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The Harmony of Integration

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Morgan
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The Harmony of Integration

Post by Morgan on 5/6/2017, 4:38 pm

I wrote this piece and spread it around social media to encourage dialogue about Integration. So little is written on this important subject, and there is so much dread and confusion associated with it. I hope you enjoy. Morgan

The Harmony of Integration
Shirley J. Davis

Integration. A word that causes a lot of controversy among people living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. The disputation is mainly internal, as people like myself try to come to terms with exactly what integration means. Does it mean absorbing our alters and in effect killing them? Does it mean we pull together into a single entity like all the “singletons” of the world? Much of the misunderstanding on this subject comes because of misinterpretation by Therapists and other mental health professionals. It has been thought in these circles that the only way to “heal” a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder was to encourage them to become like themselves, a single entity. While this bias is understandable, it was and is not helpful.

I would like to explain to you my perspective, as an individual who lives with DID every day and has done a great deal of healing, just what is the reality of integration.

Alters in Dissociative Identity Disorder are formed in very early childhood before the age of three to cope with severe and recurring trauma. Switching from one alter to the other allows these children to escape the torture their small bodies are being subjected to and thus becomes a major coping mechanism they will utilize throughout their lives. A person who has a fractured personality can never become a singleton, any more than an adult singleton can become a true multiple. This is because adult brains are too highly developed to change from one to the other. It is true that an adult can be forced to dissociate and form an alter. However, this alter will fall apart and not last for very long, certainly not a lifetime. It is also true that a multiple can live for days or even years, symptom free. However, given the right trigger the old behavior of dissociation will inevitably return.

All that having been said, there is a way to integrate these extensive systems of alters. Instead of pulling together into one entity as a singleton, the system of alters must learn to become conscious of one another and how to cooperate so that they may act as one person instead of carrying out their own agendas.

I’ll use myself to illustrate. I have a system of twenty-seven plus alters and fragments. At one time the most dominant four alters would take over the body and chaos would reign in our life. I, as the waking self, would find money I didn’t remember, be told I did or did not do something, etc. It was hard to make future plans when I didn’t understand what was going to happen from day to day. Slowly we began to work together, learning to cooperate and to be aware of the feelings and thoughts of one another. Today I have a relatively quiet life as compared to three decades ago. We are integrated in the sense that we work together to make as much harmony as possible.

An example my therapist taught me might help explain this better.

My internal system was like a great orchestra. They could make beautiful music, but if each plays his own instrument without working with the others the only sound they make is chaotic at best. However, if they had an orchestra leader who lead them and they cooperated with one another following his lead, then after a lot of practice they would play beautiful harmonious music.

I am the orchestra leader and my alters are the orchestra.

So, as can be seen, integration does not mean ignoring the alters or killing them, instead it means becoming aware of them and they you so that your life can become a harmony.



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Morgan
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by Morgan on 5/7/2017, 1:00 pm

Interesting. Nobody commented on this article. I'm meeting the same response on social media. Hmm. Too deep? Too controversial? That's okay. I'll keep writing anyway. Morgan



I love my Family of Choice, IG
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krathyn
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by krathyn on 5/8/2017, 12:44 pm

thank you Morgan
i think one thing most people with DID have trouble with is the notion that integration "kills" the alters

i have integrated over 50 alters and never killed anyone.



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by krathyn on 5/8/2017, 12:45 pm

i thought i had commented and i had but i forgot to push the send key when i did.
sso hope better is late than never



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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Morgan
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by Morgan on 5/9/2017, 2:55 pm

Hey no problem. I understand this is a sticky subject in the DID community (as someone nicely called us on another site). I'll just keep reaching out and hoping that I can help someone or even better whole bunches of someones! Morgan



I love my Family of Choice, IG
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StarryNight
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by StarryNight on 5/9/2017, 3:26 pm

I like this article. I personally think the whole "everyone becoming one" idea is kind of ridiculous. I mean maybe some systems could pull it off if they wanted to. I'm not saying it's impossible. But to me as an alter it really does sound like death. As one of our younger parts said, it would be taking away their "I-ness". Plus I mean our brain has been set up like this for decades. It would be no small feat neurologically to change that.

Working together consciously and consistently makes a lot more sense and seems more practical. The part we're having trouble with is passing information from one part to the other which is important if you're going to manage school or work as team. I think some systems just have one member that deals with work and job stuff but we just don't work that way. And because of that we really struggle.

Anyways nice article. I really like the music analogy at the end.

- Oscar
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krathyn
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krathyn

Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by krathyn on 5/9/2017, 8:35 pm

it is hard to know what healing is for a person with DID
what integration is, is even a bigger question



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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Morgan
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by Morgan on 5/10/2017, 5:52 pm

From the research I've read it is impossible for us to become singletons, and it is impossible for them to become multiples. Our brains have matured and there is no going back. We can, however, learn cooperation by carefully dismantling the amnesiac walls that stand between our alters. In this way, we as an entity gain control over our lives. Working together, as far as I can see, is the only form of "integration" that can be done. Perhaps we should find a different term to mean healing. It is also important to remember that old habits die hard. While we can become co-conscious, under the right circumstances we WILL utilize switching again. It is our learned way of coping in situations that overwhelm us. It's not weird or anything, it no more strange than someone having a few drinks to cope or popping a pain med for pain. Morgan



I love my Family of Choice, IG
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Shirley J. Davis

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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by krathyn on 5/10/2017, 7:53 pm

yes we always come back to switching and for a long time that confused me.
i thought we were supposed to be one, not as a "singleton" but without barriers into separate persons, and then when we did that again it seemed like it meant we had lost ground.



wishing you well-
Krathyn, Sebastian, Strawberry, Easebeth, Petrea
Krathyn of We5:    we accept all intentions of support--





krathyn148@gmail.com
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together1
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by together1 on 5/21/2017, 2:27 pm

This is a very interesting discussion. A fascinating concept that I have been playing with for a long time. So far, I identify most with the orchestra, especially since I've had a love affair with music my whole life.
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Morgan
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Re: The Harmony of Integration

Post by Morgan on 5/21/2017, 2:34 pm

I'm so glad people are getting something out of this article. That means the world to me. Morgan



I love my Family of Choice, IG
Administrator
Shirley J. Davis

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