Saturday, October 1, 2011

'One or Nine? I say Nine' - James' Blog Post

Our response to James' post is in the entry that follows this one...

September 27, 2011
This will be my third post on this subject, that is the subject of how I think of Frankie (@JstCallMeFrank), my girlfriend be it as one individual or as nine separate and distinct people.
If this is your first post of my blog and you haven't read Frankie's ( then a very brief recap:
Frankie has Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), formally referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) and currently there are nine known* personalities.
*they will be carrying out some more mapping soon to better understand the known nine and to see if any more unknown personalities exist.

This is also a rather long and rambling post. It's the most difficult subject I have bloged about, thus this being the third attempt. I know, somewhere in my head is an answer to this that whilst won't make them say "oh that's OK then, I see, in that case do carry on seeing us as nine" it will at least I hope, provide reason enough for them to understand and accept why I have this need / desire to see them as more than one. But it keeps alluding me. I remember at stupid times like when I'm in bed or out and I always forget minutes later. I'm hoping if I ramble enough it might come back to me; I don't have much hope though.

For the most part they are simply "Frankie", my girlfriend, a 'plural singularity'. I made that up so to explain, they are one but they are referred to as "they", "them", "their" etc. just as they refer to themselves as "we" or "us".
For the majority of the time (all of the time if they had their wish) I see them as one, I treat them as one and we are all happy with that. The one day-to-day exception to that is Bethany (an 'alter') who's just six years old, thus is treated differently with regard to intimacy.
This works pretty well and as I hinted at, is the way they would prefer things to be. But I have written several blogs where I discuss the difficulites with this and why I find it necessary to go against their wishes and at times try and work out who -which specific alter- is out at any given time. Again, in short, it's generally due to wanting to get to know them, them as in all the alters and them as in the collective plural singularity that is Frankie (for the benefit of new readers, one alter is called Frank but they are collectively known as Frankie). My only other reason given for this need / desire is to do with the fact that one is six years old, one hates me (hates everyone) and one is a boy.

So OK then, let's have another attempt to view them as one: This is something incredibly difficult to do and harder still to put into words. What's a typical day? They wake up, they're normally not happy about that (mostly that's just a general don't like morning thing, as opposed to them hoping they die in their sleep, mostly) and sometimes they are in a pleasant... (going to try to avoid the word 'mood')... they are pleasant towards me and sometimes they are quite irritated (in general, not (just) with me). They shower, get dressed for work, grab their knives and leave. Sometimes I get an "I love you" and sometimes I don't. I usually get a kiss but not always. When I get neither it does pinch a bit.*2
They come home from work and they are normally happy to see me (to be home) but I know not to "pester" them too much, they have their little routine and I do often get in the way of that. Today (Monday 26th September), like most days because of their job, they are in pain (they have problems with their back due to a car accident several years ago) and this does not help their... fuck it, mood. I didn't get a kiss today, they came in, said hello, asked about dinner, asked for wine, went on twitter. Sometimes I (need to) ask questions and this often pisses them off and they make no attempt at hiding it, usually they just bitch about me on twitter but sometimes they snap at me and get angry with me, then bitch about me on twitter. Sometimes this comes out of the blue. Twitter is a higher priority then me, as a rule.*3
They're hungry, we talk about food, then they "decide" they're not hungry and don't want to eat. Then later they'll want to eat pizza, then they'll say they should probably have a salad, then they'll get upset, sometimes they'll cry. Not everyday, some days, most days in fact to be fair, I know in advance what dinner will be and I'll have it prepared ready. But sometimes it's not so easy, especially at weekends, especially if we're out. Later in the evening they'll want crisps (that's chips to you Americans) or some other snack. Or if we have had a proper dinner and there's a lot / some left they'll eat it all and then get upset (this is sometimes because carbs upset their stomach, sometimes because they don't like eating too much). After that they might want to do something with me, watch a film (play on the new xbox), then they'll go on twitter, they might forget about wanting to watch a film, they might have a glass of wine, they might have three. They will be happy and they will be sad, they will be happy and they will be angry, they will be crying and they will be angry, they will be happy about going to bed, they might be sulky about it. We might have sex, we might not, we may start, we may not finish.
The weekends where we are together more is even more fun.

It sounds quite bad, written in this manner. It's not inaccurate or exaggerated but it does for-go the times that are fantastic, the times we have fun and laugh and enjoy being with each other. Why did I not include them? Like I said, the above is accurate and is fairly typical. I'd also need a few thousand words to go into every minute of every day but again I can use an example of today - they are reading my blog post for today, which is about me saying "Goodbye" to England, they finish reading it and they are joking with me about some of the things I wrote. I go over to them and they put their arms around me, they kiss me, we talk about things briefly, we're all happy, the slightly down mood seemingly forgotten. But anything could undo that again.

