Experiences: Overview of fast switching

Quora Question answered by Herbie

For those with DID/Multiplicity, does your system ever experience rapid switching in which different selves switch between fronting as often as every couple of seconds or couple of minutes at the longest? If so, what is this experience like for both your system and for others who witness the rapd switching?

Hiya, got a few minutes fronting, so I’ll answer for our team.

Yeah, that is unpleasant, I hope you are ok!

A few minutes certainly, not sure about a few seconds, but we do get times where we feel like in between switches for a little while, so it could be some form of ongoing extremely fast switching, we just don’t have enough time or the capacity to analyse it when it happens that quick.

We don’t know the exact reasons, but we have identified some patterns in our system, hopefully you can relate to some:

  1. Somehow there is a situation when nobody wants to front. We get that at doctor appointments, or when in very stressful situations, usually after the event there will be a period of settling back into some kind of more restful state and then we find someone, usually a kid, will front for a while while we regain our composure (we do regain our composure quite often 😏).
  2. A little like the one above, but more generalised and not necessarily tied to a specific event. There is a common trigger where more than one person has been affected and they are trying to handle it. For these we find we need to change environment. It is unlikely that we find the source of the anxiety, so just go radical and go somewhere else. There will be again a settling in period.
  3. Then there is the cooperative switcheroo … when someone is getting triggered and others are trying to help, but are being quite clumsy and unsuccessful in their attempts. In these cases, we just tell them to care for the injured self internally and usually Charlie will take over IRL.
  4. The final one is the hostile switching when someone is triggered and asking for help and other insiders want to prevent them from reaching out and making successful contact. We don’t get this often but it has happened on some occasions, so it may be worth a ponder. Usually we deal with that with things like “what if someone did that to you” kind of inner CBT session.

They are all usually a sign that something needs to be tackled internally. It can be something major, but sometimes it is just that someone is not feeling heard and that is retraumatizing them, so the system get destabilized.

We’ll send you Reiki and lots of good vibes, feel free to reach out if you need to 🤗

~Herbie 💙