Are you a leader?
Do you know what it takes to be a leader?
Multiples – trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder – experience life as plural. Dissociative systems may be internal sets of people, but they are still groups of people nonetheless.
All groups of people need a leader they can look up to – someone they can trust, someone they can depend on, someone with their best interests in mind even when times get tough. These leaders help to make decisions that affect everyone else. They hopefully will decide things on that are the best for the majority of the people within their group. And these leaders need to care enough about what their people want and need in order to make good decisions.
Dissociative systems need leaders too.
Who is the leader of your system?
And what does it take to be a good leader?
A leader is someone who knows enough about a wide variety of the important issues that they can make truly informed decisions on behalf of the others. These leaders know that they have the responsibility to know. They can’t pretend or ignore reality. They have to actually be aware of what happens now (and what happened then) so the decisions they make will be relevant and wise.
If you are the leader of your dissociative system, it is important that you understand all the different opinions-thoughts-feelings of your various internal system parts.
We expect the political leaders to listen to the people. All the people.
Dissociative system leaders also need to listen to the people – all their internal people.
Being a good leader does not mean that you get to block out the rest of your system and have a dictatorship. That might work if you value selfishness, but not if you are going to be an effective group leader.
Being a good leader means being willing to not use your dissociative skills to distance yourself from everyone else. While you might have the ability to block out your insiders from time to time, this can’t be your primary state of existence if you are going to actually be the system leader.
System leaders aren’t necessarily the host alter.
That host / front part of you may be who people from the outside (“in real life”) world believe to be your leader, but daytime hosts that deal only (or mostly) with the outside world will probably not be the internal system leader.
If your daytime host cannot interact frequently and easily with various layers of your internal system, then my guess is that they are not actually the system leader. They might be the leader of their “department”, but without having the ability to communicate with various groups of your internal people, this host part will not be the overall “store manager”.
There will be someone else in your group that has more overall say-so. They may be willing to let the “day people” deal with the outside world while they very specifically manage the leadership of the internal worlds.
Remember, to be a leader, one has to be able to communicate with the people they lead.
Dissociative system leaders truly listen to their insiders. They don’t hide behind amnesiac walls. They aren’t afraid to know what happened in the past. They are willing to know the truth – to know the reality – to know how it feels to be there, in that spot….
Do you know the life-stories of your various insiders?
Can you relate with compassion, gentleness, and caring for the people you represent?
Can you identify with their struggles? With their pain? With their fears?
Are you willing to help them? To problem-solve with them? To address their concerns?
Can you withstand the pressure of making decisions that could affect everyone else?
To lead effectively, you must know who your people are.
I wish you the best in your healing journey — now go have a good long chat with your inside people !! 🙂
Copyright © 2008-2017 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation