Continuing with the topic of Internal Communication, I ended the previous article,
Overcoming Instability Issues and Unsuccessful Memory work
with this list of Dissoci-ACTION steps:
Focus first on relationship building with your parts.
Get to know them.
Talk to them.
Learn their names.
Overcome your fears of who they are.
Appreciate their strengths.
Develop friendships with them.
I guarantee that your overall stability will greatly improve as you are more connected with your internal system on a genuinely friendly, caring basis.
What do you think about that? Do you agree with that list? Have you ever considered such a daunting task as completing THAT list ?!! Am I talking out the wazoo, or do you see value in what I’m saying?
In my opinion, developing good internal communication
is the central core of the treatment work for Dissociative Identity Disorder.
If you cannot or do not talk well with your other internal parts,
you will not be able to complete your healing work effectively, thoroughly or sufficiently.
Imagine going to your place of employment and not being able to speak with any of your co-workers. How well would businesses work with that approach?
Have you ever been to a big department store?
Imagine if the employees couldn’t speak with each other for days-weeks-years at a time. That store as a whole would find it extremely difficult to manage busy days, or to handle simple, basic operations. It would crumble.
Even if all the employees continued doing their own jobs perfectly — if they are not communicating with anyone else in the store, then the store as a whole would be less effective. It would likely go out of business sooner than later.
Dissociative systems cannot function without internal communication any better than large department stores can function without internal communication.
If you don’t talk to your inner people, and if your various insiders do not speak with each other, none of you are going to function as well as you could.
Also, if you run your system with an attitude of control and domination, that’s not going to work so well either.
Approaching your insiders as inferiors or nuisances that you want to kill off, or dispose of, or get rid of in some way will not be helpful.
As real-life examples have shown (ie: Hitler), this type of dictatorship-leadership can effectively control large groups of people, but also it uses abusive methods that lead to tragedies like genocide and world wars.
Don’t go there with your internal world.
Treat your inner people with kindness and respect.
I promise you that every single one of your insiders has value, importance, strengths, and significance.
You might not understand who they are at this point in time. And when you don’t know the positive value held by each person inside, that’s a big clue that you have some therapy work to do.
Allowing your system to stay scattered, chaotic, disorganized, and messy will not help your stability or ability to function.
Keeping with the store metaphor, who wants to shop in a cluttered, disorganized, messy store? Can you find anything? Does it take twice as long to find the things you need? And are some items just impossible to find without taking huge chunks of extra time?
Permanently blocking your internal system behind walls or curtains or an unexplored blackness is not helpful either.
I realize that all DIDer’s have dissociative walls and barriers already — walls that could have easily been there for years. That is the nature of DID/MPD. It’s the initial point of having a dissociative disorder — surviving by using those same dissociative walls to separate yourself from yourself and from the situations and feelings that were too conflictual, too painful, too difficult, etc.
In the here and now, the treatment goal is to gradually lower and remove those barriers between your system people, and certainly not to create more walls or to support more distance between everyone.
Of course, some dissociative walls and internal barriers are needed to help maintain your ability to function and stay solid in your everyday world. Which walls do you need to lower, and which walls do you keep in place? How do you know where to start, and what to soften?
Internal communication is the key to doing this work.
Doing your system work — meeting each other, getting to know each other, will in itself create a greater sense of order and structure within.
More of you will know who can do what, where the other parts are, and how they got there. It won’t feel so strange or unknown to you.
Insiders can become friends with each other instead of being strangers separated from each other.
Even though there are additional steps to take, start by encouraging everyone in your system to be willing to see, meet, and greet as many others as possible. You all need to know who you have in there.
My next post, Developing Internal Communication – Starting with the Basics, will help you begin to develop communication within your system.
For today, in preparation to do this work, please think about the following:
- How willing are you to speak to your insiders?
- How willing are you to listen to your insiders?
- If you are afraid of some of your inside people, what are you willing to say to them?
- If some of your insiders have experienced a different life than you have, are you willing to listen to them?
- What will you do if someone says something you don’t want to hear?
- What will you do if your insiders squabble and argue with each other?
- How will you handle it if certain insiders hurt others within your system? What if they are hurting child parts? What if they attempt to hurt you?
- What if meeting the others folks inside means learning that you were more hurt and abused than you realized? How will you handle that?
- What are your thoughts and feelings about finding new insiders — ones that you didn’t realize you had?
- Do you know how to speak to child parts? How will your address them if you see that they are hurting emotionally or physically?
You can do this.
Your healing depends on your talking with your internal system. Maybe start by saying hi.
And yes, you can do this.
I wish you the best in your healing journey.
If you are interested in developing your Internal Communication skills further, check out these additional resources:
The Saddest Little Bear Dissoci-ACTION Story Pack .
This Dissoci-ACTION Story Pack in a specialized educational resource about DID that you can work on in the privacy of your own home, or for mental health professionals to use in their office with their dissociative clients. It has numerous videos with Kathy and helpful tips that you will not find in any of the other DD resources.
- Now that you know you are DID, do you know what to do?
- Are you new to working with your DID system ?
- Do you have any sad little ones in your system ?
- Do you have any lost ones in your system ?
- Do you know how to reach your insiders ?
- Or how to find your insiders ?
- Do you know what to do with those little ones once you find them or feel their presence ?
When you are first diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), you may feel overwhelmed and utterly confused and at a loss about how to manage a system of inside people.
These first weeks and months of recognizing your internal system can feel chaotic, frightening, embarrassing, noisy, and frankly, far too huge of a problem to address, let alone solve. It can feel like a great big headache!
This Dissoci-ACTION story pack is designed to teach you action steps. You can learn what to do as you begin to meet your dissociative parts. Guidance about how to talk with your insiders is included.
Click HERE to learn more.
DDCF: Discussing Dissociation Community Forum
Do you live a life with many different parts?
Are you confused? Learning? Alone? Unsure?
Do you need more people to talk to about being DID?
Our Community is a wonderful, friendly, and supportive group.
This DID Forum is available 24/7.
This Forum is managed by a team of professionals.
If you have not yet joined in, and if our Forum Community sounds like a place where you wanna be, YOU are invited to join our DDCF Community, even now. Who else understands living with DID better than other folks with DID?!
