-even though puppies are Katie’s fave, she’s just an animal person overall. and she adores our kitty Thomas more than anything. this couldn’t NOT remind us of her.-
insiders: Katie Janessa // 6
-minus the cigarette (usually), and with a little different hair, that is awfully close to our Morganne in lotsa ways. it just, overall, resembles the vintage girl inside of her. her glasses are actually rectangular, but these kinds of frames always just seem to get at a bit of her overall personality more.-
insiders: Morganne Zirell // 17
Furthermore I say “what even” because there are so many fakers on here and it all just seems like glorified fantasy.
[Later] I realize my question about object alters probably sounded harsh so I’m sorry but I’m really curious about your take. Unless you’re waiting for kristie to come back to answer.
Hi there. I’m sorry it took so long for us to get to this one; Syd was really waiting for someone else to field this because she felt ill-prepared to share anything that might be disagreeable to someone else.
So, let me at least first say that I really understand and actually can empathize with your doubt or your belief that some of these inhuman alters are just incredulous at this point. I think that feeling is common in a lot of people without the disorder looking in and even in those who have DID. Inhuman alters are a hard concept for anyone to grasp; it makes for so many questions and “hows” and “wait, what??” moments. So, I don’t think you’re cruel for being unsure. It’s hard to fathom how that could logistically work in a mind. ”If you are a human, how is your mind shared with a wolf mind? What even is a wolf’s mind LIKE inside? How does anyone know? ….and why don’t you walk on all fours in the body? Do you snarl and bark randomly?" See, I do get where the doubt for even ONE person can stem from, let alone a growing community. It’s really hard to wrap your mind around. Then, the fact that the answers to those questions will also vastly differ from one system to the next, doesn’t really settle that WTF feeling you can get. It’s also hard, even in the absence of inhuman alters, to trust everything going on in tumblr. Since there really are iatrongenic cases of DID, people just craving attention, or those wanting to have fun (not realizing the harm they’re doing to others), it’s hard to know who to trust. I have absolutely zero guidelines or opinions on who’s faking, who’s not, and my opinion varies from instance to instance on what one should do if they feel they’ve found a farce. So, I absolutely can’t comment on that aspect of the question — but I can comment on my generalized thoughts on inhuman alters.
The broadest statement that I can make is that I absolutely 100% believe in and recognize the function that inhuman alters can have in a system. We even have one “not fully human” alter ourselves (though she’s “human passing”). I know many instances where systems have faeries, witches, robots, ghosts, angels, and/or monster-like creatures. Alters like this tend to be more common and more likely because they are “human-like”. They have arms and legs, are usually bipedal, and -even though they are a little “special”- much of their thoughts and actions would be quite similar the the processes within a human’s thought and speech. I’m aware of other systems who legitimately have wolves, dragons, kitties and other animal-like beings. This is possible and very real, but less common. I believe it’s much less common because the mind might not be able to as seamlessly benefit from the functions being inhuman may offer that system bc of some of the challenges. How does a kitten speak? How will we walk? Can they ever come forward? Does a dragon think/respond like a human? Etc. But, I’m confident that in these instances each system can find that the benefits outweigh the confusing pieces and can work around them. (Not as if they could do anything about it even if it wasn’t beneficial; the creation process wasn’t conscious or elective. They couldn’t change it if they wished.) I’ve also read of systems having inanimate object alters, too. Rocks, trees, etc. I have never met someone with alters like that, but I could also see their value even if I can’t comprehend how it would work daily. … What it really comes down to is that…alters are created to help the body create the greatest psychological distance from trauma as possible. Sometimes that comes in the form of an unconscious thought pattern of “This isn’t happening to me, I’m a boy, not a girl." "…I’m an adult, not a child." "…I’m strong, not weak.” This is how alters who are greatly different from the actual body often come to be. The absolute same is true for inhuman alters “…because I’m a robot, not a human." "…because I’m dead, not alive; I’m a ghost." "…because I’m an animal, not a little girl." Not being human can offer that system and that person SO much distance, so much strength, so much relief even. ”Glorified humans” especially. The androids, faeries, angels and human-like beings that happen to have extra, special abilities that humans don’t possess. Robots don’t have to feel, they don’t have to know pain. They can just help that person store and process data and not have to be in touch with their suffering. Andriods can have a detachment to their surroundings while still being able to carry out life’s tasks; they may keep that person functional without having to “connect” to the world on a deep level. Witches