Dissociative Identity Disorder
Multiple Personality Disorder
The following touching account Ė largely in her own words Ė is fairly typical of altersí experiences and as such it will help hosts and counselors better understand alters. It will also help alters feel less alone and is likely to encourage them to reach out to Jesus. Finally, we will examine these experiences in the light of Scripture.|
In this account, you are privileged to glimpse God, the Father of the fatherless (Psalm 68:5), in the process of healing his shattered daughter. You will see Jesus fathering someone who had not only been tragically starved of genuine parental love, but had been traumatized by having been sexually violated by her father.
I told Little One, an alter mentioned below, how privileged alters are to have such wonderful experiences with God. I explained to her that millions of Christians Ė myself included Ė never have such experiences, but would dearly love to have one. Later, Little One wrote to me with the sweetness that is typical of alters who have let Jesus relieve their pain:
I donít want anyone to feel bad because they donít have these times with Jesus. I want everyone to have these times, but Jesus said not everyone can at present. He has to treat people according to what they need to be better people and stronger in his kingdom.
His main point was that everyone is different, with different abilities and different needs. Thinking we should all be treated the same would be like expecting that if a mom wore glasses then all of her kids would need them. This could very well happen, but mom having glasses does not automatically make that true for every kid. He also explained that his reason for appearing to alters more than the average person is because people without alters either had the nurturing they needed from a parent or other adult or found a way to cope, whereas we did not.
Since we are now adults, we cannot expect people to fill our every longing left over from childhood. Could you imagine anyone sitting on my adult hostís bedside, reading her a bedtime story, cuddling her as she prays, and tucking her in, to meet the needs of the child within her? The only way for these needs to be met so that we who have alters can become the person he wants us to be, is if he meets them for us.
I understand this, but I still want everyone to have these times. Jesus said everyone who believes in him will, some day. If they donít in this life, they will after this life. He promised me that everyone will get to know him and have him as personally as I do now. That made me feel a little better, but I donít want anyone to be hurt. I canít wait until my Christian friends get to stand face to face with Jesus and feel his breath-taking embrace. I want so much to see their faces light up with his love. I imagine it is sometimes very hard for those who donít have it now, as it was for me when I didnít see him for all those years, but rest assured that if you hang in there, your turn will come.
A sexual abuse survivor in her twenties, along with the three alters mentioned below, have kindly let me share the following. I have changed their names to help them feel more secure.
Star is an alter who formed at age 9 and believes she is now 11. When she first e-mailed me she was very angry over the abuse she had suffered and she treated other alters badly. Her anger was partly a response to her deep inner pain but she was especially angry at a younger alter, Little One, because she blamed Little One for the horrible abuse Star has suffered.
Little One had been molested by her father. She had submitted to it because she had been desperate for her fatherís love and this was the only way he would give her any attention. At the time, Little One found the abuse mainly pleasant but she later repented of it and now has a beautiful relationship with Jesus.
Starís anger at Little One was because Little Oneís largely pleasant experience had lured Star into having a sexual encounter with another abuser. This encounter had begun by feeling nice but ended up being agonizing and terrifying.
Baby is an alter so young that she only recently said her first word Ė she called Jesus ďDaddy.Ē
Communicating mainly by e-mail, Star and I had worked through the anger issues and she was no longer hurting the other alters. To reach this point I had gently tried various things, but merely offering her a sympathetic ear was a significant factor. Throughout my interaction with her I kept mentioning how kind Jesus was and how much he could help her.
Star had observed that Little One had a wonderful relationship with God that she, too, would like, but she was frightened that Jesus would reject her. She had seen Little One enjoying times with Jesus but it seemed to Star that Little One got all the attention and she was ignored. I explained how gentle Jesus is and that he was being careful not to frighten her. I assured her that if she spoke to Jesus he would respond. More than just rejection, however, she was terrified that Jesus might molest her. She was frightened of all men, including me. I did my best to affirm that Jesus was safe and perfect and unlike any man, but she was still very scared. She said she did not want to approach Jesus alone. I suggested that she take Little One with her.
Soon after, I phoned Star. After some coaxing she agreed that she would meet with Jesus if I would go with her. Thinking it might help her feel more secure, I offered to hold her hand, but she did not want this. Her response came as no surprise, given the fact that Iím a man. Even though it was just by phone and I was literally half a world away, I always respect an alterís wishes. I always seek to empower alters and Iím encouraged that in every account alters have shared with me about encounters with Jesus, he has taken an identical approach.
