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Alter roles

Postby Yegackle » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:13 am

Hey, guys. Griff here.

I wanna get some feedback on somethin' that recently happened in our system. As some may already know, Blake and I are a couple. For the past two months or so, we've called ourselves "business partners" because we're often co-con and work together on solving issues, which is still true.

Blake was the sole primary protector for a long time but after a nasty therapy experience, his confidence kinda got broke. Ever since then, he hasn't been able to front nearly as much or as long as he used to and he found he didn't really want to either because every time he did, he questioned his existence. So, I started fronting more and fulfilled more that side of primary protecting. But I still didn't want to take on the full responsibility of being the primary protector.

So, we decided that Blake and I are co-primary protectors. At least that's what we call it. Idk if there's an official title that's different or not. Anyway, I front more than he does but he does all the internal work and still fronts if/when he's needed.

There's something similar happening between River and Yato. Wintertime is a really triggering time for Yato because his major traumaversary is during that time. This year was particularly hard on him. In the past, he put a lot of responsibility on himself because he wanted to help. But he neglected his own mental health. This winter is when that really bit him in the ass.

So, when River came around and he started talking to her about the $#%^ he's been dealing with, they both came to the decision that they wanted to be co-emotional protectors. So, yeah. That's been going on.

Is this a common thing for alters to work together in this way? Even if it isn't, does this make any sense?

Thanks a billion,
Griff
Jude: host; Griff: co-primary protector, Blake: co-primary protector, gatekeeper; Yato: co-emotional protector; Roz: physical protector; River: co-emotional protector
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Re: Alter roles

Postby ArbreMonde » Mon Jan 06, 2020 6:58 am

Here, we do not use terms such as "primary" or "secondary" to describe our roles. Some of us are even shedding our role titles, and rather, use paraphrases such as "I take care of reviewing the budget" (for Wrath, as an example), or "I am the main front / social mask" (for Zami, who stopped using terms such as "trauma carrier").

I guess that each system uses their own labels, according to what is most comfortable using. Therefore, use the labels that suit you the best, and do not worry about that too much. The most important part is to find the right balance for you.

oOo van H. oOo
Multiple system Dx autistic, depression, c-PTSD...

They/them: --Zami--
He/him: -X- or -David- | oOo van H. oOo | //Ulysses// | °Isaïa° | ((Wolf)) | {Envy} | #Uriel# | .....
She/her: ~Theia~ | oOo Mrs. H. oOo | *Reyna* | ♥Lust♥ | .....

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Re: Alter roles

Postby Skaya » Mon Jan 06, 2020 10:52 am

Hey!

We're personally very against 'roles' in our system. We occasionally borrow terms for other people's benefit (like, our partner considers Vivian our 'protector' because it's easy way of describing the majority part of her system function) but we personally do not use them as they are actually worse for us in trying to help us find our place - i.e. "I am x, therefore I shouldn't be doing y as it's z's job" and if alters found themselves doing jobs outside their purview (as it were) they got quite freaked.

However, I do appreciate that it may be a helpful tool for you, and tbh it's whatever works for you - but in answer to your question, it's not uncommon (for us) for alters to work together in that way, to cross over 'roles', or even decide amongst themselves which parts they're best placed to manage.

So really, I'd say don't worry about the 'roles' or what they're titled, as long as you - as a system - are able to deal with the load. If you want to label them somehow, then use terms that work for you as individuals/as a system, but don't worry about it unduly - they're guidelines, not absolute rules!

Take care.
Em (26, f, host), Jen (19, f) Echo (4, f) Angel (9, f), Vivian (36, f), Jacob (13, m), Xavier (?, m), Oliver (?, m), Lily (f, 4-6), Lilith (f, ?), Michael (m, 26) Heather (?, f). SO Lex (f) may be mentioned.
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Re: Alter roles

Postby Sarandipity » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:19 am

I agree with Van Ho. Is Van H after Van Halsin?

I struggle with labels. Who is what? Is Paul a protector or persecutor? - he has been both, internally and externally, has he fundamentally changed or just changed how he deals with things? He's also good at other things than just defending, he can motivate parts or make them feel bad - same externally. He can problem solve. But what's his label?

When I thought about all parts in this label way they all seemed like protectors of something in someway. And I concluded they are all around because of one thing - to protect different aspects of life, to appear ok when the reality was I/we wasn't ok. Some will break down crying at conflict - that's still a protective act. Some will retreat and hibernate away from life - protective act. When looking at life on a basic level it's about avoiding pain and seeking pleasure. It's about basic needs being met and in an abusive environment you have to have the whole catalogue of responses inorder to survive plus you have to keep your mouth shut and not speak to anyone about anything bad happening, plus you have to function in the world and try to fit in. Singular non abused people have to do this also, avoid pain and seek pleasure and fit in. Abused people sometimes have to avoid pleasure to avoid pain. They have a harder task at surviving but like everyone else they develop to protect themselves, to survive. So I see every part as a protector, even parts like the overlord who are mostly internal and has to get the right part out front at the right time - how does he do that, because his drive is to protect and survive and if he messed up then the effects are life and death for the body and being as a whole.

