Once upon a time, the soulbonding and multiple groups out there didn't really interact much, and there were a lot of misconceptions between both groups of what the other was or was not. Then one brave soul threw the One Ring into the Crack of Doom, thus uniting both forevermore and causing much rejoicing.
Oops, we're getting ahead of ourselves. But if you look through the annals of history, you'll notice that much of the soulbonding community thought itself very far removed from plurality, and the multiple community out there didn't even address soulbonding at all. Recently, all of this has been changing very quickly. Now, you don't have to look very hard to find multiple systems who admit to soulbonding, or soulbonders who have acknowledged themselves as multiple. The times, they are a-changin, but what does it all mean?
In our own humble opinions, it means that the lines once drawn between both concepts are getting weaker, and that there is much less of a boundary there than people used to think. Is it possible that two separate groups of people, who previously rarely communicated at all, came up with different terminology to describe what is essentially the same thing? We think it's very likely. Because of this, we think it's very possible that in the future, we'll see a lot of diffusion between the two. We hope that people from both cultures will also mix freely, and toss ideas back and forth like old friends sitting on a porch in late summer.
But hey, don't let us lure you into thinking that it'll be an effortless venture. Nothing's ever that easy. We have those years of misunderstandings at our collective backs, and we're going to have to do something to clear them up first. For instance, soulbonders often remark that multiples seem to look down on them as inferior, or "less multiple," and therefore less special. Soulbonders have also been accused by some multiples of affecting a semblance of plurality for attention. And for their part, multiples often get their hackles raised when they see a soulbonding webpage that appears to caricature all plurality as "MPD," and offer a "But I'm not mentally ill!" disclaimer.
It's also common knowledge that both sides are beset with problems among their own ranks. Multiples are plagued by a subgroup that insists that their multiplicity is a terrible ailment, and that all true multiples are of the "MPD" variety. Soulbonders have their own cross to bear in the form of a legion of "rabid fangirls," who claim that their soulbonds keep them up at night with intracranial orgies. Worse than this are the laymen out there who latch on to both of these questionable factions and use their antics to splash mud on all soulbonders and all multiples as a whole. Who among us hasn't been hurt by the self-righteous howling about how all of us are flakes, or whiners who want attention?
Right now, we think that soulbonders and multiples both are looking at each other out of the corner of their eyes. We both want pretty much the same things -- we want to be accepted, and taken seriously. What we don't quite know how to do is reach across the gap that the past years have created. So on that note, here's are some things we think that all of us can do to make communication between us easier, and to help each other see where the other is coming from.
* Avoid the use of the terms 'MPD,' or 'mentally ill' (Remember that MPD stands for a disorder, and many plurals will not respect being labelled like this any more than you would want to be called delusional.)
* Avoid the overuse of soulbonds' antics as conversation pieces
* Respect the people that are your soulbonds, and recognize that multiples respect their group members just the same
* Understand that people who call themselves plural or multiple are not categorizing themselves as superior to you
* Avoid looking at all people based on fictional concepts as 'pretend'
* Understand that even though several people may each have soulbonded a particular character, that doesn't make any of them less or more real as people
* Avoid looking at soulbonding as a "lower form" of multiplicity
Hopefully in a year or two, we'll be writing another essay called
'Our Thoughts on the New Friendship Between the Multiple and Soulbonding
Communities.' Catch you then.