Collective Phenomenon multiplicity
plurality 101

You may notice that we've revamped this page quite a bit from what it previously was, and that a lot of our older essays are gone. There were a lot of factors driving our decision to remove some of the essays, but the main one is the fact that we've had this page up for over seven years now, and in that span of time, people's opinions tend to change-- which is no less true of plurals than it is of singlets.

There's also the fact that, as much as we may wish to believe otherwise, members of multiple systems are also just as vulnerable to community groupthink and to peer pressure as singlets are-- and may realize down the line that their opinion on a certain issue was influenced by their social circles more than they knew. Again, we won't go into detail on this, as it is really none of anyone's business, but we removed a few things because we realized that what we'd written were actually not our real opinions and views.

Some of the system members who contributed essays to this page have taken a frontrunning hiatus, or changed their names, or were discovered to be several people mushed together writing under one name (hello Splitting or Branching Off). And none of that means the sky's falling in-- it's certainly not uncommon in multiple systems, in all the groups we've met and compared experiences with over the years, but another form of peer pressure we've found ourselves succumbing to over the years is the pressure to remain static for the comfort of singlets, out of fear that they might find significant changes in our system to be "too weird."

We're also, in a lot of ways, more politically conscious and have a broader view of the world than we did when we first wrote a lot of these essays-- some of the things that seemed rage-worthy to us then seem minor in the scheme of things now, while things we didn't notice or couldn't fit into a pattern back then are now very prominent in our thinking. So they were part of a process of learning and growing for us, as much as for anyone. Finding over the years that your opinions never change is, we think, more worrisome than finding that they do.

We'll also repeat one of our original disclaimers in fewer words: we don't all share the same opinions on everything, and most of these are single-author essays which don't necessarily reflect system-wide views.

Theories of Plurality

Splitting or Branching Off?, by Tamsin
Is 'splitting' an appropriate metaphor for the creation of new selves in a plural system, or should they be regarded instead as dynamic living organisms, with potential for growth and change? An older essay of mine.
Terminology, by Anthea
Why I find many traditional psychology terms for plurals and people in plural systems to be not only inaccurate but even offensive.
A Reconsideration of "Protectors", by Anthea and Harriet
Protectors aren't always people who go around being foul-tempered and smashing people's faces in. Being a real protector takes intelligence and common sense.
On Subjective Worlds, by Ruka
Subjective or other worlds, which often include complex and detailed societies and cultures possessed of their own traditions, are intrinsic parts of many multiple systems. Why, then, do we hesitate to speak freely about our own?

Politics, Social Perceptions, and Exploitation

Don't Take Advantage Of Our Good Will, by Azusa
Advice for singlets who come to our page-- or anyone else's-- looking for 'information for a novel they're writing,' or anything along those lines.
Multiplicity and Sour Grapes, by Tamsin
Multiplicity has been relegated by many people to a junk bin of dubious psychological fads, but how much of that has to do with outrageous and overblown claims made about us and our abilities?
On Singlets Writing About Plurals, by Anthea
Writing about multiples is no different than writing about any ethnic or religious group which you're not a part of. Don't make assumptions without doing your homework.
The Glamorous Life, by Azusa
Part of the reason people would rather believe in the MPD/DID stereotype is because it's so much more glamorous and exciting than the mundane lives of many real plurals.
Multiplicity and Excuses: A Rant, by Azusa (older rant)
Why multiples (or people claiming to be multiple) who use plurality as an excuse for irresponsibility really screw things up for those of us who strive constantly to be accountable and responsible.

The Plural Community, Plurals' Attitudes and Beliefs

Survivorship and Empowerment: Not Mutually Exclusive, by Azusa
Being pro-responsibility has nothing to do with being 'anti-survivor.'