Content/trigger warning: discussion of pluralmisia
Hello, dear readers! This will be a bit of an unusual entry. My Patreon supporters chose “Why sysmeds need to shut up” as the topic, so I’ll be talking about plurality, which can be but is not necessarily disability-related. Let me explain.
What is plurality, anyway? Plurality, also called multiplicity, is a catch-all term for when a person shares a bodymind with others. These others can be referred to as other people, headmates, alters, fragments, etc., depending on a variety of conditions (i.e., “alters” is usually used within the context of DID or OSDD-1 only, and even some people with those disorders don’t like the term “alters”). I have OSDD-1 and I have three alters: Valkyrja, Olivia, and Em. The child I used to be until I was traumatized so badly I became a different person also lives in my head too, but I’m not sure what to call her (aside from, y’know, her name). So, technically, I’m a system: a group of people sharing one bodymind.
There are many ways systems can be formed. Most research about systems has been done on traumagenic systems, or systems that were formed due to trauma (like me). However, systems can be formed in a variety of different ways. Full disclosure, I’m fairly new to the plural community and don’t know all the different ways a system can be formed, but here are some:
Traumagenic: formed from trauma
Parogenic: formed deliberately
Endogenic: formed without trauma
Quoigenic: formed for unknown/undisclosed reasons
Paragenic: formed by daydreaming
Mixed origin: formed by different causes
The idea that systems can exist without disorder or trauma can be hard to swallow for some people. But I promise, it’s true. Even if the countless systems I know on Twitter and Discord are somehow lying, one of my friends from college is an endogenic system.
Something important to know about plurality is that it is not only not inherently disordered, it is not inherently a disability. That’s not internalized ableism, either. That’s the consensus from the plural community; being plural is not necessarily disabling. OSDD-1 sure as fuck is a disability–dissociating when I get into an argument, for example, is a massive inconvenience–as is DID, but merely being plural is not.
You may be wondering what all this has to do with sysmeds. You’re probably wondering what sysmeds even are. “Sysmed,” which is short for “system medicalist,” is a term for a dickhead person who insists that people cannot be systems unless they have a medical condition like OSDD-1 or DID. As I’ve already mentioned, that’s just plain not true. Systems can develop due to many different causes. Modern psychiatry is kind of behind the times on this, but is that anything new? Remember how the DSM pathologized asexuality, homosexuality, and transness? The fact that not a lot of research has been done into non-traumagenic systems doesn’t mean sysmeds are right. Every phenomenon related to the human mind existed prior to its codification by mainstream psychiatry.
So sysmeds are wrong, and they are a particularly gross kind of wrong that invalidates people’s identities. This kind of invalidation is totally pluralmisic against any kind of system that isn’t traumagenic. That’s why sysmeds need to shut up. I may be traumagenic, but I sure as hell will defend other systems who aren’t.
I think that’s all I have for now. Thanks to my Patreon supporters: Ace, Emily, Hannah, Mackenzie, Sam, and Sydney! Reminder that it’s only $1 a month to be as cool as them, see blog entries two days early, and vote in polls to help me pick blog entry topics!