Finding Your Insiders / Alters

Getting Alters to Speak with You

The following is important to everyone with Dissociative Identity Disorder: from those who are certain they thoroughly know their every alter, right through to those in the frustrating position of being unable to contact any of their alters. This webpage was originally crafted specifically for those in the latter extreme, so if you currently know none of your alters, this webpage will help change that. My goal, however, is not just to get you started but to help you keep the momentum going.

It is so common that it might even be the norm for people not to know they have alters until they are middle-aged or even in their seventies. This makes perfect sense, since the main reason for Dissociative Identity Disorder is to keep secrets from oneself.

You will spend most of your healing journey knowing some of your alters and needing to know still more. So please do not despise those parts of the webpage – especially the early sections – that assume you already know some alters. Later parts of the webpage will help you with the basics. From the moment you contact your first alter, however, those sections that currently seem advanced will quickly become relevant.

I seek not just to give you some methods and then expect you to mindlessly follow them. I want to empower you with a deep understanding of what makes alters reluctant to reveal themselves so that you will be able to apply your own intelligence and skills to this challenge. The first part of this webpage is designed to motivate you to find alters but if you wish to start with how to find them, skip to Ways of Discovering New Alters.

Don’t Presume to have Discovered All Your Alters

It is much harder to find if you don’t seek. If you have been on the healing journey for quite some time, a very common reason for not seeking is thinking that you have already discovered your every alter.

Once alters start revealing themselves, it is typical for them to appear one after another in fairly quick succession, and then go for weeks or months with no more new ones appearing. This pattern is likely to lull you into the presumption that there simply are no more alters. You are quite likely to reach this mistaken conclusion dozens of times before your every alter has revealed himself/herself.

Other than rare, supernatural revelation, I know of no way anyone can be sure if every alter has surfaced.

Understand How Critical it is to Find Your Every Alter

Since one of the biggest hindrances to finding new alters is simply having little desire to find them, let’s briefly examine from three different angles what makes finding every alter so vital.

    1. The Positive Benefits of Befriending Every Alter

    If you let them heal, all of your alters, without exception, will end up being amazing friends and confidantes and helpers. They are the key to you finding peace and fulfillment and achievement. Only through helping them will you find the true end to guilt feelings, fear and inner pain.

    You might long to keep suppressed within you horrific memories and/or awareness of your current emotional reaction (such as fear, pain or shame) associated with those unhealed memories. For as long as a part of you has memories and/or emotional reactions that you have no access to, however, you will be unable to find true peace and healing. Unpleasant feelings will be nagging away at you just below the surface of your consciousness. And, alarmingly, you will be unable to access significant parts of your brain that store this information. Additionally, if you have an alter you have little interaction with, those parts of your brain that you have lost access to almost certainly hold not just memories and emotions you would rather ignore but invaluable skills and intellectual abilities that will make life easier and more fulfilling than you dare hope.

    Of course, not everyone has every ability, but people with Dissociative Identity Disorder are likely to feel certain they do not have certain abilities and yet have those very abilities locked away in a part of their brain that is currently controlled by another alter. These abilities could already be quite developed but, if not, they can be developed at remarkable speed.

    I am not sure that you can grasp how passionately I wish I had a fraction of the potential for intellectual development found in people who are beginning to discover their alters. For me to not have Dissociative Identity Disorder but to know so many people who do, is like a starving person who cannot eat, acting as a waiter at a feast. I would be out of my skin with excitement if I discovered I had alters.

    The possibilities are almost limitless and will vary from person to person but the following are some examples that someone with Dissociative Identity Disorder might discover. By connecting with his or her alters, a person might end up with remarkably improved:

      * Eyesight (Example)

      * Manual dexterity

      * Ability to use the non-dominant hand

      * Surefootedness, such as ability to climb rugged terrain

      * Athletic ability

      * Short-term or long-term memory

      * Musical ability

      * Speed reading skills

      * Creative cooking

      * Mathematical ability

      * Direction finding and navigational skills

      * Ability to thoroughly enjoy marital relations

      * Grammar and spelling

      * Creative writing

      * A flair for public speaking

      * Sense of humor

      * Linguistic ability

      * Artistic ability

      * Dress sense

      * Parenting skills

      * Ability to handle stress

      * People skills

      * Freedom from certain phobias

      * Spiritual abilities such as spiritual warfare

      * Intimate experiences with God

    I have no idea which of the above list will apply to you but there are sure to be at least several.

    As exciting as this is, there is another aspect of discovering one’s alters that is even more exciting. A dear friend of mine did not discover he had D.I.D. until he was 70 years old. He calls finding alters ‘bringing them home’, and refers to his alters as his family. For most of his life, he had hardly cared whether he lived or died, and despite many friends he had felt isolated and lonely. Now, he not only suddenly feels alive, he finds himself having much to live for – his ‘family.’ They are so very precious to him and fulfill him in ways he had never dreamed possible. Also, as inevitably happens, discovering them has been like swiching on a light in a dark room, empowering him to made sense so many aspects of his life that had previously been mysteries to him.

    2. Ending Your Alters’ Needless Torment

    For as long as you have one alter who remains hidden from you, part of you is in needless agony, even if you remain unaware of it or have grown so used to it that you cannot imagine the relief of it being over.

    Continual solitary confinement is a psychologically damaging form of torture and this is just the beginning of what an alter walled up inside you suffers. Alters cut off from your help are needlessly tormented by hopelessness, devastatingly low self-esteem, terror, horrific guilt and inner pain, as well as torturously starved of love and approval.

    Here is not the place to expand on this but an example is an alter terrified that the abuse could recommence at any moment, unaware that so many years have passed that not only has the abuse the completely stopped, the abuser is dead. Another example is an alter who fled into hiding when it seemed an abuser was about to chop off a vital part of his body. Thereafter, the alter was sure he was shamefully maimed; unaware that the abuser never carried out his threat. Just one more of countless other examples: it is common for alters to blame themselves and be riddled with horrific guilt, knowing nothing of the fact that Christ has totally cleansed them, making them spotlessly pure.

    Even if in some cases you lack the skills to bring an alter to full healing, you can at least introduce the alter to God (and perhaps a counselor/therapist) who can help tremendously.

    3. The Scary Possible Consequences of Not Finding Alters

    Before mentioning some scary things that might not even apply to you, it is vital that you view them from the reality that if you really have D.I.D., you are already a master survivor who has kept winning against the odds without even the greatly increased resources that will be yours through putting this webpage into practice.

    People have put you down for most of your life, leaving you with such battered self-esteem that this alone is enough to cause you to woefully underrate how intelligent and capable you really are. This appalling underrating of your capabilities, however, is made many times worse if you are not aware of all the survival stories and abilities of other parts of you.

    You have managed to survive devastating crises for years and years with parts of you having to cope, not merely alone, but cut off even from the help, maturity, wisdom, knowledge, abilities and encouragement of the rest of you.

    You do not have to fear the full truth. It will simply empower you to pour additional help and resources into parts of you that have already survived. With your help, these parts of you will not merely survive but will begin to thrive. No matter what you face in the future, the worst is already behind you because never before have you had such maturity, spiritual resources and the ability to draw upon the skills, knowledge and understanding that have been locked up in other parts of you.

    No one, no matter how capable, can be sure of making smart and safe decisions without knowing all the relevant facts. Whether you realize it or not, there are facts that will remain hidden from you unless you connect with every alter that is currently hidden inside you. No one knows how vital these facts are to your welfare until all your alters reveal themselves and fully share all they know. I have met very many people who have ended up exceedingly sorry they had not tried harder and much earlier to get to know their every alter. They could have been spared much heartache.

    It is with great reluctance that I alert you to the magnitude of the very real dangers of not connecting with all your alters. You have more than enough stress without me adding to it, but it would be irresponsible of me not to warn you of what could be at stake.

    Picture several infants and young children who have access to guns they do not know are loaded. You are unable to physically touch the children or the guns. So you cannot prevent them from pointing the guns at family members and strangers and playing with the trigger. All you can do is coax and train them to leave the guns alone. It is no exaggeration to say it is equally as dangerous not to do everything you can to discover and interact with every one of your alters. It is not at all that your alters are evil; they simply lack your understanding. Now that you know this, however, to remain willfully ignorant and not seek out every last one of your alters is irresponsible and would render you accountable for any disasters that result.

    Alters are ordinary people (frequently with only the understanding of little children) cut off from vital information and subjected to mind-numbingly horrific situations. Think of normal little children who have been fed lies and are beside themselves with pain, terror, confusion and hopelessness. These darlings have not only been cut off from almost all that you know about life and God but have been tricked, groomed, manipulated and even brainwashed by someone terrifyingly evil.

    Despite having surprisingly good intentions, such confused and traumatized alters could unwittingly cause you enormous distress. A huge range of alarming things could be happening without your knowledge. Here are a few real-life examples:

      * You would never let yourself be driven around town by a five- year-old and yet an alter with no more ability could end up driving your car in dangerous traffic with your loved ones in it.

