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Old 04-06-2019, 02:49 PM #1
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Default Alter purposes?

I guess I'll start. Since the page is open and eventually someone is going to have to start typing. Just to get this out there, not all of us actually care. Some of us, mostly myself I guess, are glad to be here even if the situation isn't ideal. I could hope for better, but I know enough about this to know it's a permanent situation. So better get as much out of it as you can. I can't believe I'm spewing out this BS but here it is.

Yeah........Now he's said his bit for some reason and I can get on to what I opened this for. Kinda had this come up because we got a new system member, who conveniently didn't mention his name, Damon. But since that isn't the point I wanted to make I wont say much about him. But it did get me wondering, what about alter jobs? I mean their purposes, whatever. I mean you get new ones, even old ones, they must serve some kind of purpose, but how do you really figure that out? I mean exactly what is a 5 year old supposed to do for you? I mean there are some of us who posses useful traits the rest of us don't. Guts for example, as in being brave, because god knows the kids aren't. It's all......I guess weird, I dunno, I just feel like I should be able to figure these things out more. And I'd REALLY like to know why the monkey Damon now. Sadly I don't think anyone else can figure this out for us, it'll be something we have to do ourselves, but any input would still be nice.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:04 PM #2
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

we have a total of 4 littles our youngest now being 1 (our youngest was 4, then we got a new little)

I don't know what they can do for us either

we also have a general mix of adults who are just here to exist

we have, however an internal therapist, a protector, 2 carers, a calendar alter and one in charge of shopping
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:10 PM #3
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rise13eyond View Post
I guess I'll start. Since the page is open and eventually someone is going to have to start typing. Just to get this out there, not all of us actually care. Some of us, mostly myself I guess, are glad to be here even if the situation isn't ideal. I could hope for better, but I know enough about this to know it's a permanent situation. So better get as much out of it as you can. I can't believe I'm spewing out this BS but here it is.

Yeah........Now he's said his bit for some reason and I can get on to what I opened this for. Kinda had this come up because we got a new system member, who conveniently didn't mention his name, Damon. But since that isn't the point I wanted to make I wont say much about him. But it did get me wondering, what about alter jobs? I mean their purposes, whatever. I mean you get new ones, even old ones, they must serve some kind of purpose, but how do you really figure that out? I mean exactly what is a 5 year old supposed to do for you? I mean there are some of us who posses useful traits the rest of us don't. Guts for example, as in being brave, because god knows the kids aren't. It's all......I guess weird, I dunno, I just feel like I should be able to figure these things out more. And I'd REALLY like to know why the monkey Damon now. Sadly I don't think anyone else can figure this out for us, it'll be something we have to do ourselves, but any input would still be nice.
my dissociative type alters all came with their own sense of agency. (sense of agency is a new diagnostic criteria since 2013, its just a new word for saying that all dissociative type alters have their own jobs, purpose, reason why they were created, how much control they have .... lots of things this new phrase covers)

to find out what each of my alters sense of agency was all my treatment provider and I had to do was to keep a journal documenting when I had my dissociative symptoms, ...

example by keeping a dissociation journal I discovered that when I felt numb, spaced out and disconnected because I was triggered by rain storms, the alter rainy would take control and handle this trigger by getting home, wet clothing changed a warm cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich,

evidence of this is my dissociation symptoms, wet clothing in the clothes hamper, pb&jelly and bread on the counter, empty hot chocolate wrapper and dirty mug on counter.

so now we knew what Rainys sense of agency was... in other words her purpose was to handle the trigger rain storms, get everyone home safe and dry and a snack.

my suggestion maybe you can start keeping a journal documenting times when you all switch and what the triggers are that is making you dissociate (switch) and which alter belongs to which trigger that they handle.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:12 PM #4
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raging vortex View Post
we have a total of 4 littles our youngest now being 1 (our youngest was 4, then we got a new little)

I don't know what they can do for us either

we also have a general mix of adults who are just here to exist

we have, however an internal therapist, a protector, 2 carers, a calendar alter and one in charge of shopping
Aw so young. I love littles, they're adorable. Our youngest is 5, Kevin. And I just thought of this, I've brought this up with my therapist. Who wonders what if something happened when I was 5. And I now know yeah, something did happen, but I can't remember that because I was 5...I don't remember squat from that long ago.
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Old 04-06-2019, 03:15 PM #5
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by amandalouise View Post
my dissociative type alters all came with their own sense of agency. (sense of agency is a new diagnostic criteria since 2013, its just a new word for saying that all dissociative type alters have their own jobs, purpose, reason why they were created, how much control they have .... lots of things this new phrase covers)

to find out what each of my alters sense of agency was all my treatment provider and I had to do was to keep a journal documenting when I had my dissociative symptoms, ...

