“Who are you?”

In October 2020, Sister came onstage for only a moment. As I (see note) brushed my hair, my eyes looked into the mirror and did not recognize the face looking at me. I sensed a presence inside me, peering at the face in the mirror, and I heard a small voice ask, “Who are you?” Although I could hear, I could not answer. After the initial fear of insanity and shock subsided, I reclaimed the stage, recalled a therapy session from 2010 and realized that I just heard Sister! She had come forward with no coaxing by a therapist. As far as I know, Sister had never seen the older face/body that hosts all the characters in our system. Within weeks of the encounter with Sister, others began to whisper names, as if a door had somehow been opened just long enough to hear names and a visual snippet of who they are…enough to let me guess their role.

This wasn’t the first time I met Sister. She came forward under hypnosis during a therapy session in 2010. In that session, she described the sensation of being sucked down a bathtub drain…an eery sensation that’s stuck with me all my life. The sensation she described was most assuredly linked to the brutal, bloody bath Sister’s mother gave her following discovery of Sister’s betrayal. I forgot all about sister for 10 years until she popped up in October 2020. Within days of my encounter with Sister, our home was sold and we were moving the 12th time in 3-1/12 years. However, this was the first time, I had a clue as to what triggered our many moves. Among the numerous questions I have is, What triggered Sister?

I assumed Sister to be the first and only character in me, although I never truly accepted the possibility that an alternate identity lived inside me until several weeks after meeting Sister. I assumed Sister carried all the emotions associated with our early-childhood trauma. To my surprise, someone (I don’t know who) told me this morning (Dec 29, 2020) that Baby Girl was the first character in our system… the one that experienced the trauma; and that Sister came a little later to help her forget about it. It seems that someone is telling me that Sister carries the emotions associated with the trauma of our mother’s lifelong rejection and abuse. Grace, with the help of Gabriel, is the one who helps Sister with her trauma.

I believe the following evidence supports the probability that Sister and Baby Girl are indeed the earliest characters in my system.

  • Lifelong night terrors of a hand around my throat pushing down
  • Lifelong night terrors of being immobilized/screaming
  • Lifelong flash images of the perpetrator’s body parts & clothing
  • Break-through rage triggered by a sensation of trauma (real or imagined)
  • Break-through sadness for unknown reasons
  • Sensation of being a child
    • Fondness for dolls
    • Desire to scamper up trees
    • Moments of fantastical thought
    • Childish response to everyday relationship interactions
  • Picturing myself as a child and mild surprise when I inspect my wrinkled skin

Life has been bumpy for the past 3-1/2 years.

Note: Unless, indicated in parentheses, “I” refers to Tricia. If another character intrudes, contributes or takes over, hopefully we will note it.

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