Generally, when a new alter emerges, I tend to first feel identity confusion. I may be confused as to whether I’m Astrid or I’m a part, and if I am a part, who it is. Sometimes, I lose time, but not always. I may also have emotions or thoughts that are clearly not typical for me.
Then, I start to feel that a new alter is present. I have only been aware of the creation of three of my alters, in 2001 and 2004, since most of my alters were around before I uncovered them. This is confusing, since it is hard to find out whether I’m creating new alters right then and there – which, for me, is possible with stress that is non-traumatic -, or whether I’m just discovering an alter that’s been there for maybe five or ten or fifteen years. Memory doesn’t tell me that, since my part that was created in 2004, holds memories from as early as 1989, for example.
When the alter begins communicating with me, I still cannot be sure whether she’s truly a new alter. I often wonder whether I’m imagining her being there or have created her on purpose. It often takes me several months to years to admit that a newly-emergent alter is real. For example, I didn’t accept Little, who says she was created in 1992 and emerged in 2006, till early 2010.
Parts sometimes communicate their names, but sometimes, they don’t, and I give them a name to be able to distinguish them. I have recently discovered a possible new alter, whom my boyfriend immediately called Agnes. I now realize that she may be a development from an imaginary friend I had as a child, but maybe she isn’t. I have some evidence that Agnes is real, from the fact that I found writings that may be by her from 2005 and 2006. I can tell this by comparing the writing style and attitude in the writings to a recent writing that I know to be from her.
Several nurses have aksed me how old Agnes is. Sometimes, when getting to know a new or newly-emergent alter, I know instinctively how old they are, but sometimes, I have to infer it from their behavior. Agnes, for example, talks like a young teenager, but she still scratches on paper vigorously. Unless or until she communicates it with me, I will not be sure how old she is. Since I have no memory of creating her – which I have of some alters who emerged as imaginary friends or story characters at first, even if I didn’t realize they were alters right then -, I cannot infer her age from that. So I will have to wait to get communication with her, or ask someone she talks to.
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