Then I thought it's a nice idea these labels and roles. It makes it a bit Disney, like their aren't parts who are just trying to protect and survive, that they have other purposes but they don't.

Karen was always quite social and sexual. Why? To fit in. To be expelled from society or peers is a social death. Without a sexual element again you can become out caste especially as a woman in this society and time.

Beth is accademic because for a long while we saw that as a means of escape, immediate mental escape into learning and the future possibilities of escaping by having a good job. That was destroyed when I was 19 by a series of events that most likely would not of happened had I not been abused by my parents as a child. But we still escape into learning as a mental escape. It's protection. Beth doesn't stand up for herself, she cries if anyone tries to argue with her but that is sometimes a conflict stopper so again even her reaction to any type of pain can be a life saver.

Rose is very argumentaive and everything has to be done right. She protected basic life things. The washing has to be done right, the dinner has to be cooked from raw ingredients, clothes have to be pressed. She protects the appearance that everything is ok which protects from being thrown out of society and social death.

Patrick is a drunk who doesn't care about appearances, doesn't get embarrassed. There are times when embarrassment is too expensive, there's a need to say "I don't care" He protects the sense of self esteem that isn't reliant on the approval of others. If he sees someone being made to feel shameful he'll defend them. He'll throw himself under the bus. He's protecting the sense of self that isn't dependant on others but sees that others are just as important as ourselves. At the same time he will argue and fight - he doesn't feel bad I'd he does because he picks arguments where he feels justified and sets his own boundaries.

Mandy is child part without past trauma. She protected the idea that we had no trauma. Since the fragments she's dealt with it best. She doesn't deny the fragments, she gets to know them, but she completely denies it as part of herself. The other parts have all took it badly. It's effected their sense of self and they grasp it's their stuff too. Mandy doesn't and she is better for it in that she is exactly the same before and after. She's protecting the feeling of being ok, that none of it happened to me because to her it actually didn't happen to her.

No-one protects the idea that the past doesn't matter. It's now that counts. She's a teenager. She took Beth back to that age and Beth is better for it. I guess in her own way she holds hope and this fire that regardless of anything that has happened the future can be better and now is the time to make that happen. And she adjusts that to real life issues practically, the same way she does internally.

The twins have protected when we can cope with what. At 15 I remembered being SA by my friends brother when I was 11. I could cope with that. I was emotionally a state but I had a bf and he listened and it was ok. I'd blocked it out for a couple of years. At 19 I was drugged by someone I thought was a friend, that wasn't supressed, I knew it happened. At 24 I remembered being SA by my uncle when I was 4. I was in therapy and it was safe to remember that. Now with the fragments regarding my parents i am coping reasonably well, 2 weeks in hospital, a couple of months off work, taking a less stressful job and being kind to myself about it. I wouldn't say I coping the best but I am surviving. It's better than living a lifetime of feeling unjustified in having this deep hatred of my parents and guilt over it and at the same time loving them - now I understand all that which probably before I wouldn't have.

So they're all protectors of different things. They're all born out of the basic human instinct of survival and protect my survival. Labels maybe help to understand how a system works especially for outside people who haven't had to psychologically and physically survive early trauma but I personally found them more confusing than helpful. The Overlord isn't a gatekeeper playing chess with parts of me against life - he's just trying to survive like anyone else. Paul isn't a persecutor turned protector - just trying to survive. The twins may feel like masterminds but they are just trying to survive. Rose and Beth aren't helpers or whatever other labels there are, they're all just trying to survive. I've tried moving myself out of survival mode and into "it's ok to thrive" for years - that is just a state of mind and it comes and goes, can be put into parts with a kind of CBT but then I'm not sure if it's natural, thriving is an illusion and species thrive before they are extinct, it's an illusion of a species getting to comfortable and an illusion of the modern world or its next in how we develop, I don't know.

I think labels can also get parts stuck in roles, solidify your system and make it less fluid. Say for example a set of situations happened and the overlord had to front but because his assigned role has been labelled and so set in the psyche that he can't then that's a problem, you're now not at full operating capacity. It's nice and tidy to label everyone and making a system set how a single person is, set in their personality with little room for change, may be easier for people to stomach, may be easier to live like that - perhaps - but to me it seems like it'd cause problems.

