It’s Winter Solstice week — time that is often difficult for far too many dissociative trauma survivors. It’s a time where days are short, and nights are long. Far too long. It’s a day where light feels complicated. Fractured. Broken. Dark.
For others, depending on where you live in the world, it could be Summer Solstice — the days with the longest light.
Every year, these solstice dates — Winter or Summer — are difficult times for many dissociative trauma survivors.
I haven’t forgotten. I know that many of you are hurting and remembering intense hurts right now.
Many years I have written something not as heavy, but still acknowledging the difficulties of this week. The year when I originally wrote this article, (way back in 2012!!), I was enjoying a new iPad and all its options. I want to share two pictures that I took myself, with this iPad, while exploring its funny photo abilities.
There is much innocence in this pictures. Believe me, if you could have seen me fumbling around like a country bumpkin with what was for me, fancy new iPad technology, you would roll your eyes at my utter ridiculousness-ness-ness in the process of taking the photos. For that matter, what they look like are pure coincidence, lol.
But, to my surprise, as pretty as these pictures are, they still remind me of trauma issues related to DID / MPD.
What do you see in these pictures?
And, or compare to this one ….
- What do you like / dislike about these pictures?
- Do they relate to your trauma history in any way?
- What comforts do you see in these pictures?
- What triggers do you see in these pictures?
- How do these pictures relate to the Solstice times of your life?
Your thoughts and comments are welcome.
And, more importantly than anything else, I hope that, even little by little, you find deeper healing today. Hold your insiders near to you. Be kind to each other, and ever so gently support yourselves.
I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2022 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
willow likes the first picture because she says it reminds her of laying under her tree and looking up towards the sky, feeling safe under her tree away from mean brother and bad mommy.
the second picture is SCARY!!! it feels like being trapped, smothered, covered by hands over our face, not happy at all!
this a dark time of year which we don’t like. we don’t like having to go to therapy in the dark! we don’t go out when it’s dark unless we absolutely have to.
dark is scary, there are monsters in the shadows, darkness means being trapped in the closet or lying in bed scared.
i be so hapy wintr be omos ovr
the trees had ther nap 🌳
the flors had ther nap 🌺
the aminos had ther nap 🐻
now it be time for efrething to wake up
now the sun gon come up ☀️
it gon be spring 💐
we omos make it thru the long wintr
Read some of the other comments…..Man…..I feel like a mess…
LOL MissyMing … why do you think I have never posted on this blog article … hahaha 😉 You’re not a mess MissyMing … just saying like it is which can feel messy sometimes. 😊
Yup Me+We….all we can do is just spit it out – although we don’t know why we are using those words….it is what feels totally “real” even though it doesn’t “match” what it should match….i.e. green is good……but somehow it feels like it gives me the description of the overall perspective of a situation that is still yet “un-remembered” by me……
Maybe it is just the “Objective” part of me…kick into Inside gear and just see what is there…No emotion – (until the panic hits later)……my problem is I probably “spit out” too much of it…but it is to help me see what is there…..sometimes I feel like that “Bones” lady on TV….It IS what it IS…….thank goodness we CAN look at it and laugh….being stuck in all the conflict of it is NO fun….Objective seems to be really into “clues” and waiting for the picture of the puzzle to come together……
Have to say, Me+We….I WOULD be interested in hearing your thoughts on those two pictures…BUT, of course, ONLY IF it would NOT cause you distress…..I respect you and where you are at….Objective just loves to “learn”….that’s all……seeing how different situations can affect people differently is very interesting….just shows how unique each of us is……
Hi MissyMing and Objective,
Hum …. Well, here is what comes to my mind looking at the pictures …
The first picture looks like a biological asteroid to me. It is green and bright so it offers some hope that it will crash into me and bring some natural light and growth to me. A pollen seed of life. Nature and trees were what soothed and protected me when I was a child. Looking into the green is soothing to me even now. I like the layers and dimensions of the seed – looks like leaves to me and the purple are little spirit flowers ready to touch me with their soft fragrant ways. The burst of green and purple denotes motion for me but it is a little scary because it feels so swift and I am not sure if I am ready to receive it yet. This is what I wish for my insiders and myself – the seed of new life.
