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Integration: fusion

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Integration: fusion

Postby fireheart » Sun Apr 04, 2021 7:45 am

I sensed a part (R) having grown older inside. It became quite impossible to get in touch with her, and I did feel like I possessed some of her attributes more. I started wondering whether maybe she had integrated more? She is more of an ANP than trauma holder, and I felt like we had processed the part of the life when she emerged.

Then this week she unexpectedly showed up in therapy, explaining that she had become aware of "actually already being a lady" (i.e. she is in a grown-up body). She seemed *very* restrained and controlled. Withdrawn. Unlike herself, because she is usually playful. She said she couldn't play, because that's not what ladies are supposed to do.

Pretty much shattered my dream of fusion right there.

So now I obviously have to explain to her that, yes, there are times in which we have to hide. But there are also times in which she is free to act the way she feels.

She is the first part I found out about, so we've been at this process for a long time now. Many years. I'm starting to wonder whether fusion is even an attainable goal. It's hard to envision. Apparently if I try to focus on it, even get parts' cooperation, there is a big chance of simply supressing. Have any of you gone through something similar?

Are there people reading who have gone through fusion? I'm very curious about the process, what kind of therapy work was required, what were the steps like?
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby birdsong87 » Sun Apr 04, 2021 10:01 am

you know, it sounds like a bit of a success there when it comes to presentification. realizing that you are actually really a lady now is a big step that is part of integration. it is just not the only one. It would be fair to tell her that adults do play sometimes. and should play a lot more because playing is healthy for the mind and soul. it is a childs idea of what adults have to be like, that ladies don't play. maybe you could reality-check that one with her...

I feel like nothing we know about fusion is good enough to share here. it is not firsthand experience. we have some parts we thought were integrated, then years later we find a 'new' part with a similar name and identical traits and we realize that the fusion probably didn't stand the test of time. it is not rare that things fall apart again, that is all I want to say.
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sun Apr 04, 2021 9:46 pm

I also don't have any firsthand experience, but from what I've read, it doesn't sound like it's ever helpful to wish for it, or dream of it, as a goal, because there are parts who might try to suppress themselves in order to make that wish "come true."

Things I've read by people who seem to have actually achieved some kind of fusion make it sound like the pieces have come together, but as with a jigsaw puzzle, the lines are still there, and with stress, it can come apart again. (Not a perfect analogy--it would sort of be a puzzle with shifting lines, and probably a shifting picture as well...)

I think that because we've taken an atypical developmental path from the very beginning, we can't ever be the same as someone who developed a unified identity at the appropriate time. But I guess we can get close if everyone's memories, feelings, and experiences become accessible to everyone else--if it feels to any one of us that we were present for all the experiences that any of us remember--not just the one part who was there for it.
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby fireheart » Mon Apr 05, 2021 10:23 am

birdsong87 wrote:you know, it sounds like a bit of a success there when it comes to presentification. realizing that you are actually really a lady now is a big step that is part of integration. it is just not the only one. It would be fair to tell her that adults do play sometimes. and should play a lot more because playing is healthy for the mind and soul. it is a childs idea of what adults have to be like, that ladies don't play. maybe you could reality-check that one with her...


Yes, I think so too. Thank you for pointing it out... It's already a pretty big step. It probably just needs more guidance, more time, more patience. Strangely enough, I'm reminded of the time when R stopped fronting in our childhood. I think it was out of the same sentiment: slowly realizing that we weren't supposed to act like that anymore. For example, I remember our mother telling the teacher at a teacher's conference that I "still could play for hours and hours", it implied that it was inappropriate for my age. I remember feeling a sense of loss, because I lost my way of making sense of the world. Play was how I processed emotions, where I felt that I could tell the truth without anyone knowing (because it was encoded in the secret language of metaphors).

birdsong87 wrote:I feel like nothing we know about fusion is good enough to share here. it is not firsthand experience. we have some parts we thought were integrated, then years later we find a 'new' part with a similar name and identical traits and we realize that the fusion probably didn't stand the test of time. it is not rare that things fall apart again, that is all I want to say.


