More about alters “looking” different/continuing my questions…


Ok so I found this quote and actually it has been said in several places:

It is not unusual for patients with DID to have alters of different genders, sexual orientations, ages, or nationalities.

So then I go back to one of my questions about alters: does anyone have alters that they are aware of that look different from the host? Different than the host? This says people can have alters of different genders and nationalities so, doesn’t that mean they could look very different from the host? Argh! I’m still not asking this right! Some of the stuff I read talks about alters having their own “self-image”. What is that? Is that what I’m asking about? can alters have different hair color and eye color etc. than the host? Jeez this probably makes no sense…

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About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
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12 Responses to More about alters “looking” different/continuing my questions…

  1. castorgirl says:

    Hi,

    Do you have a YouTube account? I have a video that is private on YouTube that describes my system as it stood a couple of years ago. If you have an account, we can become friends there and I can share the video with you. In our system there are men, boys, girls, women, teens, ones who consider themselves sexless… There’s one with an Irish accent (after an uncle)… There’s ones who look similar to the body, and some who don’t…

    Your system is unique to you. It was created by you to cope within the world you found yourself in. It could be that all parts are very similar to how you see yourself, or there could be parts who are the polar opposite, as a way to distance themselves/you from what was happening around you. There are some similarities in most dissociative systems, but it was developed by you, for you.

    As for the self-image… yes, that can be individual to the part in question. As an example, Sophie is 16, shy, has blonde/brown hair and talks very softly… M is older, confident, often abrupt, has auburn hair and talks assertively. They each have different memories, concepts of how the body “feels” and ways of interacting with the world. They often work together to get us through the day at work.

    Let me know if you want to see the YouTube clip.

    Have you read any DID books? There are some good titles which might help you understand things… ask your therapist what they recommend. If they’re unsure, I know of a couple that I found helpful, and I’m sure some others can chip in with some titles too 🙂

    Take care,
    CG

    • CimmerianInk says:

      Yes I do have a YouTube account, if don’t mind sharing the video. Tell me what to do “friend” you or you “friend” me 🙂
      Yuor explanation was very good and statred answering my questions about the “physical” appearance of alters. What you said about different hair colors etc. is where I’m going and what I’m looking into. The only book I’ve actually bought so far is the Dissociative Identity Disorder Sourcebook. I was trying to see if my local library had anything helpful but the selection on this subject is slim. Lisa has suggested some books, it looks like I’ll have to buy them to see them but I always like to “try” a book out first before I invest in it. The bookstores don’t always have the particular books in stock at the time and you have to order them, but how will I know that I actually want to own a particular book without seeing it first. Anyway I love book recommendations and you and Lisa may suggest the same books which would tell me they’re probably very helpful. Let me know about the video.
      Thank You!

      • castorgirl says:

        Ok… my YouTube account is here – http://www.youtube.com/user/castorgirl Add me as a friend and I’ll send you the clip to view. It’s a little dated now, but it gives you an idea of what my system was like. But remember that each system is different, and I don’t really describe each part, just sort of show visuals and some hint as to their role.

        Lisa, if you want to look, do the same…

        Take care,
        CG

      • CimmerianInk says:

        My god that was beautiful! It’s weird to say something like that is beautiful but I hope you know what I mean. That was amazing! You’re amazing and that song you picked? Amazing! And so honest! About the harmful thoughts and everything? Very honest which was perfect! Thank you for sharing!

  2. roseroars says:

    There is one young man inside and he does look different, but he still looks like he could be related to me. One alter speaks fluent German, but I do remember taking lessons and I lived in Germany for four years. One has a posh British accent and knows a bit of colloquial English. Last week in the refrigerator I labeled all the new stuff in German and everyone was pissed, but I thought it was funny when they showed me. So far they all have the same color hair as me, but many do not wear glasses like I do.

    It’s hard trying to explain this. Whatever age the alter was created, and however they perceived themselves at that time will be their self-image. My therapist and I went over this last month because I was buying tons of beauty products after I saw wrinkles on my hands and face, white in my hair, and freaked out. I think that when you’re co-conscious the alter you’re hangin’ with has a bit of influence over your self-image. However, that can be a good way to learn more about that alter, why they were created, how old they are, etc..

    Now you’re making me think and my brain hurts! Did that help whatsoever?

