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Types of alters

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Types of alters

Postby Secret » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:09 pm

Just some specific parts may be triggering, so be careful when you read.
Well, I know everyone is different, and that includes alters. There could even be alters that have DID themselves. But, the same way many people fit partially into a standarized description (many people would be offended by the word "stereotype", but that's what it is =P) people with DID and their systems usually have at least one of the most common types of alters, so I thought it would be nice to write the types of alters that we know about, and their main characteristics/functions/roles they play.
If this has already been posted, I will accept it if you want to delete/edit this :o

Anyway, I know many alters can fit into 2 or more different roles at the same time, or not fit into any of the ones listed below.

I'll start, with the few I know about. If you can describe more of them, it would be great ;) The part about the Original could be very wrong, as this one is very specific to each system, I just described the one I know. Excuse me for the color coding, I'm used to linking the types I pesonally know about with a special colour (in this case, the favourite colour of the alter I know :) )
I'all also use a different colour when the information is especially useful for SO's (I'm a SO myself, my GF has DID), so the part in blue is meant to be read by people who dont have DID themselves but are helping someone who does.

I'll write the names I think of them as, but I'll also write, between brackets, some other names they can be given.
Some types of alters usually have stronger personalities than the rest, and are abl to take over whenever they want or think they should. I will write what I found out about this, but this part is especially hard to predict, so tell me if you believe I am wrong or made a mistake.

Of course, I mean no offense to anyone, be it alters, hosts or singles. If you feel there's something I shouldn't have said, just tell me and I'll edit it. Everything written here is personal research (except the only part I quoted from Cadence Risa/ Edward, many thanks to him), so there might be a lot of mistakes.



The Host (The Main) This one is the "person" who is normally in charge of the body, and the one who manages the person's life. Almost always uses the "real" name (the legal name) and many times isn't aware of having alters until many years have passed. From the moment of the dissociation until the alters start coming out, doesn't normally show signs of DID. Normally doesn't even remember the trauma (if existed) that caused DID. The host is many times the "owner" of the life they built, so it's common to let him have the last word on decisions regarding the way of living. In most cases is a person of low self-esteem, prone to depression and very dependent. Usually hides their depression and seems to be an abnormally happy and extroverted person, in some extreme cases. Sometimes is in constant need of affection, love and approval, always wanting someone to tell them that what they do is right. If someone tells themm they did something wrong, they may get really upset, sad and depressed. Therefore, many times just keep a low profile and try to act just like they "are supposed to", never standing out; or just the opposite, always standing out, just to be popular and feel accepted. Inside the system, the host is commonly the one who makes the rules, as this is often the Original as well (or the original is not ready to take over that responsibility). This will be the one who you will meet and get to know in the first place, even before you know about their DID. From time to time, some alters may act just like this one, especially before you know about them. Pay a lot of attention on any changes you see (personality, expression, voice, likes/dislikes) to know when someone else is out. This will most surely be the one you are in a relationship with. Although the main is out most of the time, the rest of the alters can easily take control if they want, so this one is usually a weak personality.

The Original (NOTE: The original and the host sometimes are the same person. This section is mainly directed for the cases when they are different alters. If they are the same person, read "The Host") This alter can be called "the real one" (though every single alter is as real as this one), this one is the person that was born (the rest of the alters are persons that were somehow created during the dissociation), and, therefore, the person who took the trauma (if existed). Because of this, this is the normally most fragile one, and the most important one for the rest of the alters, so is the most guarded one. If you have the chance of meeting him (sometimes not even the host is in touch with him) be very careful. You will be experiencing something truly important, meaning that the whole system trusts you completely. Don't prove them wrong, just show the original that you're worthy of that trust. Any mistakes may cost you their trust, their love, or even worse. But, if you can prove them that you deserve them, you will be helping the whole system a lot. In some cases, the original is frightened and won't let anyone come near him, some other times the original is the "creator" and the supreme ruler of the inner world. No matter what the case, the original usually has the power (consciously or not) to control everything that happens inside, so can create objects and control the environment so that no-one will come near unless he allows it. As he has that power, has the strongest personality possible, so will come out whenever he (again, consciously or not) desires it; but, still, doesn't usually come out, because of his wounds and fears.


