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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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how we avoided an internal war
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what my alters look like, wear, or carry

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Mon Aug 22, 2011 12:28 am

This was written in a playful mood, though it's mostly what they tell me. Considering DID occurs because of severe trauma and working with alters means learning of and often re-experiencing that trauma, I'm just glad I can sometimes have a playful mood.

APPEARANCE...so I'm told
"Evidence" means I have photographic proof of appearance or, in the case of Jack, a painting (my avatar):

Adam: black hair, dark brown eyes (evidence)
Ashár: gray/white/brown fur, yellow eyes, long sharp canines
Little John: brown hair, brown eyes, average size for his age (evidence)
Hansel: dark blond hair, brown eyes, thin
Johann: light brown hair, brown eyes, thin
Charles: sandy hair, blue eyes, average size
Jack: reddish brown hair, brown eyes, average height/weight (evidence)
Dan: blond hair, blue eyes, big guy, muscular
Quato: orange (red?) longer hair, green eyes, surprisingly wide but not overweight (huh?)
Jonathan: dark brown hair, blue eyes, tall, thin
Aaron: brown hair, brown eyes, tallish, husky
John: auburn hair, brown eyes (evidence)
Marc-Dominic: silver hair, hazel eyes, "earning a paunch"
Sphinx: unknown, maybe bald (?!), luminescent eyes (?); genderless, wraith-like?

Adam: diapers
Ashár: ropes
Little John: white shirt, blue pants, black shoes
Hansel: Lederhosen (shorts), red t-shirt
Johann: Lederhosen (shorts), blue t-shirt
Charles: knickers, light shirt, brown pants, suspenders
Jack: old jeans, plaid shirt, sneakers
Dan: yellow & black rugby shirt, athletic shorts, rugby shoes (cleats)
Quato: leather bomber jacket, ripped jeans, white T, alligator boots
Jonathan: dark blue pin-stripe suit, maroon Brooks Brothers tie, mahogany wingtips
Aaron: flannel shirt, corduroy pants, lumberjack boots
John: khaki pants, navy blue & white stripe shirt, penny loafers
Marc-Dominic: black tuxedo or money-green smoking jacket
Sphinx: too ethereal for clothing but maybe a translucent Jedi-like robe?

Adam: stuffed animals
Ashár: nothing, on account of his paws
Little John: Play-doh, or crayons and a coloring book
Hansel: a bag of toy animals and people
Johann: a big box of lego blocks
Charles: a cap and an old-fashioned child's book
Jack: a hoe or a twig
Dan: football or rugby ball
Quato: nunchucks (not adept at using them and would surely injure us)
Jonathan: tablet computer and smart phone
Aaron: axe (for chopping wood)
John: a book
Marc-Dominic: cognac in a brandy snifter
Sphinx: legal identification and financial records (!?!)
Last edited by Johnny-Jack on Thu Apr 12, 2012 5:58 pm, edited 14 times in total.

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Types of alters, categories

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Sat Aug 20, 2011 8:42 pm

There are 14 alters in my system. The Sphinx tends to talk about the body almost as if it's an additional alter. The host, John, likes to list and categorize things in order to gain control over information. Analyzing my alters tends to make them and the dissociative identity disorder less strange to me. Those treating individuals with MPD/DID have found that alters tend to fall into certain categories. This list makes me realize that I'm almost pedestrian as persons with DID go, though it may be a little odd I don't have any persecutors or introjects.

Types are forced. They aren't necessarily real but they may be helpful to consider. If someone has 2 alters, the host and one other, trying to find a type may be pointless. If someone has 20 alters, looking for types similarly found in other systems can be helpful. If someone has 200 alters, assigning a type to each may be necessary to start making sense of everyone. I find it can be helpful, so I've done it. However, making assumptions that there would be ANP/EP distinctions has been confusing, counter-productive, wasteful time-wise, and experienced as hurtful to some alters, who were far deeper as personalities than I imagined. I had also counted on finding some alters who were fragments. So when a new alter didn't appear to have had much time in the body, I identified them as fragmentary. But alters were not created or designed that way in my system. They are created as a person with a handful of key traits and they very quickly begin filling themselves in with thoughts, beliefs, attitudes and behaviors that would be consistent with such a person -- something like that.

Accent/Dialect: Jack (Appalachian), Charles (British English)
Animal: Ashár (wolfdog)
Core (original): Adam
Cross-gender: none
Deceased: Dan (reanimated Sep 2011)
Former Hosts: Adam, Little John
Fragments: none
Gatekeeper: the Sphinx
Helper: Marc-Dominic, Hansel (of Johann)
Host: John
Introject: none
Persecutor: none
Protector: Ashár (of Adam), Jack (of John and children), John (of a sibling)
Self-harming: John (mild)
Sexualized: Quato
Shape-shifter: Marc-Dominic
Trickster: Quato
Twins: Hansel, Johann
Untraumatized: Aaron, Marc-Dominic

* 6 Littles (age 0-6): Adam, Ashár, Little John, Hansel, Johann, Charles
* 1 Middle (age 7-12): Jack
* 2 Teens (13-19): Dan, Quato
* 4 Adults: Aaron, Jonathan, John, Marc-Dominic
* 1 Ageless: Sphinx
* 1 Older than body: Marc-Dominic [~15 years older]

