To Protector Alters
From a Protector Alter

Multiple Personality Disorder

Some alters care so much for certain other alters that they take upon themselves the role of protecting the alters. The following is by such an alter who has undergone so much healing that she is now able to help other peopleís protector alters.


Protector Alters

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Protector Insiders

Protector Parts

I have discovered that each protector alter has value not just as a protector Ė as important as that is Ė but as a person. And protector alters have skills that the others in the system that make up the full person donít have. One of my gifts is discernment Ė the ability to recognize who is safe. It was something I asked God for. I need it to survive.

One day God told me he loved me and asked me to love him. I assumed he must have thought he was talking to the host, so I told him I was only a protector alter. But he knew it was me. He said he wanted my love and that the love of a protector alter is precious.

I was stunned, but God proceeded to explain why he so highly values protector alters. They are fierce. They are warriors who are totally unafraid of pain and going to war. They are strong and focused. They are unselfish in their commitment to protect and care for others.

Our problem, however, is that we protector alters donít have anyone to care for us and we donít know how to let our guard down to get the healing we need. Every warrior needs a rest, but how can protector alters get that when they are at constant war and on hyper alert?

The answer for me was in God giving me a white safe room where I had total control of who came in and nothing was hidden from me. The Lord gave this to me so that I could learn to rest. He took the time for me to build my trust in him. I was amazed that he would do that for me. But now I know that protector alters are important to God.

My system regards me as a leader. The host, whom I call Mama, says I am a co-host. She wants it that way. The other alters have learned to trust me and value my skills and Iím likewise learning to trust them and value their skills. Together with God we are forming a team in which each of us feels strong and safe and capable. Reaching this point has been a long journey. Let me explain.

Multiple Personality Disorder

We protector alters know how exhausting it is to be constantly on the alert for danger. Letting our guard down even for a moment seems to us the most terrifying risk, so we try to stay alert 24/7, even though no human is capable of keeping this up. This is one reason why many of us resist admitting to ourselves that we are human. (Another reason is that we are afraid to get in touch with human emotions because this, too, can be admitting to human limitations.) No matter how much we try to live in denial of it, however, the reality is that we are human and we cannot protect all the time.

We need someone so superhumanly powerful that we and our alters can be protected every moment of every day without let up. What if such a Person actually exists and he longs to release you from all the pressure by shielding you and your other alters from danger every minute of every day? What if this Protector is divine and longs to fulfill your deepest dreams while keeping you safe and fulfilled?

This seemed like an impossible dream to me, but I eventually discovered that it really is true and that you, too, can enjoy this peace and fulfillment. Astoundingly, there really is someone who longs to fight your battles and be your shield and closest friend. He, as it were, took the bullet for you, literally dying in your place, suffering all that hell could throw at anyone and winning; rising triumphantly from the dead on your behalf.

I know from my own bitter experience just how hard it is to for protector alters to reach the point of trusting God so much as to hand over to him what for us is the unbearably enormous burden of protecting ourselves and other alters. After all, at least one human has cruelly violated our trust. God isnít human Ė and that is an enormous reason for us not letting experiences with humans spoil our ability to trust him Ė but how can we be sure he is totally different from those who have let us down?

I have discovered that Jesus is the alterís Alter; the protectorís Protector. He understands us Ė and everything we face Ė far better than we can understand ourselves. He has already defeated hell. All evil is scared of him. And yet we are victims of trauma and see our problems as all-consuming.

Trauma magnifies problems. When we find ourselves in a life-threatening situation it demands everything we have just to survive. In our traumatized state we canít see beyond the problem and even when the danger subsides we remain petrified of a repeat, no matter how unlikely a repeat is.

Protector alters are like traumatized soldiers who after returning from the front line to the peace and safety of home remain on hyper-alert, continually scanning for non-existent snipers, hitting the floor whenever a car backfires, and so on. Their panic was once fully warranted but as the danger subsides they find themselves unable to come down from that state of hyper-alert.

Multiple Personality Disorder

In my slow journey all the way back from trauma to normality I found considerable help by taking to heart this truth from God:

    1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.

The word here translated ďtemptationĒ is a broad word that includes trials (explanation).

Trials tempt us to believe that they are so enormous that no one else has ever suffered them and that we must therefore stand guard and face them alone.

But in this verse the God who cannot lie affirms that no temptation or trial is uncommon to humanity Ė and certainly not to Jesus who was tempted in every way.

    Hebrews 2:18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

    Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are Ė yet was without sin.

So every horror that we faced he has already faced. He is the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2); both the trail-blazer and the one who completes the work. He has gone before us and knows the way out.

But what about my situation? I couldnít let go. What if no one rescued me if I didnít do it myself? I found help in this promise:

    Hebrews 7:25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.

