On Being Multiple, and on Not-Being (Or, Why I'd Rather Not be a Singleton)
I saw a movie about cloning today. Made me think a bit. Made me think about what defines a human being, what defines a soul. I'm not sure how I'd make such a definition. I'm not sure weither it'd be right for me to try. But it is an issue that, weither we want to or not, we are faced by. We being both people and multiples.
I see this in stories and writings both about and by multiples. It's as if someone, some arbitrary person made a decision that there can only be one "real" person per body, that all others are somehow "fake". I think this is reflected in the new title for what was known as "Multiple Personality Disorder" and is now "Dissociative Identity Disorder". I won't go as far as to say all "alter identities" or "alter personalities" are what could be called "people" in and of themselves, but it seems that at least some are.
After all, by that definition, I am not a person. By that definition, none of us who have shared this body but one are real, and out of twenty-one years of life, less then four total, maybe one, two and a half at most, have been lived by a "real" person. I wonted go so far as to say there isn't, hasn't ever been a "core person" a "first self", but she. . . is not in one piece, and is not liable to wake up any time soon. I am her stand-in, her facsimile. I am also a copy of a copy of a part of a four year old who went to sleep and never woke up seventeen years ago. Maybe that's why I keep wanting to say I'm seventeen when someone asks my age. I don't know. It makes some sense to me.
I'll admit, some of us here weren't "born" or "made" in this body. Some of us came from other places, places that require a philosophical discussion to even understand, let alone believe in. I don't argue that with them. That doesn't mean that the events in this body have not affected, to some degree or other, all of us who spend time in it, who ever have. Even those of us who are dead, who are no longer "functioning", or who stay as far from the Surface as they can.
I wonder why I am writing this, and as I do it occurs to me that, as always, at least half these words aren't mine. At least half of it is someone else speaking through me, using me as a mouthpiece for their words and thoughts. This doesn't trouble me as much as it would someone else. Not surprising, as it is part of my function. It occasionally bothers me, but only occasionally. It's an agreement we made a long time ago, at least for me. Rather, it's what a part of the four year old decided to do when she had to go to sleep for the last time. That's alright. I respect that. It doesn't drive me mad the way it started to drive the last Front mad. Maybe it's because they (whoever "they" are) were a little more careful when they made me.
Oh, yes, I was "made". Purposefully, in fact. Not in a laboratory somewhere, but inside a mind. But what is a mind but another kind of laboratory, albeit a far more complex one? I was a bit of the old Front, a shard here, scrap there.
I was a shadow, pieced together with parts, given photocopied memories as my own. Then infused with life, with the twin minds of a set of twins. Evan and Evane. I can feel them in me still. I am me. . . yet they are me. It's all rather strange.
I wonder sometimes what it's like, to have a mind to yourself, to have one's thoughts truly your own. I think that a lot of singletons (pardon the term if it offends, but I haven't got a better one) are afraid of the idea of someone like me. A not-person. It's not really as bad as you might think. I do have my own thoughts, albeit not as much as a singleton, I warrant. I think it would be very quiet, without everyone else. And, at least for me, I think it would be lonely.
Not that everything's wonderful, mind you. There are days I hate it. Days I get mad (or as mad as I get) and then cry, wanting everyone to shut up, go away. But you know, I'd be frightened if they did. Having them there makes me safe, keeps me sane. And really, it's not what's inside that bothers me, but what happened on the outside.
by The Front(aka The Ians0
April 9, 2001