Melissa C. Water once made a joke in saying, “I’m dissociating into a bag of Skittles; taste the rainbow.” After this joke became more of a running topic, it was proposed to her Headmates to be known as “The Bag System.”
To hear the genuine speech of our Headmates, find the video player on the main page.
There are more of us than will probably be spoken of in this podcast, but this is an overview of those of us that may make an appearance, or be given a mention.
While there are more members of The Bag System, those listed here are the Headmates that either surface the most often, or that Melissa knows the most about.
Melissa is the host of The Bag System podcast, as well as the Headmate that is fronting most often. She is a writer, mental health advocate and has her main YouTube channel under the name Idranktheseawater. Melissa has Tourette syndrome, but you probably won’t be hearing her tics very often in this podcast for two reasons. Melissa’s tics have been less severe in the last year, and she edits them out of the audio when they occur in recordings.
Melissa can sometimes communicate with her Headmates, and she can hear glimpses of their conversations in the mind, but she is not part of their Inner World.
Katie is 2 years old, and the youngest in the system, as far as Melissa is aware. Katie was once nicknamed “Small,” because, when asked, “How do you feel?” she would reply in a very elongated and sullen tone, “Small.” Katie sometimes only surfaces with highly sad facial expressions and postures, but does not necessarily speak.
Skittle is a 4-year-old girl with high energy and spirits. She only surfaces for happy triggers and her presence is apparent by intense laughter and a joyful, amplified, childlike expression in her voice. The nickname Skittle was given to her by Melissa as a term of endearment until her real name can be learned.
The symbol of an exclamation mark is the name that this high energy Headmate goes by. Melissa used to believe that he was an adult male who potentially had mania, but after hearing his voice, she realized that his age is potentially around 10 years old.
His high energy may be more related to ADHD hyperactivity. The characteristic in !’s speech that stands out is that he is highly validating to others while having what he calls “self-esteem” about being the best at being “the best at what no one else would want to be best at.” He expresses thoughts that he feels extreme happiness about, but what he says comes off as sounding more like what someone would feel distressed about. Rather than feeling upset about the difficult things he perceives about himself, he feels incredible joy, which is probably a coping skill.
The name SpitFire is only a nickname that is being used with their permission. They are of unknown gender and age. SpitFire would likely be what is known as a “persecutor” and their presence tends to be noticed when there is something that sounds like it’s being yelled at the self.
These angry outbursts were once thought to be tics from Tourette syndrome, despite how it was pointed out to Melissa that these were not what tics sound like. For example, in the intro reel of The Bag System Podcast, you can hear SpitFire during a recorded therapy session that was over a video platform. SpitFire grew seemingly irritated at seeing Melissa’s reflection and spat out the words, “Would you just get her out of my face?!”
Maggie is female and is 17 years old. She would be considered an “Emotional Protector” in The Bag System because she most often surfaces when Melissa, or another Headmate, is under high anxiety. She is highly positive about people and the world around her, but has very low self-esteem. Her speech sounds euphoric in tone; you can almost hear the smile in her voice.
John Q is a male Headmate of unknown age, but likely at least a teen. He used to be known under the nickname “IQ” until Melissa learned his name was Jonn. With his permission, she calls him John Q. He is very bright in grasping facts and has a love of learning. His intelligence level was estimated by a psychologist to be in the “gifted range” of at least the top 2 percentile. John Q tends to become interested in intellectual debates, which has been mistaken for anger.