Inside Where We Live (Alexandria)

hi im lexi and im 10. i wasn’t always 10. for awhile i was grown up but that didn’t work so good. i didn’t get married but i was there like rite after we moved back after we got married and we had two baby girls and it was stupid and i couldn’t figure out how to be a grown up and kaya was no help at all, like not even a little bit because all she cared about was shoes, so i tried real hard but it didn’t work.

so i went to live on a island inside. there was a big keeper on the island. he wouldn’t let anyone on the island and didn’t let me off the island. i was gone from my sisters and kaya and betsy had to figure stuff out themselves because all i did was get in trouble and get the body hurt and almost get the kids taken away two times and make the husband mad and hurt us and the body. when i was around and married i made him mad a lot and the body got beat and burned and ignored and yelled at and tied up and put in bad situations a lot. they were better at not getting hurt then i was. i tried real hard but kinda figured out after a lot of failing that my job wasn’t to be a grown up and i didn’t know what to do. so i went to my island and stayed there til one day the keeper went away and i still dunno where he went. he was like a big stone giant guy. sometimes i miss my island.

i came back after a long time but i came back as a baby and i played inside and i stayed away from touchin anything outside so i didn’t brake things. the outside life was real bad but i tried to help inside by givin sisters someone to snuggle an cuddle and playin games with them an they were nice to me and we all thought maybe i was the original person in our body but it kinda turned out that im not. we kinda thinked that maybe kenzie was too but she’s not either. me and kenzie both weren’t very nice to anyone inside or outside cuz we thought we were special and better and had the rest of the sisters to work for us but mostly we don’t now and momma don’t let that happen and daddy gets really mad when any of us sisters treat the other sisters bad and then there’s consequences and trouble and a lot of not fun.

i love my family an our new life. no one hurts us here an i feel safe. momma and daddy don’t let me lie, cheat, hide, or boss people around but i still try sometimes an then i end up in trouble but they take care of me and even tho i miss my island inside sometimes i don’t ever wanna be away from my momma and daddy cuz even tho i dont always be good, they still want me and love me and buy me yellow things.

my favorite color is yellow. i love most anything yellow.

(kaya = cadie            betsy = zoey)

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and we all fall down….

howard’s nose, because its cute. he’s a 1 year old black lab.

sometimes we fall down. a lot of times we fall down. maybe not so much literally fall down, more figuratively. but still, falling is falling, right?

it was walk time this morning. bella was out and mama suggested that bella take howard with her. howard is one of our family’s 4 dogs. he’s a beautiful and fun puppy and we adore him a lot. bella initially politely refused. she said she was too nervous to take him because she knows we zone out when walking and she didn’t want to risk us dissociating putting him in danger. mama said she was more worried about us dissociating than she was about howard being in any danger because she knows he’d keep us aware and grounded.

so bella thought about it and decided to take him. we had a dog that was our everything. she kept us safe and we were super attached. we had to send her to live in a warmer climate for her (she’s safe with someone we know loves her and will dote on her) and we’ve been hesitant to bond with the family dogs here since then because losing her was hard. it was right, but it was hard.

so anyways… bella leaves the house with howard. he’s a little over a year and he’s crazy and fun. he’s so good tho and walks really good so that’s helpful. about a quarter mile in, bella dissociates. howard responds by cutting in front of her and nearly tripping her. she told him he’s a good boy but said “maybe next time you can be a bit more gentle?” haha. i thought it was funny. they continued on and she talked to him the whole time but it happened again about a half mile in. this time he nudged and licked our hand. she praised him again. they went a mile and then called it good for the day.

bella, and all of us, realized that walking with howard was actually a lot safer for us. mama said she thinks its a lot safer for us too. we realized today that we really can benefit from bonding with him and he loves the attention and time and exercise. today howard was almost like a service dog to us. if we keep taking him out, it may get to the point where he is basically our service dog.

we are fine in the house by ourselves, especially with the dogs. the only time we lose time and dissociate is outside of the house. so at stores, socializing, at events, etc. we all get overwhelmed by sensory stuff really easily and totally zone out and thats how we end up getting lost or scared and stuff. mostly mama and daddy keep us in eye sight when out but when we go walking we go alone and having howard go with us lets us go alone and have everyone be a lot more comfortable with it.

cadie

Inside Where We Live (Parker Quinn)

image frrom google

hi, i’m Parker and i’m 13 like Jossy. we’re twins. i only started coming out like this month before that i didn’t come out much. i had one job and that job was to watch what was going on inside the inside world and to report it to people outside who needed that information. but the people i told would use it to hurt my sisters and i thought that was a good thing because i thought the others inside were bad and this was the way to make them be good. mostly what i’ve learned tho is that they aren’t bad. the people who wanted this stuff and wanted me to tell them stuff were the bad ones. so i guess i was called a watcher and reporter.

i hold some trauma stuff but i’ve never gone through any of it myself. i don’t know if that makes me lucky or guilty cuz i think i might have caused some trauma by telling people about the sisters inside and what happened there. its something i might have to think about sometime but i don’t feel so guilty or bad since i’m now with Jossy.

