Healing For The Fractured Soul – Session 2

How to Identify Different Personalities or Alters

Join us Tuesday, May 14th, 2024
8:30 PM ET
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Last week, we defined and fleshed out just what a fractured soul is. This week, we will delve deeper into identifying the various parts of our mind that have gone rogue and created distinct ways of seeing or acting in the world. You might go through life never knowing that you are switching personalities because the brain is so good at making these transitions as seemlessly as possible. The greater the abuse or trauma, the more distinct the switching is, so that one part of your mind might actually hold onto memories other parts can’t access. Tonight we will give you some tools to help identify the various fractured parts of your soul and how to bring Jesus to our broken hearts.

Dissociative Identity Disorder Mind Test CLICK HERE

Entire BLOG of Leah’s notes from tonight’s session below👇️

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Leah’s Blog/Session Notes:

Last week, we defined and fleshed out just what a fractured soul is. This week we will delve deeper into identifying the various parts of our mind that have gone rogue and created distinct ways of seeing and acting in the world. You might go through life never knowing that you are switching personalities because the brain is so good at making these transitions as seamless as possible. The greater the abuse or trauma, the more distinct the switching is so that one part of your mind might actually hold onto memories other parts can’t access. Tonight we will give you some tools to help identify the various fractured parts of your soul and how to bring Jesus to our broken hearts.

Alters are created unconsciously as a way for the brain to cope with trauma. Typically, each altar holds a different memory, role and meaning within the system. For example, a person who has a history of abuse might smell or see something that brings up past experiences. This is called alter switching. 

Alters can make you feel anxious or even angry, because it can feel terrifying. Some dissociative episodes can last hours or days while others may last for weeks or months. One person can feel like their mind seems foggy or dizzy or lightheaded, and some people feel cold and shiver or have feelings of Detachment

https://www.verywellhealth.com/dissociative-identity-disorder-switching-5212103
Outward Signs of Switching

A variety of physical signs can indicate that a person with dissociative identity disorder has switched from one alter to another. These can include:

  • Muscle twitching
  • Confusion
  • Slow, heavy blinking
  • Memory loss
  • Headache
  • Clearing the throat
  • Change in the pitch of their voice
  • Change in vocabulary
  • Different temperament
  • Different functional abilities or skills
  • Lack of eye contact
  • Change in handwriting
  • Appearing “spaced out”
  • Adjusting clothing
  • Change in posture

Causes of Triggered Switching

Triggered switches can be caused by many different things. In some cases, the trigger is not known.

Stress

Stress is a big trigger for switching. In fact, periods of heavy stress can lead to rapid cycling between alters, causing the person to display multiple identities within as little as a few minutes. This type of switching has been referred to by some as carousel-switching or rolledexing.4

Memories and Strong Emotions

Memories can cause a person with dissociative identity disorder to switch from one alter to another. These memories can be either good or bad. An alter switch might occur while a person is looking at old pictures or other memorabilia.

Sudden changes in a person’s emotions, whether positive or negative, can also trigger an alter switch.

Senses

Switches can be triggered by a person’s senses. Smell, sound, taste, textures, and sights can all cause a particular alter to present itself. For example, a person who has a history of abuse might smell or see something that brings up past experiences.

The result is alter switching—whether the alter appears as a frightened child, or an aggressive, dominant alter who is going to stand up for the abused child.

Inward Signs of Switching

A person might not always be aware that they are switching between alters, but in many cases, there are some inward signs. These can include:

  • Time-lapse
  • Memory loss
  • Forgetting how to perform a skill
  • Auditory or visual disturbances
  • Having an “out of body” experience
  • Being in a trance-like state
  • Being out of touch with reality
  • Flashbacks

Types of alters (fragmented states of the mind)

