arrival

How to Handle a New Arrival

arrival

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.

 

 

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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

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 (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

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 (Andrea)

Image credit: Google  –  Andee loves stuffed animal bunnies
i is andee. i is 3 yeer old lik olly an zozey. thems my sissers. i is daddy’s lil gurl. daddy luvs me. andee no speshul. not aminel or cool. jus a lil gurl. andee was in the dark for long tims wit sami an shy an trin. was skary an no fun but now we livs wit sissers in the hose an the rezort. bella waches us an we plays in the zoo an the water an in the playgrownd.
out i play gams on fone an eet crunchies. i gots a dog outsid nam crunchy but she no lik me if i don feeeds her an my daddy say no litle gurls feeds dogys no mor or we gets in truble an andee no wana bes in truble. dady meens it to.
andee liks the new lif. andee liks bunnys an toons an gams. plees liks us. plees.
(This post was written in its entirety by Andee. I merely pasted it here and posted it. -Brina)

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.)