Alters Who Morph

It’s hard to explain what multiplicity looks like to people who aren’t multiple and don’t have friends who are multiple. I think many people imagine that all multiples are like Eve in “Three Faces of Eve” or Tara in “The United States of Tara.”

Some are, of course. Kim Noble, who I blogged about at, is an example. Her alters have very different personalities, she has no co-consciousness, and the switches are very obvious.  But there are many who are not cut from the same cookie cutter. Actually, there probably are hundreds and hundreds of cookie cutters!

It is hard to explain when alters are not that different in their demeanor and when they switch seamlessly. Or when there is one alter who is usually out and others speak and act through the “host.”  Or when there are a group of alters all the same age, or alters who are identical twins or triplets.

Most of the time people don’t even notice the subtle shifts and may believe you are just pretending to be multiple. Perhaps they suspect you are seeking attention, or believe you have been persuaded that you have DID by an unscrupulous therapist. If they are kinder, they may think that  you are now totally integrated.

A few years ago I came across a beautiful short video on Youtube called “500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art.” Women’s faces morph into each other every two or three seconds. In just under three minutes, the video shows portraits by artists ranging from Leonardo da Vinci to Pablo Picasso.

I thought it was a great metaphor for subtle switching. I’ve shown it to several people who said, “Oh, now I get it!” And it is so lovely that I enjoy watching it over and over.

“500 Years of Female Portraits in Western Art” is at The music is Bach’s Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major performed by Yo Yo Ma. You can see a list of the artwork at

5 thoughts on “Alters Who Morph

  1. this is great Jean. thanks.

    and somewhere you referenced the article by steve frankel using the warsaw ghetto as a metaphor… great article!!!


    1. I don’t remember talking about that article, but I guess I did. Did I give the link? If not, I will try and dig it up. He gave a shorter version as a talk at a Survivorship conference years ago, and it was very powerful and well received.


  2. You make really valid points here. We’re not all like Kim Noble. And while she is supposedly the gold standard for did in the UK, I think this is wrong of people professionals to say. It makes the rest of us look like frauds and fakes. And that is quite hurtful. Thanks for your blog. Its really amazing. XX


    1. Sorry to butt in here but “professionals” haven’t said she is Gold Standard. That was said by one person – someone who isn’t specialised in DID at all – just did the memory testing on her. Don’t think that professionals are actually into these whole idea of DID having a gold standard, they aren’t 🙂 I hope you don’t mind me butting in CA xx


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