CEA's knowledge of alters taking the executive power (coming ‘out’/going ‘up front’) when triggers energise unconscious material usually comes from other people as their only awareness is of lost time. However, as the CEA has always had alters there would always have been lost time (zoning out/disappearing, etc.) so this would always have felt normal. DID is Complex Complex PTSD so has all the symptoms of PTSD. DID is the supreme survival defence against the memories of abuse which are held by the alters who maintain their existence outside out of the CEA's awareness to preserve the defence. In effect the CEA’s job is to remain unaware of their alters and the memories they hold to present a façade of normality to the world. In this way DID is a self-sustaining system so any awareness or suspicion for a CEA of multiplicity is a symptom of improving psychological health.
Why am I getting symptoms of PTSD now?
The 'front person,' who we call the Chief Executive Alter or CEA at I et al (the alter with the primary life) doesn't develop symptoms of Complex PTSD or DID until the child gets ‘safe’- either by physically maturing and being able to defend their self or by physically getting away. Whie it feels like an oxymoron developing symptoms of PTSD is actually a sign of improved mental health.
What is a host?
Host is the term sometimes used to describe the presenting person that has the executive power over the life. We don't like this as it implies that they know what is going on (which is definitely not the case for an unknown Multiple) or that alters are some kind of parasite. At I et al we use the term Chief Executive Alter or CEA.
What is a CEA?
A Chief Executive Alter is the presenting alter that has the executive power of the primary life. We don’t like the term ‘host’ as this implies that they know what is going on (which is definitely not the case for an unknown Multiple) or that alters are some kind of parasite.
What is an alter?
An alter is an energised split off psychic energy. All alters evolved to keep traumatic memories out of awareness and some perform specific jobs such as:- protect the body, guard the memories, act out parasuicide and suicide, manage the system or hold humour.
What is executive power?
This is the energy that is in the alter or alters when they are 'out.' It also refers to the energy invested in the CEA to manage the life and to the additional energy held by alters with jobs, usually the Protector and Guardian who can overcome other alters.
Do alters grow up before they integrate?
Yes, most but not all start to grow up once their energy has been discharged often working through age appropriate developmental stages.
What is stasis?
This is when an alter has become overwhelmed by abuse, gone to' sleep' and be lost to the system. When there is enough energy through therapy the alter will 'wake up' at the age they were at the time they were overwhelmed and develop a relationship with their therapist. If the relationship is strong enough the alter will discharge their trauma.
What is Toxic energy?
This is the energy that is trapped in the toxic memory that energises alters.
What is an 'age defining event'?
Almost all alters evolved to keep traumatic memories out of awareness but some were so traumatic the alter got overwhelmed and was 'frozen' in time (psychological death). So an alter that experienced extreme abuse at 3 years old would be frozen at three, this is known as an 'age defining event'. This alter cannot grow until the toxic energy in this event is discharged.