My D.I.D – Alters

Like any case of Dissociative Identity Disorder, alternate personalities, alters, are a huge part of mine. What I often think to myself is: dang, bet Momma never thought she’d given birth to the makings of eleven people. Of course, I’m treading on the edge of controversy as I refer to them as people. My therapist, for one, would be looking at me right now with a finger in the air saying: “No! That’s not how it is!”. But for me, it is much easier to refer to them as fellow people, because, well, they are everything as close to a person as anything can get.

The DSM-5 first criteria for D.I.D goes:

1. Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to and thinking about the environment and self.

These states ”involve(s) marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning. These signs and symptoms may be observed by others or reported by the individual.”

For me, there are 10 different alters plus the host. Me being Lilu, the secondary host or spare-L, so to speak. I was split/created at a low point when we seemed to be out of time and death seemed like a too-welcoming alternative. I’m 17 years old, and much like L, only a younger version. I love the animation series Adventure Time and vegan ice cream (chocolate chip cookie dough, gimme!) and my favorite color is a blue that has a hint of green in it, like the color of our eyes. I’ve spent time at front quite a lot these past few months, which is a bit worrisome as you’d think, by logic, that L would be the one with the most fronting-hours on the clock. But nope, it’s just me, like a secret agent undercover, working not to get caught. It is quite common for a D.I.D system to have been created to be undetectable. We are no different, we were made to blend in, to wear a mask.

A D.I.D system commonly has specific types of alters. Again, our system pretty much falls in line with this. First what you have is child and adolescent alters, which, for us means the charismatic quintet of Bunny, Pingu, Claudia and Miss (listed in order of age, from youngest to oldest). Bunny, an age sliding alter of 3 to 10 years of age, is a childhood version of L, and the first to split, this being when L was five years old. Bunny was – I guess developed is the right word – for acting as the happy, well-behaving, all-in-all good little girl that L’s mother wanted L to be. Not soon after, another alter was needed to take the traumatic experiences and memories out of L’s hands. This was when Pingu (fives years old) arrived. Pingu was the tiny little helper that would absorb the trauma as it came. For much this reason, Pingu remains mute (and tiny) to this day. Claudia and Miss, on the other hand, came along much later in L’s development. Miss was split from L when L was twelve years of age and on the brink of puberty. Another trauma-holding alter, her job was to take over the body’s awakening sexuality. Claudia is still quite a fresh split, her main task being to hold anger and aggression.

The second common type of alter in a D.I.D system is that of protector. In our system there are currently two: Aleks and Moana. Aleks split in L’s early teenage years in order to care for the littles. Moana supplements a previous analytical protector whose life ended at the hands of deep depression and obsessive-compulsive rituals. Moana is the only alter in the system with access to L’s full memory, as well as everybody’s comings and goings. Moana acts as a sort of central executive, analyzing risk factors and taking care of responsibilities.
The third common type of alter is persecutor, an alter modeled after the abuser. In our system both Dawn and, as mentioned earlier, Claudia, fit this category. Dawn, a fictive, holds very high standards of performance for the system, being quick to teach lessons and to discipline or punish. Originally a protector, Dawn holds much of L’s aggression, shame, anger, resentment, and other negative emotions. As per usual for a persecuting alter, Dawn is quick to blame L or other members of the system for the actions of abusers, necessitating payment by the form of self-harming behaviors such as cutting or induced vomiting. Dawn also shows signs of being an avenger, an alter with a desire and rage for retribution.

The final common type of alter noticeable in our system is that of a depressed and/or suicidal alter, Lydia. Being the newest addition to the crew, Lydia holds much mystery in her ways. In the light of recent events, her power has appeared to be stronger than that of protecting alters, leaving it often to me to cut the cord on her self-destructive actions. Her motive remains unclear, though her purpose is apparent: to absorb the system’s depression and subsequent suicidality.

The crew has previously taken personality tests and measurements. I shall make a follow-up post to this shortly with that as the central theme.

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