Putting People Into Boxes

We’ve noticed something: People tend to put other people into boxes – whether through description or mass catagory: we all tend to do that.  Why?

Well, first lets look into those boxes.  What do we find there?  All kinds of people – and every one of them different.

And what do I mean by “boxes” in my mind?  I mean the ‘catagorizing of people’ – in order to keep us safe.  And you do it, too – I’m not only willing to bet, but I know.  It’s something we all tend to do.

And why?

Because it makes them ‘safer’ – that is to say, we each and all have two main boxes: one is for ‘threatening things’ – the other one is labeled “safe to be around”.

Again: this is an animal issue; not one of our own minds – it is related to a survival type of function; not a state of disrepair.  And everyone is doing this sort of thing: you, me, and the person we meet on the street – thinking “is he/she a threat?  Or not one?”  (Deciding which box we are going to use.)

And here’s the fallacy in the argument: we shouldn’t be putting them into boxes.  We should greet and meet each one individually – as individuals – and treat them accordingly.

No more of “this bum on the road is going to eat me” (perhaps he’s not; perhaps he’s just someone wandering around in his own life, looking for something to do – and trust me on this one: he is looking back at you, placing you in a box of his own making: businessman, lawyer, mother and father; someone to be desired; someone else to avoid.)

I have found this to be especially true in the fields and sciences of Mental Health.  People (shrinks especially, but someone else – my own selves included) – tend to ‘put people into boxes’ – shrinky catagories that fit their description . . . somewhat – and in doing so, lumping me (and them, my inner others) all into the same boat.  Saying I’m “DID” like it’s some curse or something; something to be gotten rid of; something that’s undesired .  . .

But wait a minute!  Who is undesiring of this being?  Me?  Hell no!  We like what we are, and what we are becoming: a strong and integral system; albeit made of parts and more.  Sure we might be seeing ‘double’ (meaning we see something from both sides) – but there is an advantage to that: it allows us much more understanding than those of you who can only see one side of a simple equation.  There is more to me than stars and the sun; more than you all can ever imagine . . .

And that’s why I’m not going into a box for you; simply defying – and denying – description.

For you see, in DID, there are as many variations as there are stars under the sun (and yeah; we kinda see you as them stars! <- forgive my Southern inflection; different parts of me are contributing).  Some are bad, no doubt (built there to shield their own survivors; they sometimes run out of control – hurting the very systems that they were meant to shield.)  Some go ‘wild’ sometimes, hurting others in their pain: seeing others in some kind of box they’ve labeled “Threatening” – even though there is no threat at all.  (Like many; sometimes we feel a threat – when there is no threat, not to our own basic survival.)

But it kinda gripes my nether regions, puckers up certain anal pores when we see someone labeling “DID” symptoms as “all bad” and a “horrible thing to have” – and other disparaging labels (putting us into boxes again).  We feel this … ‘upset’ (not upset so much as anger; but NOT anger, either so much as a certain sadness – that they don’t understand and are propagating this sort of information: that the “DID” thing is “all bad” – because it isn’t!)

And the sad thing is: some of us DID folks are buying into this thing, thinking: “They must be right on this thing!  I should go ahead and jump into that little box of their!  ‘Shrinking’ (dual meanings) myself on into there!”

And yet I find myself going: “no, no, that’s not the way – or at least not the way in us; we are refusing to jump into that little box of yours, shutting all these little voices in my head UP: we are many and we are proud of what we’ve become.”

A truly DID function; a system of happiness and joy all around (sure there’s gonna be bumps; this is our lifetime, remember?) – and all together now (singing Jeffery’s song of love and hope and compassion for all of us and all of you now.)

So next time you find yourself meeting someone; finding someone like me – or anyone at all (employers should be concerned: putting people into boxes is what they are all about, LMAO!) – don’t be putting them in a box; don’t be instantly catagorizing them.

After all: they may just be someone like me! (smiling at you . . . in my ‘bummy’ clothes . . . walking in my rags down some department store aisle . . .  and not (or at least trying not to) – put you in some box of mine!)


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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2 Responses to Putting People Into Boxes

  1. brannem says:

    I love this post – and it’s very much in line with the things I have been saying to people recently. It’s so nice to live “out of the box”. One of the best parts of my current therapist is he says he doesn’t believe in labels (or boxes).

    The danger of labeling another is that once done that person almost has to live up to (or feels like they must live up to) the label. What if they don’t want to?

    This was especially dangerous and detrimental to me when I was working through my SSA (before the disclosure). The religious wanted me to “repent, turn from my sin and never think of those things again”. The lgbt community wanted me to “accept that I was/am gay – stop living a lie.” But I was, and am, in a gray area between these two extremes and finally feel ok about it.

