For as many years as we can remember, the feeling like we were very different, was always there. Maybe not the conscience knowledge of a particular issue, but the unthought-known, something was certainly “special” about us. The almost predictable ridicule and bullying we experienced though our early years, till our post adolescent years, was certainly an indicator as well. When you are a child, who has no idea why, but very certainly, you are the outcast, the misfit, the easy target for the bullies, and other kids needing an easy validation. Even to a naive child, the reality begins to sink in. We are as it seems, the crazy ones.
In the light of day, when we out our body on display for the world to see, we make ourselves vulnerable in so many ways. We are not only exposing our physical vessel to an array of dangers, both perceived and material, bit the even more destructive forces of our fellow humans cruelties. As it turns out, we are to be victimized in another way, the cruelty of humanity. The ability for human beings to display and practice cruelty. And intolerance is boggling. There is not another species inhabiting our planet that can so easily dominate, manipulate, and destroy not only other species, but most effectively their own.
Kevin, as a singular entity, we can confidently say, was an amazing child. Graced with natural good looks, big blue eyes, and a sweet as candy personality. This child was shattered in time, not only exposing him to the horrors of abuse and trauma, but the repeated victimization, caused by the ignorance and cruelty of humanity. This for us, was more humiliating. We could hide the abuse, our system was doing a good job of even hiding it from us. However the bullying and social issues we have had throughout our lives, we could never hide. We could barely understand, and had no way to manage, we did not possess the skills or the requisite knowledge to navigate the waters we occupied. I, learned to cope the best I could. Having any outreach for help, ridiculed, or worse turned into a backlash of terrifying punishment. The development of alters does not seem like science fiction, but evolution .
The first thought, when most people hear the world “Alters”, in most circles, sparks a inquisitive expression for most. The term alters, depending on the context can mean sever al different ideas altogether. Everything from alter egos, to alters your dress, most things except “Alter”, in the since we use it in the plural world.
Alter, is a shortened form of the word alternative, in the context we use here. However we still do not feel this is the correct terminology, that is another post. For us, we will continue this vernacular even though we do not see our system as alternates or alternatives to anything. Moreover they are, simply, coping mechanisms designed to shield me, the host, from things so terrible they would break us. They are what we could not be.
Having a plural system is not as many singlets would like to believe. We do not get to decide what the system does, they are far from obedient! In fact they are quite independent and free thinking. They can even collaborate behind my back, to achieve results that I would find less than favorable. This as it seems is very common in systems, especially after intra-system communication is established. Our alters have us to manage the body. Our life and our emotions completely without my help. As our alters came from the mind of a child, emotional and cognitive maturity were limited. Such is the way of an alter.
Our system, as most who personally know us refer to us, has provided us with the tools and choices to survive. Survival you see, is s why the system is designed around. Not success, or stability. How can anyone ever expect a child, especially one that lives in a state of constant fear and threats, ever think past the moment? How can that child logically develop the maturity to progress further in life? They cannot.
The unorganized system, is just that. From the outside, we appear erratic, impulsive, moody, and with very little to zero affect regulation. How can anyone learn to regulate their emotions, or even have a stable sense of self, without first being given that opportunity? When a child remains in a constant state of fear, and hypervigelance, there is no chance of development or even self regulation.
The victimized child knows only fear of something, pain of something, and worst fo all the time between. The unknowing. That period after an abusive episode, where most bodies will return to normal, regaining a sense of safety and self. This is not true for the child Of abuse. This child, in order to create a safe space must turn inside to their creative centers, seeking safety. This for us is our coping skill. Even without switching in the system, we can dissociate.
The child becomes trapped in a world of fear, self loathing and pain. The alters emerge as defenses not only from our environment, but from the feelings of self hatred we feel, even as the body passes half a century. We learn as a child to hide in our system. The voices in our head, never leaving us. They never abandoned us, they always take care of us. Even the sense of allowing our own system to care for us furthers the negative image, we are worthless.
Our alters, as they are, are not crazy. They exist in a single plane of time space, reacting just as they feel they should. They do not suffer the consequence of being broken or irrational. In their own right they are more reasonable than me. They are truth in a world we shut out. They are the heroes of my existence. I Kevin am the crazy one.
If we are truly a collective of individuals, then we must be accountable for our actions as individuals. This may fall true for Our system, but as a system that is of my creation, the weight of responsibility falls upon me. The choice was never ours to navigate time collectively, however taking responsibility for the actions of a system that I manage will empower me to continue, but further my goal of authenticity and existential freedom. You see, I MUST manage my system now, and not the reverse. We are no longer living in the environment that broke us into so many pieces. I am now charged with taking the lead and maturing, leading my system into the future as a team.
Is the real irrationality, or crazy, then to be from the alters? Are they even capable of clinical insanity? Instead of viewing ourselves as a system of crazy people, trying to appear as one; We instead lead ourselves as a group of fighters returning from a long battle, supporting me, the crazy one. Larry, Pat, Brian, Jeff and the rest are all perfectly normal, as they were meant to be. One day we hope that we can say we take care of them the way they have me, for so long.