DDCF is open, available all day and night, everyday. It’s safe, it’s protected, it’s private.
Our friendly members chat comfortably with each other. They talk openly about life as a dissociative survivor, how to manage as a dissociative spouse, how to be a dissociative parent, how to manage the hard days — all areas of life! They share good times, funny jokes, stressful events, therapy gains, and even therapeutic struggles. And all of this is said openly by dissociative people with DID systems.
And yes, inside parts are invited to talk! Many community members use designated threads as a private place to write back and forth with their inside people. They practice internal communication skills right in the forum! You can learn to do this as well.
How could you benefit from this group?
What would you contribute as a DDCF Community Forum Member?
The Discussing Dissociation EDUCATIONAL Forum (DDEF)
DDEF is also open and available. Our Educational Forum is a separate forum membership from the community forum. The unique difference for DDEF is that both Kathy and Laura participate in the forum discussions. Kathy and Laura ask and answer questions, write responses, provide tips and guidelines about DID in a private forum setting.
Getting personalised responses from DID experts, or reading responses written about a variety of dissociative issues that you experience yourself can be amazingly helpful. Want to learn more about internal communication and how to do this? Kathy and Laura have created an Audio Series specifically for Internal Communication.
The conversations in DDEF are in-depth, specifically DID treatment oriented, focused on specific DID issues, and target very detailed situations that arise for dissociative survivors.
Contact us for more information about how to join DDEF.
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
I am sad, and mad. Not at anyone… .just that I typed a post and accidentallly hit a wrong button, and it disappeared.
Just needed to vent.
I think of you all often. I wish more would comment on the excellent articles Kathy has provided for us.
But I know life is hectic. Yes, I know. I know.
I hear you. I am here. We are here. We are not on the forum currently but missing everyone there too. Do you want to use the ‘Still our normal complicated selves’ thread and keep me company there? If there are articles that you would like a conversation about just post there and I will read them too. I know we need to focus on communication with littles. Not good at that. I know there is a delay in posts because of moderation but it’s better than being alone.
Today is Friday, 9/23/22
I thought I was getting better. But that’s a laugh. It’s just me hiding from my selves and me. It’s not a good thing, my therapist has told me so many times. But sometimes life is so overwhelming, loss is overly sad, prospects for… for the future as my husband and I grow old, seem to be getting dimmer and dimmer as the days go by.
So about two months ago I decided to give away my dolls. Take them to Goodwill. Maybe somebody else could enjoy them. They said in the backseat of our car in a box sometimes I put in a corner of the backseat sometimes put back in the box. And I thought always in my head why have an I’ve taken those to Goodwill yet.
Today I went out to the car, and I brought back into the house three of my dolls. It felt so good just to see them, just to hold them, just to remember how much joy they had brought to some of my inside people.
Getting better it’s like a Maroge in the desert. You keep thinking you’re approaching it and it’s getting closer, and soon you’ll be there. And everything will be OK. But everything is not OK. And the journey goes on and on and on…
I am not big on communication. It is not my forte. I can barely communicate with outside people, let alone inside people, as my communication skills are not very good. I know it is important though. I just have a really long way to go I think.
I’m terrfied of getting to know my parts they come out and talk to my psychologist and he talks to them a part tried to commit suicide and I was aware reluctantly told ended up in hospital I constantly have parts that cut me and when I do get a flashback I feel I’m crazy cause it’s so horrific so anyway I now have a case management and he wanted me to get someo e in person my psychologist who I still se is thru Skype and the new one believes I have DID after 4 meetings and agrees with the others but dont know how hes going to take the parts on o e hand I want them all to jump off a cliff but on the other hand I’m the first that will leave a therapist or Christian who wants to ignore them or call them demons when I was in the hospital that psychatrist diagnosed me borderline and she said I didn t have DID but also said DID wasnt even In the DSM 5 so that trip had everyone scared and I felt it that’s psychatrist also took me off meds that helped anxiety and stability I couldnt stop shaking for 2 weeks after getting out but I went back on my meds and threw all the antipsychotics out I never took in the psych ward anyway i spit the out anyway how do i get over being scared of them i also cant journal i have one inside that will RIP up the evidence I’m getting more memmories my Skype psychologist says that’s progress we also are staying at the moms with a stepfather that doesnt care what happens if I end up homeless and hes mean I stay in. My bedroom. Co stantly I’ve lost my friends and other activities since leaving a previous place that was manipulative and abusive my case manager brought up group home but I cant share a room and feel safe either or is all this why I cant amke co tact with them I’m to busy surviving have huge memory gaps and most times I wont remember my therapy sessions with either one
Oh my, Nessa! I can see how overwhelmed and struggling you are…. so many directions coming at you all at once…..it is like a river….you can’t get one thing figured out before you get hit with another one……I know that for me – getting it “out there” – just as you have done – helps lessen the Internal Pressure even if you don’t have a definite answer or direction yet…….
I am so glad you poured out here….I know that for me – when that happens – I am at a standstill afterwards – (although I fight panic about having “talked” so much) – I also find it is space needed for just some “breathing room”……As rough as those “rivers” of pouring out are – I find that it was actually a “good” thing…..Parts saw that I was hearing and acknowledging their confusion and fears….they can “breathe” a little easier – knowing that “I” am willing to hear – even if I don’t know what to do to help them……..
I understand that you feel like you are in “barely surviving” mode and are concerned that you are unable to “make contact” with them……but to me – it looks like they are really busy contacting “you”……when that happens to me and I feel like I am about to bottom out with the onslaught of it – I try to take a “deep breath” and “step back” and simply notice “who” it is I am seeing …. acknowledging their “existence”……I know it is hard when it feels like it is nothing but an all out “3 ring circus” Inside…but I have found that the chaos starts lessening when they know I have actually “seen” them – not from the angle of still trying to “deny their existence” – but from the angle of simply seeing that they DO exist……
I may still not know how to “help” them or “fix” their situation….but, somehow, they eventually “sense” that they don’t need so much “chaos” to get my attention……I still “mess up” with them at times – but am gradually getting better with it……I know I still have a LOT to learn……
I know that “journaling” is too scary for you right now – MAYBE because it is then “in your face” in black and white and a lot harder to stand in “denial”……. and there is a part who “rips” up evidence anyway – MAYBE because of the huge internal conflict between a “need for denial” and a “need to see”……..
