How Are Alters Formed And My ‘Mother Alter’

I’ve been in the Clinic a week now and have been switching Alters (Dissociative Identity Disorder) constantly. It’s usually been to my ‘Mother Alter’ whose is responsible for all the self-harm and suicide attempts. She has been sending my husband messages in Gaelic telling him to stop interfering in her plans to kill Erin. That God has told her to do it. She has told the Nurses here at the Clinic that she prayed to God and God told her that she was to kill Erin. That is was the right thing to do. It would bring her peace and punish Erin.

The Nurses had a lot of trouble bringing me out of that Alter state. At one stage they had to bring in the psychologist who used the Back of the Head scale technique to bring me back. I never remember what I have said or done when I have switched, which is very discombobulating as I have to rely on others to tell me. It worries me that this Alter is so set on my demise. She is very angry at me and hell-bent on punishment for what I did as a child. What I did as a child was be a victim of a padeophile ring for fourteen years organised by my parents and their best friend.

My pscyhiatrist and psychotherapist think she was formed when I was about twelve as a protector against the men who were abusing me based on my real Mother who I perceived as strong and wilful. I longed for my Mother’s love and would have done anything to get it. I took on traits and personalities aspects of my Mother in order to survive and formed another personality that I called upon in times of stress.

Alter identities are created to manage either overwhelming trauma, or changes in everyday life that cannot be managed by any existing identites. Some people have been able to recall and describe the child abuse which directly caused a particular alter. The child’s beliefs and culture are known to influence spontaneously created alters, for example a Native American man described having animal and spirit Alters which were created by a mixture of starvation, severe beatings and hallucinogenic herbs or drugs. His wolf alter was created after beatings for failing to communicate with the “wolf spirit”, the wolf Alter took on the characteristics he attitrubed to wolves: widsom, cunning and wolf-like behaviors. The wolf Alter both allowed for the trauma to be handled and was able to use its characteristics to diagnose illness and manage complex life situations.  Additional alters can also be created by traumatization in adulthood if the person already has a complex dissociative disorder. For example, an alter created to handle sexual abuse may be unable to cope with increasing levels of abuse, and may create other alters to handle some of that abuse.  Organized perpetrator groups may intentionally create Alters and train them to do particular jobs. In ritual abuse, abusers intentionally severely abuse the child until an alter develops. If the alter refuses to comply with the “job” or role they are given then the abuse continues until another Alter is formed, who then faces the same dilemma. Eventually an lterA must agree to ensure survival. 

My psychiatrist thought it would be a good idea if I spoke to a Pastoral Care worker here at the Clinic about what my ‘Mother Alter’ believed God had told her. My Alters listen in on conversations I have with other people if I want them to. He arranged for a meeting to take place and gave the Pastoral Care worker warning that I might switch and what to expect. We met and initially had a very good chat about the Parable of the Pharisees where God got angry at them for them for being cruel to his people in his name. He was trying to illustrate that God never gives instructions to cause harm to others in his name and would not have told the ‘Mother Alter’ to kill me. That is when I switched. I told him, apparently according to him later, that he was talking rubbish. That I had talked to God, he had not and he didn’t know what he was saying. I had a direct link to God and believed what I had heard. I needed peace and the only way I could get that was by killing Erin. I was very rude and disrespectful to him and wouldn’t listen to anything he had to say. Then I switched back totally unaware of what had gone on.  Hopefully, some of what the Pastoral Care worker sank into the Alter. It’s a worry that she was disrespectful to a representative of God. She is very strong and overpowering. She is the most dominant in my ‘system’ controlling all the other Alters. 

Therapy with the Mother Alter is Difficult. 

One ofthe most difficult aspects oftreating persons with dissociative identity disorder (DID) is working with abuser alters. These are personalities which abuse the patientexternally, by causing physical or sexual harm to the patient’s own body, or internally, by presenting verbal criticism, frightening visual images orsomatic pain. [n addition to abusing the patient, the abuser alter may also actively attempt to sabotage the therapy. These personalities may openly express anger at the therapist’s attempts to stop the patient’s selfabuse, but often also covertly undermine these efforts.
Therapists often find that their endeavors to help the patient stop self-abuse are thwarted by the tenacity with which patients conceal, protect, or cling to abuser personalities.


In some cases, the abuser personality may feel threatened by the host’s increasing attachment to the therapist and consequent rejection of the abuser alter. The abuser personality may also perceive the therapist as trying to undermine
its power over the host. The abuser personality was a part of the self that was
split off or dissociated in order to help the self to survive, both emotionally and physically. Paradoxically, this dissociated part of the self had to do so by turning against the self and causing emotional or physical inju’1′. In many cases, the
therapist can begin to engage abuser personalities in a therapeutic alliance by emphasising with the dilemmas they have faced. Instead of merely trying to contain or bargain with abuser personalities, the therapist can begin to work collaboratively them to transform the marmer in which they perform their functions from harsh and abusive to compassionate and nurturing.

I have a strong bond with both my psychiatrist and psychotherapist and I think my Mother alter is becoming increasingly threatened by them.

If you need support join our Private and Closed online Facebook Group for Child Abuse Survivors and those with CPTSD. Click here to join.

2 comments

  1. Terrific post. So insightful into the construction of alters. Thanks. What a full on experience you are having. It sounds like you are being well looked after tho.

    • Thanks for commenting and getting in touch. I appreciate. It is pretty full on!!! Yes your right I am being very well looked after and have a supportive family so I am very lucky. All the best for a great Christmas. Erin

I would love to hear from you so please leave a comment. All feedback is much appreciated. Thank you. Erin

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.