The Protector (The Older brother) This type of alters normally act as a parent or older brother, protecting and defending the system, but especially the original and the host. Their personality can vary, but usually becomes the knight in the shiny armor when someone in the system is being bullied. Normally there are 2 kinds of Protectors (depending on the system, there may be only one, or both of them): The first kind of protector will try to eliminate the threat. If the threat is a person, will try to stop them, or scare them away (can become quite aggressive and violent, if needed). The second kind of protector will try to save the weaker alters by taking all the pain and injuries to himself. Both of them will often take over when the main is under danger, but the first type will be defiant and will be easy to notice that the host is no longer under control; while the second one is often submissive and will try to act just like the main. Usually one of the first alters to appear and introduce himself to the host. As a protector (especially the first type), thy will often see the host's boyfriend/girlfriend as a threat, and will try to scare them away. That is the most common reason why most relationships end, when the SO doesn't know about the person's DID, as this tactic is especially effective when the Protector impersonates the hsot. Be careful, but don't be intimidated, they wont hurt you because the host doesn't want you to get hurt, and the Protector only does what's best for the host. Also, try not to argue with them (pay attention and you'll learn to notice when the Protector is out) and DON'T get angry at the host for the Protector's actions/words. This will only prove that you ARE bad for the system, so they will never stop trying to make you go away. As I said, these alters do what they think is best for the host, so prove them that you only want to make the main happy and help them. If you can do it, they may come to you when there is something wrong that they can't fix, and will always help you keep your beloved one happy. As this alter is meant to take all pain, will take over in difficult situations or when other alters ask them for help. In other moments, they have a medium strenght personality.

Cadence Risa wrote:Here. I got this off of a part of deviantArt. Maybe this might fit one of your alters.
Protectors: These the main parts that have helped keep a person safe from perpetrators, and make very loyal friends once their anger/pain/ilnesses/self-hatred/guilt/issues have been worked on.
* Physical protectors: Their main attitude seems to be: "Don't mess with me unless you want a fight," although many have changed and become powerful internal helpers. They also feel extremely protective of the few people they do love and trust, and would lay down their lives to protect them. Internal child alters love to hang around them, because they help them feel safe from outside harm.
* Sexual protectors: These are the ones who took any sexual abuse. They will often be timid, they will be compliant, never fight back. All to limit/avoid any punishment and so protect the body from harm.
* Emotional protectors: These took the emotional abuse, the insults and put downs. They will often be very quick witted, able to outsmart the abuser at times. But they will also know when to just be quiet and take the abuse. Sometimes they will start to believe what is said leading to very low self-esteem.

Hope I helped a bit.




The Rational one ("Consciusness") Usually seems emotionless most of the time, or at least, not driven by emotions. In many cases doesn't have a defined gender. Thinks about everything rationally, sees everything in an objective way. Some people call them "The Inner Self Helper (ISH)". Most of their advices are the best you can find, knows a lot about the host, the original and the system itself. The one who looks after the whole system and makes evrything work perfectly. Very supportive and well informed, in many cases knows a lot more than what is said. This one can be fully trusted, will help both you and your SO understand everything that's going on. If you get on well with this alter, they will become a powerful ally whenever there is some kind of problem. Never doubt about asking this one for help, especially when it's about som other alter. They know the way things work, so they can take over whenever they want. One of the strongest personalities, which sometimes makes them the only one who can stop a provoked "Angry". In many cases makes sure that the basic rules are followed. Usually obeyed by most alters.


The Angry one(The violent/aggressive one) This alter is often created from anger, frustration and hatred that are not correclty expressed by the host. In many cases is male, or a female with some man-like attitudes. Doesnt show many emotions, usually boredom or anger. Sometimes cares about the host a lot, but doesn't show it. Primarily impulse-driven, in (only) some cases doesn't even care about the consecuences of their actions. Can become very violent and dangerous if they are provoked. It's best to let them express themselves in a controlled situation, to avoid any dangerous explosions. Often doesn't get on well with the rest of the alters. Follows the rules, but only to some extent. Try to get on well with this one, and you'll avoid a lot of problem. No matter what, try to never make him angry, or both you and your beloved one will be in trouble. If the person gets really angry, may lose control, and the Angry one could take over and become violent. If this happens, that person's body strenght may even become a lot higher than usual. This alter is also relly good using the body, so normally isn't bothered by pain (often even likes it) and can be unexpectedly agile and fast. If you're not the cause of their anger, try to make everyone stay away from the person in this state, and, only if you're sure you can, try to stop him until he calms down. This way you will protect both other people and the DID person as well, but know that you're risking yourslef by doing this. If you're the cause of their anger, make everyone stay away and stay away yourself. Dont go anywhere near the person or anyone else. Talk with him to calm him down, ask the Host or the Rational for help, but don't try anything, you'll have enough just trying to keep yourself safe. They have strong personalities, but don't like to come out in front of people, unless they feel really angry. If they are, only the strongest ones may be able to stop them, if you're lucky.