Keep taking “deep breaths” Nessa……I have found, that for me, these types of “rivers” eventually hit when I have been “unwilling” to see something that they have been trying to get me to see or hear…..sometimes my “unwillingness” is because I think I am “supposed” to fix the situation for them and I have NO idea how to do that….but, actually….sometimes it can simply their intense need to be seen and heard – to have their existence acknowledged….because they obviously weren’t during the traumas……
I have been having to do a LOT of “practicing” on being “objective” with them……letting them say what they “need” to say whether I “understand” it or not….acknowledging the intensity of the emotion they carry even if I don’t understand the “why” of it…sometimes groups of them will make comments about EVERYTHING I do on the Outside….it is just them learning to be “comfortable” with me….if they can become comfortable with me in the “little” things…maybe they won’t need to be so INTENSE for the “bigger” things…..they will gradually be willing to “take turns” if they can come to rest in the knowing that I will be “willing” to hear them……
I know that when there is so much “chaos”, it is very hard to “feel” safe…..protectors will step in with everything they’ve got to help – making you feel EXTREMELY on guard with everything…….they are simply doing their “job”……It does sound like you have some legitimate concerns with your stepfather – I know that has to be really rough for you…you are on our heart and we stand with you in this, Nessa…
I hope that even a tidbit of ANYTHING I have said will help you in ANY way….I am definitely no “expert”…… I can only offer what I have found on my own journey…..I don’t know what all your walk has been…..I just understand the feelings of “chaos” and extreme confusion and vulnerability …… Deep breaths, Nessa…..deep breaths….we hear you……..
we talk to each other a lot while caden be asleep.
we talk in her dreams.
we used to fight and fight and yell lots.
and we used to ignore each other,
ad we use to hide from each other.
we used to yell at each other with red and black marker in a note book.
and sometimes write in blood.
it used to be like we all in jail with each other like stuck.
now we talk.
now we mosly all be friends.
now we do nice things for each other.
like we by each other presints and we give suprizes.
and we encorrage each other.
missy been crying lots the past cupol months so we been trying so hard to take care of her . eventho it dont really work we still be trying. she be giving us headakes again this week so we trying to make her comftrbol.
we teaching asher and ki and noah how to write.
What a wonderful post here. You and your internal friends certainly are a great example of building system communication. Thank you for sharing this. My insiders really learned a lot.
Hi – You referenced a part 2 to this post…but I can’t seem to find it…is there a part 2?
This is great for those of us starting out in our system work! I gave my T your blog site today. We are both learning about these things together. i don’t mind though; we have been working hard and we will continue even though ti’s up and down with all the memories and everything.
Thanks for this blog!
I feel dumb. We know we have DID. We can almost always hear other people when they are out. We can hear them commenting inside. We can feel what they are feeling usually. We can even feel how they experience their bodies. But, we don’t ever see anything inside. We see nothing. We have parts with no names or ages. When they are asked by our T, I think they genuinely don’t know. We clearly have this disorder, so that is not in question. It is just why don’t we have some cool house or room for people to be in (we have even tried at various times to create places and nothing sticks)? Why can’t we see others inside? Why doesn’t everyone have names and ages and genders? Just makes us feel dumb.
I’m sorry you (or a part) feel/s dumb. Just know you are far, far, from dumb. You have to be really, really, intelligent to have DID, in the first place. I wanted to let you know you are not alone. I do, sometimes, get an answer to “how old are you?” or “how old is this part, does anybody inside know, can anyone tell me?” I just go with what I hear. Not much more headway than that, really. Sounds like you have more awareness of insider feelings than I. I’m working on it. Remember, they don’t trust anyone, not even us, until we show them through extreme amounts of time, patience, persistence, understanding, and proving our reliability and trustworthiness. I figure I was ignorant of parts for a long time and it will take however-long-it-takes to become knowledgeable. Be well, and keep up the good work.
Effective leadership says
Hello it’s me, Iamm also visiting this site regularly, this web page is genuinely pleasant and the
viewers are in fact shawring good thoughts.
We find that blocking certain people inside is extremely helpful to us and keeps us functioning much better than when we don’t try to block people. Maybe there are some people you just can’t work with and you need to do what is best for your whole entire system………….
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for your comment and welcome to Discussing Dissociation.
I do hear what you are saying, and in certain situations and for specific reasons, I agree with you. I don’t think that all insiders can be managed effectively at the same time, especially during the healing process. So in a sense, taking turns, and waiting to address certain insiders is an absolute necessity, especially when trying to maintain a level of functioning.
So while I agree that keeping those blocks in place for some chunk of time can be helpful, I also believe that there can be a time when addressing those difficult insiders is important as well. All that depending on how stressful outside life is, how much support you go have, how effective the rest of the system is working together, etc. Healing takes as long as it takes, and over time, everyone gets a chance. That’s my optimistic view of it….. Knowing full well how hard it is.
But yes, maintaining a solid level of functioning is extremely important. I completely agree with that!!
Keep up the good work…. I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Thank you for your response. We have been reading your blog for awhile now and have watched all of your videos. I think I have read all of your past blogs and find it very informative and helpful. Thank you for having blog like this, I find that understanding the complexities of DID is not often understood well until now that is 🙂
For us functioning and control are the utmost important things in our lives and we have worked extremely hard to maintain those things. We do have some of us that are able to communicate with one another and work well together. I also agree that is very important. I know I could not function nearly as well as we do if I didn’t have the others around to help me.
Maybe it would be alright to tell you a little about us-I am able to work full time as a nurse in a LTC facility-which can be extremely stressful. I am more a perfectionist and have very high expectations of myself. Work seems to be ALL that I can manage though. It is all I do. After work we come straight home alone and no more energy to do anything else. We have spent years perfecting our inner system and keeping all that chaos hidden from the outside world. We don’t have a social life anymore and remain completely isolated. Trust is not something we are able to do well. We are currently working with a therapist who knows we are we.
The suggestions you listed about getting to know the others inside were great and we have been trying to do that. I was wondering if you had any suggestions on HOW to deal with the stories you hear sometimes?
