Posted in Miscellany

Multiple Personalities: We on the Inside; We on the Outside

I’ve been intensely living with the Power of We for about 8 years, so it is karmic that today is Blog Action Day and the theme is The Power of We.

Children survive the unimaginable by developing a multiple, instead of a singular identity. As “we”, they can live, function, control the effects of trauma, and become creatively adapted adults. That, bare bones, is the seed that turned into Web of Angels.

But the we is not only internal, because in every case, without exception, the people I know who are multiple got some form of sustenance from kind words here and there in their lives from a neighbour, a friend’s parent, a teacher or a coach. And in this way, all of us, even without any knowledge of what goes on behind closed doors, can save a child.

I am reminded of how we impact each other so often while talking about Web of Angels in different communities across Canada, in the many people who come up to me afterward to share a personal experience, in the emails that I’ve received from people of all walks of life, singletons and multiple.

I would like to say that the Power of We is the power of love, but there is a caveat–for the greatest danger to loving behaviour lies in the mob, in group think, in mindless following.

There is a lesson to be learned from D.I.D. (dissociative identity disorder aka multiple personalities). One thing it teaches is that every part or alter or personality is necessary. Each one brings a gift. Each is a shining facet of the whole.

And that is the inoculation for mob action or group think: the Power of We balanced with appreciating the value of the individual. In that balance, is a civil society where light and love can flourish.



Lilian is the author of Web of Angels, a novel about a mom with DID (multiple personalities). She's also the author of the historical novels, The River Midnight and The Singing Fire, about secrets, friendship and motherhood in 19th century Poland and London.

4 thoughts on “Multiple Personalities: We on the Inside; We on the Outside

  1. Bravo, Lilian. And I would add that what happens to those traumatised children is an exaggeration of what goes on inside of us all the time. We are all more multiple than we think, and it’s the search for unnatural coherence of personality that most often leads us into difficulties and disappointments.

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