Archive for May 3rd, 2010

On my blog entry entitled More Alter Parts, a reader posted the following questions:

Anyway, this post brought up a couple of questions we had regarding an emerging alter that we hadn’t recognized before:

– do grown-ups split off new alters? or is it more likely that they are just hiding?

– do alters start cooperating with each other (like two alters meld together independent of the core to create a new alter that combines the traits of the two separate alters)?

My answer to question #1 is “both.” My experience has been that I continue to have the ability to “split off” new alter parts. For example, a couple of years ago, I went through a period of feeling a deep void because I don’t have a real “mother” in my life. So, I split off an alter part to serve this need. When the ache got to be too great, I used this “good mother” alter part to nurture my wounded inner child. This part is still available to me at will.

I also have alter parts that I have not yet integrated, such as the two I described in my previous blog entry. Those have been around since the original trauma occurred. Each alter part is simply my internal representation of how I compartmentalized my reaction to the trauma, and they will continue to remain “separate” until I heal that part of myself. Because they are separate, I have a bit of control over the pacing of the healing.

As for question #2, it has been my experience that parts can integrate into each other before they join the core. Keep in mind that all of the parts belong together like a jigsaw puzzle. It doesn’t matter whether you place the puzzle piece into the big jigsaw frame or join a few pieces together that are the same color and then fit them into the bigger puzzle later – it is all still piecing the soul back together. So, any type of integration, whether as part of the core or separate from the core, is still healing.

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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