Hello Bill.
I know that this response to your query to MV is a very long time after, but I have just started to attend the internet site of MV and am enjoying reading through all of the queries and the responses to them. Your query causes me to respond the most sadly. I have lived witih an internal "personaility" that puts me down *very* heavily for nearly all my life. Not only does "he" brings words to put me down savagely, but "he" also brings to me a fear of achieveing positive goals in my life. There is no aspect of my life that has not been sabotaged by "him".

Yet, I see "him" now as a kind of protector. I think I understand why "he" exists. Like someone else has said in their reply to you, "get in first" before the harm comes to you. But whether by habit or some other reason, the sabotaging and contompt brought to me by this "man" is something that he/I/or other parts of myself are frightened to let go. Convincing "him" (me?!) that it really is safe not to subject me to a "self-mortification" (that word is especially appropriate) is proving the hardest thing that I have ever done in the course of my therapy.
I can't tell you how difficult it is to let go of the self-condemning thoughts, the fear of achieving, of knowing and of being fully present. And so the "man" continues to bring his brutal words and punishing criticism. It is constant and life-robbing. I can't bring myself to merry in my goodbyes, but I thank you for raising the subject and wish you well, Epifani ---


For Bill:

I am still dealing with those nagging, wicked critics after eleven years! I try to find everything I can to contradict them. I emmerse myself in life-affirming things-and consciously rebel against them every day of my life. If they try to support themselves with past experiences or so-called "evidence", I counter with my own. You need to find as much positivity as you can-don't think anything is too outrageous to try. If it makes you smile or feel good, then do it! Try to think good things about yourself and the world-even if you have to make them up! We learn by repetition-hearing things over and over can convince you they are true. That is usually how the negative programs get imbedded to begin with. Repeat positive things and emmerse yourself in them, and consciously imagine yourself pushing that negative stuff out of the way. Don't focus on the negative-mentally run away from it-shun it. Block it out. Train all of your mind and focus on the positive, and the negative won't have any room to grow. Try it, and tell me how it goes!

Tim and the Troops


The hardest two internal voices I found I had were replicas of my father and sister. The two people who tormented me the most growing up. My father voice (alter) would scream, glare, pout, do everything he did to suppress me. My therapist had helped me get in touch with him (father alter). Strangely enough, my father's name is Nevin -my "internal father's" name is Neville. My sister's name is Susan-my "internal sister's" name is Suzanne. My therapist told me I had created these two alters to "help" everyone on the inside to become more aware of attacks. I always said I somehow knew when to duck. By having internal "father" and "sister" I was prepared and taught one on the inside. This way when/ if something really did happen I somehow was already prepared.

So bad voices or alters, I have learned through therapy, have been put there for a very good reason. Certainly ones to listen to and obey. Becoming multiple for me was not by accident; it was necessary for surviving. I had no outside help. My mother stood by and watched while I got beat. I learned very quickly she was not to be trusted. I needed to build my own "boot camp." So I was able to be prepared for battle.

Debi and the System


I used to banish them (the voices). Now I listen and answer back as if the critical voices would be friends, making them feel comforted. Understanding about the pain and recovering means living beyond the wild attitude or impulse.


How wonderfully terrifying is the reality for me that if I have the ability to criticize myself and so well I might add, so I could beat out my emotional abusers..You see, I realized that I got there first so I can't be so hurt......"You are stupid"....."Don't talk, you say dumb things"......"Everyone else is smarter"......and so on. This seems to be the most important reason my system set up my "abuse" lines....My mom, or aunt, or other close family members were quick to judge my cries for help. I remember reading something that said "believe the children" and did I want to scream....Yes, yes, yes, believe me I am not saying anything dumb.... It hasn't been easy and the voices still come and when I do something that isn't too swift, it is just OKAY...and this is for all my parts to know because to be human is to err and I am human and allowed and I won't get angry at myself for being hard on me - I will understand where it comes from and see a little child in my eye and think you sweet little one, it is okay and I won't be mad at you for protecting me but I will love you for it. In turn, the critical parts are placing their anger in septic tanks....we can put all those terrible thoughts away from us, one at a time and replace them..... A mantra...."no one can call us names anymore, I won't let them"....."We are smart, very smart and we all have to believe it for it to work"....."I love you all and if you are scared and react that way, I will still love you".... It has been 8 years of therapy....first the shock of the diagnosis, then the struggle of acceptance and now the cooperation and love for so many hurt children and teenagers who deserve a break....This is our break, love, unconditional. I get a nip on my hand from my cat...I don't blow up at her, I pet her.


In response to Bill C.'s question about negative parts or critical voices he hears. I'm not always the greatest at this, but what I'm learning is that there is a reason for a critical part. For me they are protection from something I'm not ready to deal with yet. For example, I might have someone telling me that I can't do something or that I am no good at something. This can really bother me, but if I take the time to ask that part what he or she is protecting me from, I'll usually get an answer sooner or later. I have found that I (we) need to reach out to that critical part with love, and sooner or later that part won't be needed any more. I ask that part to tell me his or her purpose, and after awhile I understand that part better.

I am just beginning to be more open to all my parts whether friendly or not, and this is beginning to open up a whole new world to us.



My negative voice is also my caretaker--she is the one who "gets things done", but sometimes she forgets about the rest. I try to associate with a different person, and have a conversation with her, telling her how her actions make me feel and what I would like to see from her.



For myself, I found that listening to the negative voices and speaking back out loud helped. Not only did it help the alters feel heard, it also helped me define myself in a more positive way. ie: The voices might say "You are so stupid to do that!" and my answer would be.."I may occasionally do something stupid, but I am not a stupid person." That is what helped me the most. Hope it helps you, Bill.



What a great question! There has been an evolution of approaches I have taken during my healing process.

I'd say that one of the most helpful has been along the lines of what Julie said above. I see these voices as coming from parts not yet integrated. These parts were all part of the whole me until a trauma halted their growth. Then from that point on they were stuck seeing the world from that victim position. This helps me have compassion for the poor things, and to realize that they are part of me.

I try to treat them as traumatized children to raise as gently and compassionately as I can. And part of that is trying to find out what they need, and giving them those things, as long as they are healthy for all of me. If I think of them as hurt children I can be more patient.

For the times when my patience is gone I vent to a trusted friend/therapist about the challenge of parenting these parts of me. Because it is a hell of a hard job! And we need support and empathy for it. Best of luck with it all! It has been a tremendous adventure (although often terrifying) for me. Every time a part of me grows up and "integrates" it is SO WORTH it! Life is more full, I have more energy, and I have more to give others as well. Keep up the good work!