Merging Loss (was Integration Loss)
- Drendel/Crisses was greatly loved by Elvair/Crisses. They were soulmates. Even though they were both in the same body, their bonds were clearly strong and their love and caring for eachother was unshaken. Drendel integrated into Aliessa/Crisses, however, and while there was no doubt that Aliessa's spirit was affected by inclusion of Drendel-ness, she was not, and would never be, Drendel. Elvair vanished from our head, having left, and we have not seen or spoken to him since. Now we've lost two beloved entities in our head -- one to integration, one to the despair of losing his loved one to integration. -- XES
- I (Using I loosely) had befriended a multiple a while ago. The person, as far as I knew, had a very DID/psychological viewpoint on their state. Although that cut short certain lines of conversation (as I do not share this view with my own state), I didn't let that really get in the way. Problems arose, and I discoved that they had integrated. Which meant that I lost not only the people I did meet, and those I knew about but didn't get to meet. It's chilling, sometimes, to deal with this person now. I don't have any idea how I should even go about talking to the person about how I feel. They feel like they are essentially the same person, but it doesn't feel that way to me. I mourn them, but feel I have no venue for it. --Anonymous
Whether or not a resident's relationship is in the body or out of the body, losing someone you love and respect to integration can be exceptionally difficult. It's like they died and you pray and hope that they "went on to a better place" and you keep expecting to see them looking at you out of the face they once wore...
There needs to be a time of mourning for this loss, and a period of adjustment to dealing with the same body they were inside of that they're not going to wear again.
- This can be very hard to deal with sometimes. Yes, you need to mourn, but it can be very difficult to explain. Your friend or lover is gone, dead in many senses of the word, but to the rest of the world their corpse is still happily walking around. It's not as if you can take a couple of days off for the funeral. - MRW
There are times the entity is still somewhat available and that can be as haunting as a loved one's spirit sticking around after they are dead. You have part of the person you loved...so it's like part-time mourning, or mourning only part of them. This is probably even more difficult than entirely losing them.
- I've seen this one, and it is extremely difficult. Especially when you hear the same phrases that X would have used, but coming out of Y. When it is the same body, these things throw you off. 3 years since the two in question have shared a body, and I still have a hard time with it after seeing them. And when X can occasionally be channeled in, this just adds to the confusion. Also, Y has forgotten X, and will make any number of strange excuses for things that X said or did. (Probably incomplete and incoherent, I will work on it.) -'Blades
How to handle Integration Loss
Treat it like real mourning. Find some type of applicable support system, and share about the person. The Otherkind-Hosts list is a good place where many people will understand what you've gone through, as are other open-enrollement multiple lists where you are able to come into the forum regardless of being a singleton or a multiple (anyone with good references, either list them or put them in the Resources section). Share what you remember, give yourself time and space to be shocked and disbelieve/deny it, to be angry and upset, to slowly get used to the idea and actually incorporate the finality of the changes that have taken place.
If the person is still partially available to you you *may* wish to consider discussing this with them. However, this should probably be done with caution: it may not be advisable to put pressure on the other persons in the beloved's (former?) system. The best way to talk to the dead is to talk to the air, a statue, a drawing, a photo, to pray, etc. and that may work whether the person has integrated or has left the collective in question. However the multiple in question needs to understand that you have feelings too, and that while they may desire integration, or it may be the right thing for them, it doesn't come without natural consequences, such as your own pain and discomfort.