      * You would never let an eight-year-old child have access to your credit card and yet you could have an alter who sees the world as an eight-year-old does and has worked out how to use your credit card.

      * You could be confidently allowing someone access to you or your children, unaware that another part of you knows for sure that this person is a dangerous predator.

      * It is very common for people with D.I.D. to end up with a reputation for lying because, in their ignorance of their alter’s actions, they adamantly deny doing something that other people witnessed them doing.

      * You might be desperate to break an addiction and have no idea that a part of you has no understanding of the value of quitting and is sabotaging your efforts. Or you could have eating disorders you are unaware of, causing you to whack on weight through binging or to dangerously deplete your body through bulimia.

      * I have not encountered it in counseling but it seems quite likely that one could end up arrested for shoplifting because of the forgetfulness, ignorance or desperation of an alter.

      * Undesirable and even life-threatening things can happen when parts of a person are unaware of his or her current bodily limitations. The following example might be extreme but it illustrates just how out of touch parts of a person can be. A friend of mine had little alters who got so furious at me that they said they hated me (when they had previously liked me) because I suggested that their body was not well enough for them to risk playing in the snow. She had at the time a body temperature of 104 (40 degrees Celsius), was coughing, had suspected pneumonia, a kidney infection, viral infection, serious stomach infection, ulcers, gastritis and cancer. Just the day before, her parts had thought they had a nimble light-weight body that could climb a tall tree to rescue their cat. They came crashing to the ground. The day before that, she had rushed into a burning building and had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation. I know this string of events seems unbelievable, but just the day before that she almost drowned in a large, deep lake when the air temperature was 22 degrees (-5.5 Celsius) with a wind chill of 14 (-10 Celsius).

      * Although I am about to mention some even more unsettling things about Dissociative Identity Disorder, please be comforted by the assurance that not only do these issues not apply to everyone with D.I.D., they are possible only until key alters are discovered, befriended and introduced to Jesus.

      Until these connections are made, D.I.D. can, for some people, render battling certain temptations almost impossibly difficult. Once these connections with alters occur, however, having Dissociative Identity Disorder suddenly becomes an asset in fighting temptation – an advantage that average people can only dream about.

      It is possible for an alter to have a yearning or even an addiction that undermines or even ruins a person’s life, and despite the rest of the person being determined not to cave in to the pressure, this alter could be equally determined to do it behind the person’s back. For example, I have had many email exchanges with a devoted Christian, highly committed to her marriage, whose ignorance of one of her alters led her to devastate her husband and herself by committing adultery. Her loving husband and her other parts were fully aware that she had D.I.D. but they decided to ‘protect’ her from this information, feeling confident that it was safe to keep her ignorant. Unknown to all of them, another part, acting totally differently and independently from the rest of them, was having sex with a man who was boarding with her family. The first any of the rest of them knew of it was when she found herself pregnant and the man confessed. I know of several other devout women, each of whom had no idea she was having an affair or even more physically dangerous sexual liaisons for years, until eventually discovering the shattering truth. There are all sorts of scenarios in which this can occur. Just one example is someone having a superficial similarity to a former abuser, causing an alter to be accidentally triggered into believing she is a helpless little girl trapped in an abuse situation where she has no choice but offer sexual favors. It is very possible for the alters who are usually active in the marriage to detest sex but for an unknown alter to crave sex, resulting in a double-whammy for the long-suffering husband when the horrifying secret eventually unravels.

      Similar situations can involve child abuse, squandering money, chemical abuse, or self-harm. Some devout Christians have alters they know nothing of who literally worship Satan or befriend demons. Some alters can be committed to ensuring a person fails at everything he or she attempts.

      When alters are befriended, however, Dissociative Identity Disorder not only ceases to be a disadvantage, it becomes a significant spiritual advantage.

      In the past, while trying to keep secrets from each other or to dull horrific pain, some alters develop techniques that, when applied to temptation, can lessen its intensity, similar to dulling pain, or to distract the person from the temptation, rather than dwelling on it. Not everyone has an alter with such a gift, but it is not uncommon for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder to eventually discover one.

      In any case, alters are able to team up and support each other. Temptation is deception. The deceiver might sometimes be able to fool some alters but to trick them all at the same time is much less likely. When an alter is nearly overwhelmed by temptation, there will probably be another alter who is less affected and that alter can intervene in any of a number of ways, such as praying, distracting, physically moving the source of the temptation, and so on.

    How Despicable Alters Can Easily Change

    You will lack the motivation to find alters if you fail to understand how easily alters who are currently acting despicably can be transformed into beautiful friends and helpers who make you proud.

    Alters respond amazingly to unconditional love and approval. They will do almost anything to please you, once they sense that they can find in you the unconditional love they crave. On the other hand, it is virtually impossible to win over any alter that you continue to hate. Love transforms. Hate and suspicion breed hate and suspicion.

    Scripture reminds us that we love only because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). As God transformed us by taking the initiative in loving us while we were sinners, so we must follow his lead in loving alters before they become Christlike.

    1 Corinthians 13 says that love believes all things or, as some versions put it, love thinks the best of a person. Once we get to know and understand alters it becomes easy to see them as misguided and by no means irredeemably evil. You will most likely discover an alter for whom this initially seems impossible to believe, so I should provide you with a few examples of what motivates alters.

      * An alter might cruelly enforce a former abuser’s rules, such as harshly punishing any alter who reveals details about past abuse. Usually, this is because the alter mistakenly believes the abuser still has full access to you. This misunderstanding leaves the alter terrified that if any part of you breaches the abuser’s rules, the abuser will do to you worse things than the alter inflicted when he tried to get you to avoid the abuser’s wrath.

      * An alter might be filled with hate and anger solely because he or she believes that maintaining this front is the only way to scare off potential abusers and so keep you safe.

      * It is not uncommon for alters to convince themselves that they are the opposite sex. If you have such alters, it is not because they are homosexual but because they have a desperate need to feel safe, and their experience has led them to presume that being the opposite sex will lessen their likelihood of being abused. Once they understand that they can be their real gender and be safe because they are no longer helpless children whom authorities would not believe, but are in the strong body of an adult, it becomes easier for them to accept their gender and they will eventually begin to enjoy their real identity.

      * Without your love and an awareness of God’s love for them, some alters might feel so useless and unwanted that they grow so desperate as to be willing to trade sexual favors for someone’s shallow pretense of love and approval. Abusers frequently convince their victims that they have no other value and no other chance of ‘love’ except through sex. Having been repeatedly forced to have sex against their will, it is also not uncommon for alters to try to cope with this almost intolerable situation by doing their utmost to convince themselves that they like the illicit sex that they actually despise.

    This webpage is not the place to keep piling on more examples but the above should suffice to help you understand why it turns out that alters are not only capable of totally changing, but they are usually eager to do so, once they realize that they have been acting under a false presumption.

    Don’t Leave it to a Counselor/Therapist

    Some counselors/therapists refuse to converse with alters and focus exclusively on the host (the part of a person who most often interacts with the outside world). Having spoken to many alters who feel deeply hurt by this approach, I don’t recommend it. This approach to counseling usually leaves alters feeling ignored, rejected, unimportant, and sometimes even less than human. Abuse typically creates these same feelings, so the last thing you need is for a counselor/therapist to unwittingly add to this deep wounding.

    On the other hand, if you or your partner were undergoing marriage counseling, it would be a total failure if your partner fell in love with the counselor or ended up ignoring you and sharing exclusively with the counselor. Likewise, you do not want your alters to prefer speaking to a counselor rather than with you.

    Let’s put it another way: alters are a vital part of you. They hold the key to your past and to you achieving your full intellectual, emotional, vocational and spiritual potential. If a spinal cord injury caused a part of you – your legs – to no longer respond to messages from your brain, healing is not about a counselor/therapist learning how to get that part of you to respond to messages from his brain. They are your legs and healing hinges on you learning how to walk with them. So it is with your alters.

    Sometimes a counselor/therapist might initiate contact with an alter but you need to strive to catch up and become your alter’s best friend and confidante.

    Whether you connect with your alters is largely up to you, not your counselor/therapist. You can, however, ask your counselor/therapist to help you by encouraging your alters to feel positively about you and by keeping you informed about your alters, as much as your alters will allow.

    The Story So Far

    Little children naturally believe whatever older children – and especially significant adults in their lives – insist is true. Are you certain only highly moral and trustworthy people had access to you during your most vulnerable, impressionable years? Unless you had such a protected life, it is very possible that there are parts of you that you have not yet met who accept as unshakable truth put-downs and dangerous or even perverted lies maliciously fed to you at a time when you lacked the maturity to see through the lies. Through befriending and understanding your alters, even the most confused and brainwashed of them can find peace and change so profoundly as to make you proud. There is no such guarantee, however, for any who are left to flounder without any input from your maturity and insight.

    No matter how awful facing suppressed memories is, there is always something worse: not facing them.