Are they any different to any other girl / woman? You might laugh and so "no" but they are. Perhaps I only see it because I know them (all) as well as I do and I see the differences but at least to me, no, they are not the same. And I've been out with nurses and they are proper mardy, moody, bitches!!

If they really were just one, if they didn't have DID but the above was still typical I would probably struggle greatly (OK, even more so) being their boyfriend**. It's not easy when you are going out with someone who's attitude towards you can change almost mid-sentence, when they ask something of you then get angry with you for doing it, when they love you for being there, helping out with things one minute then resent you being there, writing bitchy blog / Tumblr posts about you, loving you then hating you with venom (and I mean proper, vile hatred) and when you're not the only one they have feelings for**. It makes it really difficult sometimes to love them, to love them unconditionally, to love them with every fibre.

To see them as one person, to treat them as one person, knowing them as I do (and that's an important point, it's because I know them, this is not some sort of ticket for others to try and do like-wise), just doesn't seem possible. But if I try, if I can, I will need even more patiences than I have now. To see them as one is to see them as a demanding, hypocritical, contradictory, difficult, moody, bitchy (sometimes damn right nasty), sometimes paranoid, unkind, uncaring, unsympathetic bitch. Fucking horrible bitch. But they are also incredibly loving, funny, smart (not just ...ass), loving (yes, I know I said that already), affectionate, compassionate and lots of other things that made me fall in love with them. So what's the problem? The problem is, as one, I can't put my hand on my heart and say it's enough. I like to think it is, I would certainly still be here with them and I'd fight for them**.

**[Added after Posting] Thought of an extreme example: I know some of them are probably still in love with at least one other person (if not in love with, would still rather be them than me), It's something I manage not to think about very often and they reassure me that they (some of them) do love me and only want me. But sometimes, like today (Friday 30th September) it is a thought I can't shake. They've said goodbye to both these people but one we are meeting again and I wonder now if my previous thoughts on that were blinded. As nine I can deal with it, justify it almost. But tell me how I deal with this if they are just one?

But we also need to look at this from another perspective. Their attitude towards themselves. Again, because I'm their boyfriend and because I spend a lot of time with them (I'm now living permanently with them) I see more than probably anyone else how they do not refer to themselves as one. Of course they don't. But whilst I am expected to treat them as one, they carry on their lives as nine. They frequently say "one of us does / doesn't / did / didn't etc." They frequently make references to themselves in third person. They frequently 'blame' one another for things. None of which makes it easy to see them as one.

Added to that, and something I've written about previously, is that I do know them all, as individuals. It's because I learnt to tell the differences that I found it so difficult to continue seeing them as one. They sound different, they even look slightly different and they certainly act differently. Some of this you could still associate with one person, we all have times where we say things we wouldn't normally or change the way we act from time to time but nothing on this level; the changes / differences are just too great.

It's just occurred to me, I've never actually asked them why they want me (specifically me) to always see and treat them as one. Maybe there will be another post on this subject. For now though I'm not going to ask, for now I just want to concentrate on my reasons.

Perhaps the answer is simple, perhaps the answer to why I can't see them as one is simply because I know them and I can't undo that. They all have a name. Some love me, some don't. Most like me, one doesn't. Most like me being their boyfriend, some don't. They are not one. No matter how I hash this about they are nine. Nine. At least nine. They are Bethany, Brooke, Cassandra, Catherine, Emmie, Frank, Ivy, Melody and Sam.

You want a singular expression? OK, try this, well, as singular as it gets: They are a fucking bitch.
At times an intolerable bitch. They have reduced me to tears on more than one occasion. They have gone to great lengths to push me away, to try and make me not like them. Some days I wonder why they are going out with me. Some days I feel more love from the fucking cats. Some days I feel like I have to watch everything I say and do. Some days I want... was going to say run away but actually whilst it's a thought I wouldn't actually want to. As I said to them in a comment on their recent blog post, I would rather be with them being a bitch than spend any more time away from them.
Sorry, when I say "days" I do so for ease, what I actually mean and what is more accurate is "some moments of a day that can last for a few hours, but never longer".

But I can forgive them everything because I know they are not just one. I know that the actions of one does not reflect on them all. If one says hateful things to me then I know "who" that is and more important;y I know who it isn't.

