How did you first get to know your different parts?Posted by Shardspace on December 16, 2022 at 8:22 am
For part(s) who didn’t know about the system right away, how did you come to know about it, and what was communication like early on?
AdministratorDecember 16, 2022 at 11:55 amLevel 7: Prince/Princess
I hope that I can get our old host to reply, as she had the hardest time getting to know and accepting the rest of us, and her insight would be valuable. But, I’ll take a stab at this…
While there are only 10ish of us active these days, there used to be more. I myself am the result of two fusions. We had an interesting time starting out, because our system was (and to some extent still is), made up of three subsystems. Communication and awareness within a subsystem was a lot easier than communication to another subsystem. While there were walls between parts within a subsystem, there was a grand canyon between subsystems. Two of the three subsystems already had some level of awareness of their subsystem mates when we were officially diagnosed.
Starting out, the best method we had for communication was the written word (or the drawn picture for those not old enough to write). Do you have any idea how hard it is to co-ordinate a decision making process with umpteen parts, some of who only front once in a great while, when its based solely on everyone writing everyone else? It was VERY slow going. A single decision could take months to sort out. It wasn’t helped by our host refusing to believe we were multiple, and destroying any such written works she found.
Our subsystems were also separate for a reason, and trying to deal with all people in all subsystems was truly overwhelming for most of us. So, we decided that each subsystem would elect a representative for a one year term. Those three parts would work together to basically control our lives for the year. For every day decisions, just 2 out of 3 had to agree to something. For major decisions, 3 out of 3. Those representatives worked on communication (largely written) between the 3 of themselves. Each council member also was responsible for acting as a communication hub for their own subsystem. (If part A in subsystem 1 needed to talk part N in subsystem 2, they each went to their respective council members, who would then communicate with each other.)
We are run by a representative democracy to this day. Every fall we elect a new council, and the council elects a chairperson. After 28 years, we have a lot better communication with each other, and don’t rely on relaying messages through the council so much. The subsystems are also not nearly as separated. We still fall back to the written word, though. That’s the primary reason we each have our own email address, so we can write one another.
That’s really a bit of an oversimplification, as the situation was more complex (not everyone bought into the council idea at first) but that’s how we worked it out. I currently hold the council seat for the third subsystem. There is usually a lot of wheeling and dealing between system members when its time to vote. “I’ll vote for you if you do this for me…”
AdministratorDecember 16, 2022 at 2:37 pmLevel 5: Froglet
Hi. I’m kind of co-con with Saoirse and kind of spacey. I don’t know if I’ll be able to complete this.
How did I come to know I was part of a system? “I” kept blacking out and trying to hurt myself, sometimes terminally. It’s easy to gloss over normal bits of missing time. It’s harder to gloss over that your car has gone off a cliff and the radiator and fan are now pushed in to the engine block. Or that you tried to break your neck with a rope while at a friends house. I ended up in a psychiatric hospital in 1994. That’s where I was first diagnosed with DDNOS (which was in the brand new DSM-IV), and referred to a psychologist who worked with MPD patients (1994 was when MPD became DID. At the time most of the references still called it MPD.) That psychologist was part of a husband/wife team (she was a psychiatrist) who gave me my first DID diagnosis. (I resisted that diagnosis highly for over a decade. What finally made some headway with me is when my Mom would take pictures of me doing things I had no memory of, and get them developed at the 1 hour photo place. “Look, this is you in the same clothes you’re wearing right now, but you’re on the floor playing with winnie the pooh riding on the cat… this was two hours ago…”)
I remember the sheer terror I had when I saw my first system map in that psychologist’s office, drawn by another part of myself. In fact, one of my big fears is still that we’ll discover another F’ing subsystem. With the possible exception of one of us, I don’t think anyone knew the full extent of the 3 subsystems… that map wasn’t even complete.
So yeah, it was scary. I had parts trying to unalive me. I was having flashbacks to horrible crap I didn’t want to believe. It was not one of the finer points in my life. Like Saoirse mentioned, when we started out, most communication was still written. I threw letters written to me away, telling myself it wasn’t real and I just needed to snap out of it. Well, its almost 29 years later, and I haven’t snapped out of it, so I finally have to admit its probably real.
I didn’t want to communicate. I didn’t want to learn about “my system”. I just wanted it all to stop, to not be true. It was a bad fantasy I needed to let go of. It was a nightmare.
MemberDecember 17, 2022 at 4:06 amLevel 5: Froglet
This is Shadow though a little blurry and unsure with who.
For me, I first started getting aware because while I had always been super forgetful, I hadn’t ever really left the house enough to have felt like I had evidence for myself and providers to believe me. As an example, I had memories from a previous host who had asked an old therapist about the possibility of DID or some other dissociative disorder, and after 5 minutes of talking about it, they said I didn’t. (My current therapist who has been more helpful has diagnosed me with DID now after years and forgetting that event had even happened to the body.)
But then, I started college and I was struggling really hard. I would blackout in class and dissociate heavily on campus. I found notes in different styles of note-taking and different handwriting. I started hearing voices in my head that I knew weren’t external, but also didn’t feel like me and feeling like I was being ‘possessed’ and remembered some suppressed memories of experiences like this in the past. Along with huge chunks of memory that I hadn’t ever questioned until this point.
I rediscovered that DID existed after watching BraiDID’s videos on Moon Knight and started watching more and realized that it was a lot like what I was going through. And then Alien made an appointment with a specialist that we managed to get really lucky with (which we thought we were the same person at this point) and they affirmed to us after a psych eval that we likely did have DID and that they were diagnosising us with that.
Communication right now in this earlier stage I’m currently in is a mix of writing and leaving notes (both on paper and on private apps like private discord server with pluralkit), trying to interpret any voice or urge I might feel while co-con, and trying to understand each other based on the evidence we leave like what websites the fronter has gone to, stuff we bought, etc.
MemberDecember 17, 2022 at 4:21 amLevel 5: Froglet
Oh gosh. Sorry, I didn’t realize where this was. Sorry about posting this. I thought it was in general.
AdministratorDecember 17, 2022 at 6:22 amLevel 7: Prince/Princess
No worries, I think it was a valuable contribution. 🙂 Thank you for sharing.
MemberDecember 17, 2022 at 11:49 pmLevel 5: Froglet
I agree, thank you for sharing. And thank you, T.E.C! I’ll open one in general too because I really like this topic.
MemberJanuary 4, 2023 at 7:16 pmLevel 2: Swimming Tadpole
Our host at the time had no idea until her best friend apparently got to know one of the other alters and mentioned it to her, assuming she already knew. After that, things started to click into place because she had already noticed and was actively investigating the amnesia. As for communication, in the early days we wrote notes and left videos for each other. We still do that sometimes between alters that struggle with internal communication. But the majority didn’t introduce themselves to the host at the time. It happened slowly over the course of several years and may still be ongoing.
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