This chapter is about me, me, me.
It’s time I explained, as promised, how I, the author of this blog, came to be one of three personalities in a multiple personality condition.
First I should introduce us. There is myself, Margaret, who am really a homosexual male; there is Meg, who is a very definite and very feminine heterosexual female; and there is Peggy, who is a tomboy and a rebel, but also a decidedly heterosexual female. That at least saves complications about our sexual orientations.
Our mother was once raped by a man of some Aboriginal ancestry and there was doubt as to the paternity of her consequent conception. Nine months later she bore twins. My brother was a blue-eyed blond, whom it was decided was of Anglo-Saxon-Irish parentage only. I was dark-haired and olive-skinned and it was suspected that I was a product of the rape.
For many years I nursed a hostile grievance towards my mother for her rejection of me and her favouring of my twin, but as an adult I began to understand that my very presence would have been a constant reminder of her degradation and humiliation, and I think of her with less harshness.
My upbringing was, I think, undertaken mainly by my father and my maternal grand-mother. I clearly remember the day on which I rejected my mother as she had rejected me. At the age of two I fell into a lagoon while trying to pick a water-lily as purchase of her love, and my elder brother rescued me. I remember deciding there and then that my mother’s love was not worth the price.
Peggy remembers an even earlier date when she burst into the family’s outhouse chasing a thistle-down and surprised our mother on the toilet seat. Peggy even at that age sensed that her mother’s anger had little to do with her. It was shame and outrage at losing her dignity, a re-living of the rape situation. Peggy, early in infancy, detached herself from her mother.
Peggy more or less brought herself up, or was shepherded by our brothers. Meg’s make-up was the result of bowing to her mother’s scorn and constant criticism, and attempting to win her approval.
I shall not dwell on the personalities of the other two here, except to say that their permanent presence makes me keenly aware of how women think and why they behave as they do.
At the age of twelve I told my grand-mother that I wished I were a boy. At that stage it could have been the result of having been brought up in a pre-dominantly male household where the males were largely favoured. My grand-mother merely said “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.”
I took the saying completely to heart, and have since had strong empathy towards those unfortunate enough to have to beg. There were few of them when I was young. Regrettably there are a lot more of them nowadays. Contemplating the plight of beggars stood me in good stead for many years in place of fretting for my own misfortune to be born a male with the body of a female.
I was sure, in face of my mother’s rejection of me, in face of her oft-repeated statement that I behaved like “a little black gin” that I was of British-Irish stock, with not a skerrick of Aborigine. I still think so. Apart from my twin, all my siblings had the dark hair and olive skin of the southern Irish, just as I had. However, I have grown to have empathy towards our First Australians, from being treated as one of them.
I also have empathy towards the mentally ill, having been “treated” for mental illness for most of my adult life. Apparently it is not permissible to have three identities in one body. We three have for fifty years run the gauntlet of being compelled to undergo medication and electric shock therapy in attempts to force us to become one person. It is only in the very last few weeks that my present psychiatric team has let up on this violent attempt on our persons’ very existence. They have done so only because I have made public the injustice of what they have been doing.
I wonder whether it is more society than individuals who are at fault when “mental illness” is diagnosed. I do not consider that Meg, Peggy and I are mentally ill, though Meg is, or was, inclined to be very neurotic. We have been labelled psychopathic because we do not agree with some of the norms of modern society. I maintained back in the 1960s that homosexual and lesbian relationships should be legitimized, and psychiatrists were scandalized. I also pushed for polygamy, and even polyandry, in stable relationships, where children are involved. Such unions would work economically as well as socially. Saul of Tarsus was a puritanical homophobic who considered marriage to be a fall-back lifestyle for those who could not manage celibacy. He instituted monogamy in the western Christian world for this purpose. Monogamy suits most women, with their nesting inclinations, but it is not a necessary natural state.
I consider divorce to be a very destabilising factor in society, which should be only a last resort, used only in cases of physical domestic violence, or in cases of incest. I also believe that biological parents are not always best choice to raise children. Adoption should be made easier. Adoptive lesbian and homosexual parents would often be preferable to a single parent. Adoption, while allowing access by the biological parent in certain cases, is preferable to fostering. Some single mothers keep their children only because of social pressures or for financial reasons. There should be closer scrutiny of single parenthood, if only to offer support to those single mothers genuinely trying to do their best by their offspring, and to supply effective male role models if they are lacking.
My own marriage was an unfortunate mistake. It would have been difficult for any man to live with the three of us, but my husband made at least one attempt to murder us, whereupon in face of overwhelming evidence, Meg agreed that we should leave him.
I shan’t dwell on the history of domestic violence, abuse and coercion in our lives. It is a common story. What I do emphasise is that all present moves to combat domestic violence are band-aids. It is an ambulance at the foot of the cliff. What is needed is education of young boys by strong, caring, protective male role models. I am willing to wager that the huge majority of domestic violence crimes are committed by men who had no healthy male role model when young. Broken homes, separation and divorce when children are involved, absent and ineffective fathers and single or domineering mothers, are the factors that breed domestic violence perpetrated by males. Let’s tackle domestic violence at its source. Let’s stabilize the family once more. No more “no fault” divorce for a start. Let’s face it, it doesn’t free up the courts or lead to more amicable separations. It’s attitude that determines the result. If two get on well enough to have an amicable divorce, why divorce when children are involved? Despite what the experts claim, divorce does badly affect children of any age. Fidelity is not necessary for a responsible union that is rearing children, though discretion is advisable.
Since the end of my marriage, I have met one man with whom all three of my personalities were compatible. He was a good man, respectful of women. I learned a lot about female interactions with males during our nine year relationship. I know now that women have a lot more power than they realize, if only they had the awareness and the wisdom to use it. Used correctly a woman’s psychological power is greater than any man’s. That is the major reason I am now content with a woman’s body.
The reason I, the male, am “the boss” of this blog is not because I am a domineering male. It is because I have the best command of English. It was a democratic decision. Meg has agreed that she waffles and doesn’t always get to the point, and Peggy was never academically bright, and is always happy for me to do any work that involves academic application. I borrow their ideas and thoughts on occasion, but the majority of this literary feat is my own work. I use Meg’s name here from convenience and habit. To avoid public confusion, Peggy and I often act and speak like the more conformist Meg, and use her name. We learned early in life that not just psychiatrists find it odd when one seeming individual acts in very different ways in similar situations. “Pretending” to be Meg saves confusion, explanations, and sometimes requests for our detention in a psychiatric institution.