Being A Multiple




Being a Multiple is an interesting experience. I won't go into depth or any definitions here, that's for another page. This page here is for a little information on those members of my mind who don't have their own Internet presence for whatever reason. First, though, I will define some terms briefly:

Terms

Multiple - A Multiple is someone with some form of multiplicity. Multiplicity being, of course, the having of more than one mind in one body. Or in my own case, of having a mind that is both One and Many at the same time. Whereas those with full-blown Dissociative Identity Disorder have quite powerfully distinct Others bickering for control of the body, my own form of the condition is... interesting. It's almost as though all of us are Driving at the same time (except for Py of course). Or rather, The Filter (a Construct) is driving. And the rest of us are all using the same senses, and are all keyed in to take over at any moment. It's like if there were such a thing as conjoined triplets joined at the waist; three of them with two legs and three of everything else... and The Filter is the "triplet" that controls the legs, and is pre-programmed for this task, like an automaton. But the other two "triplets" can override the one in control at any time, in a democratic sort of way by spontaneously reprogramming The Filter with a thought. But we're not just a case of being conjoined at the body; we're conjoined at the mind.

Others - The other minds in a multiple system.

System - The "whole set" of minds contained in a single brain. It's a way of saying "Everyone" without having to explain all the time.

System-mate - One of the members in a multiple system.

The Front - The point of consciousness. The place where the "steering wheel" is. I use this term slightly differently than most Multiples do, though. Since all but one of the members of my system (Py hides a lot) are always a lighting-quick thought away from the "controls," I use the expression "[person] is at The Front" to mean that that person is the strongest influence at the moment, the one taking the most control at the time.

Driving - The person in control. Which for many Multiples is the same as whoever is at "the Front." With me, though, *everyone* is driving. And not just in the fact that we're all a thought from control... but also because a lot of the time I have the peculiar-feeling experience of more than one person trying to Drive at once. Like two or more of us will speak at once, and end up saying something garbled. For example, let's say two of us are explaining something and we come up with two different words for something at once. One will be trying to say "Cats are beautiful," the other trying to say "Cats are nice," and we end up saying "Cats are nyooceiful." Or something like that. Also, it is disconcerting when one of us tries to go one direction and the other is trying to go another direction.

Construct - A construct is an artificial system-mate made by one or more of the others in the system, or more likely one that formed out of necessity on its own. Constructs don't have any sentience, they are not conscious. They're like automatons, or computer programs. I tend to think of my Constructs as computer programs, because it's easier to reprogram them that way. But they are better than computer programs, because they work on the neural network of the Multiple that made them. Thus, though they are not sentient, they are perfect artificial intelligences... Whatever they are programmed to do, they do it with just a dash of life. Just enough to be REALLY good at what they do. Scroll down and read about my two Constructs (The Filter and The Autopilot) for more info.

my Exile - The time, from age 5 to around age 19, when I was lost in a self-imposed Exile into a realm of fantasy of my own creation. I say it went to the age of 19 only because I was not completely free from that Exile until then, but the process of my Awakening began at age 9, when my sister was born. I was almost completely free of my Exile by late 1998.

my Awakening - The process of leaving my Exile. For it was like awakening from an extended dream, though it was very reluctantly and took years to complete the process.

Face - A Face is an Aspect of Me... the Faces are the Others.

Mask - A Mask is a temporary pseudo-Face, a constructed pseudo-Face that is like a mayfly, living for a tiny little time and then fading away. Because it is missing something vital that Faces have, a Mask may be a constructed pseudo-Face but it is not a person. It isn't detailed enough besides, and anyway, it lacks something vital. A soul, I guess you could say. For my Faces and I may share a soul ultimately, but their relationship to me is like humans' true relationship is with God - ultimately One but unique. All humans and others may share a soul, ultimately, with God and with one another, but we also have our own distinct soul, our own definition of Self.
      The longest-living Mask in my history was a Mask named Damen. He was also the only Mask to have a name. Normally, a Naming gives a part of myself even more life and sentience and personality than it did before that, but not in Damen's case. A Black man, we desperately wanted him to be a full-fledged Face, and believed him to be one for a long time. (This was before I knew about Masks.) But he continued to lack his own soul. Not only that, he lacked a clear definition of Self. Ask any of the others who they are, and they'll proudly barrage you with details. Even Lo, who formed after Damen's demise, which is cool because when she first appeared she was a fictional character I made for a(n aborted) short story. I was afraid she was a Mask and would fade away. But I was wrong.
      Anyway, the others all have a clear definition of Self. I guess that's as good a definition for a soul as any. But Damen didn't have one. I would ask him who he was, and all he could say was that he was a black man. Likes, dislikes, personality... he lacked all those. If he hadn't given me an image of his body, I would have recognized him for a Mask a lot sooner, because he had less personality than The Filter or The Autopilot. He couldn't even settle on a voice. And he barely spoke. Now Negarahn may not talk much, either, but when he does, he's full of life and personality. He's distinct. So a Mask is a part of my soul too small to have its own soul.

