These days mark another season change.
For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, it will be the first day of spring.
For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, it will be the beginning of autumn.
The first day of spring, the first day of summer, the first day of autumn, and the first day of winter are all significant and difficult days for many trauma survivors with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID / MPD).
Because these dates are a little obscure, and the reasons for the trouble may not be obvious, many DID survivors may not understand why they have difficulties on these dates.
In this particular post, I’m not going to go into great detail for why these dates are difficult, I just want to state it loud and clear that they often are.
Please check with your therapist, especially if you find yourself struggling this week.
Have you noticed any of the following symptoms this week:
- Stronger, more frequent pulls towards self-injury or self-destructive thoughts, or even suicidal ideation
- Isolating or withdrawing from people that care about you
- Feeling darker on the inside
- Feeling different, as if something on the inside is changing
- Feeling like your system is shifting to another set of insiders
- Finding yourself with more missing time, or more episodes of amnesia
- Seeing new parts inside, or at least other parts that are less familiar to you
- Pulls to have contact with people who are not always the safest of people
- Intense flashbacks or body memories
- Depression, or disinterest in your normal daily activities
- Increased fear, anxiety, tension, feelings of conflict, etc.
The equinox dates (first days of spring and autumn) and the solstice dates (first days of summer and winter) are difficult weekends for lots of dissociative trauma survivors.
You are definitely not alone in having some struggles at this time of year.
There will be reasons for your reaction to these weekends.
Look deeper inside your system. Talk to your inner people who live back behind you.
Speak open with your therapist about what is going on for you. I realize it’s scary “to talk” but this is the way to finding safety for everyone.
In the meantime, do a lot of grounding techniques.
Work hard to stay connected to the here and now, and stay with people you know to be safe.
Check “the time on the clock” frequently, and be attentive to the pulls you feel to leave, to step back, and to switch to others. You can meet new-to-you system people during these times of change. Do your best to introduce them to the here-and-now.
Drifting off will make it easier for other situations to happen. Fight the battle by staying as strong as you can on the side of health, healing, kindness, and goodness.
Try to enjoy the sunshine, stay warm, and let yourself stay busy with activities that you know are positive.
Make a list of activities you enjoy, and encourage lots’n lots of the folks in your system to do positive activities of your own making, instead of going to negative places built on the harm and destruction of others.
I wish you the very very best in your healing journey.
And please …. help yourself and your inner system by doing the intense work it takes to stay safe and far far away from anyone who hurts you.
You don’t need to be hurt anymore.
Copyright © 2008-2022 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
Mae is finally making progress with this. It makes us happy. She use to be so terrified of winter. Lots of bad stuff happened in winter. She used to be so scared when we did the november time change and panic and stuff. This year she is handling it LOTS better!! On time change day this month she told that man that it will be ok. That there isnt anything to be afraid of just because it be winter. He taught her the trees have to take their nap for winter and it isnt fair to give them no nap time. So we be proud of her. We are handling the time change better than usual. Because mae finally be getting her act together on this one thing.
I am trying so hard to accept my past and MOVE FORWARD but it is SO HARD. Thank you so much for your kind words, multipleme!!
Maybe not so much seasons, but I hate holidays. Today is Father’s Day. My real Father abandoned me and my step-Father abused me sexually. I am married, and today my husband is away with the kids for camp. No contact, really. Feeling very triggered and alone.
I’m sorry this all happened. You didn’t deserve to be alone and don’t deserve to have to deal with all the crap that this day brings.
How are you doing today? Are things any better or your husband home? I hope your triggers are better. It’s just a miserable day, but I hope you know that you do have the strength within to survive.
Sending you lots of comfort and peace.
fall time allways the werst
if we die on perpus it gona be in the fall
Dearest Calendar club
You are far from alone with all of it.
This weekend was Pure torture. Not only is the first day of fall her enough on the system. We have a grandson that was born or year ago so now the system is try even harder to keep his shit together. To celebrate a still Innocent life. When really you just wanna die just to stop the torture.
On the other side of this are our body’s are. stronger, Stronger then what it used to be. It’s able to tell us that was all in the past . what we’re seeing what we’re feeling is not what it is today. it’s our world playing tricks on us.
