As I’ve said over and over in this blog, internal communication — people within the DID system talking to each other — is absolutely central and crucial to the healing process. The inside parts need to hear each other, talk to each other, see each other, write to each other, etc. The more you all talk amongst yourselves, the better your healing journey will progress.
Addressing and finding problem issues as they surface via the internal landscape is another key element in the healing process. This involves an intense level of system interaction that can feel very real and be very powerful. Looking inside and finding the visual manifestations of the problem issues makes for a quick way to understand what is happening for you.
For example, if you have a strong urge to self-injure, and yet you don’t quite know where that is coming from or how to control the compulsions, look inside to your internal world and see who is demonstrating that pull towards self-harm.
Do you see someone inside that is holding a weapon? Do you see someone inside who is internally doing harm to her inside body or threatening to hurt someone else within the system?
When you can see who it is in your system that is containing the feelings, urges, and beliefs about doing self-harm and internally acting it out at that precise moment in time, you can address the problem more specifically. Problem-solve with those specific insiders about the their desires to self-injure, and find other ways to meet their specific needs.
Or, as a second example, if you are feeling an overwhelming sadness and you do not know why, look inside and see who it is in your inside world that is demonstrating and expressing that sadness and despair. If you feel like you need to cry (and yet those feelings really aren’t “yours” to claim), look around in your system and see who is crying. When you can visually see who is feeling so sad, you can then make some decisions about how to comfort the one that is crying.
Do you see a little girl crying in the corner? Is she hiding in a closet or under the bed? Do you know why she is crying? Do you know who she is? Look around till you find where she is, talk gently to her, give her a teddy bear or a blanket or a hug, and find out what the problem is. As you learn more about what is bothering her, reassure her that you will do something to help fix the problem, comfort her and address her needs the same as you would if you saw a real child crying.
Here’s another for instance. If you are having the kind of week where you find that you are really really having trouble eating, and you really don’t know what that is about but you know you feel like starving yourself, look inside for clues. Who do you see close to you that is in full agreement with actively starving themselves? Is your anorexic part pulled near the front? Is your anorexic part having a bigger struggle than usual during that week for some reason? What is going on with her? If you approach her, and speak to her, you might be able to understand what is bothering her so much at the current time. Once you start talking with her, you can probably find a solution to the issue that is more effective than self-starvation.
Any time you feel something prominent happening in your external everyday life and you can’t quite figure out what it’s about, look inside for clues. Literally, look. Go inside and look. What do you see? Chances are, someone within your inside world will be intensely feeling those very same things and will be visually showing that when you look in their general direction.
The intensity of internal feelings or desired behaviors will be rippling out to the front of the system from the insiders deeper within your system. They may or may not be literally presenting in the outside worlds, but the intensity of their issues can still strongly affect how you present-behave-feel in the outside world. In essence, their issues can overflow onto you, and you end up feeling what they are feeling, even when the issue actually belongs to them.
Become familiar enough with your internal worlds and friendly enough with your insiders to make checking in with them an easy process on a regular basis. Check with them frequently, repeatedly, in an ongoing kind of way. As you are familiar with the “norm”, you will more quickly recognize the changes that happen along the way.
Learn to identify problems by what you can see from your system, instead of staying stuck in the outside world being clueless as to why a certain emotion or behavior has suddenly become so prominent for you. If you can feel it, but you can’t claim it as “yours”, then it’s coming from someone within your system. Even if they can’t tell you what is happening, they can often show you. So — the more you look inside, and the more you can see of your internal people and see what they are doing, the better you can understand the source of any problems. An accurate assessment of the problem is necessary before you can accurately problem-solve.
Looking closely at your internal world will provide a wealth of information for you.
What is your internal world telling you today?
What are your insiders showing you?
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
What if there be a Space that be blocked off and we cant see?
I need to fix some things in side but i dont no how yet
I been working on it a couple months
We got a couple inside girls that be acting so crazy and them be taking up more space like from having big feelings. But if i try to talk to them they make no sense at all. Just like baby talk.
1 of them i cant get past
I did last year 1 time but dont been able to get back
She got a whole big space behind her and we no there be people coming out from back there
We just cant catch them
We find evidence of them being around and we think we might know some names. We think.
Or mabey they be invisible?
We can feel how they feel so bad but them havent talked back to us yet but we be working on it.
