Working With Very Young Alters

Let me begin by saying this: This is what we’ve done, what we’ve found helpful, what’s worked for us, and is not a general how to for every DID system. Maybe this will be of use to you or a DID system you know, maybe not.

We have two very young parts. Two three year olds who, until recently, have mostly been non-verbal. Very scared, very traumatised, very quiet.

In recent days Miss 3A (‘A’ is the first initial of her name, as just ‘Miss 3’ doesn’t work when there’s two the same age) has started playing with, and become attached to a Cabbage Patch doll we bought quite a while ago. She plays gently with is, straightening its clothes, and lovingly brushing its hair. She’s gone as far as naming the doll, but is very scared that the doll will be taken away from her.


Miss 3A’s Cabbage Patch doll.

Conversely Miss 3C hits, punches, smothers, chokes, and repeats sexual abuse she experienced on the doll. It’s horrifying to watch a child (even a child alter in an adult body) play with a doll in that way. She’s very angry, but also very scared.

Before we’d bought this doll both Miss 3A and Miss 3C were silent. They didn’t talk at all, not even inside. There was absolutely no communication. Since working with them and the doll short conversations have been happening, and both are very slowly spending more time ‘out’ in the body.

With neither speaking much, or being able to write, it makes recording conversations or experiences with them difficult. Lately we’ve been able to have an older part out at the same time who can write down the conversation being had, or notes on play, emotions, or behaviours.

They’re both still very scared, and generally prefer not to talk. Miss 3C being much more scared of people than Miss 3A. It’s very slow going, but it’s progress.

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