The second picture symbolizes death to me. It is dark and lifeless being drawn into the vortex and away from me. Almost all light is blocked out by its presence and the natural essence of life is gone although some dead and dying vestiges are still apparent. This picture makes me sad and mournful. I want to reach out and grab it back but it feels lost already like there is no hope there. The light is dimming and the life is lost. This is the way that I feel often when I try to do my work and I get stuck or things do not make sense or chaos reigns supreme or I feel that for every baby step I take forward I am pushed a giant step backward. It feels like I am lost and loosing, sucked into the vortex of darkness forever.
Well, that is my take on the pictures. Kinda messy myself eh?! 😉
PS – Oh ya you are “getting there” for sure MissyMing!!! Oh … and I am here to help in any way that I can. 😊❤️
Oh WOW! Me+WE…..I am SO honored that you took the step to share that….I was afraid we had “crossed the line” by asking that…but Objective was so hoping you would….we are honored…..(he has a copy of what you wrote and I catch him totally engrossed in what you said…just staring at it…fascinated by it)…..(hope that doesn’t sound too freaky…that is the best way I can describe him)…..
Anyway….We see a lot of insight with your descriptions and your reasons for using those particular words…We call it “processing at a bottom-rung level” of the ladder – which will ultimately affect the direction of the upper rungs…..processing when you don’t even really realize that is what you are doing……Sorry…that’s just how it feels to me….Objective and I can go into “weird modes”….it makes sense to us even if it leaves others going “What?!?!?!”
Your descriptions of the 2nd picture are gut-wrenching…. but I love the way you are able to help me “feel” your perspective…you have a way with words….i consider that an art – albeit one born of a lot of vulnerability – which can be scary….not only because others are seeing it – but also because you, yourself, see it …….
Messy? No messier than “me”! Thank you for keeping me company! BTW – one of my favorite past times as a child was making “mud pies”…..Guess I was already preparing for this part of my life!!
You give me hope, Me+We! Maybe one day I will get to see “green” as “good” like you do…..I sure hope so…..Thank you for sharing such a deep place of your heart….Your responses have always helped me more than you will ever know on this earth…..
Hi MissyMing and Objestive,
My apologies for my late reply. This week has been a lifetime!!!
I am honoured that you asked me about my take on the pictures. Please do not feel that you ever “cross the line” asking me anything. If it is something that I cannot answer, I will let you know. I had a remarkable older friend most of my life (she has since passed) who would host these incredible sessions once a month with speakers, actors, authors, politicians, etc. I asked her how she ever got these folks to come to her events for free no less. She said to me, “I pick up the telephone, call them and ask.” I said, “as simple as that?” She said, “yes. What is the worst thing that can happen … they say no and I have to make another phone call.”
Now, I am way too shy to ever do anything like that but the lesson was not lost on me. Sometimes all you have to do is ask. It sounds to me like Objective already knows this! Oh, and if he has any other questions that he would like to ask me, I would be happy to try and answer them!
“processing at a bottom-rung level” of the ladder – which will ultimately affect the direction of the upper rungs…..processing when you don’t even really realize that is what you are doing…” I totally get that. I can go into “weird modes” myself usually with my insider Tom. He takes me on spirit quests. So, I understand what you are saying here.
Our DID was born out of the muck of the pit of despair, pain and horror that was the abuse that we endured. But, with that birth of DID came our super powers as well. I may feel great sadness for what little me had to do to survive but I am in sincere awe and gratitude for what was created – my insiders and my inside world. Yes, I have many struggles as a result but I also have many remarkable experiences and ways of being and experiencing the world that singletons will never know. I may not welcome the why I am DID but I rejoice the special ME that it has created.
Thank you for your kind words MissyMing. Please read them as my heart song to you as well. We are so blessed to have one another here and to be able to share of our journeys as well as our hopes and dreams for our selves and one another. You give me hope as well MissyMing and I am honoured to be your friend.
