Where is Fear Taking Us?

Fear

 

The sermon at church last night came with several application questions. Personally, I like those because they give me something to really think on, and where we have such memory issues, I can use those to grip onto the important parts of the message… or at least what I take from it. We all know that everyone in that room hears something different based on where they are at in their lives.

One of the application questions was about fear. The whole question was “What fear obscures the presence of God in my life and where is that fear taking me?”.

Immediately this question caught the attention of some of us. The other two questions got a shoulder shrug at best, but this one grabbed attention, and now, over 12 hours later, it still has our attention. We haven’t been able to focus enough to write in a week and now here we are.

To be entirely truthful, it’s the last part of that question that grabbed us. Where is that fear taking us? I mean, we’ve done enough therapy to know what we are afraid of so we almost skipped that first part entirely. We made a goal to find God and that requires honest participation though, so we went back to it.

Rejection. Yep.

Failure. Duh.

Abandonment. Right, boring, moving on.

Success. Okay. And.

Wait… what?

Success. That’s kind of a new one. I mean people have suggested that we were afraid of success, and we’ve read a lot about people being afraid of success, but none of us had ever actually admitted to that one before. So let’s look at that.

Mom and Dad have been adamant for 3 years that nothing we do can make them leave us (abandonment). If we succeed, why would they stay?

The ONE thing we have never done, any of us, well or consistently, is succeed.  We have no idea how to do it, how it works, or what to do with success.

Right there are the two reasons we seem to be afraid of success. We seem to manage to self-sabotage everything when we get close to succeeding because success is unknown territory. What happens next? We’ve never been there and it feels uncomfortable and dangerous.

Truthfully, we’re not sure where to go from here. I do know that we want to succeed. So we have work to do. And we’re going to be asking God for help with this one, and our friends. We are no longer trying to carry mountains on our own. We may need help remembering this from time to time, but we are now working on achieving success, growth, and accountability. We can have a measure of independence and not be forgotten.

It’s time to work on putting our attachment disorder to bed. It’s time to take our fear of success and turn it into proof of our abilities. It’s time to trust that our friends and family don’t want and need us because we are a mess. That we can be loved and wanted and still have support and love if we are successful and have a measure of independence.

We can do this. We want to do this.

 

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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

Shadow People in the Closet

Image Credit:  http://thehorrormoviesblog.com/2015/06/16/shadow-people/

I’m physically in the livingroom. My mom is with me. She’s knitting and watching TV and I am working on DID awareness stuff and keeping up with the support group we run on Facebook for DID. I’m coughing, clearing my throat, and gasping for breath, Mama mumbles under her breath.

“I wish I could break into the closet and strangle them”

I heard her. To an outsider this makes no sense, but to me she just said “I love you.” It takes a bit of the fear out of this scary situation. Mama is here. Mama is watching. Mama cares.

Our inside world has been through incredible changes since last August. One of these changes happened over the last month. It was the opening of a gate inside, a gate guarded by a sweet 3 year old. Olly had guarded her gate faithfully for almost 20 years, but time has a way of changing things. The gate opened when it was ready and we welcomed Olly, Sami, Trinity, Shiloh, and Andee. They are a group of sweet and fun little girls that we affectionately call the C-Continuum. They hold a lot of memories, triggers, and fears from the body’s childhood years. They were not alone though.

Also behind that gate is a group of shadows. They are people but no one, not even the C-Continuum has ever seen them. They arrived some time after Sabrina posted Olly at that gate and they “shut off the lights” and made it cold. When the gate opened, the littlest ones chose to come out and join the rest of us. The shadows retreated into a closet and locked the little ones out. Or locked themselves in.

From that moment we get choking sensations a few times a week. It happens around eating, strong emotion, or at seemingly random times. There’s never any actual lasting damage done, but it’s uncomfortable and hard to fight through. At first I believed they wanted the body dead. Sami agreed and said that’s definitely what they want. I had decided to leave them, and the entire closet, alone.

Over the last two weeks I’ve noticed an increase in posts in our group about “angry” or “challenging” alters and Brina and I have educated many about patience, love, and kindness when these parts don’t seem to want it. So I was reading yet another post a minute ago while regaining my breath when it dawned on me.

We aren’t taking our own advice. We need to show love, kindness, and patience. We need to remind them that the body is safe, our life is safe, and we are surrounded by love. Most of all, that they are welcome to join us and receive the safety and love.

-Kaysie

Time Flies!

Its been over a month! I know, it sucks for me too. It turns out we despise trying to write a blog post on our cell phone. Our laptop is touchy and we really don’t like being at the big computer with our back to the room, and the big computer takes forever to load stuff and its frustrating so we often don’t bother. But then we don’t write!  And Lord knows we need to write. We all do better writing and writing on paper isn’t happening anymore.