    D.I.D. is like curable cancer. Get it treated and you will be fine. Ignore it and you might get away with it for a long while but eventually, the consequences of procrastinating will be bitter indeed. An ignored alter, reeling in pain and confusion, could end up causing you to lose your job, sabotage valued relationships, commit adultery, accidentally or deliberately kill you or even murder someone. As I have stressed, certain alters have the potential to act this way, not because they are evil, but simply because, without your help, they are alarmingly confused. Such alters have my full sympathy and understanding. Whether the law or your loved ones would be so understanding, however, is a very different matter. You need to intervene as quickly as possible.

    Within the same person, and from person to person, alters differ significantly. Not all alters will be so potentially dangerous if kept cut off from you, but until discovering each one, you will never know how suicidal and misguided a lost part of you is. Like cancer, problems do not disappear by pretending or hoping they do not exist. All they do is get more serious and prolong your distress. When ignored, some alters are not only your most valuable neglected assets, they are a ticking time bomb that could blow your world apart. By connecting with them, you will end up rendering them not only safe but a beautiful source of comfort and support to you and an astounding intellectual, spiritual, social and emotional boost.

    God is eager to restore every part of you to sweetness and innocence. Nevertheless, the Almighty, being the extreme opposite of an abuser, will not force himself on any part of you. Out of the infinite integrity of his heart, he will keep restraining his yearning to intervene until that part of you willingly gives him permission. Helping an alter reach that point of trusting God is likely to require your cooperation.


    Ways of Discovering New Alters

    Tune in to Your Feelings

    If you are feeling anything that seems peculiar because it does not line up with your current circumstances or thoughts, it could be because an alter is active. The feeling might be fear, sadness, hopelessness, anger, self-hate, isolation, loneliness, bitterness, frustration, excitement, wonder, or whatever but if, under the circumstances, it seems at odds with what you would expect, the feeling could be washing over you from an alter.

    I can only provide a few examples from a vast range of other possible clues to the unannounced presence of an alter. You are unlikely to experience more than one or two of them. Just remain alert for such things. You might suddenly feel out of place. You might feel small, or everything around you might seem unfamiliar. You might even get lost for no obvious reason. You might feel disconnected from yourself or even hardly recognize yourself in the mirror. You might even find yourself unable to walk, or unable to control bodily functions, or crave a pacifier or a toy or something else inappropriate for adults, or simply desire for a particular food or something else that you usually have little or no desire for. Or you might feel ill at ease about something that would not normally bother you.

    It is important not to get impatient with yourself or to tell yourself you are stupid for having such a feeling. Instead, if anything like this happens, it is an ideal time to try to make contact with an alter. Proceed on the assumption that what you are feeling is emanating from an alter who is currently close to the surface and able to hear you. If you happen to be writing at the time, then write to the alter. Otherwise, tenderly and reassuringly speak to the alter – out loud if circumstances permit – using the feeling as a guide to what the alter most needs to hear. For example, if you are safe but feel timid or fearful, say such things as, “It’s okay, dear one, you are safe now. The scary things have come to an end. How can I help you feel safe? Can you tell me a little about why you are afraid?” Using words that little children can understand could be helpful in case the alter only has a child’s vocabulary.

    If the feeling you are picking up is one of confusion or of being small, it could be because the alter has been inside for years longer than he/she realizes and present-day reality is very different to what the alter expects. Say such things as, “It’s okay, you have just been asleep for years but you are safe. Things are different because life is much better than it used to be. Would you let me be your friend?”

    Even if you receive no reply, continue to softly chat for a while. If you receive no response and the feeling that made you wonder if an alter were present suddenly goes, it could be that the alter has fled back into hiding to try to come to terms with what he/she has just learned and will come out again a little later.

    Note Your Inner Talk

    A friend who has Dissociative Identity Disorder gives this suggestion for becoming aware of alters:

      Pay special, sensitive attention to things you might have thought were just ordinary. When I sensed a baby crying in the back of my mind, for example, I thought I was just tired. Or when I heard a little song repeating itself in my thoughts, like something a child would sing, I again thought at first that it was just normal background noise.

    You might occasionally hear a sentence or two spoken in your mind that seems out of place. For example, you might be feeling content and suddenly hear in your mind, “I wish I were dead.” You might not be surprised by such events. After all, if you have D.I.D. you have lived with alters for most of your life, even if you have dismissed them. From now on, however, be on the alert for any such times and treat them as opportunities to attempt contact with alters.

    The Surprising Power of Journaling

    Please remember that I include in this term not just writing but audio or video messages, and that some alters can understand spoken words but cannot read.

    Keeping a journal is an excellent way to make contact with alters, and an invaluable way to come to grips with deep issues in one’s life. Let’s begin by listing some of the benefits:

      * Like working on a jigsaw, a journal can bring together all possible clues about forgotten events and what might be troubling you. Moreover, even without the memory problems commonly associated with D.I.D., some clues – such as fleeting thoughts and dreams – are, by their very nature, quickly forgotten unless almost instantly recorded.

      * A journal is insurance against losing valuable information. At almost any moment, the host or other alters might suddenly be triggered or overwhelmed and retreat to some inaccessible place deep within, taking their knowledge with them. This means that unless you are quite advanced in your healing you can alarmingly lose all memory of things you would never expect to forget until that part of you resurfaces. Of course, included in what could possibly be lost for who knows how long is all the information you have been painstakingly accumulating about alters and clues about your past.

      * Alters themselves might end up reading and contributing to your journal.

      * A journal might even move beyond rare entries by an elusive alter to becoming like a message pad or communication device, allowing you to chat back and forth with one or more alters. This might involve a time delay, and such a delay can sometimes not only be advantageous but the only option for meaningful communication. One of the two reasons for this is easily understood: certain alters might usually be asleep when you are awake, and active when you ‘lose time’ or are asleep (I will explore this a little more, later). I would like right now, however, to spend a little more time explaining the other possibility:

        “When alters are with me, I am overwhelmed with severe anxiety, sadness and turmoil,” complained a woman when detailing why she was making so little progress in speaking with her alters.

        “What you feel at such times is a normal consequence of Dissociative Identity Disorder,” I replied sympathetically. “When alters are close, you feel their emotions and these dear parts of you are currently in such inner pain, fear and confusion as to be almost brain-numbing for anyone hit by the full intensity of these feelings. It’s no wonder that you find yourself unable to communicate at such times. One of the things making journaling so helpful is that it can let an alter express herself/himself and then withdraw, allowing you to later read the alter’s words and respond with a helpful message to the alter when you are more clear-headed.”

        Real-time communication with some alters might initially be so overwhelming as to be almost impossible. As this woman discovered, direct contact with some of your alters might expose you to an almost paralyzing awareness of their emotions, such as terror, feelings of intense guilt or shame, vivid memories of physical pain, and so on. These feelings are usually invalid, in the sense that you are likely to now be safe, the guilt or shame is often a trick of the mind in that the alter had no control over what happened, any physical wounds have now healed, and so on. Nevertheless, because the alter does not realize this, the feelings can be so devastating as to render you unable to think straight while the alter is close. By leaving messages, you can let the alter know that he or she is truly loved, valued, believed, forgiven, safe, and so on. Once convinced of this, the alter’s distress will ease so that the intensity of his/her feelings washing over you will likewise ease, eventually allowing you to communicate in real time.

        It was frustrating trying to help one woman because I should have been redundant. She already had a therapist and counselor infinitely superior to me: Jesus. She heard from him clearly and he regularly revealed to her important things about her alters. I, on the other hand, kept making blunders and needlessly upsetting her alters because for me to understand her past and her alters’ sensitivities and beliefs half as well as she already knew them, would take me months of getting to know her.

        I was needed only because she found herself unable to think clearly when needy alters were present. (And they were particularly needy. Many, for example, were tormented by demons who pretended to be good and had fooled their victims into believing they could not cope without the demons.)

        Much of this dear woman’s dependence upon inferior human help vanished when she discovered the value of leaving messages for alters, and encouraging them to leave messages for her.

    Let’s move on to some helpful tips about journaling.

    Keep your journal private. You might at some time choose to share a small extract with a therapist, but essentially it is for your eyes only. Even if you trust your partner, you might later discover a part who has not reached this level of trust. Secrecy inspires honesty. And God loves honesty. He is not afraid of truth nor surprised about your deepest doubts and concerns. So let go of inhibitions and pour out your heart – your feelings, your fears, frustrations, suspicions, childhood memories, how you feel about family members, and so on. Whether it comes in drips or gushes, don’t evaluate its accuracy or in any way analyze it – you can do that another time. Abandon attempts to correct it grammatically. Just let it flow. Don’t even censor language or anger or even blasphemies that offend your Christian sensitivities. Understand that rather than trying to force alters to act as if they were Christian, the most powerful thing you can do spiritually is to tap the depths of their depravity so that eventually you can gently lift them up to Jesus. Your mission must be to help them fall in love with Jesus so that they end up so spiritually transformed that they want to delight God. Trying to suppress or force or manipulate them will only hinder their spiritual advancement and, ultimately, your own. And for you to lead them to Jesus, you must first get to know and understand them and win their trust. And this is what journaling is all about.