and beings with “powers” may give that person a sense that they have more control over situations than they do (or than they got to have in their trauma). If they can cast spells and do magic, they aren’t powerless. Dragons and wolves and other animals may provide that system with superhuman levels of bravery and protection. They may feel like they have courage they wouldn’t ordinarily have. Or, perhaps they’re an alter only meant to ever function inside. ….and there, they actually DO protect. They physically protect the other system members from harm internally. They have abilities to keep parts safer, which another “average human” could’t provide them with. A rock or a tree may instantly fill that person with a sense of being rooted and grounded and unmoving. They may suddenly feel steady in times where they would normally be so riddled with panic and shrinking insecurity — but instead, they feel tall and steady on their feet. Another human alter’s emotions may have gotten the better of them too in certain circumstances and ‘failed’ them, too. Others may offer an eternal optimism or positive attitude easily lost in trauma recovery, special healing properties to make parts well, the non-necessity for sleep in order to function, and/or other things that come in handy for the co-morbid disorders that often run alongside DID.
So, all of that is to say I ABSOLUTELY see the value in these kinds of parts. I understand fundamentally why they come along in the first place from the perspective of their pure psychological makeup. ….but I also understand what they can offer a system longterm. …what they continue to offer for years and years that no other “regular human alter” could provide. I validate their existence and their importance whole-heartedly. And then I have additional compassion for them because they must struggle a great deal for being so “different” and disbelieved all the time. ……..but, it is rare. It’s NOT something you will see everywhere. Out of a group of multiples only a couple may have a non-human alter, let alone a few within one system. It’s not the most common leap for the mind to make during trauma (“that I’m ——, not a human), when there are so many other common threads that would supply distance. So, as is true with anything rare or uncommon, when we suddenly see it all over the place, skepticism is going to creep in. I’m even MUCH more inclined to believe in “human-like alters” quicker than I am the other varieties. …and that’s purely from a statistical standpoint in my mind that is supplying cues my intuition. It’s not because I have reason to doubt that person or think there’s any dishonesty going on; I just tend to side with probability. But, the more I may talk to a person with the lesser common inhuman alters, you can often get a feel for their validity just by the way they speak of them (and the way the speak of DID in general). Do they understand the disorder or not? Do they even recognize that they’re “unusual” compared to many with DID? If not, you can sometimes gather that maybe someone is putting you on. If you’re unsure, maybe you can ask the person to describe what that alter offers them as a system. What can they do for them all that a human couldn’t. ….and if they can only tell you the things that are “cool” about “what neat powers they have” and what they can do in that sense, as opposed the the psychological impact their presence has on them as a whole, you may have found someone who just wanted to be special. And, even if that’s the case, that doesn’t mean they don’t have DID. The rest of their system may be completely legit and some aspect of them may have felt inclined to embellish things bc they felt they needed a “cool” part or something more interesting about them. That can certainly happen around here when one feels their system isn’t “special enough” compared to others. Or, perhaps they just WISH so badly (for just themselves) that they had someone inside who could do those things for them that they went ahead and invented them online just to vicariously imagine what life would be like if they were real. So, I wouldn’t globally deduce that someone’s “a faker” if some part of their inhuman alter isn’t checking out.
I’m sorry this wasn’t more helpful in helping you know what to make of the prevalence of these kinds of alters rapidly showing up left and right on tumblr. It is unusual given their rarity, but I’ve not witnessed the growth and “absurdity” that you have firsthand myself. It very well might be out of hand and I just have failed to run into it yet. Still, I wanted to offer my basic thoughts and at least validate the very real and necessary presence inhuman alters can bring a system. I completely validate their existence overall as something that can happen in DID. The only thing I can’t offer much on is the widespread increase of them showing up online. …and, like I said, I’m certainly not one to have thoughts on what one should do if they sense someone is being dishonest about their system since absolutely every instance is different. I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful in that department, but I can still also validate your concern there as well. It’s a tough spot, it really is; and, on the more global issue, that’s been tough around here for a long long time :( I can only hope, along with you, that things eventually to get clearer and the need for ‘DID make-believe’ or embellishment dies down verrrrrrry fast.