Naming Ceremony (AKA a Naming) - The nature of my soul is like the primordial ocean that carbon-based life formed out of... for whatever reason, elements in my soul tend to clump together and become various odd and interesting life-forms in their own right. Being a mind/soul, evolution happens there more quickly than in the physical world. So aside from myself are some very complex memetic life-forms (thought organisms).
      A Naming is when I take notice of one of these complex memetic beings and breathe consciousness into them, either on purpose or on accident. By giving them a Name and a name, I give them a sense of Self, a consciousnes.

Alignment - It used to be (years and years and years ago) that some of the complex memetic beings I mentioned above (proto-Faces) would cling to me, and over time became symbiotic with me. Others don't feel as close to me because the prehistoric forms of them didn't cling to me, and so instead of feeling like parts of myself, they feel like friends. This clumping I call Alignment. Fayanora and Alexander are two that are in Alignment with me. As is Pi, though as I say, he hides a lot. Given Alex's personality, this Alignment can be problematic. By the sheer fact that I am not pleased with being Aligned with him (though I love him dearly, he's a dear and funny friend), my Alignment with Fayanora is much stronger. If any of us were going to completely merge, it would be me (Tristan) and Fayanora. Thus, my online presence being "Fayanora." Or Pope Fay.


The Others

            System Mates

TristanTis I - "Me." This is the Face that most people think of when they've known me in person. Quiet, shy, introverted, and kind. Unless, of course, one of the others comes to the front. Alex because he's grumpy, Fay and Molly because they can be rather silly. Lo is hard to detect when she's up Front, though. Negarahn rarely comes Front... in fact, he barely speaks. By simple expedient of being in Alignment with Fayanora and Alexander, plus my own body image, I am pan-gendered. Meaning I am a mental and spiritual hermaphrodite (all genders).




Fayanora - Fayanora if she were humanFayanora is an Ah'Koi Bahnis, and is thus technically a hermaphrodite, but since the proto-Fay was my feminine side, she leans more toward the feminine side. She can be a bit silly, but can also be serious. She's a deep thinker, loves philosophy and spirituality. Because Fay and I have such a powerful Alignment, we have a lot in common. Though she's braver than I am... not that this helps me much. If she had her own body, it would have dark amber skin, black hair, and amber eyes. In this way, she bears a resemblance to Shao'Kehn... but where Shao'Kehn is older than She looks, and has a knowing grin and one raised eyebrow, Fayanora is young-looking. And of course, being an Ah'Koi Bahnis, her eyes have no visible pupils. About the Ah'Koi Bahnis.




Alexander Antonin ArtsI have no picture that looks like me - My inner male, and inner skeptic. The proto-Alex formed years and years and years ago, and attached Itself to me. Thus, now Alex and I are in Alignment. Reluctantly, for my part. If I weren't attached to him, he's not the kind of guy I would have as a friend. He's very angry at the world in general, though it's usually a cold fury he keeps inside himself. It doesn't come forth until stress-induced anger boils it out of him. Though even when he's not stressed or angry, cynicism is still his forte.
      Highly skeptical though he is, his reluctant friendship/Alignment with me and Fay has taught him things he wouldn't have learned if he'd had his own body. But I guess technically he's family, and family brings together people who wouldn't ordinarily hang out with one another. And I have to say this: he's very funny at times. His insults will only insult those with no sense of humor, because they're hilarious. And he has a well-developed sense of dark humor.
      While he questions everything always, he eventually believes things if they hold up to his arguments. And he likes to ensure he's right about these things by challenging firmly-held beliefs once in a while, see if they still hold up. Oh man... one really funny thing I remember about Alex is that when I was first introduced to the possibility that I might be a Multiple, Alex was the only one arguing *against* the idea. Yes, Alexander - one of my Faces - actually argued *against his own existence*! But eventually, it became plain to even him that we are indeed a multiple group. What convinced him finally was one day when he was being grumpy at peoples' stupid driving - in fact, he was building to a rage - and at the same time, Molly was happy and whenever Alex wasn't grumbling, she'd take over the voicebox and sing along with the music.
      If Alex had his own body, it would look a lot like mine, but thinner, no freckles, and more masculine in appearance. His Discordian name is Bishop Sanctimonious. He chose that name very carefully, and knows full well what sanctimonious means. He chose to be a Bishop because now his Discordian name's initials are B.S.

Lolita Leigh SmithLady Loen Behold - My inner Goth, Lo is a lesbian. Her spirituality is very much like mine, but with a slightly darker flavor, and she calls it Luciferianism. She likes Lucifer, Satan, Set, Loki, Kali, Lilith, and Hecate. Lo is also an artist, her favorite medium for art being JASC Paint Shop Pro 9, a computer program much like Photoshop. She also likes poetry and writing. She started life as a character I made for a short story, a short story that I gave up on because it was conventional fiction and I couldn't get into it. Maybe someday, though. Her Discordian name is Lady Loen Behold, a pun on the short version of her first name. Sometimes she calls herself Lo Leigh Smith, another pun.

