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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. I spent a small fortune on books, seminars, and therapists. I looked into the possibility of having DID many times, but the clues 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 that I had DID -- I had always felt a bit like a counterfeit -- but really hard 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 can hurt a small, innocent, utterly defenseless child, especially their own child, and not once but hundreds of time. It seems contrary to every human instinct. But it happened. And 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, knowing it would be a challenge, as a live-in personal assistant for cooking, errands and driving. We quickly began to rely on and support each other the way healthy families do, so a couple years later I adopted him. Really, I adopted them. Over the years we've learned how to attach to another person, safely and in a family context. The best revenge is living well.
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- March 2020
how we avoided an internal war
   Sat Mar 28, 2020 2:44 am

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Scott, age 4. Alter #54

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:44 am

We met Scott a few nights ago. We were on the bus and read the name Butters Stotch, which got mispronounced inside as butterscotch. Moments later when we got off and headed for home, someone slipped forward and took over the body.

We know the experience well now and if someone, especially someone who feels young, wants to take over the body, we allow it if we're in the right situation. Walking home from a couple blocks away is the right situation. And we're all co-conscious so even a very young alter is safe.

We were trying to figure out which of our known littles it was. He had stopped us right away in a corner formed by a building and a mailbox. Odd behavior for us. As the moments passed, it was clear he wasn't going to budge. He stopped there and that was that. We realized this must be someone new. Our gatekeeper always recognizes when it's someone new but this time we didn't hear him pointing it out, we just got the realization. That may be a sign the mind is changing, communication is better, the dissociative walls are lower and don't require us to use distinct words to get the message through.

The name Scott rose up, as usually happens when a new alter appears, and that confirmed he was newly known. We looked for an age and 4 felt right. But why were we stopped and why there? We started to encourage him to move but minutes went by. We finally convinced him to take out our phone and look at it, even though it was off. An adult standing there doing absolutely nothing, well, we thought it would look weird.

I guessed he had just picked the name Scott because we read it, but someone recalled that wasn't the name we actually read. We always try to figure things out and wait for a feeling whether we're right or not. Now that idea didn't seem right so I guessed his name was Scott and he was triggered out because he heard his name. But Stotch isn't Scott. So I figured again he liked butterscotch and his name was already Scott. Yep, he was triggered out by our thinking about butterscotch. When very young we had a friend named Scott and we have another alter with that friend's last name so it makes sense that he always had the name Scott.

I'm not positive how we came up with this, maybe images we got, but we knew his job was to stop whenever the mother wandered away in public during childhood, which Sphinx tells us happened quite often. She had DID and she would switch to an alter who didn't have or like children and she would just leave us alone somewhere. Henry, 2, also came because of this behavior.

I think every child is told "if you get lost, stay put, right where you are, and I'll come find you." I was. So Scott's job was to stay put. I can see how that would have been easier for a new alter, one whose job was that over everything else. There was no competing desires, no other worries, no hesitation for him. Staying put was the right thing to do. To stay calm, he would think about good things, things he liked, like butterscotch!

To get him to move, we had to convince him to take a single step. A minute later two steps. He listened to our telling him the mother had died and our home was just down the street. We sent him images of it. So he finally headed there, unsure, but willing to be led.

When he arrived home, one of our adopted son's little girl alters was out watching TV so he got to introduce himself to another child and they watched TV a while, a nice welcome to his new home.

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Some thinking from Mxyzptlk or Mick

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Wed Dec 02, 2015 1:03 am

I don't like my name anymore, it's too much but it's mine. It works in Superman comics and Smallville but maybe not for a real person you know? I'm going by Mick because it's the first sounds of Mxyzptlk when you say it right. A couple others guys here changed their names so I can too. And I'm not sure Raisin Annie likes the Raisin part but she hasn't asked to change it. Who wants half your name to be a dried fruit. I got tired of a name with no vowels that took you a long time to say.

