If you’ve known you have been a multiple for quite some time, how has your system evolved along the way? Have there been any major changes to how you communicate with each alter or what your role is or what the roles of other alters are?
This is such a deep question, and we as a Collective like these kind of enquiries because involve everyone who is willing to take part and do actually help with our inner development and understanding!
It is also quite a difficult question to answer for us because we believe we have identified 3 times in our lives (possibly 4 if we take the last episode of amnesia a couple of years ago) when our brain was completely wiped and we literally started living a new life from scratch. This has hindered systemwide progress greatly.
As we are becoming more knowledgeable about our past, this seem to be due to our extensive conditioning, and it is a behaviour we have seen in other DID hosts that have been created intentionally. The way it seems to work is that whenever the conditioning appears to go into the extinction phase, some inner trauma happens that wipes all knowledge and experience and resets that “person” to their original created state with a spontaneous recovery. Kind of a Factory Reset for introjects.
We are not a DID system, rather we are complex one, and so we do not respond exactly like purely DID alters would, but we can see how the same dynamics could apply.
And this is why I (Herbie) am answering. I am the only one whose memories transcend those episodes because I have the body’s memories. Regrettably, body memories alone are not sufficient to piece the puzzle of our life together, but it does help in contextualising the memories of the others.
But so, resuming our answer, progress has been difficult for us because these occasional brain resets (for lack of a better term) have prevented us from understanding who we are and from expressing our identity fully, repeatedly bringing us back to a state of unwanted victimhood.
I think this last occurrence in ‘22, however, is rather different and that hopefully it is the last one and it will enable us to finally find out who we are.
Imagine having different ANPs each competing to enforce “the most adaptive strategy”
We discovered we have someone we call Archie (short for architect) who fits the description of The Self in IFS. They have been guiding us through the recovery process from day one. They are the ones who
- pushed us to learn certain subjects related to psychology and identity to kickstart our discovery process,
- they encouraged us to express our spiritual side and enabled us to find Maxie and their system
- they enabled us to connect to our hurt parts which found hundreds of selves in need of healing,
- they also gave us back the use of the right side of the brain (metaphorically certainly, but it is possible that it is also physiological)
- they taught us that our body is not our enemy,
- they taught us to be compassionate to ourselves,
They did this slowly, carefully, over the course of 50+ years, navigating our survival needs and our ever changing circumstances. .
Eventually one day the penny dropped, so to speak, and that is when we have been able to start working as a system on our system.
SO, the tricky part for us has been in getting 5 separate totally independent and self-sufficient system to work together, managing overlaps of responsibilities, conflicts in views and perspective, differing coping mechanisms, etc.
Imagine having 5 different ANPs each competing to enforce “the most adaptive strategy” while at the same having hundreds of EPs each requiring differing strategies …
Also, picture having selves repeated over different systems at different ages, each with different traumas and needs, yet they are exactly the same person.
I know people tend to say that they try and teach their parts and selves how they should behave.
We don’t do that simply because we don’t know what to teach. We are learning everything from scratch again. Except for some knowledge retained by some of our Nerdies, we are an almost totally blank book.
So, we have a different approach. We bang our heads together. ANPS, what do you suggest? Introjects, can you improve on that? EPs, does that make you feel safe? Persecutors, are we all on the same page with shared goals?
When we have done that, we go to our littlests, and we ask them what they think. They are the only ones who have still a glimmer of our natural unformed identity, so they deserve to have a say. Do you like to be the person that this action makes us? Whether it is kind, opportunistic, ethical, or otherwise, how does it fit in with our untainted soul? (we do think of our littlest as that!), and the picture below shows you the ongoing debate.
So, we have made a lot of progress, hopefully this time we won’t forget it at the next brain reset 😁💙
Originally posted on Quora