  • Host, apparently normal parts (ANP). The host of the system has control of the body most of the time, managing daily activities. Hosts usually do not hold trauma memories and are unaware of the existence of other alters. A common misconception is that the ‘host’ is the ‘original child’ – this is not necessarily true, and we will explain why later on in this article. 
  • Child. Also known as littles, child alters may be created to hold traumatic memories from childhood at the point of the abuse, or without traumatic memories or experiences – as a way of compensating for the loss of a happy childhood the individual should have had. 
  • Protector. These alters help with managing unpleasant emotions such as anger, fear, and shame. They keep the system safe by dealing with perceived threats, or abuse. 
  • Caretaker. Often the nurturing figure within the system, caretakers are responsible for caring for other alters, especially child alters and others who are more vulnerable within the system. 
  • Gatekeeper. This alter may have general access to all traumatic memories held by the system, and is able to control which alter takes control of the body in certain situations, as well as which alters have access to certain spaces within the inner world. As such, gatekeepers often have witnessed most of the trauma that the system has been subjected to. They may present as emotionless in order to cope with the trauma. 
  • Persecutors. Unlike movie exaggerations, persecutors rarely engage in external antisocial behaviors that go against the law. Rather, the anger is channeled inwards through self-hatred, causing hurt to other alters. They may purposefully harm the body or other alters to hinder the system’s progress in healing. Ironically, this is their way of protecting the system from getting hurt in future abuse. 
  • Non-human alters. Animals, ghosts, fairytale creatures (fictives), or inanimate objects like machines. Although rare, these alters may be created when the child feels overwhelmed by a traumatic experience and the mind believes that they would be able to survive if they were something else that represents strength or bravery – something that the child wishes to possess to survive the abuse. 
  • Dead alters. Ghost alters are created when the child or individual believes that they have died from the abusive experience. 
  • Sexual alter. Created to handle memories of sexual abuse or rape, keeping these memories away from other alters within the system. 
  • Fragments. Fragments are alters that are not yet fully developed. They exist to hold a single traumatic memory or emotion.  

Individuals with DID do not get to choose their alters’ appearance, name, gender, age, or species. Alters are created for the purpose of survival and coping with trauma. Each alter holds different memories and roles within the system – depending on what the system needs to cope or survive. While some alters are fully aware that they are alters, others (such as the host) may have completely no idea. Although it may seem too bizarre to be true, we have to remember that DID is formed to help the individual deal with psychological trauma. Thus, for the host to be in control and carry out daily tasks, oftentimes, it can be unaware of their past trauma and the existence of the disorder itself. 

Now, you might be wondering, in a shared body with many alters, who is the ‘original’ child? Picture a broken glass, which is the original piece? Every alter within the system is a valid part of the ‘original child’. While there may be some systems that have an ‘original child’ alter (known as the ‘core’ alter), it does not make the other alters any less valid. 

Imagine living together with your colleagues at work or classmates at school – some of which you’re closer to, some you just can’t seem to get along with. Now, how about sharing a body with them and that all decisions made (regardless of who made them) affects the quality of your life. Be it physical health, the person’s looks, or finances, every decision made by anyone would impact the system as a whole. Similarly, when alters in a system make a decision, it affects the life of the entire system. Below are some common daily challenges that people with DID face on a regular basis.

  • Dissociative amnesia. The most common challenge that comes with DID is the loss of memory. Keeping track of time is a common challenge faced by alters within a system. Alters usually do not have access to memories of happenings when they are not in control of the body. It can thus be a challenge to keep up with what the body is going through at any point of time.  
  • Control of the body. Alters are also not granted equal access to the body, which means that while one alter may be in control of the body for the bulk of the day, other alters may not even get a chance to be out for days on end. Unlike the portrayals in certain movies, one cannot choose to ‘summon’ a specific alter whenever they wish to escape a situation. Rather, most of the time alters do not get to choose when they want to be out. Imagine ordering your favorite dishes for dinner only to realize another alter has fronted and several days have passed since then. 
  • Choice of clothing. Alters may identify as different genders from the physical body and have a preference for different styles. At times, alters who come into control may find themselves in an outfit that they do not feel uncomfortable in. They may thus take action to feel more comfortable for themselves. For example, male alters in a biologically female body may not feel comfortable having long hair like the body does, and goes to get a haircut. On the other hand, female alters in a biologically male body may opt to wear a wig to feel more comfortable in the body. 
  • Finances. Sharing a body also means sharing a bank account. One alter could be saving money to get something they need only to have the money used by another alter to get something else of their own. 
  • Positive triggers. Positive triggers are objects or situations that tend to pull a specific alter to the front. Toys are a common positive trigger for child alters.  
  • Caring for the body. Every alter has to work together to ensure that the body gets adequate sleep, water, and food. Moreover, there is a shared responsibility to keep the body safe from harm (self and others), as well as to steer away from meeting trouble with the law. 

Individuals with dissociative identity disorder are highly likely to also have other comorbid mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or eating disorders. Before we end off, we would like to reiterate that DID is a mental health condition that develops due to trauma. Dissociation is a form of “playing dead”, which only happens when the fight, flight, and freeze response fails to keep us safe. Recovery from DID does not necessarily mean integrating all existing alters into a full personality once again, but rather, establishing clear communication and boundaries where all alters can manage or  function as a whole. 

Help with overwhelming emotions
Inhale and think of a color that brings peace ( I like seafoam green/blue) and let that color travel to the negative emotions inside of you that are represented by a color, maybe oranges, reds, blacks.
https://www.beautyafterbruises.org/blog/colorbreathing101

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