More of each Alter's stories can be found below.
*Warning for any survivors their stories explain why they were created and the truth of the trauma they have endured.*
Little Debbie: First Image
"This photo epitomizes yearning for a safe place to go, someone to give me shelter. I’d be a good girl & not make any trouble. I don’t need much. Just a chance.
- But for me there was no open door. No one to welcome me in.
Hi, I am Little Debbie. I'm called a "Little" but I have a big job. My age slides between 9 & 13. My host, Deb, says I am a superhero because I helped her to survive childhood trauma. When molested, or traded [trafficked] as payment of our parent's bills, physically hurt or whatever…I took over. I hold these memories & trauma safely locked away. She can't handle it, but I can.
The body is 52 now, but I am still here keeping watch over her. When I sense conflict, arguments, bullying or whatever erupting...POOF! I come front before she has to deal with it. She says I carry her rage & I can be verbally mean to her kids & hubby. I just do what I gotta do. It's my job. She doesn't remember a thing. When I switch for her to host again, she may not even realize she has a gap in time. She's clueless & that's how we want to keep it.
When we were able to run away, it was frantic. We didn't pack anything, we were just escaping. There was no stuffed animal for comfort or to be a pillow, & our hair was a mess from what we'd just experienced. Clothes would be torn as we broke free to get away. There was no place to go.
I'd roam the neighborhood for an unlocked shed, crawl-space under a porch, or any hidden shelter. I would make myself small to hide, be insignificant, & be as warm as possible. I was barefoot. So if the ground in Pennsylvania was frozen, I'd find gravel cut into the feet & get busy digging it out to calm down... Now they'd say "To ground yourself"...haha pun intended.
Deb has realized I also hold her playfulness. Hopscotch, bouncing a ball, swinging, playgrounds, monkey-bars, whatever. What I hold, she doesn't have. The good & the bad. She says she wants to share it all with me.
She has no idea, so lately I've been giving her flashbacks. I let her feel the pain in body parts, or see memories. I'm not letting her feel the emotions yet. After all, I was created to save her." -Debra
Host, Debra: Second Image
- BODY: Only child, alone, kept in the house, isolated, controlled, confined.
- WORDS: Secrets dare not be spoken, truth is forcefully concealed, pleadings are disregarded, cries for help are denied.
- MEMORIES: Securely held by alters, separated into manageable fragments, unsafe to collectively reveal to host/Deb or our system.
- EMOTIONS: Disconnected from experiences, unaffordable due to costly ramifications, worthless, unacceptable, bound by fear of overpowering & all-or-nothing floodgates.
- TRAITS: Segregated. Innocence, trust, tenderness & affection are reserved for Bam Bam. Playfulness, joy & exuberance are set aside for Little Debbie. Sensory delight (taste, smell, sight, touch, hearing), sensuality & desire belong to Bambi. I/host/Deb am diminished to family provider, protector & administrator as fixer, worker & doer.
- AUTHENTICITY: Guarded due to stigma & to avoid misperceptions of DID. Shrouded to prevent judgement. Masked to be treated with trust, confidence & respect. Censored to escape labels, circumvent limitation of opportunities & prevent devalued expectations. Cloaked to avoid being shunned & rejected by family & friends.
C-PTSD/Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is misrepresented. All people develop the typical emotions & traits. The only difference is that without DID, brains grow as intended into one whole being with each emotion & trait mutually accessible at all times.
- Children’s brains can’t handle the suffering of chronic trauma. Their emotions & personalities aren’t yet fully developed.
- God created our minds with amazing capabilities. Kids can deploy a creative solution by separating off “alters”, each individually carrying an amount of pain & a life-long purpose.
- An alter swoops in like a superhero, takes over the host’s mind & body, & endures the ordeal. When safe the alter leaves & the host is completely shielded with amnesia, able to survive & function day-to-day.
We are not “crazy”, “evil” or “dangerous”. We are wives, husbands, parents, co-workers, friends & caregivers. We are survivors." -Debra
Host and Alters: Third Image
"Reflection: A letter from me (Deb/host) to my alters/super-heroes.
- Bam Bam, Little Debbie, Bambi… I SEE YOU. I am so sorry. Sorry for what you experienced. The brutality, unrelenting assault, ignored pleadings, muffled screams, ridiculed cries, isolation, anguish, failed rescue attempts, vulnerability & agony.
- You TOOK the knowledge, feelings & awareness of abuse. You locked it safely away, hidden from me.
- You KEEP watch over me & at any sign of danger, swoop in & take my place again & again to this day.
- You GAVE me stability & blissful ignorance, thereby providing for me & our body to survive childhood & flourish in adulthood.
All for one: One-sided give-and-take. I am…because you exist. All of you for one of me. Us is one.
- Unpredictable physical violence from parents.
- Mystery disappearance of an older male sibling.
- Sex trafficked as trade-off for parent’s bills.
- Watched dad beat a friend bloody & broken for trying to rescue me out of the house.
- “Visited” dad in the basement where he had a separate little room. On the floor was a mattress, cigarette butts & an accumulation of used condoms.
- Forced to wear boy’s underwear, worn out & gappy so mom could “inspect” me whenever she wanted.
- Ordered to join mom in her bed for “fondles” after dad left for work.
- Malnourished from food neglect.
- Stepped in front of dad’s loaded & cocked gun aimed at a rescuer’s head. I would take the bullet if dad pulled the trigger. Neighbors watched it unfold in the street.
- Raised witchcraft & pulled to rituals. Underwent a carnal ceremony & months later painfully restrained for a forced procedure & hemorrhaged. At least they called an ambulance for me.
