Introjects are alters who formed with some degree of inspiration taken from someone or something in the system’s life. Remember that alters often form in moments of high stress and trauma and at the start they form from the mind of a child. A child’s brain might not ‘think up someone new’. It might not be that creative or original in that moment. It might instead think “if I were my gym coach I could get through this because they’re strong and they could get through anything.” And then that child has an alter who is an introject of their gym coach. That alter may have many similarities or very few, but they’re an introject because there was a source the brain pulled from. This can also come from animals, media, mythology, television, history, family, and more.
Fictives come from fictional sources. Fictives can be introjects of any type of fictional character (i.e. a TV or movie character, a character from a book, a mythological creature, etc).
Factives come from real life sources, whether alive today or not. A factive could be an introject of an abuser, a friend, a teacher, a historical figure, a celebrity, etc.
Misconception: Introjects are an exact copy of their source. They are that person/character/being.
Reality: Introjects may feel very disconnected from their source and are very different from them. They may only have the same name or look the same internally or have one similar trait. Often introjects may be hesitant to share their source if it’s something people might be familiar with because people will compare them with their source and they know they’re not similar and people will have judgements based off how dissimilar they are to their source.
Misconception: Introjects are always aware of their origin.
Reality: Introjects often might not know their source and might feel entirely disconnected. If or when they do realize that they are an introject that can be a very difficult realization for them and can cause a lot of denial, self-doubt, self-hatred, internalized issues, and more.
Misconception: Introjects are unchanging or static.
Reality: Just because an alter may have at one point had a connection to an external person/character/etc, that doesn’t mean that they can’t change and evolve throughout their life and become someone completely unique through their lived experiences, just like anybody else.
It’s important to know that not all fictives/factives will be comfortable sharing with you that they are an introject. If they do, they may not be immediately comfortable sharing with you who they are an introject of. This is often due to the fact that there is a fear of being compared to their source, when the similarities can be on a very wide range – some introjects may be very similar to their source while others might be very different. Please do not take this as an offense – view these people as their own individuals and recognize that if or when they decide to tell you about the details of their source is up to them and has nothing to do with you.