Journaling is really helpful for most of us. Hand writing feels awkward and we all feel reluctant to have our thoughts laying around on paper. At least here we can make things private if we need to or want to, or we can share them with the world anytime we want to.

There are about 9 of us active right now…. they are….

Me (Kaysie)
Alayna
Jenna
Cadie
Lyssa
Hayley
Abby
Zoey
Bella

Bella isn’t fronting at all unless absolutely necessary. The rest of us are handling day to day life as best we can. Its been tricky because we had to make the very hard choice to give our dog to our ex for reasons that are best for her….mostly health reasons. She was our therapy dog… our bond was tight and we miss her like crazy. Its only been a week but the chaos its created is nuts. Everything from feeling alone, abandoned, unsafe, unable to trust, attachment issues, and overwhelming sadness. I’m hoping it all starts to settle down soon.

Because everything is mixed up we have been working on new ways to stay connected and together. We have found a way to communicate outside when communication inside is tricky and the parents have been monitoring everything to make sure we can ask them whats been going on and they can help us out. They have been pretty patient too. We want to start writing more too.

Thats about it for now…

Kaysie

Heroes

That’s the truth. We are just kids. The body may be 34 years old, and our littles may be more advanced in some areas than chronological children, but we are just kids. We range in age from 4-17 years old and we have some stunning lacking skills in the area of social skills and emotional regulation. 
But you see, we have had to become superheroes over time. I guess some of us were created to be heroes. Being a hero is a really big job, and had K and A not been hurt so badly when the body was little (and through most of the rest of our life), there would be no need for most of us and no need for kids to be heroes.
Our system, the huge bunch of kids we are, has done alright through life. Jessa has been an incredible protector throughout the years. Yeah, she’s made some awful choices (we all have) but she has been a rock and has been the first in line to help us navigate the murky and sometimes dangerous waters of life. She has been the first to slip out and take some of the worst abuse. She has had the worst things said to her, and has experienced the darkest sides of human nature and has never once held anything against the rest of us. She has been the biggest superhero this system ever had and she rarely misses anything.
Since we moved though, the terrain has been unfamiliar. No one has intentionally tried to hurt us or take advantage of us here. Dad has time and time again gone out of his way to ensure our happiness and our safety. He has made sure the littles know he loves them and thinks of them often… as is evidenced by…..
Real picture from the top of our shelves…
The unfamiliar environment and unfamiliar social setting has made things very hard on Jessa. Jessa, who has worked tirelessly in our life to keep us safe, is at a loss. Nothing she does here is right. Some of what is right feels really wrong (because it’s uncomfortable, vulnerable, and unfamiliar), and some of what should be wrong feels familiar. We came here expecting things to be a certain way, and when there was something new inserted into there we tried to fight the new element that we weren’t prepared for… and we lost. We lost big time. And while being expendable and inconvenient/unwanted isn’t unfamiliar at all, it hurts and we aren’t sure what to do with that pain. 
Yesterday was a day of several triggers, none of them small triggers. Jessa went into yesterday already struggling. She had weeks of feeling defeat on her shoulders. When the triggers hit yesterday and we had to work through them all by ourselves all day long, I think it may have broken something inside of her. There was an argument between Mom and the neighbor. The neighbor is Mom’s best friend. They had been arguing for about 2 days. It was actually, now that I think about it, the most time Mom has spent with just us since we got here. But anyways, the argument started loud and sounded aggressive. That was all it took. The trigger hit and we were down for the count in a blind panic. What do we do? Do we try and save her? Do we let her fight her own battles? Is there anywhere to turn for comfort? Does anyone want to comfort us? There were so many questions. We ended up with a shower and some TV. Mom and her friend worked through their argument with conversation and weed, which moves into trigger number 2. We are living in a state where that is entirely legal (for inquiring minds) but them high reminds us of our cousin on heroin. We watched her roll unconscious off of our toilet when she took too much one day. The treasures were home for that. The fear, the feelings, the having to make huge decisions, the inconsistencies, the conversations that make absolutely no sense, and most importantly the utter disregard for anyone else’s emotions or feelings are all shared between heroin use and weed use. Between the argument and the fact that they were high (which is NOT a problem for them… and only a problem for us because of triggers) and being alone all day (we were alone all afternoon due to an appointment Mom had a few hours away), I think Jessa broke. Last night, after Dad was home from work, Hayley came out for her 1 hour a week and Mom left to go hang out with the neighbor. Dad had left to pick up ice cream at the store so Hayley stayed home alone coloring pictures and sending pictures of her art work to Mom and Dad by messenger. Jessa felt like a complete failure as far as a protector goes because she hadn’t expected Hayley to be alone, so she wasn’t co-con or even paying attention. This morning K ended up alone all morning because Mom went to have coffee with the neighbor and they were smoking. One of the dogs went missing and K walked for 20 minutes trying to find her while running a slight fever and struggling to breathe. By the time her rotation scheduled was done she was convinced no one wants her and that she’s a bad girl. 
Jessa had the scheduled time after that. Mom was back by then and gave Jessa meds and snuggled her up on the parents bed with the remote to their TV and it was quiet and dark and peaceful, but Jessa felt like she had been put away because the neighbor was here and by now I think they all figure we hate him but the truth is, we’re terrified of him. His drug use and inability to have a coherent conversation (among other things) already had made us leery and threat assessment on him was very high but after yesterday we are really afraid of him.  
But see, the thing is, we have no reason to be afraid of him. He is NOT a bad person. He’s a good guy who has gone out of his way to help us more than once. He’s been patient, kind, and has even taught us a thing or two. He’s good with the treasures and even better with the dogs. I won’t even hold it against him that he likes all the other dogs better than ours… he’s still good to her.
After all of this… Jessa has decided she’s done being a hero. More specifically she’s decided that she sucks at being a hero and that we are obviously too much work, unwanted, inconvenient, and expendable. We are the ones that people feel fine about ditching last minute after making plans and something better comes up. We’re the ones that will still be there later so we can be safely ignored in favor of others. The littles hurting is more than Jessa can stomach and she no longer has any desire to fight with anyone about it. Because she’s learned that she can beg to talk all she wants, she’s going to be turned away. She’s going to be told that its not family therapy, that she needs to get a handle on her emotions, that she needs to back down, and that she needs to fix herself… that we all do. 
We try. We try so hard. We bought books about therapy and have worked hard at distraction, visualization, and even imagining a white healing light. We list everything we are grateful for every night before we go to sleep. We talk to each other near constantly, we remind each other to be good, to be kind, to be patient, to be fair. We analyze almost every action and word that comes out of this mouth to see how it could affect someone else. We walk on eggshells so that we can survive, like we have always done. And its still not enough. And Jessa no longer believes that we can ever be enough. 
Jessa posted on Facebook today in a group for systems like ours, specifically protectors, and asked if protectors can resign. She wants to be done with her job as protector and she’s decided we failed as members of this family. My heart is broken. It takes me a long time to attach to anyone emotionally and Jessa and are bonded. We are a bonded pair. I have always taken Jessa’s presence and activity as a definite. Now there’s talk about me taking over the primary protector duties and Jessa taking a break/going dormant. My heart is broken.
We’re just kids… we aren’t supposed to be heroes.
This is what happens when kids are expected to be heroes. 

