When you have Dissociative Identity Disorder, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start and what to do. With so many people in the headspace and differing opinions, it’s no wonder that many systems feel disoriented. The good news is that there is one simple rule that will cut down on all of the confusion. By having this guideline, each alter will have a better idea of what needs to be done to keep peace in the headspace. Let’s jump right in!
WARNING AND DISCLAIMER
Because of the nature of D.I.D., it’s possible that something in this article could be triggering to your system. Please use caution and your best judgement when reading this article. Safety first!
Disclaimer: We are not doctors, therapists, or mental health professionals. We’re just a bunch of alters that are speaking from personal experience to help other systems live their best lives.
The Golden Rule
The golden rule of DID is to take care of and protect the body, the brain, and the reputation of the system. These are the three things which belong to every alter and that every alter has to share. When every headmate is working towards caring for these three things, the whole system will improve.
One body, one brain, one reputation.The Golden Rule of DID
It’s important to remember that these three things are all interconnected. This is a great thing because when improvements are made in one area, the other two areas will improve as well. This makes it so that any positive change will lead to more and more positive change in other areas of the system. Do what you can, when you can, and your whole system will start to snowball towards positive change!
**Pro tip: If you’re currently in a system where your alters are struggling hard with these concepts, it can be easy to grow resentful of your headmates. As bleak as things may seem, your situation can always improve! Be the change you want to see and you’ll notice that your alters will start following your example. You can do this!
Simply put, you and your headmates won’t exist if something lethal happens to the body. Even if a headmate does not front, what happens to the body is still very important to them because their safety and survival depends on it.
Because of this fact, self harm and/or reckless behaviors by one alter effect every alter in the system. Some common self harm and reckless behaviors are:
If you’re like most systems, you or your headmates struggle with some of these issues. That’s ok! Admitting there is a problem is the first step to fixing a problem. Once your system is aware of the problem, it’s time to work on it as a team.
**Pro tip: What one alter does to the body effects everyone else in the body. This is true of positive behaviors, as well! If you feel like you’re the only alter in the system trying to improve, the actions you take will still have a powerful effect on the system. Keep up the good work!
Just like with the body, every alter has to share the same brain. What this means is that what one alter allows into the headspace becomes available to every alter. This can quickly become a problem, especially with things like:
While it’s a fact of life that some depressing or unsettling things will make their way into the headspace, the goal of every alter is to limit these things as best they can. A simple way to determine if something is or is not appropriate is to ask yourself the following question:
Ask yourself: Would I want a 5 year old to know this?
If you wouldn’t be comfortable with a small child knowing or seeing something, that’s a pretty good indicator that your system would be better off without that information inside of the headspace. Anything that one alter sees becomes something than any alter can see.
**Pro tip: If some of your alters are having a hard time with, a good trick is to find a picture of your body when you were about 4-5 years old. Put this picture in your wallet, on your desk, or some other place where your system will be able to see it. This picture can be a helpful reminder to keep the headspace a loving and safe environment; especially for your littles.
While some people that know your system intimately may be understanding of you sharing your body, most people will assume that you are a singleton. This means that each fronting alter is shaping how external people view the system.
For this reason, it’s important that each alter understand and respect the impact that their actions can have on the collective reputation. As long as it is safe and reasonable to do so, it is courteous to protect the work your alters are trying to create. Some examples are:
Am I saying that you should be a doormat or that you should cave to everything your alters want you to do while you’re fronting? Not at all. Some of these things will likely need to be ironed out during a team meeting. What I am saying is that it’s important to remember that one of your alters will have to be held responsible for your actions so try to act in a way that respects that reality.
**Pro tip: If you act in a way that respects your headmates, they’ll be more inclined to act in a way that respects you. Essentially, you just want to try to be a good person to your headmates by not forcing them to clean up your messes.
Now that you know the Golden Rule of DID, what can you do to keep your system moving in a positive direction? You can meet your headmates! Check out our course, Meet The Alters, to get started!