This article is a Stub.
Gateway systems are a type of plural or multiple system where the headmates perceive having come from another world, and sometimes they continue to have connections to other worlds.
All experiences are valid. It's your experience regardless of whether it's provable, or objectively true. Your experience is 100% your experience, and don't let people gaslight you into doubting your own subjective experiences. Being authentic frees up a great deal of spoons, and finding a community that accepts you no matter what your experiences and perceptions is important.
It's Ok to raise an eyebrow at something you've never heard of or experienced before. But it's not OK to shun people for trusting others to tell them about their perceptions or experiences.
Experiences that might be described as gateway experiences are sometimes shunned or excluded in some specific community groups — it's too "woo" or weird or spiritual to some. However, it really isn't a spiritual or magical concept (unless it is for that specific system) as some of these ideas behind gateway systems are supported by quantum physics & quantum psychology concepts.
What's generally accepted and acceptable in the community is things like pocket dimensions in an inner world context (see below), but not if they are thought to actually connect to other worlds — that might be too far a stretch for some folks.
What exactly are Gateway Systems?
Gateway systems are a plural experience of there being 1 or more other worlds (universes, alternate realities, dimensions, etc.), and headmates have come from them to this Earthside body in some way. Often these systems still retain the ability to travel back & forth to the other world. These headmates are called Walk-Ins in some parts of the community, a term borrowed from the New Age movement.
There are many ways to experience being a Gateway System. Some examples include where the main experiences of headmates are somewhere else and they're "just visiting" earth through this body. Or folk permanently reside in this body but they very clearly remember having just come here (suddenly?) from another world (time, place, life…).
There can also be a great deal of crossover between Gateway Systems and fictives — as some folk believe that fiction authors may be tapping into distant real worlds and putting their own spin/twist on the narratives, tales, goings-on, or myths & stories of alternate dimensions. So it's always possible that fictives come from actual other worlds to this body — including the possibility of many alternate dimensions worth of the same fictive in myriad bodies on Earth. Thus someone with many fictives from one source also potentially could be a gateway to that source world — or some iteration of it.
How does being a Gateway System affect us?
Aside from how some gateway systems are treated in some corners of the community, one thing to consider as a Gateway System is how to balance the needs of 3+ worlds. There's Earthside, there's the inner world of the plural or multiple system, plus whatever other world(s) y'all are connected to — if you're still connected to them.
On Earth, if you start telling a professional about how right your world is on the otherside(s) and all the myriad goings-on there, you may get diagnosed with maladaptive daydreaming. We'd argue against that if these goings-on aren't affecting Earthside external goings on or causing your& system any distress and are in fact contributing to fullness of life, enjoyment, and productivity in all dimensions.
Also, as someone might still be fronting and carrying out important tasks Earthside while others are milling about taking care of things in the inner world, and others are otherside doing stuff — what does it matter to anyone? So long as everything is meshing and working out — it's no one's business.
So consider how otherside activities are affecting other areas of concern, which are of how much importance to you, and how they're affecting each other. If otherside or innerworld non-trauma-related stuff is taking up significant therapy or trauma support group time, or dominating your social interactions — figure out whether maybe there's other things y'all are avoiding that need attention and time as well, or if it's serving as a distraction or spoon-drain from other important things.
Our (Crisses) inner world and otherworld goings on are usually done by backgrounders, and exceptionally private, so other folk don't even really know how much we're doing back there. (For those who have a need to know, we could talk about some of it, but we consider it a high level of intimacy/risk info in terms of how it might breach confidence or put otherworld folk at risk etc. — it's not that there's anything harmful going on, but at least one place we're in touch with is in the middle of a war so it's kinda touch-n-go.)
What are Pocket Dimensions?
Gateway systems may contain "pocket dimensions" — a small otherworldly space similar to the interior of the Tardis in Dr. Who, or the inside of a bag of holding in D&D, or the bedrooms in Encanto — where the inside space is larger than it appears on the other side, it operates by its own sets of rules, and can have an environment/atmosphere that is quite different to the other side of its access-way.
These spaces aren't exclusive to gateway systems, other systems can have pocket dimensions in their inner world. Some gateway systems may perceive their pocket dimensions to lead to other worlds outside their system, however.
The commonality is that there's something in our inner world that leads to something larger and more complex on the "inside" than as it would appear from the other side of the access-way.
This also leads to a question of whether an inner world portal leading to someone's homeworld might be leading to another dimension OR is it all contained in layers of the inner world? We have no way to prove things either way. What's important is the experience of it, since it's non-provable, and how it affects how we approach living on Earth in the "external" world (or Earth-side, as Gateways actually may have another "external world" through an inner portal).