Despite declining my offer to hold her hand, Star was still willing to proceed. So I simply prayed out loud. Largely for Starís benefit, but also because I usually fill my prayers with thanks, I thanked Jesus for being so tender, patient, gentle and kind, and then I asked him to come. After a few moments, Star mumbled something about Little One and then said that it was alright for me to end the phone call.
I was keen to know how it turned out. Hereís what Star e-mailed me next day about what had happened:
Jesus put his hand out for me like you did, but he was okay when I didnít want to take it. He led me to Little Oneís room. She had bunk beds, but they were separated so I could sleep in one. I was really scared and didnít want Jesus to come near me and he didnít. Instead, he sat on Little Oneís bed and took her in his lap. They cuddled as he read us a story. She hugged him, got into bed, and he tucked her in, kissing her cheek. She was so comfortable with him. Iíve never before seen anyone as gentle as him.
Jesus came to me and asked if I wanted him to tuck me in, too, and I let him. He was very careful to not move too quickly with me, or really touch me at all. He asked if he could give me a kiss goodnight. I was scared but told him he could, if it wasnít near my mouth, so he kissed my forehead. He promised he would be right outside the door if we needed anything and he turned out the lights.
I didnít sleep a lot, but I did some. (Usually, I hardly sleep at all.) I got up a few times and checked to see if he was really outside the door and he was. Sometimes he was sitting against the wall, other times he was up doing things, but he was always within sight of the door. Even with all the work he has, he never left us. He really stayed right there. I donít understand why he would do that for us.
Then this morning, Little One and I got up and we went to see where Jesus was. He was still right there. He asked us what we wanted to do. Little One wanted to play at a place that looked like a park. I sat on the bench and kept to myself, but watched them. Jesus pushed her on the swing and she went really high. Then they played on a thing that had slides, rope bridges, and a cargo net to climb on. Sheíd run around it and he would try to tag her. She was giggling and laughing. Sheíd squeal with delight when he got her. Sometimes, heíd catch her and tickle her is the kindest, safest possible way. He had a huge smile on his face. I sat there watching, longing to join in, but Iím still way too scared to ask to play. Iím still too scared to let him touch me. Iím scared if I let him tag me, he may later try to touch me down there. I donít want to be touched like that anymore. I donít want to be hurt again.
He didnít really say much to me. He didnít make me feel bad for being scared and not wanting to play. He just let me be, and then he took us to get ice cream. He let me get a big scoop of whatever kind I wanted. Then he brought us back and he went to take care of some work. He said he will be back tonight to read to Little One and tuck her in. He looked at me and said, ďIíd be overjoyed to read to you and tuck you in, too, if you want me to.Ē I just nodded. I want him to.
I liked it. He was so careful with me. I felt really special. He treated me like I was some prized possession and took great care to move slowly. He made me feel good about myself. Maybe I will be able to cuddle with him someday, like Little One. I want to, I just canít bring myself to do it.
Thank you so very much, Grantley, for taking me to him last night. Iím sorry I didnít want to hold your hand. Iím just really scared. I donít want to think you would hurt me, but Iím too scared to take that chance. Please donít be hurt by this.
Can I meet with you again sometime? Would you still hold my hand when I am ready? I still want so much to cry. I know I cried a little with you, but I feel like I have a lot more tears in me. Thank you for not laughing at me or making fun of me. You were so kind that if you werenít on the phone Iíd be terrified, wondering what you were wanting to get from me.
In Christian fairy tales, people have an encounter with God and thereafter life is bliss. In reality, progress is usually like learning to walk, with tiny achievements mixed with plenty of falls and tears. Each significant advance is later challenged by satanic counter attack, often taking the form of doubts and fears in a full-blooded attempt to lure us back to old thinking patterns and old ways of coping.
The next day, Starís fear of Jesus seemed as intense as ever. I spent about thirty minutes by phone trying to restore her confidence that Jesus was safe. Eventually, she asked if she could take Teddy with her when she met Jesus. I assured her that it would be fine.
ďDo you think Iím stupid for having a teddy?Ē she asked.
I didnít. I asked if Teddy had a name and asked what he looked like. I explained how a dear friend of mine has alters who need their dollies.
ďWhy are you so kind?Ē she asked at one point.
ďJesus is in my heart and I feel the love and respect for you that he feels,Ē I replied.
I had no intention of mentioning hand-holding but Star asked if she could hold my hand as we approached Jesus. I agreed and prayed out loud. I assume she saw Jesus because soon she said it was safe for me to hang up the phone.
