I Hate My Alters

Dissociative Identity Disorder Self-Help

By Grantley Morris


Healing Multiple Personality Disorder

Christian Help

If you have Dissociative Identity Disorder, you most likely have above average intelligence and have heroically pushed through great pain to achieve what you have. So please do not misunderstand my passion for you to enjoy the peace, wholeness and fulfillment that is rightfully yours, as implying I think you have not done your utmost. On the contrary, I write because I expect that you have not had the secret of healing adequately explained to you, and it is because I deeply understand how difficult it is to accept one’s alters that in this webpage I have gone to extremes in striving to motivate you to do the awkward thing that will bring you healing.

Alters are formed by a desire to bury reality, rather than face it, and it did, in fact, provide some temporary relief. It is not surprising, then, that trying to live in denial of reality often becomes a way of life for people with multiple personalities, and that they typically seek to hide from their consciousness the fact that they have alters. If you have alters that you are trying to suppress, however, your continuing inner pain is bitter proof that denial simply prolongs one’s torment. Rather than being afraid of what secrets your alters could carry, what you should really fear is the unavoidable reality that ignoring or suppressing alters will ruin your life.

Living in denial might have become an habitual, though ineffective, way of coping with highly unpleasant things, but this is just one of many factors prodding anyone with Dissociative Identity Disorder to despise and/or reject their alters.

If you have alters that have not yet begun to heal, they are likely to be a severe embarrassment to you. They probably cause you to worry that you might be insane, and to worry that if your friends and people important to you found out, they would reject you, or look down on you, or perhaps even treat you as demon possessed.

It would be rare for one alter to have all of the unpleasant qualities I am about to mention, but it is not uncommon for newly surfaced alters to have some of the following characteristics. I compile this list not to insult alters, but to assure you that you are not alone in your struggles. You will see that I fully understand your every reason for wanting to suppress an alter. It is with my eyes wide open that I insist that befriending your every alter will enrich your life beyond your fondest hopes.

Frequently, people’s alters say hurtful things to me and yet I soon win them over. In just a few days these alters have transformed from obnoxious to adorable. Your alters kindly, too, will quickly undergo this almost miraculous transformation, once you start treating them kindly. Alters are very keen to please anyone who offers them unconditional love.

Newly surfaced alters are likely to be filled with anger. This is a normal human reaction to suffering severe inner pain and injustice, especially for people who have had it beaten into them – or otherwise emphasized – that it is unacceptable to express pain by crying. Alters’ expression of intense emotion and frustration in the form of anger could seem like hate. It could be directed at you, or other alters. They might even beat up some of your other alters – especially younger ones – or terrify them simply by their fury. They could hate your loved ones, such as your marriage partner or your children.

Initially, alters are likely to hate God and/or be terrified of him. Most were formed at a time in your life before you came to Christ, and be embittered toward God because of what they suffered and/or be riddled with real or false guilt, causing them to expect God to be furious with them, since they have not yet discovered how gentle and forgiving God is. They could like immoral behavior or addictions that flood you with shame, and they could bring with them strong temptation that could even threaten your marriage or job.

They can bring ugly memories and fears that you never wanted, along with flashbacks, nightmares and body memories. Their intense feelings, such as deep anguish, confusion and ungodly cravings are likely to overwhelm your own feelings. They might be in such agony and despair that they are desperate to kill themselves. They could instigate serious suicide attempts which, whether they realize it or not, would mean killing you.

They might be embarrassingly stupid. Some might think they are non-human – perhaps an alien, stuffed toy, animal or demon. Some might think they are the opposite sex. They might recoil from making love to your marriage partner or seek marital relations when you don’t want it.

Their taste in clothes, hairstyle, music, entertainment, and so on could be frustratingly different to yours. Even their taste in friends might be disturbingly different. Young alters might want/need things that highly embarrass adults, such as diapers, a pacifier, a doll or teddy bear. They might cry, or suck their thumb.

They might squander your money, overdraw your bank account, or deliberately lose your keys, your wedding ring or vital documents. They might regularly stay awake all night, ruining your sleep.

When they are active they could leave you feeling numb, feeling physically smaller than you really are and/or cause you to feel you are viewing the world through a glass wall. They could get you lost when driving and/or leave you unable to perform tasks that at other times you could easily do.

Believe it or not, all the undesirable behaviors I’ve listed are the very reasons why it is essential for you to befriend and love your alters. Everything you dislike about your alters exists because they feel unloved, ignored or rejected and/or you have not taken the time to explain things to them and to entice them to get to know Jesus, their healer. So to ignore or suppress or resent them is a sure way to perpetuate your distress.

