Older Dissociative Parts

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.
Older parts…
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!

9 responses to “Older Dissociative Parts

  1. It didn’t occur to me that some of your Helpers would be older, or indeed male, Heather. Thinking about it, perhaps their unacceptable behaviours and emotions exist in everyone? Just in a more “blended” form? Your blogs are so well-written and informative; I hope they help you heal too.xxx

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  2. You are being so brave in facing this. Do you have support from someone like a therapist to help you? I know we had a brief discussion the other day about older parts and what you have written here makes so much sense xx

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    • There is no one here that knows much of anything at all about DID. I waited 10 months for a therapist even after being in a hospital program. I am very rural so help is hard to find. This is one of the reasons that I have reached out online. My new therapist just might work okay though. We discussed DID today and she didn’t “poo-poo” it. Fingers crossed.

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  3. I really do hope it does work out for you with your new therapist…i will be keeping everying crossed for you xx

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  4. Fingers crossed Heather. You really need and deserve this support. I sincerely hope she does not “poo-poo” it – at the very least that would be unprofessional.xx

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  5. Oh Wendy, I wish that professionals could see their attitude towards DID as damaging because it really is. Some seem to be great, they understand it, they believe it… but most do not. It is VERY hard to work through questions and issues when the person treating you doesn’t believe your diagnoses. I keep hearing “It’s not that I don’t believe you. I just don’t believe in DID.” Very frustrating.

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  6. A couple of mine were seriously sadistic early on. They were trying to protect me from memories. One named Bill is now a friend and was glad to give up his role of trying to scare the heck out of me.

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