DID deliberate fragmented systems

Sideways

Moderator
One of my more complicated parts (12 years old) has a space of her own internally which she designed herself as the place she wants to exist.

Me personally, I think it's pretty messed up, but she designed it to look exact like the room where a lot of my worst trauma occurs. She spends her time in that room, internally. It's a space that she's familiar with - it's where my brain created her, and she was never needed outside that room. So, in that respect, it feels safe to her. It's where she knows, but it's also a space that she doesn't want to leave (trauma bonding issues), and a space that she's too afraid to leave.

So, I think I get it - the space our abuse creates internally for us to survive does feel safe in a lot of ways. And it's very much our internal reality.

But I guess my hope for you, @Polyfractal , is that maybe one day you get to create a sense of internal safety, that you can escape to for short periods, that isn't related to your abuse at all. A space where you can claim a new sense of what is safe for yourself, rather than the kind of 'safe' that you needed to create to survive. A place that's actually pleasant and soothing, and more about your future (and what you want that to look like, internally as well as externally), rather than being about surviving your past.

Just...don't give up on wanting something nicer for yourself. Internally, you're allowed to create a sense of self that you want, now. I think maybe that's what recovery is about, rather than just surviving, you know?

But hey, there are no right or wrongs with 'internal safe spaces'. If what you've got works? That's brilliant, it really is. Knowing yourself is complicated work. Don't let anyone else tell you who you are, or who you should be - we've had more than enough of that in our past.
 

Teamwork

MyPTSD Pro
I won't copy it in, because it's got info I don't want public, but mine is a large house.

I started with the tree version, where you get older parts the higher you go. That was useful for understanding where my parts cane from - what trauma created them, and how old are they. But I found that the house better represents how my parts are organised internally.

Different rooms, different levels of security, some very detailed with others having very little info, some are very open, some parts have doors between their rooms because they talk to each other without talking to me. I chill out in the lounge room and communicate with the outer world from there, and there's comfy seats for parts to join me while that's happening.

My youngest parts live in a playroom at the furthest end of the house. We designed it together and it's the safe space they go to when I need to do adult stuff, or stuff that will make them feel unsafe.

Another of my parts is currently in a secured room, because it's not safe for her to interact with anyone.

And of course there's a conference room. None of my parts live in the conference room, but it's where we get together to communicate internally as a group. Rules about decorum apply in that room.

So, my "map" is really more a tool for how I keep my parts organised internally, and reflects more how we communicate with each other and coexist. It's helpful to me, because I designed it with my parts, to reflect the different needs and relationships I have with my parts, so that I can maintain good internal communication.

It's changed a little over the years - originally some of my younger parts had secret tunnels to my diplomat, so that they could raise issues with the part they felt safe talking to, without me knowing that communication had taken place (which is what tends to happen for me - I don't always know that parts have been communicated). Those tunnels have been filled in now, because those parts feel safe coming to me directly.

It was also a helpful way for me to get to know some of my less communicative parts. Each part has their own room (I'm far more typical DID, with less than 50 parts), which they designed themselves (and periodically redesign!). That gives me insight into what's important to them, and what feels safe and like 'home' to them. For very young parts, I tweak the design to make sure it's genuinely safe and appropriate, because they're not all able to do that.

I still go through the process of "who are you, where did you come from, and why" like you do with the tree design, when I discover a new part. But once I've been through that process, they move into my internal house - I need to figure out how far out their room is from the central lounge, what does it look like, is the door going to be open, closed or locked (and if so, is it locked by them because they feel unsafe, or is it locked by me because they are dysregulated or unsafe).

Somewhere in my trauma diary I wrote about an episode of a weird tv show called Doom Patrol. One of the characters (Crazy Jane - humph) had DID, and for the most part it was the usual ridiculous representation of DID that you expect from TV. But there was one episode where they went into her internal system and it was a real eye opener for me - it was very much how I experience my parts internally. She had a sprawling underground network accessed by a subway, but the concept was incredibly helpful. Less "map", more "how do I experience my parts", and how can I use that to organise them, and our communication with each other. As a bonus, it also contains all the safe places that I send different parts to when required. I can now go into my internal house and get communication organised (rather than chaotic) really quickly, which has been really helpful for me.
This is very well articulated. It also sounds like you’ve had amazing help and done a tremendous amount of work.
 

Polyfractal

Learning
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Q: Anyone also has polyfractal systems? Polyfractal means 10,000+ fragments presenting in the psyche. I have made 2 diagrams/maps about my inner world.
 

joeylittle

Administrator
Polyfractal means 10,000+ fragments presenting in the psyche.
I'm having trouble understanding how traumagenic dissociation relates to plurality as identity.

