Could ‘Sending Alters to God/Heaven’
Sometimes be Harmful?

By Grantley Morris

Christian Insights into Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personalities)

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Sending Parts, Personaities or Alters to God or Heaven

Superficially, ‘sending Alters to God’ seems ideal. After all, God is the healer. He understands our needs better than anyone else and knows us ever better than we know ourselves. He is safe, good, kind, warm, gentle, patient and understanding and the best friend anyone could ever have. Nevertheless, I worry about what some therapists might have in mind when they speak of ‘sending Alters to God or heaven’. My information is too vague for me to be critical and I have little doubt that everyone doing this has the highest motives. However, the practice could possibly be considerably less desirable than it initially seems; depending on what is actually happening and how it is perceived by the person experiencing it.

My guess is that some people might speak of ‘sending alters to God’ to describe something genuinely helpful, whereas others might apply the term to a quick ‘fix’ that brings a degree of relief but ends up significantly hindering healing.

Occasionally, people with a correct understanding and attitude train others who train still others and, somewhere along the line, one of them ends up doing things he/she believes are identical to the original trainer but something critical has been lost. So what people mean by ‘sending alters to God’ could vary from counselor to counselor. Their methods could also differ. Some might do it in a very gentle, reassuring way, whereas others might do it a way that is almost as traumatic and damaging as trying to exorcise an alter as one would a demon.

Moreover, even if an identical method is used, how alters interpret attempts to do this is likely to vary from alter to alter. Just as some alters mistakenly perceive talk of integration as an attempt to cause them to cease to exist, some alters could see attempts to ‘send them to God/Heaven’ as killing them.

Since God/Jesus is the ultimate healer and counselor, it is critically important to encourage alters to dialog with him and end up making him their best friend. I presume, however, that the expression sending alters to him means something that goes beyond this. Ideally – to use the terminology of one of my friends who has D.I.D. – people with Dissociative Identity Disorder should make Jesus an honorary alter. He should be invited to be continually present inside; relating to alters just as other alters relate to each other. If so, no alter needs to be ‘sent’ anywhere to relate to God.

If alters are treated as rejects (or even if they mistakenly conclude that this is how they are being treated) it will further damage their self-esteem, which has already been deeply battered by abusers.

Additionally, because abusers have often directly or indirectly taught alters that God wants them to be abused, many alters are terrified of God. Imagine, after having known horrific abuse, believing someone is about to send you to an omnipotent abuser. For such alters, this adds a significant level of trauma to ‘sending alters to God.’

In theory, of course, ‘sending alters to God’ is ideal. Our loving Lord obviously knows what is best, and he will return alters to the person at the perfect time. There is a serious complication, however. The good Lord knows it would be unacceptable for an alter to be returned to a hostile situation – one where the person despises the alter.

Each unhealed alter has not only unshared memories but has exclusive access to part of the person’s intellectual and emotional capacity. This includes not only memories but abilities. Losing contact with alters means losing contact with significant parts of one’s brain and this will keep people from reaching their full potential. Whereas Jesus’ parable of the talents is proof of how much God wants us to develop our abilities, to isolate alters is to do the exact opposite.

Moreover, if by ‘sending alters to God’ a counselor/therapist deliberately or inadvertently leaves the person with the impression that alters are just a nuisance that the person would be better off not having, he/she is likely to develop a hostile attitude toward alters. If so, it would force God to stop the healing process, i.e. to stop the alter from returning because, rather than facilitate healing, returning would only further traumatize the alter. Healing is not solely up to God. A person’s willingness to heal by lovingly accepting the alter is a critical aspect of healing.

A woman gave what seemed a beautiful inner healing testimony. I was particularly interested because someone had given me a vague hint that ‘sending alters to God’ might have been involved. The woman said that she could still recall what had previously been deeply distressing memories but the memories no longer upset her like they used to.

Genuine healing is like that; it is not the removal of memories (which would then render all the previous suffering little more than a useless waste) but it is the healing of memories so that they no longer bring distress. As I thought more about the testimony, however, I realized that I don’t know nearly enough about her therapy to know what was involved, but it could possibly have involved losing contact with what is sometimes called a feeler alter – an alter who carries memories of the emotional impact of certain past traumas. The loss of such an alter might seem desirable to people desperate for quick relief. It is like the amputation of an injured limb in that it might end some temporary problems but it means an on-going loss of wholeness. Feeler alters are not useless. God did not make a mistake when he gave us emotions.

Emotions are a significant part of our humanity. They are so important that they are something we share with God himself, and distinguishes us from lower lifeforms. The more we lose the ability to connect with our emotions, the more robotic and less human we feel, and the more we are robbed of passion, and other desirable things. Feeler alters need and deserve not to be banished, but to be healed of their fear, anger, inner pain, and so on, so that they can feel peace, joy, love and so on, and bring these blessings to other parts of the person.

Alters surface because they need healing. This surfacing is the mind rebelling against suppressing issues that desperately need resolving. It is making possible the soothing of wounds that desperately need attention. Each time a person becomes aware of a new alter, it is a significant step forward in the healing journey and something to rejoice in, despite the initially unpleasant feelings associated with it. To again lose contact with any such alter is counterproductive.

Since alters who have not had the chance to heal are in deep need, they will have issues and strong feelings that are unpleasant, one’s first instinct is to want the distress to disappear by suppressing or getting rid of the alters. That, however, just ends up continuing their pain.

Losing access to alters is not only not healing a person; it is perpetuating the horror of the fragmenting of the person’s heart and mind. It, therefore, is continuing to keep the person harmed by a significant portion of the damage inflicted by the abuser.

On the other hand, especially when a person is too distressed to adequately care for many needy alters, sending alters to God so that they are looked after exclusively by him, can be a helpful step in the healing journey, even though it is by no means the full journey.

