Karen answers Cheryl

Comment by Cheryl on March 10, 2009 11:47 pm

Did any of your multiples ever come out when you were with friends who you trusted and were comfortable with? If so did they notice or comment?


Dear Cheryl,

My alters never came out when I was with someone I trusted unless there was a reason for one of them to defend me.  It’s hard for most  to understand the complexity of a multiple’s life.  My alters would appear whenever I felt threatened, and would come out only when they felt the need to protect me.  It’s difficult to explain what I mean by “me” here.  I would switch when the alter that was out felt threatened or was incapable of handling the situation that arose.  That was how I would survive each and every day.

There is a fallacy regarding why an alter is born and how each alter affects the life of a multiple.  Alters are meant to help the multiple system cope with reality in a less directly devastating way by dividing up what is threatening among the multiple parts.

My alters never appeared unless they sensed stress within me.  For instance, I had a friend–not really someone I liked, but I had befriended her because one of my alters chose her. She always annoyed me with her pessimism.  I would tolerate her for short periods of time before feeling ill at ease. Once I felt I didn’t want to be there anymore, an alter would sense trouble and I’d switch.

There’s a feeling that comes over a multiple before switching, a slight faint feeling, a feeling as if in a tunnel or a falling elevator.  I’d feel exhausted and try to excuse myself.  If I no longer wanted to “stay”, the correct alter would subtly remove me from the situation and take my place. 

Most of my friends would only see me as they knew me. With the help of my alters, I would become the person each friend needed me to be.

Thanks for your interesting question.



1 Comment

  1. Karen,

    What do you do with the uncertainty that surrounds life in general these days? How does someone like you get comfortable with the ambiguity of the world?


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