For better or worse, DID (in psychology) is considered a disorder. The majority of psychological disorders have one aspect in common - which is, the active presence of the disorder interferes significantly with the person's ability to function. Function can be interpreted different ways, but at it's core, I've always considered 'function' to be pretty synonymous with 'living one's life'. Doesn't mean there aren't obstacles, hard days, challenges, etc....but when I'm functional, I can get out of bed, dress myself, manage a job, pay bills, and also see and feel things in the world around me.

PTSD, MDD (Depression), GAD (Anxiety)....these are disorders, and they get in the way of being able to do things - even making it so you believe you don't want to do things, or can't do things. We identify them as disorders, and do what we can to mitigate the ways they disrupt our existence.

Sometimes, part of that is simply accepting that there is a problem. In fact, that's often an important part of recovery.

The meaning of 'polyfractal' that you're offering:
Anyone also has polyfractal systems? Polyfractal means 10,000+ fragments presenting in the psyche.
Is a definition that comes not from mental health/psychology, but from identity discourse.

Identity discourse presupposes that the plural individual does not see themselves as having a disorder - in fact, there's a lot of energy that goes into arguing against that.

@Polyfractal - do you see yourself as having a disorder? Or are you exploring what it feels like to use plurality (identity) as a way of claiming whatever trauma you've experienced, and actually creating a map of memories and experiences to make sense of feeling broken?

Honest question, not trying to pick a fight with you.

ETA: Looking at these maps - they remind me of something my therapist encourages me to do when I'm processing my traumatic memories. He encourages me to give myself permission to only focus on very small 'slices' of the event. This isn't an unusual approach - it's like turning the memory into a series of pictures as opposed to letting it be like a moving image. It helps keep it from feeling overwhelming, and also helps me stay in touch with the present and not get pulled into flashbacks.

It seems to me like the different between my 'slices' and your 'polyfragments' is, I don't attach mine to personas or names. But that what we're both talking about are bits of memory.
 
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Polyfractal

Learning
I'm having trouble understanding how traumagenic dissociation relates to plurality as identity.

For better or worse, DID (in psychology) is considered a disorder. The majority of psychological disorders have one aspect in common - which is, the active presence of the disorder interferes significantly with the person's ability to function. Function can be interpreted different ways, but at it's core, I've always considered 'function' to be pretty synonymous with 'living one's life'. Doesn't mean there aren't obstacles, hard days, challenges, etc....but when I'm functional, I can get out of bed, dress myself, manage a job, pay bills, and also see and feel things in the world around me.

PTSD, MDD (Depression), GAD (Anxiety)....these are disorders, and they get in the way of being able to do things - even making it so you believe you don't want to do things, or can't do things. We identify them as disorders, and do what we can to mitigate the ways they disrupt our existence.

Sometimes, part of that is simply accepting that there is a problem. In fact, that's often an important part of recovery.

The meaning of 'polyfractal' that you're offering:

Is a definition that comes not from mental health/psychology, but from identity discourse.

Identity discourse presupposes that the plural individual does not see themselves as having a disorder - in fact, there's a lot of energy that goes into arguing against that.

@Polyfractal - do you see yourself as having a disorder? Or are you exploring what it feels like to use plurality (identity) as a way of claiming whatever trauma you've experienced, and actually creating a map of memories and experiences to make sense of feeling broken?

Honest question, not trying to pick a fight with you.

ETA: Looking at these maps - they remind me of something my therapist encourages me to do when I'm processing my traumatic memories. He encourages me to give myself permission to only focus on very small 'slices' of the event. This isn't an unusual approach - it's like turning the memory into a series of pictures as opposed to letting it be like a moving image. It helps keep it from feeling overwhelming, and also helps me stay in touch with the present and not get pulled into flashbacks.

It seems to me like the different between my 'slices' and your 'polyfragments' is, I don't attach mine to personas or names. But that what we're both talking about are bits of memory.
I have been professionally diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder in 2018 by a clinical psychologist and in 2020 by a psychiatrist. I have met someone who also had millions of polyfragments, she also had gone through ritual abuse. I have full amnesia with my traumatic memories...the traumas were severe enough that it split my mind.
 

Jade-

MyPTSD Pro
I personally feel it's wrong for any professional to label each fragmented thought,piece of memory, feeling etc as a " part" when treating DID. I think that could do more harm than good.

The old way of treatment was to identify and map parts, it's no longer done that way because it creates even more division(doesn't mean professionals aren't still doing that though)

@Polyfractal were you told by the professionals that diagnosed you that you have over 10,000 parts or is that something you have figured out on your own?And do you consider them all as "parts"? As separate identities?
 

Polyfractal

Learning
I personally feel it's wrong for any professional to label each fragmented thought,piece of memory, feeling etc as a " part" when treating DID. I think that could do more harm than good.

The old way of treatment was to identify and map parts, it's no longer done that way because it creates even more division(doesn't mean professionals aren't still doing that though)

@Polyfractal were you told by the professionals that diagnosed you that you have over 10,000 parts or is that something you have figured out on your own?And do you consider them all as "parts"? As separate identities?
We did an internal calculation of the polyfragments that we have. We do consider them as parts, but more specifically, we have alters (more developed personalities) and polyfragments (tiny segments of traumatic events)--such as a word, a sensation, a smell. We were splitting ourselves exponentially. Each alter and fragment has their own trauma history, that is how I have labeled their categories of trauma and their names. Each polyfragment is an identity, but they are very similar in memories, because we have been splitting ourselves of hundreds of fragments per traumatic event for many years, they are all parts, but just that the capture of the memories is tiny per fragment.
 

Jade-

MyPTSD Pro
Thanks for explaining @Polyfractal

I understand now, it's not that they are all alters/parts, it's that you've chosen to label them in that way.

I'm not sure how labelling a sensation or smell as a part can be beneficial in any way but if it's helping you and not harming you then that's what matters.
 

Polyfractal

Learning
Thanks for explaining @Polyfractal

I understand now, it's not that they are all alters/parts, it's that you've chosen to label them in that way.

I'm not sure how labelling a sensation or smell as a part can be beneficial in any way but if it's helping you and not harming you then that's what matters.
Each part, whether it is the alters or polyfragments, they all have a job to hold, whether it is holding a large chunk of trauma memories or tiny chunk of trauma memories. They all matter, as my psychologist said. When I revealed to her about the amount of parts, she instantly realizes that when numbers are that much, usually they are tiny segments of events. If only counting my alters, which not a lot, I find that this would disregard a large part of my trauma history, which I need to work on the trauma with my therapist, so I need to include every detail, including polyfragments that are also identities, just that they hold a much smaller trauma history.
 

shimmerz

MyPTSD Pro
I am very sorry this you have been forced to go through what you have Polyfractal. The betrayal you have been forced to endure, I can't even imagine.

I have friends that have gone through this type of therapy with varying results. I did not choose to go through this type of therapy. I chose to use MDMA originally to get back key memories and process them in a way that felt safe. I created a safe place for myself. I allowed my inners to come 'up to me', but was careful not to 'go down to them'. I researched like crazy and found something that I could latch onto that would provide a container (new part - so to speak) where I could do what I had been taught to do by nature of my wounding. I mindfully work within that container each and every moment that I possibly can - moving forward.

I do not focus on my traumatized parts so much, but do acknowledge them.

For myself, I believe one of my largest traumas was losing my sense of identity, and that that was keeping me traumatized. So I wonder, @Polyfractal, how all of this trauma work is affecting you. What I have always thought is that when looking at this in this way - people are literally tearing apart their perceived identity. Is this the way you see it or do you see it as building your 'traumatized' identity so you can heal?

Do you know what the end goal of this therapy is? What is your therapist attempting to get to? Is the end goal to stop the incessant splitting?

but they are very similar in memories,
So is there an option to look at the lowest common denominator (which are the similar memories and work from there? This is what I did. I found that the more I dug into the gory details, the more I lost my identity and the more profoundly I was being traumatized. I am not certain if that is your experience but I would imagine this is affecting you somehow.

Also, is there a 'part' of you that you would say you related to in a way that seems purposeful or empowered throughout your life?
 

Polyfractal

Learning
So I wonder, @Polyfractal, how all of this trauma work is affecting you. What I have always thought is that when looking at this in this way - people are literally tearing apart their perceived identity. Is this the way you see it or do you see it as building your 'traumatized' identity so you can heal?
I find it helpful to map out my systems to understand my trauma history and my internal structure.
Do you know what the end goal of this therapy is?
I don't aim for complete integration, because I don't want to carry the huge trauma history all by myself, but splitting myself into multiple people would help ease the load. The goal of the therapy is to ease my suicidality, flashbacks and depression, it is to heal the wounds of my trauma history.
What is your therapist attempting to get to?
My therapist can do EMDR, so I am keen to try that in our future sessions.
Is the end goal to stop the incessant splitting?
The splitting only occurs when trauma happens, but our hosts can also intentionally create new alters if need be.
So is there an option to look at the lowest common denominator (which are the similar memories and work from there? This is what I did. I found that the more I dug into the gory details, the more I lost my identity and the more profoundly I was being traumatized.
I understand that processing trauma is difficult, but I need to process it, because I want to be healed of my suicidality, flashbacks and depression.
Also, is there a 'part' of you that you would say you related to in a way that seems purposeful or empowered throughout your life?
I am the core speaking right now. I have other hosts behind me who have no idea about their trauma histories. I thank my dissociation, my alters and polyfragments, because they have helped me to "forget" my traumatic memories and live on with life without interference.
 
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