This is an excellent question you posed— What if meeting the others folks inside means learning that you were more hurt and abused than you realized? How will you handle that? This is something we are not able to do or able to handle well at all. Do you have any suggestions?
I find that the defenses within our system are extremely difficult to overcome. As soon as we challenge a defense or try to get around it so we can make some progress, Our ability to remain functioning can become so unstable and so fragile that it sends extreme panic throughout our entire world. It stops everything. It appears to be so black and white either we function and not heal OR we fall apart and don’t function. There is no middle ground.
So I was wondering if maybe you had some ideas you could shed on trying to maybe change the inner defenses people might have inside. Or if you have already blogged about this issue you might be able to point us in the right direction?
Any ways Thank you for having this blog and you welcoming us. You definitely have an avid reader here with us especially now more of us are more willing to learn new ways of doing things.
Reblogged this on adifferentlifebeinglived and commented:
Saving for later
Kathy Broady says
Reblogged this on Discussing Dissociation and commented:
I still believe that developing excellent internal communication and effective team work are critical elements for working with Dissociative Identity Disorder. Here’s a few ideas to encourage you all to start talking with your insiders.
I am unable to find “Internal Communication, part 2 — will list specific ideas for how to develop communication within your system.” I would really appreciate any ideas that you may find helpful as this has truly been a challenge for me for quite some time! Thank You
Kathy Broady says
Welcome to Discussing Dissociation and thank you for your comment.
There is a search option for categories and a category for Internal Communication. Have a read through all those different articles, as they mention various ideas you can do with your system.
I hope that helps, and yes, having good internal communication is crucial for healing. Keep up the hard work — it’s worth the effort.
Jean Eisenhower says
I am so glad to read this!
And I can hardly believe that I’ve been in and out of therapy since 1994 with this, and even when we understood I had alters, NO ONE suggested I do this integrating work, much less led me through it!
I really think that, as a mind control subject, there are a lot of therapists who are either ignorant or pretending ignorance as they keep us talking and coping in other ways, but never truly helping us with what we need. I’m pissed!
And I’m getting to the work now. Thank you, Kathy.
Albeit I understand the spirit of a statement made .. “If someone has the luxury of not having to maintain an outside job while doing their therapy – that’s great! But that’s not necessarily realistic for most people either.”.. I find it very much offensive to use the term ‘luxury’. Not being well enough to manage the outside job is far from a luxury. It’s a daily burden in more ways than I can count.
I know you wrote this awhile ago. I was reading through the comments and one thing stuck out at me. I’ve been telling myself that I pushed everything away and I didn’t want to deal with my insiders or the fact I have insiders. But after reading your response to one of the comments, I realize I am putting blame completely on myself, I was bad for not dealing with the DID. And that the only way this could happen was that “I made” everything shut down. But when I began with my previous t, she refused to work with anyone but me, none of my insiders and did not work on anything having to do with DID. After reading your comment I realuzed, I didn’t shut myself down, my parts went inward because they were afraid. I stayed with the t for 4 years. It had all started leaking out over time and now I am seeing a new t, my insiders are not hiding as much. I assumed I caused not dealing with them. It really has no blame, Ive been avoiding blaming my last t because I didn’t want to blame anyone so I thought I had to blame myself. And yes when everyone goes deep inside and hides, things do appear to be better and now that I am facing the DID again people keep saying “but you have come too far to go back to dealing with the DID” wow! Thank you! I’ve been so afraid to see that my last t could have made an error or that I should have not seen her for 4 years that I placed all blame on myself.
Kathy Broady says
It sounds like you are doing lots of thinking. All to many dissociative trauma survivors go down that self-blame, self-hatred road so very easily…. I hope you can right turn off that path and quick! :). Move forward to where you are now and work with your insiders best you can. To me, the only long-term healing for the pain felt in DID is to build a solid team with your insiders. It sounds like you are starting that work, so good for you!
Maybe you saw my comments in the recent video about talking with insiders, because yes… It is far too common for therapists to think it’s best to speak only to the outside “host” and refuse to talk with inside. Many t’s are taught to do that. I simply and completely disagree with that approach. Others would disagree with me, of course. I just cannot fathom working with DID without working directly with the system.
Those insiders have many wonderful and incredible talents. They are most definitely worth getting to know. Find their strengths, and appreciate their company. They’ve been good for you!
I wish you the best.
Kathy Broady says
Hey Everyone —
I’ve started doing a new thing — BlogTalkRadio. 🙂
And, today, I recorded a show on Internal Communication.
To find this radio show, go to BlogTalkRadio.com (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ )
Search for AbuseConsultants.com — that will pull up all the different radio shows that I’ve done so far.
You’ll see the show titled “Internal Communication for DID System Work” — click on that one.
The radio discussion goes along with the things discussed on this particular blog article and the series on Internal Communication. I hope that you find these radio shows to be a positive supplement to the blog articles.
ya. i got a man t. but he dont act like a man t. he is just a him. he is very nice and very patcent with us. i never thought i would go to a man t.but someone said he was good so we tryed and we like him.
we have no told him any gross stuff. maybe he wont be nice anymore. or maybe he will make us leave
i am thinking that maybe you are right. if he is a good him t, then maybe i will see that some mans are ok.
i am glad that your t dont run away. we just saw him today. he said that we can say anything. i am not sure that is not a lie.
hey julie wtf mebbe your ones not grosser than mine, so maybe if you think mines not gross, mebbe yours not either.
Thats what T say anyhow, she say they just kids.
You got MAN T?! You brave cuz I be scared to do that. But I gotta say that I got lots that I know that got man T and they say it OK. I bet your man T is OK.
Lotta times, I see a mans and he with kids and he being nice and I look and look and try and have nice thinking and see that he nice and OK to kids and that mans OK.
So man T is good cuz then you see mans OK.
Good deal huh? I tell her that deal lots so she know.
We got lotta rules and that make it safer.