My head feels funny but I think we figured something out. I may have spent more time in front than anybody for a lot of years. That's what we're thinking. If it's right it's a pretty huge surprise but it makes a lot of things make sense. We've had a habit of just doing something like on a computer for hours and at the end of the day John wonders why he didn't get anything done, why he didn't have the willpower or something. I guess it's been my way to use up our time and stay calm. So maybe if John was trying to do just about anything and he got stressed out or somebody got triggered from inside and that affected him, I would take over and start doing my thing. John described what I was doing as obsessive stuff but I just like to be calm and I know how. John or Johnny, one of them or both noticed there was something juvenile about the stubbornness of how we did this obsessive stuff. Our body is middle aged and I'm a teenager so that fits.

Now maybe I was just influencing the main guys John and Johnny a lot because our body acted like them, like a grown man not me. Now we got a better picture of what's going on and I can be out in control of our body on my own, well I move like me, not like them. I got a lot of energy too so maybe I could help with getting stuff done if I was to do it. Nobody is trying to take over from me right now and I bet I can pretty much keep control if I want because I have so much experience at it. If I was the governor here, I'd let the little kids out all day not the old men, ha ha.

I didn't know it was me doing all this either. Well I was doing it but I didn't think, hey, I'm not our host.W We didn't know for years we were multiple, we didn't know there was a we. When anybody took over, we just thought "I" was doing something and we were all I. For years I just did my thing and I'm pretty good at keeping things relaxed, even if I didn't get much done. Now we got to change things because the jig is up.


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Where did our names comes from?

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Mon Sep 21, 2015 3:35 am

Most of the names we have just were there, floating up to us, at roughly the same time when the alter became known to us. Sometimes we'd hear the name for days until the alter visited the body. Some names appear more than once here because multiple sources resonate for some names when we try to figure out why the name is here.

Variants of birth name:
John, Little John, Johnny, Jonathan, Jack, John-John (changed to Quato); foreign variants: Hansel, Johann

Ancestral Names within Family of Origin:
Aaron, Charles (changed to Chase), Chase (changed from Charles), Godwin, Henry (ancestor pioneer), George (changed to Sky), Daniel (pioneer)

Childhood friends:
Luke [H], Matt [M], Michael [M] (Mike), Ty [H], Greg [B] (actually the brother of a friend)

People or names we knew in our youth:
Andre, Carter, Gwen, Ryder, Randy/Randall (?)

Folk, literary, historical figures:
Jack (the giant-killer; Jack Kennedy), Hansel (as in Gretel), Henry (John Henry, folk hero; King Henry), Dan/Daniel (Boone, pioneer), Edward (a knight or king in a book?), Zeb (?Zebulon Pike, pioneer), Inky (Enkido from Gilgamesh), Little John (the book Little John Little), Adam (Bible, first human), Pip/Phillip (Great Expectations)

Brody (John Brodie, quarterback), Max (?Maximilian Schell, actor; Maximus in Gladiator), Ty/Tyler (Toby Tyler, film), Inky (Inkadinkadoo, song), Quato (Kuato, Scifi film character), Casper (the friendly ghost), Cole (Nat King Cole), Clark (Superman), Kent (Superman), Mxyzptlk (Superman impish villain), Sky (re-runs of Sky King)

Chosen by alter (if not, we don't know):
Marc-Dominic, Nigel, Faolán (means "little wolf", maybe connected with Ashár, our wolfdog?), Chase (was Charles), Kyle (to sound like "kill"), Raisin Annie (no idea about "Annie" but "Raisin" is actually 'raising' or as in 'rescuing Annie'), Caleb and Hank (both these names have hillbilly connotations for us), Ryder

Suggested by John:
Quato, Sphinx, Little John (to distinguish from John), Clark (Superman and because he make weird "clicks" when we first met him)

Named by Sphinx:
Adam, Ashár

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Mxyzptlk, age 13. Alter #42

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:18 am

We met a new alter today and things feel looser, freer since then. We're almost relaxed, not a word I use to describe myself. The name Mxyzptlk rose up. What?!? Oh, Mr. Mxyzptlk from Superman comics. A kid might take this name, pronounced Mix-yez-PIT-uh-lick. (Reading unpronounceable words is annoying.) Mr. Mxyzptlk, in a Wikipedia article, is an impish villain. But ours is just a traumatized kid.

