Some recent comments made me wonder about this, so I thought I'd ask all of you a couple of questions. This is just idle curiosity, so feel free to ignore.
How old were you when you became multiple? (Or have you been one since birth?)
Was there some kind of triggering event, good or bad, that caused it, or was a catalyst for it?
Was it a gradual process, or something very sudden?
Were you aware of it right away, or did you become aware later? If you became aware later, what brought it to your awareness?
I'll answer myself, just to start things off.
I had the beginnings of everything when I was thirteen or so, but I didn't actually develop other personas until I was around 19, and none of them were strong enough to actually do much, until I was 23. (I'm currently 28.)
I had two triggers. One was a negative experience, that happened when I was 13. I don't generally go into detail about it without good reason, but I was left with a memory, and a thought, that got stuck in my head, and I hated dwelling on it, it was awful and depressing, and miserable, and I wanted to be happy. So I made a little mental "loop" to help me get rid of the evil thought. I pictured something I thought was pleasant to replace it. A purple oriental dragon, in this case, (I'm crazy about dragons!) which I imaginied flying in and burning up the unpleasant thought, and then settling down in my mind, so I could just visualize how graceful and shiny and beautiful the dragon was, rather than dwelling on something negative. Since I spent a lot of time thinking about this dragon, it started to get a little life, and very gradually evolved into a protective Guardian figure, but it never really gained any independance until the second event happened, which was my discovering the internet! I went off the college, and found computers, and the net, and chatrooms, and specifically fantasy chat rooms, where I could play a character, and let my imagination, and all the various facets of my personality that don't generally see much action out to play. So I made up all these characters, and played, and had fun, but a couple of the characters really took on a life of their own, particularly in chat rooms, where they could speak through me, and I started picturing little dialogues with them, and pretty soon I had these personalities running around my head.
So I developed quite gradually from a total singleton to a more or less median state, (and was, of course, aware of this progression the whole time,) where I have personalities other than me in here, but they're all really sub-sets of me, characters and aspects that I talk to. I've been told I'll inevitably develop further into a full multiple state where I will become just one of many, or vanish entirely, but I don't believe this to be true. While I still sometimes find new personas, The way we work together and interact with each other has very much stabilized, and hasn't changed any since very shortly after the first of them appeared, so I don't anticipate it changing much in the future either. (And so far nobody has ever fronted but me, though some of the others will speak in chat rooms or IMs, which is kind of interesting I think.)
Anyhow, how about you guys? Any thoughts on the subject?