Somehow I can totally imagine this. Maybe it has happened to us before as well.

TheGangsAllHere wrote:I also don't have any firsthand experience, but from what I've read, it doesn't sound like it's ever helpful to wish for it, or dream of it, as a goal, because there are parts who might try to suppress themselves in order to make that wish "come true."


Perhaps. It's probably not necessary, but I just also want to say that it's not strange to wish for it or dream of it, or to have it as a goal. It's not strange to want to be free from the devastating effects of trauma. I wish that we could have more energy, could more easily shift between different action systems and responses (= respond more flexibly), could encompass and experience more without being overwhelmed, and could be more predictable (in relationships with others).

That said, maybe the helpful version could be about putting a dot on the horizon, rather than actively working towards it.

TheGangsAllHere wrote:Things I've read by people who seem to have actually achieved some kind of fusion make it sound like the pieces have come together, but as with a jigsaw puzzle, the lines are still there, and with stress, it can come apart again. (Not a perfect analogy--it would sort of be a puzzle with shifting lines, and probably a shifting picture as well...)


Do you remember where you read accounts of fusion?
As mentioned earlier, I can really envision coming apart again. But that might be because I'm obviously more experienced with splitting than coming together.

TheGangsAllHere wrote:I think that because we've taken an atypical developmental path from the very beginning, we can't ever be the same as someone who developed a unified identity at the appropriate time. But I guess we can get close if everyone's memories, feelings, and experiences become accessible to everyone else--if it feels to any one of us that we were present for all the experiences that any of us remember--not just the one part who was there for it.


This makes me feel very sad. I would say that we've largely achieved what you're describing, at least that we mostly have access to much (if not all) of it by now. And yet our experience is still distinctly made up of parts; parallel processes, sometimes overlapping, but largely parallel. We can identify with other parts, recognize them as "part of us", but still they have a seemingly autonomous experience and can take control. I suppose my wish would be to be "normal", have a "normal" childhood, and "normal" emotion regulation skills... there's definitely grief in that corner there.
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby Dwelt » Mon Apr 05, 2021 2:22 pm

I wouldn't be able to clearly explain how we merged to the point of fusion, and I had three fusion : one didn't work, one worked but needed time to be stable, the last one worked right away.

My first fusion, it was between the old Plume and the old Cassandra. Cass wanted to merge to stop feeling hurt by her traumas, and Plume agreed but wasn't totally okay with the idea. The process in itself scared Plume and she stopped it half-done. Results are : Plume had Cass' traumas and Cass became a fragment without any real purpose ? She's still here, with a separate sense of self, but never takes control and doesn't interact much with the rest of the system except with Varegh - who's a fragment too, he's a protector but no one knows why he has been created, he has no memory at all, just the will to protect.

My second fusion was with Alix. Alix wanted it because her attachment style pulled her to unhealthy people + some of her behaviors were a trigger for Plume, and... I don't know. I think she/I had in mind both ways to handle attachment would equilibrate themselves ? Well... it was really naive when I think about it now.

Anyway, Plume agreed. They were sharing a lot of similar traits, we tend to say that the old Plume was the calm part of the motherly instinct, and Alix was the protective part, so it happened pretty easily. But the Plume part was also very avoidant and introvert, and the Alix part was more of an extrovert, teasing and flirting easily ; and each of them had their own traumas. Kind of tricky to mix those traits and traumas together, so it stayed unstable for a loooong while. Both parts were expressing themselves alternatively, with identity confusion. I knew both parts were me, but who was "me" ?...

At the beginning, I could have split again into two parts if I wanted to. Like Gangs said, it was like a jigsaw puzzle, the wrong stress at the wrong moment could have made it all fall apart. But as I worked onto resolving traumas from both parts, things started to be more cohesive. Now, traits are working in a coherent way, parts of me do not trigger each other anymore, and I wouldn't be able to split that easily, not even if I wanted to. The more time passes, the more I resolve traumas and learn to accept myself, the less I'm able to sense a shift between the sense of identity of my parts. I'm really, truly both parts : not avoidant anymore (like the old Plume was), just calm enough to be able to adapt myself depending on the context and not be a teasing extrovert all the time (like Alix was). I feel a small difference only when one part in particular is triggered, but as it's less and less frequent...

