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

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

Inside Where We Live (Arabella)

I really have nothing pressing to talk about. It’s my turn to write… well, I haven’t written in a long time but we don’t really have turns. Mostly We write when we feel like it. I could spend some time introducing myself though.

I’m going to be honest though, introducing myself seems risky. I’m one of the protectors for this system an I worry that being as open as my sisters have started to be is a security breach. Kaysie is our main protector, however, and she feels that being this transparent and open is actually safer in the long run. I suppose she’s right.
So hello. My name is Arabella.  I am about 17. Inside I am usually in white tiger form. My main role inside is protection of the little ones. The number of sisters under the age of 13 is nearly twice that (if not more) than those over 13 so that in itself is a full time job. I spend most of my time inside with the children, but I do enjoy my time in the outside world. I especially enjoy technology, our new family, and yarn. I very much enjoy yarn. I guess that might be the feline side of me.
Until recently I haven’t been spending any real time outside. The outside world can be challenging for me and its harder for me to be sure the children inside are safe if I’m hanging out around here. Mom helps out with that a lot. 
I have experienced some of the body’s trauma, but nothing significant. My job has always been to bring the sister who experienced the trauma inside and nurture and comfort her. There’s a serious lack of trauma here, so I’m having to find new ways to keep myself busy and still feel useful. This project we are working on to be more open and fight stigma is helping a lot with that.
So that’s me, pretty much in a nutshell. I’m around and always willing to say hi.  
Bella

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

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