|Psychology and Mental Health Forum|
|Author:||Johnny-Jack [ Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:13 pm ]|
|Blog Subject:||how I learned about my DID and met each alter|
JOHN aka Johnny: the host. I was a very confused kid up until age 10 but had no memory of any of it. At age 10, most alters stopped the abuse and went went inside so I just kept on living. On the surface I looked normal, social, with some career success, but my life has been pretty crippled in key areas.
I read Sybil in the late 70s and in a moment of shock thought "this is me, I am multiple." I was frozen with fearful awareness and knew, absolutely, that it was true. But I soon decided I was just being dramatic. Sure there were inexplicable things in my life, lots of them, but wasn't that true for anybody? Sure I don't remember huge chunks of my childhood, wait, come to think of it, yeah, that's shocking, just huge blanks. Okay, that's not right, but wouldn't I know, wouldn't everybody know, if I were like Sybil? I'm sure I'm not crazy like she was, really crazy. I don't know of any other people inside and they don't take over that I know of. Wouldn't someone have told me? No, I can't be crazy like Sybil, I'm like the opposite of crazy. I stay rational when other people are going crazy, that's my trademark. I don't recall losing any time, anywhere, ever. So I thought it was just me, by myself, until I met...
LITTLE JOHN: therapy 1989, began dreaming of a "golden child" (a perfect child). One day in therapy, I came face to face in my mind with a little boy crying in a store because his mother left him. I recognized him because I remembered my own birth in replacing him. He left, I came and I stopped crying. [http://www.psychforums.com/poetry-corner/topic66904.html]
JONATHAN: therapy 1989, from the sudden shock of encountering Little John, understanding I was a multiple, and that I myself was in fact not even original to the body (which I often had a fearful and vague sense of), I freaked and Jonathan calmly took over for me for two days while I watched from a sleepy distance. Shortly after I knew Jonathan was there, I recalled why and when he came -- during an early abuse of the father. It was very difficult to believe such an abuse happened, mild though it was compared to other possible abuse, but it explained so much neurotic behavior in my lifetime that I was sure I wasn't making it up. It "felt" true. Vulnerable, I told my mother and a sister. They believed me, then a couple days called and told me "they had decided" that I was imagining it. Instinctively to protect myself, I stopped talking to both of them for 20 years.
Numerous therapists and hospital workers over the years whom I told about these two other people inside me and I how I met them were terrible, some truly incompetent, in picking up what this was, I wasn't always keen on pursuing it, my symptoms didn't match how the DSM described multiplicity, and I didn't find a therapist I could really feel safe with. The two alters I had met seemed so calm and untraumatized, I was able to write everything off as an unusually mild case of multiple personality, no big deal really. The great lesson from both though was that I believed it was totally safe to let an alter into the body. I knew I could trust them. Little John was sweet, harmless, and polite about his periodic "visits" to me. Jonathan, in taking over, had rescued me by giving a presentation to hundreds of people, doing a commendable job both in public speaking and in deliberately pretending to be me. Plus he had stepped aside willingly once I felt ready to take back control of the body. Maybe he was just another side of me, a more serious side using a more serious name. Yeah, not so odd really. Maybe Little John was my inner child or something. Nothing to worry about.
A solid academic career for 15 years, with random, painful, but not debilitating depressions. Then, a devastating breakdown -- 4 months on disability for an inexplicable depression -- triggered by specific events in mid-2010. I was preparing myself to delve into the possibility, once again, that I had DID/MPD. Pre-academia, my adult life had been wrecked by depressions every 3-4 years. I didn't want these ever again and was willing to face anything. I read many more books on DID, mostly biographies, and began talking in therapy about oddities that made me suspect DID. In March-April 2011 for three therapy sessions in a row and often at home, I felt a tremendous pressure, which caused me to sit down and grab onto a chair or lie down and "hang on for dear life." My body was jumping around like crazy and I soon realized someone was fighting to take over, someone inside.