    Include in your journal lots of questions you would like answered about God, your past, about why you do certain things, and so on. Also include regular indications that you would like alters’ feedback and contributions.

    As already mentioned, different alters are likely to be active at different times of the day or night and can be triggered by different events into hiding or becoming active. To make the most of this, try to journal at various times of the day and night and maintain this practice over a long period, preferably indefinitely. Keep the journal handy throughout the day, and especially by your bed at night. If you are reluctant to take it to work, that’s not too critical because shy alters are more likely to be active at other times. However, some thoughts could come to you when you are at work that are worth jotting down so that you can copy it into your journal later.

    Every now and then, read through all you have written. Even if you get no response, try discussing their content with alters.

    Some entries might use different (often more child-like) spelling and grammar to what you would normally use, or the content might surprise you. If handwritten, you might notice a different handwriting style. It might take months for anything significant to appear but keep it up.

    Try to make a copy of what you journal and store the copy elsewhere because it is quite possible that at some point an alter might destroy it in a cleaning spree or a moment of panic. Possibilities for creating a copy include photocopying, scanning or typing it into a computer and putting a copy on a USB (thumb) drive.

    Retain copies of such things as emails that you send, and treat them as additional sources of information. If you already have writings from the past – even if it is just such things as old e-mails to friends or counselors – treasure them. They can end up being valuable sources of information.

    A shared journal is important but, in addition, reserving journals for the private use of individual alters can also be beneficial. Another friend of mine with Dissociative Identity Disorder writes:

      We offer a drawing pad/journal/notebook to alters that they can keep private from the rest of us if they wish. We have a basket of journals. Sometimes we share but we never read without permission. Often alters who had been asleep for years journal a lot privately for the first bit before they start really sharing with us in other ways. It’s kind of like learning you can trust the others by making sure they keep their promises in not reading what you write.

    Don’t Waste Dreams and Flashbacks

    Dreams and flashbacks can be exceedingly unpleasant, so don’t waste them. They contain valuable information, so record them. The obvious place for this is in your journal. Writing them out and thinking about them when relaxed and fully conscious can help remove some of their terror and might possibly prove beneficial, should the dream recur. The practice also provides a good opportunity to ask alters about the dream or flashback – what does it mean to them, how do they feel about it, and so on.

    Dreams can sometimes be like flashbacks – accurate memories of past events that you may or may not be aware happened. Alternatively, some dreams are the mind trying to come to terms with things that have been bothering you. Sometimes you were not even conscious that these matters were bothering you. Both of these types of dreams can be valuable in giving you insight into what some of your alters might be coping with. However, some dreams can actually be alters seeking to communicate with you, either by symbolically revealing how they feel or by sharing accurate memories. Additionally, some dreams are alters trying to come to terms with things by imagining themselves in various scenarios.

    Don’t Underestimate Art

    Although you might not feel artistic or even like art, most children like expressing themselves through art and so it could be a way of enticing quite young parts of you to express themselves (and so begin to communicate), especially as deep feelings can be impossible to put into words.

    Don’t forget that art can include collage, montage, using such mediums as Playdough (Play-Doh). Be cautious about using paint, however. Some alters find the fluidity of paint frustrating or even triggering. As well as portraits, and self-portraits, try visually expressing feelings and anything else that you feel the urge to portray. I encourage you to sometimes try art as therapy and a means to contact your alters. This will probably involve a different approach to art than you usually do. In this case, say out loud at the beginning and several times during the session, something along the lines of, “This is your turn to paint [or draw or whatever], and to have fun or express deep feelings and I promise to try hard not to criticize or interfere.” Then keep letting the artistic expression flow. Don’t worry if you think it looks hideous, childish, weird, dark or whatever. Don’t judge it negatively, or try to correct or improve it. Just let it come from within, saying out loud encouraging things about the art like, “Good!”

    Even if it seems you are just talking to yourself, toward the end of an art session or at the end (but before that part of you leaves), speak to the part out loud, saying such things as, “What feelings are you expressing through this art? Is there an event in your past that moved you to express yourself this way? What does this artwork mean?” And so on. Even if it is vague, take great note of what response comes to you (it might be good to write it down or audio record it for future reference) and dialog with the part of you that is revealing these things, coaxing that part to tell you more. Don’t comment negatively or say such things as, “That can’t be true.” Instead, listen carefully and express empathy and offer comfort and encouragement.

    It has been suggested that talking when being artistic should be minimized as it can interfere with the creative process. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that by striving for perfection or getting impatient with yourself in earlier attempts at art, you unknowingly pushed aside an alter, hurting his or her feelings and making the alter reluctant to try again. This makes it necessary to reassure alters that nothing like that will happen this time. How much approval and convincing is needed will vary from alter to alter.

    Try Poetry, Even if You Hate It

    You might hate poetry or be convinced you cannot write it but that might not apply to another part of you. In fact, the very attempt might encourage that part to take over during the writing session.

    Buy Toys Etc.

    If you feel yourself drawn to an affordable toy or game or something else that would normally be out of character for you, buy it and, when you feel the desire, play with it or use it. Not only will this comfort distressed little alters you have little contact with, it will encourage them to come out of hiding and to feel positively toward you, the person who gave them the toys.

    Use Reminders from Your Past

    Seek out things that remind you of various stages of your past – photos, school yearbooks, mementos, music, old movies or television series (including those for children), Facebook pages of people you have lost contact with, and so on. Other possibilities include following an old family tradition, seeking out old familiar smells (perhaps pine, bacon, cinnamon, aftershave, and so on) or cooking with a family recipe. Such things could elicit a response from alters. This should be done cautiously and prayerfully, however.

    If you are really desperate for a reaction you might actually visit areas where you once lived, make contact with people you knew at those times, and so on. I don’t recommend it, however. It could provoke extreme reactions from alters. You have Dissociative Identity Disorder only because you have suffered horrific things. You might expose yourself to predators you have always mistakenly thought were safe, and a highly vulnerable part of you might take over to ‘protect’ you – an alter who feels too little to resist the predator’s advances.

    Use Your Non-Dominant Hand

    From time to time, try such things as writing, artwork, playing sport or manual work, using the hand you do not normally use for that task. This might possibly entice out another alter, as some alters might be better at using that hand than you are or, even if they are not, your attempts at using that hand might be no better than that of a young alter and might therefore encourage that alter to participate. After using that hand for a while, talk out loud to yourself in the hope that an alter might hear and respond.

    Make Full Use of Inside Information

    If you have reached the point where you are friends with some alters, don’t forget to make full use of this advantage by asking them to search for more alters and, with the new alters’ permission, to tell you about these alters.

    Create a Safe Inner World

    I have left until now what is perhaps the most important way of facilitating interaction with alters.

    Alters can only write when they take over your body and your consciousness. When this happens you might lose consciousness – not in the sense of it being medically obvious but in the sense of you losing awareness of what is happening and so miss the opportunity of real-time interaction with an alter.

    The alternative is for you to look inward and meet your alters where they spend most of their time – not in control of your body but deep inside.

    To facilitate this, use your imagination to create a safe place in your mind where alters can interact with each other and with you. Just as imagining yourself relaxing on a tropical beach calms the mind, what you imagine can calm lonely, frightened, easily-spooked alters and entice them out of hiding. And because the emphasis is on the mind and not on what the body does, you and other alters can be conscious at the same time.

    Creating a fun, safe haven in your mind can motivate alters to remain together in a place in your mind that is easily accessible to you. That way, alters are less likely to make spasmodic contact with you and other times disappear into some unknown part of your mind where you can no longer interact with them. A link at the end of this page called How to Cure Dissociative Identity Disorder is devoted to explaining how to do this

    Be Aware of all the Reasons Why Alters Hide

    Reasons for certain alters hiding from you are explained in the next section. Obviously, it is critically important to address these matters in order to discover and communicate with these alters.


    Why Alters Hide

    To learn how to help your alters feel secure in revealing themselves to you, it is vital to understand the many valid reasons for their reluctance to do so.

    Regardless of whether they have D.I.D., it is normal for people to engage in self-talk, and for anyone with low self-esteem or low tolerance of imperfection, self-talk can get quite ugly. Often we would not speak to anyone else as abusively as the way we inwardly reprimand ourselves when frustrated. For example, if we make a mistake we might get angry and blast ourselves with the words, “You idiot!” Or if we get emotional or feel insecure or feel the urge to do something that is more common for little children, we might angrily tell ourselves, “Stop being a baby!” An alter is likely to assume you are speaking directly to him/her when you say such things, especially as it could well be that alter who made the mistake or felt scared or had a deep need for the comfort of a teddy bear or even a pacifier or something else that adults denigrate as babyish.

    Here are some additional common examples of reasons why, without you realizing it, an alter might feel scared of you or resent you:

      * An alter might have bravely and very tentatively shared a memory or deep secret with you and you rejected it as “stupid” or “false” or blabbed it to someone the alter fears is untrustworthy. (Abusers typically terrify alters with horrific threats as to what would happen if ever they told anyone about the abuse.)

