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On my blog entry entitled Faith Allen’s Story – Expulsion Ceremony, a reader posted the following question:

Something I am wondering… most people I have known with DID have an alter part that is the “observer” or “knower”- a part that has been there all along and has kept an awarness of what has happened (about the abuse and about the inner structure of the system)- without experiencing the emotions of it. Did you have such an alter part? And if so, was this part useful to you in helping you know about what had happened, even before you started experiencing your past as memories? ~ Elaine

My multiple system can be described as polyfragmented dissociative identity disorder (DID), so my system was complex. I estimate that I had about 1,000 parts with most of them being personality fragments (one-dimensional parts holding one memory or emotion) and only a handful being true alter personalities (three-dimensional parts that feel much deeper than fragments). There had to be a part that was in charge of which part came out. I call that part a “gatekeeper.”

By the time I became aware of the depth of my multiple system, I suspect that the gatekeeper had already integrated back into the core. Or it is possible that the gatekeeper was the beginning of my core and integrated different parts back into itself. Regardless, I (from the perspective of the host personality) was never aware of the gatekeeper as a separate personality.

My initial interactions (from the host personality perspective) were with Irate, who was an angry protector alter part that was triggered by my mother/abuser. Irate was well aware of my mother’s abuse, but I don’t know if Irate knew about the other abuses.

The best way I can describe my multiple system is with the term “layers.” I had one layer of alter parts that I created to deal with my mother’s sexual abuse. I created a second layer of alter parts to deal with being abused by other adults (mostly women). A third layer dealt with S & L (my most sadistic abusers). Then other layers dealt with the ritual abuse. Alter parts in one layer did not know about alter parts in other layers.

Despite all of this inner fragmentation, I was seamless on the outside. Only one person ever called me on “switching” throughout my entire childhood, and my host personality did not know what she was talking about. So, I had to have a part of myself that served as a gatekeeper.

The most important part to remember is that all of these parts are me, so **I** always knew all of my story. My host personality did not know the entire story, and quite frankly, to this day, I (from the perspective of the core) do not know the entire story. However, parts of myself hold the key, and they are all me. Does that make any sense?

Photo credit: Lynda Bernhardt

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