Send Your Replies to Connie

Hi Connie,

I can not say whether or not it is a right or wrong thing to keep secrets from your little ones. I guess it would be what you feel they can handle. Would it further traumatize them? Ask yourself those questions and whatever answers you receive will let you know what is right or wrong for you to let them know.

About integrating them... no I don't believe that they grow. They just become a part of who you are; even if you are 35 or 40 and they are 10 when you join, they remain that age. You may just feel a little younger or have more energy.

Hope I've helped by answering your questions,


Hi Connie,

Before I was incorporated and something traumatic happened, everyone knew. I tried to comfort and give extra attention to the very young ones. This in turn made the older ones, teenagers, jealous. One of my alters was very strong and found a small problem traumatic. They didn't all act in unison unless there was a problem the strong alter created or if there was a real traumatic event. I never had to tell my young ones unless to explain that the problem was created. Of course I used age specific words.

When I was incorporated, my small children stayed small children. Everyone stayed the same.

Hope this helped and good luck.

Mary G.


Dear Connie,

I was never able to keep secrets from my "little ones." They were the ones that were usually out when something big was going on. It just always worked that way.
I thought that the little ones would have to grow up in order to integrate. But  they just stayed the same age they always were. My first personality to integrate was actually a brave little three year old, which shocked both my therapist and I. Everything just worked itself out on it's own in the integration process.

Hope that helps!

Debbie E.



Dear Connie, 

This is a great question.  I generally agree with Doug  in that as you recover and share more and learn more about all of you, 
it becomes not only harder to keep secrets, but unhealthy.   The question for me becomes not whether I should keep it a secret, but in 
what way should I explain it.  I don't view my inner parts in the same  way as I view my human children, where I would keep secrets from them 
to protect them.   The inner parts are connected to older parts in a  way that  is fundamentally different from adult-to-child humans.  I 
believe this strongly.    On the other hand, I cannot remember a time  where I had to explain to inner parts about new traumas.  They always 
just know and they know in their own limited way for some of them.

Hope that helps.

Paul T.


Hi Connie:

It is good that you do not want to expose your little alters to trauma. It shows you are a caring person. But keeping secrets is a big
part of what created us with DID in the first place, so I think in the long run it does more harm than good, and it hampers integration. It
supports the system of each alter running his/her own life.

I have a 9 yr old and a 4 year old alter, and they are aware when the other alters are stressed, or when life in general has been traumatic.
So I try to explain what happened to them in their terms using stuffed animals (they love stuffed animals. I have 24 of them). It isn't
easy....but I think it works better than hiding things. Little alters are just like little children - they are very curious!
Some things are not age-appropriate for them, but I try to translate it into something a 4 year-old or a 9 year-old can relate to.

I can say my child alters still react emotionally and relate to the word emotionally like children, but they are fairly smart and have
learned things, like the 4 year-old has learned to read. And the 9 year-old can drive quite well (although he drives like Mr. Magoo).
They know when it's safe for them to play and when they have to go to sleep (like when we are at work). Their learning is a little odd, I
compare it to a computer file and sometimes they connect to our brain and use it and sometimes they can't. It is something we are working on
in therapy so they can connect better and learn more.

Doug & Friends


Dear Connie--
Probably there is more than one 'right' way to deal with secrets and little ones inside. I've never personally had this experience, but I've never been good at secret-keeping, & I don't like secrets. I would guess that it's better, usually, to tell the little one about the trauma as simply as possible, then give lots of support and comfort--instead of trying to make the trauma a secret. Inevitably, there will be 'messages' passed through the system, and the little one will find out & will be confused or hurt by the secret-keeping. In the real world, there is one body containing the whole system. Different experiences could cause the 'secret' to be revealed unexpectedly. That could cause a real jolt, I think. It will be interesting to see what others say about this, though.