T not run away from us.
hi muffledones i hate to share with other ones to. i think that some inside here are realy gross and nasty. if i tell t about what they did he will make us leave. and some like to be that way. if i talk to them or tell what they did or they tell what they did. then we will be in trouble. they will think it was me and not them.
i like your deal. it made me laff. i think maybe i will make a deal with my t. if he makes me leave i will hit him. i am just joking. he says that he wont think bad things, but i dont believe him. he is supposed to say things like that. i think he is tricking me. and he is a HIM! even tho he does not seem like a him when we are there. but someone say he is a him anyways.
oh…i dont think your people are those things…just mine.
Ok Ok, so I know it is OK to talk to the others.
Part of my problem is that I am not so split so far as I can tell.
So I had one kid I used to hear well, and fight with alot until I truly understood she was in fact and actual kid, and so she responded to me as such. So once I understood that, and talked to her according to her age, things went MUCH better and I became quite proud of her.
But then she was changing, and she grew up I guess, cuz she not around 🙁 But I think she is, just that she grown up I guess, cuz sometimes, I will be very adamant about ‘us’ and I think that is her saying that. But I miss her.
Another young boy, who it felt really good to be and who was around lots (but not too good around my IRL kids) now he is changing, alot. Not so cocky and happy and unafraid anymore. He is sad and starting to realize reality. He not a cocky full of energy kid no more 🙁
And now I finding bout some parts whats kinda scarey.
And the inside little ones are gross and scare us, cuz we not know why they gross. We not know why they are they way they are. So we keep them away.
And T lady keeps wanting to talk bout them.
And we know we gotta.
But we don’t wanna cuz maybe it’ll not be nice.
And ANYHOW they dumb kids and anything they tell us will be from a kids perspective, so we will NEVER really ever know wassup w/them.
We know we can’t kill them.
We know we can’t keep them locked up cuz they get out somehow sometimes.
We know we gotta deal w/them.
But we don’t wanna.
We have good life, we got food and house and all good.
Growing up was good.
So why look at nasty kids?
We wish they would die.
We would kill them if we could.
We tell T she would think they are too if she see them.
We say she be grossed, but T she say, she say maybe at first she be taken aback, but then she be ok w/them and want to help them.
That she not be grossed by them.
My T not Christian, it makes it way harder cuz I can’t explain the Godstuff to her.
I explain bout agape.
But she not know God, so parts not trust her EVER.
Somes think she a witch.
We all mixed up cuz she nice and smart.
She say she never touch us for sure.
We make deal, she not touch, we not beat her up.
I hate having others.
I just want to be the good well adjusted one.
Least more often anyhow.
I all mixed up.
WE don’t trust each other cuz somes will hurt the others.
How we be friends.
Too much fighting, but not separate enuf to communicate well.
How bout that for a silly hey? Not split ENUF?!?!
Cuz they stupid and dumb and gross. Thats why.
Kathy Broady says
oh no no no — your insiders are much more important than that. I really really don’t think they are stupid or dumb or gross. I don’t think that about you, and I don’t think that about them.
I actually bet the opposite is true – AND, I bet if you would spend some time really getting to know them and building a friendship with them, you would feel very differently too. They can be your very best friends in the whole world — try that. It helps.
Kathy Broady says
“don’t wanna” talk to your other insiders???
It’s been a while since I checked in on this forum. This is an area that is driving me bonkers. As I’ve said I’ve been seeing a T for 14 years since she dx me with d.i.d. I am totally frustrated over internal communication and structure. We do not have any.
My system has been blind always as far as I know. We do NOT see each other. We had extensive programming and were filled with fear and darkness. Triggers is how I know someone else is up front, I feel their feelings and sometimes they will write them in my online journal. We recently got in touch with deborah a part of our original self. We like her she’s gutsy and has backbone. She came out and talked with our T, but I (the host) am overly compliant and wishy washy and I need deborah and don’t know how to see if she can be up front and help us get some friggin organization in here!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We are at our lowest ebb on functioning and are catching h*** from the spouse for not getting stuff done. we can’t seem to find any one of us who gives a darn about cooking and laundry and cleaning and we do not work outside the home right now – partially due to pain problems and partly due to weirdness problems. our spouse refuses to believe in did/mpd and the stress we feel from that has made it hard to do anything for him because we are ALL mad at him for being a triple ratfink.
I feel like something bad will happen if we do not find a way out of this internal/external impasse we have going on here. Almost a month ago someone sent me a deliberately hurtful email and a mute alter reached over and picked up scissors and hurt the body we share. the only real cutting that has happened in 15 years and when my spouse got home we caught hell for it. i am desperate for order. i keep buying books and even read some of them and still can’t find order. i can’t stand the way we live much longer. Something’s gotta give.
we did read those questions and got affirmative answers. We just don’t know how to get there from here. Can you help us?
Leslie (host of the pixies)
Still struggling with this. getting them to talk to a therapist works, but not to me. I know i have had conversations with others and i can listen when they talk to other, but I’m not one they talk to.
Kathy Broady says
I’m pleased to announce that this article, “Internal Communication – The Core of Treatment for DID” is the most highly viewed page on this Discussing Dissociation Blog.
I think that is GREAT!!! I really do believe internal communication is the most important element of the treatment process so seeing that the blog readers are reading this page the most is really exciting.
I hope you are all having excellent talks with your insiders — lots of them, frequently, every day!!! 🙂
If you are still struggling with this area, please let me know…. There are several different options to get the help you need.
i am sorry, i just posted for the first time and did not consider closely enough but i think my post should be marked as possibly triggering to some
readers. i do not wish to make anything harder for anyone else. i will be more careful next time. mea culpa,
leslie and pixies
we’ve been in counseling for 14 years with the person who recognized we are multiple. i was her first sra/did client and recently she said that it was like a parent and first child, she made a lot of mistakes with me.
i only ever remember hearing/sensing my others inside. the cult abusers did extreme things to me to ensure my silence and my suicide before telling. we have had a ton of denial to wade through and i felt we had finally gotten more openness and acceptance inside.
something i read on your site here said that if it was black inside or the host could not see their others we “had a lot of work to do” and that “darkness inside is because of denial and walls being up”.
i’ve wished for over 10 years that i could see my alters and their inside set up. i thought i had turned the lights off inside on purpose because they threatened me with slow, agonizing death if i ever spoke of the abuse.