-just reminds me of Syd. not a 100% match, but very close in several ways.-
insiders: Sydney Rebekah // 28
-this photo just reminds me of what I’ve seen for so many weeks now, of our Kristie, always in some form of a bed recovering physically (and mentally when possible). ….it also looks a great deal like me, who also had the same fate for a good while there. it’s not a pleasant memory, but I can only pray she’s actually gotten some rest now. i’m not optimistic about that, but I can still only ever hope.-
insider(s): Kristie and/or Nikhi // 26
-if the curls were a little looser and the hair a touch darker brown, that sweet face would be our Katie J if I ever saw her-
insiders: Katie Janessa // 6
-the way I remember Annie’s first calm moments when I didn’t have to hold her back anymore. …or the calm before those moments came. i think i’ve seen a few too many glimpses of that same young, vulnerable look in her eyes lately. we love when she feels a little softer and less guarded, but it terrifies her to be forced to feel that way. …makes her feel weak. …and means she’s in a terrible, struggling place. and i don’t want that for her. ..not for a day longer.-
insiders; DOWNSTAIRS: Annie Lorelei (late teens; currently 30)
-now, Addie doesn’t have any tattoos of course; but seeing a very Addie-like girl with Addie-like linens, with a tattoo on her arm, reminds me of how she must sometimes feel in our inked-up body. ….that…AND the overwhelming exhaustion. poor sweetheart.-
insiders: Adelle “Addie” Sedonah // 17
-interesting. that looks like bare-faced me. i have two others saved here, too. it’s odd seeing reflections that resemble what I should look like at my age a little closer. i still haven’t quite ‘gotten there’, but imagine i will. still, with a little more jagged shag in the front, that’s yours truly atm-
insiders: Nikhi Janae // 26
Hi there :) I’m sorry to hear that you’re struggling with OCD. It can be such a vicious and hella-frustrating disorder. This question’s a little bit hard to answer because our obsessions have not only changed over the years, but they’re different from one alter to the next. So, I’ll mention some of the ones throughout the years and now but they’ll all be collectively across the board. …but bear in mind that they aren’t all in “full force” all the time because sometimes that may only be designated to a certain part for when they’re forward/closeby.
When our OCD first really showed itself, we were about 6 years old and it was extreme. We were super, super phobic about disease. It had a lot to do with germs, too, but it was mostly disease and contamination as a whole. …things deeper than just germs that cause smaller infections or with cleanliness/sterilization. The frustrating part was that a lot of these things we feared weren’t even communicable — and we knew that, even at age 6 — but it didn’t matter. We still feared and avoided contact with any and everything we thought might be a pathway to contract it. (Which, often just meant touch, breathing the same air, or being physically “in line” with an ill or visibly disabled person [this includes on television].) Naturally, that’s completely irrational, but it was the idea of things being “contaminated” (even through the airwaves and then surrounding oxygen a television program was being broadcast from) was our bigger issue. The same is kind of true with death. We had infinite things and intrusions of “If I do this/touch this/say this/etc, I (or someone I love) will die…”. Sometimes that meant instantly, or they’d contract an illness and die. Things along this line existed for a very, very long time and ruled our life. We constantly avoided things we deemed unsafe, threw away clothes or items that were “contaminated” (often in secret because I was only a child and would have been scolded for throwing things away), having full blown panic attacks in public places, or (and this sounds so sadistic) reality testing my concerns by making another person do the same thing I just did to see if they feared it or were okay/lived through it. That last one sounds so messed up, but I was like 6 or 7 and clearly not rationally thinking and instead frantically fearing and trying to assess my imminent death.
