Discovering and Coping with being Plural
For those of you who don't know, which likely won't be many of you considering I do talk about this on my social media from time to time, I am a plural system! I figured this would be another nice topic to write about here, since this is still very new and fresh for me. Now, before we get started, if you don't know what a plural system is, I highly recommend you read More Than One to get a basic understanding of what I'm talking about here.
All done? Good, now let's get started.
I discovered this about two months ago, in October. As it turns out, I've been plural for at least 7 years, but I had unknowingly suppressed my headmates for a large amount of that time. Quite an odd way to find out, I know, but really, what isn't odd about this whole thing? After the initial shock of this discovery, we've grown used to each other, and in fact, have seen a few more headmates pop up over the course of these past few months. At the time of writing this, our system has 12 members.
From my experience, discovering that I wasn't the only one in my body was quite scary, to say the least. It did indeed cause a few panic attacks, and a lot of sleepless nights. Through time I've slowly learned to accept that this is how I am now, and honestly? It's kind of nice. Knowing I'll never truly be alone is reassuring, to say the least, and it's nice to know that my headmates will for the most part care for me, since we're all in the same body we have to work together.
The exact cause of discovering I was plural is still, a bit vague to us. We're not really sure what caused me to realize my headmates were present, but whatever it was, we're glad it happened.
Now, obviously, it wasn't an immediate recovery from the shock and confusion. In fact, we're still not even sure exactly what type of system we are. Right now we're comfortable with being called median, but even then, I don't think we really fit that description very well.
Our experience so far has been pretty bumpy, and due to my initial panic, our headspace is a little rough at the moment. None of us really have full control over it, so we just have to hope that over time it improves and the bad places go away, but, we stay optimistic. If we didn't, it might just continue to get worse.
The headspace is probably the most useful thing I've ever had. It's nice being able to let someone else take control for a while, and taking a break in the middle of the day while letting them get things done has its perks. It's not always helpful, though, I've gotten lost from time to time. Our headspace is a void, totally black, yet we can still see things just fine up to a certain distance, at which point things aren't visible at all anymore. There are places scattered about the void, with no real rhyme or reason to it, but they are for the most part nice places to stay.
Now, you might be wondering, “So you've already coped with this in the span of two months? That's impressive!” No, that isn't quite the case. I may have accepted that it is how I am now, but that doesn't mean I'm completely okay with it either. I very often think to myself and question everything about it, things like “What if I'm faking it?”, “What if this is dangerous?”, or even “What if my friends and family hate me for this, or find it weird?” These are all very common and valid worries, people have told me, and luckily, the last one ended up being false. A good amount of my friends are aware of this fact about me now, and even my mother knows, and they're all fine with it! My mother still doesn't quite understand, but she's still accepting of it and has been very supportive.
The coping process is long, and I might not ever be able to, either, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try. I hope to one day be able to live happily with my headmates, getting used to it, and being able to work with them to improve our body's health.
If this article has left any positive impact on you, I'd love to hear about it! You can contact me via Mastodon, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, to let me know your thoughts on this blog. I plan on writing more articles about plurality and my experience with it, too, so stay tuned for that if this article interested you!