Plurality: In Defense of Endogenic Systems

Hi.

Hello.

And greetings.

It’s me. That guy/girl/I am multiple people oh no so confusing who writes a blog. And I’m back with yet another post that my (mostly) Anime and video game obsessed audience will probably see the title of and think “Man, why isn’t this guy writing about those two things I always come here for?” before proceeding to scroll past it and go back to waiting an eternity for the next Anime or video game related post.

So ehh… Feel free to skip this one if you aren’t interested, I guess. No! Wai-

…And now I’m talking to an empty room. Yaaaaaay.

Anyway. Hi. Remember me? Remember when I used to write things? Remember when I said this wouldn’t become a blog about Plurality and that we’d be back to our regularly scheduled programming soon? Well… I lied. Kind of. Some stuff happened. I sort of left the internet for like half a year. I ended up having a kid and decided my time would be better spent with my family and unplugging from the internet for a while. And now I’m back again. Which is probably a huge mistake oh no. And I’m kicking things off with another post about Plurality instead of the promised regularly scheduled programming about Anime and stuff. Whoops. Sorry. Don’t unfollow me please.

Alright, all joking aside, this is a pretty serious post that I’ve been wanting to write since I first came out as Plural, because this is a topic that I feel needs to be addressed. In a positive way. Because much of the online Plural community, as well as the internet at large, are just so damn awful and toxic when it comes to this subject. And I feel that my side, the side that’s in support of the phenomenon I’m going to be discussing here, is horribly represented. It’s about time someone with a semi-sizeable online platform actually said something about it all. So ehh… Might as well be me. It’s pretty on brand for me to be out here defending something that a large chunk of the internet is against. But I suppose in this case, it’s even more fitting because of how this all relates to me so… Ehh… This’ll be fun!

*ahem*

Let’s talk about Endogenic Systems. Let’s have an open discussion about Endogenic Systems. And let’s defend the existence of Endogenic Systems. Because despite what a large portion of morons on the internet would have you believe: They do exist. They are valid. And they have a right to be treated like human beings.

“Hey Leth! Slow down a second. What the heck is an Endogenic System?!” I hear some of you asking.

Well, firstly, I think it’s important to explain what a System is (for those who don’t know). A System is basically a person who identifies as multiple people within the same body. So I, for example, have two people inside of me. There’s me (Leth) and then there’s my other self, Yuki. Yuki has her own personality, quirks, hobbies, interests, mannerisms, etc that are separate from my own. She’s basically another person inside of me. That’s what being Plural is!

And oftentimes, people become Systems as a result of repeated childhood trauma. This is what’s referred to medically as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD).

An Endogenic System however, is someone who identifies as Plural, but who’s System didn’t form as a result of repeated childhood trauma. It’s basically an umbrella term for anyone who identifies as a System, but who’s experiences as a System don’t meet the criteria for a medical diagnosis for Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) or Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD).

The reasons for Endogenic Systems existing vary wildly, and there hasn’t been an awful lot of research or scientific studies done into them at this time for us to really understand the why and how surrounding their existence. But considering that this is also the case for DID and OSDD Systems and that a lot of the actual “science” behind those disorders is based on theories and speculation as opposed to actual objective facts, it’s really not that surprising that Systems that don’t fall under the category of “disordered” aren’t understood either. And that no one is really funding efforts to research into them. Because who needs to understand things? We can just pretend they don’t exist instead. INTEGRATION BABYYYYYY!!!

Anyway… As a result of this lack of a scientific explanation, a lot of the “reasoning” behind the existence of Endogenic Systems is currently based on the personal experiences of people who identify as such. And it’s this very reason that the very concept of Endogenics has become an extremely controversial topic online, both in System communities and the internet at large.

“But why are Endogenic Systems so controversial?” you might be asking.

So many questions…

Well, because of the lack of scientific research on Endogenic Systems, and because they claim to be Systems that weren’t formed from trauma, a lot of people online, specifically those who claim to be “mental health advocates”, have come to the utterly ridiculous and extremely ableist conclusion that anyone who identifies as an Endogenic System is “faking” their Plurality.