The Sexual one(Seducer/Lusty) Usually a woman, but can be male, homosexual, bisexual or not have any defined gender. Normally takes the role of Sexual Protector. Can have unbelivable different personalities that vary in each DID case. They have a lot of lust, and therefore will be constantly (can be "usually/often", "sometimes", depending on the case) trying to have sex. Not much to write about, can be emotional or rational, can have normal personalities not otherwise different, but many times are very intelligent. They dont usually show their feelings, but can be VERY sensitive. The reasons of them wanting sex can vary: Of course it can be just lust (especially when the host supresses sex in their life), but many times are because of sexual abuse, and in most cases, they see themselves as nothing but "sex machines". If this is the case, this is often the one with the deepest wounds, and needs to be shown that there is love an affection, appart from sex. In some cases, no matter how much they want it, sex can be really bad for them, as it can just prove them that they are nothing but sexual tools, or they can even be re-living their abuse. BE CAREFUL for many reasons. First, if you are dealing with a victim of abuse, normally you will need to show her love, without sex, always keep her in a protective environment and never do anything that can make her feel unsafe. It is very important to build a solid relationship based on trust, so never lie to this one (well, just, never lie to any of them) and never break any promises. If you are a couple, you will have to pay a lot of attention and make sure if sex is just sex, or if it's something very bad for her. Appart from that issue, you also have to be careful with your couple. Most likely, your actual couple will be the host, and not this one. If that's te case, you will probably have to talk with your couple, and come to an agreement if you having sex/kissing/dating this alter is OK, or if it is cheating. That depends mainly on the host (likely your couple), so talk openly about that. Some people with DID consider thir couples to be dating all of the alters as a whole, and some consider them to be dating just one alter, usually the host. Sexual alters aren't usually too strong, and will come out in a sexual environment only at beggining, and as they become more confident, may come out in some safe situations. So, weak personality.


The Kids(The children, The little ones) These alters seem to be present in almost every case of DID. Sometimes their age can vary depending on the day, sometimes they can have the same age for years. There may be one or a lot. Most of them are just like any other children. They are completely innocent, but also really sensitive, and can be easily hurt. If they are hurt, they usually can't deal with that, so truly hurting one of these little ones often means that the whole system will go through a lot of problems like depression, trust issues and a lot more. Although they are just kids, they can be incredibly intelligent, and know a lot about the system. But, obviously, they should always be kept away from topics that aren't wise for children to see, especially sex-related topics. The rest of the alters are normally relaly protective with these ones, sometimes even the Angry ones. Treat them like children. You may have to explain a lot of things to them, and they may not understand complicated things, and will ask some questions that are very difficult to answer. Do your best, be comprehensiv and patient, and NEVER break a promise or lie to them. For them, most of the times things are just "black" or "white", good or bad, so if you lie, you will be "bad" and you may never recover their trust. Never hurt one of this ones either, or you will not only see the problems listed above, but also the whole system's anger. Once you get used to them, you'll realis they are one of the easier alters to please. As any child, they like sweets, chocolates, teddy bears, sometimes flowers, and the like. They may like to draw or have some other simple hobby, so as long as you provide them with what's neccessary for that, they will be happy with you. If they trust you, they may innocently tell you important things that none of the other alterrs would evr say, so always listen careful to them, as they usally cant lie (or at least, without you noticing) They don't have strong personalities, so they will only come out when they're allowed, usually when everything is OK and they are alone or with someone safe.
*NOTE: There can be some alters with the age of a kid who don't behave like children. Those alters should not be seen as the ones described in this section, but as the type they fit in the most.