      * You might feel you are being godly by getting angry with yourself for having the urge to engage in a habit you regard as wrong. Quite likely, however, what is sabotaging your efforts could be an alter who lacks your understanding that it is wrong or who lacks your spiritual resources to resist temptation. If so, that alter is likely to feel he/she is the object of your disgust and anger.

      * At times you might even get so frustrated and hateful toward yourself that you engage in self-harm – inflicting pain and wounding the body you share with your alters.

      * Sometime in the past, you might have sunk even to the ultimate insult of mistaking an already highly traumatized alter for a demon. How would you feel about someone who claims to be morally superior and concludes you are not only eternally dammed and unredeemably evil but considers you to be so disgusting that he genuinely believes you are not even human but some form of hideous lowlife?

      * An alter might feel terrified of something because it is linked, in your alter’s memory, with a horrific event. Being unaware of the full extent of this, you might make yourself – and your alter – do whatever it is that traumatizes your alter. Forcing this upon your alter can feel as abusive to the alter as forcing someone’s head under the water until he nearly drowns. I will provide just three of many possibilities:

        1. Many abuse survivors occasionally view or deliberately fantasize about pornographic material, hoping it will help desensitize them, and mistakenly thinking it might contribute to healing; not realizing that it is traumatizing certain alters who, more than is realized, are carrying the pain of past abuse.

        2. Your alters might have ‘protected’ you from knowing that a relative you like has molested you at every opportunity he/she has had. Dismissing your inner qualms as ridiculous, you decide to visit your relatives or let them visit you, spending a couple of nights in the same house as this offender. You lose awareness as soon as the offender approaches you, and another alter – perhaps several alters during the course of the assault – is forced to take over and endure the agony.

        3. In The Dilemma of Feeling Pleasure When Abused I explain why it is normal for a clever molester to sometimes seduce a child by inducing sexual pleasure, even though at other times sex is highly traumatic for the child. You might, for example, have been seduced as a little child and come to enjoy it because it was never violent and, though by no means love, it was the closest imitation you were able to get. This abuser moves on and your continued craving for love drives you to approach another abuser, expecting gentleness but it turns out he is violent. You quickly escape by forming another alter who is forced to endure the horror that follows, while you remain oblivious to it.

    So there is a vast range of possible reasons for an alter regarding you as untrustworthy or even as an abuser. It is normal for all of us – not just for alters – to shrink from anyone who exposes us to perceived danger or gets angry or harsh toward us. Unlike most people, however, alters have already been deeply traumatized, which puts them on hyper-alert for anyone else who might possibly hurt them. When treated as a useless annoyance or as an enemy, alters can be expected to feel deeply hurt and rejected and want nothing to do with you.

    Before some alters would even consider sharing their hearts with you, you would have to do much to overcome the resentment they feel toward you and to convince them you have changed.

    Perhaps even now, you fear, despise or even hate certain alters. I have several webpages to help you sympathetically understand, and be a catalyst in the transformation of alters who are initially angry, hateful, dangerous, lustful, perverted and/or anti-God. Some of these pages are listed at the end of this webpage.

    Not being Conscious at the Same Time

    If you and your alter are conscious at the same time, it is called co-consciousness. It makes real-time communication possible. Some people are primarily co-conscious with their alters, some are almost never co-conscious, and some are in between.

    If co-consciousness does not occur, you will be forced to communicate either through leaving messages for each other (written, audio or video) or by relying on someone such as a friend or therapist telling you about the alter. Having a competent therapist is desirable, but having no way of communicating with parts of you other than through having someone else tell you about them, is far from ideal. It might be necessary at first, but I encourage you to work toward finding some way to communicate with your alters yourself. After all, they are vital parts of you, not anyone else.

    Usually, the grass seems greener in the other field: people who are primarily co-conscious tend to be envious of those who are not, and vice versa. Those who are co-conscious are often tempted to believe they must be making it up. They think that if only they could be caught doing things they have no recollection of, it would confirm that their D.I.D. is definitely real. The problem is that those who are seldom co-conscious find it much harder to get to know their alters and it seems unreal to them because of that. Moreover, to move toward full healing, alters need to fully cooperate with each other, which necessitates co-consciousness. So those who are co-conscious are already well on the way.

    Anyhow, even though they might not currently realize it, most people with D.I.D. eventually discover they have certain alters who are usually asleep when the rest of them is awake, and vice versa. In this situation, the time when you lose consciousness (go to sleep), or are close to it, is the time when another alter is likely to take over (gain consciousness). As a result, late at night could be like a changing of the guards – a time when two parts of you have brief contact, as one goes off duty and another takes over. For this reason, when you are close to sleep or when waking in the middle of the night or in the morning are particularly likely times for discovering new alters. It’s a good time to try to tune in to what you are feeling and hearing internally and to try real-time communication by speaking in your mind or out loud (the latter can help make it seem more real), asking questions and informing in the hope that an alter might be able to hear.

    In order to contact alters who are not conscious when you are, consider leaving notes around saying something like this:

      You have multiple personalities. This is nothing to be afraid of. It is just how we survive at present. I am a part of you and I would like to speak with you. If you leave a note on this page I will reply.

    If you do this, maintain the habit of checking the notes every day, or the alter could reply and give up looking for your response.

    An alternative is to leave verbal messages using a recording device. You might need to leave simple instructions as to how to operate the device.

    If real-time, non-written communication is possible, speaking in your mind or even vividly picturing something (such as imagining yourself hugging an alter) might work. When convenient, however, it is often clearer and more effective to speak out loud to your alters. If, for example, people who might not understand D.I.D. are in the next room, use an audible whisper.

    “How do I know when an alter is speaking? Is there a difference between when an alter is speaking and my own thoughts?” asked someone desperate to learn.

    I replied, “Especially in the early stages it is likely to seem very vague. If you think there is a slight chance that you could be hearing from an alter, proceed as if you really are. If it truly is an alter, it might take days or even weeks and you are likely to often be tempted to doubt, but you will gradually receive more and more confirmation as to whether what you think might be an alter really is one.”

    “I feel silly. It seems as if I am just talking with myself,” she said.

    “You won’t always know whether they are hearing you or not,” I replied. “Whether certain alters are likely to be active or not depends not only on the time of day but on circumstances. For example, certain alters might help you when you are at work, others when you are parenting, others might be more likely to be present when you are relaxing and still others when you are feeling scared or upset. And sometimes alters who are usually out can get freaked by something and go into hiding.”

    Alters Feeling Duty-Bound to Remain Silent

    Yet another reason for alters clamming up is that many alters can feel that it is their life-long duty to care for you by keeping information from you. This could include keeping you unaware of their existence. Before they are willing to reveal themselves, and their secrets, they need assurance of two things:

      1. That it is safe to tell you

        Abusers obviously have strong reasons for desperately wanting their criminal behavior kept secret. So they usually do their utmost to terrify their victims into silence, often with horrific threats they cannot keep but seem believable to a little child. Or they instill fear that telling anyone would break up the family or devastate a loved one. So any parts of you who are aware of the threats will feel strongly pressured to keep from you anything they think you (or they) must keep silent about. Furthermore, driven by fear of the consequences, such alters often use their own threats and influence to keep other alters silent.

      2. Alters also need convincing that you are now strong enough to face the truth and that you are eager to do so.

        Alters were formed precisely to keep secrets from you because in your young and fragile state you did not have the emotional strength to cope. As mentioned, this protectiveness can include hiding from you all awareness that alters even exist. They do not want, for example, you supposing you must be insane or demonized to have alters, and becoming suicidal as a result. Alters get so locked into this habit of ‘protecting’ you from information, that it continues long after the crisis is over and you have matured and gained an accurate understanding of D.I.D. Alters may not even realize that you and circumstances have improved. Often they could still believe all of you are back in the era when they were originally formed.

    Later in this webpage we will go deeper into how keeping a personal journal can help you contact alters. For now, I will limit myself to mentioning what the above suggests should be included in this journal. However, even at this early stage, I should point out that journaling does not have to be in writing. One can use audio recording or even a video diary. In fact, although I usually think in terms of writing, audio or video are advantageous because some alters – especially very young ones – might not be able to read or write. (Some alters, however, due to age or trauma, might not be able even to speak, in which case communication might only be possible by thought.)

    In the hope that the message eventually gets through to relevant alters, your journal should be interspersed with several entries emphatically stating the current calendar year. Merely writing today’s date is unlikely to suffice. For example, a number beginning with 20 might not even seem like a date to an alter used to seeing years starting with 19. Learning that it is many years later than he or she had supposed is likely to be such mind-boggling information for an alter as to stagger belief. You should therefore include instructions as to how this can be verified, such as where a calendar is located. You might also paste in your journal a portion of a newspaper that mentions the date, or a coin that was minted i the last few years, and so on. So much is digital these days, but your alter’s awareness might still be stuck in the pre-digital era.