In these people’s eyes, Endogenics don’t “count”. They don’t exist. They aren’t valid. And claiming to be one is directly mocking all Traumagenic Systems and their struggles… Some how…? …Even though I’ve never actually ever seen an Endogenic System claim to have DID or OSDD nor have I ever really seen any that have claimed to be disordered. That’s why they identify as Endogenic. That’s kind of the entire point of the label in the first place: To differentiate between Systems that were formed from trauma and Systems that weren’t.

That being said, Endogenic Systems can still have experienced trauma. Just because their System wasn’t directly created from trauma, doesn’t mean they can’t have experienced trauma during their lives. Just like all other human beings, Plural or otherwise, a lot of Endogenic Systems have had traumatic experiences and could be considered trauma survivors. So to say that they’re inherently making a mockery of trauma survivors by identifying as Endogenic doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense.

The whole argument of “Endogenic Systems don’t exist” seems to primarily revolve around the criteria for being diagnosed with DID or OSDD as stated in the DSM-V. But there are a few issues with that line of logic:

I have a list!
  1. Endogenic Systems aren’t claiming to have DID or OSDD. Being Endogenic is a similar, but not parallel, experience to having DID or OSDD. There’s definitely some overlap, and how much can vary from System to System, but they are not the same thing and no one is claiming that they are. This whole talking point of “Endogenics are claiming to have a disorder” is such a hilarious thing to me, because it’s a premise that these people are literally making up to find an excuse to attack people’s literal existences. No one that’s Endogenic is claiming to have a disorder. Stop saying this. Please. I beg you.
  2. The “facts” surrounding the “cause” of DID and OSDD are heavily based on theories and speculation, as opposed to cold hard facts. No one actually knows, for a fact, the exact cause of Plurality, trauma based or otherwise. Everything we do know is based on our understanding of how the brain works, but we don’t actually know enough about the brain to fully understand why people become Plural. And we probably never will because there simply isn’t enough support when it comes to backing research into Plurality, traumagenic or otherwise.
  3. The DSM, while often viewed as the ultimate resource for cataloguing mental disorders, is nothing more than a fucking insurance manual. It is not gospel and to say otherwise is incredibly short-sighted and completely discounts how important the individual experience is when it comes to understanding and evaluating mental health issues. Our understanding and acceptance of people suffering from mental health and/or identity issues shouldn’t be determined by a book that, again, serves no actual purpose beyond being an insurance manual. Diagnosis, while important, is not the be all end all for determining someone’s state of existence. That’s not even getting into how often medical professionals are just flat out wrong about things, regularly misdiagnosing people or not diagnosing the correct people. I’m not saying we should be going around self-diagnosing serious mental disorders. But I am saying that someone does not have to be disordered to exist in a certain way. People can exist however they want to. You don’t need to have a disorder to be Plural.
  4. The DSM has been revised 7 times since its inception and will likely be revised again several times over the next few decades. It is not absolute and is subject to change based on new knowledge and understanding of mental disorders and the human psyche.
  5. The DSM doesn’t even mention trauma in its criteria for DID or OSDD and in fact actually says that many Systems who meet the criteria for these didn’t have repeated childhood trauma. The DSM also makes references to other types of Plurality that aren’t at all associated with any disorder. And acknowledges them as being very real. So like, maybe people should actually… I dunno… Like… Read the thing they’re using as their “ultimate source” and their “gotcha”? Like I did.

But putting all of that to the side for now, the very notion that all Endogenic Systems are “faking” their Plurality is completely fucking ridiculous. For several reasons. The first being that it is statistically impossible for every single person out there who identifies as an Endogenic System to be purposefully faking their Plurality.

There are so many people out there who identify as Endogenic Systems. Hundreds. Thousands. Tens of thousands. Probably even more than that. They can’t all be lying. They can’t all be making it up. That and many Endogenics, who have never met or interacted with one another or the community in general, have reported similar, unconnected experiences with their Plurality. Yuki and I have even seen Endogenic Systems report similar experiences to ours before they even knew what Plurality was. Hell, we showed signs of our Plurality years before we even knew about it. How can someone be faking something that they don’t even know or understand the basic concept of? Spoiler alert: They can’t.

But putting that to the side for a minute… Let’s humour the argument for a minute and say that it’s possible that every single Endogenic System on the planet is a potential faker. That still leaves the question of: Why? Why would anyone actually fake being Plural?

