Last night, one of the lives that one of us leads, intruded on our normal functioning. This made us wonder how many lives we lead and what impact this has. Everyone talks about having different roles or persona’s they present to the world, e.g. how you act and appear at work is possibly different from how you would act at a dinner party on a Saturday night. It appears as if this sort of thing is usual for the singleton population. As someone who experiences dissociation, I’ve often wondered whether my experiences are all that different from this sort of usual occurrence. That is, until the way the two different parts run their life collide, then it becomes obvious that we may not fit “usual”.
As a singleton with various aspects of one personality, there seems to be some consistency in the way you interact with the world – that is, your ethics, morals and way of viewing the world don’t change significantly. There might be more slippage in the way some things are viewed, but overall you are consistent. Whereas I experience what I would consider more of a sliding scale, especially when it comes to morals and our way of viewing the world. Our ethics seem fairly consistent – a desire not to intentionally harm others is one common denominator; but our morals especially, seem to be more variable. This seems to contradict some of the research I have read where morals and ethics are consistent across the dissociative system – if one part performs an action then it is something that the rest of the system is capable of. So, I as CG are capable of my usual shyness as well as Sophie’s outgoing happiness and S’s overt sexuality. I’m also capable of the actions that occur from the way those parts view the world. I struggle with this concept greatly… Sophie’s outgoing happiness and innocence is a direct contrast to S’s overt sexuality; how can these be morally consistent? Each part has their own group of contacts online and when there is a collision between these groups, the differences become obvious. The other night, we were chatting online with a friend, during the chat we received a message for S from one of her online contacts. The confusion and resulting anxiety lead to a dissociative switch with S coming forward to try and get rid of the person we were talking to so she could talk to her contact.
It is rare for all of us to respect or consider anyone a friend, but there are a few that S doesn’t feel the need to control, manipulate or please. Does this mean that we are morally consistent? Or, does it mean that S is healing and learning that controlling people isn’t always necessary? I’m not sure of the answers. What’s interesting, is that it’s our male friends that she is more likely to have contact with, but yet she doesn’t fall into the old patterns of sexual manipulation. I’m not really sure if she considers them friends, authority figures or objects to be studied out of curiosity. But it’s a marked contrast to our female friends, whom she expresses no interest in talking to. Possibly because in some respects the abuse we were subjected to by women was physical as well as sexual and psychological, so there is a different dynamic going on.
I’ll take this to Liz on Tuesday and see what she thinks… I’m not sure that I’m fully grasping the difference between a singletons presentation of different persona’s, and someone with DID presenting with different dissociative parts.