Talking About the ?!? Experiences

Emotional Bleedthrough

Emotional bleedthrough is something that is so disconcerting when you experience it. Before you know what it is and why it’s happening, it can make you feel like all those horrible things are true – like you really are “crazy” – like there’s something wrong with you. Truly, it’s a very simple thing, though. That doesn’t make it feel any less weird when it happens, but understanding the logic can help a lot. 

Emotional bleedthrough happens when an alter internally is feeling strong emotions that are bleeding through and affecting the alter who is fronting. The alter who is fronting isn’t personally attached to those emotions and they themselves aren’t necessarily ‘feeling’ those feelings, but they still might be uncontrollably sobbing – which is an incredibly strange juxtaposition to be in and can easily make someone feel very unstable when they feel perfectly calm but are retching and sobbing.

When alters in your system are still grieving the loss of someone you’ve moved on from/was unhealthy/was abusive

It can be incredibly difficult when you are trying to move on from someone or are getting away from someone unhealthy, or – especially – getting away from someone abusive – and someone in your system still sees them as someone they love or miss. Alters can be in denial for a long time about people having been unhealthy/abusive, and can take their own time healing/moving on/grieving. Unfortunately, this coupled with emotional bleedthrough, can make you feel like you’re stuck in the past and tethered in many ways, dragging other people along with you. Just remember, you’re on your own journey and making your own progress and your successes are your own. All you can do is support your alters when you can but take care of your body and yourself first and foremost. 

Alters and Sickness/Pain

People with DID/OSDD might find that alters are switching in more often or that you’re more ‘blurry’ or ‘blendy’ when you’re not feeling well. This isn’t uncommon for people with these disorders. Not only might different alters be able to take on different discomforts to help you get through a hard time, you also might be naturally dissociating from the pain/discomfort and that might lower some barriers for others to come near the front without you realizing. If alters switching in without your knowledge/coming co-con or blendy as a surprise is something that frightens you (as it does for many), be assured that most times you find someone is nearby/has switched in when you’ve been ill/in pain, it’s been to help and alleviate discomfort. Of course this won’t always be the case, but it’s helpful to remember that your alters are – at the end of the day – all here to help you survive and get through each day. While it’s very understandable to be afraid of your alters and of switches happening without your knowledge, hopefully you can take comfort in knowing they were likely there to help and perhaps in the future when you’re feeling better and have more energy you can work on the communication to lessen those fears.

Last updated on October 27, 2023
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