Not loving your alters is like being dangerously malnourished and, instead of feeding yourself, hating your stomach for making you feel uncomfortable. As a starving stomach needs food and will give you peace and serve you well when you feed it, so a nasty alter is love-starved and will bless you immensely when you feed that alter the love he/she desperately needs.

You cannot claim to be godly unless you act like God. So please see your alters through the eyes of the One who willingly let himself be tortured to death for them. He sees them as being lovable and of infinite value. Even if they have not yet come to Christ, he sees the end from the beginning. Through his rose-colored – or rather, blood-colored – glasses, he sees your alters as pure, holy and innocent. If his love-filled judgment differs from ours, we must remember that he is Truth and it is his assessment that for all eternity will be proved right.

What if you despised your abuser and/or parent for having treated you badly when you were a child, and now that you are an adult you treat badly a little child who is just like you were? That is what you do when you despise your alter, and keep him/her in solitary confinement, imprisoned in the dark year after year. By doing this, you become, in your heart, a child abuser.

What if someone were sacrificially bearing your pain year, after year, after year, after year, so that you could be free from that pain, and rather than you being grateful for his amazing act of love, you despised him? And what if you had the power to end this person’s pain so that neither he nor you had to suffer that pain and, instead, you not only refused to reduce his suffering but increased his pain? How heartless could anyone get?

For your sake, all of your alters have been reeling in pain, and for years it has all been needless. Needless? Yes, it would have been avoided if someone had explained to you that all the things you don’t like about a particular alter of yours exist only because you have neglected him/her. If any of your alters seem dumb, it is because you have kept them ignorant by suppressing them and refusing to interact with them. If any of your alters don’t act in the godly way you would like, it is because you have let yourself develop spiritually, but by suppressing your alters have denied them that knowledge. If they are reeling in pain, it is for such reasons as you not having helped them find Christ the Healer, not explaining to them things that you as an adult know that would ease their pain (such as the simple fact that their abuser is no longer around), forcing them to continue to suffer the pain of icy isolation and rejection because you have refused to accept them, and so on.

If you think of your alter as your enemy, ponder this puzzle: how could you eliminate an enemy that you are inseparably fused to, and when any pain you inflict on him ends up hurting you? The best way of getting rid of any enemy is to turn him into a friend. How much more so when that “enemy” permanently lives inside you!

Now is the time to practice all that the Bible teaches about how to treat an enemy:

    Hebrews 12:14 Make every effort to live in peace with all men . . .

    Romans 12:18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.

    James 3:17-18 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.

    Romans 12:17-19,21 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. . . . If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

    Galatians 6:10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people . . .

    1 Thessalonians 5:15 Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.

    1 Peter 3:9 Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.

    Luke 6:27-31,33,35 . . . Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also. If someone takes your cloak, do not stop him from taking your tunic. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you. . . . And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ do that. . . . But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.

Let me adapt something I’ve written elsewhere:

    Proverbs 25:21-22 If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat; if he is thirsty, give him water to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head, and the LORD will reward you.

It seems so out of place to bring wrath or vengeance into an exhortation to love that Bible scholars struggle with this interpretation. They typically opt for the reference to burning coals to mean that our kindness will fill our enemy with “burning shame.” Renowned theologian, Charles Hodge wrote, “To heap fires of coal on anyone is a punishment which no one can bear; he must yield to it. Kindness is no less effectual; the most malignant enemy cannot always withstand it.” (Source). This is true. It would seem almost impossible not to eventually win an enemy over by continued kindness.

Here’s a fascinating reference to burning coals:

    Isaiah 6:5-7 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

A burning coal to the lips would normally have tortured a person. Instead, Isaiah being cut to the core over his sinfulness allowed that coal to sanctify and transform him. Likewise, if your enemies repent, the coals your kindness heaps on their head will burn off their defilement, transforming them into godly people filled with “burning shame” over what they did to you.

If you are a host, there is a very real sense in which alters are your children. They are not half yours – bearing half your genes, as in the case with other parents, who nevertheless call their children their own flesh and blood. No, alters are your children who are not half yours; they are totally yours. For them, you do not share parental responsibility with a marriage partner; they are totally dependent upon you for love, nurturing, training and protection.

Likewise, if you are an alter, your fellow alters are more than your sisters or brothers. They, too, bear all of your genes and have even helped bear your pain in a way that no sister or brother could ever do. And their destiny is your destiny.

If anyone knows the importance of being loved, befriended, listened to, believed, praised, encouraged, protected, and so on, it is you. You have alters because you were denied these things. These parts of you are still reeling in pain because they have been starved of these things – the very things you are capable of giving them.