Thank you, Me+We, for “understanding” Objective……When he ‘kicks into gear” I am usually left on “pins and needles” wondering what the consequences will be…..I sense the “shift” and can often “watch” him objectively step in on his quest for “learning”…..he has sometimes gotten me into measures of “hot water” (especially on my job) as he is wanting to know the “why” of things that are happening….to understand something that is hidden from me that has left me feeling “paralyzed”, “confused” and very “vulnerable”…….on the Outside, he steps in with “objective bravery” and asks what I would never dare to…..since I am “supposed” to be “submissive and silent”…….On the Inside…he is the “puzzle pieces” collector and examiner…….
Outsiders can get irritated with “my” questions….but I think I see Objective’s “job” of trying to “help” me….especially when I am feeling “lost”, “voiceless”, and “used”…..I just wish Outsiders understood what was happening and not get irritated with me and walk away…that they would simply answer the question…..but I don’t dare explain to them any more than I already have…..
I don’t know yet what my “super powers” are…..I am still floundering through the chaos of “learning” about my “parts”……there are still so many “Twilight Zone” modes when triggers are going on….it is still hard for me to know whether something is “real” only on the Inside…or if it is “real” on the Outside as well…..The only thing I can figure is that if there is a “trigger” going on…then there was enough of a “something” there to make it happen……I am still learning what the “somethings” are…….
No worries about your “late” reply….believe me…I understand the “chaos” (Inside AND Outside) of even daily life…..things just don’t feel “simple” anymore……
Well, for what it is worth, I think that Objective is one of your super powers – maybe a super thinker learner action self. I am always happy to talk with Objective and to answer any questions that he may have (to the best of my ability). I know that you might want him not to ask so many questions sometimes but maybe you can negotiate a deal with him (i.e., where you have some say in how many questions are being asked or what kinds of questions). My insider Tom tends to jump in and protect me and sometimes that leaves me in an uncomfortable position. So, we have a deal to discuss things first and for me to be open-minded about what he feels he needs to say/do. If I am truly being threatened, he can jump in right away but mostly we discuss things out. Not sure if Objective would like this idea but, he does like questions, so maybe he would be open to you asking how you can both feel comfortable in situations where he feels he needs to ask questions. Just a thought.
Thanks, Me+We!! ; ) …Something for me to work on!….When I am triggered at work, “I” feel so lost and confused that “I” don’t even know how to “be”….so, I guess, there is a kind of “gap” there….Maybe “Objective” (Him?? or someone else??) then steps in to help “fill that gap”…… Although I have seen him Inside “looking” at flashes and stuff, maybe he is a “part-time” protector as well…covering up my “zombie” modes….helping to hide my Inside World from the Outsiders….we HAVE to keep functioning as “normal” as possible ….(Is there such a thing as a “protector” who helps “protect a protector”??? Weird….Just a thought that hit me……)
Co-workers have already seen my random Outside PTSD episodes of bottoming out …but they think it is ONLY from PTSD – which, thank goodness, is NOW more socially “accepted” – (less stigma) …..”I” think I have managed to keep all the other “hidden” …..I think…I hope……
If “I” have an Internal collapse and am left looking like I have “zombied” (i.e. looking “stupid” to Outsiders because I can’t figure out how I am “supposed to ‘be’ or ‘act’ “), then my “work life” is much harder and I am afraid they have seen my “other” stuff….So, while “I” am “off to the side” – “voiceless and lost”….”Objective” probably steps in THEN and “speaks up” …. I am aware of degrees of “watching” him at work ….but I feel like I have NO “strength” in that moment to do anything about it….nervously aware that I may end up dealing with repercussions from his “bravery”…
He is “Outside learning” while I am “re-grouping”…Whatever he “learns” MAY give me enough “feedback” to know how I am supposed to “be” or “act” ….so maybe we can THEN keep looking “normal”…Hopefully he steps in before Outsiders notice – although we have found out we DO NOT have “poker faces” – we thought we did…..