So label if it helps. If it doesn't don't.
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Beth KarenPatrickPeterRose
No-one Paul and Lilly
Terra Magicka: The Twins (Batcho and Fortune)Sue the secutary. Jane, a general memory bank.
(Silent Lake : The Overlord/Mr BrightsideThe Whisperers (whisper whats outside), The Lightbringers (shine on parts to front), Martin and Janet (children with tails and wings)).
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Re: Alter roles

Postby Amythyst » Mon Jan 06, 2020 11:22 am

Hey Griff,

So we kinda agree with van H. & Skaya. Like, we do have a couple in our system who have a clearly-defined role or whatever, but there's also alot of like, fluidity in our system?

Like, parts change and their 'role' or whatever can get expanded or whatever... actually thinking about it, i think its connected to fronting? Or maybe even just being close to front.

Like, maybe we start off with like a small specific 'role' but then the more we front, or the more time we spend coconsious, the more that expands and stuff. Like we get more capable and more generalized... huh. probably something we should think about for another thread.

Anyways yeah we do have some who are like, just one specific role, but alot of us expanded to do more, or even changed roles sorta, so most of us dont fit into like the neat little descriptions any more.

Important thing is, as long as the system stays safe & works together like a team & stuff all gets done, it doesn't matter so much who has what 'job', I think?

Viola
Arin(22f); Charlie(6m); Claire(0f); Ewan(4m); Guardian(28m); Janet(4f); Kate(17/22f); L(∞f); Em(22f); Melissa(7f); Nyssa(10f); Rebecca(∞f); Tegan(5f); Viola(17f); V1(22f); V2(16f); Waste(?); et al.
Dx: DID; previously depression, bipolar.(New) Journey ThreadThe Team
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Re: Alter roles

Postby SystemFlo » Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:35 pm

We don't do things in pairs that I know of, but that sounds co-operative and if that's the way your systems works, then that works for you. What ever makes sense for you is good, it's how you function, other systems don't have to function same way.

I'm not against descriptions and job names, as you can see from our signature. It's hard to make a short job name to some parts because there aren't really any names that would cover all they are. For example Lucas, the first thing I noticed was that he's the one who can take care of daily routines and do work out, and body and home maintenance stuff the rest of us are not that good at. But then it started to open up to me what all he does and reason why he's important to system, like overall. He's a balancer, and where the rest of us are either very easily hurt and sensitive and our defender - because of the overall sensitivity of the people he protects - is pretty hard-and-fast and definitive about everything, especially relationships with other people because that's where the rest of us get hurt, Lucas is able to build bridges back to where we broke them. He also balances us when he's close, helps us not be as sensitive and see the other side of the things as well when we do get hurt. But that only is there when he is, we go back to feeling rejected and unsure again if he doesn't keep things going. He balances out system in general, relationships between other parts. He also takes care of a little, and is able to do that more too, with more littles if needed. So his job is daily life things and social things an balance and probably million other things too. Atm we don't have him tho. But sometimes it's not hard to name stuff, Sami is a defender, he has multiple ways of doing that, but all he does is for the safety of the system one way or another.

With jobs I think it's same kind of thing than with gender. Some people don't wanna say anything about theirs, they either do not identify with anything or feel suffocated by gender norms. With that we're where we are with job descriptions too, we identify being something and are totally fine with being called something, but it doesn't mean we are unable to do stuff out of the gender norms just because we are fine with having a gender. And then there are those people, who are strict and do think there's a category and stepping out of it is forbidden, and those kind of people are the reason why other people can feel suffocated if they need to have a gender. We are with job descriptions like we are with gender. We all have one, but it doesn't define all we do, and isn't all we are. Personally I've found it useful to understand what other parts do and what do I do and what's the logic behind it. I find it helpful to know also if there's a clear role for someone in some other system, because it can explain their motives and make them easier to understand.

With all that, you are free to be what you are and describe and have categories and clearly shared responsibilities too, if that makes life easier and everyone is happy. I think at first it's good to understand how system functions anyway, same way than it's good to know all parts and who they are. Many of us start with a chaos, and then we get things sorted out and life gets easier. When you do get it all, you can be freed about it again without feeling out of control, and don't have to mind if parts change or blend or they do things for the system they didn't before or stop doing stuff they used to. I think that's the way pretty many systems develop. Roles and names are important when you build co-operation. At some point it gets more automatic to co-operate and you don't have to pay attention so much anymore, and you can go with the flow.

I don't see any downsides doing things in pairs, if that's what they wanna do.
Flor F main front
Sami M 16 (15-26) system manager, defender
Lucas M 16 balancer, socializer, self care
Leon M 4
Fourteen M 14 main trauma holder, DID (ca 20 parts age 3-16):
- random M teen
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Re: Alter roles

Postby Yegackle » Mon Jan 06, 2020 7:28 pm

It's funny to me how Griff can be simultaneously so chill yet so eager to put himself and everyone else into categories. Honestly, I enjoy having labels so that I can show other people what it is we do to work together but I also don't think about it as much as Griff and Blake do. Maybe it's because they're primary protectors and they feel the need to be organized? Idk.

