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They/their/them

(44 Posts)
Fffffs Sat 24-Oct-20 09:06:22

I want to say this here. I’ve not seen this addressed in any of the discussions about this over the years and I think more gc women need to be aware of this.

Aside from the shockingly bad grammar involved in using plural pronouns for ‘gender neutral’ or non binary etc it’s also appropriation. People who have DID (dissociative identity disorder) term themselves multiple (as opposed to us singletons). They use we us and they/them/their.

I’m a survivor of csa and have worked with other survivors for decades. Imho there’s a great deal of the multiple community who are vulnerable to the trans ideology and plenty who aren’t in a position to speak up. I wouldn’t doubt they all agree with me on this so I don’t want to claim to be taking on anyone’s behalf. But plenty of people (women almost always ime) living with DID place a great deal of importance on viewing themselves as multiple as opposed to using the diagnosis they have or DID. They see the latter as a medical diagnosis and a sign they are wrong, but the use of multiple is a way forward for them where they can learn for alters to co-operate with one another and not be pushed to intergate, which some see as a way for medical professionals to ‘fix’ them and erase their experience of how they survived trauma. I appreciate this isn’t everyone’s experience of DID and I’m not meaning to trample over those who don’t feel this way, but many survivors I’ve worked with or have known as friends through survivor groups voice this.

The arguement that using they/them/their is harmless isn’t true. Appropriating the language used by the DID community, language which helps make them feel safe and describes their experience and enables them to move forward with their condition is hugely harmful. DID is almost always the result of extreme and repeated sexual abuse, during the primary attachment period and often by primary care givers. This particular group of survivors are one of the most vulnerable and most victimised groups and appropriating their language to appease the most privileged group-men- is an abuse of power.

So for those overlooking grammar or arguing against those who are rolling their eyes at that arguement please keep this in mind. I never hear or see the DID communities needs ever acknowledged or addressed outside of work or survivor groups. They may be a small minority but they are a hugely vulnerable one and the idea that 51% of the population should bend over backwards to accommodate the needs of the tiny percentage of trans people seems ingrained, yet they directly take away the language used by a much much more vulnerable and unseen/unsupported percentage of the population.

Thanks for reading.

OP’s posts: |
334bu Sat 24-Oct-20 09:23:19

Thank you for this insight.

IwishNothingButTheBestForYou2 Sat 24-Oct-20 09:32:41

The "multiple community"?

Have you made that up?

Ereshkigalangcleg Sat 24-Oct-20 09:44:48

I don't think that's made up. It's a name for the group of people with multiple personality disorder, I think?

gardenbird48 Sat 24-Oct-20 09:46:24

IwishNothingButTheBestForYou2

The "multiple community"?

Have you made that up?

Try doing some reading before you ask such a disrespectful question.
I have heard of this and read about some horrendous cases of abuse (occasionally it hits the newspapers) and as you say op, it is an extremely vulnerable group of people that are not being heard.

Thank you for giving this insight (and flowers ) and another very important angle on why it is not harmless to go along with the ‘pronoun police’ - it does seem that no one else matters to them in any way, shape or form.

Is there a support charity for DID? when I’m working out my donations I would like to know that it is going to people that actually need help.

JellySlice Sat 24-Oct-20 09:49:15

Yet again, the majority of people affected by this are women.

Cocothefirst Sat 24-Oct-20 09:59:09

Thank you OP for the insight.

I'm in a Facebook group with a woman who has DID and she's working very hard in therapy. She describes herself as a system and presents as various alters.

I hadn't thought of the effect on her and other DID sufferers.

RufustheSniggeringReindeer Sat 24-Oct-20 10:25:06

Very intesting thank you

A family member has disassociation at the very ‘mild’ end of the spectrum but even that is terrifying

And obviously it can develop into DID if nothing is done or through greater trauma

Fffffs Sat 24-Oct-20 11:49:24

Most people wouldn’t hear about the multiple community as they don’t go around shouting for attention. They also don’t need to demand others refer to them as they etc, but within survivor groups or those who work with them it’s often adopted, voluntarily.

Like pp says they often work on seeing themselves as a system or a co-operative group, as opposed to the previous approach pro intergration therapy. Using they them we us is part of that and part of what helps give them a way of moving forward and living with their trauma. It’s not some cute in fad for attention and it’s not ok for the trans community to appropriate that.

