Sunday, January 17, 2010

Thoughts on Integration

I am going through a process of gradual integration of my poly-fragmented, highly structured DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) systems. In a discussion about this topic with other survivors the question arose as to how it is possible to integrate thousands of parts. It is true that highly structured systems do contain this many different parts of selves. The following may help people comprehend this seeming impossibility as well as to help survivors to work towards resolving this extensive fragmentation.


When one perceives that they have thousands of parts, integrating them all might not be as difficult as it may at first appear. For one thing, most likely the vast majority of these parts are not fully developed personalities. Many of these are fragments of selves. One fragment will hold one little piece of info from the memory, and another will hold another piece of the same event. For one small part, this will the the sounds heard during the event. For another it may be the sensations experienced; and for yet another, it could be the visual picture of the event. These are stored separately because the psyche cannot handle the extremes of trauma inflicted upon it. With the most extreme of traumatic events, there can be hundreds of fragments surrounding a single event. Our psyches come up with creative ways to house these fragments away from the conscious mind. Often these structures symbolize sleeping and/or death. Structures within the mind's internal landscape like a morgue with body drawers, beds, and/or graves would symbolize the need to "kill" or deactivate the pieces of memory so they could never hurt or haunt us again, or be remembered. Inside, I have a graveyard and underground chambers and a prison labyrinth where sleeping and supposedly dead parts of me are.

While we were children who were living surrounded by constant danger, these structures and this fragmentation was necessary. But now that we are older and becoming stronger, we are capable of handling these memories as one cohesive event. The goal is to eventually integrate the complete memories into the fabric of our lives so that they become part of our life history. The important and operative word here is our history, meaning it is in the past and can no longer destroy us. We can now bring the fragments surrounding an event together and reconstruct the narrative. Then we can accept the memory with our adult mind, so that we can then integrate the event into our life history. At first the fragments will come together into the alter self who endured the event. Then the conflicts that keep us (the amnesic host) separate from that alter can be worked through and resolved. I feel that when this is accomplished, the barriers will naturally dissolve since there is no longer a reason to keep them separate.

Think of dissociation as being held in place by internal conflicts. A part holds a memory because she believes we could not handle it or function if we knew or owned the event. We deny the memory as being real, or we doubt it or feel it is part of our imagination, and that is how we shield ourselves from its effects. We believe we can't own or believe it; or we are sure no one would ever believe us, yet we feel we can't bear it alone. Quandaries like that are what keep the walls in place. I have heard of massive integrations happening for people where a hundred or two hundred parts come together all at once just by resolving a single conflict. Many times, the same conflict will occur throughout our lives that give rise to more divisions. When that internal conflict is resolved, all of the parts created over our entire life history who are separate because of this conflict; can resolve the issue that divides them from each other and also from us and come together as one self.

An example of this would be a little girl who went to her father for help buttoning her pajamas. Her father then took advantage of her and sexually abused her, so she decided that she can never trust a man when she needs help. If she works through this and realizes that there are good men, as well as bad men, and that all men are not dangerous; then maybe every part who has that conflict stemming from different experiences throughout life can have the issue resolved and all integrate together.

Some of the more developed alter personalities will have several different conflicts and each issue will probably need to be worked through if they are to integrate. Keep in mind also that mind control programmers, and others who have a vested interest in keeping us from remembering and talking help us to set up some of these structures inside. They then follow that up with constant reinforcement that this is a permanent state for us, and that we need these barriers in place if we are to survive and function well. In other words, they sell us on the notion that we are much too complex and broken to ever hope to recover and become one person. They discourage us from "digging up the past" and minimize the importance of remembering what has happened to us. Their admonitions combined with the sheer numbers of parts and the complexity of their arrangement within is together designed to make the whole situation feel totally overwhelming and unbeatable. Concerning the ones who would keep us prisoner our whole lives it always behooves us to remember that a lot of what they taught us and manipulated in us is smoke and mirrors and lies designed to benefit them and not us.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a couragoues woman and give hope to so many who walk the same and or a similar path.It is an honour to know you

Anonymous said...

this is so clear and helpful, thanks for posting this

Shamai said...

You have spelt this out so well. Compassion seems to be a key word in gaining trust from those who are inside of us. I had an underground dungeon where the lost children lived. They all died and couldn't be saved. I never got their memories.

Exhale said...

Well written post...I agree with what you have shared because it's our experience as well.

Eliana Hephzibah said...

Shamai, A question for you to ask yourself. Is it really true that the children died, or did they just get moved and hidden because their location became known? Programmers set up fail safes, as you know, to keep things from being known and this is one of the tricks they use. I'm sure you've thought of this, but I thought I would ask.

Vague said...

thank you... needed to read this today...