Alter personalities

Each alter will be unique with it's own way of being based on the relationship with the original abuser and the roles that need to be filled within the system. Particular items such as age and gender, as well as their behavior are indicative of what the person needs to integrate. [6]

Types of Alters

The three types of protector alters
1• Fight alters respond to both internal and external perceived threats. They are defensive and avoid attachment, dependence and emotional needs. [6] They will often inflict injury upon themselves and others in the system, including the host and they usually have an unrealistic view of their power to protect. [6]

2• Persecutory alters often cannot tell an inner threat from an external one and can believe themselves to be the original abuser, acting out the drama by abusing others inside as they perceive their original abuser would have done. [6]

Both of these types of protectors are responsible for what is commonly seen as eating disorders, substance abuse, self harm and other destructive behaviors. In adulthood, the protectors perspective changes and they see the various states that act as host to be the threat, instead of the original abuser (who is probably mostly out of their life at this point). Their primary function is still to protect the system, but now protect against the, usually unaware host. They have the ability to use many methods to stop anything they perceive as a threat to the system. [12]

3• All other protectors tend to be caretakers, who for the most part, focus on the care of others, both inside and out - while neglecting their own needs. Caretakers are introjects, real or fictional, of who the child perceived as caring; these parts are usually named after who or what they represent. [12]

Alters in the role of an introject
An introject is a construct formed outside of consciousness, created some time ago, which consists of two parts: a child part and the "mask" of the introjected part. We can safely assume this nature for hostile introjects. Hostility is always an acquired trait. More than that, it always has an altruistic goal: system protection. Many introjects take on the role of gatekeeper, who's job is to keep those in the system from coming forward. [4]

Other typical alters
The identity of each part created in childhood was influenced by the relationship with the original abusers, yet the types of alters seen in people with Dissociative Identity Disorder fit into certain descriptions such as: twin parts who might be seen as good and evil, and those with deformities and handicaps where the handicap might represent a forbidden act such a listening, talking or seeing, and [4] managers who take on the task of organizing the inside world. Also common are animal and inanimate objects as alters. [4]

Many alters are "stuck in trauma time"[6] and due to this they are "exiled" by others in the system; others do not want to hear or know of the trauma. [53]] Some alters can be pushed so far from consciousness, that other alters think they are dead. Alters cannot be killed however, so these parts can be brought out to be worked with at a later date. [4]

Inner-self helpers (ISH)
These parts might just be the most interesting of all. There can be more than one in a system, but this is mostly the case just in larger systems. ISH's will often describe themselves as not having a body, unlike all the "other" alters. They might appear savant like, but keep in mind that they can only answer the best they can. Consider a confident child who will correct others when they feel they are right, but this confidence does not make their answer any more correct. Some ISHs appear robot-like, while others are angel-like and so on, but however they present, they usually know they are the ISH, and that their job is to observe the inner world. They do not normally come out, until they are directly coerced to do so. [64]

trauma and dissociation


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