SO, i guess my real question is this: when it is dark inside of someone’s system is that ALWAYS because of denial in action or could it just be trauma based?
right now, if i described my system to you it would be a bunch of disembodied beings inside that i sense and talk to and listen to.
if anyone has some knowledge of this i would appreciate it greatly. or if you have a link or area i could go for this information it would be so helpful.
thank you, kathy, this site is very encouraging – though i think it is going to cause me to question how we are doing our work. we’ve done a lot of memory work, thinking that was what we needed to do to get the pain, fear levels down. not so good though.
oops, one more comment – my spouse of 28 years refuses to accept the dx of mpd/did. i feel it has slowed the work down so much and continues to be a source of pain. any ideas how i can be less thrown by that and more assertive for my inner people. thanks again.
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for your comment.
And no, to clarify for myself, I don’t think that blackness inside “always” means denial. It can certainly represent that, but it can also represent dissociative barriers, blockages, being “not ready” to know (for a variety of good reasons), etc. In your case, it could be easily connected with how much fear you have based on the the kinds of abuse / threats your abusers. Lots of times, “death threats” or “suicidal impulses” are reason enough to keep things “in the dark” so… there is a lot of work that can be done on that level too.
I don’t think anything can be simplified to just “one” answer… I will write here with sweeping statements, but in every single situation, individual differences will certainly trump a “general statement”.
I’ll write more about this in articles to come — you’ve asked good questions. Thanks for writing!
Thank you very much for your response, helpful advice, and very perceptive questions.
I have spent my life very much in the public eye, classical music. Which pretty much means I grew up amidst vastly varied social situations, therefore I know how to present very well as necessary, and am comfortable in varied social strata situations.
When I first got away from home I lived in an eastern city, and coming home late at night, bonded quite naturally with the homeless. It took me years to realize that all these homeless women I grew to know, and innately trusted, must have been the result of deinstitutionalization.
I never really thought about it much, but I had the ability to project an incredibly strong presence late at night on the streets if neccessary. I did a lot of wandering, after getting home late. Whenever I felt the environment warranted it, I would become extremely fearless, and apparently it worked, because despite the many incredibly dangerous situations I ended up amidst, no stranger ever hurt me.
You had to actually know me to realize I was vulnerable. I have only ever been hurt by people “I was supposed to trust” a few teachers, and one therapist realized I just didn’t have any protective abilities when it came to people one is “supposed to trust.” I had no ability with boundaries in those situations, though I knew I couldn’t handle such “relationships” becoming sexualized, I still ended up in them, and only now is there some context for this, in that exploitative people just do know how to discern such vulnerability, and even “knowing better” from some aspects of my mind, just couldn’t manage to prevent my becoming entangled at points, never to a good end.
I really never thought much about what you describe of insides which influence until after 9/11/01 when I quit drinking. I guess before that, I just figured that being party girl, or people laughing about the outrageous things I would say or do just was who I was. For me its more that I become the strongest influencing inside, its hard to realize until later sometimes when the “rest of me” kicks in – that maybe that just wasn’t the best possible course of action. Even during such times there are calm reasoned comments from inside, that I just sometimes do stubbornly in those modes choose to disregard. Sometimes I have been horrified later at something I did, even though at the time it made a stubborn sort of sense to me to do, that just doesn’t later fully make sense to me.
A few examples are fairly lurid, but as I do something which requires a lot of skill for a living, and I do this well, though it has cost me being kicked out of a number of schools and one job. I still do make my living via my skill and abilities.
So your questions were provocative in having me look back over times from the past and truly wonder about a number of things. I never didn’t remember doing these things, but have sometimes been horrified, or really confused later as to why it seemed so necessary to go ahead and do – despite, and disregarding commentary which was trying to at least temper things, and very often truly has.
Since 9/11 when I quit drinking, that there are a chorus of varied opinions is harder to escape, or disacknowledge. I am not used to some things which have become more appparent, such as experiencing fear, or sometimes child sobbing so intensely. Its also immeasurably difficult to get out of the house to go to work because there are all sorts of sudden requests for such and such toys which must be brought, or frustration if they cant be found, as I am now running late. Though its oft been commented upon, I just have always just thought, ok, so I like toys – so what?! Packing for a trip is a nightmare for me, and involves an absolutely overwhelming number of interests, crafts, libraries of books,and materials for a ton of stuff, very little of which ever even ends up getting unpacked amidst trip.
So apparently as my life gets safer (very kind husband, respected work environments, etc) I seem to end up experiencing more in terms of emotions I really didn’t have to encounter for years, or I guess when I used alcohol, it just allowed me to experience crying, anger, rage, and sequester these off from my “daytime life”
So the deal is I am accustomed to hearing insides, I used to get nailed by friends on using “we” or “us” now when that slips out, people generally think I mean my husband and I. I can see glimmers of some of them, rather formidable anger for one is very perceptible to not only me, but I can be very formidable, especially if someone has hurt someone else in the outside world. This tendency has gotten me into a lot of trouble over the years, repeatedly unfortunately.
Anger is something I am going to have to work more on not just “becoming” – see I actually do experience all this as me, just that later I realize it wasn’t necessarily “all of me” – as in particular anger balanced a bit more by all of me. Anger, especially on behalf of others, is the most resistant to listening to other more balancing possibilities. I also am rather stricken with this child sobbing thing. It comes,and is, and when its over with, it just does leave me a little rattled, as its just not adult crying. Its just suddenly here then over with and I am like. Omigod, what was that?! Fortunately this mostly only happens when with my husband. It also came forth quite a lot whenever the “specialist” I tried to go to would mention the name of my former (and now current) therapist. I would just start wailing like a child, which shook this guy with how loudly it apparently was, but I just didn’t think much about it at the time. After all, jeez, its something if I am actually crying in a therapists office. Its now also happening more in the presence of my current therapist, but often its not clearly discernable what its in response to, or exactly why?
Anyway one thing I dont seem to experience much at all is depression, I do experience frustration however at how perplexing all this just is, as it just does at least hamper me personally in terms of my own goals, or even having aspirations.
I find it difficult to “try to understand” how to do an internal committee meeting for example. I find it difficult to have so much inside which I just don’t understand. I also know that as my own self image is NOT as a victim, I know I just am resistant to anything I don’t want to be. Some of what in me is very vulnerable and scared.
