Friday, May 27, 2011

Umm... duh!

"Why would you want to stay several 'people' instead of integrating and becoming whole?"

"Well... Why wouldn't you want me to kill you, and bury you, so you can become one with the earth? Yeah, whatever that answer is, same here!"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sweetness at work!

Awesome! The client site I just left has taken to checking who's front and giving us a matching visitor name badge! The body name is out of the system, and there are two entries - myself and Miakoda.
That is now two corporate client sites accepting, not just tollerent of, us as individuals!
Why on earth did we used to hide?! This is awesome!
The guy at this site we go there to see even asks abou the rest of the klatch, and we often share stories with him involving more than 1 klatch member! I just told him about Jewels slurring her sign language at the camping trip we went to last weekend, which he found hysterical. It's no different than chit chatting about someone's external family.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Forest Folk

We just got back from the Forest Folk Festival. Forest Folk is where we first came out openly as plural and introduced ourselves individually. We felt so welcomed and accepted, our inner landscape was remodelled to look very similar to the festival grounds. Needless to say, we were more than ecstatic to return this year!
When we arrived, people recognised Rebecca right away! People were happy to see her, a few asked about the whole group and how they were.
One of the little kids was the most impressive. "I know you're Rebecca, I've got the eyes!"
Lillian got a chance to read, and got in to an in-depth conversation with outsiders regarding authors, ebooks, all her favourite topics.
At one point this weekend, one person left 2 or 3 children in Rebecca's care (Becca offered) for a few moments, knowing full well how many of us there are and having met most of us. Not an ounce of worry regarding the mythical "hidden dangerous alter".
Yes, this place fully accepts us as us! This is our home.

One of the greatest experiences with outsiders this weekend was hearing a friend of ours explain our multiplicity to her young children. She explained that, while they are their souls, and in their body by them selves - they aren't their bodies, just in them - when we were born, several souls entered this body and live together.
The older one seems to understand pretty well, but the younger one seems to think we're just a bunch of people who all look alike. Close enough.
It was adorable when she kept asking us "Where's Julie?", "Where's Mia?". "Where's Rebecca?".
What was really priceless though was what they picked up from me. As their mom was taking them in to the tent for bed, they both stood at the door and signed to me, "Nice to meet you.". It was really sweet, and I was really touched.
Her kids really like us, even if they don't fully understand us.
Her mom and I talked a good portion of the night, via notebook, over a bottle of Sangria. Well, I had the Sangria.

The only downside to being open in such a loud crowd is the number of times we've had to explain us. However, it was really surprising how quickly the number of times we got asked "Who's front?" died down. (We don't mind, and we encourage it. Know us!) People really started to pick up on who's who rather quickly.
If you find yourselves open in a big crowd, and it's practical to return to your camp site or hotel room often, props seem to help groups of outsiders understand who's who. As often as possible during the festival, Lilly carried her nook, Miakoda carried her stuffed wolf (Floppy), Becca wore her hat, and of course, Pastel has her glasses. This seemed to have kept the confusion down.
Of course, we kept one front for several hours at a time, so there really wasn't much running back to the camp site.

I can't tell you enough how amazing it is to be recognised and accepted, and loved! Yes, each of us - not some composite of us.
I have never before felt so...
allowed to exist!

Step forward, stand up, say "We're here!", and eventually you will find the people who will accept you!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Confused

Client asked me for my name and driver's license. "Legally, the name is , but I really go by Miakoda."
He complained I confused the hell out of him. How was that confusing?! The government calls us 1 thing, and I call myself something else. Not hard.


*sigh* Singlets...

Soon, we camp!

It is nearly time for the Forest Folk May Festival.
Forest Folk was the first place we were openly multiple.
Everyone just accepted us there. We were individuals, people got to know us by name, and at last year's August Festival, people asked for individuals by name!
Turns out, we weren't the only plural there. We won't out them though, I'm pretty confident they wish to remain closeted.
Forest Folk was such an accepting place, and we were so happy there, we remodelled our inner landscape after the festival grounds. In our version, we spend most of the time around the fire pit. We have a small house instead of tents as well.

This year, Pastel has glasses. Maybe she can actually socialise now.
Pastel is extremely sensitive to light, as well as sound. She has been for years now, and it's really hampered any hope of her having any fun. Last year, she sat in the dark near the camp fire with a hood pulled down over her eyes as far as she could get it because the camp fire light was very painful for her.
Maybe now she can focus on being herself.

Work

Work has turned out much differently than any of us really expected. We used to hide at work, even after we started being open everywhere else. We would use the body name, blame voice changes on cheap phones, allergies, what-ever.
Mia and I are the only 2 in our system who currently go to work.
Our job is actually pretty well suited for this. We are field technicians. We drive around fixing computers. Most people don't see us on a consistent basis. However, some of our regular repeat clients started asking questions.

