Imaginary Friends

What is the difference between a multiple personality and an imaginary friend?

Children create imaginary friends as part of a healthy and normal period of development. They may be boys or girls; animals or objects. Friends that become a means of communication and a safe way to put new experiences in proper context. As a child grows, these imaginary friends gradually diminish and in many cases, become part of an older child’s personality and interests.

If however, a child has an unhealthy and abusive period of development, what becomes of those imaginary friends? Do they become ‘real’ multiples? While nearly every multiple personality has a background of abuse, not all children, in fact, very few that are abused become multiples. What then creates a multiple personality in a specific child?

The prevailing theory is that a trauma event, or series of trauma events occurs that the child cannot process and thus a portion of the mind splits and ‘deals’ with the event instead. If this splitting is severe enough, then a new personality is created. But is this personality real or merely an imaginary friend that deals with the ‘bad’ stuff?

Let’s assume for this argument that the created personality is real. That a new person has been ‘born’. How is this possible? If two or more personalities are sharing a body, how can they all be real? This line of reasoning would clearly state that having a body has nothing at all to do with being real. Rather, it is the mind where personalities are formed. The mind, the self-aware mind is where ‘real’ is separated from the imaginary.

For a multiple to be real they need to be self-aware. They need to understand that their personality is separate and distinct from the others. Not only the ‘face’, but any other multiples present. Their desires, their needs may be very different and unique to their own personality. Imaginary friends and characters are not real, but rather projections and facets of everyone’s day-to-day personality. A multiple personality can be ‘real’, if they understand the world around them and react in ways that are different from the others.

To create this difference, this self-awareness, requires the active co-operation of the dominant personality. Black outs occur when there is a power struggle between the personalities for control of the body. Until this is resolved, it can be very dangerous and destructive for the people involved.

Another area of confusion for many is the idea that a ‘normal’ person can have other personalities. The ‘face’, the body the world sees, many times, if not all the time, is also a multiple personality. They may or may not be the birth personality and in our case, the current ‘face’ is not the personality who grew up with the family. Which raises another interesting question.

What do you call the body that is shared by many?

Rose

xo

20 thoughts on “Imaginary Friends

  1. judgment cannot be made by looking solely at the outer shell.. there are such intricacies to the human mind that even we cannot understand…

    a multiple is not an imaginary friend, an inner voice, a conscience,, or even a “wrong righter”…. they are a portion of the vastly unused human brain that takes on a life, personality visual image and countenance all their own… a being that can act independently of that which is “assumed” to inhabit the body…

    to me it is like saying that a baby that is born of chinese origin will speak chinese even if are raised in america by a english speaking family…. you cannot deny that by all appearances they are in fact chinese… but when they will open their mouth and cannot utter a single word of chinese… are they really???? and does the fact that they cannot converse in that “native” tongue make them any less chinese???

    i don’t know if i am making myself clear,,, but i think you will get the gist of it…

    excellent post… you are so generous to go thru this very loving explaination for all of those that are truly seeking the answer to the inevitable questions…..

    xxoo

  2. ((((Paisley))))

    I do understand your ramblings… I think.😉 I am discovering through my own experiences that the mind is an amazing place. And, that no one can know with certainly how it all works.

    Rose

    xo

  3. Hmmm….this is interesting to think about. We all wear different masks for different things. But, for a multiple it goes beyond a mask, right? To a whole new and seperate identity living in one body. I can see where awareness is necessary yet, could drive you crazy.

    I am just wondering do the seperate personality’s talk to each other?

    You are very brave to talk about this.

  4. Thank you Nancy. Yes, the masks is a good analogy. For me, I only have one mask so far and that is Dewy. For myself, as Rose, I find myself drifting a bit at times.

    To answer your other question, Brian, (the face), and I talk all the time during the day, but not so much at night. The boys don’t talk that much, they mainly project images and fantasies.

    Thanks for your interest. If you check the pages at the top of my blog, they have a lot more information.

    Rose

    xo

  5. You give me great insights. I never thought about it this way before. We all have masks. I know I have. My persona that I show to my friends is entirely different from my work place people.

    I don’t have multiple personalities as such but who knows? May be I do have? So what? I am this person and I will always stay this way till the end.

    From what I know of you, I find your very intriguing and interesting. I am richer for knowing you, your personalities. I am more friendly with Rose and formal with Brian.

    I like both.

  6. (((Gautami))))

    I know what you mean. Brian is more… I’m not sure. He’s very nice though and you can always expect him to be respectful.

    Masks are part of being social beings. You have to have different persona for various situations, but you are still Gautami, no matter how rich the variations.

    If however, one of those variations thought that they were ‘real’, that is what begins the process of being a multiple.

    Another way to look at it, is if one of your variations was someone you felt was not part of you. Does that make sense? I don’t feel part of Brian and he doesn’t feel part of me.

    I don’t want to be a man and he doesn’t want to be a woman.

    Rose

    xo

  7. Rose, your remark, “I don’t want to be a man and he doesn’t want to be a woman.” It seems such a simple remark, easy to just cast aside, but the truth is, it seems very telling of how tumultuous it must be for all of you at times, because though each “gender” can incorporate some of each, and does in individuals — in a multiple, for one to want more of one than the other must be difficult, and even as I type that, I change it to: it must give each of you a lot of fodder for deep thought on the role of gender in personalities and life.

    Do you ever have days you just don’t want to think that hard, but just sit back and let it all happen?

  8. ((((Marcia))))

    That phrase is precisely why I know I’m real. I’m a woman and he’s a man. We want completely different things. Yes, it does give us deep thought on the gender issues. Because I am missing the esential parts that make a woman I don’t have the emotions and experiences of a woman’s body. I have his/their memories of women, but from a male perspective.

    Yet, yet, there are fundamental differences between the way I use the brain when I’m at the front and when he does. I also have more energy and I use the body in very different ways.

    So yes, there are many days when I sit back and let it happen.

  9. wow this was a lot to wrap my arms around. I was getting ready to write that I cant even begin to imagine what your life must be like, but reading this probably was a beginning! lol

    I have like a million questions so I will browse around your site and see about getting them answered.

    thanks for sharing!

  10. Hi Rose! You rock!! I love what you wrote and the distinctions you made. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. Your humor and wisdom are awesome, and you touch so many people. Hugs.🙂

  11. The body that is shared by many is Brian, but he is the host to you, Rose. Long ago Rose (and the others) helped Brian. Now he has a nice life and Rose can come out and be in the world. I think maybe Brian intuitively appreciates what you have done for him in the past, even if he doesn’t precisely know what it is you did. I’ve said this before, I think you, Rose, are a soul sent by God. You’re stuck in there now and that is your burden in life this time around. This is only my humblest of opinions as a person who suffered as a child and has mental problems but is not a multiple -take with a grain of salt, sistah! luv you!

  12. (((((Claire)))

    Don’t you mean a lump of salt?😉 Thank you so much for your interpretation. I suspect you are closer to the truth than any of us. It’s funny, but we were just having a dream about a place and people in the past. Collective dreams are strange to say the least.

    Lurv you to.

    Rose

    xo

  13. Over atthe blog Daddy Dialectic, I just posted an interview I did with Marjorie Taylor, a professor of psychology and expert on imaginary friends. You’d definitely be interested in some of her observations. It’s also worth checking out her website, which you can link to from Daddy Dialectic.

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