    Since, unknown to you, an alter could be terrified of a former abuser’s threats, list in your journal every reason why it is now safe to tell. Reasons might include the fact that you now have an adult body, that you are no longer financially dependent on your parents and you live independently, that some people (name them) from your past have died or are now feeble or live a long way from you or they do not know your present address or you have not seen them for a certain number of years (be specific). Provide as much proof as you can, such as an obituary or photo of a grave if the person is dead. Remember that people you are currently convinced were safe, might have actually terrified your alters.

    Another important message to include is that unless they give you their permission, you will not blab anything that alters reveal. If they cannot trust you to maintain their confidentiality, do not expect to hear from them. Yes, it might be nice if you could pass on the information to a counselor/therapist but you will never get any more information to pass on if you betray them. By all means, after they reveal themselves, try to persuade them to give permission, but say nothing until they agree.

    In addition to recording the above matters in several places in your journal, keep reminding yourself (preferably out loud at times) of these facts, especially at times when you feel on edge. On one of the occasions that you do this, an alter could be listening for whom this information will remove the pressure to keep secrets from you.

    You also need some serious soul searching as to whether alters might be right in presuming that, deep down, you do not want them to reveal themselves to you. Truth sets us free, and ignorance can have terrifying implications, but many of us still fear the truth. Yes, the truth might initially hurt but, like going to a dentist, the alternative will end up being far more painful. To quote what I wrote elsewhere:

      Living in denial can never change reality. Not even embracing the truth can change the past, but it empowers us to change our future and find true healing.

    Here is some encouragement: a part of you already knows the truth and has coped with it ever since the event happened, without even having the maturity, spiritual resources and human support that you have.

    Although alters who keep secrets from their host often do not realize how much better equipped the person is to handle the truth than he/she used to be, they are not always wrong in their belief that the person is not ready for the truth. I used to puzzle over why people often slog through years and years of counseling/therapy that has nothing to do with D.I.D., before ever discovering that they have D.I.D. Now, however, I am increasingly seeing it as a necessary prerequisite.

    You need to keep working toward the point where you could learn any atrocious secret about your past and be able to handle it. Likewise, you need to keep moving toward the point where you could discover that, even recently, you had done appallingly evil things – such as sex crimes, extra-marital affairs, even murder – that until now had been kept from your consciousness, and you would still believe that full forgiveness is freely available to you through Christ, and that you could forgive yourself, just as God forgives you. Probably more than you currently realize, you will need to study links at the end of this webpage to reach this level of faith in God’s forgiveness.

    To attain the godly level of being able to forgive yourself for absolutely anything, you will need to start with imaginary situations that are not so atrocious and very gradually work your way up to truly horrendous ones. While doing this, it is important to keep reminding yourself that you are dealing solely with hypotheticals. Otherwise, a part of you might only become aware of your thoughts partway through and mistakenly suppose you are grappling with something that actually happened.

    The benefits of working your way through these imaginary scenarios are twofold. First, it is preparing yourself ahead of time, so that you will be equipped to cope, no matter what truths emerge. Second, it could have the effect of convincing key alters that you truly are ready for them to spill the beans.

    When alters start revealing themselves, they typically surface in fairly rapid succession, precipitating a chaotic emotional roller coaster. Each alter has his/her own terror, raw pain, vivid memories, confusion over lost years, and so on, and all of this will hit the rest of the person like one tsunami after another.

    To cope with the turmoil of alters revealing themselves, and to lead every one into healing, there are so many liberating truths that must be firmly concreted into every fiber of your being. This is a long process that, to put it mildly, is much better done with a clear head, prior to being overwhelmed by the turmoil of alters revealing themselves to you. It’s like a soldier who needs to get fit and disciplined before reaching the front line. It’s too late in the heat of battle to discover how much he needs to build up his body to have the strength and stamina to survive. Moreover, when unshakably convinced of the truths listed below, you will be equipped with comforting answers that will greatly shorten the time of pain, shame, guilt and confusion that recently surfaced alters bring with them.

    Because it is so critically important that we drive truths so deep into our spirits that they become immovable certainties, I have provided vital links at the end of this webpage for each truth. You will need to study these links in detail because it’s staggering how easily truths on which we thought we had a firm grip, slip from our grasp when shaken to the extreme. There is a huge amount of reading in those links because these are huge issues that we think we know enough about until hit by what will probably feel like a continual and overwhelming succession of traumatized alters.

    What you need so much work on is:

      * Believing that full forgiveness is freely available to you through Christ, and learning to forgive yourself, just as God forgives you.

      * Being convinced of God’s love for you. This becoming a deep conviction is critically important to one’s self-esteem and for every alter to feel drawn to his/her Healer.

      * Knowing in every fiber of your being that God is good and weeps for those who suffer.

      * Knowing how to heal from sex abuse.

      * Understanding the critical importance of facing hurts and truths rather than burying them.

      * Knowing how to deal with self-harm.

      * Knowing how neither to fear anger nor let it destroy you.

      * Learning how to be a positive, hope-filled person, no matter how oppressive things get.

      * Learning how to cope with fear, anxiety and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

      * Understanding your authority over demons, and that anyone who has entered into a covenant with Satan can renounce it and be freed by Jesus and fully accepted by God.

      * Concluding that suicide is not an option.

      * Learning how to lessen sleep problems (getting adequate sleep is a huge problem for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder).

    Until alters receive from you the reassurances I said you should include in your journal, some will remain too scared to talk, not just with you but with anyone. Given, however the range of issues that an alter might have with the host (who is often both the most dominant part and the part that alters most seek to protect) it is hardly surprising that alters often end up talking with another person, such as a counselor/therapist or trusted friend, rather than the host. If you learn that this is happening, ask the person who has won the alter’s trust to give priority to encouraging the alter to speak with you. After all, the alter is a part of you, not part of the other person. The alter has exclusive access to part of your intellectual capacity, and memories of key parts of your past. The alter lives with you, 24/7. For all these reasons, it is much more important that alters accept you and bond with you than with anyone else.

    Not only might an alter speak to someone else rather than you, he or she might speak with another alter before doing so with you. So if you have any contact with alters, ask them to help introduce you to them.

    Still More Reasons for Alters Being Silent

    In the light of what has already been said, it should no longer seem strange if alters are not revealing themselves to you. And there are still more possibilities.


      Neither I, nor my friend, had the slightest idea that one of her young alters had been tricked by her abuser into being utterly convinced that he had placed a demon inside her who would kill her the instant she revealed herself to anyone. Thankfully, quite out of the blue, this alter suddenly spoke to me. It turned out that she had heard me speaking kindly to other alters and she grew to like me so much and became so desperate to break her own isolation that she decided to speak to me, even though she was certain that the very act would kill her. Naturally, that touched me deeply.

      This ‘demon’ was possibly just one of the abuser’s lies, but real demons can sometimes be involved. Although great care must be taken not to confuse a very angry, misguided alter for a demon, there are times when demons must be cast out before certain alters feel able to communicate. In fact, the friend just mentioned had had demons and perhaps it was more than coincidence that it was not until after the demons had been dealt with that any alters started revealing themselves. Interestingly, her alter who thought a demon would kill her went on to become the most fearless of her alters (even more than the host and protector) in resisting demons.

      Demons are nothing for Christians to be alarmed about. For webpages about demons and every Christian’s authority over them, see Demons.

      Demon-Like Protector Alters

      It’s time to delve a little deeper into the already mentioned possibility of a key alter discouraging or actually stopping other alters from revealing themselves.

      With several different people, there have been times I’ve been speaking with an alter when suddenly something within the person interrupted with threats about hurting the alter if he/she says another thing. At such times, I shut down communication with the threatened alter and focus entirely on the aggressor.

      A hostile alter is likely to come across as filled with evil, hate, anger, violence and give the impression of being all-powerful. Often I’m left wondering if it really is a demon, but I have seen more than enough to avoid that conclusion without a vast amount of proof. I can do such things as talk about the power of the cross and make any demon very nervous, without treating whoever I’m addressing as a demon. At the same time, I remain acutely aware that many genuine alters have been told slanderous lies about Jesus. Some abusers even get someone to dress up as Jesus and hurt people. So it is not unusual for alters to suppose they hate Jesus, even though it turns out they only hate a grotesque imposter.

      The first thing I do is calmly show the alter lots of respect and kindness. I usually apologize, saying I did not realize secrecy was a concern and telling the alter I would like to do a deal. I say I wish no one any harm and although I like and respect the other alter, I will cease all communication with that alter without the protector’s permission, provided the protector agrees not to hurt that alter. Often making this promise tears my insides because the threatened alter had been in deep distress and I long to comfort him/her. Nevertheless, first priority must be to stop one alter tormenting another. So until there is a breakthrough I focus solely on the protector, establishing the protector’s trust and endeavoring to learn why the protector is so desperate to silence the other alter.

      Usually, the aggressive alter is stunned and deeply humbled when I convince him/her what year it is. This realization typically throws the alter into confusion and makes the alter doubt all his/her presumptions. Occasionally, however, an alter knows what year it is and even a few facts about current events but has not thought through the implications and has not realized, for example, how old that makes the former abuser and how safe he/she now is. This is when I need to know the person’s background so that I can provide the protector with all the reasons why he/she no longer has to fear the abuser’s threats.