Molly Elizabeth ArtsLady Loen Behold - My inner child. If she had her own body, she'd be 7 with blonde hair and blue eyes. She's a fun, silly child, and because she, too, is in Alignment with me, she is not an ordinary child... you share thoughts with adults all the time, you're bound to be a bit unusual. So because of her, I'm into age play. Her Discordian name is Princess Sunflower. Here's another picture.



Shao'Kehn - Shao'Kehn is an unusual kind of system-mate, being as She is a Goddess from another world who has taken to nesting in my brain. I like Her, She's very useful. She believes any true Deity should be a tool or a teacher, not someone to be overly worshipped. She has no problem with idol worshippers, only with idle worshippers. She has amber skin, amber eyes, and black hair.

Negarahn - Negarahn is a Duenicallo, another sentient species from Traipah. They are huge, look somewhat like a cross between a polar bear and a tiger, with a snout like a cross between a polar bear's snout and the snout of a velociraptor (only with fur). They can walk on their hind legs, but can only run on all fours. They move like oversized polar bears. Negarahn has white fur and brilliant orange eyes, but there are a number of other fur colors available to Duenicallo. Being a Duenicallo, Negarahn is a carnivore. This creates some problems, as Fay and I are vegetarians. If not for Negarahn, we'd be a vegan. I was for a while, then quite suddenly soy cheese and soy milk went from tasting delicious to tasting like crap. We have compromised, though. We eat fish and eggs. Negarahn is not entirely happy about this, but has agreed to it.
π (AKA Py) - Py is a shapeshifter, and either lacks a true form or refuses to tell me what it is. I'm not sure which. There's a nice detailed thing about him on my LiveJournal profile. You just have to scroll down. In short, he is the wild and fearful side of me. He is apparently still in Exile, afraid to come out. He's made tentative trips to the Front, but got scared and lashed out at us before hiding again. Now the only way to talk with him is to go to a graveyard at night. Apparently, any graveyard at night will do. It takes me to Py's Realm.


            Constructs


The Filter - A highly useful Construct, it does many things. First, it manages body movement. It is in control always, but at the speed of a thought any of us can direct it or override it completely... or at least, override that function of it. For the other function of The Filter, which is how it got its name, is that it acts as a filter between the mind and the mouth. In private, it powers down that function for the most part, but around anyone else it goes on yellow alert. When on yellow alert, it catches any thoughts directed to the voicebox, compares them to a pre-programmed set of lists, judges the situation (based mostly on our own judgments and observations), and then decides whether or not to allow the thought to be voiced. I guess it could also be called The Censor. Though it can also respond to simple questions and statements with a list of pre-programmed responses.
      The Filter is a relatively recent addition, as it didn't begin to form until 1998. Being as I was lost in a world of my own making, I had no perceived need for a Filter before that. It's very useful, but the downside of it is that if the situation is hard to judge, or something else is unusual, or if it is having trouble responding to something that ought to be a simple thing, it creates noticeable processing delays. Which makes me look a little slow sometimes. For example: if I don't know someone is there, and they say "Hi" to me, The Filter looks up, processes the facial information, checks to see which file the face is in, uses that to figure out which list to take a response from, and then says the response. So quite often someone will walk by, say "Hi," and it takes me about 3 or 4 seconds to respond.

The Autopilot - If I had to guess a time when The Autopilot was formed, I'd have to say "early 2005," but it could have been earlier for all I know. What the Autopilot does is that it links with The Filter to do a series of complex, repetitive tasks. It might not even be a Construct in its own right, just a sub-program or add-on of the Filter, I dunno, but I use two different terms anyway. The Autopilot was extremely useful when I was a bus boy at Terrible's (before I was promoted to cashier), because I'd get to work, engage The Autopilot, and then the body was moved around, doing my job, by the Autopilot while the rest of us sat back and had internal conversations, debates, and arguments. (Even before I realized that the situation was more complex than me talking to myself.) The Autopilot is more complex than The Filter, and has a greater range of responses. But the best part of it was that if there was something that the Autopilot couldn't do (too complex, or a question requiring consciousness), it would nudge us and one of us would take over until we could re-engage It.
      Scratch that... the best thing about the Autopilot is a fairly recent discovery about it. For one day, I discovered quite by accident that if the Autopilot is engaged, I can keep walking while being asleep! Yes! I was walking home from Pamida one day, we were having an internal discussion (though not a lively one) and so the Autopilot was engaged. It was a cold day, but we were nice and snug and warm in the coat, we had gotten up early that day, and we were all tired. So we fell asleep... while still walking! Reviewing the memories afterward, I found that the Autopilot had been snapping my eyes open once in a while to see where it was going. It had gone a little off course, but we hadn't run into anything. I was so amazed that I then decided to see if I could do it on purpose... and I can!