What is an inner world?
Many people with Dissociative identity disorder have internal worlds or headspaces where alters are able to manifest and interact with each other. Every individual’s inner world is different, they can vary in size or detail. There are some people that have huge, complex worlds where alters lead intricate lives within the headspace and other people can have a simple room. Some hosts don’t have access to their internal worlds whereas other people develop their inner worlds as a therapeutic tool to build up system communication. It really is unique to the individual.
What is our inner world like?
Our internal world mainly consists of a very large house with, at least, four floors. We have a control room at the front of the house that stays static but the rest of the interior landscape of the house shifts and changes depending on the needs of the system. Each alter has their own bedroom, there is a playroom for the little parts, a meeting room, a massive living room that has a TV, reading corner and games, a sensory room mainly used by one of the littles, Emily has an office and Theadora has a designated safe room.
The bedrooms and living quarters make up the first two floors of the house where the latter two floors accommodate extra needs of the system such as a storeroom and a sleeping chamber for dormant alters. If parts of the house are not in use, then they become darkness and inaccessible until they are needed again.
At the front of the house is the control room where alters go to watch the outside world and control the body. It resembles the children’s film ‘Inside out’. Emily’s office is next to the control room so that she can stay close and monitor who fronts in the body. One of her roles in the system is ‘Gatekeeper’ which means she can influence switches and when it is safe for certain alters to front.
Time runs differently internally because there are no specific days, months or seasons, each alter runs on their own timeline which seems to make sense to our system but is a complicated mechanism to explain to others. Emily has a calendar in her office which keeps track of timings in the external world.
The house has a gorgeous garden with a river running through it and a rock pond that the littles love playing by and collecting fish for Emily to keep in her fish tank. Across the river is a willow tree that is only accessible to one of our alters, Angel, who lives separately from the rest of the system. Beyond the river is a forest that in currently inaccessible so no one knows who or what is in it.
Every internal world is different and not all people with DID have an inner world and that is perfectly okay. Having or not having an internal world doesn’t make a system more or less valid. Experiences with Dissociative identity disorder can vary so drastically from person to person because it is a coping mechanism stemming from stress and trauma which is unique to the individual and means that each system will have their own individual needs in order to ensure survival. Just because someone’s experience is different to yours does not make it wrong or untrue. Be kind to each other and to yourselves.