Sundays At The Park

IMG_20180311_153955868.jpg

For the last couple of weeks, our family has been taking Sunday trips around the Puget Sound. Being new arrivals to Washington, we really don’t know the area and it has been hard being active and doing things when we don’t have any idea where anything fun is. Add to that Dad working nights and it seems like our family is hardly ever together in one spot. It has been a source of near constant tension and stress.

Tension and stress in the family added to DID and anxiety is a recipe for failure. Other members of the family struggle with depression and bipolar, which are also exacerbated by tension and stress. Our weekly trips around the Sound are a breath of fresh air and a time to relax, all together, as a family.

IMG_20180304_172427774.jpg

Howard comes too. He’s not the only one either. Mom’s puppy, Francis, also comes out on our exploration days. The puppies get to be a part of the family adventures and this means a lot to all of us. It also helps the puppies’ anxiety and allows them to build confidence and social skills. They learn behavior skills and are able to learn to face new things with grace and confidence.

IMG_20180304_151909174.jpg

The water is calming. Watching the waves come in over the rocks while the whole family looks at shells and watches for seals is a big deal to us. More than one of us usually makes an appearance on Sundays, because even the middles want to see the beaches and the shells.

How do you find your calm?

Advertisements

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

 

 

 

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)

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

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.)

Inside… Where We Live (Alayna)

Image credit: Values.com

Last night Mama was talking to Cadie and she said that we have suddenly all stopped communicating about our inside struggles. We haven’t been using our secret group to communicate with each other and the blog has been all but ignored. We rarely post in our own group about our struggles but we always have time to support our friends and group members. We have pulled ourselves inside and we are proverbially circling the wagons. We are not sharing at all what goes on inside, and we barely talk to anyone about what goes on outside. We have thrown ourselves totally into supporting others.

Mama said it has to stop. That we need to value ourselves and talk about how we are doing. She’s right, the best way we can think of to help others is to share ourselves. So now we are going to work on really being open. No hiding.

Inside we have a resort, a main house, a lake, gardens, a huge forest, and several different places where some of us hang out. It’s nearly impossible to translate into words so at some point we may take it one section at a time, but mostly what I’m trying to say here is that our inside world is vast, comfortable, and a real place.

Most importantly, inside is our sanctuary. It’s not always a cool place tho. I mean crazy things happen up there as we deal with things on the outside. And its so so so hard to explain it when it all sounds like some crazy imagined soap opera all of the time.  That’s like a huge part of the reason we started looking for Facebook groups to be a part of, because we needed a place to be around others like us. What we found instead, for the most part, was judgmental systems calling each other fake. And if you think Facebook is bad, you should see Tumblr. All of these places that could be so cool end up being drama and we have enough inside drama to last several lifetimes, we don’t need more from places that should be supportive and fun.

I wanna tell the world about us. I wanna make the world understand that this body is simply a shell holding one huge beautiful fucked up chaotic world. That the world inside of us needs to be cherished, blessed, loved, and protected. That world, the inside world, is what saved us during almost 30 years of abuse. The body is 34. My oldest sister is 17. The rest of us are all under 17. The outside world can’t seem to understand how this works, but that’s okay.

Inside I am a purple dragon hybrid. My name is Alayna Jade. I am 15 years old-ish in human terms. I have no idea where I came from or how. I just remember showing up here. Mama says I’m a pretty typical 15 year old who has no impulse control, a serious attitude problem, and a strong desire to do what I want. My favorite pet outside is Howard, the black lab. Inside I really love flying over the fields and mountains. I have a long history of starting fires and causing mayhem in general in the inside world. Due to that, I have the pleasure of being supervised by the largest dragon I think I’ve ever seen. His name is Dae, Dae and his mate, Lianna, guide a rather large brood of young dragons. They provide some internal protection as well as supervision for me haha. Not long ago we found our sister, Shiloh, and discovered that she’s a 4 year old baby blue dragon. She’s sweet as hell and I totally love her.  Its become my job (with Dae too) to teach her flight and to keep her safe. She’s got the dragon attitude and I love it so much.

I have a bedroom in the main house. I also have a cave in the Dragonspan. I can be either dragon or teenage girl. I hate how this body doesn’t reflect me in either form. Lots of times I threaten to eat my little sisters if they annoy me.  I love with my whole heart, on the rare occasions that I love at all. I will walk all over anyone if I’m not convinced they are stronger than me. I have no idea how to cook, how to pay bills, how to raise children, or even how to decide what to eat for myself (turns out the outside world frowns on dragons eating other animals…..). I struggle with remembering that the outside body matters, and matters a lot.

I feel numb to most of the outside world but emotionally I’m a big open gaping wound. And when all of that gets too much, I have been known to cut and self harm. Daddy has forbidden self harm which was kind of a dick move really, but I’m allowed to (and supposed to) talk to him and Mama when those feelings take hold so they can help. I don’t do that often enough.

I kinda think I’m around inside because dragons are safe and good protectors. I’m a horrible protector for the most part. I do, however, think I’d step up and do some real damage if I ever have to, in order to protect my sisters. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, but I do love them.

That’s me, inside and out.

Love,

Alayna Jade