The last fusion I lived was with Lea. Lea was a very simple fragment made to just "be here" during a special kind of traumas. She didn't get the memories or physical sensations, it's Claude who has them, she only had the emotions. Because of that, she also had a very weak sense of self. What defined her the most was her wish to protect and love Claude, and as I (as Plume+Alix) already shared that, the fusion was very easy. In fact, not to merge would have been more complicated than just letting the thing happens like it wanted to, and it was so obvious we had to merge, it didn't even cross our mind to be against it. Now, even when I'm triggered, I don't feel any shift in my sense of self - and truth is, that was the most difficult to handle, having "new" triggers and traumas without any shift, not even the slightest, in my sense of self, meant I had to accept it really happened to me, not to an "almost-me".

All of this happened before we were in therapy. The two first ones happened few months and few years after we started to work on cooperation, the last one was few months before starting therapy, when we reached true cooperation and Claude stopped isolating Lea from the rest of the system.

I would say it's a mix between wanting it, the context being the right one, the brain being ready and the alters sharing enough similarities/memories ?

We know two of us wouldn't be able to merge to the point of fusion if both alters involved doesn't have enough similarities, if the dissociative barriers are so high they can't even imagine becoming one (like Daem and I, or Claude and Nico - none of us would be able to fusion with the other right now), if they are too much on a different timeline (one still deeply stuck in trauma time, the other totally grounded in the present), if one of them doesn't want it, and/or if the brain isn't okay to let it happen because there's too much trigger or stress happening right now.

For all of those, it's about cooperation, co-conscious, dissociation, trauma-work, sense of safety, etc. everything you're supposed to work on in therapy.

So I don't think there's really something you can do to trigger a successful fusion. Trying to force it with visualization, like we did for the Plume+Cass fusion, or did a bit for the Plume+Alix fusion, has been proved to be a wrong idea with a lot of unpleasant consequences, specially when it comes to unresolved triggers and traumas. Now, we go with a "when the time is right, we'll know what to do" mindset, like we did for the Plume+Lea fusion, and it seems to work.
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby KitMcDaydream » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:26 am

We have 2 that are really close and chose themselves to work as a pair. I'm not sure if that's what you mean by 'fusion' but they are 2 and they can come to the front as one to be the 'RL host'.

When they go back to the inner world they seperate again though or one can leave the other to remain in the body while they go back 'inside' for a break.

It does seem to work better the body seems to have more strength and able to do more temporarily than only one up front. There's less amnesia certainly between those two.

Others haven't managed to blend with each other though and stay/function in a 'blended mode' up front. They can communicate with another in the background but don't seem able to 'control the body as one' in the same way.They take longer to switch in and out too where the other two can do it in seconds now without any feelings of dissociation.

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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby Eliseahorse » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:01 pm

Do you really need fusion?
I ask because we are now a year and a half into living as a cooperative. As a system we still have barriers separating our past selves. But our present and our future memories are and will be common property. Internally we are still separate and distinct people but externally we are a single gender fluid entity.

We chose this 1) because we ran out of therapy
2) because our t was happy with how well we could share non trauma memories
3) because we are so diametrically opposed on certain core principles past attempts at fusion failed with drastic consiquenses. Most notably in the gender department our male alters have tearable gender dysphoria when they front but to transition would then just make the female alters dysphoric.

Tbh it works pretty well. Folk accept us as a quirky gender bender who is a jack of all trades and we each get time out front to peruse our individual hobbies.
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby fireheart » Fri Apr 30, 2021 7:42 pm

It's taken quite long to get back to this thread, sorry about that.
We had some stressful events happen and actually split off a new part. It was pretty heartbreaking, because that is obviously the opposite of our goal (...more dissociation instead of more integration). It has fostered more introspection about the subject. I may be forced to accept that it won't be an option any time soon.
We ended up writing down our vision of "the ideal situation in life" and gave that the rating of 10. Then we checked where we feel we are on that metric and what would be the next goals to work on that have the highest priority. (Nr 1 priority turned out to be relaxation).

