I’ve recently had a conversation with someone about Alters and how/when they are created and I needed to clear up a misconception. I thought it might help others if I write about it here too.
Many people trying to understand DID seem to believe that Alters’ ages directly reflect the age the body was when they were created. For example, a 3-year-old Alter *must* have been created when the body was 3-years-old and *must* represent the trauma that happened at that age.
Not so. In actual fact, the age of Alters is largely irrelevant. I have 2 twin Alters who were created in the early part of 2020 due to some significant trauma, and they are both 16-years-old. It really doesn’t matter what age an Alter is, and their ages should not be used as a reflection of the body age and trauma dates. The only thing that their ages should do is help you to know how to interact with them; ie: speaking to them at their level.
Alters can be any age, even older than the body. If their age is directly correlated with the age the body was when the trauma happened, how would you explain an Alter who is older than the body? One of our Protectors was created when the body was 11-years-old, but she was created to be an Age-Slider of 14 to 24 years old. At that time, when she was created, we clearly needed an Alter to be more mature and older in order to cope with the trauma that happened. Does that make sense?
I hope this clears it up somewhat and helps you to re-evaluate your perception of Alters and their ages verses the body’s age when the trauma happened. As always, thanks for reading. Stay safe out there!