I will admit that I have been confused about something for a while.
I have been able to easily understand the functions of some Helpers as their place seems to be rooted in a part of my past. I find it easy to accept my little girl Helpers as I know they are “Little Heathers” but because they are so separate/compartmentalized from me, they have their own names and formed identities. Teenagers are easy for me to understand as well since the trauma started somewhere before the age of 4 (birth?) and did not end completely until I was 24.
Julie makes sense to me as well. She’s sort of like the foreman of inner regulation. That makes sense too. Someone to take over when I couldn’t or can’t handle whatever was going on.
The Helpers that I could not understand were the boys, the men and older Helpers. I also had a hard time understanding Helpers that are very unlike me and deviate from my sense of right and wrong. One example was Polly who had self harming behaviors. I do not self harm and my other Helpers do not either. Polly did though. We’ve worked through that issue thankfully but it still confused me as to why that part of me thought it was okay while the rest of us did not. I just have so many questions and so much to learn. I will remind myself of a saying that is popular here. “You don’t have to eat the whole pie in one bite.” So, the first bite of pie… the older Helpers.
This is what I’ve come to understand.
There seems to be information about some Helpers/parts that can imitate the people who hurt you. This would explain Aggie, Robert and Charles (mean, hurtful, rude, angry and often distasteful older Helpers). It seems this type of Helper can be originally developed to protect you. They can hold the anger, helplessness, and sometimes, guilt and shame. These emotions would have been overwhelming to younger Helpers. Truthfully, the would still overwhelm me.
They also seem to try to prevent younger parts from behaving in ways that they deem unacceptable. Unfortunately they seem to be willing to use shame, threats or punishments to do this. They can also unleash their anger to other people in the outside world. They can show the anger that I can not.
Their “methods” (behaviour and attitudes) can be very unacceptable and their existence confusing but they are basically acting like the people who hurt me in the first place in order to protect me from situations they feel are similar. The way I am understanding it is like when you have a bully in the schoolyard and they gets away with it until one day another bully puts them in their place.
So what am I supposed to do with them? What does any person with DID to deal with these parts?
For me? I am going to try to appreciate why they exist. Although they can be very mean, hurtful and shaming, they are really just trying their best to protect me and the younger Helpers from getting back in to situations that could harm us. The only way to calm them down is to deal with the fear and the shame of the past and of the present (a TALL order). I hope that in time, this will help calm them down and hopefully become more of a help rather than a hindrance.
Have a great day all!