JACK: April 2011. I felt compelled to give my therapist the name Jack, a hypothetical alter that I was quite sure I never had. It felt ridiculous. Next week, he mentioned "Jack" and the rest of the session was a terrific fight for the body while his cackling burst through at my having to struggle so hard. Directly after the therapy walking home, I had no more energy and just gave in. He burst into the body, very, very angry, and he cursed me in a strong, uneducated accent. A self-professed intellectual, I was terrified I had a teenage redneck persecutor on my hands. He swore at me and called me all sorts of names, like wimp and pansy. We were co-conscious and I had no doubt he was an alter, he was absolutely nothing like me. There was no possibility I might be making this up because he talked a blue streak with a completely consistent personality and an accent I couldn't place. Also, I spoke back to him from inside, a place I recognized back when Jonathan took over in 1989. Within days it became clear he wasn't by nature an angry person, he was actually quite friendly and mellow, he just wouldn't stand being ignored or locked up! He wasn't even close to dangerous. Jack, a 10-year-old hillbilly kid with an Appalachian accent, led the pack in the fight to get through to me that there was more than one of me. I was, correction, we were multiple.
SPHINX: April 2011, gatekeeper. Within days after Jack's return, a voice came and spoke to me in short phrases or sentences, giving me information or insights I couldn't possibly know. At first I mistook him for Jonathan, who is a very serious person. But this new voice was more like Spock or some unemotional robot who talked in short bursts of wisdom. I recognized having heard this type of internal communication throughout life and always figured it was my conscience or something. If I had been religious, I would have thought he was an angel, or perhaps God. He told me I could call him "The One," although he did not describe himself as an alter. But everything he said was so pithy and mysterious, I nicknamed him the Sphinx and soon everyone called him that. I recognized his type quickly, he was an almost stereotypical gatekeeper, an objective observer.
I knew of young Little John and was aware DID systems usually have some small children. One day I asked the Sphinx if there were any infant alters besides Little John. He answered my question by stating flatly "there are three babies." Three!?!?!?! And how in the world could he know that when I have no inkling whatsoever?
ADAM, May 2011: The Sphinx floated me the name Adam for one baby but I didn't encounter him until weeks later. I sensed he was the original, the traumatized core, strangled at times, drowned at other times. I realized the name was given him by the Sphinx to indicate the first human in the body, as in Adam & Eve. His first return in flashbacks, which occurred before I knew what he or they were, eventually made sense. It was Adam, choking or drowning.
DAN: May 2011. I had one memory and one flashback of the body doing bad things. I realized this was a different alter. I asked Sphinx and he gave me the name (but I misheard him speak it internally as Dack) and some characteristics. Jonathan remembered him too, warily. Dan had been "strangled" inside not too long after his arrival because Jack and Jonathan thought he might be "bad like the father." Too curious, one night I called for him, he returned and said "I want to kill!" several times, spooking me out, but he soon expired. From May to September, that's all he did, emote in anger, then die. I somehow understood he wanted to kill Jack because Jack attacked and choked him without warning and he knew he was fighting for his life. I don't sense any evil in him, just the attempt to teach dumb little beings to wise up for their own good, the world isn't safe.
ASHÁR: May 2011. I still had no idea who the mysterious third baby was for several weeks. Who was he? How did he fit in? I eventually sensed his position based on the fact that others' cores had a protector and the Sphinx confirmed that he was protecting the core. Only later when he was triggered by a laptop cord falling over my legs and tightening as I moved the laptop did he come into the body. (Adam had been tied down in a ritualized torture so he took over to endure the abuse.) He seemed fierce and I shortly assessed him as some type of dog or wolf because an image of an attacking dog appeared during the flashback but the word wolf lingered on as well.
At this point, the Sphinx stated that was it, 7 alters, plus the one deceased. The Sphinx was wrong. He didn't know about the following six alters, who arose sort of "within" John the host and apparently were never recognized by Sphinx as separate alters rather than being just me.