Then our manager started having us train new employees. With somebody constantly with us for 8 hours a day, there was no real way to easily play singlet. They wanted to know why we had so many notes, why our voice would change, and once in a while, the current fronter would incorrectly answer a question about something the other had spoken about the day before.
So, I introduced myself to our trainee. He was curious, he had a ton of questions, but ultimately, he was fine with it.
From that point forward, we were open with our co-workers.
With one of our trainees, I gave my individual name to one of our clients instead of the body name. I don't remember the details, but from there it slowly progressed further and further.
These days, I show up, I say I'm Rebecca. Miakoda says she's Miakoda.
Several routine clients actually know the details, that we're a multiple system of several people.
So far, not a single customer has had much of a negative reaction. Only 1 said anything negative at all. He said "As long as none of you are crazy. Are you crazy?! Am I safe?", to which I answered "Both Mia and I have fixed your computer twice before. Anything happen then? Did your computer work when we were done with it?".
"Oh, yeah, you have a point. You're pretty fast too.", and that was the end of it.

One regular client really stands out in my mind. I'm not going to give out their company name, I don't need them getting any e-mails.
We are there a lot. It all started one day when I arrived on site. The woman we go there to see is also named Rebecca, and that's who I asked for. The receptionist looks up, laughing, and says "I goofed, I had put Rebecca as your name!". I had a pretty long wait for that Rebecca to come to the front desk, and the receptionist and I had quite the conversation. I ended up explaining that putting Rebecca as my name wouldn't be the least bit inaccurate. I explained there are 9 of us, 2 of us come to work. "You're joking, right?" "Not in the slightest. Start looking at the signatures when we sign the visitor logs. They're not even close to being the same."
Turns out, they're not only fine with it, but they've given us the most respect we've gotten from clients.
When we show up at their office, they ask us who's front. Whichever answer they get is the name badge we're given. I get "Rebecca C------" and Mia gets "Miakoda C------".
We are treated as 2 separate people who happen to look identical (to an unfamiliar eye, anyway. People who know us can tell us apart at a glance.)
When they call up their IT department to tell them the technician is there, they use our individual names!
I was very happily impressed! We get a lot of questions (of course, we told them we are more than happy to answer questions), but none of them are really insulting.
I can tell you one thing. When we again need one of what they make, that's the brand we're getting!

Overall, work goes smoothly. The boss seems to still be unaware, and we're just going to leave it that way. Clients seem to have no issue with it, for the most part. We get plenty of curious questions, we've gotten a few odd comments such as "I didn't know people like that would be able to hold a job" (wow, society has no clue what multiplicity is actually like!), but nobody has freaked out, nobody to my knowledge has complained, and we currently have a rating of "A".
If the boss figures it out and takes issue with it, I'm just going to reference that A, and all the clients who are always happy to see us and want to know which they're talking to.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Little Rough Out the Gate

We have been openly multiple for quite a while now. Since we're just starting this blog, let's go back a bit, back to when we first started coming out.

First, let's start with Chris. Although he's ok with us now, he wasn't at first.
When Chris first encountered Rebecca via text message, after I had told him about us, he was insistent that we needed medication. It didn't matter that Becca wanted to live. It didn't matter that we don't have a single original (we were born plural), and it didn't matter that we were fine with being multiple. He was sure this was a serious medical condition that needed attention. I have known Chris for a long time, since high school. This, hurt, a lot. He didn't want to speak to Becca, he just wanted to write her off as some symptom.
I have no idea what changed his mind. I'm thinking he just started seeing how we interact amongst ourselves, and how we enjoy each other's company. Maybe he saw on our Facebook walls how much we all are against the concept of integrating. We don't see him much now, but that isn't any different than before we came out to him as multiple.

There was a friend of mine who angered me so much, I didn't care to remember her name. We weren't friends for very long when she ran in to my headmates. She would call or text and accuse them of kidnapping me, demanding they allow me front to speak to her. They treated my headmates like criminals. I'm not even a host or a core (we don't have those), she just thought that since she had only spoken to me, only I was real. She was outright despicable about it.
We had a talk about it. She told me how she couldn't get past the idea that I'm mentally sick and it was too much for her. She asked if she could only be friends with just me. I'm fine with that, not all our friends are mutual. However, she was to treat my headmates as human beings. It's not that hard to say "Oh, hey Lilly. When Mia gets back, can you have her call me? Thanks."
That's it, that is all I was asking of her.
She told me she wanted me to pretend they never existed. I told her "Oh, like this..." and walked away and refused to speak with her.
I'm not about to shove away my inner family for some friend who can't accept that people are different. Everyone in this system who had a run in with her had been nothing but patient and kind, even when she was hurling threats and insults.

