Many people do not know what fronting is.
I didn’t.
In the DID world, it is basically a term for who (which part/Helper) is showing themselves at that time.
Lately I have become very aware that a big part of peoples confusion regarding DID is that they rarely see another “side” or “person” so they assume a misdiagnoses, a great imagination, or a bid for attention is at play.
What needs to be understood is that most people will likely only meet me (Heather) or one of the Helpers. Very rarely will a different Helper appear to the same person in the same situation.

This is a tough one to explain but I am going to try.
This topic was brought to my attention recently with a doctor. She made a comment that she’s never seen anyone but me. The trouble is? I don’t remember her. I have absolutely no recollection at all of who she is or whee i know her from. You see, the same Helper will attend almost all of my medical appointments when it has to do with certain aspects of my health. I never go. It is never me. I am unsure of who it is but I am thankful that she takes care of that aspect of my life. Then I meet with this doctor accidentally in a non medical setting and she knows me but I do not know her. She was told of my DID diagnoses and wanted to ask me a question or two which is totally fine with me but she was totally confused that I did not know who she was. Apparently we see her every 6 months and have for the past 12 years.
Something that she failed to even consider is that who she met on a regular basis just might not be Heather. It is a very common mistake of people to assume that whoever they meet is the host/owner of the body/Heather.

That assumption is not only wrong but it can be damaging to the person with DID because people will assume you are not telling them the truth because they only get to see one side of you. They do not realize that in the DID world? The same person in the same circumstances, in likely the same places is going to bring out the same Helper.

In my system, each Helper has a very limited job list. One goes to female doctors appointments, another goes to appointments with males. One Helper will deal with children while another will deal with adults. One may be better in crowds while another is better with individual conversation. Each one has something they are good at and each one was created at different times in my life for that use.
An example of this was when I found out 2 weeks ago that Julie was created when I was 8, her personality instantly made sense to me. When I look back at life at 8 years old, it was a particularly stressful and challenging time. My life was in grave danger for much of that year. Julie came along as a new Helper who was able to take over in many of those situations and her skill set complimented the needs from those times. She is still in charge of very stressful, fearful, uncertain times in my life. If you meet me in an environment where I am completely stressed out on a regular basis, you will likely only ever meet Julie. It will never be me there at those times even though I do manage to hang on a lot better than I could in the past. Still… you would come to the assumtion that I was only ever one person and you never saw me switch or become anyone else. You would be right but you would have also never met me/Heather.

I/Heather am always out “fronting” when I am comfortable, do not feel a great deal of stress and feeling relatively safe. I am always the writer of this blog because I am the only on that likes to write. No Helper seems to have even the tiniest inclination to take over the writing of this blog. I find that fascinating to be honest. They usually have so bloody much to say. πŸ˜‰ I can only imagine how odd it may seem to others that do not experience it.

Some people have seem more than one side of me. My husband, my in-laws, good friends, doctors, my children… Many people don’t realize it though until they realize that they have told “me” something and I have no recollection at all.
I try to stay present all of the time. I try to be the one who fronts during each situation but it took my mind 43 years to get the way it was and it will take more than a year and a half to unscramble the messages.

I hope that I have explained this decently enough to make sense of it. I know it is confusing and I am still rather new to all of this. I just hope that if I share what I learn as I go along, it will help others understand more as well.

If anyone has a different experience or explanation, I am always open to hear them. It never hurts to learn even more right?

I wish you all the best for a great week. ❀


14 responses to “Fronting

  1. Hello Heather! My name is Andrea. I find your blog very interesting. I have this school project about DID in psychology. And I wonder if you are interested to answer some questions. I would really appreciate it.

    Sincerely Andrea


  2. Thanks for that. I’m still so scrambled but you helped with things to make sense more. I feel like mine have all crowd for the time and years that they needed to until the next split I suppose. Now they come and go whenever, not all. Thank god. You’ve got good understanding for being new. How new and how did you learn? Did you have much Amnesia?


  3. You explain DID so well Heather, which is why I have never had a problem understanding what happens. It makes perfect sense that each Helper has their own role – has their own skill set. I hope the doctor you referred to went away and REALLY looked into DID. Better yet, will ask YOU to tell her how it is for you! Brilliant blog, as always. Perhaps you could refer her to it?.xxx


    • Thank you my friend. Sadly most doctors (here anyways) would rather tell you about how DID is controversial than actually learn about it. My own psychiatrist “doesn’t believe in it” even though he says I do have the “classic presentation”. WTF? One day it will become better understood. Thank you so much for your comments. Cwtches.


      • Ah….”classic presentation”. I’ve heard those words a couple of times in regards to my fibromyalgia! They use them when it’s obvious there’s something wrong but they don’t want to “officially” diagnose incase it costs the practice money! Perhaps I’m being unfair (they could just be covering their backs!), but that sort of negativity is the last thing you need Heather – especially from your own psychiatrist! Hugs.x


      • Oh yes. Bang on Wendy.


  4. I agree with Wendy… you did a wonderful job explaining things. It does make perfect sense how each Helper is created to help with a particular difficulty or issue and how one who only see that one in the same kind of situation. Wonderfully written… and I also agree… show the Dr. in question your blog to help her understand πŸ™‚


  5. I agree with the other commenters, Heather. Great explanation, and I appreciate the education. Your blog should be required reading for psychiatrists and therapists – especially those who don’t think DID is real!


  6. I have found the hardest thing for people to grasp is that they have never noticed a different part out. But the truth is that most of my peeps have done a great job of “looking just like me” in order to keep up the appearances that all is normal. After all, isn’t that one of DID’s characteristics, parts created to maintain sanity and life? People don’t get that whatever part is out is there because that is their job, and for the most part, do it quite well. That is what has kept us alive and able to function in society. Once people become aware of DID, they begin to notice the subtle differences, but only if they are really paying attention.


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