Yes, it is important to show love, share wisdom, explain spiritual truths, and so on, but nothing we can do for an alter Ė or anyone else Ė can equal leading them to Jesus. This is critical not just as a one-off salvation experience but for healing, comfort, fellowship, revelation, and so many other needs that we have.
The next day, Starís host was feeling down. I spoke with her for a while and then asked to speak with Star. It turned out that after being with Jesus for a little while she had run away in fear. Now she was afraid that I would be disappointed with her, or maybe even angry with her, for running.
I assured Star that I was proud of her for meeting with Jesus despite her fear. I said that courage is a huge factor in healing. Real courage, I explained, is about pushing on despite strong fear and I declared that she was displaying that courage. I am very familiar with how timid alters are and how at first they will often only say a few words to me and then feel the need to withdraw. I assured her that she was making great progress. Then I pointed out that Jesus did not chase her when she ran away. I explained that he wanted her to feel safe and give her whatever space she felt she needed.
afterward I discovered that Star had sent me an email that I hadnít read before the call. Hereís what she had written:
I feel like I need to tell you that I ran away from Jesus. Please, donít be mad at me, but I just couldnít do it. He was too nice and it overwhelmed me. I already had crippling fear and when he was being so nice to me, I got beyond being able to function, even a little bit. I donít have words for the feeling, but it was horrible. I hope he will let me come back in a few days. I just canít do it right now. I know you had been proud of me for trying. Iím sorry for letting you down. Please donít leave me. Donít give up on me. Iíll work on it and try real hard. I just need a couple of days to get the courage to do it again. I hope you can understand.
I want to ball up in fear. I want to run away from you, too, before you leave me. Mary [Starís host] says you wonít, but I am scared you will. How can I make all this fear go away? It is more than I can handle. It is crushing me and there is nothing I can do. I keep hearing, ďGive it to Jesus,Ē but I canít get close enough to him. Iím still too scared of him. I donít want to live anymore. I canít stand this. Please, Grantley, donít leave me yet.
Soon after, she e-mailed, saying:
I donít want much to do with Jesus, but I do want to sleep in the room again with him outside. It made me feel a little better and I actually slept some.
You sense that Jesus makes you safer, and he really does protect you. He will never hurt you.
A few days later, Little One e-mailed saying:
Star is doing great. As you asked, Iíve been talking with her and trying to help her. She is still too scared to meet Jesus directly, but she is getting better. She sleeps in my room almost every night now. She isnít too scared to smile now when Jesus is around. Iíve seen a couple of smiles start to come out, especially at night when he comes to read and tuck us in. But a big step was the other day when we were playing on the floor and I wanted to go somewhere. Jesus picked me up. Then he put his hand out in her direction. She hesitated, but took his hand. I was so happy for her. I canít wait until she trusts him. It will be so cool for her.
Then Star wrote:
How can Little One be so intelligent? She is able to understand really complex stuff, yet she is only three and still does babyish things. She still clings to Jesus and loves being carried by him. She sucks her thumb and clutches a teddy bear almost everywhere she goes. I know I have a bear, too, but I donít take mine with me when I go somewhere.
Every alter is part of Mary [their host]. You each share not only the same body but the same brain. As alters lose their pain they begin to relax and find that they can access other parts of Maryís brain instead of needing to restrict themselves just to the memories and knowledge that they had at the time that they were ďborn.Ē By this they will suddenly, but very naturally, discover new skills and knowledge.
Nevertheless, everyone needs and deserves a good childhood. For years, you missed out on that but now God is giving you and Little One what you missed out on. Just as a little child needs and deserves not merely a monthís worth of hugs etc, but years of them, so does Little One.
Starís e-mail continued:
I am starting to like Jesus. He has tucked me in most nights and I even took hold of his hand the other day. Iím still really scared to let him touch me, but I am trying really hard to give him a chance. You keep saying that you are certain he is completely safe. Iím still terrified that he might try to touch me down there. I feel I have to wait until he leaves the room and closes the door before I can even close my eyes, and every time he opens it to check on us, I wake up in fear. Iím really trying to trust. I hope you can still be proud of me.
And so, Starís healing adventure and spiritual pilgrimage continues.
How does this Gel with the Bible?
Clearly these encounters had deep healing, emotional and spiritual benefits. But how do they line up with the Bible? Consider the following Scriptures:
Acts 10:10-13 . . .he fell into a trance. He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles of the earth and birds of the air. Then a voice told him, ďGet up, Peter. Kill and eat.Ē
Isaiah 6:6-7 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth . . .
Which of these biblical visions is less bizarre than Star eating an ice cream?
Is Ezekielís experience more believable than a traumatized girl in the process of returning to normality being calmed in her mind and bonding with her Savior by a vision of playing on a swing?