The body's natural orientation is straight male.
* Straight: Jack, Jonathan, Dan, Hansel, Johann, Aaron, Little John
* Straight with gay addictions (changing): Quato
* Gay: John (shifting)
* Bisexual: Marc-Dominic
* Asexual: Sphinx
* Too young/Unknown: Adam, Ashár, Charles

* MALE: John, Jack, Jonathan, Little John, Hansel, Johann, Quato, Dan, Adam, Ashár, Marc-Dominic, Aaron, Charles
* FEMALE: none
* GENDERLESS: the Sphinx

* HIGH-BROW: Marc-Dominic (sophisticated blue-blood), Jonathan (cultured), John (academic)
* LOW-BROW: Jack (hillbilly), Dan (blue-collar grammar), Quato (street-talking)

* SPHINX (the gatekeeper): Sphinx, Ashár, Little John, John, Jonathan, Jack, Dan
* JOHN: Johann, Hansel, Quato, Charles, Marc-Dominic, Aaron
The 6 alters created by John were unknown to the gatekeeper until their revelation.

* protectiveness towards small children
* monogamy
Last edited by Johnny-Jack on Fri May 11, 2012 4:43 am, edited 31 times in total.

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how I learned about my DID and met each alter

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Fri Aug 19, 2011 7:13 pm

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...

[ Continued ]
Last edited by Johnny-Jack on Mon May 14, 2012 4:56 pm, edited 20 times in total.

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Family Tree (who begat whom)

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:00 am

Chronology of arrival of alters
Depicts who followed whom
Suggests who was derived from whom

..0................Adam (core)..............................
.3 mos............|...\..............SPHINX*...............
.4 mos............|....ASHÁR..............................
.8 mos........LITTLE JOHN................................
..2½...........JOHN (host).................................
..5. Charles....|.|...|...\..................................
..6.. JONATHAN..|....|....\................................

(*) gatekeeper/observer, not a regular alter
Last edited by Johnny-Jack on Sat Mar 24, 2012 12:55 am, edited 15 times in total.

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description of all alters, in order of arrival

Permanent Linkby Johnny-Jack on Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:34 am


This is my internal family tree as best as I can determine. Most data I know, some is process-of-elimination. I list because it is what it is.

ADAM: original self, host, scarred by random stranglings and drownings by mother with multiple personality disorder (DID); baby who loves stuffed animals, especially wolf; terrified by new ritualized bound torture so went inside at age eight months and now may be getting older; seems able to walk IF he follows Little John walking; otherwise, has motor skills of a baby his age; barely knows any words but responds to human (internal) voices; may have stepped into the body at bedtime occasionally over last several years, but identifiable then only by a feeling of baby-ness and his odd breathing-humming

SPHINX: emotionless, genderless android-like gatekeeper, objective observer; internal helper but passive and non-intrusive in real world concerns (unfortunately); until recently his overriding reason for making choices was "is the body surviving"; broke from Adam at age three months (according to its calculations) in order to feign death so that DID mother in fear pulled body from water; flashback indicates “it” created Ashar; claims it created all alters but missed alters Quato, Marc Dominic, and twins Hansel & Johann, who were created directly by John; seems to control all memories, but no longer controls who’s out; responds at length to all questions from John but may mislead if it doesn't want John to come to a particular conclusion; has chosen who is host

ASHÁR: protector of the core; born before age one, to take ritual torture; a wolf-dog, he seems primal, snorts and huffs, his teeth are always bared, clenched, ready to bite, quite vicious actually if triggered but only to a nearby torturer; quiet so far but seems to want to growl; now age 2 so presumably ritual torture ended before age 3, due to his biting the mother's index finger hard, drawing blood. Technically perhaps a fragment because only there to endure torture but spent a lot of time in the body. Triggered by body literally feeling tied down or by memories or images of infant held underwater or tortured

LITTLE JOHN: born at age eight months, replacing Adam as host; extremely quiet, rarely speaks or asks for or expresses need for anything, a tactic to avoid triggering mother's cruel alter; generally a pleasant, gentle toddler; though dependent on them, doesn't like mother or father; went inside and slept when lost in a store at age 2+; John encountered him in therapy in 1989; since then he continued to make periodic short visits to John, who indulged him but was unsure he was a real DID alter; his age now is 3; loves animals, giggles, cries; loves playing games, holding stuffed animals; has latched on to Jack as his "big brother"; personality very sweet, compliant, and nearly always silent unless addressed or expected to speak; usually tentative, but once out, tends to stay in the body, not wanting to leave; fortunately now testing his boundaries by getting pouty, even angry if feels himself pushed inside or ignored; brown hair, brown eyes

JOHN (aka JOHNNY): born at age 2+; host from age 2 onwards; replaced Little John because someone who talked and was “braver” was needed; odd inability to be physiologically shocked or jolted, even by sudden crash or scream a few feet away; yet not internally calm, always "on edge", holding high tension in jaw muscles; endured mother’s random torture, beatings and active threats to “cut it off” for any signs of masculinity with fingernails, scissors, razor blades, etc.; amnesic of alters, parental abuse and lost time; at age 3 set self the rule not to “go away” anymore (dissociate) in attempt to protect new baby sister; mostly homebound in childhood; normal sexuality made impossible by angry alter of DID mother physically punishing him for any indication he was a boy, while the father insisted his son bec...

[ Continued ]
Last edited by Johnny-Jack on Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:48 am, edited 26 times in total.

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