Karen answers Adam

Comment by Adam on February 17, 2009 12:53 am

WTF is this guy talking about? Peanut butter analogy? Is he trying to impress you both with sarcasm? Nevermind.

I admire every attempt you made to share the reality of life from a multipleʼs perspective. I know someone who is diagnosed with D.I.D. and she is more like you. I read Switching Time to learn more of how to be a friend to her, not in a sexual way, for I am gay. I love her as a sister and want to be there for her. She is really nice and a great friend. May I ask how does someone like me befriend a multiple without becoming stressed with the overwhelming trauma that can come from the illness. She doesnʼt show anger but we donʼt know each other very well yet. I want to be prepared. What are some warning signs to watch out for? What should I do? Ignore her and not be her friend or chance a great friendship?

Love,

Adam

Dear Adam,

I am really glad you chose to ask me these questions.  There is so much misunderstanding in befriending someone who is a multiple.  People judge, and this saddens me.  I’ve experienced great sorrow with a few friendships that have failed due to misconstrued expectations. There will always be a few people who can’t accept the truth about multiplicity and read into every little thing incorrectly.

Multiples make great friends if treated with respect.  In my relationships, when I’d feel respected, I’d stay calm and no alters would surface. There would be no need for a “switch.”  What is a must to understand is that a multiple won’t need to “switch” unless threatened or provoked.  If you choose to become a true friend, pay attention to the relationship without smothering her.  Multiples need space and are often taken wrong.

In my experience, it’s best not to ask a million questions about a multiple’s past unless they themself open this discussion.  At the same time, don’t ever ignore them.  I believe most multiples have issues with time.  I have a hard time feeling connected unless I hear from everyone I know, a minute now and then will do.  The longer the time not speaking, the harder to maintain the relationship.  Never lie to a multiple; a multiple is attuned to everything you say and can tell and although they may never share that they know you lied, they’ll always know.  

I am not a therapist and my advice comes from my personal experience.  In my opinion, a multiple can’t bear any more pain than what she carries within herself already.  Do not intentionally hurt a multiple.  That is like stabbing her in the heart.  It’s very difficult for a multiple to make friends, but once they do, they can become friends for life.  Unless you plan on a lifetime freindship, don’t bother to start.  Remember, the multiple has suffered horrifically and can’t deal with being hurt again.

If you choose to be in your friend’s life, enjoy her.  Multiples really are nice people, and don’t forget to keep in touch with her! 

Thank you for your questions.

Karen

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