What is the nature of the “ladies”, I’ve often wondered. I know that there are people who are truly multiple, either by nature (like the ones I discussed yesterday) or, some contend, through splitting in early childhood. Others say these are not really multiple but only believe they are. Either way, that’s not what the “ladies” are like. I like both the terms “parts” and “insiders”, cause that makes clear that they are pieces of myself and that they are creations of the mind. But how formed are these characters, I wonder. What am I, between all these parts? What is my role in the “system”?
All of the “ladies” are representatives of qualities that should be mine. I say “should” because, given the contradictory nature of all these qualities, it’s hard to grasp the concept that they are all mine. I used to think that I was, or was trying to be, a synthesis of all of these different perspectives and qualities. That I was merely there to mediate between the perspectives and then come up with what I considered “right”. But simply cause I don’t know what is “right”, or that it is constantly shifting depending on whose perspective is most dominant (there are perspectives I know to be maladaptive, but also more than one of which I can in my right mind say they’re correct), makes clear that I’m not, or that I’m failing horribly at it.
Further, making a compromise between all these perspectives, automatically leads to a perspective of itself. I cannot successfully fulfill all perspectives at once, for then it’d be a chaos. So I have to decide who is “right”, and whom I should give the right to be expressed even if her perspective is maladaptive. Then, still, other people (outsiders) have their perspectives, that I should also take into account. That’s what it is with, for instance, the next year stuff, when I said that I felt I should in fact arrange my things for college, even though there wasn’t a single “lady” representing that perspective. I was trying to mediate between all sorts of perspectives both inside and outside. However, I could say that Clarissa is in a way mediating between others’ perspectives, too, knowing and caring about all of the other “ladies”.
In a way, I could be seen as being amongst the “ladies”. I have written from “ladies”‘ perspectives criticizing my own choices (those that I think I’m making without one perspective being dominant) as well as I’ve criticized the “ladies”.
I used to think that I was either acting upon one “lady”‘s perspective or giving a synthesis of them all, but if I could synthesize them all, what would I need the “ladies” for? Sometimes, I wonder if there is any substantial difference between what I call “me” and what I call a “lady” beyond the fact that I won’t tell you that I’m anyone but Astrid.
I think there is a difference, in that at some times I don’t feel “divided” at all. Moments when I don’t have to worry about what “lady” I’m representing, or what “the others” will think of my decisions. There are simple situations when I don’t need them at all. Then I’m Astrid, not a “synthesis”. And yes, in all other situations I’m Astrid, too, but in the role of either a mediator or a perspective, influenced by one or more of the “ladies”.
I stand above the “ladies”, in that I know they’re images in my mind. I’m the “homeowner”, who knows all there is going on in the house. The “ladies” have rented a room. Yet I’m still not the Big Boss, cause if I were, what would I need them for? I’m trying to be. I’m trying to reclaim the compromise between the different perspectives. I’m not aiming to send the “ladies” away, cause I’m not sure what is going to be left when I do. If I knew what would remain, couldn’t I just send the “ladies” away and be perfectly normal and fine, not having all these contradictions? But the contradcitions are mine, not the “ladies”‘, and so they will stay with me as I decide that they’re not the “ladies”‘.