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Archive for March 22nd, 2010

On my blog entry entitled DID: Do Alter Parts Always Have Names?, a reader posted the following comment:

Interesting post, as usual, Faith. I only am not sure about one thing you said. I think this is an open question: Do multiples chose the way in which they split? My guess is that they (we) did not and that it’s a natural psychological response (at least to the young child who does split). ~ Paul

I have to (respectfully) disagree with you, Paul, and I am completely okay with agreeing to disagree. :0) I will explain my opinion on this issue, and you are welcome to draw your own conclusions. I take no offense if I don’t “persuade” you. :0)

I have spoken with numerous multiples online (both with DID as well as DD-NOS diagnoses), and no two are alike. I have also read about many multiples’ experiences (most notably from Chrystine Oksana’s excellent book Safe Passage to Healing), and each multiple’s system is different. Of course, there are many similarities, such as many systems having one or more protector alter parts, but each multiple system is as unique as the child who created it.

Here is a quote from Safe Passage to Healing that captures some of what I am trying to say:

However, once survivors understand the ingenuity of their own system, most develop admiration and respect for it … There’s a saying that “necessity is the mother of invention.” Pushed beyond normal limits, people have discovered extraordinary abilities. These abilities are in evidence by survivors who used their powers of the mind to survive…Regardless of an identity’s name, description, or personality, its main and common purpose is always to protect the child…

Professionals who work with multiples often remark on their high levels of creativity and awareness. In Noetic Sciences Investigations, Tom Hurley echoes and often repeated observation: “Multiples…tend to be highly intelligent, perceptive and sensitive.” ~ Safe Passage to Healing, pp. 107-108

For example, I created a wolf protector alter part because I saw Peter and the Wolf as a child and thought that the wolf was the scariest creature on earth. I know a Caucasian woman who created a big, burly African-American protector alter part because she knew a nice, big African-American man in real life who would make a great bodyguard. I don’t think it is coincidence that I have a wolf protector alter part and hers is a burly African-American man. We both created the toughest protector we could think of to protect us.

Our abusers set the stage for splitting, but only we had the power to do the splitting. You split in your way and I in mine because of our own creative brains.

Photo credit: Amazon.com

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