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What is going to happen with Shallan?

The Ryshadium

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I'll be honest. Up until a couple weeks ago, I had absolutely no true understanding of what DID is. But with everything going on with Shallan, I felt the need to do some research. Feel free to correct anything if I'm wrong. Also, I know there are a lot of Shallan threads, but I thought the topic was different enough from the ones I've seen that it would be okay to post another one. 

From what I understand, a healthy mental state for someone with DID can look different depending on the individual. Full integration of personalities into one is possible with DID, but it is not the goal for everyone, and it is often a personal choice. Some people would prefer to remain distinct or to partially integrate. Shallan has shown no sign of integrating yet, but that may change as she continues to improve her mental state. It seems like she really is doing better now than at the end of Oathbringer. Processing memories, establishing communication across the mind, and every alter working together toward a common goal are all signs of a relatively healthy mental state with DID. The main thing holding her back is her last truth. 

I believe her final truth will bring Formless to the forefront with the other alters. I agree with what others have said about this being her child personality: who she was before all the trauma. It's very common for those with DID to have a child alter. They usually range from being deeply traumatized and unable to function to being super innocent and carefree. Shallan's will likely be more traumatized I would guess. 

Once the final truth is out and Shallan is forced to process it, I think we will see a significant regression in her mental health followed by rapid improvement. Whether or not she chooses to integrate her personalities into one is something I have no idea about. Before this last chapter I would have probably said she will choose to simply unify her alters in purpose rather than full integration. Now with Formless as a wild card and the reminder that she still has more memories to process, I am more inclined to think guess that integration will be the end result. There is little reasoning behind this other than a gut-feeling. I am interested to see what you guys think. 

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You can't think about what will happen to Shallan without also considering what will happen to Pattern. If Shallan has a regression in her mental health, that would likely be reflected in Pattern, since Shallan's particular troubles are the lies she tells herself, and the lies she lives. Those lies will kill Pattern, as for Cryptics it is akin to breaking oaths.

Similarly, while Shallan might keep her spare personae around for posterity or comfort, I think she's going to have to admit that they aren't real and never were, that all of the things she push away were done by or happened to her, and only her. That's the truth she's building towards, and it's the truth she's currently shying away from.

Not much more than a gut feeling, but given what we saw from Kaladin and Syl in WoR, and the epigraph about some Lightweavers never reaching the level of self-awareness required to progress through all five levels. That would make me think that Pattern is fine, even if Shallan never fixes anything, but there's a difference between speaking an oath and going back on it, and never speaking the oath in the first place. Similarly, because Shallan has progressed and regressed, if she can't get to the same level again, Pattern will suffer.

There can't just be one example of a human failing to live up to their end of the bond. There are simply too many spren, and too many Radiants, for this theme to show up once and only once, with only one bonded pair. I expect Shallan and Pattern to be the second pair to suffer some deterioration of their bond.

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I agree she will have a fairly rapid spiral downward and another rapid progression if formless is indeed her original self.

I don't think here bond will suffer for that any more than it did in OB. She will be facing her truths instead of denying them. Mental health regression or not, that's still progress for a lightweaver. 

And as I've said elsewhere, for the our purposes of representation of mental health, and showcasing realistic expectations and normalizing things that society views as "other" when it can be healthy I hope The Three remains as a lasting paradigm (whether the name changes or not).

Edited by Calderis
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