Psychology and Mental Health Forum

Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:33 am ]
Blog Subject:  16 alters

Months ago, these blog entries were still editable, so whenever new alters would become known to us, that is, come out of hibernation or wake up, I would go back and add them. So I add something about Carter and Max here, #15 and #16.

Carter had stepped into the body months before I recognized him as an alter. I foolishly figured he was some young version of me (which he is in a way, of course). Why I didn't recognize him as a previously unknown alter, I don't know. It became clear that Carter was an alter when he appeared in therapy around the issue of quitting, which certainly included suicidal thinking, which is the ultimately quitting. For months after this spring, he was often the first to step into the body when I vacated it. This virtually always happens when I go out walking and always happens when I walk home. It's like a ritual. I leave work and at some point, often before I even leave the building, someone steps forward. Carter is six and he either wasn't quite as traumatized as some others or he was in the body often enough as a child -- from age 2 or 3 to age 6 -- that he developed some perspective. Also, age six is barely old enough to have a sense of things. He's a great kid and it makes me like myself when it dawns on me that he is simply part of me at that age. He has good instincts and is able to feel happiness.

Max arrived sometime in late summer or early fall. I have it recorded somewhere but don't recall right now. I recognized he was someone new because he was very young but felt different from everyone else. Plus the body is quite different when he is out. The hands are clenched very tight, not out of anger but fear. When he walks, he is terrified of anything coming up behind him. He will freeze and stop, waiting in overwhelming fear that someone is coming to harm us. But he feels so helpless that he just stands there, unable to run or turn to defend himself. This is quite absurd to me when I find that the person who passes us when he stops is a small female. He still doesn't recognize he is in a large body, not when the fear overwhelms him. It wouldn't matter if he did because he has no idea how to defend himself.

Whereas Carter arose to defend the body from the mother, Max came to endure part of the father's SA. He clenches the hands, I'm afraid, because that's what the father tried to make him use. Very nasty. Max is very, very afraid much of the time, though the more time he spends in the body, the less afraid he becomes, in general. He has taken over the body while walking home, even in the dark at night, even when it's very cold and I haven't brought along gloves or a cap. This makes me think of him as rather brave. He is terrified of the dark, uncomfortable in the cold, and very upset but he keeps walking. Perhaps he doesn't really understand yet that he can just disappear, i.e. go inside or ask for assistance to go inside. Max likes cartoons. He's the same age as Little John but fairly different. He likes trucks and machines and things. Little John likes animals, especially cute ones. Some of the others have tried to talk to Max and eventually he has listened. But he didn't have any idea where the voices were coming from at first. He looked around in the dark and got scared. We all want to take care of him, he's so little and fragile. The father hurt and frightened him very badly.

Knowing how Carter and Max fit into our life fills a big gap for what happened between the age when I arrived, two and a half, and age four when the twins and Quato arrived. It didn't make sense that I could have remained alone to face both parents for that year and a half. I knew that the father began SA before I even came because of Little John's memories of him trying things. The mother was cruel and vicious and I was sure we couldn't stop her until we were quite big enough to fight back or run. So Max coming to endure the father's abuse and Carter coming to endure the mother's make the outline of our life make sense.

It's possible we've met everyone, sixteen alters. It's also possible there are others. Each time I've figured we found everyone, I've ended up being wrong. We still don't have any real persecutors or bad alters, except for Dan's brief time. So I sometimes worry there may be someone dark here somewhere. But there's no indication of such an alter and I don't feel any malevolent presence.

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