Obviously, now I need to know more about Objective and his “jobs”….to develop a “partnership” with him rather than only “watch” him at work Outside after I have suddenly “collapsed” to the Inside… (which I don’t want Outsiders to see – I can’t explain it and I am pretty sure THAT stuff is not as socially “accepted” as much as PTSD is yet…..Outside co-workers tend to think the worst and “grapevines” are horrendous……)
AND I need a greater understanding of my triggers … Maybe, Objective and I can then nip this thing in the bud….and I can feel “calmer”….the “shiftings” not so “jerky” or “sudden” (to “me” anyway)…. leaving me lost in the “Twilight Zone”… feeling like I am messing up my “jobs” in more ways than one…making life feel so rough…….
Good to hear from you again, Me+We!…..I know you must be very busy helping on the Forum – Internal progress for you as well as for others!!…..I am glad for ANY chance you get to come here…Your comments and insights ALWAYS give me a direction to go…helping me into greater awareness and to process more…… But I MUST say…..we DO really miss hearing from you more often…. you have been an understanding friend and we are grateful for everything you have shared with us….AND we really like hearing how YOU are doing!!!… : )
But PLEASE, do NOT feel “pressured” on my account ….We know that whenever you ARE able to come here….the timing will be “perfect”….
You really sound like you are getting things sorted out with Objective. Yes I do think that protectors can help other protectors. And oh wow … do I know the zombie feeling. I remember checking out once at work many decades ago and coming back to a bunch of co-workers staring at me. I did not know about my DID back then so I thought that I had just gone crazy. I am sure that the other folks did too! Oh, and I have said to my T that I just want to feel “normal” and her smiling and asking what “normal” is. Maybe I should have said “more in control”. Giving your stuff the PTSD label is probably a really good idea. Folks get weird when you use the DID term. And, you are entitled to your medical privacy especially at work. The PTSD covers a lot of territory so that is a good one to try and explain your actions sometimes.
So, right now it sounds like when Objective is in executive control, you have already checked out and he has stepped in to help you. That is awesome. So now maybe you can find a way for him to help you not get triggered or maybe just not go away so thoroughly. It would be great if you could stay co-conscious with him and participate in his time out. You would make an awesome team!
There has not been as much dialogue on the DD website it feels like. I do try to make the DD website my priority for posting. Yes the forum is busy and I do not participate everywhere there. I will try to post something on my progress here on the DD website. Thank you for asking!
Wrote this before I read any others’ comments…..
The first picture – I feel trapped, claustrophobic, closed in – what is “supposed” to look good (i.e. the purple flowers) actually is NOT – “green” which is “supposed to be “good” actually is NOT, it is just trying to make all the other stuff look “OK”…. there is no space anywhere – just totally trapped – no way out – can’t breathe – the “good”, “pretty” stuff is all a fake, no space, no escape route…confusion
The second picture – too many directions, confusion, the possible “good” directions (i.e. – light colors) is overpowered by all the other darker ones, can’t figure out which way to go…can’t trust the “light” ones, each “sliver” is way too “skinny” – the option doesn’t last long enough to be an option, the “center” is a confused, tangled ball, “hope” (the light colors) is overpowered by the dark colors – when you think there “might” be hope or help – you find there is not……massive confusion, trapped, no way out…..”hope” is NOT hope – it is only part of the “trap”……..
Read some of the other comments…..Man…..I feel like a mess…
I liked the first picture but not so keen on the second. For me first ones colours are full of life and love, the second one on the other hand was more dark and like muddy water. It also reminded me of a pool of water where the depth was hidden and I’ve always found this to be a scary thing. I hated the moon also for years. I would have to have all the blinds down and couldn’t go out at night when it was full. People or friends would marvel at the beauty but for many years it was a horrible reminder of a season in my childhood that I simply wanted to forget. Eventually I have found the healing to marvel at this magnificent beacon of light. I was furious for a long time that those men took something so beautiful and amazing and turned it into a horrible event. But guess what. I love the moon now so they lost the battle that we/I won. I’m grateful to Jesus also for helping me with this. Hope folks don’t mind my last sentence. Glad I found this group.
I feel anxious when I look at those pictures. They are too busy, too much stuff coming at me. Makes me want to hide. All I see in those pictures is danger and chaos. Too many sharp edges. Not enough grace.