OP’s posts: |
thirdfiddle Sat 24-Oct-20 12:11:33

Who are we to say which they/them nonbinaries are in fact taking refuge in "nonbinary" from an abusive past? I think many people in the "trans community" arrive there through their own extreme vulnerability whether trauma or other conditions.

Scout2016 Sat 24-Oct-20 12:28:54

Thank you OP, I hadn't thought of the impact on this community. I had been aware of people negotiating with and talking to intrusive voices, with the view that it is preferable to live with them rather than try to medicate away or "fix".
I wasn't aware of this pronoun aspect for those with DID and had thought that if I did encounter a "they" person I would probably just go along with it. You have definitely made me think otherwise.

Fffffs Sat 24-Oct-20 13:24:25

People who hear voices aren’t the same thing as people who have DID (although there’s some perspectives that see hearing voices as the external version and having dissociated alters as the internal) but generally speaking auditory hallucinations more commonly a symptom of conditions like schizophrenia, which is generally considered to be a biological illness, and DID is a response to trauma. While medications can be useful to treat symptoms associated with DID there’s no medication that ‘treats’ the experience of having alters in the way medications treat auditory hallucinations ( even if they never fully stop them they tend to reduce with correct combo of meds). Hope that makes sense, & ty to reading & considering.

OP’s posts: |
DeaconBoo Sat 24-Oct-20 13:35:23

One of the trans women i used to chat to online refers to themselves as a "system" of multiple identities now.

thirdfiddle Sat 24-Oct-20 13:46:20

Do you think they are a genuine DID sufferer deaconboo? I have seen some indication that the "multiple community" is starting down the path the trans community did and moving away from sufferers of a diagnosed disorder mitigating their condition as best they can and towards an ideology of identity as true self. Which if true is terribly harmful to actual sufferers.

MingeofDeath Sat 24-Oct-20 14:46:47

I'm a HCP, it is perfectly acceptable to use they/their/them in order to maintain confidentiality when discussing patients (obviously depending on the context of the discussion)

Fffffs Sat 24-Oct-20 15:04:19

Third- DID isn’t a self identified condition. It’s idenifying feature is dissociation. A person can’t very well know they are multiple if they are dissociated while the other alter or alter is in control now can they? It’s a condition people become aware of after years if not decades of mis-diagnosis and assessments from a number of teams of professionals, and it’s normally the professionals or other experienced support staff who tend to bring it up first.

Using we us they isn’t a term to avoid hurting anyone’s feelings or to validate their identity- like I said the multiple community doesn’t demand others use they about them when they are not there. It’s a way of helping them understand their experience and how it differs from the rest of the world who are singletons. It’s about helping them find a way for alters to co-operate and therefore be able to engage in the world, to access services and support and to put in place way that minimise the disruption dissociation causes to functioning. I only have had ‘mild’ dissociative episodes as part of ptsd (and loosing time then coming too while having sex with a man I don’t know that I initiated while dissociated is beyond terrifying enough). DID is the opposite end of the spectrum of dissociative disorders from me. Using they as a way of helping understand how they work and how the rest of us do tends to be something that a person has recommended by professionals after diagnosis, from others living with DID or from literature on the subject (there isn’t much and it’s not mainstream by any stretch).

So your hypothetical person whose attending trans groups because of DID?? Either they aren’t aware they have it so don’t need a way of thinking that terms us singletons and them multiple as a way of helping with navigating the extreme affect it has on daily functioning, or they have a diagnosis or suspected diagnosis in which case it would be their DID that affects this use of language and trans people are still appropriating their language for their experience.

For a person with DID who understands the world as multiple for them and singlular for all of us to sudden have everyone using they for singletons must be seriously disconcerting. A lot like a person with autism who correctly understand he is for boy and she is for girl to meet the head fuck that is being demanded by expecting them to understand using they for both. People with DID don’t demand others use they about them when they aren’t there- they wouldn’t know would they so it makes zero sense- but in survivor groups that are set up for them, or within mh services for DID or social work etc who support people with DID using they them their within paperwork or similar is about helping them use a framework to understand how they function as a person with two or more alters, it’s about helping them understand how the rest of us don’t work that way so they can better navigate relationships with others around them (because it can be seriously fucking hard understanding or connecting to another persons upset at you for behaving in a way you have zero memory of). So using they for people with DID isn’t about validating their diagnosis or about identifying them to others or about not hurting feelings, it’s about accessing a way of understanding their experience and how that relates to the world around them to better cope with the reality they are trapped in. It’s about seeing a way forward that isn’t a ‘disorder’ but is a way of coping long term.