    By accepting another’s “label” of me, there were all these things that came with it that I didn’t want – but the choices were so extreme – black & white. Labels prey on our very fears of being judged unacceptable.


    • jeffssong says:

      LOL, I used to tell the folks at work (engineering) when they started all that “think outside of the box” stuff:
      “HEY, I wasn’t BORN in a box, don’t live in one, and don’t want to go there.” Rated 2nd most creative in about 480 people (and weirdly enough – thanks to my DID, was also voted in the top 10 of ‘analytical minds’ – which by their tests, rated me as ‘insane’! (no one I guess can be so weirdly and diametrically opposite I reckon; or at least not in normal minds – but I can, because I’m a ‘multiminded individual’ – another way of saying ‘DID’)

      Yeah, man – “LABELS” – dude, you gotta get your head around this one: DON’T – and I mean DON’T – ever let other folks define you – not for who you are, how you are ‘supposed’ to feel. If you do – then you condemn yourself to being ruined (and ran) by other people’s opinions. Letting others ‘define’ for you how you should live your life, dress – and yes – even have sex – is allowing them to run your life instead of letting you run your own. (Ever hear that song with the phrase “I’ll be damned if I’ll let you run my life when you can’t even run your own?”. Thats us, in a nutshell (o’tay, LOL’ing again at my own punny phrasing).

      Yeah, and the ‘gay’ thing; followed a couple of your links. Man – my dad … (shuddering) … jeez, a hyperchristian – he’s getting his Doctorates in Theology TODAY – BUT: get this: he thinks all gays should be killed, castrated, or something – not one ounce or forgiveness or acceptance of others who are ‘different’ in his “Christian heart”. Not at all; nor is he willing to accept his culpability in our own abuse (meaning me and my alters and my ‘twin’ (okay, older, but in many ways a twin of one of my former selves) – brother. Sat there crying yesterday about how he’s come to having PTSD symptoms ‘from the war’ and how it drove him to drinking to ‘forget his sorrows’ – and when I pointed out that “yeah, I did that too” (and he well remembers my days of drug addiction and alcohol) – he just looked at me and said “What did YOU have to be sorry for or unhappy about?”. Jeeezz, you wanna talk about denial!! But he’s a selfish B**t**d.

      But and here’s the “by the way” – I struggled with my sexuality issues for a looonngg time until I realized something in myself. I’m a bisexual – have been for as long as I can remember – wondered “why do I like some guys; wanna go to bed with them?” – thinking it might have been due to the door to thinking that was some kind of acceptable behavior being opened in my childhood (tho’ my 1st ‘experience was with a girl; all the others to follow for many years with with some guys, including a bad one with my uncle – I was young back in them days) – and here’s what I discovered:

      For me it’s not about the gender thing at all: it’s about loving someone. If I love them enough – I want to have sex with them (sometimes inappropriate; we have learned to change our behaviors; this was a major issue for us in more ways than you can dream; and some of them dreams could become nightmares). On the converse side: I won’t have sex with anyone I don’t love; been that way from childhood and beyond. LOL, equal shares of the same thing, I reckon. And for us sex has never been ‘about us’ – it’s always been about giving the other person pleasure – because we are loving them and share in this thing. Again, if you look at some of my blog postings on being a groomed child, you will see this has been true – since day one. Just a thought for you to hold in your head for awhile and think about; don’t know what applies in your direction.

      Fortunately I found ‘my god’ this last april (April Fools day as a matter of fact) – and in order to find it I had to justify and balance EVERYTHING I know about religions (and we know a lot about them – from Mar lak to Ba’al” Christian Gods and heathens) – as well as supportive scientific evidence (former scientist and researcher, as well as engineer: everything has to ‘jive’). Threw out most of the rules and clung to the ones that made sense – and then applied my DID mind to things – and waa-la!!! Boom it was there. Sure, it might be a blasphemy to say “I talk to god and he talks back to me sometimes (not all the time; he’s a busy busy man, if you get my meaning!) – but hey, I’m insane, remember?? So if I want to have my own psychosis and am happy with it – what’s wrong with that, eh? (smiling at you). But on the other hand … if you remember your old testiment and things – man talking to god (and god answering – not just with ‘signs’ but with words) – wasn’t that uncommon. So there: I leave you to go and figure out that one yourself (is he crazy and insane? or is he really talking to God again?) We’re happy with it, and that’s all that matters. Would say more; but hey – we gots promises to keep (between God and myself; he doesn’t want me saying everything; not yet, anyway – I know, cuz’ he told me so, LOL’ing!) I love my god; he’s such a humorous being; sense of humor and all that (why else meet me between the BBQ grill and the trash can, I’m asking, laughing again!)


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