example by keeping a dissociation journal I discovered that when I felt numb, spaced out and disconnected because I was triggered by rain storms, the alter rainy would take control and handle this trigger by getting home, wet clothing changed a warm cup of hot chocolate and a sandwich,

evidence of this is my dissociation symptoms, wet clothing in the clothes hamper, pb&jelly and bread on the counter, empty hot chocolate wrapper and dirty mug on counter.

so now we knew what Rainys sense of agency was... in other words her purpose was to handle the trigger rain storms, get everyone home safe and dry and a snack.

my suggestion maybe you can start keeping a journal documenting times when you all switch and what the triggers are that is making you dissociate (switch) and which alter belongs to which trigger that they handle.
Interesting.
That seems like a fair thing to do. I tried to get into journaling, but most of use just don't...
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We are an awkward little system that obsesses over things. We are Sam, Beyond, Stacy, Kevin, Kitty, Shannon,Link, Peyita, Stephen, Nicole and Damon. Feel free to send random cute things.
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Old 04-06-2019, 04:54 PM #6
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

For us their purposes have become clearer as we have gotten to know more about each alter over time. We've found that the littles don't so much serve a purpose for us now, but did so at the time of their creation. Some littles have continued to serve that purpose over time as it has been needed (and thus grown or aged) and others have remained locked away and frozen in that moment of time.
I can give a few examples of some of the purposes some of our alters serve...

C is 12 and is a front line protector.. meaning she fronts whenever "mild" stuff is going on or she senses that some of the little ones could get hurt (more emotional hurt, like rejection). C is out quite a lot.
AJ is an age slider from around 7-14. She is social and enjoys connecting with other people. She is protected from all hurt, so just knows light, happy things.
L is 3 and holds the deep yearning for a mother. She is closely protected by C.

For adults we have several that deal with different aspects of work. One is efficient, no-nonsense, get things done, and another deals with work relationships. We are mostly co-conscious with these alters, but it doesn't work back the other way. (Meaning they aren't very aware of the trauma stuff, but I am).
We have a mother alter who gave birth to our children and does most of the parenting. The work alters feel very little emotional connection to our children.
There are a couple of adult alters we still have very little awareness of, even though they are still active in our daily lives. I know what they deal with but I am not able to "think" about those things yet. Developing connections with these two is a current focus in our therapy.
We have an adult alter who holds depression, and another who holds sui feelings. They are the only feelings those alters know.
We have (or had?) an artist. In the past she has created artworks and given them away. From time to time people show us the artwork "I" have made for them, but I have no awareness, memory of or connection to the artwork at all. There have been paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, all sorts of things that are actually quite good. I "know" they must have been done by some part of us but I still find the whole thing bizarre.
We have a very intelligent part that was responsible for us getting through university. Thank goodness. We couldn't have done that without her. She operates at work sometimes too.

Then we have a bunch of trauma holders that each dealt with a particular trauma (or type of trauma, or aspect of trauma) and are still stuck in time. If we come across "new" alters now it is most likely one of these. Most of them are little, but some are teens. I don't know how many of them there are.
Then we also have a bunch of inner helpers whose role is to soothe and care for those traumatized young ones. They don't "come out" as such, but soothe and care on the inside.
There are also protectors. I won't say much about them. They are fierce.

So in my experience each alter deals with a specific feeling or action or aspect of life. Its just that they're segregated into different self states rather than all operating under the same sense of self. It seems there's an alter for everything. We've got life covered.
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:04 PM #7
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

Many mental health professionals promote the idea that the toddler creates alters to perform some function that applied to self protection. I believe that the toddler's brain just gets shattered by the abuse/trauma and that there is minimum sanity about having alters. For the most part is is just a symptom of a damaged mind. This whole mental illness involves switching in and out of hypnotic type states without control with the results of automatic amnesia.

