Consistency

Something we lack.

Something we wish we had more of in ourselves, in each other, in the world.

We find things we want to do, things that help for awhile but it never sticks. Sometimes what we started bothers someone in the house and it can’t be continued without causing tensions. Sometimes what one of us starts annoys the rest of us and can’t be finished. Sometimes we start something and another project takes priority and we never get back to the original thing.

At the moment, we’re down. We’re far from out, but we are definitely down. We can’t find the attention or focus to meet expectations and we can only take one minute at a time which means a lot doesn’t get done and yet so much does get done. We clean, we offer help where we can see it needed but try not to take away someone’s job if they are looking for something within it.

We’re not really sleeping and when we do the dreams are scattered and disturbing and we wake up feeling ashamed and dirty. Can’t really remember them though, once we’re awake.

But we don’t feel so bad during the days. Pretty even, maybe even easy going.

Confused yet?

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Letting Go of the Past

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I just spent the last couple of hours going through our old email address. It’s one of the few things left that tie us to our birth name and our past. For some reason, we’ve hung on to this email address as if letting it go would unravel us. We’ve held on tight to emails that have long outlived their usefulness. We’ve made all kinds of excuses as to why we needed it.

Guess what?

We don’t need it. It’s been a cement block tied to our ankle. We’ve been able to move forward but that email address keeps returning us to the past, making us feel like we have to hide behind it in certain situations. It became a wall to hide behind so that we could keep our current email address -safe- or even untainted by the things we didn’t want to deal with from our past. Those things were always sent that way. Easier to put out of mind. Easier to use the we-can-deal-with-that-later mindset.

Hiding from things and stashing things away in our old email address doesn’t look like progress. It almost feels like enabling ourselves to live that almost creepy double life. Some stuff is for Sarah to deal with, the rest is for us? I understand that there are many of us, but none of us respond to that name. That is our dead name, and hopefully, we will have the legal steps done soon to change it. It’s in process.

That being said, things still need to be handled. We don’t have to hide behind that wall. We can put aside the enabling behavior and commit to one or the other. We’re not in danger anymore. The only person we were ever in physical danger from has left this world.

Today I changed our email address in most places to reflect our current one. And without fanfare or tears, I hit the delete account button. There’s nothing in our way now. Our past is behind us. We have learned from it and continue to grow. We are committed to our name and our life as it is, not as it was. And we don’t need the old email address to validate our past.

Clicking delete account was like letting go of one of the few remaining cement blocks around our ankle. We can move more freely now. It’s past time to walk away.

Shadow

How to Shadow Dance

Shadow

There’s absolutely not convincing the Shadows to compromise or cooperate with the rest of us. Inside is, at times, a war zone. Us versus them. Their world or our world. Only one group can win. Only one can survive.

Why does it have to be like that? I know there have been posts before about the Shadows. I know there have been posts about dancing with the Shadows.¬† We’ve done everything in our power to try to win against them. And then we stopped fighting.

The Shadows are hurtful and harmful. They would kill us, I really believe that. Our former therapist doesn’t believe that. She says if they would, we’d be dead by now. She has a point there. It just often feels like they want us dead.

They work so hard to make things so difficult for us. The newest tactic is thought interruption. We will be thinking about something and the thought will vanish. The inside keeps going all black. Kat and Gina were trying hard to block their shenanigans. Today we all, well those of us who are blocked front, decided to stop blocking and stop fighting. We’re now just working around it all. Everything.

It’s making Erica’s introduction to all of us rather… eventful. Picture a house with the electricity flashing on and off and furniture moving all the time. Like a house with a serious haunting problem. It’s sort of like that. Impossible to focus and hard to think. Yet if you remember it’s not going to hurt you unless you let it, you find it’s almost entertaining.

How to dance with the Shadows:

  1. Let them know you value them. They have a job too. That job is NOT to destroy you, no matter how much it may feel like it at times.
  2. Remember that you have, in fact, lived this long. You all are strong and resourceful.
  3. Try to include them in your decision-making processes. If they don’t want to, that’s fine but at least you offered.
  4. Don’t react to their antics. Remember that you’re all able to function no matter what the inside looks like or doesn’t look like and that you can make it through your day no matter who is stuck¬†out front. You’ve all done it before, even if you don’t believe it.
  5. Believe in all of you. Faith goes a long way.
  6. Talk to your support people. Be open.

