Victim Survivor or Empowered?
There seems a growing elitism and divisions in the multiple community.
Barricades have been erected and from each side taunts and insults fly.
Within a group already marginalised and discounted it seems to me more
damage is coming now, from the inside rather than external forces.
When we fight for the right to self determine, to decide what is right
for us, what our reality is, it seems both a shame and self defeating to
attack another because their beliefs about their reality differ from your
own. The enemy, if there really is one should be the people living
outside of multiplicity that decide for us what our collective reality
is, rather than those that have fought to find their own. All we
are doing is making it harder to accept ourselves, causing segregated groups
and therefore weakening the entire multiple community. By insulting
each other for their view point we are achieving nothing, but the isolation
from ideas and information. It is against human nature to listen
to other's opinions when they come forward in a hostile insulting manner.
Pride and defensiveness gets in the road of learning about and from each
When multiples started coming out, claiming they had no abuse history,
or that their multiplicity was not due to abuse, the survivor type multiple
threw their arms up and started shouting denial. But even the so
called professional experts concede that 2% of multiples have no abuse
history, and that statistic comes from only the multiples that have sought
therapy. Research only happens with those that have presented themselves.
So what of the multiples that do not seek therapy, whether because their
life issues are not as intense, their view on therapy is it is less helpful
than learning how to deal with things yourself, or that you simply can't
afford to get professional help. When this is taken into account
it is highly probable that the number of non survivor multiples is higher.
Why does the idea that multiplicity without an abuse history is so challenging?
It does not, or should not negate the abuse that a survivor multiple lived
through. However, the growing community of non survivor multiples,
those that call themselves natural multiples seem to be just as negating
of the other side. Whilst fighting to claim their reality they discount
the fact that for many abuse was the catalyst for many other multiples.
So many natural multiple sites claim abuse does not cause multiplicity.
And whilst this may be true for them, it is a generalisation that isolates
and marginalised certain people.
We, multiples in general, have had to fight all our lives, for recognition,
for acceptance, and to be treated with dignity and respect. But in
the fight for this we have turned on each other. After being told
we were wrong, we were delusional to think that we were more than one,
that multiplicity needs abuse, that it is a disorder, we do not bond together
to fight collectively for what we need. Instead we take sides.
It amazes me that people faced with discrimination and intolerance can
then turn and do the same thing to others. Why doesn't the experience
of it result in a more tolerant attitude to those in the same situation?
Is it just a need for revenge, to have someone else feel as bad?
Or is it that our views are so fragile that someone with a different philosophy,
a different personal approach threaten our very existence?
Whatever the reason, it seems we are all unable to see others as individuals,
with their own views and experiences. We band together in little
groups fearing the other groups, hostile towards them.
The term survivor was coined because people no longer wanted to be seen
as victims, as having bad things done to them and therefore incapable of
being strong healthy individuals in charge of their life. Survivor
was meant to imply someone that lived through horrendous events but are
now in charge working towards the future of their choice. However
as time went on survivor was not someone different than victim, it was
just a new term to mean the same thing. Victim and survivor began
to mean the same thing, losing the differences, the true meaning of survivor.
For many then survivor became a derogatory word, meaning that a person
was unable to face the past, was unable to take control and responsibility
for their life. The meaning was lost. I believe that the word
should be reclaimed, taken back. The word survivor should be a term
of pride. It says someone is reclaiming their power, fighting against
the damage done to them. It should not be something that people should
feel ashamed of. But it is also up to people to use it in truth.
There are times we slip into victimhood, we want to be taken care of, to
be looked after and not do any of the work ourselves. We call that
our victim time. It is not in itself a bad thing, to go there for
a while, but staying there, never saying enough, time to move on is not
a good thing for us. Maybe for some they get what they need by being
a victim, that for them that suits their life. But there needs to
be some honesty. Do not claim to be a survivor if you wish to remain
a victim, be honest with yourself and your choices. Survivors do
not always have to be on top of their lives, to be over the past and moving
forward. Sometimes it takes strength and power to feel the pain,
to face the past and go deep into it. A survivor is just someone
that strives to move forward, that will fight against the urge to give
up, that even when the tears fall, and the grief overwhelms they continue.
Feeling takes courage, and does not make one a victim.
Recently the term Empowered has come into being. It is an unusual
term, that seems to mean different things to different people. It
is my belief that the word, originally meaning someone that has taken control
in their life, that has reclaimed their power, and is not willing to blindly
follow society rules, has been taken to mean something else. It has
been perverted to a form of elitism. There is a belief within many
"empowered" groups that empowered means you have to be a certain way, behave
and think like they do. If, for example you are a multiple that talks
a lot about Winnie the Pooh, is unwilling to be confrontational, and tries
to protect yourself from the triggers in the world, then you can't be empowered.
But isn't the idea of empowerment about doing what is right for you, about
finding your true self and celebrating that. What is to say that
the multiple described above isn't empowered for herself. Does empowered
only relate to the dark brooding type of multiple, the ones that want to
speak of death, anger and perversity? I do not believe that that
was the intent of empowerment. If anything it just seems to me to
be yet another stereotype, another little box that we have to force ourselves
into. Empowerment is not the opposite to survivor, it does not mean that
you have to be one or the other. I am a survivor of horrendous abuse,
and yet I see myself as empowered. I will fight for what is right
for me, I will stand and speak with pride about my life, no longer hiding
it away from the world.
I see this segregation, this divisions in the multiple community ultimately
keeping us apart and discounted in the world. We discriminate against
each other, trying to hold the moral high ground. We appear unwilling
to accept that someone else has a valid opinion if it differs from our
own. Does it really matter if your multiplicity was caused by abuse
or not? Does it really matter if your view of the world is light
and fluffy or dark and broody? People have told me we are too pessimistic
and serious, people have also told me we are too nice and gentle.
Why does it really matter? We can be all things at once, many people
at one time. Dark, light, survivor empowered and the occasional victim.
It's the terms and peoples assumptions about their meaning and desirability
that is fracturing the multiple community.