    Lisa

    • CimmerianInk says:

      I found your comment fascinating! Your alters are very interesting and apparently illustrate the statements I’ve seen about alters having abilities the host does not. Wow! I totally get the glasses thing. When I first started realizing that something was wrong it was because I started losing time and things that I used regularly would be missing or moved to very strange places that made no sense. One of the times I realized this, I was at home and “came to” as I call it , standing by the island in my kitchen. My glasses which I wear during the day when I’m at home, were gone and nowhere to be found. I couldn’t remember what had happened and hours had passed by then. It took me forever to find my glasses because they weren’t in any place that I would normally put them and when I did find them they were in an absolutely ridiculous place that I can’t even remember right now. Anyway, now that I’m finding out about DID it makes me think that perhaps an alter took my glasses of and hid them. That sounds weird huh?
      What you mentioned about the wrinkles on your hands and white in your hair? Do you mean that an alter looks that way and not you? Just so I understand.
      And I’m sorry for making you think, that was very rude of me lol! 🙂

      • roseroars says:

        No, that doesn’t sound weird. Not for us anyway.

        I do have little crow’s feet and laugh lines and white streaks in my hair (which the kids think is cool), but what I saw in the mirror was hugely exaggerated. I saw my Avon lady and ordered a ton of Anew products. Later that week I was on the floor of my therapist’s office ranting about how old I looked, how my life was over, blah, blah…

        Methinks a younger part (a teenager) saw our reflection and lost it. My therapist thinks so, too.

        I’m done thinking for today.

  3. meredith says:

    Once upon a time while (practically) living on a mental health unit the O.T. loved having us make collages from magazine pictures. My therapist suggested I use the opportunity to make collages of my many, many splintered selves so that she and I could have a reference–and I really learned a lot about my innards. This is what I learned at that point in my process:

    I had several very significant parts who were old, wise, and caustic (think Katherine Hepburn). Two or three sets of young parts were brother and sister (one brother dealt with beastial parts of abuse and his sister knew how to lighten the world with elephant jokes, teasing, etc.). Some grouped together, some were loners, some spoke French, one was Polish and very hard to understand… One part had some kind of paralysis which reflected a period when the lack of oxygen defined her “creation.”

    I have had very strange looking parts that don’t exactly look human, a bag lady with a tin foil hat, animals, etc. It never occurred to me what they looked like, really. The effects of their being forward were of greater concern because they brought various complications of my abuse with them. My body often had welts, handmarks, and other trauma on it–which was kind of freaky. I also had to be cautious around young children with viruses because my being was soooo divided that I got chicken pox twice when my biological children were little (but had my first, hard case of the pox when I was four).

    For me, the most striking aspect of having DID was in recognizing how strongly I walled off damaging trauma as a young person to keep myself physically intact so that I could grow up. It was very traumatic, then, to experience periods of facial paralysis when D was forward, hear a creepy Hannibal Lechter kind of voice taunting my therapist when she asked questions that (someone) felt certain were beyond her ability to cope with, if answered… etc. Some could sing. Others could not speak, at all. But for me, not all splits were fully evolved. I have pockets of isolated memories that share a single trait–like the sound of screaming. All these pockets serve to do is contain information. No faces, no developmental attributes… there’s nothing ‘human’ about them. They store unresolved trauma until I’m able to sort ‘new’ memories. The frustration, for me, was in getting past my own, preconceived notions of what DID was about so that I could engage the DID I was actually living with.

    ~meredith~

    • CimmerianInk says:

      WOW! You have no idea how much of what you just said made some connections with me! I’m going to have to process your comment more to think about it but I will say the screaming thing freaked me out because that was one of the reasons I started going back to therapy…screaming out of nowhere and I’m talking if I hadn’t been in my car someone would have thought I was being brutally murdered screaming. Since I went back to therapy it has happened a couple of more times (only after I leave therapy) and it’s like it’s completely out of my control, there’s just long sustained screaming, no words, just screaming. That’s part of why my husband had to come. When I first went back to therapy before the alters started appearing there, I was on my way home after a session and just lost it. I had to call my therapist and she had me turn around and come back. We’ve been careful to watch for that kind of possible reaction again by helping me calm down before I leave her office. Wow, lots to think about…and thank you so much for the information on your alters! I need to think about that to.

    • roseroars says:

      I have successfully stolen the collage idea and it is now mine! Mwa-ha-ha!

  4. Pingback: I can’t live by your rules, man. *suicidal ideation trigger* « Rose Roars

  5. Pingback: 2010 in review (I’m surprised anybody came at all to be honest) | Living With Bipolar Disorder and DID

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