 

We all know the Dark Ones, the Shadows, the Jerks, persecutors, and the over-reactive protectors are hard to deal with and even harder to talk about. This is where it starts to delve into the whole “If I talk about this people will think I’m even MORE crazy!” place. Okay, so, let them. Talk about it. Be real about it. People can’t learn if we’re not willing to be honest. Of course, always be honest safely.

arrival

How to Handle a New Arrival

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We were at church with the family. It was during worship, the music was loud and the singing was great. The energy in the room was high and we were standing between our mom and our sister. Mom was in a lot of pain and was alternating between standing and sitting, to try and alleviate her pain and Dad was focused mostly on her.

At some point, the noise in the room started to fade into the background. The room, the music, the people even all became fuzzy and that’s the last memory we have before Kat popped out long enough to determine that the lights were far too bright and she wasn’t interested in being out and then it was Bella.

At that point Bella looked to Mom for some kind of explanation because the head was pounding, the body was in intense pain. There we were, in church, having missed most of what we love about being at church. The music, the message, it was all missing. Yet the body was present for all of it. Not only was there a lot of physical pain, but there was a lot of frustration to go along with it.

What Mom explained to Bella was that a young one made her appearance there during worship songs. She was confused and cried a bit. Mom told her she was safe and explained to her where she was, to which the young one replied, “I don’t know where I am and I barely even know YOU!” At that point, Dad took the young one outside to talk and give her space to breathe a bit. When he asked her where she lives she gave him our childhood address and when he asked her where she goes to school she gave him the name of our high school. When he asked her name she told him her name is Erica.

And that, friends, is an incredibly frustrating piece of DID. Dad simply gave her a quick rundown of where she is and why and they went back inside. She’s here now, she’s confused and overwhelmed and working on adjusting to this new reality. If she didn’t have Mom and Dad in those moments that would have gone a lot less smoothly.

So how to handle new arrivals:

  1. Be patient. They are confused. They likely have very little idea what’s happening around them or where/when they are.
  2. Be aware. They may not, probably will not… be aware of their surroundings. Or they may be hyper-vigilant. You will have to decide that and react accordingly.
  3. Plan for this ahead of time. Have some sort of game plan. Who in the system should you be looking for? Who do you direct the new person to be looking for/calling for/asking for? How does the system work?
  4. Get help from someone the system trusts. If this is something you don’t feel comfortable handling, that’s okay. Have a backup plan and call/text, someone, the system knows well and trusts.

If you are a system and alone, that’s harder to offer advice to. We’ve all been there. We all know it’s hard to add someone new to the mix. Be patient. Be kind. Be compassionate both to the new one and to each other. There’s going to be tension as everyone adjusts. Some of the newer arrivals turned out to be my closest sisters and yet I can tell you I was THE hardest to adjust to, to date. No lie. Ask anyone, it’s a true story.

 

 

Season 2 Awakens

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I don’t have a whole lot of wisdom to impart. There’s nothing pressing on my mind really. I just feel the urge to write.

So often our words get caught up in an incessant need to share, to teach, to learn, or to grow. We follow the compulsion and share something we will barely remember days later. One of us will browse the post list and wonder when certain things were written. Even the ones who wrote the posts will be confused and not remember doing it.

And that’s okay. That’s what this is for. To share. To write. To teach. To learn. To grow.

Sometimes, though, maybe we just want to slow down. Or maybe that’s just me. I just want to write. Season 2 is awake now. A month early, I heard, but we are here. Season 1 has gone inactive until, well, at the very longest next year. The constants are still around so most people won’t notice much of a change, but we do feel the change inside. Since two members of Season 2 are dragons the whole (swarm? school? what the heck do you call a group of dragons anyway?) are up and active because the baby dragon is never left alone and the teenage dragon tends to get into trouble inside and outside if she’s not watched. So the activity level is high and there’s a very active toddler fairy who never seems to stop moving darting all over the place. She’s being sort of rounded up by an 8-year-old with a tiny wand that puts things to sleep. Sami is convinced that if she could just catch Karlie then she could “poof” her. A young fairy, just 5-years-old, Dottie, watches quietly. She’s not sure of all the activity. Phoebe, 3-years-old, is being very very quiet which usually means she’s planning something.

Paisley and I are just kind of in the middle of this. Brina is crabby, and Maddison is starting to feel better after an emotional morning so that helps because they are really the lead hosts this Season. Mia, Savannah, Sunny, and Chari are just waiting to see where they fit in I think. Well, Mia always fits in, she’s an emotional regulator. Licia is hanging out with the sleepers.

It looks like Season 1 didn’t share much about inside operations. They didn’t get into detail about who we are and how we work. Maybe I can change that a little.

 

Annabelle