DID & Me: Conflicting Alters (and Groups)

Imagine someone running your life by committee.

That’s what DID is like.

We have so many viewpoints, opinions – conflicting values, open morals (and closed ones) – that getting frozen in indecision can be quite a problem.

“Which one would you prefer?” someone asks me – referring to a food, candy, drink, trip . . . lifelong decision . . .

and sometimes “I” don’t have any preference because one thing appeals about as much as the other, only they’re . . .

“Different,” I tried to explain to my wife when she kept hammering at me one day to ‘make up your mind’.  (I think it was over having grilled pork chops vs. Southern fried.)  I skewed up my face, trying to explain.

Sometimes I like one thing as well as another – only different.  Sometimes ‘we’ don’t like something at all.  Sometimes some like and some don’t . . .

But that’s rare, and makes things exceedingly complex sometimes, since if one alter doesn’t get what he’s having a desire for, he (or she – or ‘it’) might get ‘others’ involved . . .

and then ‘sides’ can start forming.

That’s when things can get quite dangerous.

“We’ve” got a system of Majority rules – but it can be overshadowed by “the Crowd” (and I don’t know exactly ‘who’ they are, except that there are quite a lot of them – and oh boy! are they a moody bunch sometimes.  Some, I think, are ‘souls’ (or personalities) prepared for a different time, another society that “I” sometimes want to be in, or sometimes not . . .)

At least we get along better than the Congress, Senate, and House.

However, that said, we know that this symptom of “Groups and Factions” affects other folks as well – and not just by freezing up decision making skills.  It can get dangerous – and yet? – factions and groups and committees are necessary to some parts of our survival.  It is how ‘we’ get things done (or not done – the latter more than the former, it seems!).  But it also can lead to battles – to cut or not to cut?  To get drunk or fall into the habit of drugs (again).  To go out carousing, betraying the wife or not?  To get the gun and call it an end – to myself and others.  Or others . . . .

In short, it can be a ‘fight’ – not good.  We use the weighing measure of “is it good for ALL? – good for the body and mind . . .” to help in determining these things . . .

Factions and groups are useful; they are how we can maintain control; but when factions and groups start hitting and hating one another things can go sour in a moment.

When you are DID you spend a lot of time listening to ‘yourself’ and ‘others’ inside – listening for whispered conversations, monitoring emotions, telling someone or other “no, not this, that – that’s the one that’s good for US (not you).”  Often battles rage unseen – by ‘us’ no less! – when factions and groups get to forming . . .

We’ve learned to listen to ‘ourselves’, be aware, keep on monitoring – making sure everyone is cool, settled in – recognizes their place (or lack of one) in “this system”, our world, and the world at large.  Often we are hit by impulses which at first glance seem self-destructive – but want to do anyway, knowing that they are.

And so we ‘sit down’ with these groups and factions and (sometimes) individual ‘parts’ of ‘my’ personality and attempt to reason with them.  Form and order are more important than chaos, insanity, and nightmare.  Keeping “it together” is more important than each of ‘us’ trying to go along on our own separate ways – not to mention it is impossible, since each of ‘us’ inhabit just one single body . . .

What affects one affects us all.

That said, it is important for groups and factions to recognize what is good for “us all” and not just one single ‘person’ or aspect of ‘myself’.  It is important to maintain (somewhat) a system of status quo, where each ‘person’ has their input, but the ‘whole’ strives for what is good and right for US and society- and not just one part of ‘me’.

We know a lot of DID folks struggle – and struggle a LOT – to maintain a balance among the various (and sometimes conflicting) demands of ‘others’; that the system must maintain something that resembles a ‘whole’, with ‘everyone’ participating in the decision making, the rules and all that.

That we’ve all got to work for the good of ‘us’ – and by ‘us’ I mean us all.  Not just ‘us’ on the inside, but out – our friends and relatives, acquaintances, social connections.  We’ve got to maintain a proper behavior around someone – and someone ‘else’ – at all times.

We kinda grew up that way.  It was enforced (with a LOT of emphasis on the word ‘force’) that we ‘behave’.  (I used to ask: who IS this “have” guy that I’m supposed to be like?  I wanna meet him.)  We have to maintain the social rules – like ’em or not.  Some things we – and parts of ‘we’ – hate and dislike with a passion.  “We” weren’t raised up by the same rules as ‘you’, the normal world.  ‘I’ was raised in somewhere else, by something else, not in the ‘normal’ fashion at all (that’s how some alters are created).  I had to be.

Because that is what “I” am.

A DID person with a lot of persons in me.

And running by committee is hard.


About jeffssong

JW is an adult childhood abuse survivor with DID*. He grew up in a violent family devoid of love and affection. He is a military brat and veteran. He no longer struggles with that past. In 1976 JW began writing "The Boy". It took 34 years to complete. It is currently on Kindle (http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004T3IVKK ), or if you prefer hard copy, on Amazon ( http://www.amazon.com/Boy-J-W/dp/1461022681). JW resides somewhere in the deep South. He is disabled and living with family. Note: Please feel free to take what you need; all is free to all. With that in mind, keep it that way to others. Thank you. We have 3 Blogs - One for our younger days, 0-10 (The Little Shop of Horrors); one for our Teen Alter and his 'friends' (also alters) with a lot of poetry; and finally "my" own, the Song of Life (current events and things)
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2 Responses to DID & Me: Conflicting Alters (and Groups)

  1. I deal with these same struggles, but I don’t think I have as clear of a grasp of my system and how it works as you do. Mostly I just muddle along, experiencing emotions (such as anger, or deep sorrow) for seemingly no reason. Not always understanding at the time (until I think about it later, and factor in my DID) why today I can’t figure out how to do something (such as knitting) which I did perfectly well just yesterday.

    It’s not a fun way to live, is it? Yet it’s the reality for those of us with DID.


    • jeffssong says:

      I agree: we are one of the few lucky ones – or is it time? Co-consciousness has certainly helped – we figured that one out early, had to in order to survive. On the other hand there is weighing in the time spent: almost 30 or so years working on this – well, ‘stuff’, tho’ I had in mind a less polite word. And as you say: just muddling along through most of it.

      We’re not perfect – far from it. It’s often hard to remind ‘myself’ or selves the lessons we’ve learned when ‘I’ am not in control of ‘it’. Rage & anger issues abound – usually at things, sometimes towards people (tho’ we rapidly suppress the latter). A work in progress, but isn’t that the way of it? For everyone, normal & ‘other’?

      Learning to live *with* it, and realizing ‘we’, ‘I’, whatever have you, are ‘part’ of the system – and not necessarily the ‘best’ or ‘worst’ part, just another tooth in the cog – helps. Goes with my theory that if you can’t change the diagnosis then you’ve got to change your perception in some way that you – and your ‘others’ hopefully can be happy. Or at least somewhat content some day.


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