The Calendar Club says
Well, How about now? Today, the Fall equinox on 9/23/18? I can’t be the only survivor working overtime this weekend. Where are Y’all? I need some encouragement big time. The older replies are helpful. I, too am fighting body memories, struggling to stay safe & keep my healthy promises to my inside littles but this is the first time I have so obviously had this degree of struggle on these dates. I am sick physically. The weekend has been non stop hard work staying grounded & safe. Yes lots of body memories but no memory to place with the feelings. I’ve read what’s been written & agree that it must be ritual abuse but no cognitive memory. I hurt. We hurt. Comfort, comfort, comfort. It’s so hard not to self harm … But my head knows that is not the direction of healing. I want a hospital yet I don’t. I would feel even more alone there as absolutely no one could relate to me nor understand. And my system would not be respected, not treasured. So I will keep fighting this thing out hoping it eases up on Monday. I see my Psychiatrist tomorrow but she has no clue, and there is no pill to medicate this. I am a bundle of mixed up people today.
Also not to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I wouldn’t want KATHY to write even one word more on this subject for her own protection. Professional People can be very hurtful & harmful to other professionals when their own belief systems are challenged. I want KATHY, as brave & bold as she is, to remain safe & protected. We Love & Appreciate her so very much. Back inside we go.
I’m here. This weekend was intensely difficult for me, and it’s the first time I’ve been aware of this first-day-of-fall dynamic so I’m feeling pretty horrified by the whole thing. And confused.
I know what it’s like to want a hospital but also not. This is actually how I’ve been feeling the last couple of weeks… I even dream about the hospital, though it often tips over into nightmares.
I hope you made it through the weekend and that the week is a bit better.
We are worn out and very sensitive to every single little thing. Just waiting. going over and over inside about details of so many different times. I’ve been trying to ground those times with places we lived (we moved over 30 times before age 16) or where we were at the moment (dwelling, hospital, other kind of building, outside) and what else was going on during that time. The perspective of observing not just the event itself but the surrounding circumstances as well helps to separate out what is real, it helps to see bigger pictures to see how they were set up to believe something that was not real. A person inside believes she was a concentration camp prisoner in 1942 Poland. That’s not possible at all. We have to show her what she remembers was something very evil people did to her to make her believe it. We have to share memories with each other. I have to stay grounded enough to tell them what else happened in those years; school, work, day to day living. They share their stories with us, we share our stories with them (that are appropriate and relevant). They have been extremely emotional and distraught off and on for weeks now. The fronts (we) have been teaching about here and now. Some of it is surprising and exciting to them. Tv’s and computers are a marvel to them. A warm, clean, safe bed and space to sleep is a miracle. Weeks have been going by with them not trusting any of it, then sometimes it’s okay. A couple times I woke up on the floor of the closet. I saw what happened and had to explain that it’s okay now and work on calming them down. They are on high guard watching but trying to believe us. Worn out!
I’m having a hard time seeing with my outside eyes. We all are.
Kennedy, I wish we could make it all better for all of you.
Time is a tricky SOB. So are memories. So is empathy. So is hypervigilence.
The thing is, you’re a survivor. You are parenting these parts amazingly. For every challenge, you rise even higher.
You are still a superhero.
Remember grounding: look left and name 3 things, then to the right. Set familiar anchors in every room. Ground. Ground. Ground.
You got this. 4/8/18
I just want to jump in here and send my support to you as well. T.Clark has offered some super suggestions. You are on that roller coaster ride of enlightenment that is both exhilarating and exhaustingly scary. But oh wow what an awesome job you are doing taking care of your insiders and helping them feel safe, nurtured and understood in the here and now. KUDOS to you!
I think that T.Clark is spot on with keeping your equilibrium and staying grounded. Maybe even make some safe places to go to self-sooth everyone. I just want to add that sometimes you have to try and take a break from your insider work and just (try to) relax and do something nice for yourself. Maybe that is a nice bubble bath, or some lovely herbal tea, or some soothing music, or curled up in blankets and pillows watching old movies, or whatever nurtures and sooths you as well. You are doing such wonderful work with your insiders Kennedy but you also need to take care of yourself as well.
Sending you warm cozy hugs and lots of positive soothing energy!
Every season greatly impacts us always a trigger, right down to using air conditioning or heat, and as you said the key is To focus on the positive doing anything we can to stay safe and functioning
Kathy Broady says
Reblogged this on Discussing Dissociation and commented:
This article, originally written in 2010, still has important information to remember today, considering we are back to another change of season again. Can you feel or recognize any of these changes happening in your internal system this week?
As we come into Spring … I flipped out this year. I forgot about the Equinox stuff entirely like it was blocked from me. I bought plane tickets & I’m outa here … To a place where it feels like Summer already came. I used to cut at these time. I’ve never flipped out with plane tickets before! Thx for the reminder. Guess I did that! Oh Wow. Like Really? Hope I enjoy the ride! I feel stupid.
Sally – I am glad you posted – it helps me to know these things. ~K
Sally, can I sit wth you a bit? I am feeling pretty alone and lost too.