As a kid and even now we’ve always had obsessions with numbers. They have meaning and value to us that cannot be explained. But I guess one of our stranger compulsions that you don’t hear often is that we sometimes would sit in a room, pick the first number that popped into our head and then have to gather that many new numbers by assigning them a value by objects in the room. …the first things that came to mind. For example, the number of flat furniture surfaces, the number of ceiling tiles, the number of rectangles on a certain object, the number of a certain kind of desk/chair combo, the number of windows with blinds drawn, annnnd the number of green shirts being worn. Then, I’d have to take that collection of numbers and work and work and work until I found a mathematical equation with those numbers that eventually got down to 0. I HAD TO GET DOWN TO ZERO…..ooooorr I COULD NOT LEAVE THE ROOM. No joke. I had to find a way to get to zero or I couldn’t leave. And, this started when I knew very few mathematical equations. There were a couple extra “rules” in my brain (because, as I’m sure you can imagine, some combinations of numbers will just….never arrive at zero, no matter how you arrange them). But, it was a compulsion that was very real and there were several times where I was in school or a public place and panicking sooooo badly, being demanded to leave and I couldn’t budge. Not until I solved the puzzle. ….and I certainly couldn’t tell them why I was “stuck”. It was TERRIBLE.
Thennn are some more common ones. We have serious trouble with things being asymmetrical, crooked, or not aesthetically balanced or pleasing. Things have to be arranged in a certain way or organized in ways that sometimes only make sense to me - other times they’re more common (height, alphabetical, numerical, color, group). My closet is colour coordinated, along with other groupings. We have gotten better with this one, but still often cannot control the compulsion to fix something that’s wrong or just absolutely CANNOT tolerate the anxiety of it not being done “right” the first time.
When we were heavy in our eating disorder, it heavily relied on obsessions and compulsions. The numbers especially. Weights had more “value” than just numbers. The numbers had “meaning” to us and there were compulsions that said we HAD to be on one number but couldn’t be on another (even if it was lower). Similarly the calories. The amount, but every tiny minuscule amount had to be accounted for and measured. Then the terrible “contamination” idea reared its ugly head again to where it wasn’t about the food or calories but that we were unclean/impure/dirty/sick if ANYTHING was in us. It was a nebulous concept and intrusive belief as opposed to one fueled by our overall weight/calories in items.
There have been times when tapping and counting movements as we did them was a big obsession. It was often an unconscious act, but then began to feel terribly wrong if I didn’t do them. We’d often have to end on a certain count or a certain “feel”, or we’d have to continue or go back and do it again. That one still exists in a very mild form and, thankfully, didn’t dominate our life negatively as badly as some others. It was just kind of “there”.
We still have a lot of other mild things that are hard to identify. We struggle with dirt/cleanliness but not in the germ-phobic way. We struggle with textures and repetitive noise (more because they trigger obsessions as opposed to being one). I’m sure there are COUNTLESS others, but it’s almost as if I’m/we’re not aware of it until it comes up. But there are infinite things in our day that need to be “just right” and if they aren’t, our anxiety spikes. OH! Duh. One of the largest ones is absolutely routine. We have daily routines (especially for session days). We constantly eat the same things (though often not in the same order anymore). But we get in patterns daily/weekly/monthly and cannot get out of them. It makes spontaneity very hard. BUT! I will say that this has abosuuuuuutely improved SOOOOO much over the years that it’s why I forgot about it. Knowing that I COULD go out and do an unplanned activity and enjoy it, or accidentally wake up late and not have to cancel EVERYTHING for the day (though, we will have a small panic attack), or go in to get our favourite beverage/ice cream and it not being available without having any trouble (aside being sad about it), or have an entire weekend unplanned or maybe even go on a week long vacation etc and not have a huuuuuge meltdown??? That’s enough to make me completely forget it’s still a problem for us because it’s SO drastically improved. We’ll have a lot of anxiety before some more ‘spontaneous’ or out of the ordinary things, but we can do it. And even truly, authentically enjoy it instead of only grin and bearing it through the anxiety like before. We can eat new things and try new stuff and handle unexpected interruptions without huge meltdowns. But….there’s no hiding that we live a very, very, very routine life and WILL hesitate with at least wide eyes if someone suggests we deviate from that. And, we do try to not HAVE to veer from that routine if we don’t have to. ;)