As you use very vivid and cogent metaphors maybe you will be able to appreciate something I try to explain. If one views an older movie, although its all single frames, most people see the movie as a merging of these frames. I on the other hand live amidst different singular frames based on what environment I am in. If its a work environment I am highly capable and competent. If its amidst people I am witty and funny, or uncannily attuned as needed. If I am at home………………………….its very different, particularly if I am alone at home. Its very difficult to get anything done, clean house, prepare for things, just go for a walk???
So anyway, I truly appreciate your pages because I truly have found few resources for those of us out here who can do a number of things very well and very competently in public, but inside dwell within and amidst much that just is truly confusing and exhaustingly difficult to cope with.
The fact that I manage not to act on so many impulses of self injury means there is less help available, which just makes no sense to me.
There just is so much more I would so love to be able to do with and in my life, future oriented, and as a wife and what I do for a living, but the fact just is that because I do so well making it thru a day at a time, noone really knows how much effort I expend to just make it thru any given day.
One last thing on this committee meeting idea. Aside from AA meetings, I have no real context for how meetings are managed. Its just not part of my work or life experience. I am accustomed to getting LOTs of varied input from my insides, but nothing inside seems much for listening to me – how to make this a two way street I just do not know. I do try at points to “ask inside”. If I attempt to ask this of some singular state, or facet, I am uncomfortable, get scared and I get absolutely nothing – silence, wary silence. But if I ask generally inside I often do get very vivid and often very helpful images, the incredible sense of which sometimes does not immediately make sense to me, but later it makes sense in ways that just seem so much more significant than would occur to me, and sometimes very much wiser than me.
I believe your different colored glass metaphor may be very helpful in helping me to maintain more perspective and balance with difficult facets such as anger, or grief sadness. I very much appreciate your very helpful pages and suggestions.
Many Thanks, Dollswise
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for the comment — it is very nice to get to know you better. It sounds like you’ve had a very interesting life so far!
I am going to do a post on working with child parts very soon. Clearly your kids are there and present — so, maybe a little guidance in this area, will be helpful. I am glad to hear that you have been doing things on behalf of the kids already – even without realizing it, ie: getting little toys for them, packing their toys for trips, etc. You’re clearly more in touch with them than you might have initially realized.
You’ve got a lot of potential to be doing this work – you can already hear them, you can see how the insiders are active parts of your life — now, its more about getting a context to understanding it all, and getting to know them more individually. It sounds like your system feels very very safe and connected to your therapist, so doing some work with a trauma specialist in an adjunct sort of way might help give you the best of both worlds.
When you asking inside, have you ever considered going inside and looking around? Having an actual look at your insiders might make a world of difference for you.
I’m glad you’re here — keep coming back!
Just a quick post to let you know how much I appreciated reading what you shared.
I, especially, relate to this: “I am not used to some things which have become more apparent, such as experiencing fear, or sometimes child sobbing so intensely.” Both of these are great challenges for me and something of which I never had any previous experience.
You are amazing. I hope you know this. Thank you, for sharing.
I have been diagnosed with this for some time now. My longterm therapist who I just do have a very trusting relationship with just was very uncomfortable with this for a long time. I left him and went to a specialist for awhile, but found it waaaaaaaaaaaaay too uncomfortable. I finally returned to my original therapist and it turns out he has another patient now with this too, and he has learned so much more, and is helping me so much more now with this.
I am highly functional, and just have been so accustomed to what I experience for so long, and so incredibly cautious and scared about facing or learning more about my insides.
I cannot tell you how much help finding your blog on these topics have been. Its very much encouraging me to go ahead and try to not just be on the receiving end of all this, but to finally begin to try to communicate with my insides.
Most everything I have ever found on all this assumes you already know so much about them, but I have had a gentlemans agreement “not to look” for so long, and am so invested in not being anything like what I saw in my mother (who was very very multiple and still is) that I just have been very scared to tread these waters even just within myself.
I have often wondered about those who’s insides feel able to talk to ones therapist – did they have at least one safe parent or adult? Both my parents were very very complicated, so my insides advise me constantly, but I cannot even imagine them coming forth to anyone, and I just have never wanted to be bypassed either, because I just do want to remain very highly functional.
But you just cant outrun this stuff. I truly have tried, and I just want more from my life than being so invisibly crippled in so many ways I just dont even understand.
So anyway, my doctor is finally asking for some of these very things you are writing about in terms of beginning internal communication, and I so appreciate what you have written.
I am very good with outside people, it just had never actually occurred to me to attempt these same skills and caring towards what all is inside.
Those of us who function so well we do not end up in inpatient treatment just truly do need the sorts of very basic helpful information you are providing.
Thank you so very much.
Kathy Broady says
Thank you for your comment — I’m glad to hear that my blog is being helpful to you – and please keep coming back.
I work very hard to keep my clients out of the hospital too. In fact, as much as I support hospitals in time of genuine crisis, I also do not consider hospitalization a valid option for very many, so… my goal is to help provide treatment for DID in such a way that no one will “have to” go to the hospital just to get the help they need. That’s just not realistic at all. So — developing effective outpatient treatment options is crucial.
I also think that maintaining functioning in outside life is important, and crucial. Part of growing up, and being healthy, is being able to take care of oneself, so… for most folks, that means keeping their job. Therapy work has to find a way to balance with that. If someone has the luxury of not having to maintain an outside job while doing their therapy – that’s great! But that’s not necessarily realistic for most people either.
I’m really glad to hear that you have good skills in talking / communicating with outside people — that means you have the skills already. Imagine how much harder it would be for you to function at your job or in your outside world if you couldn’t talk to others. Developing effective communication with your insiders will help you do that work as well.
Since you have such strong external control of your presentation to the outside world, I would encourage you to start talking to your insiders using an internal approach. The “committee meeting” in a safe neutral inside room would be a good starting place. Can you see your insiders? It’s actually more important that your system folks speak with you than whether or not they speak to your therapist. So… your connecting with them is the first step. If there are difficulties with that, your therapist’s help will be important.