But if you see this, Griff and Blake, don't worry as much about labels. Let's just focus more on working together than trying to categorize HOW we work together.

Thanks, everyone, for the responses.
-Jude
Jude: host; Griff: co-primary protector, Blake: co-primary protector, gatekeeper; Yato: co-emotional protector; Roz: physical protector; River: co-emotional protector
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Re: Alter roles

Postby SystemFlo » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:19 pm

I think it's good to know why we have categories. If we wouldn't, there would be no way to talk with other people about things, because those things wouldn't have names. That's why things are called something, it allows us to communicate about them. Problem is that once you have a name and a category, it's easy to forget why it is there, and category starts to get a life of it's own. It becomes something it wasn't, when it was named, and instead of name being there to just allow the communication, category starts to control what's in it, and what's not, like it would be something real and not just a given name, that could've been viewed and named other way as well.

That's not actually my thought, it's Fourteen's. He doesn't think with words himself, and that's why he sees things differently, and he can't communicate them, because other people understand words by their strict meanings, instead of their spirit. Sometimes he gets into fights when he just tries to explain what he means, and someone wants to show a dictionary to proof him wrong. Dictionary can't proof anything about universe, it's just our spoken language. But that's why he does so much other type of self expression. Not that people could read that any better, but at least he can do things that are hard to categorize.

Sorry if this feels off topic, our inner philosopher escaped.
Flor F main front
Sami M 16 (15-26) system manager, defender
Lucas M 16 balancer, socializer, self care
Leon M 4
Fourteen M 14 main trauma holder, DID (ca 20 parts age 3-16):
- random M teen
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Re: Alter roles

Postby Sarandipity » Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:38 pm

Floralie wrote:I think it's good to know why we have categories. If we wouldn't, there would be no way to talk with other people about things, because those things wouldn't have names. That's why things are called something, it allows us to communicate about them. Problem is that once you have a name and a category, it's easy to forget why it is there, and category starts to get a life of it's own. It becomes something it wasn't, when it was named, and instead of name being there to just allow the communication, category starts to control what's in it, and what's not, like it would be something real and not just a given name, that could've been viewed and named other way as well.

That's not actually my thought, it's Fourteen's. He doesn't think with words himself, and that's why he sees things differently, and he can't communicate them, because other people understand words by their strict meanings, instead of their spirit. Sometimes he gets into fights when he just tries to explain what he means, and someone wants to show a dictionary to proof him wrong. Dictionary can't proof anything about universe, it's just our spoken language. But that's why he does so much other type of self expression. Not that people could read that any better, but at least he can do things that are hard to categorize.

Sorry if this feels off topic, our inner philosopher escaped.


Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet) "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"
Main IW:
Obsidian
Beth KarenPatrickPeterRose
No-one Paul and Lilly
Terra Magicka: The Twins (Batcho and Fortune)Sue the secutary. Jane, a general memory bank.
(Silent Lake : The Overlord/Mr BrightsideThe Whisperers (whisper whats outside), The Lightbringers (shine on parts to front), Martin and Janet (children with tails and wings)).
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Re: Alter roles

Postby KitMcDaydream » Wed Jan 08, 2020 9:02 am

We don't really have roles but then we haven't known about DID (the diagnosis/condition) for most of the bodies life. We didn't even have our own seperate names until the OS came on here looking for answers and gave us each a name to make it easier to explain things to others on the board.

In real life everybody uses the bodies legal name. Only 'Maddie' had a name made up specifically for social media years ago.(which was not the name she used)

I guess as one alter was upfront consistently for many years for us they would have been the 'social mask' for that period of time. The others remained hidden from the outside world incase we were thought of as 'mad' I guess.

Only since we've lived alone and consistently spent most of our time alone have others felt safe enough to surface to spend some time in the body doing what they wanted to for a while and the OS has allowed a more conscious sharing of the physical body.

Our rule is we have to be working towards the same goal so the body maintains a consistent recovery, It is believed ours is possible oSDD1b or something along those lines anyway so for us adult alters tend to be very similar and different versions of the OS. Child alters seem to be like 'memory fragments' or parts that tend to be triggered by very specific things. eg Bobby is very specifically triggered by the Zelda game I guess due to memories of playing it on early consoles in childhood, even if an adult goes on a different game (say more exercise based like wii fit) Bobby doesn't emerge just because someone is on a games console (in general). Daisy also only emerges in response to very specific stimuli.

Maddie used to emerge also to very specific things and she was the bodies social mask for many years. recently though we've noticed she's not being 'automatically triggered' by the same things and if Sioux or Kit were up front at the time they have stayed up front, but 'pretended to be Maddie' if they were instructed from within that the real life person/situation must not know about 'us'.

So I guess there's a 'system controller' or 'protector alter' amongst us, though we don't really use those titles.
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