This article is from the Dissociation FAQ, by Discord (email@example.com) with numerous contributions by others.
Everyone deals with trauma in a different way. A constant among
multiples seems to be that they are intelligent and creative in
a particular sort of way. While there are people who were abused
who are intelligent and creative who did NOT become multiple,
they probably found a different way of dealing with it (repressing
the memory seems fairly common; sometimes, sadly, the way they
deal with it is "not at all").
What seems to happen in most cases is that, to escape the pain/trauma/abuse,
the multiple splits off a portion of their "self" (soul, mind, however you
would like to look at it), so that _that_ portion can deal with the
abuse/trauma and they do not have to. [It is possible that the split-off
portion may be the portion that does _not_ have to deal with the abuse;
there is at least one case like that known to the Gazelles.] This initial
split often occurs at the moment of trauma/during the abuse. The split off
portion somehow attains reality as a person, possibly through pure creative
This is not necessarily the _only_ way that initial splits happen, nor does
the split have to be into just two people...the original could fragment
into many parts, all at once, for instance.
Once the splitting mechanism is in place, many multiples split easily,
often even creating an alter for dealing with specific non-abusive people
and situations. This allows the multiple to have the "perfect" person for