The Illusion of the Proper Plural

By Traye Lawson

There are many kinds of plural groups in this world. Some have no place they go when not fronting. Some have a place inside the body's head. And some have other worlds they come from entirely separate from the body. And yet others refuse to believe that any such worlds exist or regard any place people go when not fronting as a "useful illusion", just a place for "alters" to work things out.

Perhaps you wonder where we fall into this odd calamity of worlds? We fall into the category of having another world we go to which has nothing to do with the consensus reality. And this is not dissociation, not an escape from reality, not something evil or wrong to be corrected or changed. This is our life, our reality. It is not open for interpretation by you or by any one else.

I am quite sick of some people's ideas that just because their multiplicity is a certain way that yours must inherently be that way. Some people who are multiple dissociate. But not all do. And just because we say we don't does not mean that you have the right to say "Oh you're in denial. Surely you must dissociate." However, if you're willing to take it that maybe someone's multiplicity is different from yours then we'd be more willing to talk. As it is these types of people seem to think that just because we say we don't dissociate that we're in denial.

These types of people also seem enamoured with the idea that A either integration is right and proper for everyone, or B that if you don't admit that you were a whole singlet before this "terrible trauma" happened, then you're not properly multiple.

I am here to tell you that there is no proper way to be multiple. The types of people who have an internal place to go are just as valid as the ones who have a separate world or the ones who have no such place to go at all. We will never cast that sort of judgment on anyone. However, we would appreciate it if we were given the same courtesy. We would like to feel safe talking about our home without having to designate our experience as "This happened in our world." It's not the designation that is awkward. More aptly it is the various disclaimers you must add in.."This did not happen in the earthworld. It happened on Cartaala." And then you have to sit and think of what is too personal, too weird, too fake-sounding to share. Even if we know that what happens on Cartaala is just as real as what happens on this consensus Earth, most people, sadly even a lot of multiples, will cast it off as "Just another delusional crazy talking about that fake place they go when not front."

But I know Cartaala is real. I know it every morning when the sunlight comes through my bedroom curtains. I know it when Sally sticks her nose under my elbow and shakes me to wake me up so she can go outside. I know it when I feel the grass under my bare feet, when I hear the voices of the birds calling greetings to each other from the trees around the cave. I know that Cartaala is real with every breath I take, with every beat of my heart. But when people claim that I must be dissociating from the "real world" it is like they are invalidating my memories, denying my truth to make themselves more comfortable. It is as if they think that if they deny our truth enough the scary place that can't be real will just go away. Well it doesn't work like that. Cartaala is real and it won't go away.