As explained, each alter is unique and a vital part of your intellectual capacity. Each one is needed for you to reach your full potential. So alters who are with God must not be forgotten. You need them back again as soon as you are able to help them adjust to living on Twenty-First Century earth.

God, however is eager to take alters into his temporary, intensely personal care, if the person is not yet strong enough to do it himself/herself. It is not unusual for the alters of Christians to enjoy times in heaven, playing with God or receiving personal instruction or comfort from him. One child alter often played before the throne of God with several other, unrelated child alters, some of whom spoke languages that were foreign to her. One of their favorite games was playing with what seemed to be a harmless ball of fire. An alter I know once found herself in what seemed like a pleasant and private heavenly hospital ward in which Jesus sat on her bed and personally comforted her. Not surprisingly, such experiences are deeply healing. Encourage alters to feel loved of God and safe with him and to spend much time with him.

Wrote one alter in a written prayer:

    We hide in you. You have a secret place for alters and we know it is a safe place. . . . Daddy, thank you for loving and protecting alters. We would be in deep trouble without you, but we are with you and you love us.

It is not uncommon for a host to feel overwhelmed by the incessant demands of several needy alters. Such a person is able to enjoy respite by handing one or more of the alters over to God for a while.

With the help of her host, one of Alice’s younger alters wrote the following to one of Jake’s younger alters about the games God plays with her. Do not regard these games as trivial. Remembering that God never allows contact with himself to become sexual, imagine how healing and bonding to God, such experiences would be to a traumatized little girl who had never previously been allowed safe play, and for whom touch was usually painful, sexual, or both.

    God plays lots of games. My favorite is “Tickles”. I love it when he grabs me and spins me around, smiling and laughing. Then he gently tickles me and kisses my tummy. I squeal in delight.

    He dances with me too. I love to spin around in his arms and I feel so safe. We sing a lot together. I love to sing.

    We play hide and seek. He pretends he doesn’t see me and I pounce into his lap. Then he grabs me and cuddles with me. Or I call him and he surprises me with where he is. Sometimes he is behind me and that isn’t fair ’cos I don’t have eyes in the back of my head. He clowns around and we giggle and giggle.

On another occasion, Alice typed as God spoke to her little alter. Here’s part of what he said:

    Sweetie, you are my delight. I love alters. They are special people with special needs. When the world shuts them up I have a place in my heart for them. I love you and the times we play together are more than precious to me.

The Lord is far better at understanding and helping alters – and anyone else for that matter – than we are. Nevertheless, there is no avoiding it: people (alters included) need people. We have been divinely made that way. One host was so frustrated with his child alters that he sent them all off to God, hoping never to see them again. I understand his reaction. It was a huge trial for him. Some of the alters were not toilet trained. One wanted a pacifier and formula milk and couldn’t even speak. Imagine a grown man acting that way. In fact, his wife had left him because of it. nevertheless, the Lord made it clear to him that, respite breaks and special healing sessions aside, the man must care for his own alters. Seeing the wisdom of what God had told him, I pointed out to the frustrated host that he would remain fractured – and hence below his full, God-given potential – while his alters were not with him. God can heal in amazing ways but this man needed to bond with his alters, and they with him, for him to find true wholeness. Like any other human bonding process, spending considerable time with each other is essential.

There is much that people can do to help and comfort their own alters. In fact, when coupled with continually seeking divine help, I used to think that healing oneself should be the norm. However, an alter I had helped, wrote the following to a man who had alters. He sent me a copy, since I featured in it:

    Alters are lonely people. It is so much better not to suffer alone. I needed to talk to someone outside myself, not merely with the host I split from. I needed a safe place to say some very personal stuff and talk graphically about the things that hurt me. I needed to trust someone and to know that I could be accepted for who I am. For me, Grantley was that someone. This has helped me so much and I am grateful both to God and Grantley for their help.

Before reading this, I had been vaguely aware of the value of alters talking to people other than those who share their own body. Now that I have stopped to consider it, however, the importance is obvious. Someone in solitary confinement can, of course, talk to himself and God, and doing so would be invaluable. Nevertheless, anyone in this situation will develop a desperate need to talk to other humans.

This same alter explained why she would never reveal herself to a professional counselor. An alter’s most pressing need is for a friend, not a clinical healer or anyone paid to spend time with the alter. If you felt rejected and painfully lonely, would you pay someone by the hour to listen to you? Many of us would find that so hollow and humiliating that we would prefer to remain lonely! This alter believes she is typical of all alters in not wanting someone who, with an air of superiority, looks at her as a patient or a case study. She feels the same way about any do-gooder who might treat her as an object of pity or someone to be helped, rather than as a valued friend. An alter’s self-esteem is typically so low that it could barely endure such a put down. Alters need and deserve a genuine friend – someone who not only gives a listening ear and shares insights but who values their friendship. And this is not hard to do. I’m not surprised that someone who has helped large numbers of people with Dissociative Identity Disorder said he has yet to find an alter he didn’t like. Many alters need to be relieved of their pain, however, before they become likeable.

In summary: ‘sending alters to God’ must never, in the mind of a counselor/therapist, nor in the mind of any host or alter, be allowed to be conceived of as getting rid of alters. If, by ‘sending alters to God,’ one means having the alter isolated from the rest of the person, it needs to be done as gently as possible and with a view to restoring the alter back to the person as soon as possible.

Full healing requires the return of every alter so that you are no longer bereft of all that each alter has to offer. To understand the importance of this, see Why You Desperately Need Every Alter.

Related Pages

God, Counselors & Inner Healing

For much more insight and help, see:
Christian Resources: Index of Help for Dissociative Identity Disorder

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Grantley Morris:

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