Posted by: ourlifewithmpd | April 25, 2010

So what’s the point?

I just ran across this article: The Rocky Road of Integration. I’m not anywhere near integrated yet, so I sort of skimmed the article, but one of the comments stirred something inside that I thought I might elaborate on —

Tania said:

Im confused. How come, post intervention, parts can be reactivated that easily? If that is the case, what is the point in integration, and all the work involved in achieving that. Why not just settle for co-consciousness and be done with?

I’m a pretty pragmatic person. I like to have a purpose for what I do. I got into the integration pathway because that was what I read would “make me better”, not really knowing what that was supposed to look like. A sort of idealized Supergirl who never had any problems was close to it.

This article, though, seems to be saying that this isn’t what real, normal life is. People remember painful things about their pasts. People go through stuff. But they do it together, as one mind.

From what I can tell, the difference between co-consciousness and integration is like getting a bunch of strangers together to do something vs. doing it yourself with all the knowledge that group might possess in your head already. In the latter case, there’s no arguing, no switching, no splitting of priorities (let’s clean the kitchen — I’m hungry — oh, look, crayons!).

One goal.

So what’s the point? I guess it depends on what your goal is, and whether you (as in the person who’s reading this right now) has the same goal as the rest of your system does. It took a while for everyone to get on the same page, so to speak, and a lot of times we get derailed on the overriding goal of getting well — whatever that looks like — by fears of being unsafe.

But I don’t have this grit-my-teeth goal of “being integrated no matter the cost” like a lot of people seem to, as if that’s the end-all-be-all of the multiple life. It’s not that black and white.

Being well, as far as I can tell, ends up with integration, because my understanding of this thing is that the only reason these people stay separate is that they feel too traumatized, too afraid of what their revelations will do to the rest of us, too untrusting of our ability to cope, to let themselves talk to the rest of us and heal.

And sometimes, they really do know what’s best.

So getting well for my own sake, improving my own ability to cope, going after my own healing, will one day lead to integration of these others just as raising the temperature in the room naturally melts ice to water. You don’t have to sit there and exert mental energy over it, it doesn’t help.

That’s just how I see it; I could be totally wrong. 😉



  1. I had to smile about the supergirl image. A lot of people have that idea and in some of the classic MPD literature integration is haled as the ‘must achieve’ therapeutic outcome.

    I have never really seen that happening in over 20 years of working with trauma and dissociation. I’ve seen people reaching varying levels of integration – levels that suited their personalities and life circumstances.

    In fact, I don’t believe integration is a finite destination that can be achieved, rather its a lifelong process. Everybody, whether multiple or not, will go through life needing to integrate experiences, feelings, and changes.

    What I have found, however, is that people can’t really determine to what level they want to integrate. Once the healing process starts and parts become more and more co-conscious, a process is set in motion that seems to be ruled by nature rather than by what the person wants or doesn’t want.

  2. That makes sense.

    Ten years ago I would never have imagined being where I am now, and if this is as far as I get as far as integrating, I’d be perfectly happy. 🙂

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