Are there any benefits to being multiple?
In the typical process of trauma therapy, your therapist and the dissociative trauma survivor will spend a great deal of time talking about how difficult it is to be multiple — and it is difficult, no doubt about it.
For the typical multiple, there were years and years of pain and horror and abuse requiring the need to split over and over into a number of different personalities just to survive the unthinkable.
But the point of this blog is to talk about what an outsider / singleton sees as the benefits of being multiple and having Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID/MPD).
Yes, there really are some advantages to being split!
I see the following benefits in multiplicity:
- Being able to do more than one thing at the same time. Talk about having the ability to multi-task! I’ve known situations were one personality can be talking comfortably on the phone while another personality is busy doing the day’s work. How cool is that?!!!
- Always having someone to talk to. When you are friends with each other on the inside, you don’t ever have to be alone. Your best friends can be right there with you, any time of the day or night.
- Being able to maintain the joy of a child’s perspective. Children can be so innocently full of wonderment, and joy, and happiness. They know how to be carefree and happy and amazed at the simplest of life’s pleasures. Child parts, once safe from trauma, can keep that sense of joy near to them their whole lives long.
- Being able to take a break even when the outside body has to keep going. When you’re split, you can tuck back inside, and rest, or sleep, or think, and let someone else be out front managing whatever is going on in life. Having that ability to pull away and separate from the outside life can come in handy sometimes!
- Having the ability to remember so much more of life’s experiences. In my opinion, once a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder finds safety, and learns to connect with all their internal people, and lowers their dissociative walls, it seems to me that people with DID actually remember more of their life than “regular” singletons do. This includes remembering more of the good times as well as the bad.
- Having the ability to understand life and events from a variety of different perspectives. Those with DID don’t have to imagine what it would be like from a different perspective – they often have someone inside that already genuinely sees things that way!
- Blocking out pain. While blocking pain is not always a positive or helpful skill, there are times and places where having the ability to block out pain, both physically and mentally, can be a great benefit.
- Quite possibly needing less sleep? I can’t prove this, but it seems to me that a significant number of folks with DID can function quite effectively on less sleep than what the average singleton person needs. Maybe this is because the various parts can rest and sleep internally? By taking turns resting inside, does that make the overall physical need to sleep less? I have no real answers for this, but it’s not uncommon for this to appear to be the case.
- Looking younger. Again, I cannot prove this, but in my years of working with multiples, folks with DID look considerably younger even as they physically age. One would think that the years of trauma, abuse, and stress would have a negative effect on the physical appearance, and while there are obvious scars, there also seems to be a common ability to not age physically as quickly as singletons do. You all nearly always look younger than you actually are. How cool is that?!
- The ability to fit in with a variety of different people. While some system splits were formed as trauma-based ways of matching with various groups of people (and some not so good as others), the positive flip-side of that ability is that people with multiple personalities can literally find themselves fitting in easily with a wide variety of people in a variety of ages.
Sometimes I wish I could do some of those things too!
The point being, despite the difficult beginnings required in splitting into multiple personalities, there are many good and positive attributes to being multiple.
Your Dissoci-ACTION Questions:
- What do you enjoy about your multiplicity?
- What strengths do you have?
- How has multiplicity enhanced your life?
- What qualities of being a multiple would you want to keep, and never lose?
Your thoughts and comments are welcome, of course.
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Copyright © 2008-2018 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation