Okay Things to Ask LB
Table of Contents:
Section I: Basic Terminology
Section II: Introductions to Us
Section III: Communication and Memory
Section IV: Headspace
Section V: Being Us
Section VI: Therapy and Medicine
Section VII: Fronting
Section VIII: Outsiders
Section IX: Individual Differences
Section X: Uncloseting
Section XI: Gender and Sexuality
SECTION I: Basic Terminology
NOTE: this is not intended to be an exhaustive dictionary of multi jargon. We are only defining the words in use on this site.
What is a multiple?
Definitions vary. We personally define it as having more than one person living in one body. Sometimes we shorten it to just "multi." "Plural" is considered a more overarching, umbrella term for all multiple or multiple-ish people. Both are general purpose words for a state of being; there are plurals who don't see themselves as mentally ill, or see their plurality as a form of spiritual or creative experience. People can argue very passionately about the subject, but on this site, we do not take the stance that multiplicity is inherently a problem or mental illness.
What is a singlet?
Someone who isn't multiple.
What is a median?
A median or median system is a system that's somewhere between multiple and singlet. It can be folks with a hive mind, or folks who are only multiple some of the time, stuff like that.
What is MPD?
Multiple Personality Disorder. In the USA, the diagnosis has been replaced with DID, but MPD is still in use elsewhere. The criteria for having MPD (in the US, at least) was having two or more system members who switched places periodically and ran the body.
What is DID?
Dissociative Identity Disorder. The diagnosis currently in use in the USA; it replaced MPD but has slightly different criteria and theory behind it. Going into that is beyond the scope of this 101; you can learn more about it in MPD For You and Me.
What is a system?
A word to mean all the people within one body, whether they interact with that body or not. It's fairly inoffensive and general purpose, and has been since at least the mid '90s. (NOTE: some folks on tumblr are claiming otherwise. They are wrong. If you want to see my debunking of their claims, you can read this, but otherwise, ignore it.)
What does co-conscious mean?
It means that one system member can do something and another will remember it. For instance, if Sneak bakes cookies, and I remember zer doing it, then we're co-conscious. If Sneak bakes cookies and Gigi has no clue what those cookies are doing there, then they're NOT co-conscious. There are different levels of co-consciousness.
What is integration?
There are two definitions. One is to become singlet. Therapists also sometimes use this to mean dealing with trauma, cooperation, and co-consciousness, so be sure to double-check which meaning is in play!
What is fronting?
Face time. Controlling the body. Running the show. Not necessarily whose thoughts are running the internal monologue, if that makes sense.
SECTION II: Introductions to Us
What are you people?
We're a multiple system. We have been diagnosed with DID, and we are disabled.
Who are you people?
We're a system of eight. Going by the header bar at the top of the website, we are, from left to right: Sneak, Mori (AKA M.D.), Biff, Rogan, Mac, Miranda, Gigi, and Falcon.
Which one of you is the host, or the real person?
None. She died.
What do you call your group?
LB Lee. The LB stands for Loony-Brain, but you can't go by that in polite company, so just use LB Lee.
Why on earth would you call yourself Loony-Brain?
Years back when we were first realizing we were multiple, we were terrified that we were crazy. Giving ourselves such a stupid group name made it less threatening. And then it stuck, making us look like a colossal dingus for the rest of forever. Good job, us.
What's the proper word for what you guys are? Should I call you alters or what?
"People" or "system members" are easiest to remember and least offensive. (For us. Note that other plurals might have their own preferences.)
How co-conscious are you?
Pretty good. If you tell us something, likely everyone will remember it later, or tell someone who doesn't.
SECTION III: Communication and Memory
How can I tell who's talking?
Ask. It's not offensive to us. One of Mac's old church congregation would greet us with, "and who are we today?"
I want to talk to N___. How can I do that?
Ask for them. Worst that'll happen is they're unavailable.
I want to talk to N___. And I don't want you hearing. How can I do that?
Too bad, we're mostly co-conscious. Can't do it.
I want to ask a question, but I don't want to offend you. How can I know whether it's a rude question or not?
First, go through Rude Questions to Ask. If the question is on there, don't ask it. If it's not, apply the following litmus test: would you ask this question to a family you had known for a comparable amount of time? If doing so would anger your hypothetical family, be overly personal, or be impossible to answer, likely you shouldn't ask it.
How does your memory work?
We have no idea.
Do you have memory gaps?
Yes. Fortunately not often. We'll forget things like normal, of course, but sometimes we lose access to memories that are upsetting. In the latter case, it tends to be system-wide; we do not have system members who remember everything.
What do you do if someone forgets something?
If it's something like taking out the trash, we just tell them. If it's something more serious, there is a good reason why it's been blocked, and as long as there's no pressing need, we let them work it out themselves.
Can you read each other's thoughts/feelings?
Generally, yes, but it depends on who's doing the sending, who's doing the receiving, whether the receiver is distracted, whether the sender is trying to be heard, what medication we're taking, and so on. For instance, Mac can't read Gigi at all, but he generally knows everything that's going through Rogan's head at any given moment.
Can you guys talk to each other privately?
Well, sort of. We go in another headspace room, and as long as folks aren't actively trying to eavesdrop, that can work sometimes. But if someone's determined to listen in on it, it's pretty much impossible to stop them.
Can you guys keep secrets from each other?
Only with much effort and it usually doesn't work for long, unless one of us is keeping the secret from themself as well. Our record for keeping secrets is a few hours for Mac, a week for the rest of us--and that was because everyone was really, really trying not to know. (It involved Christmas presents.) Really, in this head, "privacy" means "people ignore you."
Have one of you guys ever come to front and had no clue where you were or what you were doing?
Yes, but only a couple of times. It was decidedly unfun; we try to avoid that.
Do you all have your own pasts/memories etc.?
Mac, Falcon, and Biff didn't join the system until later in their lives, and see themselves as having lives elsewhere before coming here. The rest of us generally share the same basic life story, that of our vessel. We all have our individual sets of memories for stuff we've done in headspace. (For instance, if Gigi punches Mac and nobody else is there or paying attention, only he and her will have the direct memories.)
If two system members merge, how does that affect their memories?
Miranda: It depends. Sometimes, those memories simply blend together with the rest of our life story. Other times, we might keep both sets of memories, but identify both sets of memories as ours, even if they aren't the same.
SECTION IV: Headspace
What is headspace?
Inner worlds, subjective reality, whatever. Basically, it is the space between our ears in which we interact with each other. Everyone's is different. Some folks have multiple headspaces; others don't have one at all.
Do you have a headspace?
Yes, we do, though it's very simple and bare. It is a house in a void.
Can you do anything in headspace?
Everyone's headspace is different, but ours strictly follows most of the basic tenets of conventional reality: you can get injured and sick and heal at a normal rate. It diverges from conventional reality in a few major ways: we don't need to fulfill bodily needs like eating, we can conjure objects from the Void, stuff like that. If we're willing, we can sometimes torque the rules of our headspace to do some pretty cool stuff, but it's a challenge and not necessarily a good idea.
What's the Void like?
The Void is the formless ether of our brainstuff, and its only distinguishing characteristic is that it appears to be blackish smog. It can move and do things of its own volition, but it doesn't follow human reasoning. Looks kind of creepy, but generally benevolent. Miranda theorizes that it's an embodiment of our subconscious; it's as good a theory as any, I guess. It looks kinda like this
What's the House like?
It's a ten-roomed monstrosity that Sneak, Miranda, and Rogan created back in '07 for security purposes; we've renovated a couple times since. It looks like a mutant igloo made of adobe, because we are not known for our architectural savvy. You can see a drawing of it here
Can people from other places enter or leave your headspace?
No. Even the system outsiders, who see themselves as coming from somewhere else, came from a different part of our psyche, seems like.
Have you ever had people arrive in your headspace that you didn't want there?
Sort of. We call them ghosts. They're usually symbols or symptoms of internal problems or buried trauma. It's our brain's way of trying to communicate that something is terribly wrong. Not a barrel of laughs.
Do you give each other gifts in the material world or within the headspace?
In the material world, all the time. Headspace gifts... meh. When we can conjure/banish almost anything we want, there isn't much point.
Where did your headspace come from?
The House had to be expressly created by the system together. The Void just organically grew up around us over the years. Biff theorized that it's made of a bunch of buried awfulness, or dead stuff. We'll see if he's right!
SECTION V: Being Us
What does being a multiple feel like?
It's like having a house with flatmates, only the house is haunted, in your head, nigh-impossible to leave, and doesn't quite follow the rules of physics.
What're the good and bad sides of being multiple?
The good: division of labor, built-in support network, and you're never alone. The bad: sacrificing your individual identity for the sake of a public face, possibly hating each other's guts, and you're never alone.
How does splitting/integration work?
We don't know, except that both are analagous to death for us. Integration can be bittersweet; splitting is always agonizing and awful for us and to be avoided at all cost.
Are you past lives?
Do you have any metaphysical powers?
So what made you realize you were multiple?
Our thoughts were in dialogue form, and tended to use the pronoun we above I. There were different voices, self-images, and personalities behind those thoughts, and these patterns would last for years on end, with the personalities behind them growing and changing but still retaining a contiguous sense of identity. We would have conversations, manage different tasks, make group agreements, try to kill each other, and make references to each other in journals. And then there was the one time that suddenly our journal-writing started referring to our main fronter in the third person and espousing a completely different viewpoint. There's only so many years you can do that in denial.
How long have you known you were multiple?
As far as we know, we became multiple in 2000, and were mostly aware of it, but refused to believe it or accept it until 2007.
Do you think you might be faking it?
Not anymore. Every system member had their own journey to dealing with it.
How do you know you're real?
How do you?
SECTION VI: Therapy and Medicine
What are your diagnoses?
Not your business.
Do you want to be singlet?
Are you in therapy?
Yes. We'll probably be having regular sessions for a long time yet.
What kind of shrink did/do you see?
We've seen a few. About all they had in common was experience with trans people, willingness to learn, and the ability to defer to our expertise. We also currently see a brain-meds doctor to keep our chemistry in order.
Are you on medication?
Yes, for nightmares and depression. They work pretty well--not miraculous or anything, but we definitely have noted an improvement on them, and the side effects aren't too bad. They have had absolutely no effect on our system communication or functioning as a whole. Heavy-duty post-operative painkillers might shut down our system communication, but that also may have been the effect of the trauma of major surgery, so we're not sure.
What are your opinions on therapy and meds?
They're like any other tool: handled correctly in good hands, they're a huge force for good that can immensely improve well-being and level of functioning. Handled poorly in bad hands, they can fuck you up something awful. We'd be dead without them.
SECTION VII: Fronting
How do you decide who fronts?
Usually, we automatically slip into whatever person is most competent for the situation, or is most interested in interacting with it. We each have certain situations that automatically bring us out--for instance, feeling in danger will immediately pull either Rogan or Gigi to the front. We can also schedule things ahead of time, or forcibly remove someone from the front, but that's very difficult.
Why is removing someone from the front hard?
Different system members have different fronting strength. If Gigi's taken front and doesn't want to leave, it'll take nothing less than a full-system dogpile to cart her off. Second, the front tends to freeze in periods of stress as a defense mechanism: the fewer people who front, the fewer people who can get hurt.
Is there any time where you get stuck out front?
Yes. There's pretty much nothing you can do about it but try to calm down, wait it out, or take a nap. Sleep tends to reset our front.
SECTION VIII: Outsiders
What are outsiders?
Our system is roughly divided into two camps. There are system members who see themselves as having split from the original tenant of this body; we're all left-handed and share a family resemblance, plus a lot of memories and skills. Mac, Biff, and Falcon, though, see themselves as coming from somewhere else.
How do they differ from the rest of you?
Mac, Biff, and Falcon had lives before us; Mac came here when he died, Biff by nasty accident. (Falcon, we have no clue.) They don't share our childhood memories, what memories they have from their earlier lives are pretty messed up, they aren't genetically part of "the family," and they have a harder time with the vessel than we do. They're also all right-handed.
Why are they there?
No freakin' clue. One hypothesis that Mac came up with is they brought in new blood when the rest of our group was too heavily laden with our shared life, but there's no real way to know
SECTION IX: Individual Differences:
Do you guys have different mannerisms?
Are your voices different?
Are your handwritings different?
Sort of. Mac, Biff, and Falcon have radically different handwritings from each other and the rest of us. Gigi also has distinct handwriting, but she made an active choice to cultivate that. The rest of us have pretty much the same handwriting.
Are you different ages?
Yes. Gigi appears to be a pre-teen. M.D. and Sneak are young adults. Rogan and Miranda are vessel age. Mac and Biff are both eight years older than them, and Falcon is in his late middle-age. There were many lurches along the way, but as far as we can tell, we all age normally now, except Gigi. (And she might just look like a kid because she prefers it.)
Do you have differing moralities?
Do you have different physical or mental illnesses?
Yes. Almost all pain, sickness, fatigue, and discomfort gets forwarded to Rogan. Rogan alone deals with an eating disorder, but everyone can feel the physical effects--exhaustion, lack of appetite, etc.
Do you have different skills?
Do you wake up at different times?
Yes, sometimes. Good luck trying to get someone to front while they're asleep. However, the body's limits are absolute; it needs to rest, so we try to synchronize our sleep cycle with it. We have yet to have the body wake with no one to run it.
Who is the most powerful in the system?
Gigi, far as we know. She's a pint-size juggernaut. But different system members have different skills. Gigi might have the most fronting power, but she can't conjure for jack.
Do you have differences of opinion?
All the time.
Have you ever had a hard time choosing someone to vote for?
No, thank goodness. That would suck.
Do you fight?
We used to. Then we realized it didn't help much and Miranda banned all violence in the House. Anyone who tries to assault someone in the House is barred from taking part in our system government until they get their act together.
What happens if you disagree on something?
We talk it out, like any group of people do. If it's a case of irreconcilable differences, we end up deciding who has jursidiction over the issue. So, for instance, if someone insults Miranda and Rogan gets up in arms about it, she gets to say what we do, because she's the one who got insulted.
Do you all have separate dreams?
Sort of. We will sometimes dream each other's dreams, but we'll feel that they're not ours--for instance, if Rogan dreams he's Gigi fighting evil teddy bears, he's likely going to assume that that's Gigi's dream. We can also share dreams; those are usually pretty fun.
Are any of you non-human?
SECTION X: Uncloseting
It's coming out as multiple to someone.
Who have you uncloseted to?
Pretty much everyone, though it took years. Even the government knows, these days, though that wasn't by choice.
How have people responded?
Some are fine, some are awful.
How out do you plan to be?
As out as we can. It takes a LOT of energy to maintain a singlet face, and we just don't have the stamina for it anymore. It's not even a political decision anymore, but a pragmatic one. Since becoming legally disabled, we're just too tired to hold it together for more than a few hours at a time.
What do you recommend to other multiples wanting to come out?
Wait until you're an adult before trying it. It is much easier to insitutionalize children against their will. Adults have more options and more protections; it won't completely protect you, but it will be better. Being closeted can be excruciating, but sometimes safety trumps all other concerns.
SECTION XI: Gender and Sexuality
What are y'all's genders?
Mac, Falcon, Biff, and Rogan are men. Miranda and Gigi are women. Sneak and M.D. are neither.
What pronouns do I use?
"They" is just fine for general purposes. Call Miranda and Gigi "she." Call Falcon, Biff, Rogan, and Mac "he." Call Sneak "ze." Call M.D. whatever you want. Also, no need to mention that you mean "you" in the plural sense; we generally assume such, unless you're a Southerner.
How do you handle dating?
Corporeally, we don't. The logistics are awful.