Dear Jane,

I can really relate to having interests in careers "switch" suddenly and completely! I think this is a huge part of how dissociation can be so disruptive in the developmental process (childhood, adolescence and college years, and on).

Most people are able to have a fairly clear sense of their talents, be consistent, and work consistently toward one goal. For many multiples, this is just not possible due to the dissociation. In the sense that education and experience builds on itself throughout childhood and adolescence, dissociation can disrupt the entire process, so I'm glad that you aren't beating yourself up anymore.

After much work on co-consciousness, this "disruption" has improved dramatically for me.I now see how my interests all connect- the places where they overlap and the ways in which I am able to put them together. Ten years ago, this would have been impossible for me. The more co-consciousness I have been able to gain, the more smoothly this has evolved.

My suggestions would be to attempt to find the places of overlap in interest- and also to find the alters who are most comfortable and adept at dealing with "the outside world". However, I really would recommend some kind of therapy- many towns have free counseling for those who qualify. You can check the community centers, parenting centers, and health clinics. Libraries, local hospitals, and the Red Cross are excellent sources of information on what programs are available. It may not be the best, but it's something- as long as the counselor is ethical.

If you have access to the internet, you can often check with your state health department (through their web site) to verify a therapist's license to practice and also to check on malpractice or revocation of licenses. Some states also provide a way to check for civil suits on the internet. Most therapists are ethical and genuinely want to help you to help yourself. This process is really difficult even with support, and I'd hate to recommend that you increase communication without you having some sort of therapeutic support. The separateness between alters almost always serves some sort of protective function, whether from information or from feelings.

Anyway, just know that you are not alone. I've beaten myself up for years because I felt both "competent" and "stupid and broken". Don't do that to yourself. Think about what you have to give, how you can contribute, and how each alter can help to do that. Even little alters can help remember to brush teeth or eat breakfast! All the best,


Hi Jane,

Understanding and becoming aware of being multiple is both scary and enlightening at the same time. Use Lynn's resource links to find ISSD and others to learn the most you can about our condition. If you write to them they will send you information and resources in your area.

Try to find a good doctor who has had some experience with Mulitiples and DID's. The medical profession has come a long way in understanding us and treating the many different parts.

No matter what doctor you get, if you don't feel good and can trust that he/she understands don't waste time, find some one new. I have found the best way to protect my self was to accept myselves and learn to trust my instincts. Once I came to terms and could really admit to myself and the outside world why I am the way I am, I was able to feel safe.

I do my best to stay only around safe people who know me, and if I have to go somewhere where I don't know people I bring a trusted friend with me. I seem to separate less when I have somene with me.

When I was younger, it was a mystery to me why I did much better when I was with other people. Now that I have more experence, it still bothers me how I can do anything if I have a destination or somene I trust with me. Being here on this sitet is good for me. I love being able to share some of my experience, strengths, and hopes, to others like my self. Just keep talking and learning and soon you will start to notice the difference in how you feel. Good luck and stay safe,



Maybe one way to start exploring this is to go down the line of all 18 with a paper and pencil. Get each separate 'person' to say what he/she likes and hates about working. What would make them happy or want to work. List special requirements each insists on (naptime? subway ride? fresh air? whatever.) Give each one a page, maybe....or as much space as needed, to express the full range of opinions. Some may simply say "I want to be a princess. I want the $ to drop from Heaven" (I've got some 'inner aspects' that take that approach.) Others may like hands-on activities, others want to interact with outsiders, etc. There could be zillions of differences.

Then, once you have the whole gang surveyed, sit down with those pages and read 'em all through in a single session.(You want to read them all through at the same time so "everyone" can see "everyone else's" reply. When I do this sort of thing, I frequently have to read the same information repeatedly so it soaks in all the way through the internal layers.)

Or you can do all the surveying on a computer and then collect the whole bunch of docs and send them to friends and/or advisors and ask for input; (ie, Look at this mish-mosh! What NOW?) But I think you'll get a lot out of just simply doing the survey. Good luck!