Categorizing DID

 Poetry Reading News

The Poetry Reading was pretty cool. This time, we invited people to bring one of their poems to read and about half the audience accepted. People loved it, just like the first time. I wasnt nearly as anxious as the first time, so there wasn’t that sense of relief when it was over. Can’t argue with that! 

We are doing it again on February 19th. Same co-hosts, different poets. 

Call for Editor of a RA/MC Online Poetry Anthology

We have had requests for a website where we could publish people’s poems – an online anthology. I think I have somebody to design it and do the layout. Would somebody like to be in charge? If so, contact us at:

Categorizing Dissociative People – People with Parts

I wrote last time about realizing that all multiples are different – all systems are unique. Now I want to talk about how dissociative disorders are categorized.

I’ll start by quoting the DSM-V, which is used to code diagnoses. It doesn’t really relate to what I want to say, but it is interesting to read about it. 

I got the text from, which has a lot of good information and discussion on such things as differentiating dissociative disorder from bipolar or borderline personality disorder. 

“A. Disruption of identity characterized by two or more distinct personality states, which may be described in some cultures as an experience of possession. The disruption of marked discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency, accompanied by related alterations in affect, behavior, consciousness, memory, perception, cognition, and/or sensory-motor functioning. These signs and symptoms may be observed by others or reported by the individual. 

B. Recurrent gaps in the recall of everyday events, important personal information, and/or traumatic events that are inconsistent with ordinary forgetting. 

C. The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning. 

D. The disturbance is not a normal part of a broadly accepted cultural or religious practice. Note: In children, the symptoms are not better explained by imaginary playmates or other fantasy play. 

E. The symptoms are not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., blackouts or chaotic behavior during alcohol intoxication) or another medical condition (e.g., complex partial seizures).” [3]:292 

Read more:

Quick Comments on C, D, and E.

C. Quite a few people with DID are very high functioning and show little or no impairment. They also are not significantly distressed. What deficits they have are well hidden from others (and themselves), and there would be no need for treatment at this time.

D. Why do you have to choose? Surely some people with DID are part of a culture or religion that values spirit possession. Surely there are children with DID who have imaginary playmates. 

E. Again, why do you have to choose? Having two separate conditions is called “comorbidity.” The rate of alcoholism and drug abuse in RA/MC survivors appears to be similar to that of the general population (around 10% – 15%). Eating disorders, however, are far more frequent in RA/MC survivors (around 50% – 60%).

Looking at A and B: “Discontinuity in sense of self and sense of agency” plus “recurrent gaps in recall” (e.g., amnesia). Does this describe people with DID? I’d say it does. However, it doesn’t give an idea of the variation found in any group of people with DID. 

How many parts are there? How often do they switch? Do child parts come to the front? Do parts present as the same person at different ages? As separate from the person? As human, animals, inanimate objects? As something less defined, like a gust of wind, tiny pieces of sand or glass, or just a feeling of something different?

Do they know each other? Talk to each other? Talk to you? Are they organized? If so, in what way? Are they part of a rigid hierarchy? Of an organization with a name, history, and goal? Do they live in a place with houses, trees, ponds, etc.?

If children are subjected to repeated extreme trauma that seems random, with no justifying ideology, they will split into parts that will organize themselves organically. The abusers do not attempt to isolate and train any part. Organized groups, however, will either formally or informally train a child to behave in certain ways. Repeated actions teach the child that certain behaviors are expected at certain times. 

The start of the ritual, for example, would serve as a trigger to bring out a part that knows what to do at each stage of the ritual. It is only one small step for group members to train an already-formed part, refine the behavior, and teach it to come out when cued. This happens in child prostitution and pornography rings as well as in cults.

In government/military mind control, training of the parts is more intense, more frequent, and extreme torture is more common. The programmers pay close attention to each part, assigning them roles and jobs within the system. They have groups of parts trained to be back-ups to other parts, just in case something happens to them. They do everything they can think of to make sure that their programming doesn’t break down. It seems to me that they delight in the complexity of the systems they create – perhaps competing against other programmers.

There is overlap between cult groups, prostitution and pornography rings, and government/military mind control. Programming customs and techniques travel between groups, especially at the higher levels. You can’t easily put your finger on differences between groups – you can’t say, “Oh, this person has a part called X who interacts with a group composed of A B and C. They must have been abused in Southern Idaho.” When abusive groups were first migrating from Europe, you might have been able to, but not these days.

Looking back over the years, I can see patterns in how survivors understood their systems. In the early years, the ’80s and early ’90s, people with DID were thought to have a few clearly defined parts with little communication between them. “Three Faces of Eve” influenced the development of this model. As survivors got together and started talking, they realized that most people were more complicated than that. They had far more parts than was originally thought.

The more people compared notes, the more they learned about themselves and other dissociated people. They learned that some people’s parts were extremely varied – there were babies and dragons and demons and mother cats and kittens and robots and soldiers and magicians and CEOs and many, many more. They also learned that these parts were in complicated relationships with each other and that “system maps” could be very useful in understanding how things worked together. Knowledge about government/military programming grew out of familiarity with these complicated systems.

Now I am seeing a growing interest in parts that are vaguer, less defined, less animate than clearly defined parts with emotions, histories, and jobs. “Polyfragmented,” for example, once meant more than 50 or 100 parts. Then it came to encompass people with thousands of parts. Now there is interest in fragments as small as shattered pieces of glass or grains of sand. How do these tiny fragments come together to do something and then dissipate? What programming caused this to happen?

At the same time, there is a growing awareness of “shell alters” – “front parts” who serve as a container for other internal parts who step into the shells and speak through them. And how are these two phenomena related, if they are?

I’m sure that DID is even more complicated than it seems today. Who knows what we will be puzzling over in five or ten years!


Upcoming Holidays


 11/1 All Saints’ Day

 11/2 All Souls’ Day

 11/4 Satanic Revels

 11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day

 11/18-19 Partial Lunar Eclipse

 11/19 Full Moon

 11/25 Thanksgiving Day (United States)

 11/28 First Sunday of Advent

 11/30 St Andrew’s Day


 Sundays of advent: 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19

 12/4 Total Solar Eclipse

 12/18 Full Moon

 12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day

 12/24 Christmas Eve

 12/25 Christmas Day

 12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

11/9 Kristallnacht

11/29 -12/16 Chanukah/Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights)

 (NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)


You can find more information on the following holidays at: 

Thanksgiving –

Yule/Winter Solstice – 

Candlemas –

Valentine’s Day –

Spring Equinox –

Easter: personal – (for background, see Spring Equinox) –

Walpurgisnacht/May Eve –

Beltane –

Mothers’ Day – Fathers’ Day –

Summer Solstice (corrected text) –

Lammas –


Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –

Fall Equinox –

 Halloween (personal) – 

Halloween (background) –