"How Do I Know If I Have Multiple Personalities?"
Quoted from: "For Survival's Sake Workbook"by Alexandra Rogers
Note:This author uses the term component instead of 'part', or 'alter'.
"That is the first question to address. Being multiple myself, I will try to explain what the difference is between dissociation and multiplicity. The best way for me to begin is to give you an example of the difference.
You are getting up from your chair in the dining room where you have just finished with the salad portion of a meal. You are going into the kitchen to get the main meal out of the oven and onto the table. You cross the threshold into the kitchen and you no longer know why you have come into the kitchen. If you are a normally dissociative person, this occurs because your mind was consumed with another subject. You arrive in the kitchen and know that you were in the dining room eating and, oh, that's right-you suddenly remember that it was time for the chicken to come out of the oven to be served. As a normally dissociative person, you can reconstruct recent linear time and logically deduce why you came into the kitchen on your own.
If you are a moderately dissociative person, your mind is consumed with a subconscious emotional dilemma. You enter the kitchen and know that you were in the dining room, yet you are not able to recall why you felt it necessary to come into the kitchen. So you walk back out to the dining area, sit down in your chair, look at your plate and, [remember why you went into the kitchen] There is a momentary flash of shame or embarrassment and you proceed on with getting the chicken out of the oven and served. As a moderately dissociative person you can recreate linear time with the help of environmental cues or triggers. You may feel ashamed or embarrassed by your dissociation and may present a self-condemening attitude.
If you are a highly dissociative person, a multiple, your mind is triggered by your subconscious. You may have had an emotional reaction to something. You cross into the kitchen and the component who was walking towards the kitchen leaves with all cognition as to why they were headed for the kitchen. Another totally separate component now finds themselves in a kitchen. This component may have never been in this kitchen. No matter what their last memories are, they do not correlate to the facts of the current reality. However, the wonderous part about multiplicity is that the new component is given the information that they are to serve the chicken and also given any other information that will allow them to function and behave normally. The component may not fully understand what is going on or where they are but they follow the instructions given within. That is why people with multiple personalities can go a lifetime without realizing what they are and without being discovered by others. If you have multiple personalities, you can not recreate linear time without getting all the components who participated in that time talking to each other."
"Individuals with multiple personalities hear voices from within themselves. They predominately "read" each other's thoughts so verbal communication is actually more difficult than internal communication. The different components vary in age from little to babies to extreme old age. Some of the components can also take the internal composition of an animal. Although some of the components believe themselves to be separate from the rest (not sharing the same body), they can eventually come to recognize that they share the same exterior body. Components who accept this truth are capable of seeing the other components internally. The various components can actually be distinctly recognized by an external observer. The body seems to shrink and take on child-like attributes when a child component is in control.
Although some of the components can suggest, order or do things that are detrimental in their current reality. Their behaviors, beliefs, thoughts, words or actions were absolutely necessary for the survival of the individual at the time the components were created. The problem is that these components do not recognize that reality has changed. It is important to understand that even the most threatening components had absolutely no choice at the time that they were created than to carry out the behavior. If they did not, than the survivor would have been hurt or killed."
"Are all Survivors Multiples?"
No, but since we all have a level of dissociation, it can be beneficial at first to think of yourself as multiple. It will allow you to look at events and emotions that are painful only when it is safe and appropriate. Then you can set them aside when it is not appropriate. Working off the assumption that you may be multiple will not 'turn' you into a multiple. If you are not multiple, time will show that. If you are multiple you will get further in therapy faster by not fighting the diagnosis and the other components within your body."
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