Define “Integration”

What is your definition of “integration”?  It appears that different people have different views on what it means to them.

2 thoughts on “Define “Integration”

  1. jigsaw analogy

    well, there’s what i assume people mean when they say it (and i know that when i assume i “make an ass of u and me”). what i assume is that they mean turning into one person, or at least, having just one part out and active and living life. my emotional response to that type of integration is pretty much like my emotional response to the ex-gay movement. i’m not a big fan of it, to say the least.

    but then someone inside pointed out that in non-multiple situations, when people talk about “integration” it’s a really positive thing. i like living in integrated neighborhoods, by which i mean ones where there are a diversity of people who all have an equal part in making the neighborhood a good place. and i prefer going to diverse and integrated schools. in the non-multiple sense, integration doesn’t mean that everyone morphs into a single person. it’s more like there’s acceptance of diversity, and there’s a variety of people contributing different things to the community.

    and in that sense, i’m happy about the idea of integration. in my system, integration means that everyone gets a say in how things go, and we are committed to the “community” (by which i mean all of the people who live in this body). we realize that our choices affect everyone else who lives here, and we accept that there has to be some level of compromise to keep things running more or less smoothly.

    i guess part of what i didn’t like about the type of integration where there’s only one “person” inside at the end is that it seems like that one person then gets to make all of the decisions, without having to compromise, and there are parts of my system who really resist that idea! and even if the parts who probably would have been on the short list of who everyone else integrated into might think they know what’s best, it’s turned out that compromise has done us a lot more good than any one part making all of the decisions. it’s more balanced, and healthier.

    in some ways, i think it’s more resilient for me, too, having a type of integration that’s more about all of the parts realizing that they’ve got an equal role, and learning how to compromise. i’ve heard people talk about how they were integrated, but then another part showed up and that threw things off. but for my system, finding one more (or a dozen more) parts wouldn’t mean i couldn’t still be integrated. it’s also meant that it doesn’t matter so much which part (or parts) is fronting at any given moment. so long as they’re acting with awareness of the rest of us, whoever is capable of coping with the situation at hand can be out.

    my system seems to work best when we share the front, different parts taking things over in turn. we’ve also had different tools in place for *years*, long before we knew we were multiple, to cope with the fact that we were never sure who would be “out”, and to make sure that whoever was “out” had necessary information. that helps a lot, i think.

  2. chariots

    To me it has meant that we all become one and there are no alters anymore. I thought I did this once already though – integrated. And here I am now, not integrated.

    So now – I don’t care either way whether I become a “singleton” or remain with alters. I don’t have a goal for either. My main goal is to know my truth and function well in my relationships and life. Integrated or not, doesn’t really matter to me. I’m not holding onto either as being the best or the goal. I just don’t really think or worry about it too much now. …. which is definitely the best stance I’ve taken so far with regard to my definition of integration. It used to stress me out a lot.

    …. whatever will be, will be…. If “integration” happens for me – it will happen on it’s own and without me trying or really thinking about it.

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