When you’re newly diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, it can be very difficult to want to meet your alters. Many people think that their alters have been ruining their lives, that they’re just a nuisance, or that they’re a threat to eliminate. It’s very easy to just wish your alters would disappear.
While we definitely understand the frustration, we suggest doing things a different ways. Instead of avoiding your headmates, I suggest that you do everything you can to get to know them better. Here are some key reasons why it’s important to meet your headmates.
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.
They Kept You Alive
At some point in your body’s history, each of your alters performed a task so critical that the subconscious mind believed your body would have died without their help. Some, if not all, of your alters have endured horrific trauma so that the body could survive. Go ahead and stop to think about that for a minute.
The cold, hard truth is that without each and every one of your alters, you would be dead. Plain and simple. None of your alters got to choose to endure the trauma; one minute they didn’t exist and the next they were in the middle of a horrible trauma. A trauma that you did not have to experience because of their sacrifice.
When you truly let that fact sink in, you’ll be filled with overwhelming love, respect, and gratitude for what your alters have survived on your behalf.
As an example from my life, I would feel so livid with one of my alters for their binging. I hated waking up to a stomach ache that they caused. At some point, it dawned on me that most people with their type of trauma binge uncontrollably as an effect of not being healed from their trauma yet. If I had endured their trauma, I would be the one struggling with binging. Not only did I not suffer my alter’s trauma, I also didn’t struggle with the urge to self harm with food. That realization made me far more compassionate and understanding as my alter worked on healing.
As weird as this is to think about, you haven’t always been in control of your body. Whether you’re the original alter born to the body or you’re one of the alters that came later, you’ve shared your body. While your alters were fronting, they had their own experiences.
Now, for some of your alters, they have only ever experienced their trauma and they’ve spent the rest of their life inside of the headspace. But for some of your other alters, they may have lived their own lives. Each alter will have unique ideas and experiences that they’ve gathered from their time fronting.
By meeting your alters and getting to know them, you’ll gain access to some of the body’s memories. One benefit of this is that you’ll have a more complete idea of what your body has been doing while you were inside of the headspace.
Another benefit of this is that you might get to access to some pretty amazing memories! When we started sharing memories, I (the alter writing this article) learned that my body had given public speeches, had been in plays, had swam with dolphins, and had been to Washington, D.C.. Even though I wasn’t fronting during those experiences, I still get some of the benefits.
Get On The Same Page
One of the big reasons for meeting your headmates is to learn how to be on the same page. I think we can all agree that it’s pretty hard to work as a cohesive team if you’ve never met someone!
By meeting your headmates, your whole life will start to improve. Alters will have less need to act out which means less drama. Headmates will feel more secure and safe so that means less a whole lot less self harm activities. Alters that are co-conscious while you’re fronting will have less reason to say hurtful things or to try and take over. By meeting and connecting with each of your alter, everyone’s life will get better and better.
Protect The Body Together
No matter how you slice it, you and your alters are inseparably connected and at some point in time, you won’t be the one fronting. Because of this, it’s critical for you and your headmates to remember the golden rule of D.I.D.:
One body, one brain, and one reputation.
When you meet your alters, finding a common ground on all three of these items becomes infinitely easier. You can’t begin negotiations until you’ve gotten to know everyone inside of your headspace. Once everyone is working together to take care of the body, there will be more physical and mental energy for other things in the system’s life.
In addition to being on the same page with what happens to the body, meeting your alters creates some powerful possibilities. Have you ever wanted to write a book? Travel out of the country? Run a marathon? If you’re like most alters with Dissociative Identity Disorder, you’ve experienced a lot of push back when it comes to accomplishing your dreams.
Getting to know your headmates helps all of you to work collectively to a common goal. Instead of feeling like your alters are sabotaging everything you do, you can all work as a team to accomplish the dreams of the system.
There are some incredible perks that come with being a system and one of them is that everyone’s unique perspective on a goal can quickly help your system achieve it. Meeting and becoming close with your headmates opens up doors for your system that even a singleton would struggle to achieve. Amazing stuff!
Perhaps the most important reason of all to meet your alters is that it will finally bring you some much needed peace. Building a relationship with your alters (rather than trying to get rid of them) will lead to mutual love and respect.
If your body has struggled with disordered eating, erratic sleep, suicidal ideation and things like that, getting to know each of your headmates will lessen the desire for all of those things.
Think About It
Just imagine: how much better would your life be if you and your alters were working together in a loving and productive way? Meeting all of your headmates won’t instantly remove all of your system’s issues. That takes some time and work. But getting to know your alters will create an atmosphere where alters are finally safe and free to start their healing process. And when one alter starts to improve, the whole system improves with them.
Now that you know why meeting your headmates is so important, what can you do next? You can meet them! Check out our course, Meet The Alters, to get started!