Inside Where We Live (Kassandra)

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I’m Kaysie. If you ask any of my sisters inside, though, they will tell you I am Kassandra. Really, Kaysie works just fine. I’m about 16 years old and I am the Lead Protector for this system. Yep, me. I am solely responsible for their safety and security. I handle most of the doctor appointments, legal issues, new social interactions, and most uncomfortable situations. It is my responsibility to know where all of my sisters are at any given time and to know what the emotional state and ability of each of them are all the time. I am available to them for mediation and to handle negotiation with our Shadows.

I can’t possibly do all of this alone. It takes a team to make sure that inside runs as smoothly as possible. Mom, Dad, Bella, Brina, and Jessa are all in our first line of defense.  It takes a lot for me to remember that I need help, so Mom and Dad always are happy to provide the necessary reminders… haha.

I don’t hold any real trauma memories. Not that I’m aware of at this point anyways. I rarely ever even process my own strong emotions. I firmly believe our little ones are our strongest system members and they are the ones that see and hear everything so I tend to go there first when I need information.

I love butterflies, music, yoga, our cell phone, skulls, tattoos, and learning new things.

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Is Yoga Making Us Happy….ier?

 

Yoga

Given a chance, yoga can help create change in a person.

 

Nine days ago we started doing yoga at least once a day, more often twice a day. We’ve done the whole thing before but never consistently or for very long because, let’s face it, a huge fat body doing yoga is uncomfortable and for most of our life we have lacked serious consistency in anything.

But for the last 9 days, we have been consistent with our practice. We have our morning routine and a couple of different bedtime routines. The routines change somewhat based on who is front and what they want to do but they stay similar because we all really like a lot of the stretches. Brina and Bella like to push the body and add in new and more challenging things a lot, especially in the mornings. The rest of us just try and stick with what feels good and at least get through it.

What I noticed today tho, after I did my morning yoga, was that the last week has been pretty even emotionally despite some pretty big stuff going on in the outside world. Attitudes have been pretty much kept in check and meds haven’t been skipped at all. Inside the Shadow crew has settled down and none of them have even tried to choke us in over a week. They aren’t scaring the inside kids anymore and they seem pretty chill. We still haven’t really met them though but calmer is better, right?

Our memory overall still sucks but confidence is rising. Brina went to a doctor’s appointment with a brand new doctor all by herself yesterday (due to a small crisis in the parking lot). She did so good! I hope she writes about it!

We even have definition starting in our upper arms. This is super exciting. We have some cool muscle definition in our legs now too. The scale is holding steady but the body changes we can actually see after just 9 days is way exciting. The emotional changes and the fact that we feel happier only makes me wonder if maybe yoga does make people happy.

-Layna

Migraines… the Root of All Evil

Migraines in Systems?

migraines

Picture displays an interpretation of an aura that sometimes comes with migraines Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/114113195@N06/12348152433

I’m not even sure where to start. When a migraine takes hold, it is sort of like hell is descending down upon us. The aura starts, which is surprisingly similar to what the picture is trying to show. We get the silver, blue, and purple sparkles flickering around and the colors swerving in and out and all around. The sensitivity to light becomes unbearable and every slight movement is like being on a roller coaster.

Migraines almost paralyze the little ones. Literally. The little ones feel the pain and they start having intense body memories and fears that have nothing to do with the migraine. The whole migraine experience to them is like a nightmare they can’t shake off, so the little ones tend to avoid fronting during a migraine and the rest of us do our best to block them from being anywhere close to the front. Its just not fair to put them through the memories and flashbacks and fears over something like a migraine. It doesn’t do anyone any good at all.

We haven’t been able to pinpoint the triggers for our migraine issues. We have had consistent migraines in various intensities since we were like 8 years old and we’ve tried to keep logs and stuff but we never have figured it out really. The more we learn about DID tho, the more we are learning that it seems to be really common for people with dissociative disorders to struggle with various types of headaches and to struggle with a frequent migraine. Some people think that migraines are caused by switching. I know we have a headache all the time almost every day and I’m pretty sure that’s related to switching but the migraine action is definitely different and more intense so I’m not sure if its related to switching or weather, or stress, or hormones, or the thousand other things that WebMD likes to say causes them.