Is this more normal than Jesus playing tag with a love-starved girl?
In this webpage we have seen an aspect of the heart of God that is portrayed in:
Deuteronomy 1:31 and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.
Isaiah 46:3-4 Listen to me, O house of Jacob, . . . you whom I have upheld since you were conceived, and have carried since your birth. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
Psalms 37:24 though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
Isaiah 41:13 For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Psalms 22:10 From birth I was cast upon you; from my motherís womb you have been my God.
Hosea 11:3-4 It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms . . . I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love; I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
Isaiah 40:11 He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.
Throughout his earthly ministry, Jesus was forever staggering his followers by singling out for special attention those everyone else seemed to despise or ignore Ė children, gentiles, lepers, beggars, the immoral, the unclean, the luckless losers. In the light of Scripture, it is so typical of him to lavish his tenderness upon alters. I believe alters are so precious to him that it is a great spiritual honor to be used of God to minister to them.
Ezekiel 21:26 . . .The lowly will be exalted and the exalted will be brought low.
To Those Not Having Such Encounters in This Life
We all are called to live by faith. Even of those extolled as champions in the Hebrews Faith Gallery, it says, ďThese were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promisedĒ (Hebrews 11:39).
Peter, who could say, ď. . . we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. . . . We ourselves heard this voice that came from heaven when we were with him on the sacred mountainĒ (2 Peter 1:16-18) praised his readers with the words, ďThough you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy (1 Peter 1:8).
I am reminded of Thomas who had the chance to physically touch the glorified body of the risen Lord, and yet, instead of declaring him blessed, Jesus said, ďBecause you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believedĒ (John 20:29).
Most miracles in Scripture occurred only to people in dire need, or called to do scary things. No one receives a healing miracle without first being sick. If anyone on this planet deserves special attention for the healing required merely to reach what the rest of us take for granted, it is alters.
Everyone knows that people differ in their natural abilities, and 1 Corinthians 12 reveals that we also differ in our spiritual abilities. Since God is both the Creator of the natural and the supernatural, we can expect him to assign both natural and spiritual gifts to match our calling. It seems feasible that those called to have special ability to see into the spirit world are those most likely to be equipped with the mental powers required to respond to trauma by creating alters.
Living in a low rainfall area, I am well aware that water-deprived plants develop deep roots, whereas pampered plants fail in tough times. Too little or too much water will keep plants from their prime, and just how much is best depends on the type of plant and the conditions it will face in the future.
God treats each of us as individuals. He knows how to bring the best out of each of us.
In telling me about what Jesus revealed to her, Little One wrote:
He said that everyone is different and that in Old Testament times, although miracles and personal encounters made some believers very strong, most actually lost faith because of them. They took God for granted and didnít see a need to keep searching, growing, and learning about him. God reads peopleís hearts to see what will benefit them the most. He doesnít want to do anything that will cause someone to take him for granted, or lessen the craving to draw closer. Some people always want what they canít have and if he were to appear to them like he does to me, they would have what they had been seeking and would lose interest in chasing after him.
I see another factor as well: instead of treating us as clones, or turning us into ones, our Lord nurtures different strengths in different people.
People denied sight sharpen senses that remain underdeveloped in those who see. ďIf the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be?Ē (Corinthians 12:17). The body of Christ needs not only eyes but those who excel in other abilities.
Even when I am tempted to feel unloved relative to those granted special experiences, I must grit my teeth and take it by sheer faith that God loves me no less than those I envy. And I must cling to the fact that the One who is perfect in love is also perfect in wisdom and that being denied the things I crave is building a toughness into my character and honing gifts within me such that when all is revealed Iíll marvel with endless gratitude; praising him for all eternity for not pandering to my shortsighted presumption as to what is best for me.
For us to be envious of other Christians is like eagles wishing they had the powerful legs of an ostrich, or magnificent peacocks feeling inferior because they cannot fly like geese.
We each have a unique calling and we will be rewarded not for how many gifts we have been given but for how faithful we are with what is entrusted to us. The person who has little but is diligent with it, is headed for far more eternal glory than a less diligent person endowed with stunning natural and spiritual gifts.
Donít suppose that athletes with the toughest training regimes are cruelly treated. They are the ones who end up champions.
For more of Starís healing encounters see:
The following is just a sample of the help available. For a full list, see Christian Resources: Index of Help for Dissociative Identity Disorder
Godís Love for Alters A Word from Jesus to an Alter, For all Alters
© 2008 Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at www.net-burst.net Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.
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