Psychology and Mental Health Forum

Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Tue May 01, 2012 4:45 am ]
Blog Subject:  the collapse of "inside": a move toward integration

"Inside" was a place in the mind we could identify where alters went when they weren't out in control of the body. Inside was also the place where the host would go when he wanted to "go away," leaving a shell of himself in the body. That is, when John would dissociate while he was somewhere he didn't really want to be, like a dentist's office. Something happened in our system in early October 2011 that in hindsight seems to be a step towards integration.

Early one evening, reversing months of shutting him out, I expressed a very spontaneous appreciation and love for Jonathan, for all that he had done for me over the years, for sacrificing his own desires in service to mine. I knew his self-denial was his design but it had been extremely difficult for him as he is a unique person with his own needs that frequently ran counter to mine. Shortly after my communication, we discovered that our inside, our safe place of retreat, had collapsed. The dissociative walls had crumbled, though not entirely. But they were now more like borders between us than high, impenetrable walls.

Jonathan somehow led the pack away from our own individual spaces. He himself stepped out of his box into the more common space, so to speak, and because he is powerful internally, the natural leader of the alters, everyone followed. All except one.

Ashar is mute and has no command of language, so he didn't understand what was going on and remained in hiding. The only way we realized he wasn't with us was that Adam came into the body panicking and crying. We couldn't understand at all at first but began to sense that he was worried about the wolfdog, his young protector. We recognized he hadn't come out near the front with the rest but remained inside, perhaps trapped. Without waiting for a decision, Jack went deep into the mind to find the remains of inside. Once he found it, he felt as if the portal to it was closing. So he reached inside grabbed Ashar by his legs, and "flung" him out into the body. With Ashar suddenly in the body, in a sort of flashback, we didn't realize immediately that the final existence of inside had now disappeared, we soon understood, forever.

We realize this sounds quite bizarre but the experience felt extremely real to us at the time. We were in terror that we might lose not just one but two alters to the collapsing inside.

I've never read of anything similar but something radical definitely happened. After the collapse was complete, there was no longer a place deep inside to escape to, for any alter. By analogy, if we used to live in a vast twenty-floor apartment building, so large we didn't know at any moment where anyone was, we were suddenly all evacuated down into the lobby, the elevator was permanently shut down, then the upper levels simply vanished.

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