Jesus knows how you feel and intercedes for you; going to God on your behalf. As our high priest and intercessor, Jesus takes our burdens and pain upon himself before God and so powerfully identifies with us that he is able to save us completely or, as the King James Bible puts it, he is able to save ďto the uttermostĒ.

He knew before time the magnitude of your problems and he fully prepared for them. He has already blazed the way out of the situation you are in and any future situation you will face.

Before you were born the cross had already redeemed you. Your pain, your sin, your problems were dealt with right back then.

You might say, ďIf God knew what would happen, and how much it would cost both him and us, why didnít he stop it?Ē

Our pain, and the pain we have ended up inflicting upon others, is the last thing our loving God wants but because he is the exact opposite of an abuser, he refuses to force us to do what is right. If we Ė or others Ė insist on acting foolishly, he lets us, even though it hurts both him and us. Out of deep respect for us, he doesnít force himself on us, but neither does he give up on us when we mess up. Instead, at horrific cost to himself, he has done all it takes to put things right again, and yet he still restrains his yearning to interfere and waits for us to come to our senses and let him help us. Even though a skilled, highly ethical surgeon can heal, he refuses to invade a personís body without that personís permission. Similarly, Jesus refuses to abuse his power. Despite his stupendous yearning to rescue you, he holds himself back, waiting for your permission.

There is One who suffered indescribable horrors on the cross for you and yet still restrains himself until you are willing. Even if no one else in the universe could be trusted, he can be trusted.

This isnít just about faith; it is simple logic. If you were hopelessly lost in a cave, and a rescuer located you and offered to lead you out, you wouldnít question if you could trust him; you would be smart enough to know you have no alternative. You would follow him to safety.

It is the same with Jesus. He knows the way out. There is no situation bigger than him. He has the ultimate authority.

You might want to object, ďYes, but, look at what happened to me.Ē

Are you dead? I think not. You were deeply hurt, but you are still alive. And Jesus has not only borne your pain and kept you alive, he knows the way to healing. He is asking you to come out of that dark cave of pain and into the light of healing.

Will you tell him, ďNo, Iím determined to figure the way out of this cave myself even though I donít have enough water to lastĒ? No one in a real cave would be that stupid, so why would you do that to your soul?

Trusting God isnít as hard as hell makes it out to be. Of course the enemy of your soul does not want you to know that you are so tenderly loved by the most trustworthy person in the universe and that your cravings for safety can be filled. The safest place to be is trusting in God, the Divine, the Healer, the Champion of your faith and victory.

Multiple Personality Disorder

When alters begin to heal it is hard for protector alters to release their iron grip of control and yet this is essential to facilitate the healing of the alters they care for. Although I was doing my best, I discovered that I was not only protecting the other alters, but I was also unknowingly oppressing them. My way of protecting was to lock the alters away where I believed it was safe. But as good as my intentions were, it wasnít real safety. I was just keeping them in hiding, which ended up keeping them from flourishing.

Protector alters have suffered such severe trauma that it has damaged their ability to know when risks are sufficiently low to be worth taking. Known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, remaining excessively vigilant can end up not only needlessly stressing oneself but hurting those we long to help. When the Nazis were murdering Jews, Irena Sendler heroically smuggled to safety, a few at a time, over two thousand children in a tool box or sack. In that crisis her actions were highly justified but had she become so paranoid that she kept the children hidden in a confined space for years after the war, it would have been needlessly detrimental to their well-being, no matter how good the intentions. This is the tragic mistake that highly traumatized protector alters unknowingly make.

For example, Freedom was one of the alters I sought to protect. She lived in her spaceship and had dreams that she left dormant because I told her it was unsafe to act out those dreams. One such dream was gourmet cooking. I feared she would be crushed if someone did not like her attempts and I knew I did not have sufficient cooking ability to protect her if she got into any difficulties in preparing a dish. So I kept her suppressing her dreams. But now I am releasing her into Godís care and letting her have her dreams because I have discovered that, unlike me, God protects without holding alters back from reaching their full potential. God knows every danger and how to win without oppression. He knows what is safe and what risks are worth taking.

When I let God have his way with Freedom she began creating beautiful dishes for my husband that the rest of us also enjoy. I love her and wanted so much to protect her from hurt but it turned out that while I was doing my utmost to do this, I was actually keeping her from being herself and robbing her of fulfillment. God really is better than I am at helping alters. God loves me deeply and I am still a vital part of the system of alters but now all the pressure is off me to try to act like God. I am free to relax and heal and see my sister alters heal.

I love the way Freedom is now feeling safer and having fun. God looks after her and she is learning from him how to cook creatively. She is joining cooking groups online and having a ball exploring who she is. She is no longer hidden away on a spaceship, but truly living. I can rest now that God is control and I can heal; something protector alters cannot do when they are expending all their energy by being in charge.

I am learning that one of the tragic consequences of trauma is that for years afterward one can be left with an exaggerated sense of danger. Severe trauma can be thought of as damaging oneís internal alarm system so that it cannot be reset. The alarm keeps blaring long after the original disturbance has ceased. As hard as it is, we need to stop believing our faulty alarm and start trusting God to keep us safe.