I need to help some girls i think be back there but got to figure out how to do that
And i need to fix where 3 big tornados went thru on halloween and reckt some stuff
And we got a boy that did get suckt up into the tornado and he be there a lot
I be trying to fix it to make it better
Also a couple things got reckt this week when there was a earth quake but i am almost done getting them fixed back up nice again
Oh Gosh T … that is a really tough question/situation you are in there. I kind of think that folks that stay hidden and in darkness are there because they are afraid to come out. So, maybe Tuck can build them a shelter that is safe and nothing can get in like no tornados or earthquakes of nothing. Then maybe you can put some stuff in there that they would like — like blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, clothes, food, warm water for washing, nice music, paper and crayons, etc. Just things that they may need to feel safe and better. Things that let them know that you care about them. Maybe as they begin to feel safe, they will calm down a bit and want to communicate more. Sometimes just being there for them consistently and lovingly can go a long way to helping the feel safe and want to connect with you.
Well, just a few ideas that may help.
this week i got some kids to a sFe place i made
they be so nervos there and i dont thnk they want to be there but they be safer and that be what be impotint.they be in a pretty woods insted of the scary woods they did be in. and they got pretty sleeping bags that be soft. and pilows and blankets. and they each got a big colerfol umbrela that go over there bed becuse they want to feel like they still be hided but i can see them to keep a eye on them. and after a little wile they will get used to it. and some of the girls be helping me watch over them.i like to make inside places
She probably won’t see what you see inside at first. I saw blackness. And then hazy indistinct people. Gradually it grew. Kind of like a person who has been blind all their life but then has eye surgery to see again. They can’t see it all at first and what they can see is often distorted.
I’m not sure if its the ehalthiest way, but my people bribed me to get me to look inside. Bribed me with things like a whole day of no lost time (assuming nothing really bad happened) or having someone else take over something that would normally be my job but I didn’t want to do. Back then I was exceedingly selfish so it worked.
And yes, being patient is super important. And, you don’t have to do nothing. You and the ohters can do your own work inside while you are waiting for her.
Also tell her you understand how scared she is, and that you understand why. Empathy and understanding help with anyone who is struggling.
Thanks for replying gobbies, but how do I get her to look inside ? Will she see what we see ? You are right despite everything there is good stuff too and even some good memories. I have helped her with college for 2 years now and she realises that now I think. I know I have to be more patient but I hate waiting and doing nothing.
one thing that really helped me in the begining as host was my insiders showing me good stuff. When I knew there was horrible bad stuff to come if I saw them and listened to them, I was afraid. I didn’t want to continue. But I didn’t realize that there was good stuff to it too, like having fun with littles, and having help with my homework and getting all these new friends who already knew me better than I knew myself but liked me anyway. Plus they also really helped keep it in the front of my head how things weren’t ok but facing it all could make it ok.
It is easier to face the scary stuff if you see a good reason for it.
How do you get a host to do that, she has been around a bit now, and I think is really trying to face things. I know she can hear me, but at this point I think is too afraid to answer. I have left tons of notes/writings for her to let her know what has been going on and trying to explain how I feel and give her some info about the inside. She is talking to doctor about stuff and this doctor (not therapist) has been really great and supportive to her and to me too. So how can I help her/ host to see what I see ? But she told old therapist today on the phone (we are waiting to see new one with experience of DID ) that she knows she has to face things and that when she realised all the things I did to keep the show running while she was not here she said she felt really guilty that she has been ignoring me but is so terrified what lies ahead if she acknowledges me. So I know she needs time, but how can I help her with this..?
Kathy Broady says
Thanks for your comments. It’s good to hear from you.
Have you asked your host what she is so terrified and afraid of? What will it mean if she sees things? What are her fears protecting her from? If you can understand her fears, what things can you do to help alleviate and address her concerns?
Yes, her fear alone can create enough resistance that will prevent her from being able and willing to see the rest of her system and inner world. Is she talking about her huge fears with your t? I doubt that it is “you” that she is afraid of. I would bet she is afraid of all the additional information (trauma information?) that is frightening her. Lots of people are really really afraid to know – they much prefer to participate in life like a scared ostrich. What is going on for your host that she prefers this approach?
Will your host write a list of “100 things that I am terrified of”?? Exploring her fear, when it is this huge, seems to be a very important topic for your therapy and healing.
Would you be willing to let her get to know system parts and inside people before giving her a pile of trauma info? Maybe if she got more connected with you as inner people first — withOUT having to also address the trauma memories, she would do better. One step at a time.
Keep working at this. It’s very important for your overall healing.