The Suicidal (Self destroyer) Present in most systems, this is an alter that will try to destroy the system, usually by killing the body. Usually sees death as a relief from suffering or does't see the point on living. Not much to say, commonly depressive and sad, sometimes uses drugs or alcohol to avoid pain instead of death, or self-mutilation to ease emotional pain. In some other cases, will not try to die, but be self-destructive in other ways, like messing with the host friends, family or life. It's very important for the host to have a good communication with this one, to keep those impulses controlled. You should show this alter that Life is Worth Living, so try to make him see the good aspects of things, treat him nicely, show him affection, make him trust you, make him happy (harder than it sounds). But, as this is probably the most dangerous alter, always be careful, keep him from harmful things, watch him closely, pay especial attention to his words to know if he's lying (and if he is, be twice as careful) and be ready to help if anything bad happens. If you believe there is one of this alters in the system, it is highly reccomended to take a First Aid class (intensive one, if possible) and always have a first aid kit and an emergency number at hand. Keep your guard up, just one second may be enough for him to put their life at risk. Weak personality, but ready to take over when the system is in pain or depressed, or when he sees a good chance of committing suicide.


Other alters Here I will list otheer less common alters that I know about, open for suggestions :D
Pets Well, most families have pets, and that happens also on the inside ^-^ In some systems, there are different animals that are just that, animals. They are usually the pet of the system, and has to be taken care of just like a real animal (be careful if it's a wild, dangerous animal :P )
Objects In some systems there are objects with conciousness, so they're not normal objects. For example, talking objects, or a notebook that writes itself.
Emotion Alters Some alters are there to express just one emotion or state, just like the Angry one, but in different and less common examples, it could be "Emotional impulse/Irrationality" or "Innocence".
Changing Alters not so much a category in itself, but a characteristic some alters have. Sometmes, an alter can change shapes, disguise like a different alter or even objects, or it could cahnge age or gender, or even have extremely different personalities depending on the day.
Body Alters In some cases, there can be an alter that represents the body, so this one will always know what is wrong with it and how to fix it, and will always insist on taking care of it. It's not so much an emotional supportive alter, but one who tries to take care of the body itself (as in many DID cases the person is too busy with emotional issues to take good care of it). As a representative of the body, sometimes can control parts of the body at will, even when some other alter is out.
Subconscious Alters These are the alters that can access the subconscious at will, so they are usually the guardians of the memeories and some other "top secret" thoughts. Usually very strict and reserved (Many times this role overlaps with the Protectors or Rational ones).



If you're dating someone with DID, there are lots of things you will have to be careful about. To begin with, in most cases you will be dating the host, so you should come to an agreement if you should be intimate only with him/her, or if it's ok for you to date the rest of them. Also, there can be some alters of the opposite gender than the host, children, older ones, so treat them as they (alters) are, no matter what the real (host) body is. In some cases, it could even happen that one of the alters is also in love with the host, just like you. You will have to talk to that one to prove that you can make the person with DID happy enough yo deserve him/her. Some of them may like you, some maybe won't, but always remember that they're a very important part of you beloved one, so you should care for them as well.But, the most important thing of all: If you love him/her, you will find your own way of dealing with this and help them. follow your instincts, show im/her your love, and act just like you are.
You will also have to be careful with another thing: Alters are incredibly good at impersonating the host, and some of them are very good liers, so it's important to learn to tell them appart based on their gestures, expressinos, and even faces or voice, more than their words themselves. Some of them may just have fun impersonating other alters or deceiving you some other way, so you have to be a good observer. And, at last, you never know what alters are hearing (and in some systems there could even be videos or registries) so never say anything that you don't want another alter to hear, unless you really trust the one you're talking to.