- Roofied & gang raped in college.
- Sexually harassed & assaulted, & family threatened by my boss at work for 14 months.
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is simply a kid’s creative survival mechanism for coping with overwhelming & chronic childhood trauma.
None. If there had been no trauma, there would be no injury. It is not a personality disorder, psychosis or illness. It is a mental INJURY with no pill to remedy." -Debra
Bambi: Fourth Image
"Bambi is 19 yrs old, holding my sexuality & deep enjoyment of taste, smell, sight & hearing sensations. Bambi does not share my values & does things I (host/Deb) consider disgusting by smoking & hooking-up in wild exploits. Bambi is alluring & flirty using a sensual voice & body. She also swears, talks dirty & doesn’t care what you think about her. Bambi views my husband, Brent, as her sister’s husband & respects that intimacy boundary. Before you write Bambi off in disdain, please consider why she became an alter.
When I was 19 yrs old, I was invited to join college friends at their apartment to watch movies. I only saw soda & red solo cups (no alcohol) & a couple of the guys smoking cigarettes. Nothing tipped me off to what would come next. A classmate offered me soda & I started to feel “strange”. Without the horrific details, I’ll say I was “roofied”, used by the girl & gang raped by the guys.
For the next 3 weeks I was in a fugue state that I don't remember (think “Bourne Identity”). The executive part of my brain kept normal daily life going while Bambi was split off to deal with the trauma. After sexual assault, victims can become hyper-sexual in an attempt to “normalize” the trauma they just experienced. At the time, Brent was my friend at college & heard the “stories” from classmates. It was unbelievable to him because he knew me & this was absolutely not my character, values or language.
Bambi is still behind the scenes, monitoring for uneasy sexual encroachment or needs for “stress relief” from my job. I have no idea when Bambi switches to safeguard me & have amnesia while she fronts. Brent bore this alone for 33 yrs to protect me, until I put the puzzle pieces together in 2020.
My goal is to harmonize with my alters & be co-conscious with them, thereby regulating what our body does. To do this, I’ll have to reach Bambi’s trauma memories. But I’ll finally gain the ability to fully experience food, art, flowers, music & so much more!" - Debra
Host, Debra: Fifth Image
"Broken, but not falling to pieces.
Mirrored glass, fragmented. Each piece reflects part of the truth, slightly distorted from the pieces around it... but still truth. Though broken, the frame holds all the pieces together.
If only I could see what each piece reflects, but flashbacks only give me a partial image of each broken piece.
If only I could see the whole reflection to know where each piece fits, thereby knowing my whole truth.
But each piece is unique to its own, separated by the brokenness, yet part of the whole.
My body holds this mirror but cannot see it. I am the “host”. The trauma that broke this mirror into pieces is history, but the damage remains. Each piece of broken mirror is an “alter”. The mirror is my “system”, held together by the frame which is my “inner world gatekeeper”. Although damaged, the mirror is STILL A MIRROR doing its best to do what a mirror is supposed to do. Many would throw the mirror away due to its brokenness, deeming it useless. Some of my friends & family have.
Those who choose to value me are precious, loyal, gracious, forgiving, patient, kind, strong, selfless, reassuring, understanding, accommodating, compassionate, & above all the truest form of love.
I am me, “host”, most of the time until I “shift” & an alter takes over my body.
Bam Bam: Comes forward when a sense of physical harm is imminent.
Little Debbie: Fronts when arguing or conflict between people ensues, in case it escalates.
Bambi: Overtakes when uneasy sexual encroachment is perceived, or work assignments extend into a stressful night in the office.
Shifting: The fog comes from behind. I don’t see it coming. It envelops me, but I don’t feel it. Yet it draws me away as I stare into nothingness. Instantly I disappear.
Amnesia: What do you mean? Here I am, right where I’m supposed to be. Bambi told you I did what? Really? I don’t want to believe it! I don’t remember anything, but I trust what you say. Oh my God, I am so sorry!" - Debra
Bam Bam: Sixth Image
"Bam Bam slides in age from 2 to 4 yrs old. Bam Bam holds my fear, as well as innocence & desire for physical closeness to others. She speaks in a little girl voice but only whispers. She is shy because she is scared most of the time. She wants to feel safe & sheltered. Her favorite place is under a blanket, peeking out between the fabric. She curls up small to hide, cuddling a stuffed animal. She calls my husband, Brent, "Big Daddy" even though I explain to Bam Bam that our body is old now, grown up & married. She likes to curl up, pressed into Brent's side, under a blanket with his arm over her. His arm is warm, big and protective. When she feels safe enough, Bam Bam will peek her eyes out quickly, giggle, & cover them again. She likes to play this version of peekaboo with my 21 yr old daughter, Emmah. She calls me "the big one". When Bam Bam feels like abuse is going to happen, she bangs her head over & over on the floor or wall, hoping it will make them not hurt her or anyone. She tries to be good & wants everybody to be happy." - Debra
I, host/Deb, will help her write to you.
"Hi. I Bam Bam. I scared. Big people do mean things. I hurt. I see bad things. I don't want to tell. It's yucky. I go under my blanket & be small now. Shhhh… I hide in my little tent house wiff my stuffie.
My puppy is soft. I like his fur. He makes me happy. Big Daddy is nice, but the big one says he's not Daddy. I want him to be Daddy & snuggle. He kisses my head & blows bubbles wiff me. Bubbles are shiny. They float far away. I want to float away too. Emmah is cute. I like her smile. I peekaboo her. It's funny [giggles]. I stay here small wiff Big Daddy's arm over me for a while. I safe. I don't want to go away but the big one says it's time. Bye bye." -Bam Bam