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Dear Shellie,

What you're experiencing is perfectly normal.  Although it is rare to find someone who is co-conscious with all or a great portion of his or her alters from the beginning it is by no means unheard of.  You're not the only one and you're not the first.

    For myself, co-consciousness has been the work of over a decade and I am very glad for it.  Some of my alters have always been co-conscious; in fact for some of them their job is to be co-conscious and give us a way to always know what is going on and what we're doing. It would have been terrifying for me to have been able to hear some of the conversations that have always gone on around me or to "watch" someone else deal with a situation that I couldn't.  My dissociation has saved me.

    I think that your not needing that dissociation, that amnesia, makes you a rare and wonderful person.  As I said, I couldn't have done it.  My dissociation saved me.

Be Well,



Dear Shellie:

Please see this book called Internal Family Systems Therapy:

It talks about "subselves." We are all on a continuum. All people have "subselves," but some of us have them more polarized. The greater the polarization, the more like true MPD with amnesia they appear. This book explains how you can "feel" like different people while still having awareness.



Dear Shellie,
I am aware of my other selves or Alters. I know I shift from Alter to Alter, especially in therapy sessions where we are safe, we shift in rapid fashion from one of us to another. Each one of us needs to talk, tell their/our story and express their/our needs.

I liken it to living with a "mind full" of siblings. After years of therapy I have learned to recognize each one and what skills they bring. I have child Alters, adult Alters, Alters that are boys and ones that are girls. Each one is a "real" person to me. My Alters talk amongst themselves. Not all of my Alters are aware of all of the rest of us. It can be confusing at times, but it is all real-at least inside my mind.

I am currently in the process of integrating and 4 of my 23 Alters have completed their "transition". It is quieter inside my mind now that they are no longer part of the "chatter" I have lived with most of my life.
I hope this helps.
Lindsay, MeraBeth, ElizaBeth, Victoria, et a


Dear Shellie,

I have MPD and sometimes am aware of my "others" and what they're doing/saying, and sometimes I'm not at all. When I am aware, it's as if I'm watching someone else do/say something but I'm not the one doing it or saying it. But then, later, I'll remember most, maybe not all, of what took place. (of course, I don't always remember what "I, myself" --whoever THAT is!--did/said at a particular time, either!).

One of my therapists called it "co-consciousness" and to me it makes sense. It's what will help us to, for example, guide one of my child alters who comes out the most to get where she's going w/o getting lost (which can happen in surroundings which are familiar to others of us). Hope that makes sense.

The point is, in my opinion, and from my experience, complete unawareness is not always the case, but that sometimes there's that coconsciousness that allows "me" to see what the others are doing/saying, and what kind of trouble they're getting me into! Hope some of this rambling made some sense!

Thanks, Julie


Hi Shelly
I have m.p.d. caused from severe childhood trauma, I had inklings of the others, but did not become aware of the whole system until I was much older. Through many years of treatment, I now know who all of then are and am aware of what they are doing, although sometimes I seem to watch from a distance.Othertimes I lose control and have to think and process who did what, so I am not sure there is really one answer, however I wanted to share my reality.

Hope it helps.



For Shelly
In my experience, of course you can know, feel, see and hear others. At times, though, I know I am unaware of what others are doing or saying.

The reason I know this is because my therapist deals with e-mails in between sessions and I have unconsciously written things to him. It is so scary to check my e-mail and see something I have written and do not recall. As I am still a beginner in therapy, I am trying to find ways to control myself. To make myself more in the here and now.

As you mentioned your other ways of being, I too find myself as such. I feel like a robot and cannot control what I do, say, think or feel. After, I feel so angry at myself like I should have known better but could not stop. I need to remember this IS something I have not learned to control as of yet, and learn to NOT be so harsh on myself. I do beat myself up a great deal because I hate being this way, but I need to learn developing DID is NOT my fault. It is the fault of my abusers.

I was glad to see you had written "ex-husband". No one deserves abuse of any kind. How you managed to separate is an accomplishment in itself. As far as knowing if you have DID, only a very skilled therapist can know for sure. In our area, there are not many who deal with this. How I found my therapist was a blessing. I only went to him because a good friend of mine suggested him. After a few sessions, he had me take the DES screening test. I was not sure why.

I now know. Learning I had DID was indeed denied which was another learning experience for myself. I had to admit this was something I had. He did have experience treating DID, went to many workshops to learn and has read many, many books. I was very lucky.

As I am not a therapist, I do not want to tell you what you should or should not do. Only your gut will know. There are many therapists. If you are unhappy with the one you have, you have a choice. Discuss the issues at hand or leave.

Do not try to diagnose yourself. I believe this will only lead to more confusion and wonder. I hope I was of some help. Good Luck, Brenda


It was very frightening at first to think that I may have multiple personalities. It scared me to death. I thought it was something that all of a sudden came out of nowhere and overtook me and I had no idea what was what. But that was not the case for me. I began to write out my thoughts - everything that came to me, and I thought about how I felt at certain times during different situations, and could pinpoint a difference within me of how I acted and felt, including how I dressed and how I portrayed myself.

Slowly I began to see that there were conversations taking place within my head that were making me so confused most of my life. I could see different angles to everything and didn't know what to believe; everyone had a say and they all wanted to be heard. I had to learn to listen to what the different sides of me were saying and take them all very seriously. I wrote out the conversations that took place within my mind in order to sort out difficult emotional crisis and situations. I created a safe place for them all to speak their own minds and come together in cooperation.

I am learning to accept myself on this level, which can be very exhilarating to know the depth that I exist, unlike many other people. I am a very complicated person, and having to listen to the other sides of me has been a great growing experience. I have started a forum where survivors can post whatever they want in a community that cares and encourages. I want to share my life and what I have learned in order to be of some help in someone else's healing. It's a very difficult and lonely journey. I want to do all I can to lead a more healthy life, and to help others along the way. The forum site address is:

I look forward to hearing from Shellie or anyone else who needs validation of what they are experiencing.