You all have my sympathy.
I have to commend you all, for your dedication.
This is doable - if you have a goal and a plan.
My personal experience was with a non-romantic female friend. I did do some traveling to meet and visit her for a couple of weeks and for 2 1/2 years I spent about 6 hours every day on the phone to her and all of her alters.
At the end of that time - I had helped all of her 56 alters to become very happy - to deal with thier past issues to change negative and destructive behaviors to positive ones and to integrate.
To do that, I made friends with all 56 - I got to now all of their stories of the traumatic events, hopes, fears, desires, problems, history, pain, disappointment, I learned what each alters job was and how they felt about doing it, as well has who knew who, who were the "watchers", I also discovered and respect all internal boundaries, how their system works ... etc ...the list goes on because I spent about 5000 hours talking mostly to alters doing this.
By loving them - respecting them - getting their co-operation - all of us working together to made it happen.
SO - YES it is indeed, without a doubt, the most fascinating journey into the human psyche you will ever take - you will see things that you didn't think were humanly possible and you will not find very many people that will understand you. Most of them will look at you and shake their head -- or politely nod - and think you are crazy.
So - YOU have been chosen to be someone's HERO and I believe the people with DID -- who are extremely intuitive and usually pretty intelligent - could already tell - that you are indeed "up to the task".
It is mostly a SOLO journey , and even your therapist may not believe you -- or believe that you really know what you are talking about until you tell them stories that temporarily break down their walls and make them laugh and cry - and even then, they may end-up struggling with a case of professional jealousy because a layperson has done what a professional could not......(I know...you would expect better from a professional...and if you get it .. be very grateful).
It is an adventure that took every ounce of intuition and creativity and energy I could muster, but in the end - it was like landing on the moon. I have been somewhere and seen and done something that only handful of people on this earth can even understand much less relate to.
I have to admit that I was totally spent and it took me a few months to recover, but it was still worth it.
So...now the question remains -- are you ALL IN or BAILING OUT?
I would say, commit NOW and forever hold your peace. I will warn you that your commitment and dedication will be tested - and they will disappoint you many times and when that happens, remember to not take anything personally, and just keep-on keepin'-on.
It is no longer about YOU and you may find that you have to take care of yourself on your own time.
I was lucky in that ;
Prior to this I had spent quite a bit of time talking to people with all manner of childhood traumas - I had learned all about cutters and had helped some of them to stop cutting, so hearing all of the stories was not new to me - I was unaffected and could maintain a safe place for the alters to share their stories.
If you are NOT able to do that -- then don't go poking around with things that you cannot handle, should they jump out at you.
In any case - your job is to be a good friend with a lot of common sense. That is the basics of what I really did, along with lavishing her with shiploads if TLC and that is what allowed me to help each of the 56 though their own customized healing process.
Just to address a few more things:
The ability to control switching is different for everyone and may change if they are triggered or have a traumatic event.
One thing that does not change, is the underlying intention of the host:
In the back of all those minds - there is a common thread - almost like one mind that controls everything - albeit however unconsciously ( not unlike the rest of us).
Never share traumatic information with an alter that was not around when it happened - infact let THEM share information - crossing those boundaries causes a lot of trouble.
My personal feeling is that having a shrink that is trying to promote co-consciousness, is like cracking open all the eggs - to inspect them - before you buy them and then putting each one in a special container - after you steralize it - etc etc etc In my opinion -- all it does is make a really big confusing messthat saps everyone energy and digs up a lot of memories and emotional pain that just gets scattered all over and never really gets HEALED it just adds years to the recovery process by turning it in to a form of trauma itself.
( Why was this so exhausting to post ? )
ok - that's my two cents
any specific questions about it you can PM me.