We are The JC Klatch. Our story begins at our body's birth. To the best of our knowledge, we were born multiple. We remember each other from as far back as any of us can remember. I won't be including our entire story here in this article. I will be discussing the effects erroneously prescribed medication had on us.

When our body age was merely two, our mother claims to have witnessed us colliding in to walls at times, and rarely able to pay attention. The notion that we couldn't pay attention simply doesn't add up, as our mother also describes how we would spend hours upon hours at a time playing with Lego blocks. She also has told us about how she would approach to shut off a TV she was absolutely sure we weren't actually watching, as we were busy with toys, only to be shocked to have the entire episode of "Bill Nye The Science Guy" she had just interrupted recapped back to her accurately. What she was witnessing was not a lack of attention. It was, instead, several people in the same body who each have different interests and the ability to co-front, with two or more persons paying attention to entirely unrelated things simultaneously. The colliding with walls, I'm sure was simply due to the fact that we hadn't yet learned to co-operate with our one shared body. Try having two people drive the same car in opposite directions at once, and you'll quickly learn what an air bag looks like.

This lack of attention, along with other supposed "symptoms" such as hyperactivity lead us to being slapped with an overused diagnosis called Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. We definitely do not, and did not, have A.D.H.D, but we were quickly put on medication anyhow. Medication doesn't always work the same on multiples as it does on singlets, and rarely has the intended affect on people who don't have the disease or disorder the medication is for. This was no exception. The medications we were forced to take over the course of our body's childhood and adolescent years included Ritalin, Dexadrine, Welibutrin, Zoloft, and one medication the name of which eludes me.

The side effects of some of those medications included intrusive thoughts, and thoughts of suicide and even thoughts of homicide. Other side effects they had on our system was to almost entirely suppress our ability to switch. One of us in particular was front nearly 100 percent of the time. Only certain members of our system could come and go at all, but with great difficulty. The rest of us rarely saw the light of day.

Being front nearly every moment of every day may sound normal to a singleton. If you are a singlet reading this, you're used to always being out front. For many multiples, if one member is front too much, he or she gets worn out, tired, burnt out. This constant feeling of exhaustion can take a toll on somebody, shortening their fuse, angering and frustrating them. After a while, this one system member resented there were others in this system.

When we were able to make our way front, no one ever heard us. We tried to tell outsiders we were here, and tell them the medications were hurting us. Our guidance counselors at school had spoken to Rebecca, and Jenn, but never acted or relayed anything to our mother. If any of us used our own names or spoke of others in our system, we were accused of lying. I had been front for several visits to psychiatrists. I, being mute, was always accused of just sitting there and not talking. I communicated, but they only listened for spoken words.

When the body was 18, the medication was finally discontinued. You can't make an adult take medication. The damage, however, was done. We spent the next several years slowly regaining our strength within the system. Slowly but surely we were able to switch somewhat smoothly again.

Fast forward to today. There are still permanent effects left from the medication we never needed. First and foremost, we are missing a member of our system. The medication lead to a member's death. We've been told members within a system can't individually die. That is untrue. We saw this one die and none of their memories were "recovered" when they died. This system member is gone. When we switch, our body twitches horribly, and if we switch too much, it will go into convulsions. Miakoda has an audible tic which tends to sound like a yelp or a shriek. Katelynn sometimes goes in to convulsions that are extremely terrifying for her. Insomnia is something we all frequently cope with. Spacing out plagues most of us at times. Short term and long term memory problems is another effect left from the medication.

Medicating what isn't fully understood is never the answer unless a life really is at stake. I can hardly see how a "lack of attention" would have been life threatening. Our system will never again take any "mind" prescriptions.

Julia Rae Combies
The JC Klatch

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