It appears there is another alter

I forgot to post about therapy on Monday. I told my therapist about the dream I had after our last session two weeks ago (see earlier post) and I read my blog entry to her. In my earlier entry I mentioned that in the dream I seemed to be aware of another alter that I’m not aware of right now. When I read her the entry about the dream she said that it was very interesting because the unknown alter I described sounded like the alter she spoke to two weeks ago. She said this alter seems to be the one who questions why we are digging up the past and that this alter said “It doesn’t do any good”, “It doesn’t change anything, it just hurts her so why are you doing this?” Combining this with the way this alter spoke in the dream and her mannerisms that I observed there and comparing it with what my therapist saw when she “met” her, I put together that this alter is puzzled by the whole experience and concept of therapy and doesn’t see the point in bringing up things that will upset me. Interesting. In my dream she came off as very mature. She almost seemed older than me and kind of proper? She didn’t like raised voices and she didn’t think it was appropriate to shout but she wasn’t afraid of it, quite the contrary, she seemed kind of…offended? Like it was bad manners? I wonder does anyone with DID give their alters a name? I’ve brought this up before but it’s been a while and I need a reminder 🙂 I feel like I’d like to give her a name myself but I don’t know if I’m supposed to do that or if “they” are supposed to name themselves, if they even have a name at all.


About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
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11 Responses to It appears there is another alter

  1. meredith says:

    Alters will often give you their names, but sometimes they come rather cryptically. For example, I saw Mary Poppins when I was just four… and Julie Andrews made a very good Nanny, in someone’s opinion. When the suggestion of ‘Julia’ started to come into focus I often heard snatches of SPOON FULL OF SUGAR. Julia is also very proper (rules, spit spot… but very compassionate, and very good to the inner children as well as to my biological children. Why she isn’t Mary… I don’t know. Probably because people used to tell me I looked like Julie Andrews when I was in high school. Who knows? It’s all good.

    Sometimes my Others don’t know their names. Sometimes they don’t have names, they just contain specific information–like Screams. For lack of better words, I call Pocket of Screams by the title that most aptly describes it. It has no ‘personality,’ so I guess Internal Agreement finds this to be suitable.

    Sometimes, though, the names will fall into place. Trust your System. You know yourself better than you might think.

    Good going, CI! Cheers to you, today.


  2. castorgirl says:

    Hi CI,

    To me names are about respect and how the different ones identify themselves. So for me, I don’t name others. I, or my therapist, ask if the one presenting has a name and is willing to share it, but there’s no force involved. Saying names can have huge significance to parts – telling their name can be associated with being “seen” and no longer being hidden and safe. It can also be a power issue. So it’s not something to take lightly.

    The part you’ve described here, sounds very much like they are trying to protect you 🙂

    Take care,

    • CimmerianInk says:

      I understand what you’re saying. I thought later that I didn’t say what I meant very clearly at all lol! So maybe I should clarify what I mean when I say I want to “give” this alter a name and maybe everyone can give me their thoughts to help me out.
      What I meant was that I “feel” a name and I may not be saying that very well either. In other words, I’m not wanting to make up a name, I sense a name if that makes any sense at all. The name isn’t a name and I won’t say it because you, CG, know way more about this than I do and I will follow your advice about not outing this one so-to-speak, just in case. The name is an emotion…no not an emotion a…quality? Does that make any sense? It describes what I think the purpose of this alter may be, and when I try to think about her that’s what I get, just this one word but the first letter is capitalized like a name. Is this total gibberish? Jeez!

      • castorgirl says:

        Hi CI,

        No, you’re not talking gibberish at all! What you said makes perfect sense.

        I showed you that clip of our internal house on YouTube, didn’t I? There are only a few within my system that have “names” like Mary, John, etc. Many have names which encapsulate thier role or were the derogatory nickname used on us during the abuse. As an example, Gentle was both a name and a function in that she maintained a gentleness towards others. I know that sometimes these names are not kept long term, for example Gentle changed her name to Sophie to indicate a stage in healing and growth.

        So yes, their role can be their name – or the name they’re comfortable giving, or being known by. Sometimes that name is given, sometimes it’s sensed… Sometimes I get an idea of what it is and ask 🙂 Remember that you are the one that can answer the questions for you. What fits for others, might not fit for you.

        I don’t know everything… I’m still on this healing journey, like you and stumbling as I go.

        Take care,

  3. roseroars says:

    If I feel another alter around I ask their name, how old they are, and try to get as much information as I can so I can write it down. They usually name themselves, but it doesn’t always have to be the case. That helps me inside and outside. Sometimes I get a name and memory and never feel them again, or vice versa. The most important advice I’d give is to be very gentle with yourself and the alter. Go slow and gentle.


  4. LittleFeet says:

    When I was told my voices were a manifestation of psychosis, I named them as a way of taking control. I named them after the mental health professionals who were involved in my care. I didn’t like the voices nor did I much like the mental health professionals. I called my voices these names for years.

    Over the last few months, I’ve slowly come to wonder whether my voices may actually be alters. So, I asked whether my voices/alters had names that they’d rather I use. I’ve heard from a couple of them and I now use the names they request.

    It’s been an interesting journey… It’s not so much about what these people are called but the way I treat them. If I treat them as people, with dignity and respect then there’s a good sense of harmony between us. If I use colourful language to tell these folks in my head to go away then things tend to become chaotic.

    • CimmerianInk says:

      Hi Little Feet 🙂
      The whole hearing voices thing can be confusing especially to mental health professionals because they automatically go to psychosis as the reason. I’ve heard voices in my head since I was a child but I thought that everyone did so it was no big deal. One thing that has been helpful for me is that I’m really, really familiar with being bipolar. I say that because, being bipolar, I also halluciante especially if I’m not sleeping right. I see things out of the corner of my eye or I see people who aren’t there or I see bugs and spiders at night and I start screaming etc. In other words I know when I’m experiencing psychosis. Now that I understand that I also have PTSD and DID, the voices I’ve heard and still hear make a lot of sense even though I had to first understand that most people do not hear voices the way that we do.

      You made a good point about treating them like people and being respectful. And the idea about harmony between you is a lovely thought. I’m curious Little Feet as to how how long you’ve been diagnosed with DID since you said you’ve been in the menatl health care system already? Did it take a while for them to figure it out or is this new for you?

  5. LittleFeet says:

    Likewise, I heard voices for many years before seeking help from mental health professionals. What prompted me to seek help was the voices saying derogatory things. I suspect the derogatory things were being said because LittleFeet was depressed and unable to give the voices/alters the attention they needed.

    I’ve not been formally diagnosed with DID. I first came into contact with MH services in 2003 and psychotic depression was diagnosed. I was diagnosed with PTSD in March this year and they called the psychotic depression diagnosis into question. I was discharged from the mental health services in 2006 and came back in contact with them again in late 2009 for an eating disorder and a possible psychotic episode towards the end of ED treatment. From there I had problems with dissociation, disclosed my history of sexual abuse and PTSD was diagnosed.

    I’ve been on the waiting list for therapy since March. There’s only another month or two until the wait is over. I’ve not really spoken to my psychiatrist about the voices though I suspect that may be on his agenda the next time we meet. ‘A’ recently sent my social worker an email asking her to go away and leave us alone. Ooops!

    DID? PTSD? (Sometimes I joke that I have S-T-U-P-I-D.) They’re letters and I guess I only want letters and labels if they’re going to get us suitable treatment.

    • CimmerianInk says:

      Understood. I hate labels but it seems to be the only way for people to either understand or for mental health professionals to have something to work with. It’s hard to keep your identity seperate from all the labels. 🙂
      I’m glad you’re on the path to getting more treatment. Am I right that you are in the U.K. ? I don’t understand how healthcare works outside of the U.S. so I don’t understand the waiting list but I’m sorry you’ve had to wait to get what you need. Hopefully you and your psychiatrist are on the same page and can work together on this.

      • LittleFeet says:

        Yep, you’re right, I’m in the UK. The waiting list for therapy exists because there simply aren’t enough resources. However, I won’t have to pay any money towards the cost of therapy because most aspects of healthcare are paid for through taxation.

        I could choose to pay to see a therapist privately but I’d like to keep everything joined up. The psychologist I’m due to see through the public health system works in the same team as my psychiatrist and social worker.

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