Daniel Greenwolf and his girlfriend/fiance/wife (I'm not sure at the moment) was the worst of my friends. I knew him for 5 long years. Every year, I'd come to his house for various parties he would throw. There was always drinking, and I always got drunk, so I always planned to stay the night and often did. He had been with me through 2 or 3 girlfriends. I had been at a memorial dinner when his father passed away. They were trying to raise money with a raffle, I still have the necklace and earrings I won! His girlfriend was loads of fun, always nice.
These two were VERY good friends of mine.
Surely 5 years is long enough to know somebody and be able to tell them "There's several more of us". I did. He acted a little concerned, but I assured him we were quite fine. It was a long conversation over IM. I thought it had gone over alright.
Then, his next party came up. Him and his girlfriend contacted me and told me they had decided, after lengthy conversations between them and much research on the Internet, that I was no longer welcome in their home. It was too dangerous. I might have a hidden "alter" who might hurt people.
I pleaded with him to at least talk with me about it, let's discuss these concerns. He insisted I was 9 strangers. Never mind that he knew me, just me, by my real, individual name and knew it was different than the body name, for half a decade... I was one of these "strangers". I was absolutely devastated. Any further conversation, I was no longer Miakoda as I had been for years, I was just the body name now. I couldn't fathom how a 5 year friendship could just end, like that. I explained that if I had some hidden headmate ready to kill people, I'm sure 5 years was more than long enough to have noticed something. It made no difference.
Rebecca contacted him, attempting to show him who and what she was. He had none of that. He insulted her, called her only by the body name, and told her off.
It has taken me a long time to move past this whole thing, and it still hurts. I haven't had the heart to take his photo out of the digital picture frame full of "friends". I hope someday he comes to some sense when he realises we still have a job, we're still not in jail, and our roommate hasn't been murdered.

I know my headmates lost a few friends, but they aren't as ready to talk about them.

So, that was that. With those friends gone, we set out to make new friends. Now, new friends know about the klatch right off the bat. I often introduce myself as "Miakoda of The JC Klatch" or "I'm (*points to self*) Miakoda, and We (*gestures the whole body*) are The JC Klatch" or even as "Miakoda and Klatch".
What has this gotten us? Fewer friends over all, but the friends we have are true friends. None of this "I'm your friend as long as I can believe you're normal" bull.
We have some terrific friends. One of them being Jessica, who originally only knew Julie. She, and her fiance, see us as completely separate and has already started being able to pick up on who's front without asking.
There is Kerri, who we will be seeing soon. Even her kids know we are we!
Tabbi Cat has drifted from us for other reasons.
Aimee enjoys spending time with Katie.


There are also 2 other systems we've gotten very fond of. I'm not sure if they want to be named here, so I will let them comment. Both are DID systems, but seem to be well aware there's a difference. That difference is nothing to us though, they're individuals to us no matter what they say they are. ...and we love each of them as much as if they were members of our own system!

We've got some amazing friends, and we're always making new ones! This is far better than pretending to be singlet or hiding my headmates to make and keep friends! This is much happier!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome to Publicly Plural

We are the JC Klatch. I am Julie. My headmates will be posting here also, but I'm going to start things off.

The Publicly Plural blog will contain accounts from our life as a multiple living openly amongst the general public. That's right, we don't hide. Our boss, and 1 other person in our day to day life are the only 2 people we duck from. Everyone else encounters us by individual names, voices (or lack of voice), stance, everything. A client at work asks Rebecca about the necklace we wear, "Are you Wiccan?", she'll answer "I'm not, but 3 of my headmates are."
Somebody asks what the current fronter is busting up with laughter for, it's "Yeah, someone inside is being a nut!".
We are nine people, nine real people. We think, separately. We feel, separately. We have separate wants, needs, dreams, hopes, fears, likes, dislikes, skills.... We're separate people, and we shouldn't be afraid to be these separate people and express ourselves. No multiple should!
So that is what we do. We're just us, all the time. This blog will be about our interactions with the singlet world as a multiple. How we're treated, how people react, and any issues that may come up.
I'm sure the first few posts will be a few past events, and then current from then out.

Our hope is that our experiences can help another system better decide if they need to hide or not. Some systems may not be able to be open yet, but others might just need to see another group do it. That is what this blog is for.

If someone accepts us, we'll blog it. If somebody rejects, shuns, or insults us, we'll blog it. If confusion over our names erupts in to chaos, we'll blog that too. The good, the bad, and the downright ugly!

Don't get me wrong, we're not knocking those who want to hide. If that is comfortable for you, do it. We're not judging. However, those of you who are wanting to come out from your hiding places, we'd like to see you come on out here with us!

BE FREE!