lb_lee: A happy little brain with a bandage on it, surrounded by a circle and the words LB Lee. (Default)
[personal profile] lb_lee
It seems we've gotten a lot of questions concerning uncloseting, since we've come out multi to a fair few people with a wide range of reactions.  Feel free to bring up suggestions, arguments, or anything you see fit; I wrote this on the fly, and I'm more than willing to revamp it at others' behest.  It's meant for multiplicity, but I think a bunch of the rules can apply for about coming out anything.  So:

So You're Crazy: the Handy-Dandy Loony-Brain Guide to Uncloseting

Before You Uncloset

1. Think of your reasons WHY you are uncloseting.  Obviously, freaking out the easily-freaked-out can be entertaining, but it's not a good reason to go disclosing what can be diagnosed as a mental illness.  Uncloset for a good reason: because you have to tell somebody, and you think they'll be able to support you.  If your internal crew is in deadlock over even deciding whether to do it in the first place, try to find a way to come to a solid decision; the last thing you need is for an internal fight to ensue in the middle of what's already a stressful situation.

2. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Just because you think they'll support you doesn't mean they will.  If you don't think you can handle a reasonable worst case scenario, you should not uncloset.  You are likely to take a rather abrupt rejection or two, and it's no good if you fall to sobbing pieces for weeks every time this happens.  Accept that life is sucky and unfair this way.

3. Know the risks to uncloseting.  If your body is a minor, it is possible for your parents to call for institutionalization without your express consent or you being a danger to yourself or others.  A diagnosis of DID can bar you from some high-security work, if you're considering something in the FBI, NSA, or one of the other acronyms.  If you have a therapist, make sure they tell you any other possible setbacks in your state/country/what have you.  And of course, don't forget you might end up losing a couple friends.

4. That said, don't coop yourself up in a box of fear your whole life.  It's a crappy place to be.  You may have to buckle down and shut up for a few years if you can't pack up to find a safe environment, but still, compromising or suppressing everyone's voice is a pain in the ass, and in our case, caused more problems than the condition itself.  Be aware you have to compromise the desire to be open with security.

When You Uncloset

5. Above all: know that you rarely have to uncloset right this instant.  If the vibes look bad (your unclosetee is in a shitty mood, you're on the verge of a panic attack, the inner crew is revolting), don't uncloset.  You can always try again later, and a bad uncloseting can be hard to fix.

6. Try to rig the situation to be as comfortable as possible.  Make sure you have all the time you may need.  Be in a place you feel secure in, be it a loud noisy restaurant nobody'll hear you talking in, or alone in your room with your unclosetee.  Do you prefer to rehearse what you'll say beforehand, or do you work better on the fly?  Have a basic idea of what you're doing, including, if applicable, who will front for it.  Dress comfortably; if you're relaxed, your targetee will follow suit. (Of course, sometimes things will organically move in the uncloseting direction without any forethought at all.  If so, you're a lucky bastard; take advantage of it.)

7. Be calm.  Some news has more impact when you do it sobbing and emotional: coming out multiple is generally not one of these.  It can give off the impression that you're "being dramatic," so emotionally overwhelmed that you aren't thinking straight, or it might just alarm your unclosetee.  Not what you want.  If you feel like you're falling apart, you might want to delay the uncloseting until you feel ready.  In general, speak in a calm but reassuring manner: this may be serious business, but it's not the end of the world.  You're still functioning, and if you're not, you're doing something about it.

8. Take it slow.  It can be hard enough for the average Joe to accept the idea of multiplicity in general: you may not want to slug him with your internal vampires, fairy princesses, or axe murderers right off the bat. (It took our dad a gradual explaining over the course of a couple months, first that we had "voices in our head," then later explaining they were more like people, decent people, then finally that they controlled the body.  He completely accepted the idea, unlike the first time when we'd tried our more usual, "I'm multiple, here's how it works," which had completely failed.) It's usually easier for someone to accept the mundane stuff first, like how you argue with Alter Bob about whether to wear the sneakers or the boots.

After You Uncloset

9. Let them ask questions.  This is a really strange situation for most people, and they might worry they'll offend you or that they'll ask something really stupid.  And they very well might.  Still, cut them slack; they're trying to learn here, and being short with them will not help them feel more comfortable around you.  Nerves can make people sound stupider than they really are, including you.  Realize they're usually trying to be educated, not insult you.  Their tone is more important than the words they use.

10. Don't take it personally if the unclosetee admits they're overwhelmed, don't know how to respond to this, or that they might need some time to think this over.  You've told them something pretty strange, and they might need to just sit down and rethink everything in the privacy of their own room for a while; it doesn't necessarily mean they never want you to speak of this again.  Just be glad they respect you enough to tell you they're overwhelmed, rather than just exploding into a rant of "OMG U LIE!"

10. 5 THE MINA COROLLARY (donated by Mina of [livejournal.com profile] menistelsiva
Happy uncloseting.

--Rogan

Date: 2007-10-16 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menistelsiva.livejournal.com
Very nicely written ^^ :)

We'd suggest something about dealing with halfway acceptance, except neither of us has a clue what to do about it.

/ Cicci and mina

Date: 2007-10-16 01:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-lee.livejournal.com
What do you mean about halfway acceptance? So far we've either had, "FUCK NO!" or "Oh, okay." A lot of people mention someone "relapsing," but we've never had that happen.

--Rogan

Date: 2007-10-16 01:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] menistelsiva.livejournal.com
Halfway as in someone accepting that you're a group of people, occasionally acknowledging this in speech, but still for all practical purposes treating you like a singlet.

We have someone like that, the one I came out to without waiting for consensus if you remember. Information about they ways in which we differ from one another just doesn't seem to stick, so we end up being treated like a collective of clones.

Imin suggested the term active indifference, not sure if that makes any sense outside of this head.

Date: 2007-10-16 04:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lb-lee.livejournal.com
We understand that, though we haven't had it happen. Then again, we act so ridiculously different that to ignore it is pretty difficult. (Ruffling Sneakergirl's hair is fine; try it on anyone else and you get reactions varying from a pained look to HSSSSS!) But in that case, I'd probably end up confronting them about it and asking what the deal was. We've only had that happen once, but after a chat session where Gigi took front and wouldn't relinquish it and refused to behave "normally," he showed that he did accept it, just generally didn't mention it. Then again, it's hard to argue with a morbid ten-year-old talking about death and incest.

I'll have to think about this one further.

--Rogan

March 2017

S M T W T F S
   123 4
5678 9 10 11
12 13 14 15161718
19 202122 23 2425
262728293031 
Page generated Mar. 25th, 2017 05:27 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios