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Thinking about my last post I thought it might be a good idea to explain more about my system and how it has evolved over the years.  I can remember when I was first diagnosed and looking for explanations for what the heck was happening with me. Hopefully this will help some newly diagnosed people out. Please remember though not all DID systems are alike.

I have a fairly large system which includes: littles, middles, teens and adults functioning as protectors, healers, ISHes, caretakers, listeners, guardians, recordkeepers and shadow alters.  I will explain the functioning in a minute. I may or may not post a system map I haven’t decided yet or rather we haven’t since it will be a group decision.

OK as far as functions go:

Protectors- do just what the name says they protect the system from harm or perceived harm. They will front when we feel threatened. 5 years ago when my mother tried to hit me my lead protector Lou fronted, packed my bags and took us out of there even though the house was full of people for Thanksgiving dinner.

Healers- in my system these are the ones who help me and insiders who are flashing, suicidal, wanting to self harm etc. They also help my system by slowing memories down so they aren’t as over powering. If a memory is being brought up before the right time they can stop it.

ISHes- for those who don’t know, ISH stands for Internal Self Helper- they know what’s going on in the system, what’s best for the system, and can really help with therapy stuff. My system is different in that my main ISH is now about 15 but she is also one of my first alters so has been with the body from the time the body was young.

Caretakers- besides taking care of the littles and middles, they make sure newly found alters are connected in with someone so they are not alone. Inside they teach our littles so that they can communicate in writing if they want.

Listeners- can hear whats going on in any part of the system and front. This helps a lot to know whats going when theres a crisis.

Guardians- special kind of protector who comes in very handy when we are having trouble with persecutor alters.

Recordkeeper- keeps a record of everything that has happened either with the body and system as a whole or the specific subsystem they are a part of.

Shadow Alters- these guys I learned the hard way can wreak havoc with my system when they first come forward. I could be wrong but I think you tend to see them more when people have RA backgrounds. Anyway, one of their big things is to not allow anyone to talk about what happened and they will try all kinds of things to keep people from talking or torment someone after they talk.  Now, on the good side, if you can work with them they can make excellent protectors- more about that later.

OK now that you know the different functions, here is how I have my system set up:

Front- I’ve learned over the years that if I am front or certain alters are front and we start flashing then we “put a wall up” which makes it difficult to pull us in from front to let someone else out who can function. In light of this fact we now have 3 in the front area- 1)the one who is actually “out”, 2)a healer in case someone is flashing, and 3)one of the protectors who is able to get through all walls so they can pull someone in if needed. This also helps when I lose time because the protector will know what happened front while I lost time, though I am only told about stuff I need to know.

Inside- First let me say that inside every DID system is different. It’s where your alters stay when they are not front so let them decide what it looks like. As far as mine goes, because my alters were in the dark for so long there’s lots of light, green and togetherness so no one is alone. Groups reside in houses like families. There’s stuff for littles and middles to do, the teens have a club house which actually helps a lot in keeping them out of trouble. Hidden alters, when they first come forward are paired up with a mentor. The shadow alters have their own thing going but I’ll let them explain that on their wall.

Well, that’s how my DID system works for me.

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