Today, despite the migraine, Sabrina managed 2o minutes of yoga and a 1.6 mile walk (yep, she took Howard with her… remember this post?). She also got the dishes done. I don’t know if that hurt or helped, honestly. She did ask Mom for excederin and took that and now I’m on the couch pushing water and I do feel a little better.

We’re trying really hard to keep the migraine frequency down. The endocrinologist even prescribed a medication that we’re now working on taking and getting up to the full dose. We had them well controlled on this med before so there’s big hope here. I might ask around and see how many of our other system friends struggle with these issues. Maybe there’s not much we can do about them. In the mean time though we will keep doing what we have to in order to get the body strong and healthy.

 

Kaysie

The Shrine Circus is in town! #jordanworldcircus

It’s the Circus!

Circus

It’s Showtime!

Friday night Mama and Daddy took us and the rest of the kids to the circus at the fairgrounds. Everyone was so excited because it was the first time any of us can remember going to anything like it and definitely the first time for the other kids. It was windy out and Daddy had just come home from being gone for two weeks so excitement was huge!  Daddy was home and the CIRCUS! was in town! That’s just pure awesomeness!

Crowds are difficult for us. I guess that’s probably to be expected. Mama keeps us safe, and with Daddy around we always feel even more secure in public. Kaysie has been working on letting go and not controlling switches so much. Originally the plan ( ahem… Kassandra’s plan) was to make sure the little ones were secure and away from the front during the circus due to some childhood trauma involving a clown lamp but we were only there for about 10 minutes when we realized that was going to be futile.

As soon as the tigers made their way out to the ring, the little ones became uncontrollable. The switching was impossible to keep up with. Kaysie gave up and decided that between Aunt J, Uncle D, Mama, and Daddy the little ones should be fine and if not, she’d have to deal with that later because we were totally at a loss. The tigers were amazing and had the babies completely captivated, especially Olly.

circus

Tigers!

Mama and Daddy were behind us during the first half of the show. The sun started going down and Aunt J tried to cover us in a blanket but the little ones were having no part of that. By then Aunt J realized the little ones had taken over too. The excitement and wonder the little ones were showing was apparently awesome for the grown ups to watch too. As the sun went down the rain started, which did nothing at all to dim the excitement.

Circus

Sunset

When the rain cleared, Mama pointed out a double rainbow to Andee and Finley, who seemed to be co-con at that moment. Just a few minutes later Finley grabbed Mama’s hand and held on tight and asked for reassurance that the clowns and the clown car was safe. Both Mama and Daddy told her it was funny, and the fun resumed!

Circus

Andee and Finley’s double rainbow!

It was a fantastic night, full of wonder and excitement. Mama, Daddy, and Aunt J took turns snuggling little ones and enjoying the magic as the circus unfolded. They all also showed us that we can truly be who we are, stay safe, and enjoy new things safe within their circle. They allowed us all to enjoy something new. Something that had a questionable and possibly scary element.

For the first time in a long time we are able to say we enjoyed something.

Even though Daddy told Trinity she can’t have an elephant as a pet.

 

 

-Sabrina

 

 

 

So Much to Say

Positivity

Image Credit: Power of Positivity

 

I can’t even come up with a decent, well written, put together post. You should see my draft list. I’ve totally tried. I’m restless today. Usually I do my part of the writing curled up on the couch but today I’m on the living room floor. Every so often I lay back and stretch out while thinking about everything I want to write about. Because there’s so much I want to share. I want to talk about our journey, about how we got this way, about how we feel about being like this. I want to talk about our life now and how it works. I want to talk about being open about ourselves, and how that makes Dad uncomfortable. I want to talk about how his discomfort comes from us being open to ridicule or harm and how he simply wants us safe and protected. I want to talk about how the more open we become the more often we are going to have to answer tough questions.

More than that, I want to share our journey into physical health. Yoga is changing us! Scales move frustratingly slow. This body doesn’t look like any of us recognize. Mental health us becoming stronger as we become more open.

All of these things deserve their own posts because I have SO much to say! A few of us do. The little ones don’t really. They will let us talk for them.

Sit back folks. Over time we will begin to be able to put all of these things into words and you will meet us, understand us, and hopefully become part of our life. Together, we can change lives. We will start with our own.