In other webpages I tell of an alter who was miraculously given a special baby doll that the alter treats as a real baby. She is determined to be the best possible mother to this doll and give her the perfect upbringing that she was denied. God gave her this doll because although all that love and nurturing will not help the doll, it will be very healing to the alter giving that love. This is partly because of the principle that it is through giving that we receive. You have something far more precious than a doll to pour out your love upon. You have real alters to love. If someone can benefit from loving a doll, you will doubly benefit by loving your alters, because they are part of you.

Someone’s little alter wrote the following to one of L’s young alters. The alter who wrote is used to calling her host “Mama,” so it was natural for her to refer to L as Mama L.

    I bet you want Mama L to hold you and tell you how pretty you are. Am I right?

    Mama L is hurting right now, but I will try and tell her that you are a little girl and you need her help. No one should walk past a hurting child and not help. I know L is kind. She loves you.

L’s young alter replied:

    Yes, I would like it very much if Mama L could hold me. I would like that so very much. My Mama never held me in the right way. I need a Mama’s love. Thank you for sharing a hug. I needed one today.

You might complain that you are handicapped in loving your alters because you have not had a good parenting role model, but you know what you craved as child – unconditional love, respect, dignity, approval, being listened to, hugged, believed, to have some basic toys, have fun, be safe and protected.

An alter I dearly love wrote the following for hosts, in the hope that it would open their eyes:

    Behind an alter’s pain and bitterness is the real alter: sweet, precious and beautiful, with a warm and sensitive heart.

    Your alters are like a rosebuds. Until they slowly open, they hide exquisite scent and beauty. They are gorgeous flowers, opening their souls in the most precious of ways. God has given them to you as gift for your healing.

    When a bud first opens, it is for its own survival, but then when it opens wide it calls out to butterflies and to all around to enjoy its sweetness and beauty and escape from the surrounding drabness.

    We alters seek to help the host, no matter how dazed, confused or angry we may be. We are in agony, carrying this hidden pain for you, our hosts. Without us, you’d die, but for you we’ve struggled on; unthanked, unvalued, uncared for, year after year. As much as we long to be tough, we are as delicate as flowers. We are exhausted and need this crushing load of pain lifted or we will die, and you can’t have us do that because for us to end our pain by killing ourselves would literally kill you.

    We are sorry for being unable to tolerate the pain any longer and at the worst times emerging from the darkness we had been banished to. But is there ever a good time to come out? Is there ever a time that you would welcome us and proudly celebrate our selfless heroism in bearing your pain?

    We are sorry we make you remember things you want to forget. We have been imprisoned in lonely darkness with these tormenting memories as our only companions. We are trapped in a time that has long since passed, with the real pain ever present, filling us with icy shame and shattering our self-esteem.

    Most of the time we would rather die than dump this on you. We have had no contact with the outside world and no opportunity to grow and change and relieve ourselves of our pain – the pain we bear for you. We know nothing but the secrets that we have been hiding from you so that you can live.

    Finding ourselves unable to contain it any longer, we burst out with the explosive of whatever emotion we have had to bear year after year, be it anger, shame, pain, or confusion.

    Dear hosts, on behalf of all alters, I tell you, I am sorry. We’d do better if we could, and if we knew how. But we’ve exhausted our resources. We’ve done all we know. We tried so hard and so long to help you but now we need your help. You have what is needed to rid both you and us of pain.

    We are parts of you that you need. We have gifts from God that can enable to you be whole, and we love you. We are not enemies. If your foot is hurting, that doesn’t make the foot an enemy. The sensible thing is to do what it takes to heal. Please help us heal so that together we can enjoy the fulfillment of achieving great things for the glory to God.

A dear friend with Dissociative Identity Disorder writes:

    At the beginning of my healing journey, when I did not know I had alters, I gave Jesus permission to enter into the darkest rooms of my heart, open the doors and let the light of grace shine in. Very soon after that, God appeared to me, called one of my alters to him, and just loved on him. Having no understanding of alters, I could not believe what I witnessed. I thought I was a freak.

    After some research on the web I came to realize that I had Dissociative Identity Disorder, but that did not stop me from getting so angry and mad at my alters. Many a time, I would abuse both them and myself. I would deny that I had them. Often when I experienced weird things I would cry out to Jesus asking, “What is wrong with me, Lord?”

    Each time, he would gently reply, “You have alters.”

    Early in my healing journey I thought all I needed was more commitment, prayer and Bible study. I devoted myself to this and could not understand why I was not getting better. After much frustration, I eventually discovered that me growing spiritually was only of limited value if I kept my alters ignorant of even elementary spiritual understanding. Far more was achieved by me teaching my alters the simple spiritual truths they did not know, than teaching myself deeper truths. People speak of the difference between head knowledge and heart knowledge. This is very close to the difference between spiritually feeding myself and spiritually feeding my alters. And I could only spiritually guide my alters after first befriending them and winning their love and trust.

