Archive for August 19th, 2008

A reader asked me how to reach alter parts that are not interested in integrating as part of healing from dissociative identity disorder (DID). This is a very common occurrence when somebody is healing from DID. The alter parts split off from the core for a reason, and they are not always ready to integrate back into the core just because you (from the perspective of the host personality or from the core) want them to.

Also, when an alter part integrates, you must deal with the aftermath. You must face the memories and emotions that the alter part holds. Sometimes a part of yourself knows that you are not yet ready to heal from that particular trauma, so that alter part refuses to integrate.

In the early stages of integration, I had lots of alter parts who were not ready to integrate. I created “rooms” over my heart and invited the alter parts to live there instead. I was “meeting” them as they “thawed” from the “ice” in my spirit that I was “melting” through self-love. I did not want them to go back to being cold.

So, I created a warm and cozy place over my heart. I offered each alter part her own room. The door had a doorknob on the inside only, so the alter part was in complete control over when the door was opened. Inside was a canopy bed (something I wanted as a child but never got) that the alter part could change to any color she wanted. The room also had a toy box that held any toy the alter part wanted. One of the standard toys was a castle that was popular when I was a child. I always wanted one, and all of my friends had it, but my parents never bought it for me.

Most of the time, the alter part would agree to relocate to the room over my heart. Before the alter part entered the room, I would tell the alter part that I loved her and that I appreciated all that she did to help me survive the abuse. Then, the alter part would lock herself inside the room. Later, as I was ready to heal that part of myself, that part would integrate spontaneously.

Also, when I would invite alter parts to integrate into the core, I would tell them that the core would absorb all of the bad feelings. For some alter parts, this was enough to choose to integrate. I would have to deal with the painful emotions, but it was against the backdrop of all of my experiences, which made it much easier to do. This was something that I did much more frequently in the later stages of healing.

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Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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