There seems to be a myth about integration where people expect never to have flashbacks, depression, and triggers to interfere with their lives. Although they interlectually understand and even proclaim that "recovery is a lifelong process", they get discouraged when they find themselves in spaces that are very reminicent of the 'bad times'. So here are some thoughts about this confusing, difficult phase.
We do know that not all the work has been done – and we acknowledged that people never do all the work. There is always something that is coming up and will do so over one's lifetime. The question is whether it interferes with your coping or not. If it does, you need to 'work' it through. That happens whether you are a multiple or a singleton.
The great thing is that when you have come to this point in your recovery journey, you can be assured that you have a clever head, great people skills, and great great coping skills. You had the flexibility to lean into other parts of you, tolerate and even share their feelings. That made you perfect for being the 'spokesperson' of your system. If you wouldn't have these skills, you wouldn't have been able to reach this far in your journey.
However, often people are at this point a little bit too hard with themselves. They expect of themselves to be coping, to understand everything, to have their memory function without fail etc. Its not unusual that the 'spokesperson' of a system used to be a part that was not so deeply feeling, not so deeply traumatised and he/she could function well because of the separation between them and other parts. This gets re-enfored by the people around them who are usually glad that the multiple is "you are soo much better now", without realising that the dissociation has increased and the distressed parts are pushed down.
This is different in the integration/post integration phase. The separation is gone. You are now, after all the work you have done, as dissociative as the next best person. That comes with advantages (not losing time etc., being more rounded,) but it also comes with disadvantages. When under stress, other parts get reactivated and interfere with your coping. Their 'stuff' intrudes into your day, without making much sense to you because you don't know the full story.
This will keep hapening – it does so for every other person, multiple or not. The past intrudes into the present, triggered by events, sounds, smells, pictures, thoughts. It's hard to accept that as a normal state of being, but the bad news is, its normal! Bummer!!
You can help yourself by getting in touch with the parts that 'run the disruption' that make you feel out of sorts, depressed, panicky, having memory problems, not knowing how to boil water, and speaking as if you are still living in the past etc. If you can give those parts some time, some care, some compassion, and explore WITH them what they need, you will get over these speed-bumps.
I do not believe that you have a problem with memory or sink into a depression. I do not believe that you have lost your ability to boil water or don't know how to speak to people around you, or how to protect yourself. Instead I think that at times of stress younger parts are closer to the surface and you will be feeling things, saying things, or even be reminded of things that used to belong to them. Having younger parts re-activated will interfere with your memory, you will feel more fearful and depressed. Rather than reaching for a medical explanation or getting scared that you will slipp back, somebody needs to attend to the fears or issues these parts have. They won't go away by themselves. Parts are reactivated for a reason. In order to feel better you have to understand that reason and intervene with care and compassion.
You just can't ignore the needs from other parts inside you. If you do, you will pay for it with for example headaches, slipping memory, sleepless nights, disorientation, and dissociation. The doctors' surgeries and mental health places are full with people who ignore their inner world. Don't join them. You know better!