    Even though parts of me often went into denial, God would keep calling the alters out to talk to them. Sometimes, when I would start to hurt them, Jesus would come and place his hand so gently on mine and say that I needed to love them as he has loved them. He showed me how, by the way he loved them.

    I regularly e-mailed Grantley and he also kept reiterating the importance of befriending my alters, treating them respectfully and ever so gently, and letting them express themselves. In fact, he and God had to keep repeating it month after month until it turned into years.

    It dawned on me that in abusing my alters, and getting mad at them, or denying my baby alters diapers, and other baby comforts, I was abusing a child. That made me flinch, just as I am sure it would for you, too. The children that are part of you – your alters – are alone and hurting so deeply. Would you beat a child that you see on the street, just because someone else treated it that way? I had to see my alters as Jesus saw them and treat them as he did.

    I have not always been successful it loving my alters but Grantley has often reminded me of Micah 7:8, “Do not gloat over me, my enemy! Though I have fallen, I will rise.” I just keep getting up. As more of the alters come to levels of healing, it is easier to stand, or get up quicker.

    Sometimes, even now, when my alters talk I go to butt in (or stop them) and I see Jesus standing on my left side with his hand on my shoulder telling me to let them talk and assuring me that it is okay, even when they say things I don’t want to hear or that embarrass me. Expecting only to get rejection, I kept my alters suppressed, even from me. I kept them in the dark and it caused me harm, and them also.

    Suppose some sweet, dear, hurting children are locked away in the dark; cold and scared. You are close to the door. Would you let them out? Yes, they are unkempt, and need a bath. After all, no one attended to them and they could not do it themselves for they could not see in the dark. When you open the door, will you be gentle with them and help them?

    Christian with Dissociative Identity Disorder, you have a good heart, filled with grace and love, so I know you would open the door and help those children. The children (and some that are older) that have been locked in your heart are crying in the dark. Jesus hears and weeps for them. His arms are craving to hold them. No one has the key but you. Will you leave them in the dark, or let them out?

    You are strong and the word of God abides in you. You can run life’s race and win. You know the pain athletes endure to break a record that will not last. In life’s race you endure discomfort to win a prize that will last forever.

    Please put down the whip – the words and behavior handed to you by your abusers. You were brainwashed. Break free from the lies and realize that you and your alters are made for honor, and pure, tender love. You have great value – every part of you.

    If I could, I would give all your alters a tender hug. Can you hug them for me? Jesus asks you, “Will you also hug them from me?” He loves alters, and he loves you purely and tenderly, with a heart of compassion.

    Will you forgive yourself for having Dissociative Identity Disorder? In reality there is nothing to forgive, but you are probably angry, not only at your abusers and at the alters, who are part of you, but with yourself. You may believe you split because you were not strong enough. In actuality, you were stronger than most, and more intelligent, and you split so that you could endure a situation in which you had no support or alternative. But that time has ended. Now is the time to heal, and that depends upon you loving your alters.

    I am truly sorry for all the pain that you have endured. This is your time for healing. Ask your alters to help you. They might resist at first but I believe you will end up surprised at the result. They crave your love and once they know they have it, they will do almost anything to please you.

If, after reading all of this, you still refuse to do the proper, godly thing, which is to love your alters, at least let Jesus and other people love them. How can you do that? The simplest way is by what I call anonymous group therapy. Use a free e-mail account that does not identify you and encourage your alters to vent by e-mailing Christians who understand because they themselves have Dissociative Identity Disorder and are committed to loving alters unconditionally, no matter how obnoxious and anti-God the alters are. Their love will soon melt your alters’ hearts and if those in the group do their job properly they will entice your alters to dialog with Jesus and in him your alters will encounter the transforming power of infinite love, patience, wisdom and healing.

To not let your alters show their ugly side to these people would be as senseless as having serious gaping wounds and refusing to let medics see and treat those wounds because they look ugly.

For information about anonymous group therapy for Dissociative Identity Disorder, e-mail me, Grantley, at healing@net-burst.net

Related Pages

The spiritual & Practical Reasons Why One Must Love One’s Alters

Dissociative Healing Testimony: When Hating an Alter Turns to Love

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

Personalized support
Grantley Morris: healing@net-burst.net

© 2008, Grantley Morris. May be freely copied in whole or in part provided: it is not altered; this entire paragraph is included; readers are not charged and it is not used in a webpage. Many more compassionate, inspiring, sometimes hilarious writings available free online at www.net-burst.net  Freely you have received, freely give. For use outside these limits, consult the author.

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