“Well that’s easy Leth! They’re faking it for the clout and attention that comes with being unique and special!”

Interesting theory. But here’s the thing…

No amount of clout or attention would be worth faking Plurality.

Like, take a step back for a minute and think about it for a second. Do you know how fucking difficult and mentally exhausting it would be to consistently fake having multiple versions of yourself with their own personalities, quirks, speech patterns, word choices, hobbies, interests, and sense of selves? For years? For decades?

I’m not saying there aren’t any fakers in the Plural community, because there most certainly are. Just like the people who used to fake being Bipolar or whatever the trendy mental disorder was when I was a teenager, there’s definitely people who pretend to be Plural. Especially the disordered kind. And I’ll be the first person to say that it’s a really shitty thing to do and that it does make a mockery of people who are actually Systems.

However, what I am saying is that these people are very small in number and that being Endogenic doesn’t inherently mean you are one of these people. I imagine it’d be nearly impossible to consistently keep such a complicated, multi-person act going for any extended period of time. Even if you were the best actor in the world, you would eventually crumble from the sheer amount of effort it would take to keep up the appearance of being Plural. And for what? All for some clout and attention? I know people sometimes do absolutely insane things for attention, especially in today’s climate where people will do almost anything for a fucking like or a retweet, but… Come on… It’s just not feasible. At least in the long term. And you can always see actual fakers give up the facade fairly quickly. I’ve yet to see a faker stick around for long because it’s just not mentally possible.

And it also wouldn’t really be worth it. Especially because, as a System myself, I have never received any sort of special treatment or attention since coming out as Plural, and I certainly don’t have any kind of clout from it either. If anything, I’ve experienced the total opposite.

I’ve had people, some even former friends, completely deny my entire existence. I’ve had people tell me that I’m “hearing voices” and that I need to “seek help”. I’ve had people tell me that I’m “delusional”, that I’m “dangerous” and that I’m “enabling and advocating for unhealthy mental health” by embracing my Plurality and being proud to be a System.

Yeah, that all seems worth faking my Plurality over. These all sound like great reasons to play pretend! How fun! I’d totally purposefully choose to pretend to be an identity that nobody understands, that’s stigmatised by the general public and that loses me a good chunk of my closest friends and confuses my family. Who needs friendships, acceptance and stability when you can have internet clout that doesn’t exist?

So ehh… While we’re on the pleasant subject of “things that don’t exist”, I guess there’s no better point in this post to tackle the meme that Endogenic Systems “don’t exist”. Because ehhh… They do. And this is a mindset that seriously needs to die.

“But there’s no scientific evidence that Endogenic Systems exist!”

Oh no. I have been beste-

Yeah. Okay. There isn’t. But that’s not because they went away and did a study and came to the conclusion that Endogenic Systems don’t exist. It’s because no such study has ever taken place, and probably never will because Plurality simply isn’t something that’s deemed important enough, or common enough in people, for the human race to dedicate time, money and resources into researching. Even on the Traumagenic side of things.

Less than 0.5% of the population identifies as Plural. Plurality is so uncommon and irregular in the average person that a good chunk of the general population doesn’t even know what it is. And often what they do know are either half truths or outright lies. My wife didn’t even know what being Plural was, or what it meant, when I first came out to her about it. And even now she’s still learning new things about what being Plural is like for me and what it’s all about.

So on the science side of things, proving Endogenic Systems exist on a scientific level just isn’t a priority. Which is unfortunate, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There are many things in this world that exist that science has yet to, or simply cannot, explain. What makes being an Endogenic System any different from magnets? Do magnets not exist because scientists don’t fully understand how magnetic fields work?

Confused What GIF - Confused What Funny GIFs
I had to…

So how can we say for sure that Endogenic Systems exist then, if we don’t have the science to back it up? Well, here’s where I decide to go full circle and explain how this all relates to me.

I’m an Endogenic System.

I am Plural, but my System didn’t originate from trauma. At least, I’m 99.99999999999% certain that it didn’t.

So yeah. I identify as an Endogenic System. And I sure as hell am not fucking lying about it or faking it for “clout”. Do you think a guy like me wants clout? The closest thing I ever had to internet clout was back when I had over 1.3k followers on Twitter. And all that did was cause me more issues than anything else.