And so much more than that, they are nine. They are who they are. They are what they are. And I love them for that. To see them as anything other than who they are, to treat them as anything other than who they are, to love them as anything other than who they are is, in my book, wrong.

They are nine. They may not always like that I see that but that's who they are.

So why do I have the need? Because for me (and again, I stress the point that this is a unique thing for me, in my position, as their boyfriend, as their council sometimes), I can't see them as anything other than who they are, can't love them for anything other than who they and in fact do love them for exactly who they are. I them as the plural single and I love them all as individuals.
There is another reason too. One that I push out of my head every time I think of it, or rather every time the thought 'pops' in there. I have an overwhelming fear that one day they won't all be around. I know enough to know that there is no reason why they can't live out their life as they are now. Certainly it is true that neither I nor they want to be 'fixed' or 'cured' and so again, there is no reason why they won't all be around. But cause and effect; if you know enough about DID you'll know they... No, sorry, I don't want to go into this. All that matters is the fear itself whether justified or not.

Perhaps now is the time I discuss this with them because I need to know what their objections are.

Random thought: I spot the switches fairly easily. I don't always know straight away who is 'there' and so I look at them, I stare into their eyes trying to see past them, hoping for some .. sign (?). It makes them very uncomfortable. It's another time they might ask "why does it matter". So why do I do it? If they are really happy then suddenly look as though they are about to burst into tears... or a more extreme example, we're having /just had sex and they sudden'y stop..
Yes, I could still treat them as one, after all, I'm sure lots of people go through this 'change' but if they were one person then it would border manic depression and clearly some underlying issues about sex or intimacy and then I'd be asking questions again. The fact it's because of their DID and that I know this that I can not worry about it. This thought trails off at this point...
Over the months I have known them I have gotten to know most of them very well, I've spent time with them individually, usually just as a day-to-day thing, once as a more forced issue (my last few days of being here in August, they and I wanted time with each other one-to-one. Again, I have touched on this before but they are all so individual, so different, that I love them all individually on their own merits(?). And as such I miss them. The week I've been here now I have spent most of my time with three mostly. They asked me why does it matter? It matters because I miss them all. No, I try not to wish for any one in particular, from that point of view it doesn't matter but I do miss them all and when some of them aren't around much I miss them. To say that there's anyone in particular or to name names would be wrong not least of all because it would upset others I never want that. There is NONE (yes, including Brooke) that I would choose not to want to be with (there was an example her but I deleted it because it made reference to one and whilst not a rule breaker, I am determined not to refer to any one other than for clarity) but I admit there are those that I am open;y happier to be with. I really wish I could find the words to adequately say why none of them should get upset by that but I can't. But they (you) shouldn't. It's not about favourites or liking more than others, it's more about (but not limited to) ... [fail]...

Bethany, Brooke, Cassandra, Catherine, Emmie, Frank, Melody, Ivy and Sam I love you all. No, it doesn't matter who is here at any time because I love you all and I love being with you all (some make it harder to be so than others).

Has this post finally put to bed why I see them as nine? No.
Has this post helped me understand my need / desire? No.
Has this post helped you (Frank et al and the readers) understand? Doubtful.

Sometimes I need to write things down, to go through my thoughts and try and make sense of them and work through them, After all this I still haven't remembered that one 'jewel' that turns all this rambling into a two line piece that makes so much more sense.

Frank et al, you are more than one person. I need you to explain to me why it is wrong that I think of you as anything but? I think your fears are mainly with the "why does it matter" and honestly, it doesn't. But there's a difference between it mattering to me who is about and how I see and treat you? To be really... frank... I think it's unfair of you to ask me to see you, treat you, love you as anything other than who you are.

If I don't stop now I never will. So for now... fin

*2 But because they are nine, and I know they are nine, I know why I get neither and so it's ok...
*3 But it's part of their self-therapy as well as the nearest thing they have to a 'social life'.

One last thing, sorry, again to Frank et al: I've added and edited the post a few times since first publishing it, I know you haven't at time of writing this addition read it so it's ok but it means I've had reason to re-read the post. Please know and never doubt that I DO love you, so much and I want to be with you and share / spend my life with you. No matter what I've said in this post I love you. There were times once (maybe still is) and maybe again now that you wonder why I love you so much, why I want to be with you and sometimes you tried to push me away to protect me from you. Please don't wonder, I love you. When you look at me and tell me you love me I know it for sure, I can't read you at all normally but I know you mean those words as I hope you know I mean them when I say them to you. I love you Frankie, I want to be with you. Always.

[copied from the original location]

Some of the other stuff he's written about us

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