In recent therapy we've sensed times when we played as a kid, filled with rising anxiety. Our host alters were oblivious but we collectively knew abuse from one of the parents was just a matter of time. EMDR sessions gave us flashbacks of this anxiety, worse than some actual abuse. Anticipating abuse to come was awful.

It seems Mxyzptlk came to contain that anxiety, to keep us focused on playing or doing a repetitive task. When anxiety rises at work, for any reason, we can ignore the adult job-related things that we must do (and he doesn't understand or care about) and focus on a mind-numbing, pointless activity.

I watch us procrastinating and I'm powerless to stop it. Even knowing about the DID and how passive influence or subtle fronting works, I didn't figure it out. But I've looked at this behavior a lot. It's self-soothing and feels trance-like. I didn't think "this must be an alter" because it still felt like me.

It's not like little Mxyzptlk could identify himself and his purpose. He was and is traumatized. Plus it doesn't work like that for us. But we feel much calmer tonight, it's unmistakable because it's so...new. He's had a burden lifted off his young shoulders. I feel great about making that happen.

This is why I spend time, money, energy on therapy, why I fight a tendency to avoid remembering what my mom, dad and others did to us. Because things feel nice this evening and we've given a young innocent guy a break, though he's a part of us.

I write this to remind myself and others how this can work, why the pain we experience by remembering the abuse done to us is more than compensated for by the freedom that lies beyond.

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Nigel, age 12 but slides to 21. Alter #26

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Mon Apr 13, 2015 4:22 am

We learned a couple interesting things about our alter Nigel yesterday. One is that he doesn't just read aloud for us, though he does that in order to help us concentrate when we're all over the place and really want to start understanding something. He has an interest in reading Tarot cards for people. More in the realm of Jungian psychology for someone's benefit to open up their minds to possibilities they're not seeing rather than any interest in the occult. I don't think he believes the cards are anything but random events but he sees value in supporting broadly symbolic thinking.

He knows the fact that he's English and speaks in a variety of English accents would tend to make his interpretations more palatable for some Americans -- though not any people we know because I don't think he's comfortable speaking American English! Unless we could pass him off as an act. No, it'd never work, his voice is younger. We've imagined others coming out at, say, a costume or Halloween party and taking on a persona but that just will not work, it's just a daydream.

The second interesting thing is that he is an age slider, our first. When we initiallythought he was here, we guessed him to be 21, then later changed that to 12 because he seemed young, if mature for his age. He didn't appear to us like the others. He had already been around a lot, reading, we just never considered that when we switched into the English accent to read aloud, it wasn't one of us, the host probably. We didn't feel at all dissociated, which would have made what was read less followable, not more. We definitely did have the experience of being read to, which was the entire point. It didn't occur to us there could be an alter who was so visible, right under our noses. In fact, unlike almost everone else, we don't have a specific date when we identified and we found him. It happened from suspicions over time and we only tentatively put his arrival in July 2014.

We also heard Neville a lot starting maybe a year ago. We thought they might be alternative names but maybe there's another (English) alter? As always, we started out thinking this guy was much more uni-dimensional than he is. We made the distinction about his interest in tarot yesterday when we drove up to Salem, Massachusetts. We were ready to leave but he felt driven to go buy what he wanted even though I just wanted to go home.

The English grandparents were clearly an influence. But I've felt him paying attention to variations in British accents and felt what I realize is now his compulsion to try verbalizing what he's heard. He's able to seem mature, as old as 21, though his natural state seems to be a 12-year-old English boy. It's the reading which pulls him older, in order to understand and pronounce what's being read. It feels clear he was around until college, when he stopped aging, though he's always read to us aloud when we need that.

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