Understanding Ourselves….

Henry David Thoreau said “Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.”

We have spent the better part of our lives lost. We didn’t really gain much for understanding ourselves.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with that. I just know that today has been rough, almost from the beginning. Jessa was out this morning, and she’s struggling hard emotionally and has been for months now. She faced our first major trigger by  9:30am and then the triggers just kept coming.
We have been working hard at reigning in strong emotion and not forcing anyone to pay for our emotional fall out. We succeeded in keeping our emotions quiet so far today, but not with a lot of struggle and a lot of silent tears. We are losing time badly and aren’t even positive who is out. I know right now I’m Layna, but I have no idea who was here or what happened in the last hour. Its Cadie’s turn at 3pm and I hope we can get that together. 
I just now remembered that the youngest child is here in the house.  I was in a full blown panic because I could hear noises and I didn’t know where they were coming from. I was sure that I was in danger… and it wasn’t the fist time today we thought we (or someone we love) was in danger. Being faced with triggers like that, especially the big triggers, ends up causing intense fear, dissociation, and paranoia. When faced with big triggers together, like we did today, we become almost emotionally catatonic, or an emotional volcano. 
I hate when it gets like this. I hate when we are triggered so badly that we slide into black outs and losing time. I hate that we can’t handle being alone at home for more than a couple of hours. I hate that we are so pathetic. I hate the messages from J and J. I hate the fact that we are expendable and second string. I hate that we are so easy to push aside and not at all worth chasing or talking things out with. I hate that I can not remember what I’m writing right now and I have to keep re-reading to remember. 
 
I hate that today we feel defeated and either useless or a fuck up (can’t agree on which). I don’t even know what to write about. Noises keep coming from outside and a couple of the dogs keep whining and crying and I have no idea whats causing any of it. The kids that are home keep asking whats going on and I don’t have an answer which is making me feel more scared, pathetic, and useless. I’ve done chores around then house in hopes of proving that we are worth something…. have any kind of value.  Anything that makes up for these PTSD reactions. 
Its now Cadie’s turn but we’re having trouble switching.We seem to be doing okay co-con. We just can’t totally switch. We are gonna have to work on that because Cadie is less emotional than me and I’m freaking out and no one comes home for another 3 hours. so she’d really be the best option. We will have to keep on working on that. I feel so alone. I can’t tell if this headache is from the emotions or the cold we are fighting. My eyes burn too. Hoping its not a fever.
**Layna**