Arabella

Inside Where We Live (Alyssianna)

Shakespeare

Grabbed the pic from google, just love the quote.

 

Hi, I’m Lyssa. My whole name is Alyssianna Nichole but I go by Lyssa mostly. I’m a girl, not an animal. Today I’m big Lyssa so I’m almost 15 but most of the time I’m little Lyssa and can be like 4 or 5. I age slide. It depends a lot on how I feel and what the stress level around the outside is like. If its not too bad I’ll stay little cuz I like being little Lyssa the most. I’m happy there. But if its very tense then I stay big Lyssa to make sure I can help and not get sad. I don’t really like to be big and I’m not very good at it a lot but I do it for short times cuz I can do it. Like I can totally keep kids and pets alive and fed and watered and stuff and I can make sandwiches and stuff. Emotional stuff is easier as big me too.

Most of the time I been around has been for the marriage. It was a lot of not good and very confusing stuff. Chained to bed at night, cuts, pills, burns, and stuff. He always said I heal fast so the body musta been built to be used. I wish I was earlier cuz I could have helped Cadie through the half moon burn but I didn’t come around until after that like a couple years after that. The body already had 2 babies when I came around and we were gonna have another. I couldn’t raise kids. I remembered to feed them. I would lots of times not eat so they could. I worked a lot at technical jobs to make money. I was addicted to Xanax, cigarettes, and pain. I got hit with a belt a lot cuz I couldn’t seem to follow directions or rules and stuff. I really didn’t do very good with that. He usedta give me the pills so I would be a good girl and do what he wanted. He said I was hopeless a lot though cuz I could never be good without pills. I kinda still don’t follow rules good but my mom and dad don’t use belts or pills. They take away internet and stuff.  I think I do better now tho. I don’t be as mean to them as I used to.

I love them a lot. Mama lets us be us. We hadta make that choice tho cuz its a big choice. It makes Daddy nervous. He’s always tryin to find ways to hide us. It’s okay tho we know its not cuz he doesn’t love it. Its cuz he doesn’t want us hurt by people being mean or not understanding and maybe he doesnt wanna be uncomfortable either by it but he’s comfortable with us at home so I dunno I’ll hafta think more about that but the bigger sisters are totally going ahead with the plans to be blogging and open an honest about us an who we are. Kaysie is trusting Mama and Daddy to take care of us like at the circus.

They are I guess technically our caregivers. Thats what our doctors call them. We call them Mama and Daddy because that’s what they are to us and the doctor Sabrina saw last week said they are saving our life and that the way we are living with them is clearly working out well.

I like little gifts. Small stuff that means things. I like lava lamps and pink and purple colors. I like makeup and clothes and pretty stuff. And butterflies. And the quote above and I’d love love love to have it as a poster!!!!

Hi, I’m Lyssa.

Inside Where We Live (Jennaleigh)

Jenna's favorite roses are fire and ice roses. Picture comes from www.fireandiceroses.com

Jenna’s favorite roses are fire and ice roses. Picture comes from http://www.fireandiceroses.com

I don’t spend a lot of time out front, lately. Inside I have a fairly complex and kinda difficult job. My name is Jennaleigh Sage and I’m an emotional regulator. I am also a nurturer and mediator. My family and most of my friends call me Jenna.

I first remember joining my sisters inside around 2010. I feel like I’ve been around before, but that is the furthest back I can remember right now and I’ve been pretty much active ever since.

I tend to become overwhelmed when fronting. Since I regulate and process emotions for almost everyone inside (with the help of Mia) it becomes almost impossible to handle everything inside and outside all at once. At first it was hard to understand why everything was so hard for me and my family was constantly treating me like I was weak and silly until we all realized what my job was and what it means. At that point everyone started being a lot kinder about my emotions. I appreciate it so much.

Mia and I are now in the process of teaching the protector team how to process emotions too. At very least their own. Part of what makes them good protectors is having Mia and I process and regulate their emotions so we want them to learn how to do their own, but they want to be able to help us when things get too intense.

So… um…. yeah. That’s me and what I do. I like gardens, roses, daisies, and irises. I love nature, butterflies, and Christian music (K-Love rocks!).

Jenna