QUATO (John-John): June 2011. I raged one day in a post online about feeling that I was a liar and that I and others couldn't trust anything I said or did; in another about whether there was such a thing as an incipient, never fully formed alter; and in another about an alter stuck within another alter like a parasite. John-John announced himself by stepping out while I slept in order to post a picture clearly suggesting DID as my Facebook picture as a prank! He was manipulative, taunting, crude, disrespectful, a consummate liar, a trickster. He blathered on in endless circumlocutions, using rhyme to generate ridiculously bad off-the-cuff poetry, sang other observations, made lewd and vile sexual commentaries to anything, and peppered it all with bizarre sound-effects. He knew me inside and out, including all my dirty secrets. Frankly, he appeared to be insane. In any case, he was annoying. But he was also, I was reluctant to admit, entertaining as hell. At least now I could tie those three posts together and he fessed up. John-John was duplicitous just as his name was duplicative. I shortly nicknamed him Quato because he reminded me of Kuato, a mutant parasitical baby stuck within an adult male body in the film Total Recall. It's kind of a gross image but he's kind of gross himself and likes the name. He began to spend time in the body in August.
HANSEL & JOHANN: June 2011. During a journaling involving John-John, or Quato, two more announced themselves as existing: "We are John and John-John and John-John-John and John-John-John-John. No one else." I was like WTF!?!?! What's with those names and is this real? Quato had never heard of them but I sensed these two were somehow related to his existence, perhaps emotional fragments, since we all appeared in the statement. In July 2011, I discovered they were related to Quato, though not fragments, as I finally met them again during journaling. I originally called them John III and John IV, but I sensed they didn't like the numbers. So they chose their names because the father in playfulness always called us by many variations of the name John, there is German in the family tree, and the father spoke German, so he called us Jan (pronounced Yan), Hans, Hansel, Johann, Johannes and probably other names too around the time when they came. They began spending time in the body in September.
MARC DOMINIC: July 2011. Perhaps, hopefully, the final alter. He simply announced himself out of the blue one night while I was talking internally. Then the Sphinx immediately stated "there are 12," meaning he was a genuine alter. I freaked out. I recognized the name and I remember practicing writing it over and over as a kid, as a signature. I remember just thinking it was a cool name, nothing more. August 2011. I didn't ask to talk to him until August. I was inexplicably terrified and postponed meeting him, even though he told me I had nothing to fear from him. Turns out he is a shapeshifter, created by me rather than generated in trauma like everyone else. His purpose seems to have been to give me safe adult supervision and to guide me in fantasies, sexual or of any kind. He arrived at my age 12, after Jack and Jonathan "went inside" but before my father died. I sense his arrival was precipitated by my having to attend a big cocktail party fundraiser for the governor that my father, a politician, wanted to take me to. He didn't interact that long with me. Like a childhood invisible friend, I stopped calling for him. Of all my alters, he probably makes me feel craziest because I have the sense of inventing him myself, deliberately, as a kid. I didn't know I had that ability. I think he first visited the body in September.
DAN: September 2011. Dan was brought back to life by his overhearing me thinking in words what I might say to him to convince him that, in fact, he only thinks he died and isn't really dead. I suspect he'd been conscious for a long time, perhaps years, but just thinking he was dead so he couldn't do much of anything. So far he's trying hard to be part of the team, possibly because he's fearful of being killed again or shut away. He's particularly fond and protective of the littles. He usually enters the body with severe anger though it dissipates after a few minutes in the body. If he's as physically oriented as he seems -- he wants to exercise! -- he could be a great benefit to the body.
AARON: January 2012. Aaron just showed up one night while we were out walking. Since much of our memory has been blocked since mid-2011, he guessed that he might be part of an experiment towards integration. However, he showed up a few weeks later and we realized he'd been around a while. We believe that John accidentally created him one night, thinking "well, if I am multiple, that means I could create an alter at any time." Imagining what an ideal "us" would be like, we think John created Aaron and we became Aaron for a short period that night.
ASHÁR: February 2011. Ashar had been knowable only by being triggered into the body. But we tried to keep him around after the flashback into the body was waning. He sort of spent current time (as opposed to just trauma flashback) in the body in February, then more deliberately in March.
CHARLES: March 2012. I began to suspect yet another alter, and it felt like he was "hiding in plain view." I don't know what that phrase means yet but I'm holding on to it as a clue. We don't know him well yet. He's usually been triggered into the body but his presence revealed our English grandfather sexually abused the body at age 5, though the details aren't clear. Charles may have spoken to us in an American accent but when triggered he speaks in a British accent, so the latter seems his "native" accent. He's a very hurt child.
There could be others. I really thought we knew of everyone by last September (2011) but we learned of two more in 2012 so I'm staying open for anything.
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