I’m sure after I post this I’ll think of a MILLION more things that we’ve struggled with and continue to struggle with. Some insiders might just be hiding out a bit and keeping some of our bigger struggles from my memory in the moment just so I don’t post it :D
I wish the best with your recovery. I strongly do. Even though we still have some big obsessions/compulsions (one of them being having to go through all our messages/emails and not missing a SINGLE one, lol), I can’t even begin to tell you how much we’ve drastically improved through the years. So, there IS ABSOLUTELY HOPE!!! Hang in there <333
Just a collection of some of the really really sweet anons that we just wanted to offer our sincerest thanks. I’m sorry if it seems less genuine because it’s been grouped with others, but we didn’t want to neglect them. Sometimes when there’s an influx of kindness, we’ve gotten in a bad habit of saving kind anons for ourselves in our folders, but never publicly thanking you because we don’t want to clog dashes. So, we thought this was a happy medium with the recent ones. They really reallyyyyyy mean so very much to us. …..and it means the world to us that you take the time out of your day to share these wonderful thoughts with us. THANKYOU. <3333 You are the ones who make this blog forever worth it!!
I have variations of the religion question literally seven times in my inbox atm. So I’m going to combine them ALL along with this longer one: Could you list out your Christian alters and atheist ones? I think that’s interesting. How does that work internally? or otherwise. What is Kaalyn?
So I’ll list every variation of faith to catch both questions:
kids: traumatically under the grips of a [non-satanic] cult we were raised in. they’re too terrified and traumatized to allow themselves to consider, let alone believe, in anything else. this is also true for a few pre-teens — particularly Izzi (13), and Ryan (14) who is very very very on the fence of considering something else but petrified - as that was the age we left.
kids only around for trauma: no faith and zero awareness of any sentient beings or belief systems at all
Christian (devout): Jordan (10), Sarah (12), Addie (17), Rachael (28)
non-denominational Christian/belief in God and Christian themes but not “religion” as a structure: Abby (15), Kristie (26), some of the kids who occasionally feel safer to try on those ideas now - like Charlie and Molly
agnostic/explorative in other religious ideas: Jaimee (11), Morganne (17), Nikhi (26)
faithless, but not atheist: CJ (18), Landon (19), David (29) - though he has bouts of atheism
spiritual/earthy/hints of buddhist ideals: Sydney (28), Sinead (28), also where Morganne often falls
atheist: Kyle (17) Jessa (20), Annie (30), Jason (31) - possibly Seth and Dan. we also don’t know about Jesse or Peyton
So, those are all the different belief systems within us and who subscribes to them. As for how those things developed within one part, it kind of differs between alters. Religion has been a very, very complicated thing inside for us because, as briefly stated, we were raised into an extremely twisted, controlling, brainwashing cult. Even having a stray thought about some other belief system was supposedly enough for eternal damnation and we were acutely aware of that. So, we never had any chance to think for ourselves and the even very moment of hesitation where we’d wonder or think about OTHER PEOPLE’S belief systems was enough to paralyze us with fear that we’d sinned, we didn’t even know anything *about* other people’s religions growing up. To this day I’m constantly learning things that other people have known or done or took part in since they were practically infants that I never heard of or knew about. So, when the splitting of alters began, they were naturally created with that way of believing inside of them because my brain wasn’t even *aware* of anything else. But, for some parts, they knew right away that they were averse the ‘religion’ we belonged to enough to be detached from it even early on (mostly those Downstairs). At age 14 is when we first started learning about other belief systems and that’s where you start seeing some changes in alters (at least as far as how they were right when they *got* here; clearly some younger than 14 have since arrived at their own faith). Some ‘came’ with their own hardened beliefs, others maybe felt a pull inside of them to view the world in one way or another and over time soon found themselves aligned with and identifying with that more specific belief system. Some have always been averse to God but were surrounded by others who felt SOME connection to some greater being, so they kept up a pretty good act for a couple years. ….but as it became safer inside to have differing opinions, their atheism or