      Seemingly scary, angry alters are usually fairly quickly won over by them showing kindness and respect. Usually, they act aggressively precisely because they expect everyone to be hostile. Before long, they are humbly apologizing for their fear-driven outburst and will let me continue to help the alter I had been previously speaking with.

      For a webpage devoted to further help with protector alters, see Protector Alters.

      Baby Alters Too Young to Speak

      Mothers speak to their babies because this is how babies eventually learn how to speak, and because babies and people learning a new language are able to understand more than they can speak. Mothers also communicate through touch, body language and through guessing the babies’ needs and meeting them. Do likewise with any baby alters who are too young to speak.

      Like many alters who for various reasons do not speak, baby alters are likely to communicate to other parts of the person through giving them feelings or flashes of their visual memory. The baby might cry a lot but eventually, he or she will respond to your soothing attention and will eventually begin to speak. The process of learning to speak might be much quicker than for a normal baby. This is because the ability to talk is already stored in the brain that both you and the baby share. All that is required is for the baby to discover how to access this part of your brain.

      Other Alters Unable to Speak

      Some alters, even though formed at an age when other parts could speak, might have never spoken in their lives, due to trauma and/or lack of confidence or perhaps not regarding themselves as human. They could take a while before they learn how to speak or gain the confidence to do so.

      Communicate with such alters as you would baby alters. Try to guess their fears and concerns and give them much reassurance and keep chatting to them about yourself, even if they don’t reply. Sometimes such alters communicate by thought to another alter who then acts as the alter’s spokesperson until the alter is ready to speak for himself/herself.

      Alters Who Cannot Understand Your Language

      If you only learned at a certain age the language you now regularly use and prior to that you knew another language, an alter formed before that age is likely to not understand you or be able to communicate in your current language. It is not impossible for an alter to know only one language and for you to know only another language.

      Sleeper Alters

      You could easily have one or more sleeper alters, whose role is to remain inactive (and thus undetectable) unless triggered by certain rare events. An example is an alter created for the purpose of committing suicide (i.e. killing all of you) if the alter concludes on the basis of his/her limited perception of events that there is no acceptable alternative. A significant factor in keeping oneself from suicide can be compassion for loved ones (including other alters) hurt by one’s death. So this alter could feel duty-bound to have no contact with anyone, in order to avoid risking any emotional bond that could hinder his or her resolve to kill the body if circumstances deteriorate.

      It is obviously very important to persuade any such alter that there are always better options or at least options more pleasing to God than suicide or murder.

      The problem, of course, is that if you have such an alter, you are likely to be completely unaware of it. It is therefore important to regularly explain to yourself why killing oneself or anyone else is never acceptable. Hopefully, this message will eventually get through to, and begin to convince, any sleeper alters.

      Here is a suggested plan of action if suicidal thoughts come:

        1. Take the matter seriously. Assess how great and immediate the threat is. For example, is it just a feeling or is there a definite plan to commit suicide?

        2. Quickly check all the alters to ascertain from which alter the plan is coming. Analyzing what triggered the suicidal feeling can be a clue as to which alter it could be. Ask any alters you know to help you find the alter involved. Then give that alter whatever comfort, support, encouragement, prayer etc. is needed.

        3. If your attempts to help the alter are insufficient or the alter cannot be identified, you might need to activate the anti-suicide plan. This has four levels, depending on the seriousness of the situation:

          (1) Break the isolation. Don’t be alone, even if it is only going to a store so that you are around people.

          (2) Call a friend and speak to him/her without mentioning the suicidal thoughts.

          (3) Tell the friend you are feeling suicidal.

          (4) Urgently call a counselor/therapist or a suicide helpline.

        It is possible for a sleeper alter to be formed by an abuser with a mission to wake up and commit crimes upon receiving a certain trigger such as a coded signal. Sometimes such alters can wake without the trigger, as, for example, a result of prayer or someone taking authority over them in Jesus’ name. They need to be taught that they are no longer subject to the abuser’s demands and that they can resist any urges that might grow very strong when triggered.

      Undetected Abusers?

      Since child abusers usually prefer children, they typically leave their victims alone when they grow up. In rare instances, however, people can have alters who are still contacting an abuser and being controlled by that person without the host’s awareness. Sometimes, they have no idea the person is even an abuser. Don’t be surprised if some alters stay silent if the abuser still has access to them by phone, Internet or in person.

      Alters who Disappear

      Alters you have known will sometimes disappear. Occasionally, such alters are feared to be dead. In fact, even the alters who disappear can sometimes believe they are dead, and sometimes alters go to be with God to be comforted. Nevertheless, alters cannot die while the rest of the body is still alive. They are simply out of contact, and you are likely to see them again when they feel that outside circumstances have changed enough for them to feel safe about returning.

      When an alter is not around for a while, it is common for people to mistakenly assume they have merged or integrated with another alter. If this really has happened, then the alter or alters with whom this alter has integrated will be very aware of it. They will feel more empowered because they will have this alter’s strengths and abilities in addition to their own. What usually happens when an alter disappears, however, is that something the alter found scary or disturbing has caused him/her to panic and flee from contact with the outside world, and sometimes from contact with other alters as well.

      Alters who are just getting used to being out of hiding are particularly jittery and confused. The slightest thing is likely to send them scurrying into hiding so that they can work through the implications of what they have just learned. Usually, they will be back out again fairly soon.

      For alters who have been out much more, it usually takes something more significant to spook them. It could still be quite harmless but it is something that deeply upsets them, such as something that vividly reminds them of some past terrifying experience. When the alter who vanishes is one who has been out a lot, the loss is likely to be severely felt because that alter could have exclusive access to knowledge and skills that are vital to employment or everyday life. (This is one reason why other alters should ideally be trained up to cover such a loss.) How long the alter will be in hiding is anyone’s guess.

      To help entice them out, list in your journal good things that have happened and how things have improved since they were last out and keep reminding yourself of these things from time to time.


    I urge you to pray that God reveal every alter to you in the sequential order and timing that would be best for you. He knows far more about this than you or any counselor/therapist.

    How to Win Your Alters’ Trust and Affection

    We will soon discuss how to detect hints as to when an alter could be more likely to be able to hear you. Having just mentioned some of the fears and resentments that alters might have toward you, however, makes this the appropriate place to mention how these barriers might be overcome. Thankfully, although it can be challenging, you have something huge in your favor: underneath all the hurt and suspicion, your alters are still desperate for your genuine love and approval.

    Here are some suggestions as to what to tell alters, even if you are not sure they are able to hear you:

      * You are more important to me than I ever realized. I should have valued you, listened to you and been a good friend to you. If I have ignored you or done anything to hurt you or annoy you, I was wrong and I want to do everything I can to put it right. Please tell me what I can do to make it up to you.

      * I am grateful to you and forever indebted to you for all the times you spared me pain and distress by bearing it for me. From now on, I want to do all I can to help you bear this pain and find full healing from it.

      * What can I do to help you feel safer and more cared for?

      * If you would like me to hug you or listen to you, I would love to do so. [To hug an alter, regard your alter as a full person with a body, and vividly image yourself hugging him/her. Try to both see and feel this in your mind.]

      * Is there something affordable I can buy you?

    Alters desperately need unconditional love and tenderness, patience, kindness and encouragement. They need to feel valued and believed and liked. You cannot expect them to share their hearts with you if they feel unable to trust you to respect their confidentiality or cannot trust you to handle upsetting information without you either freaking out or thinking they are liars or stupid.

    The Power of Being Kind to Every Alter You Discover

    It can be hard to get the ball rolling, but once you start befriending one alter, it will get easier and easier for others to connect with you. As alters who have remained hidden, slowly become aware that you have warmly accepted, befriended, believed and supported one of your alters, they will begin to think that it could be safe and/or advantageous for them to likewise reveal themselves to you. So once there is a breakthrough with one alter, it will be a little easier for a second alter to follow, easier still for a third, and so on. Additionally, alters you have befriended might not only put in a good word for you but might even introduce you to some other alters.

    For each alter you discover, find out his/her favorite food, music, color, clothes, activities, books and so on. Providing these things, plus daily talking with each alter and building up each one’s self-esteem can be most helpful in enticing alters to stay out or come out again after going back into hiding. The more often alters are out, the stronger and more healed they will get, the bigger help they will become to you and the more likely it is that other alters will be encouraged to reveal themselves to you. In the early stages it will feel as if you could not cope with more alters, but as you build up those alters you know, they can be inspired to greatly ease your workload by comforting, supporting and training other alters.

    Just as babies start off being a huge drain to parents but can grow up to be an invaluable support, so it is with alters, only the transformation can be much quicker. Far more than you currently realize, you need for your alters to reach their amazing potential. This cannot happen if they spend most of their time suppressed or in hiding. Your alters healing and remaining out is critical to your wellbeing, so keep encouraging them and assuring them that you want and need them.