For anyone to appropriate that as if it’s nothing is hugely insensitive, callous even. The whole world is bending over backwards to be nice and polite to trans people by using they (despite it mattering not a fuck what pronouns anyone uses behind peoples back) and it takes away a very valid coping mechanism from the most vulnerable and unheard minority. It actively fucks with the heads of people with DID if the whole world is now using they, you take away a valuable way of seeing the world for them by doing so, you erase the reality of their experience, all to be nice to trans activists.

No other form of appropriation is ok and this isn’t either. If people eye roll at grammar corrections and claim we must prioritise the feelings of the trans minority I think it’s worth posters knowing that it’s a valuable counter to point out how that actively appropriates the experience of such a vulnerable group.

OP’s posts: |
gardenbird48 Sat 24-Oct-20 16:16:41

thank you for such a clear and honest explanation.

I'm sure most people would not want to inadvertently be a party to removing an essential tool of healing from people who have been through so much trauma so it is very useful to know this.

DeaconBoo Sat 24-Oct-20 18:02:44

third I have no idea and wouldn't like to speculate, but self-id would not surprise me in the least.

Scout2016 Sat 24-Oct-20 18:15:53

OP I'm sorry if I was clumsy and caused offence. I do appreciate that auditory hallucinations such as those people with schizophrenia may experience are biological/ organic conditions, and that DID is not. It wasn't my intention to minimise the trauma suffered by those with DID and I see that referencing non-pharmacutical models of living with other conditions was irrelevant. I apology, and thanks again for your explanations.

DidoLamenting Sat 24-Oct-20 18:21:40

How does the use of "they/their/them by non- binary people impede the ability of the DID community using these pronouns?

12frogsincoats Sat 24-Oct-20 18:31:44

DidoLamenting

How does the use of "they/their/them by non- binary people impede the ability of the DID community using these pronouns?


This.

There are many scenarios in which they/them/their can be used. None of them invalidate or appropriate the struggle that people with DID go through.

BreatheAndFocus Sat 24-Oct-20 18:33:19

DeaconBoo

One of the trans women i used to chat to online refers to themselves as a "system" of multiple identities now.

That’s interesting as I was wondering about that myself, having come across some people on Twitter who say they’re “plural” and a “system”. Those people use unusual (to me) pronouns.

I assumed they were ‘adopting an identity’, but obviously I don’t know. It disturbed me a bit because I got the impression it was something they’d chosen to be.

OP, you make a good point. This hadn’t occurred to me and I have very little knowledge about DID.

DidoLamenting Sat 24-Oct-20 19:05:05

OP, you make a good point. This hadn’t occurred to me and I have very little knowledge about DID

The OP told me something I didn't know. I don't follow her point about appropriation. I don't understand how the use of "they/their/them" by non- binary people impedes the ability of the DID community using these pronouns.

Is the OP referring to the reaction which non- binary users of "they/them/their" get which ranges from complete acceptance , to mild irritation through to outright refusal and vitriol? And that the latter reactions make it more difficult for the DID community to use them?

But won't the DID community get the same range of reactions regardless of the existence of non-binary people? Is the answer then actually to be more accommodating to and less judgemental about anyone using plural pronouns?

Cwenthryth Sat 24-Oct-20 19:11:55

Whilst I’m not on board with the demand to use a singular they in terms of being required to validate someone’s non-binary identity..... however, I’m not convinced that appropriation is the right term here. To appropriate you need to know you are stealing something. I just don’t think that use of ‘they’ as a therapeutic tool for DID sufferers has been consciously copied by the gender ideologists. It’s like saying styles of braids have been appropriated from specific African tribes when they have actually also been in use in Northern Europe since Viking times as well (and probably elsewhere as well). Sometimes things just evolve naturally in multiple places or situations.

DidoLamenting Sat 24-Oct-20 19:24:26

I don't think there can be appropriation given that the use of plural pronouns by the DID community seems pretty unknown amongst posters here.

Without blowing our own trumpets if even posters on here didn't know about this it's pretty likely most people don't.

Now I know about it I will avoid being snippy or judgemental about its use.

(I was going to say unless it's with reference to that annoying woman who runs the Second Shelf Bookshop who refers to herself as if she were a bookshop and in the plural- but who knows? There might be another reason. Her usage doesn't actually affect me at all)

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