About T-E-C

We were first diagnosed as having DDNOS (Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified) in 1994 after a two week mental hospital stay when some of us were suicidal. The body was 19 years old. Within a year (months? it’s foggy), that was upgraded to full on DID – Dissociative Identity Disorder. To some, this was a shock. Others had been aware of being a system for years. In fact, for those in the know, we’d referred to the collective as “The Electric Circus” since 1986!

DID, also known as Multiple Personality Disorder, is very widely misunderstood. It doesn’t help that Hollywood likes to make movies where DID people are killers – but, as boring as it may seem, we aren’t murderers, and we don’t have super human powers.

Our system was made in response to repeated trauma at a young age. This trauma came from multiple abusers who partook in multiple forms of abuse. In addition to a hellish home life, we were dealing with bad gender dysphoria as early as pre-school. Yup, we’re also transgender. (Came out at 20, had surgery at 22.)

Meet the system:

Saoirse (pronouns: she/her/they/them; age: 47) is our “host”, a term used in DID for the part who is out and about the most. Saoirse’s memories go back to kindergarten, but take place almost entirely in our parent’s print shop. Saoirse was made to work. She never feels like she’s done enough, always figures she’s about to be fired, and works some insanely long hours if we let her. Up until a couple years ago, Saoirse really did nothing but work, and Janet was the host outside of working hours. Now Saoirse is learning to navigate day to day life as the primary alter. Saoirse currently sits on our 3 member ruling council, which we elect every year.

Janet (pronouns: she/her; age 47) used to be our host outside of work. She was the World of Warcraft player, the part with the most inappropriate sense of humor, and the part most people knew socially. She had very little access to childhood memories, and generally was our “Everything is OK” face to the world. It took her 25 years to come to terms with having DID, at which point she kind of threw her hands in the air and walked off stage. She still comes out once in awhile, mainly to game.

Sharon (pronouns: she/her; age 13-19) is basically system Mom. While we love our biological mother a ton, she was withdrawn into her own world when we were growing up. She’s made up for that many times over in our adult life, but Sharon came along to fill the need when we were physically around the age of 9. She’s always been a teenager, even when we were 9. These days she “slides” between 13 and 19. Sharon 13 & Sharon 19 aren’t exactly different parts – they share memories – but they act & think slightly differently. Most of the time Sharon is her 19 year old self. Sharon is currently the chairperson of our ruling council.

Forest Wanderer (pronouns: they/them/whatever; ageless) is one of two non-humans in our system. Wanderer is a “forest spirit”, which made sense to a young brain. FW was the original caretaker of the child parts until Sharon came along. Wanderer knows all the secrets, or at least where to find the answers. They like to take different parts on guided meditations to help “reprogram” them, and they are our most mystical/spiritual part. They have the best communication in the system, and relay messages between parts who can’t talk to each other directly. FW rarely “drives” the body, but often floats behind us in spirit form. They are the third member of the ruling council. FW is the closet thing we have to a guardian angel.

The Bear is our other non-human part. Its debatable if they are truly an alter or more of a NPC (non-player character). To our knowledge, the Bear has only popped outside a couple of times, and spends 99% of the time in the internal cave system, guarding alters who are “hibernating”. Those parts may not have popped out for years, and only FW & the Bear know who all is back there.

Susan (she/her; age 9) is an example of a part that was in “hibernation” for several years, but who has popped back out in the last few months. She currently lives with the Bear, because that’s where she feels safest. She’s the only active child alter that doesn’t live in Sharon’s house in the internal world. She holds the worst of the sexual abuse trauma, and is very quiet and scared. We’re still working on “It’s 2022, you’re safe, the bad times are over” with her, as she’s kind of stuck in time.

Little Carol Ann (she/her; age 6) holds the early memories of gender dysphoria, as well as a little sexual abuse stuff. She likes to draw on her tablet PC that Saoirse fixed up for her and watch cartoons. She idolizes our biological mother, who she is named after.

Little Jimmy (he/him; age 6) is kind of the child version of Janet – he was able to put on the “everything is OK” mask when it was needed. LJ loves Winnie the Pooh. If you put a Pooh video on, chances are high that LJ will pop up, as that’s a huge positive trigger for him. He was devastated when our biological father recently passed away.

The Silent One (she/her, age: ?). Tso lives in Sharon’s closet in the internal world. We don’t know a whole lot about her, because she’s said like one word, ever. She’s scared of speaking or making any noise. She’s young enough that she doesn’t know how to read, so communication with her is largely in pictures… She’s like Susan in that she’s largely still stuck in trauma time. She very rarely pops up, but when she does, we work on the “its 2022, the war is over” thing.

Finally, an honorable mention needs to be made for Watcher, who is really more of a fragment or a function than a full fledged alter. Watcher records events on “video tape” – just the emotionless facts, nothing more. FW is the only one with full access to all the tapes, although occasionally one of us will be given access to a tape of us studying for a test, or something similar. While we don’t have a totally photographic memory, Watcher is pretty close. (Yes, we have periods of amnesia. Yes, we also have a really good memory sometimes. It’s an interesting combination.)

That’s the crew as we know them in 2022. Our three member ruling council made more sense when there were more of us (there have been some fusions over the years), but why mess with a working system?