I read some more on soulbonding and natural and empowered multiplicity. The multiples in both communities (the natural ones are almost always empowered, but that doesn’t work vise versa) have often identified with soulbonders, or said the difference is only gradual. This rant shows that soulbonding can consist in two forms: either the form where the soulbond remains a character within the framework of his story, movie etc., or the form where the character takes on traits it didn’t have in the movie or story and begins to live a life outside of the framework it originally came from. Reb here contends that the second form of soulbonding is essentially the same as multiplicity.
I find it difficult, firstly, to see a line between the two forms of soulbonding. In my case, all my soulbonds were story characters, who indeed did have the capacity of experiences outside of their stories, or outside of what I had already written about them. That is a bit difficult a concept to apply to “classic” soulbonding, cause many soulbonds come from movies or video games that were complete before the bonder bonded with the soulbond.
The other difficulty I see is contending that if a person gets a life of its own, it’s an alternate personality (I know multiples don’t like that word, but I think it’s more appropriate than “insider” or “part”). Some people have wanted to draw the continuum of how “plural” someone is on the basis of whether their inside people could function normally had they had bodies of their own, but I still like the distinction between how capable the “others” are of “taking over”. That is not to say that you’re more multiple if you can’t control who’s going to be “out”; it’s to what extend an “other” can come “out” without there still being the host/original personality/creative source/whatever to represent or be represented. I am not multiple, cause all the “ladies” are parts or insiders, representatives of what I call “me” from a different angle. I sometimes say that “rationality” is
equally so, only it’s more influeced by outside people than by inside people, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily any better. For example, I used to say that “rationality” told me to arrange for college and ask for accommodations etc., and yet Clarissa didn’t feel that college was the right thing to do now, with all the skills deficits and also the issues going on. In this respect, “rationality” is just another perspective, and not necessarily better.
However, what I’m saying here again makes clear why I’m not multiple: I am eventually making the decisions. I don’t have an opinion of my own on some issues, cause if I did, I wouldn’t need the “ladies”, but it is still always “me” who is making the decisions. Not always synthesizing the “ladies”, as you see from this example – by deciding that if the rehab folk can help me, I’m going to do so and if they can’t, I’m going to look somewhere else, but not to college, I’m completely neglecting Jane’s perspective, and also many outsiders’ perspectives -, but I am deciding. I could say that a “lady” were deciding, but that’d only be putting away my responsibility, and that’s making no sense.
From this angle, I find it difficult both to understand healthy multiples and to understand those soulbonders who claim that their soulbonds are intruding their lives. In the first case, I find it difficult to grasp how one can claim to be multiple and still take collective responsibility for one’s actions. I mean, in those unhealthy cases of multiplicity, people have gotten to blame an alternate personality for their actions (even crimes), and I find it difficult to understand that an “original person” would be punished for one of their alters’ actions, if there is no such thing as an “original person”. But I think one has to compare this situation to that of parents being responsible for their children’s actions. Collective responsibility is no unusual concept in the outside world, but it’s still kind of weird. Yeah, I just find it kind of weird that it would be possible to live as a multiple and still be responsible, without there being one person to take responsibility for the actions beign done.
The form of soulbonding where the soulbonds intrude the bonder’s life, seems to be comparable to how I used to see the “ladies”, and yet people seem to blame some of their actions on their soulbonds. Soulbonds are being seen as separate from one original singleton person, and yet they can commit actions without the original person taking responsibility. That’s a contradictio in terminis: you say you’re singleton, so how can your soulbonds commit actions, anyway? And if you say you’re multiple, you have to take collective responsibility, right? You could acknowledge that your soulbonds are in fact aspects of yourself, if they are. If you do, you create a “system” like mine, except that my “ladies” were never soulbonds but just “voices” that I saw as separate from me. You could say that you’re a collective, and then you’d have to take responsibility or you would be considered insane (even though with the currrent DSM people won’t acknowledge multiplicity, so I don’t know what label they’ll stick on you). You could decide that they’re fantasy characters in your fantasy world and that it’s your imaginary world that’s distracting you. Then, it’s just a form of daydreaming, that everyone does at times. You would in any case have to take responsibility, cause otherwise you’re not a healthy soulbonder, and should, more importantly, not claim to be one, as many of these soulbonders still do.