Dear P

I have an animal alter named Bigfoot.  This part of me is very large and powerful and scoops the little girl up into his arms as she is about to be sexually abused.  He growls at the perpetrator.  He is safety...much like a blanket...but strong at the same time.  Do not be ashamed.  For me, this animal was/still is necessary, as all human authority figures in my childhood were abusive.  My Bigfoot is hairy and that conceals all body parts, so he is really neither male or female.  Safety.



Dear P.

I have a wonderful alter named "Cougar" because that's who he is, a cougar. He helped me to know how to survive, when it was necessary. Now I make sure he gets to the mountains for exercise, eats well. Has a pleasant bed in my room, in the closet, where he can be safe. Out in the world we provide the right environment to met his needs. That way there is never a need for embarrassment. Besides I could never be embarrassed about how WE have all survived.


I have animal alters. I know that they are cult related. In fact cult created. That's all I can really say about it, and
even that ain't safe.


Sometimes, I feel like I am a lion, or a cat, but it just lasts for a little while. I growl and I crawl. I am not sure if it is one of the littles' playing (??), but it really feels good to not be human for a short while. I do remember that when I was a child, I loved pretending to be a cat or a lion, so I am not sure if this is the cause. I do not think that you should feel ashamed. Animals can make you feel powerful.



I also have animal alters-and it is not so awful as it may first appear. A few years ago I had to come to terms with the revelation of having been sexually abused by my father. I also had to come to terms with the realization that the family dog was involved in some of the abuse episodes. I do not molest animals, but I do admit they turn me on. I admit it is hard at times to cope with this knowledge. A lot of my alters are dogs-or doglike-and sexually confused about what species is okay to desire.

I am not ashamed-I was at first-but then I thought that shame would be just the thing my father would want. I am not responsible for the choices made by a sick, wicked man-and I refuse to feel bad about my sexual feelings-however confused or twisted they may have become as a result of the abuse.

Do not be ashamed, P... embrace your animal alters-they are part of you, too. Our minds have done extraordinary things to help us deal with very bizarre and terrible things-I have learned that my animal alters serve a purpose, just like the others do-they help me encapsulate and explain and express feelings that I can't any other way. I felt like a dog myself-being made to behave like one and forced to be receptive to one. My dog-alters came to take that load for me. Peace to you, P. There is hope!

Tim and the Troops


For P.

Serious shame is it? Bet that is my middle name, especially since co-consciousness. I am grateful at this stage, my ability to remember (wow) and more importantly, understand the process.....It is a process, and each step leads to recovery.

Your letter was wonderful and how healing it is when the awareness can reach so many of us - You can see I am dodging my response but watch, I will come through. Hopefully it will be of some light for you. Procrastination coupled with fear is truly a lot healthier than my splitting off most of my life. My shame was taken piece by piece by my therapist guiding me to relenquish it to the real perpetrators......Taking it on was therapeutic and letting go, the same.

Anything I did to get through the past was the right thing for me and it has taken almost nine years of therapy to accept that truth. Upon gentle coaxing I finally started talking a little at a time of some of the memories cropping up, yet I felt such embarrasement that I "physically" borrowed my therapist's throw blanket and hid underneath. Maybe to keep me hidden as I had done for so many years or maybe just to avoid her seeing my humiliation at what I was about to say. However I could do it, say it, cry it, blurt it out whether hidden or just putting my head in my lap so she couldn't see me that way, I did it. early steps in therapy consisted of a lot of drawing - using my left hand (recessive) to get my inner kids actively engaged worked.......kept drawing this cow or giant dog that would stand over a few of my real babies (approx. 6 months and up).....this big animal seemed to be the protector for the real tiny ones. I still don't know why, as eventually I created my army of kids, teens, and so on but it sure did the trick. Drawing helps me and by changing hands, I learn more. Keep up your good work,


Hi P!
My name is Jacki and I've lived with Dissociative behavior for a long time now. I am 49 and still have to keep tabs on myself. I can't say that I ever really felt like a animal, but as any of my friends can tell you I haven't met an animal that I couldn't just crawl up on the floor and be with. Even large dogs that their owners have never seen behave that way. The ones that never let any one do that with them.

I've raised a lot of wee animals over the years and the biggest problem I had was every time I'd "get in one of those moods" I would get rid of them. Very heart breaking to alot of me. But somehow I convince myself that it was better for the animal at that time. Maybe so, I don't really know at the time, it's just later down the road when I miss them.

The best thing I could say right now is that any thing you feel a part of then I truely believe you are. Hey, people have looked at me real strange over the years for how I relate to my animals. It's even harder to hide when I'm "up front and personal" with my plants. I grieve when a plant dies in my house. And I do feel shame if it was because part of it was my fault in neglect of it. I once "woke up" and found out I had not taken care of the hamsters I was raising at the time. My 1 year old daughter was fine and my husband hadn't committed me so some part of me was there--just not the part that remembered the little ones.

Don't be afraid of the feelings; they are just that--feelings. One thing I have learned over my life is that certain feelings don't necessarily go with the image in our minds. And that's fine. I figure I've got the rest of my life to figure it out. I have a lot to look forward to doing in some ways, yet I do remember a time years ago before I started to learn about my self, being afraid of the unknown. Not any more and that only comes with knowledge. Take care, Jacki