As you can probably see from the title, this is going to be a significant and personal post. We have DID/OSDD-1b. We have a verbal diagnosis for DID, persuing an official one once we’re safe. It’s impossible to get an OSDD diagnosis in our country so we’re settling for DID, but most of us are convinced we have OSDD-1b. More on that further in the post, any terms you might not understand will be explained. If there’s still something you’re curious about, we’ll try our best to answer.
We’re currently writing an official article on multiplicity which will be published sometime this spring in our country. We’ll decide if we want to translate it and publish it in other languages, too. This will be a shorter, more concise version of that.
This is Clarke and Noelle co-con. Clarke is a sexual protector and Noelle is an academic protector (academic protector isn’t an official term, we use it because it best describes many of us).
Our system name is the Firefly System, but since our core changed her name. We’re fine to go by the body’s name. There’s about 106 of us. We haven’t met all of them, not even a half. We have 8 subsystems, communication between which is very bad. We’re not from the same subsystem, we’re only able to communicate because Noelle has access to multiple inner worlds.
Most of us are female, non-binary is a close second and only about 15 male. Our collective pronouns are they/them. We have some alters without a gender which don’t use pronouns and some who use neopronouns.
Our body has hypoglycemia, endometriosis, BPD and ADHD which affect all of us. We have a diagnosis for all of those. Multiple of us have different other illnesses which are caused by brain processes. For example, Camille is allergic to meat, and Raven is partially paralysed. We won’t share any more private information.
Most of you know our core, Hailey. She roleplayed in Camp Half-Blood and multiple other roleplays that we can’t recall, you’d have to ask her. You might know her by the name Kale. Catherine became host during the first few weeks of quarantine. She still used Kale on the forums, but she told her friends our body’s name. Laurel was the host from July to early October. Arden then took over until mid-December and we’re currently hostless.
What are DID and OSDD-1?
DID stands for Dissociative Identity Disorder and OSDD stands for Otherwise Specified Dissociative Disorder. Both are dissociative disorders and characterised by severe dissociation. The trait differentiating DID and OSDD-1 from other dissociative disorders are multiple states of consciousness. Multiplicity is only present in OSDD-1.
What causes DID and OSDD-1?
DID and OSDD-1 are caused by severe childhood trauma. Before the age of 7-9, the child’s mind is in multiple ego-states. During the age of 7-9, in an average mind, they integrate to form one consciousness. The age depends on the individual. In some individuals, the severe trauma doesn’t allow that and instead of one, multiple states of consciousness develop. Due to different experiences, they all have different personalities and interests. We are not the same person.
What are alters?
The term alter stands for alternate state of consciousness. Alters are developed to protect the others from trauma. They hold different memories and are divided by amnesiac walls. They may not all be aware they are a part of a system.
Alters in childhood split due to the child’s inability to survive on their own. The child’s brain knows a toddler wouldn’t be able to take the trauma, the child is convinced it can’t be happening to them. The only way out of the situation is to dissociate and for someone else to take over, someone who could take the trauma and survive it. Non-human and supernatural alters are very common due to the child’s false perception of reality.
Earliest alters are developed to protect the core. The core is the first formed alter, but they don’t owe the system and are not the only important alter. The core isn’t always the host. The role of the host indicates the alter who fronts the most. Alters may have different roles and porpuses in the system. Some official roles are:
- Protector. A protector protects the body and other alters from dangers they couldn’t handle. There are multiple types of protectors, such as emotional, physical, sexual, spiritual.
- Persecutor: A persecutor harms other alters or the body. It isn’t always from ill intent and usually originates in self-hatred. Persecutors are very diverse and have different reasons for their actions.
- Gatekeeper: A gatekeeper controls which alters have access to different parts of the inner world - or in bigger systems different inner worlds, different memories and traumas, sometimes they can influence switches. Usually, gatekeepers have the broadest knowledge of the system.
Memory holders: Memory holders’ purpose is to hold memories. A type of a memory holder is a trauma holder. Trauma holders carry the trauma other alters can’t handle and many are stuck in such memories. Littles are usually memory holders of happy memories, innocence and the good parts of childhood. That isn’t always the case. Other types of memory holders are depression holders, psychosis holders, pain holders.