agnosticism came through. Others are still just poking around, learning about other ways of thinking and of connecting to the earth and universe, and seeing what they connect to most. A few have actually shifted even since their first “shift”. Kristie herself used to fall more in that ‘devout Christian’ category after the first doesn’t-need-to-be-named religion. But by about age 22, that became an apathetic relationship to God and even a bitterness. Lately she’s just indifferent. ….kinda like how I have always been. I think there’s some god. I identify with some of the christian ways of thinking but am so fucking nauseous by the idea of “religion” and the ways people interpret the Bible that I just don’t even give a fuck and I don’t want to associate myself with that. I *personally* find myself even dipping into agnostics and atheism at times, but in terms of Kristie she’s just really reallllly apathetic right now. Terrible experiences have left SUCH a bitter taste in her mouth she doesn’t even want to see a *verse* quoted somewhere, let alone actively pursuing some relationship with God. She’s really bitter and honestly angry with the God she believed in since she was 14. For now she think she’ll eventually still find herself back in the non-denom Christian category, but is very aware that may even change. It should be noted that, in flbks, even SHE still has moments where the brainwashed beliefs we were raised under strike her cold and she’ll have a full-blown panic attack convinced she’s all but about to be struck down right then and there. It’s really fucked her up for good. Many of us are continually open-minded. We aren’t convicted in our beliefs, just hold them and will discuss them openly; but, we’re aware that with more life lived and more information acquired, that they may change. Others are pretty strong in their way and won’t budge.
How this works inside is very complicated. Mostly? It just doesn’t get talked about and we try to stay as neutral as possible in discussions. And, that’s just not for “keeping the peace“‘s sake….but because, with religious trauma, it can be hugely triggering to us. ….and about half our system can be triggered which is just not worth it. We tend to deal with our vast differences of opinion rather civilly, but as you can imagine, religion can certainly sway what one does with their body and life. And, that’s caused problems. ….particularly in the Christian department and our truamatized kids’ dept. Naturally things like ‘sex before marriage’ caused a big problem inside for while. The same was true for how much we swear. Drinking any alcohol, and especially when we had our addiction to drugs in the picture; there were all sorts of difficulties there. For some, tattoos and piercings were even hard. Oh, duh, and the biggest one, our sexuality. Then are of course the logistics about going to church or not, etc. In most of those cases we’ve just had to do a loooooottttt of internal communication about it. Lots of compromises, lots of sharing of opinions, lots of “trying it one persons way” and then another’s…just to see what worked best and to be fair to all. There’s no way, in one answer, to explain how we’ve worked through that. But, at least as far as attending church or how we ‘practice faith’ in terms of what the body does, for now (no matter how much someone inside may want to) we know that it is sooooo much more disruptive to our kids (and our flbks) in the religious trauma aspect of things that we just can’t. The same is true with anything relative to holidays and politics and other forbidden things we were born under. We just can’t engage in celebrations and other things that have to do with patriotism or anything political so as not to trigger them. Holidays themselves are already triggering enough for them just because they exist, we don’t need to go making their safer days harder, or their triggering days worse. Maybe one day if we get through some of that with them, there will be greater freedom to be able to do some of those things — and when that time comes we’re going to have to reevaluate what is best for us as a whole.
I know this was hugely confusing and I myself have a headache trying to weed through it all (maybe that’s just because it’s so triggering to many?). ….but I hope this offered to SOMETHING. (To the seven or eight of you that have asked variations of this question.) Forgive the abrupt ending; I just happened to hit my saturation point on this one. xo
I realize I/we haven’t tended to our ask box in awhile, so I began the other day with hitting the pile. I hope that you don’t mind that I try to tackle several more for the next two hours perhaps. My apologies if I clog your dash. (Though, as usually happens, people don’t usually see THIS message until after they’ve been scrolling through blocks of text or some other mess of posts and getting wildly annoyed at that person.) Bear with us? We’re trying very hard not to neglect our anons and have the rest of our day off.