However, I do have a thought (or a question) about how your insiders may present to the outside world…. Do you know if any of them step up “behind” you? A lot of times, the insiders can affect how the front person looks / speaks / thinks. The front outside part doesn’t “leave” or switch out per se – but they present together with the one behind them, whether they realize it or not. Let me use this metaphor to explain that: clear glass (or even lightly frosted white glass) can appear a different color when a green light is behind it, or a purple light, or a blue light. The front glass itself doesn’t ever go away (and it may or may not “feel” differently), but the appearance to the outside world is very different with the different colors stepping up from behind. DID can be like that. They might be presenting thru’ you like that. ???? Just a thought….
I’m getting chatty, lol. Thanks for stopping by —
Thanks to kathy
you ar nice
welisten to you
she still hard
not want to know
She hears us?
Lots bad hapen an she don want to know.
This is hard questions.
We cry lots answering questions.
She don’t want to know us.
Kathy Broady says
hi there to the haberlach insiders,
Thank you for writing. I’m glad you were thinking about the questions I asked in this article. It looks like you were really doing some good work, even though it was sad or painful for you. Can you write more to “her” and tell her why you were crying as you read those questions? Or maybe you can write more to your therapist person and also tell them what you were feeling at the time? It’s always good to express your feelings like that, so I think you did the right thing. Good work!
It sounds like your “her” has to keep some distance from the inside for some reason – I don’t really know why that is – but I can also see that she has been doing some good things to let you get some help as well. She has taken everyone to therapy, and she talks to other people that understand being dissociative even more than she does. And she comes here, and she reads, and you all get to read too.
So maybe, since all the haberlachs still get to be connected in with people who aren’t scared from dissociative stuff, and you all are getting to learn more stuff, maybe, she’ll gradually become more comfortable with you all?? I sure hope so. A lot of the work is learning how to be a team, and while that might take a little time before that can happen, at least you are doing the right steps along the way.
Keep up the good work!
Thanks for the really good suggestion… We’ve used that technique in the past, but the current psychologist doesn’t like us writing anything down and giving it to her… If it’s just me there, I won’t be able to say anything as I’m too shy and avoid difficult conversations.
We were going to look for another therapist this year, but I can’t do that by myself…
Just a suggestion, maybe write out what you want to tell the psychologist? I often find that having it written down keeps us on track, and worst case, if we find ourselves unable to talk on the day we can always just hand over the piece of paper (that is standard operating procedure for us with doctors).
Just an idea 🙂
Thank you for your really comprehensive answer 🙂
We don’t want to get into too much for lots of reasons, but for the last year (or two) we’ve been in the position of having the “host” disappear on us. The abuse from the ex-husband was too much for her I think. So it sort of gets complicated in that I’m 16 but this body is 37. Our internal communication sort of varies between good enough and stinking really badly. Usually I can talk really easily with M, but I can’t even find her now – I just know she’s grumpy from the writing I’ve found of hers.
We’ve got therapy with the psychologist again on Wednesday. We’d like to think that we can explain why we can’t keep on with the road she wants us to go down. I’m sort of hoping one of the older ones can deal with it – trying to see if I can get one of the assertive protectors to come and talk about it with her.
Yeah we’ve tried hiding before. Sometimes it works – we look back and wonder how we kept it together for so long, then we look at all the ways we used to hide it and put all sorts of coping strategies into the life without realising it. Sometimes it doesn’t work at all.
We really just want to be able to communicate with each other. That one thing alone will make this life a whole lot easier. Also help us realise how each of us has been important in making up that life. At the moment I can sometimes hear the others, but there just isn’t any useful level of communication.
Thanks again… we appreciate it.
Not sure if this is a light bulb moment or a question…
We’ve noticed that it’s been quieter internally since seeing the new psychologist who is keen on “evicting” and “amalgamating” parts. Could this quietness be because of the negativity that this brought about for everyone? As an example it’s only last week that some of us heard from Ellie again, and she is usually throwing in all sorts of commentary about pretty much everything. We know there is a certain amount of ebb and flow to the levels of noise, but the quietness has never been this sustained before and never with the ones that are usually so active in daily life. Also M is just grumpier… but that could just be for all sorts of reasons… 🙂
The mother has seen this as an improvement in our functioning since seeing the psychologist… We’re worried that we’re going back into hiding mode and the walls and barriers to communication are increasing.
Now off to look closer at the questions…
Kathy Broady says
Well…. without having the opportunity to really dig into this with you, my first thought is… that I’d be worried about the same thing that you are worried about — that bunches of you are going back into the hiding mode. If you were told that you were soon enough at risk to be evicted or amalgamated, would you want to be drawing attention to yourself???? My thought (guess) is that your insiders are pulling back out of their fear / anger / upset (???) about the thought of being evicted, and may be refusing to either be the first to get evicted, or are so upset about it, they are just stepping back and leaving you to deal with things on your own for awhile. Are they in any way upset with you, Sophie, for continuing to see this psychologist?? Have you checked with them about that?
I’m not surprised that you have the appearance right now of functioning better — when the insiders pull back, and hide behind those dissociative walls, things CAN look better for a short while. The problem being — that’s a short term solution. At some point, it’s gonna get harder for everyone to stay hidden, and stuff will start spilling out all over the place after awhile.
With all due respect, did your insiders want to interact with your mother?? (I don’t know if you have a good relationship with her or not) And do they want to speak to this new therapist who says they need to be evicted?? Would you expect them to want to be around in either of those situations??
I encourage you to take the first move in terms of talking to the inner people you know that are there. Maybe ask M to help? Or maybe the others are confiding in with her?? Maybe M is grouchy for having to carry a bigger share of the burden without the help of the others right now? Who knows, (ask M what’s up – I bet she’ll tell you), but I bet if you make a genuine effort to go find them and ask them what’s going on, that will give you some of the answers you are looking for.
Robert Matthias says
I am deeply distressed at the moment 3 yrs ago my client’s alter told me ( mommy ) client was seeing a nawty man ( naughty) and if he hurts mommy he hurts me. Client distressed alter revealing her dark side shame accused me of a serious sexual assault . But alters keep in touch asking for help but every time i tell police client in danger they ignore and talk to social services who say client is safe. Yesterday I saw her walking around in circles this bubbly lady is now struggling to walk with a stick and no one is listening to me even though i know who her abuser is . Its breaking my heart knowing 2yr old wants the abuse to stop