    One of my friends who is healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder writes:

      We try to make sure every alter is able to get the time to do what he/she would like to do, both in processing things [mentally coming to terms with new information] and in fun. This often means making schedules and arrangements. When two of us like the same activity we can share it, which leaves more time for one who needs a more solitary activity. We are not always good at this but we try.

    It being counterproductive for an alter to go back into long-term hiding is one of several reasons why it is beneficial to create in your powerful imagination several large, beautiful areas, each of which is securely sealed off, preventing everyone else from entering. The only entrance to each sealed off area is an impenetrable door that can be solidly bolted from the inside. On the outside of the door is a ‘Vacant’ sign that immediately changes to say ‘Occupied’ when it is bolted and at the same time the name of the occupant appears on the door. Anyone inside is to be left alone. Next to the door, however, is an intercom that is heard throughout the sealed-off area and cannot be switched off. If it is deemed important, a person can speak on the intercom or leave a message for the alter inside but it must be very short. The message may be longer only if the alter in hiding is happy for the conversation to continue. Even God agrees never to enter without first using the intercom and being allowed in by the alter, and he will leave again whenever the alter tells him to.

    There are various unpredictable events where the intercom could prove quite important. One is a need to tell the alter if outside circumstances have changed so much that he/she can now feel safe to come out. Another is to give reassurance and encouragement to the alter. Yet another is if alters left to carry on without this alter desperately need certain information known only to the alter who is hiding. Merely knowing where an alter is hiding can help calm alters who are left to cope.

    Believe What Alters Reveal

    Often a key factor in the formation of alters is that the person received no support because no one would believe the very real danger he/she was in. So not being believed is most likely already a sore point – or even highly traumatic – for many of your alters. Please don’t add to this by not believing them. Also, them telling you probably took a lot of courage on their behalf. You need to make them feel it was well worth them taking the risk in sharing with you.

    Alters were formed to keep from you – and even each other – upsetting information. Especially if you are the host, you are likely to have been deliberately kept in the dark to allow you to function in everyday life without having to cope with awareness of devastating events. For example, it is very common for some alters to be kept unaware of cruel things done by a loved one. It is quite likely that alters have been so effective in keeping information from you all these years that when they eventually begin to spill the beans, what they share will seem unbelievable to you.

    Believe your alters, but be aware that, especially in traumatic circumstances, a person can switch rapidly from one alter to another and then another, thus preventing any single alter from knowing everything about that event – unless all alters involved were to later share all that they know. So even for events that an alter knows a lot about, both you and the alter might lack certain critical details and be almost unknowingly relying on guesswork or presumptions to fill in the gaps. Each alter is a vital part of the jigsaw but none, including yourself, has all the pieces until every alter has shared everything.

    This makes it important not to jump to conclusions. For example, you might see in a flashback part of a person but not enough for certain identification, Avoid presumptions as to the person’s identity, even though it might look rather like someone you know or – as far as you know – only one person had access to you at that time.

    Another important thing to be mindful of is that abusers often deliberately feed their victims false information and some use horrific tricks to traumatize them into submission. For instance, they might make a victim eat animal parts, claiming them to be human. Some abusers are skilled at using conjuring tricks (and it is especially easy to convince a young, highly traumatized and drugged child). They might, for example, get a sadistic accomplice to pretend to be Jesus or fool a child into believing the child killed someone.

    Name Your Alters as Soon as You Can

    Nowadays, whenever a new species of plant or animal is found, it is usually not something that has never been seen before, but it looks so much like another species that it had never previously been distinguished from that species. Likewise, you need to know each of your alters well, or you could miss the fact that you are talking to an alter you have never previously met.

    As much as they will allow, learn the name of each alter, or choose a name that both you and they accept. Regularly asking which alter is talking will give the alter the opportunity to indicate that he/she is not an alter you have previously met. “Take a roll call,” suggests a friend who has so far discovered several alters, “and ask if anyone else is there.”

    More than this, however, when you have found more than one alter, continually checking the identity of the alter you are speaking with (if there is the slightest doubt) will help you keep building as clear and detailed a picture as possible of each alter’s character. This detailed understanding of each alter will help you avoid confusing an alter that is new to you with one you already know. What makes this important is that sometimes, out of shyness, newly surfaced alters pretend to be another alter. So be on the alert for alters who seem to be acting out of character. They might, for example, seem more timid or younger or to be wrestling with problems that the alter they are pretending to be has already overcome.

    You are likely to be surprised at how you come to expect different levels of maturity, knowledge and so on from different alters. If you mistake one alter for another you could hurt that alter’s feelings by expecting too much from him or her. You might, for example, chide an alter for acting as if he/she did not know something that you are aware is known by the alter he/she is pretending to be.

    Ideally, keep a record of every alter and jot down details about each of them. Even if you are sure you will remember all of this, something unforeseen could happen that causes you to go into hiding and another alter who lacks this information would, at least temporarily, be forced to replace you.


    Critically Important

    If searching for alters is like prospecting for gold, making contact with a previously unknown alter is like locating the motherlode you have been looking for all your life. Be mindful, however, of times when prospectors have found gold deposits and temporarily left, only to discover to their horror that they cannot locate it again.

    Since each alter has the potential to make life better and easier, losing contact again would be a significant loss. It happens far too often, however.

    There are two basic reasons for alters going back into hiding. Let’s start with the one that is no cause for alarm but needs to be understood to avoid undue concern.

    1. Most previously unknown alters have been deep inside for very many years. This means that when they first become aware of the outside world again they will be shocked to discover how flabbergastingly different it is from what they expected. They will have similarly lost awareness of their outside body over all that time and their body might not merely have grown up but it could even be a different gender to what they had expected. This is not because of a sex change operation but because they had been misinformed about their gender or, in order to feel safer, they had convinced themselves that they are the opposite sex.

    Imagine how it would send you reeling if you suddenly found yourself twenty years older, or the opposite sex, or permanently in another part of the country and no longer going to school, or married to a stranger with children that are yours but you’ve never met before – or all of these combined. This is how alters feel after having been inside since your childhood. Is it any wonder that they feel an overwhelming need to withdraw every now and then for at least a few hours to try to get their head around all these massive and totally unexpected changes? These types of withdrawals are nothing to be concerned about. The alters will soon come out again.

    2. Now for the more serious reason for losing contact with alters.

    For most alters who have been in hiding for a long while, the outside world used to be a terrifying place in which people tormented them. So, naturally, they would prefer to withdraw from the outside world and, if possible, sleep indefinitely. This is something you need to do all you can to avoid.

    The way both to keep them awake and to help them realize how current reality is actually desirable, is to regularly engage them in conversation. I suggest you do this at least once a day. They might resist this a little but it will end up achieving much for them and for all of you.

    The Bottom Line

    Dissociative Identity Disorder begins as an extreme response to an extreme situation, but it ends up a nightmarish addiction to not facing issues that desperately need facing. It starts off as a child having no choice and ends up a way of life with the potential to ruin your adulthood because even though you now have a choice, acting like the helpless child you once were has become a crippling habit. Put in monetary terms, it is like going into unavoidable debt, hurtling toward financial ruin, and then you finally begin to earn an income and have the potential to end the nightmare but you find yourself continually overwhelmed by devastatingly powerful temptations to block from your consciousness your economic crisis and keep plummeting headlong into disaster by reckless spending.

    This addiction to living in denial is as cruel as forcibly injecting a child with heroin until living without the drug seems intolerable. Being healed from Dissociative Identity Disorder is so much better than the alternative that it is worth any cost, but it involves facing memories and issues that will take an iron will to face. No matter how weak and useless your battered self-esteem tricks you into thinking yourself to be, however, with God you can become one of the heroes who heal.

    Discovering alters is an exciting adventure, with significant challenges but immense rewards. I do not claim to have addressed every possibility but I believe I have provided you with enough to further your healing journey. In addition, I believe you are now empowered with the understanding of what keeps alters silent so that you can develop your own techniques for furthering your healing.

    Recommended reading: We Christians have a tendency to be so harsh on ourselves that it hinders healing. So, unless you have not already done so, I suggest you read God, the Bible, & Christian Factors in Healing Dissociative Identity Disorder before proceeding.

    How to Cure Dissociative Identity Disorder is the webpage mentioned above that describes whole to create an inner world to facilitate interaction between alters.

    Next Webpage in this Series: How to Speed Healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder.

    Related Pages

    Help with important truths that you need to get more firmly into your being than ever before (remember to explore links at the end of each page).

    More Help with D.I.D.

    I recommend you next read How to Speed Healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder.  I draw your attention, however, to Quick Help for Every Dissociative Identity Disorder Emergency if you have a specific question for which are anxious for a quick answer.

    Help If You Fear, Despise or Even Hate Certain Alters

    Angry, Bad, Mean, Nasty Alters (Insiders)

    Self-Help: I Hate My Alters

    Real-Life Counseling of a Demon-Possessed Pedophile Alter

    How to Cure / Stop ‘Bad’ Alters

    “I Thought I Was the Opposite Sex!”

    Leading an Alter to Christ

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

    Personalized support

    Grantley Morris:

    © 2012, 2016, 2019 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  Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.

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