when me and Jossy are apart we aren’t ok. like not even a little bit ok. today is only my second time coming out to meet mom and i’ve only ever talked to dad on the phone one time and one time on the messenger thingy. Josslyn knows them real well and trusts them a lot and i trust her. i really like mom a lot so far. she feels safe and real. she doesn’t ask me for information that might hurt anyone inside. she doesn’t seem to want to hurt anyone inside and honestly she really seems to love everyone. i like the fact that i don’t have to hurt anyone inside anymore. and i feel wanted.

inside i have a lion companion. i’m not a lion. this causes some kinda confusion for people outside cuz some of my sisters have animal forms but i don’t. i have a lion who keeps me safe. he has been with me since the beginning and used to keep me from being found by the other sisters so they couldn’t hurt me for telling their secrets. now he’s my friend because he doesn’t have to keep me safe anymore. i have a mom and dad who want to keep me safe.

love,

parker quinn

Inside Where We Live (Josslyn)

image from google

hi im josslyn an im like, i dunno, 13 i guess. i usedta be littler but i was scared of everything and spent a lot of time under my bed or in the closet cuz i was always scared. but then i took a really loong nap, like from november to march and now im awake an with my twin sister parker and im bigger and not scared anymore.

my job is kinda to help watch stuff inside and to help feel fear. i see a lot of what the inside sisters do and how they act and i see and feel when they feel scared and i can mostly tell where the fear is coming from an why. i can find help, like tellin mama and daddy, or i can keep it to myself, or i can tell kaysie or bella or brina. they are the protector team. mama and daddy are on the protector team too but i don’t think they know that. some people think its weird that mama and daddy are only a few years older than the body but they raise us and treat us as our age but they don’t gotta live our life and its really not their business anyways so no one asked them.

i really like to color. i have a stuffed animal pony that is striped with all kinds of bright colors and i love butterflys. at our old house before this one i had butterfly stickers on the walls all over by our bed but daddy said they wouldn’t stick again so they didn’t get to move with us when sister peeled them off the walls. that really sucks a lot and i miss them cuz they were bright and fun.

we usedta have a husband. i guess we kinda still do. he hurt us a lot in the heart and on the body. we have a half moon burn on our calf that itches a lot today that he burned in there. he called it a brand and he spent weeks peeling the scabs to make sure it scarred real good. i still have dreams about that. it was scary. he has our dog and we have the bodys kids with him that we gave to mama and daddy because we can’t raise kids and none of us remember much about having kids and we didn’t even really want to but he liked pregnant girls and liked to keep us pregnant cuz we were easier to keep quiet an we were clingy. its hard to look at the body’s kids sometimes but mama and daddy help a lot an took over there and the body’s kids say giving them to mommy and daddy was the best choice we ever made for them and that we usually make bad choices for them so they are happy about this one.

i wrote a lot. i guess. oh well. thats me and what my job is an what i was thinkin about. oh an we have a butterfly tattoo i hate cuz its a property mark we were made to get. but its a butterfly.

love,

jossy

Around the Fire Pit

I took this picture last night while being social! 

I was in the living room with Mama yesterday afternoon. Mama says “My friend is having a fire tonight and I really want to go.” I looked up from my phone long enough to mumble “Go for it. I’ll watch the other kids.” Don’t judge. I was bubble popping. Bubble Witch Saga is addictive, people. 

Mama sort of rolls her eyes and sighs. I clearly missed a point somewhere. Again, don’t judge. Bubbles… priorities. She says “I want you to make friends too. I want you to want to go places.” I put the phone down (I KNOW! It nearly killed me.) and thought about it for a minute. We had agreed to trust her. She’s worked hard to earn our trust. We had all agreed to step outside of our comfort zone occasionally. And to be entirely honest, a fire pit on an early summer night sounded like a really great idea. So I agreed. 
I was pretty nervous. I had no idea whether they knew about the DID, about all of us, anything. I was chatting with a bestie on messenger who said “Kaysie, just be yourself. Don’t worry about them not knowing about the DID.” I realized at that point that he was right. It didn’t matter, it still kind of doesn’t matter, whether they do or don’t know. Last night it was just me. Just Kaysie. 
The new friends have a beautiful home, a beautiful yard, and a beautiful dog. Like, I’m in love with their dog. The fire was bright and warm, the company was open and friendly, and the kids made new friends. Mama was relaxed. There was a lot of laughter, some nice conversation, and a general safe and comfortable feeling.
When I woke up this morning I realized something kinda huge. We were at a fire. Granted a fire pit, but still a fire. Most of our little ones have an intense fear of fire due to our childhood abuser threatening to burn our house down with us in it if we ever told. Not one of the little ones was scared last night at all. Some people were drinking and there was a fire. No one was even close to being out of control and the fire was contained and maintained. The entire situation was safe, comfortable, and really nice.
I hope we get to do it again. I really liked these new friends.
-Kaysie

Hold Up….. Weight a Minute….