I am realizing that this is really the first spring I am conscious of. I am wiccan (if practiced correctly, wiccan is not dark, and works off the premise “Harm None”) and have been drawn to it for 20 years. Started out being drawn to the occult and the dark – i was obsessed with wanting to know everything i could find. It was really scary and i turned away.
I always hated the “regular” holidays too… Anyway, i don’t understand this whole thing because other than several recurring nightmares from 3 or 4 years of age, I am not aware of any RA. At least they told me they were just nightmares – but there are 2 that I don’t believe are.
I am now realizing that even tho I am Wiccan, I miss the majority of the “sabbats” of the wheel – remembering them after they passed by like a month. I also know that I am more aware now of host, alters, time loss, dissociation – and that I think this was the first time that the host understood /saw the others internally who were trying to harm. She’s always been confused, thinking she was going crazy or that some force was trying to get her to kill or harm herself – when I knew that they were 2 of the destructives who saw the host as “the car” and themselves as “the drivers”. If this makes any sense…. I am working hard to stay present thru this. So this has been a significant change and it was the host who called T for help this time.
Anyway – it has been confusing because I have more awareness, and less information.
kiyacat, yes, I understand Wicca very well, I/we do the same thing…. I used to be drawn to the ‘dark’ as well… then a friend kindly ‘re-drected’ me. And yes, I too, miss a lot of those holidays too…. about 2 months after they happen I’ll remember and look back at when it actually was and see in my journaling that I was having a terrible -month- that month… then I wonder if maybe it could be connected.
I, the host, feel kinda the same… My awareness (I think) is growing… and I don’t have much information to go off of… though for me it’s because my insiders don’t trust me… therefore don’t feel safe/comfortable/ lik it’s the right time to give me the information (at least that’s what I think is going on)
This may trigger some so just wanted to give fore-warning. – I’m sorry.
I realize this is -somewhat- off topic but saw jp’s post and realized something. I hate that sick, weak, drugged, lightheaded, foggy feeling that jp mentioned. 🙁 a lot of times when my body starts acting ‘strange’ (perhaps body memories?) I feel instanteously nauseas and oftentimes wind up throwing up – sometimes it will go on for weeks at a time. this past week I’ve been throwing up about 80% of everything I try to eat. I get dizzy, lightheaded, sounds and vision get distorted (the way things get before you pass out) – I’ll have problems standing or transitioning from sitting to standing… Insiders tell me “they gave us the medicine” – anyways I think maybe part of why meds like anti-anxiety meds, or valium, or tranquilizers like trazadone never work/worked for us is because maybe insiders are fighting it. ?? – A lot of this kind of stuff is so confusing for me because I can not fathom that anything like what the little ones are telling me… could have ever happened to me… but the reality I’m realizing now… is if they know I don’t truly believe -them- and I can’t trust -their- “say” on what happpened vs. what didn’t happen…. why should they trust me… and believe me when I tell them we’re completely safe now.. ? But I don’t know how to change that… I also realize there’s no way to logically, concretely prove or disprove what they’re telling me… 🙁 I feel bad because I feel like I’m letting them down. Right now they (as a whole) trust only one person…. and… it’s not me.. it’s not even anyone inside… I’m glad they trust that one person because when he tells them that we’re all safe now and nobody can hurt us or the body like that anymore… that the “bad guys” can’t find us… – they believe him. But to some degree… I wish they could trust me too.. 🙁 —- I guess it boils down to me not -wanting- to believe it.. and me being scared of what else they know that I don’t… which makes me feel like even more of a “let-down” because I know they’ve lived it and lived -with- it for this long all by themselves… and here I am, an adult, and still … soooo terrified to face it… knowing that some of these parts are even 2 and 3 yrs old… 🙁
sorry if off topic.. just feeling really alone right now… 🙁
I really wish you would talk more about the RA/MC side of things. There are so few therapists speaking out pubilicy about those kind of things, and not any I know of blogging about them. The moment I read this I knew what you were talking about, and had no one commented with the “why” I probably would have- because I think that it’s important for people to know. Not that it *neccesarily* means someone has an RA background, but that this is an RA date, and here and some things that people may experience around then if thats a part of their backgrouond. I know you’re treading a fine line as a professional writing a blog, but- I know myself I’d appreciate hearing more about it, as a survivor. I think hearing a professional acknowledge these things can be really validating for survivors.
i can’t say much but this is helpful.
rough weekend. felt really sick and weak and drugged. felt lightheaded and foggy. couldn’t visually focus on anything for long. finally decided to give in to sleep and shut every other thing down. major flashback on friday night. been talking when awake to insiders to help them remember it’s not us, not what WE did, not our fault, we can make it. many of them don’t feel good either. our body remembers, but nobody is verbalizing yet so they’re talking in other ways. feels scary but we’re making it. don’t need to read it when we already know inside, even if it doesn’t fall into ‘me’ memory. doing bits of all of us self care as anything more feels like walking through quickcrete right now. seems the more i connect, the more they’re letting me and that is not easy. feels like the tea kettle has been whistling solidly for a good while now. promised not to run, but not loving this either.
