chapter  11
13 Pages

Working With Persecutory Alters and Identification With the Aggressor

Persecutor parts function as trauma shields (Putnam, 1989) to protect the person from horrifying memories and defending against feelings of helplessness. Having persecutory and abuser identity states is like having an internal Al Qaeda or Taliban that punishes you for the slightest infraction of bizarre and arcane rules. It involves being emotionally attached to inner and perhaps outer persecutors, even though you were tortured by them. It is in part this relational configuration that gives the persecutor parts their power.