But, saying all of this makes DID seem something terrible, when it actually can be a good, funny thing, once the host has learnt to cope with it. For example, if you are the boyfriend, you can ask some of your girlfriend's alters for help with an important gift, or a surprise you want to give her. Also, what couple has someone who can always tell you what is happening to her, even when she can't say it herself? In what kind of relationship you get not only a girlfriend, but also about 10 of the best friends you'll ever have? What other boyfriend can be sure that there will always be someone to be by his beloved one's side when there is something wrong, even if he can't?
As I said, DID may not be as bad as it seems, just look at the bright side (of course, without hiding the dark side).
And, if you are the one who has it, don't you appreciate always having someone around when you need company? A playmate when you're bored? Someone who can explain things to you in a different way, someone to show you other aspects of the real world? Even if you aren't co-conscious, don't you like the feeling of having someone to take care of things when you can't, or when you just want to go away for some time? Someone who is capable of helping you with things you can't do alone? Once you have acepted it, you will see how good it can be =)


Sorr for this being so incredibly long, but I wanted to say everything that I knew, so I spent many days preparing this :)

Secret
Last edited by Secret on Sat Oct 02, 2010 1:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Types of alters

Postby watching&waiting » Thu Sep 30, 2010 11:42 pm

Wow. This took you some time.

Not a criticism, an addtion.
There can be, and often are, overlaps.

One of mine who would easily qualify as "protector" is also extremely intelegent and rational (pretty evident when he starts talking, i don't know how people think he's me)
This is not an inclusive list, but a list of those who are most likely to post
Kyle(17), Tyler(18) Greg(17) Morgan(14) Selena(13) Jason(12)
We are all people.
We will never be one, do not suggest to us we should integrate.
Or that we are objects. Or that we aren't real.
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Re: Types of alters

Postby Stephani+ » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:07 am

I wasn't aware of all these types.
before she left, my headmate was angry, bored, implusive, calculating, and suicidal. (She stopped showing me how to die once I got on antidepressants.) She fits a lot of these roles, even possibly the sex one. She's a polyamorous bisexual, and will do practically anything to get what she wants. She once told me that she'd make out with a dude if it meant scoring some drugs. (Luckily, she respects my phallophobia.)
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Re: Types of alters

Postby musje » Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:39 pm

Wauw thank you so much.
Its very intrestring to read and to match my others with it :)

love,
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Re: Types of alters

Postby Daughterof » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:13 pm

Hey this is great-really helped.
You have a whole section on dating with someone with DID. What about when you are related to the person with DID? My mother has DID and recognizes me in every alter. Although she recognizes me, she doesn't ever recognize me as her daughter. A few of her alters hate me, while some only want to be around me. Next to her boyfriend, I am the one who is around the most. Any suggestions for me?
~~*DAUGHTEROF*~~
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Re: Types of alters

Postby Laura Ann » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:40 am

I could really use some help, Please Please Please. New at this and just leaving an abusive relationship. How do u get the alters, littles, host, or whomever that want 2 b loved so much they will even accept some one abusive to stay away from them. Co-conscious but as i say new, just found out about the alters 9/9/10.
Also any books that were helpful to anyone.
I met with a friend today to help keep me accountable for staying away from this person. Any ideas, suggestions?
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Re: Types of alters

Postby canolime » Wed Oct 13, 2010 2:55 am

Laura, could you please make a new topic about your question? I'm afraid you won't get many replies if you ask that question in this thread. Up at the top of all the topics(in the DID forum), there's a button that says "NEWTOPIC". Click on that, and type in your question. I think more people will see it, that way.
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Re: Types of alters

Postby Laura Ann » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:18 am

Im sorry but i am not seeing where u r talking about. Can u quote and put me there? I went to the top and pressed Dissociative but dont c a new topic button to push. ???
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Re: Types of alters

Postby canolime » Wed Oct 13, 2010 3:32 am

I could, but then you wouldn't be the one getting email notifications about replies :(

It's a button on the far left, right below that pink line about the forum rules.

Here, click on this link posting.php?mode=post&f=210 and type out your question. And don't forget to name the topic by typing something into the "Subject" line.
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Re: Types of alters

Postby sunday silence » Sun Oct 17, 2010 8:52 am

I dont really have a question but merely a post to applaud you for what is an absolutely brilliant piece of writing and insight into this type of condition. I dont know how you came up with all this, whether some of it is research or interviews or just personal experience. but it is maybe the most insightful thing I have ever read about this and related issues.

I think anytime you come up with a theory or definition or whatever, that is so different and so groundbreaking it may be hard for everybody to applaud it or to acknowledge. It is hard to writing something like that, without being criticized or misunderstood. I think it shows great insight.. :)
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