has been about the things encountered from people who don't understand, or stuff arising out of difficulty.

what else would you want to tell the world?

maybe some of us can ask more questions, too.


is it never alright to ask about trauma? is it just best to let you all talk when you feel ready to do so?

how would you want us to react when you tell us (or is this kind of dependent on who is doing the telling)?

(pj needs to sleep. manicky)

Posted by: Panz Apr 11 2007, 11:56 AM

hmmmm good questions PJ.

let's see...

Many or most people with DID are indistinguishable from anyone else. We are good at hiding it, often even from our selves.

While some people have visible or vocal changes when we switch, many don't sound all that different from us

Dissociation is caused by excessive trauma that the mind is overwhelmed with and the mind creates a proxy to deal with the trauma to protect it's self. And it is a natural function. Most people , thankfully, don't ever get to the point of trauma to trigger the process.

Most of us are either uncomfortable talking about the events that led us to have other personalities, or often don't remember them clearly if at all.

It is estimated that about 8% of the population has some degree of DID ( I will go find my source, sorry)

If we get to the point of "coming out multi" to a person, while what most of us would LIKE to be accepted freely, this is not usually possible, due to Hollywood imagery, stigma and misunderstanding. Most people need to be educated if they are at all receptive.

A lot of families take the news as an accusation , which often it is. For our side of the topic, be wise about who you tell and how you tell it. if possible, have someone with you to pull you out if things get unpleasant.

Sometimes, I have heard, that some tdocs will be willing to have a family meeting to discuss the disorder. I don't know if this is true for anyone not a minor, but it might not hurt to ask.

Most of us will talk about our traumas in or own time if at all, and it is very upsetting to be questioned about them for most.

Some thoughts. Especially for those that are close to you. Perhaps with your T, try to make a list of things in general that trigger you, subjects that cause extreme anxiety and pain. This would be handy for clueless but worried SO's

Make a list of things (if you know) that are soothing, self and otherwise.

If you have a partner or best friend that is supportive and wants to help, let them, teach them and thank them for their understanding and support.

Assure them that , even if you are going through hell. Backwards. in a bikini. and don't act like your "old"self, you are still the person that they met and have known. They just know something different about you now.

My SO is learning by context of speech and body language who is who. If you are at the stage of knowing about the others and what they are like. Write a short description of the ones likely to be encountered. It helps when you flip out in Wal-Mart and they don't have a clue. If you are alone, try to get out of the damned store, if you sense a switch. I am very very lucky in that I am often co-present with my others

If they don't already know. make a consultation appointment with your GP and let them know about your disorder (s)

I would like to say on my own and my mates that share my brain, that in a lot of ways being able to open up or be accepted as a multi by my tdoc and my mate is a big relief. Yeah, I and the others are going through some very rough waters. Learning to deal with secrecy and shame hurts. Trusting is scary. We don't have a guide book. we are trying to learn to live, heal and grow as a community of sorts. There is friction and anger. We cry a lot. But it is better than hiding behind alcohol like we did for years. At first we crawl before we stand.

No matter what stage of the process you are going through. It's probably going to be tough on all aspects of your life.

Don't admit your disorder before you are comfortable doing so, if at all possible

Yikes! I'm rambling. I had better shut up. I seem to have rattled out a bunch of advice for those of us with DID, not for others. Sorry

Thank you PJ, for considering our request. DID is difficult for most people to understand, so this is a bit of a stumper.

Posted by: wifezilla Apr 11 2007, 12:28 PM

Hey Panz....ramble away! We never know who is going to find these boards, so I think it is awesome when you see things from both the perspective of a person with a disorder and the view of your average clueless person who finds themselves married to or working with someone with a disorder. It's all good biggrin.gif

Posted by: dust Apr 11 2007, 11:06 PM

I'd like to second what Wifezilla said about rambling.

I learn a lot from the rambling. I wish there were more, but I don't alway have a specific question to ask, or a particuarly relavent comment to make. Please more rambling... more random observations... rants... whatever. It is all valuable to me.

Posted by: karuna Apr 12 2007, 05:50 AM

This thread has been really useful, my best friend has DID, and I am always looking for ways to be more sensitive. She hasn't switched in my company before, her alters seem to only come out with the people she is closest to (her husband and her Tdoc) but she is happy to talk about them and how they feel about things. I have made it clear that I am really happy to meet any of them and won't be freaked out in the slightest.

Posted by: reddog Apr 12 2007, 08:05 PM

ok here's a question for you all: is there a proper way to greet a new person when they come out and introduce themselves?

what i normally say (and mean) is good to meet you. but i know that multis were created under hellish circumstances, and i don't want to be misinterpreted as meaning 'i'm glad this happened to you so i could meet you'.

am i just unduly worried? i know some really touchy singletons and they have made me a bit gunshy about what is say. i hate think i'm being polite or nice and then being told i'm being an asshole....

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Thank you so so much PJ , This is really what we wanted all along, I think.


i really wanted to actually organize the questions and have it like a proper FAQ, but i figured we weren't done yet..

are we done yet?

i just think this discussion is great, and i wanted it to be in a place without all that other stuff, but i also wasn't sure how to split it to make it understandable.

thanks Panz for saying that


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we still can't have a FAQ that isn't sourced.

The questions are fine. The answers may well be true but I have no way of proving that if someone calls me on it, and I am the one who would be called on it. Are there broader surveys than just the people here? I can't assume that what is true of one person is true of all.

Let's also keep in mind that the majority of people with DID do not have multiple personality states and that this is a disassociation board, making DID a subcategory.

A FAQ needs to cover all the DSM conditions listed as dissociative disorders.

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so, we call it 'Ask the Multi' instead of FAQ and it's ok? or Etiquette for Singletons or something, we just don't use the FAQ word? was THAT the whole issue?

i don't have a problem not using the term FAQ if that is what the big problem is. i jsut wish that had been more clearly explained. i don't mind using a different label.

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