The good news is that if you can get to a trained, competent, mental health professional, you can stop the switching or control it.
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Old 04-13-2019, 04:05 PM #8
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amyjay View Post
For us their purposes have become clearer as we have gotten to know more about each alter over time. We've found that the littles don't so much serve a purpose for us now, but did so at the time of their creation. Some littles have continued to serve that purpose over time as it has been needed (and thus grown or aged) and others have remained locked away and frozen in that moment of time.
I can give a few examples of some of the purposes some of our alters serve...

C is 12 and is a front line protector.. meaning she fronts whenever "mild" stuff is going on or she senses that some of the little ones could get hurt (more emotional hurt, like rejection). C is out quite a lot.
AJ is an age slider from around 7-14. She is social and enjoys connecting with other people. She is protected from all hurt, so just knows light, happy things.
L is 3 and holds the deep yearning for a mother. She is closely protected by C.

For adults we have several that deal with different aspects of work. One is efficient, no-nonsense, get things done, and another deals with work relationships. We are mostly co-conscious with these alters, but it doesn't work back the other way. (Meaning they aren't very aware of the trauma stuff, but I am).
We have a mother alter who gave birth to our children and does most of the parenting. The work alters feel very little emotional connection to our children.
There are a couple of adult alters we still have very little awareness of, even though they are still active in our daily lives. I know what they deal with but I am not able to "think" about those things yet. Developing connections with these two is a current focus in our therapy.
We have an adult alter who holds depression, and another who holds sui feelings. They are the only feelings those alters know.
We have (or had?) an artist. In the past she has created artworks and given them away. From time to time people show us the artwork "I" have made for them, but I have no awareness, memory of or connection to the artwork at all. There have been paintings, sculptures, drawings, collages, all sorts of things that are actually quite good. I "know" they must have been done by some part of us but I still find the whole thing bizarre.
We have a very intelligent part that was responsible for us getting through university. Thank goodness. We couldn't have done that without her. She operates at work sometimes too.

Then we have a bunch of trauma holders that each dealt with a particular trauma (or type of trauma, or aspect of trauma) and are still stuck in time. If we come across "new" alters now it is most likely one of these. Most of them are little, but some are teens. I don't know how many of them there are.
Then we also have a bunch of inner helpers whose role is to soothe and care for those traumatized young ones. They don't "come out" as such, but soothe and care on the inside.
There are also protectors. I won't say much about them. They are fierce.

So in my experience each alter deals with a specific feeling or action or aspect of life. Its just that they're segregated into different self states rather than all operating under the same sense of self. It seems there's an alter for everything. We've got life covered.
Amyjay,
just wanted to say thank you for this.
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Old 04-13-2019, 07:42 PM #9
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

Was talking with T about why alters aren't all the relative same age given the trauma wasn't continuous. Why young ones are young. Why older ones came into existence at a older age even if the original trauma was substantially over. His theory was that before the age of completed personality formation , we developed alters. We retain the ability. But then why don't we have 50 million of them?! We started looking for the formulating events. For us it seems to be fear we were unable to tolerate. Someone came who could tolerate the pain & fear. So we have original young ones replaced by others. Some were under constant stress such as brought on by academic pursuits & they *grew up*...continued to deal with it as time passed. If at an older age a severe, traumatic event occurrs,. again with intolerable fear & pain, an alter comes to deal with it. That level of fear experienced by those who got to form a single personality is called PTSD, paranoia etc. Some alters continue to exist at the time of their trauma & replacement. Thus they don't know it's over, time has passed, etc. OK, that's our working theory!!! Seems, so far, to be playing out for us!
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Old 04-14-2019, 12:06 PM #10
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Default Re: Alter purposes?

cavaliers...thank you for sharing that. You seem to have nailed the over arching theme for me, too. Fear and pain. Unfortunately when we parse out certain emotions or experiences, it means we also "can't connect" with the good things we've done, either. Like academics, awards, public speaking, art, writing...and on the other side of it a complete fuzzy disconnect on who that is. No ability to to do any of it at times. It has been a source of torment over the years. ("What is wrong with me!")

There is a lot falling into place for me as I allow myself to be curious about how I've survived all this time. Complex PTSD...I imagine, can often go hand in hand with DID. Layers and layers and layers.

Interestingly I am still in a mix of pain and fear, recovering from spine surgery #4 and watching from a distance as my mosaic starts to make sense.

In one way, I'm scared. Yet in another, I'm safe now.

Thanks for being here.
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