I know from experience how scary it seems to trust anyone, but with his infinite love, patience and wisdom, God truly is trustworthy and, although challenging, the adjustment of letting God be God is more than worth it.

Protector alters arenít cowards! You have what it takes to courageously release your iron grip of control and truly heal. Protector alters arenít oppressors, either. They truly want what is best for the others. I just want you fellow protector alters to realize that because God truly cares we donít have to be on guard all the time and that by being on guard we are unintentionally holding back the ones we are trying to protect.

Freedom, I am so sorry for restricting you in the past. I never wanted to ever hurt you. I thought you were too dumb to protect yourself and that I was doing you a favor. You have always been a good friend and let me have my way, but as I let God take over I have seen how I oppressed you because I was afraid you would get hurt otherwise.

God is healing both of us and bring us into his glory, where both of us are safe and healing.

Multiple Personality Disorder

A protector alter in another person shared with me about the huge toll of being a protector and how personally liberating it is to act differently. I have her permission to share her insights:

    Iíve discovered that most people who have started their journey into healing arenít like who they were in the beginning. They are more alive. More real.

    I now see that the way I was when I was a protector was fake. It was as though I was hiding behind a worn-out mask. I used to believe I was a boy. I was always buff and strong. I was always on my toes, ready to fight at a momentís notice. I never really thought about myself. I was forever thinking about my host and who was going to hurt us next.

    But now I can relax and enjoy my life. I have time for writing and for taking a walk. I donít worry anymore. Now I am more real and alive.

    Itís like the story of the velveteen rabbit. All his life he just wanted to be real. And he became real when he loved something more than himself. In his case, the one he loved was a little boy. But in my case, I love Jesus more than me. Unlike the velveteen rabbit, I donít have to burn myself to death to prove my love and become real. Jesus already did that for me.

    That made me start thinking about how much I loved my host, Lilly, back when her dad was abusing her. I wouldnít have thought of it as love back then. I thought of it as protecting. But we only protect the things we love. I loved Lilly so much that I was willing to deliberately stand in the way of fists and baseball bats. It was hard, exhausting work keeping her safe all the time. But, for all of my work at loving and protecting Lilly, I could never be me. I always had that worn out mask to lug around. My love for Lilly made me less human.

    I have heard it said that love changes things. Rather, it is the one you love that changes things. Lilly was small and powerless when she was a kid. She needed someone to love her. That is what I did. I loved her by protecting her. But that only caused me to have to wear that weary old protectorís mask. Then she started to love Jesus more than herself and that made her more alive and she was better able to take care of herself. I didnít have to wear the old mask anymore. Then it was my turn to choose who I would love most. At the time I did not realize how wisely I had chosen when I chose to love Jesus, because it isnít love that changes things; itís the one you love that changes things.

    So hereís the rule Iíve discovered: the more I love Jesus, the more I become who I was meant to be.

As described in Free Therapy there is a group in which people with D.I.D. can safely and anonymously e-mail each other. The protector alter who wrote most of the above belongs to the group but the following involves two other members.

One protector alter e-mailed saying how everything seemed to be crashing around her. Another memberís protector alter replied:

    I am very encouraged that you are failing as a protector. That is excellent progress.

    While in trauma, your role was to be emotionless, to be hard, to be cold, to not feel, to override and control others.

    Your role was to not be human.

    Now, my friend, you are feeling your humanity and your pain. No longer is your ďjobĒ to protect. Your ďjobĒ is to get healthy.

    You are precious and important, my friend. I know you see your responsibility to your inner family as paramount but your needs are important. There comes a time when it is your turn to fall apart and be carried. You have done so much to aid the healing of the other alters; now it is your turn.

    If someone breaks a leg, there is a critical period when a crutch aids healing but the time arrives when continued use of the crutch hinders the final stages of healing. You have been that crutch that has contributed greatly to healing your alters and now you have reached that thrilling point when your role needs to change. There are still many responsibilities, but your sacrifices for your alters have brought them to the point where they can now help. And you need to let them do this, both for their sake and for yours. Trust your alters. It will release them into their final stage of healing and will do the same for you.

    I have a feeling that alters are fighting with you and the tug-o-war is getting you nowhere. Let go of the rope. Just let what is happening happen. You cannot disappear. Neither can you go insane. Your D.I.D. will ensure that your mind has the flexibility to adapt, and God is with you. You are on the brink of something you have always yearned for but never dared hope could be yours. Let go, my friend, and ride to fulfillment, resting in the safe arms of God.

    What is happening to you is exceptionally healthy. Your mind is birthing something new and wonderful. Be at peace.

For more, see What Alters (Insiders) Wish their Hosts Knew

Related Pages

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

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Grantley Morris:

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