promised i wouldn’t quit on us, so that is that. the best i have to give is comfort and rest and a new stuffed turtle friend. wish i could just fix it. have to remember even little steps are progress. have to remind us that it’s not our fault, that we aren’t bad. have to remind me that i’m doing the best i can and sometimes i need to believe when others say it’s really a lot, that it really is.
the body hurts for us all. staying connected is really tough. hoping that the fog will lift so i don’t feel so cut off.
thank you, Kathy for never forgetting the truth when so many just want us to deny or pretend it never happened or even say it doesn’t even exist. we need to hear that. we need people to believe us and remind us we’re safe now, the events are over, we don’t have to die now because of then.
I agree with the previous poster that asked that you give a little detail. For different reasons though. This post has appeared (with appropriate credit and links) on a support forum for dissociative disorders. There are not very many replies yet, but it seems like the ones there are, are thinking this applies to ALL survivors. Of course I may be the one not understanding, but I have an RA background and my first thought when I started reading this post was “yeah season changes, just like other ‘holidays'”.
Kathy Broady says
Gator and Battleweary,
I’ll think about posting a little more… I was in a bit of a hurry at the time of making this post. I had wanted to say this much back in December, at the winter season change, and didn’t get it done, so… I decided a quick post was better than no post!
Yes, the bottom line of where I was going with it in my head, Battleweary, is along the lines of the Ritual Abuse (RA), dark, organized, “night church” type of stuff. Of course, some of the symptoms listed in the blog article can apply at any point in time for dissociative trauma survivors, but when a whole bunch of DID people have an increase in symptoms, and that also happens specifically near a time that is a “holiday” in the dark world, that is not exactly a coincidence, in my way of thinking. Many of those dark groups “celebrate” the changing of the seasons, and survivors who have had experiences with them, often experience effects from that in their internal systems during specific times of the year.
I haven’t yet decided how much I want to say about those kinds of dark-world abuses on a public blog, but at least you have an idea of what I was referring to.
Thanks for asking, and maybe this much will at least give you a starting place.
Kathy Broady says
Battleweary – one more comment for you —
Please thank the kind poster at your support forum for dissociative disorders that has posted this link.
I appreciate that, and I hope that the readers of that forum find the articles at the Discussing Dissociation blog to be helpful and informative!
THANKS FOR READING! 🙂
“I’m not going to go into great detail for why these dates are difficult, I just want to state that they often are.”
I think that it would be very helpful and informative to everyone if you elaborated on this topic. Understanding why something occurs is often the first step in figuring out how to stay ahead of the issue before it overtakes you. Personally, I’m not sure if this has been the case for me, but then again I grew up in a place where there were no seasons, no changing of the leaves, no snow ever, I can see how I might not have problems with these times like you stated is often the case for survivors. On the other hand for me I have noticed that things/memories get triggered at set times of the year surrounding other dates and holidays.
Sam Ruck says
Hi Kathy. Happy Spring to you!
Being honest – I’d have to say Yes to everything on that list. — But I’m not sure if it’s because of me being depressed in the first place from not having any thyroid hormones in my system right now … or if it’s something else… or a combo…
Kathy Broady says
Gosh. With that kind of list of possibilities, I’m guessing a combination of things, but please check all that out with your treatment team.
I hope that you feel better soon.
OMG!!!! How can you know this much about ME (all of us bloggers) when I don’t even know?!?!?
YES YES YES To all of these (i took some out)
•Stronger, more frequent pulls towards self-injury or self-destructive thoughts, or even suicidal ideation
•Feeling darker on the inside
•Feeling different, as if something on the inside is changing
•Feeling like your system is shifting to another set of insiders
•Finding yourself with more missing time
•Seeing new parts inside, or at least other parts that are less familiar to you
•Intense flashbacks or body memories
•Depression, or disinterest in your normal daily activities
•Increased fear, anxiety, tension, feelings of conflict, etc
Why don’t I understand?! Why am i suddenly crying that you know things I don’t know and you’ve not even ever met me? my therapist won’t know… God I wished I’d had this info yesterday. Or had yesterday happen today instead. T wanted me in hosp yest. but i refused. There’s another T i know that seems to be more on the ball with DID stuff… and I work with her on rare occasions… this might be such an occasion. I need to take this to her…. it is like I need containment AND decompression at the same time. I am so confused.
Kathy thanks for posting this.