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Johnny-Jack's Musings and Some Alter Stories
Hi, all! I finally figured out a few years ago that I am multiple, having suffered yet to some degree succeeded in life with dissociative identity disorder. Like many with DID, there had been areas of and moments in my life that were confusing and dysfunctional but I could never figure out why.

I had periodic depressions and my memory was often poor. But I didn't experience the hallmarks of DID like losing chunks of time. In my search for answers I spent a fortune on books, seminars, and therapists. I considered the possibility of having DID many times, but the clues I had gave me no certainty and no therapist helped me focus on the potential root cause of my problems. Blocked awareness and inaccessible memories are how DID works. A blessing in childhood, problematic later.

Several years ago, trauma memories started coming to me in images and flashbacks, and alters "woke up" and communicated with me. It was easy to admit then that I had DID. I had always felt a bit like a counterfeit. But it was impossible to fathom how the "good" parents I remembered were randomly monstrous abusers of me as a child, psychologically, physically and sexually.

I will never, ever, ever understand how a person, let alone a parent, can hurt a small, innocent, utterly defenseless child, not once but hundreds of time. It is contrary to the most basic human instinct to nurture and protect one's offspring. But it happened. Though it wasn't necessary, I sought and discovered external proof it happened. Now I work in therapy and in life to reverse the damage these warped people caused.

In 2011 I began communicating with a teen with DID and, when it looked like he would become homeless, I hired him from across the country -- knowing it would be a challenge -- as a live-in personal assistant to cook, drive and run errands. We soon began to rely on and support each other the way healthy families do, so I adopted him. Really, I adopted them, dozens of sons and daughters.

Over the years we've learned how to attach to another person, safely and in a family context. I sometimes feel rage when I think about his parents or mine. Still, both of us are prospering. Living well is the best revenge.
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different paths towards great togetherness or integration

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Sat Mar 23, 2013 3:32 pm

From my readings, DID systems seem quite different in how they progress toward union according to my reading and there's a spectrum I've come up with from reading two bios. It's not a straight line but I do see two ends. This isn't a scientific observation of course.

On one, with integration in some systems, it reads as if the host is still the resulting person and the others have been pulled in as their traumas were handled or as they simply decided it was time. The end person still speaks of themselves from the POV of the original host and it sounds like this person feels that way. Their alters may be with them and even new integral parts of they themselves, but their explanation seems more "I am the previous host with my alters added to me."

On another end, the post-integration person describes themselves more or less as someone new. They talk about all their former selves, including the host, as people who are now parts of a whole. Maybe this is just semantics or how I'm parsing their explanation. But I and we are definitely looking at how union, greater closeness or integration would happen or look for us and only this second pattern seems workable for now. I find myself having and wanting some distance from and objectivity about Johnny the alter, who happens to be the host and the one writing this. Maybe I have to channel Jonathan to do this or perhaps he's even in front and neither of us realize that. As host I didn't avoid the trauma that a more standard model predicts or that many DID biographies describe. I am not really a bland center with satellites of traumatized alters. There are several traumas I fronted for and I stayed in the body to experience traumatic things from adolescence onward.

The ANP/EP model as described in "The Haunted Self," even with the added subdivisions, does not fit neatly onto our system. There are too many exceptions to the definitions of ANP and EP, significant exceptions not just details. On the other hand, the way some of us -- not all -- were at our origin does fit along ANP/EP lines. It's just that fairly soon after arrival, several of us changed based on the particular reality we had navigate. Abuse was extreme but not constant. Most of the waking hours were safe and relatively pleasant, especially after infancy. Given the exceptions to the ANP/EP dichotomy in my system, the predictive value of the theory for us is largely lost. It reminds me of how natural scientists for centuries tried to shoehorn conflicting data into the Ptolemaic model of an earth-centered universe. It had value and was based on certain accuracies, but overall it was too simplistic and it would be replaced by heliocentrism and later by other models.

I think a system for which the ANP/EP dichotomy fits quite well may proceed to integration the first way described. But that's a reach on my part right now.

The paradigm of alters in therapy one by one being combined, accepted or joining with the host, currently feels anathema to most alters in my system. Frankly, it's anathema to me. I didn't remain the relatively untraumatized center I have read about. I myself became and remain corrupted in many ways. So what happens with that corruption when parts become added? It's a fear for our system and we have to work through it before union is possible or desirable.

Dx = DID. My blog. My personal Periodic Table of alters.
Ab Ad Al Am An Ar As Ba Be Br Ca Cb Ch Cl Cm Cn Co Cp Ct Cu Cv D Eb Ed Er Es F Fl Ga Gd Go Gr Gw He Hk Hs Ht I J Jh Jk Jn Jy Ke Ki Kn Ky Li Lu Md Mi Mt Mx Mz Ne Ni O Pe Pi Q Ra Rd Ry Sc Se Sh Sk Sx Tk Ty U V Wa Wi X Y Ze Zn

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