Fragments are underdeveloped mental entities, bits of dissociated existence, who are not yet fully-developed identities. They can fill a wide variety of roles and functions within a system, from being pre-packaged "skills" or "senses" that are passed around the system, to fixtures in the internal landscape, to bits that process certain activities or input, or unprocessed emotional issues or memories left unattended. Basically, if something can be dissociated, it can become a fragment.
Some common fragments may include:
- typing skills
- driving skills
- language skills
- one or more sensory input (i.e. "sight") that can be easily shared by the system
- habitual movements
- system masks - generally worn by internal people when fronting to have a consistent external presentation
- system veils - a sub-system mask worn by persons within a subsystem when fronting for a subsystem to disguise themselves within their outer meta-system
- a system logbook - an internal function to share recent events and pass information between residents
- roles - a set of skills and knowledge needed to perform specific duties
A fragment can refer to a portion of consciousness that has not yet developed, and may never develop, into a full identity - but nonethess displays traits seperate from other people and can possibly act independently.
Some fragments are temporary and may dissipate when no longer needed. Not all fragments will develop into separate people or identities.
Fragments, in some instances, can arise when a person unknowingly sperates traits for convenience, or out of fear. Some fragments are shallow emotional shadows of personality i.e. anger, lust, even confidence or assertiveness. Some fragments may get a bad reputation in the system for acting out, without volition — for causing trouble, for reacting instead of choosing their actions. Or these could be caused by non-co-aware persons.
If a fragment gains conscious volition and self-awareness, it may become an identity. When this happens, a true seperate identity may develop, with any innumerable traits of personhood, including full personhood.