Alters have different ages. These label alters as littles, middles and bigs. The age falling under these differs between systems. We count alters as littles until the age of 11, middles from 12 to 16, and bigs are 17 or older.
What’s the difference between DID and OSDD-1?
The diagnosis of OSDD-1 is given to systems which don’t have the symptoms for DID.
OSDD-1a features alters that don’t develop far from the core. They usually don’t have their own names and are known as ‘angry self’, ‘young self’, and similar. They do, however, have generalised amnesia between them and experience full black-outs.
In OSDD-1b, alters differ further and use their own names. They don’t experience full black-outs and are instead divided by emotional amnesia. Emotional amnesia is the feeling of remembering an event, but not feeling emotionally connected to it. We describe it as not remembering it while still knowing about it.
Any system that doesn’t fall under OSDD-1a or OSDD-1b uses the diagnosis OSDD-1. These systems might feature alters that can’t front and are only there to carry trauma and for the host to communicate with. A diagnostic criteria for DID is significant stress caused to any of the alters due to the disorder. If a system has learnt to comfortably live as multiple, they might fall under OSDD-1.
What are different states of alter consciousness?
An alter fronting means they are in control of the body. Co-con is short for co-consciousness which means multiple alters fronting. Their control of the body isn’t always evenly distributed. One alter may have control of the limbs, while the other can speak. The closer the alter is to front, the better recollection they will have of the events.
The inner worlds are the spaces inside a system’s mind. Not all systems have inner worlds and not all bodies with inner worlds are systems. Alters there have their own appearances and abilities. An alter in the inner world usually doesn’t remember what was happening to the body. Alters can have their own lives in the inner world which isn’t any less valid than what happens outside. Alters can have friendly, romantic and hostile relationships with one another in the inner world. Physical laws are different in the inner world.
Dormancy is the farthest conscious state to front. When an alter is in dormancy, they ‘stop existing’. They can’t access the inner world and front, and they have no sense of time during their dormancy. An alter can’t die - when they appear to be dead or are nowhere to be found, they’re usually dormant.
What are introjects?
Introjects are alters originating from the outside world. Alters with a fictional source are called fictives and alters from a factual source are called factives. Alters can be very different from their source. Introjects’ sources are not always human. A human introject’s source can be a song, an object or even a concept. Sources of a system’s introjects have a big effect on one of the alters. It’s usually good, but many systems have introjects of abusers.
Introjects can have memories of their source. Memories that don’t belong to the body are called pseudomemories. Despite their name, they are very real and introjects experience them as such.
What are subsystems?
There are two types of subsystems.
The first type is alters that stick together and have something in common. They can have a similar source or role. In polyfragmented systems, they usually have their own inner world which others can’t or have limited access to.
The second time of subsystem is a system within a system. An alter may have DID/OSDD-1 on their own, alters that don’t have the appearance of the body in the inner world. This type of subsystem almost always has their own inner world. The other alters can communicate with the subsystem the same way a singlet would communicate with a system in the outer world.
What allows alters to have different illnesses?
Alters share a body and a brain, therefore illnesses caused by brain and body structure affect all of them. Some of these illnesses are ASD, NPD, ASPD, BPD, OCD, dyslexia, synesthesia, aphantasia, hyperlexia, Tourette syndrome, dyscalculia. All alters might not show the same symptoms, as singlets with the illnesses aren’t all the same.
Illnesses caused by different brain processes can affect individual alters. Depression is caused by certain brain processes shutting down and redirecting. When an alter is fronting, different brain areas and processes are active to the previous one, therefore the brain processes of depression can be alter-specific.
Even illnesses that seem physical, such as allergies, can affect only one alter. In allergies, the brain overreacts to a normally harmless substance and activates the body’s defence system. Again caused by brain activity, such illnesses vary from alter to alter.
Some of our favourite sources on multiplicity:
– chloe & Hailey noelle and clarke wrote it, chloe added the links and Hailey posted
@Cam my moral support ancestor