I have zero interest in bringing attention to myself nowadays. I don’t really want to “get big on the internet.” I just want to write a blog, talk about Anime and video games, share my weird, shitty taste in music, be funny sometimes and maybe, just maybe, make some friends along the way. I also just happen to have another person who shares my body and headspace with me, and she wants to do all of those things too.

I can’t really prove this, but at the end of the day, I know I’m not lying. I know Yuki is real. I know that my System exists and that it has been a part of me for a very long time. Being Plural is who I am. And I, and every other Endogenic System out there, has a right to be accepted and understood.

Denying someone’s literal existence and fakeclaiming them because they don’t fit whatever definition you think defines a persons identity and experiences as legitimate is an incredibly shitty and ableist thing to do, and it helps nobody. All it does is hurt people and make them feel ashamed of who they are. All it does is fracture the Plural community even further, and that’s the last thing this community needs. We’re a niche enough community as it is, and we’re constantly misunderstood, misrepresented and ignored by both the general population and the media. We need to be there for each other and understand that, despite our differences in experiences and origins, we are all Systems. We are all Plural. And we all have a right to exist.

Me fighting fakeclaimers

Does that mean we can’t have separate spaces? Of course not. I’m not saying that we should all start joining trauma support spaces and be one big happy Plural family. What I am saying is that we are all valid. Traumagenic. Endogenic. Tulpamancers. Mixed Origins. Soulbonders. Whatever the hell you identify as, if you are Plural and you are a System: You are valid. You count. You are real. And you deserve to be understood and accepted. Both by other Systems and the general populace. No type of System is more valid than another. We are all equally valid.

I just really don’t think you are not protecting trauma survivors by telling Endogenic Systems that they don’t exist and that they’re making it all up. All you’re doing is hurting someone else under the guise of being noble and morally just. And that is not okay.

So I’ll say it again: I know my System is real. I know Yuki is real. I know I am valid. And if you are an Endogenic System, you are valid too. All Systems are valid, regardless of their origins. And if you disagree with this that’s your problem. Not ours.

And… That’s all I have to say on the matter. Looking forward to getting posted on r/fakedisordercringe or something. That’ll be fun! Hi guys!

If you managed to get this far, I’d like to thank you all for reading. I know I haven’t posted anything in a long time and I know the 3 people that still wait for me to post something were probably hoping my next post would be an Anime related article or whatever. But this is something I’m passionate about and that’s affected me on a very personal level, so I just had to get this out before anything else.

I’ve got a bunch of plans for the blog and I’ll be posting an update on what’s to come, as well as my future as a content creator online, within the next week. Probably.

I hope everyone has been well and I look forward to chatting with you all again and seeing how you’re all doing. If anyone still cares.

It’s good to be back.

See you all in the next one. Whenever that may be.

-Leth/Yuki

Further Reading

As you’ve no doubt already probably realised from this post, a lot of the online discourse surrounding Endogenic Systems (and Systems in general) is less than pleasant, and much of this negativity and ableism unfortunately bleeds into resources for Plurality as well.

So if you enjoyed this post and wish to be further educated about Endogenic Systems (and Plurality as a whole), without being met with a bunch of objectively wrong, Endophobic and ableist talking points, here’s some actually good resources that I recommend checking out:

What’s Next?

I’d like to continue to explore my experiences as a System through more posts in the Plurality series. So keep an eye out for them!

Follow me for more content!

If you enjoyed the post, give the blog a follow! Maybe leave a comment or something too! You could even be bold and share this with others on social media or privately!

You can also follow me on Twitter @SystemLethargic where I share my stupid opinions, shitpost regularly and generally just make a complete fool out of myself. Sometimes Yuki does too.

And I’ve also got a semi-active YouTube channel too for my more long-form content.

6 thoughts on “Plurality: In Defense of Endogenic Systems

  1. Nice to see you back. And it’s so shitty people instead of trying to learn, attack what they don’t understand. Even shittier when people you trusted refuse to understand and stab you in the back. This was a nice and informative read. Keep on fighting for happiness, both of you. I’m rooting for you

    Liked by 1 person

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