Polyfragmented Questions
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clickclick4 Offline
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#1
Question  Polyfragmented Questions
Hello everybody.

My system and I have begun to wonder if we might be polyfragmented, but the problem is we can't find any in-depth information on the experience of polyfragmented systems.

We are autistic, and despite the fact that there's no obvious Monumental Trauma in our childhood, we believe that the fact that autistic brains are more easily traumatised contributed to our multiplicity. We've read that polyfragmentation tends to result from "worse" trauma, but we've also read the opposite. Some sources also say it results from abuse by multiple perpetrators. We were bullied in school pretty consistently by a variety of different children, but I'm not sure if that counts.

Right now, we have relatively few identified alters (19), but we've been noticing for a while that it sometimes feels like we just grouped a bunch of parts together under an alter to make our numbers seem smaller. For instance, some of our alters seem sort of different each time they're around, or have different "modes" they operate in, and we've been wondering if those modes could actually be separate alters who feel like they have to consistently present as the same person. We have pretty continuous memory in our daily life, though, and even though it's possible for us to examine a memory closely to figure out who was fronting at the time, we don't do it very often, so it's possible for alters to slip through the cracks and just never step forwards, if that is what they want. We recently discovered an alter who had been doing just that for a while. He's quiet and it's honestly like he just holds a very specific set of emotional reactions instead of being an entire person.

When we first started to realise we were multiple, and identify alters, most of our parts were like that. They were flat, and held fragments of things. We got up to a list of about thirteen and then freaked out because we felt like that was too many. I can remember writing out in a little notebook which alters would "fuse together" to bring the numbers down. It worked for some of us, but not others. In the cases where it worked, the resulting alter is much less two-dimensional. In one case, it didn't work at the time, but one of the alters who was meant to fuse must have ended up integrating other parts on her own over the years, because she's much more nuanced now.

We also have a few sets of alters who are in their own little subgroups. For example, we have Mx. 9 and Rune, who are both around 9-11. 9 holds trauma, and Rune doesn't, but they both like the same colours and it's honestly like they're the traumatised and untraumatised versions of the same kid. I mention this because we've read that some people use the term "polyfragmented" to describe systems with more complex organisation, and with our sub-groups, it sounds like we might fall under that description.

I'd really appreciate it if anyone who is polyfragmented could describe their experiences, particularly how you experience identity. Thank you in advance.
05-04-2019, 05:24 PM
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The People Offline
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#2
RE: Polyfragmented Questions
Welcome ClickClick4. I have polyfragmentation. First of all, 19 is not "just". Second, while I cannot say whether or not you have one label or the other, we know people with autism, worked with them, taught them, read about and on more than one occasion I have compared my issues with people who have autism. I remember telling a therapist that I felt like I had so much in common with people who have aspergers. Her response: the difference is that their issues are created genetically while mine are created psychologically.

I have never read much on polyfragmentation either. It is hard enough to get people to believe in DID. Butdon't give up. Wth time you will figure out who everyone is and that they are all a part of you. Good luck.
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05-04-2019, 11:04 PM
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nats Offline
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#3
RE: Polyfragmented Questions
hi clickclick4, what you describe seems a lot like our internal experience. we would consider ourselves polyfragmented based on our understanding of it, but never found a proper DID expert who could dx definitively given it's even more poorly understood than dissociation. so, perhaps just take it fwiw. there are definitely autistic traits in FOO, with at least one person formally dx'd on the spectrum, so perhaps there is some connection between autism and more complex DID traits. interesting.
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05-05-2019, 06:49 AM
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clickclick4 Offline
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#4
RE: Polyfragmented Questions
(05-05-2019, 06:49 AM)nats Wrote: hi clickclick4, what you describe seems a lot like our internal experience. we would consider ourselves polyfragmented based on our understanding of it, but never found a proper DID expert who could dx definitively given it's even more poorly understood than dissociation. so, perhaps just take it fwiw. there are definitely autistic traits in FOO, with at least one person formally dx'd on the spectrum, so perhaps there is some connection between autism and more complex DID traits. interesting.

Oh, thank you for the info, nats. I think we took so long to consider that we might be polyfragmented because we didn't think that it was possible to be polyfragmented and have continuous memory. We felt like, if we had more than 25 alters who could switch out, and they didn't share a memory, we would definitely not be able to function as well as we do.

I think that, due to the way autistic brains process trauma, we are more likely to have trauma related disorders in general, not just limited to dissociative disorders. I don't think a non-autistic kid would have developed OSDD or DID in my situation, even if they already had dissociative tendencies.

I also feel like autistic kids are less likely to get the support they need to process their trauma, because there's been very little research on how we recover from trauma, and most adults don't even know how much easier it is for an autistic kid to get traumatised, even by something that seems small. It makes me wonder how much of the DSM criteria for autism is actually for autism, and how much of it just describes how autistic people react to trauma. Because most of us are traumatised. It's pretty much impossible to avoid.
05-05-2019, 04:31 PM
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nats Offline
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#5
RE: Polyfragmented Questions
all interesting questions, which i have no idea the answers to. there is so much that isn't known about DID and isn't known about autism, and isn't known about trauma, that it's not surprising that there's no clear guidance on when they interact. this is where we have to work out what works for ourselves Smile it can really help to talk it through as well.
Blush Learn how to manage conflict, because the greater the level you can tolerate, the more freedom you will retain - E. Walsh Smile
05-05-2019, 06:28 PM
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