Dwelt, thank you so much for your detailed account of your experiences. That's very helpful!
I find it quite interesting that they all happened before therapy. Is there a specific reason for that, as far as you can tell?

This was especially helpful to us:
Dwelt wrote:I would say it's a mix between wanting it, the context being the right one, the brain being ready and the alters sharing enough similarities/memories ?

We know two of us wouldn't be able to merge to the point of fusion if both alters involved doesn't have enough similarities, if the dissociative barriers are so high they can't even imagine becoming one (like Daem and I, or Claude and Nico - none of us would be able to fusion with the other right now), if they are too much on a different timeline (one still deeply stuck in trauma time, the other totally grounded in the present), if one of them doesn't want it, and/or if the brain isn't okay to let it happen because there's too much trigger or stress happening right now.

For all of those, it's about cooperation, co-conscious, dissociation, trauma-work, sense of safety, etc. everything you're supposed to work on in therapy.


KitMcDaydream, I suppose what I mean by "fusion" is no longer experiencing separate "I"s. Instead of tons of parallel experiences, only having one experience. Or at least feeling like all reactions are really "yours".
It's really cool though, that some of your parts are able to work together like that. Impressive!

Eliseahorse, that is a good question. I think that is a very personal thing. It may also change over time. It sounds like you found a way to live that works for all of you.
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby Dwelt » Fri Apr 30, 2021 10:47 pm

Glad it helped ! And sorry to hear about those stressful events. We really hope things will be better for you !

I find it quite interesting that they all happened before therapy. Is there a specific reason for that, as far as you can tell?

We have some theories.

All four were like "different versions" of the same person. They had a clear sense of self with different memories, but their sense of self were very similar + they already had a lot of passive influence and co-conscious/co-presence happening naturally.

We also think they weren't supposed to be different alters. For Cass and Alix, there's a specific trauma for each behind their creation, which happened originally to Plume around the age of 7 and weren't anything like the traumas we were used to at this time. From what we currently understand, they were both created "from" Plume's sense of self to contain those memories. (Note : for a lot of reasons, 7 is quite "late" for us, our system was almost totally formed and "stable" at this age, without those traumas, we don't think we would have created new alters.)

Lea, on the other hand, was a very simple fragment created after a trauma which happened at the age of 2. That kind of trauma didn't happen again until we were an adult, as a child we've been quickly totally safe from it, and we're quite sure she was supposed to integrate naturally with Plume after a while. But Claude, who was created at the same time as Lea to handle a different aspect of the trauma, an aspect which was also in other abuses we lived, isolated her from us.

On a purely neurological level, I think the lack of connection with Claude was what prevented Lea and Plume to merge. It changed when Claude started to work with us rather than against us.

Anyway, we think those are the reasons why the few dissociative barriers we were able to lower on our own, by working on communication and cooperation, were enough to allow them to merge.

Now, all the alters left are way too different from each other, have decades of traumas and traumatic memories, are unable to accept each other needs as their own, and/or have a job way too specific. We definitely need therapy to process and solve all of this.

The only exception is the "new" Cass, we two could merge easily, but that would mean dealing with Varegh more often as the two are always together, and we're not ready for this.
The ones in charge : Plume (Plume+Lea) | Daemon
The main group : Claude, protector | Kal, protector | Alix, protector | Erdian, social-manager

"Little" group : Nicolas | Eric | Jean | Linda | Emma | Nathan | Ethan

The last two : Cassandra | Varegh, protector
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Re: Integration: fusion

Postby fireheart » Tue May 04, 2021 12:54 pm

Thank you. <3

And thank you for sharing more! It's almost as if you ask the question: "Why wouldn't a part be able to integrate right now?" and identify things to work on through that question. I admire your ability to step back and keep in mind a focus on the whole + on separate alters, at the same time.

Let us know if you'd be up for PMing a bit more about this sometime.
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