This entire system is plagued by absolutely horrific relationships with food. The vast majority of us can be divided between two categories. Binge eating, or bulimia. Body hatred is big in this system for a variety of reasons, most coming down to size. For years now my sweet sisters have toyed with trying to “fix” the body, but it always comes back to the same results.
Image Credit: http://www.helpyourteens.com/teens-body-image-and-eating-disorders

We have been with Mom and Dad for about 9 months now. When we first moved in with them we were almost 300lbs, hair was falling out, teeth broken and cracked, fingernails peeling, and skin cracking. We had some kind of weird awful cyst putting pressure on our spine and our blood sugar routinely ran in the 300s. My sisters complained about it but were met with a mental block every time they tried to make a change. Daily life was so chaotic that the body refused to respond to good interventions at all.

Fast forward 9 months and the body is now 245lbs. Hair is growing back, teeth are getting fixed, skin and nails are much better. Blood sugars are under 150 more often than not and there’s no more weird cysts. Logically we all know these things to be fact. The clothes in our closet are a size we don’t remember wearing before. Mentally, we can’t see the change. 
All of us are self sabotaging on a regular basis, especially when it comes to carbs. There’s some kind of self protection program running that’s refusing to allow us to make real progress in the way of weight. Over and over again we can hear F’s voice telling us that we are fat and ugly and no one will ever want us. Maybe if we stay fat and no one still wants us, then we run less risk of getting hurt again. Maybe we feel like we deserve to be ugly and huge. 
I want us to be kind to this body. This body has carried us through some incredibly awful events and somehow managed to keep us alive. This body has given birth to the 4 boogers that have made it possible for Mom and Dad to be parents again. This body has found courage and hope where there wasn’t any and has fought off an angry gall bladder in order to save the youngest’s life in utero. This body has done amazing things. It deserves our kindness, and no, trying to sabotage it to protect it from pain is not a kindness.
We all seem to share the all or nothing trait. We want to do yoga to the point that we physically hurt, or we don’t want to do it at all. We want to walk 5 miles or 0 miles. We want to eat 12 cookies or no cookies. We want to test blood sugar 10 times a day or we don’t test at all. There’s simply no happy medium with us. 
Some of my sisters seem to have a tendency to use exercise to cause the body pain. Those same sisters will make poor food choices for much the same reason. They don’t necessarily enjoy the pain, but they believe we deserve the pain. Some of the rest of us want to build strength in the body, while yet others don’t want to risk any pain to the body at all. To people outside of this body it looks like laziness, enablers, and a general not caring. Most of us will agree with it and say thats exactly what it is because it becomes too hard to explain and our attempts at explaining end up sounding like excuses.
And still yet, it could also be parts of our addictive personalities showing up. Some of us are addicted to pain, some are addicted to nicotine, some are addicted to being hurt. Sadly, none of us are addicted to being happy. All of these emotions, thoughts, feelings, wants, desires, and needs pile on all day long and quickly become overwhelming for the emotion regulators (Jenna and Mia) to keep up with. The outside becomes challenging and we can’t figure out simple things like what to eat or how to eat, or how to prepare what to eat. It’s a conversation Mom has with us a lot. She, like many others, view it as laziness. It frustrates her because she knows we have the skill set. We are completely capable of cooking macaroni and cheese, or following recipe directions, etc. We just end up with this massive mental block and it becomes emotionally raw and almost impossible. Like words scramble in our head and we stop understanding the simplest of instructions. It’s frustrating. Especially when we know we KNOW this. 
So today, today I made a protein shake (protein powder and almond milk) for breakfast. I’m drinking water. I did 40 minutes of yoga this morning. Our muscles ache. I am out of brain power and feeling pretty defeated in terms of body image/help/etc. I feel like we are letting down our family who knows we are capable of better. I wish I didn’t care what they thought. 
Sabrina

Inside Where We Live (Olivia)

Credit: Google
me is olly. i is 3 yer old. i is a baby tiger lik bella insid. outsid olly is litle gurl. olly lernin to spell an lernin to be in a famely. insid olly plays wit zoey andee finley an shy mostlee.
daddy call me his litle gurl. that maks olly happy. daddy is nise an very speshul. he see olly as litle gurl an not big growed up.
mommy nise to. momy help big sissers keep insid safs. she lovs us lots an keep outsid wurld safs.
i wishes olly culd cuddle wit mommy lik the Lil boys dose cuz it look saf an warm an nise but the body to big an no one cudles big bodys outsid. insid bella cudles us an sumtims jenna an mia an brina wils too. i wish mommy culds.
insid i mostly olly the baby tiger an go rawwwwwr!!!! bella giggle at me lots. bella teeches olly to pownse an stawk. olly liks pownsin an stawkin an rawwwwwrin!!!
this is me olly
(This post was written by Olivia…. it was pasted here and posted by Sabrina. I didn’t change her words or editing at all, simply posted it with the others.)