Believe it or not, “you” are not a steady state. “You” are made up of many different ego states. Normal people, like nations, need their children, their creative types, their farmers, their business types and their organizers. You are different when you’re at work than when you’re at home. And you are different playing with little children, than with authority figures. You can be serious and, hopefully, playful. But you recognize all these states as being “you.”
The problem arises when some of your parts become more separated from “you.” This happens when children are traumatized. Normal children’s brains are capable of helping the child who is being traumatized survive by splitting off parts of the personality. What is intolerable and inescapable seems to be happening to another child. The child being raped, for instance, may be floating on the ceiling looking down at some other child being abused.
In my book, I describe the way my child’s brain invented Sally to be the sexual girl. You can read about that on pages 166 & 167.
Can you trace how that dissociated part of me took over when I was an adult? See if you can find three examples in Confessions of a Trauma Therapist.
How many parts can you find in yourself? How are you different in different situations? Feel free to comment below.