Participating Parts says
Oh my! Duh! Gesh! Wrote something today wondering why we were struggling so much right now. Ummm.., duh! Lots and lots of things.. wow. Wanted to say that we have issues surrounding winter solstice too!
And Yay! Kathy has an iPad! Welcome to the technology club!
Feel The sucked in too! And pulled out. Twisting and turning into madness, dispair. Ok we know we aren’t in a very place right now too!
Nope. Not what we see. The fragments of parts splitting into a chaos coming and going.. being sucked in or pulled out. The lines are like the connection they were supposed to have being ripped away from or drawn into.
Definitely reminds us of our split sides..to our system.. the darkness and the light. Hmmm Kathy needs just a few more pictures to make it more accurate though.
It makes us think of spinning. spinning and getting dizzy. and getting sucked down a hole when you brain get to dizzy and you fall down
allways its a bad bad time for us
allways we be allone.
allways missy and rage ans the hiding kids have bad things happen.
we hate this week.allot. 🙁 it allways be the same. bad.nobudy even notis.
Dear Taylor (manyofus1980),
Both pictures have a circle in the middle with lines around the circle like the rays of the sun or like your fingers around your hand when you stretch them out wide.
In the circle of the first picture there are purple and white flowers and bright green leaves and the lines around the circle are purple, white and bright green too.
In the circle of the second picture there are purple flowers, dull green and grey leaves and white clouds. There is a little bit of blue sky in this picture too, but the lines around the circle are just purple, dull green, grey and white. The second picture looks a lot more dull and dark than the first picture.
I find both of the pictures attractive, but the contrast in lighting between the two does remind me of the effect depression has on my light perception. I first noticed this when I was nine, in the moment I found some release from a depressive episode and could not believe how much brighter the wallpaper suddenly looked.
Incidentally, the first picture is in the colours – green, white and purple – of the Suffragette movement, which won women the vote in the UK in the early 20th century. I don’t know if the same holds true in the US.
wish i can see the picturs i will lik to look too but im blind so cant awe sigh
raayna (@RLDonley) says
Just recently came out! knew there was a couple but wow it got crowded in here. Love the flower pics.
All I see is the resemblance to a fist in forceful motion. But I do like the touch of light blue; it is hope, it is the sky. Someone made me stop going to therapy.
The circles in the centers of the pictures are the “pretty” people we have to display to the outside world in order to keep the secrets. The first is a happy person and the second is a sadder person. We cannot handle the rawness of the bands of radiating colors. They are sharp and piercing. That hard truth is overwhelming and can’t be handled either by us or the world, hence to turn it into something else. But each band contains a piece of the nightmare.
Hanging on and trying to get thru this time of the year. Hate it so bad. Just throws it back at us and mixes us back with some of the perps and makes us switch so that we can hide the harsh bands of sharp colors.
i dont no ware the lite gos
efrething disapers that was good
onle the bad be left 🙁
good stuff owas go awa
bad stuff stay 🙁
My first visit here… Wow! You sound so friendly! I never let a therapist person inside me… or even any female for that matter… but I like your heart, it’s warm!
In the pictures, I mostly see the colors — green for my awesome Creator who was there with me even in the darkest days, ever present in nature… and purple, which is my favorite color, symbolizing hope and beauty to me. The combination of green and purple for me is always soothing and hopeful. :o>
In the pics I can see the subject matter – or host – and then the skwewd-ness of what happened, and then the rays or parts filling the whole. I like the bottom one best where i can see some sky(are those lilacs?) but the rays definitive light and dark are… not a trigger exactly, but uncomfortable in their starkness. The flowers above have more greens in the rays and that is more soothing. so bits of both.
It is very hard for us right now. We’ve been working with a new therapist specialized in trauma and DID and working with safety and thru memories. New parts are popping up, new fears, “new” benign memories are some how scarier because I see the betrayal of parent for the first time. Nov – Jan is always hard, and last year we were in the hosp for a week (well we were this time too for a weekend) but I feel lonlier than ever before. Like I am just finding out that even all the settings can be “right” and yet still I am alone, lonely, frightened, and feel like I am missing out. Even the idea of “parent” has now been put as a question to me… the bond with the one i still talk to is so confusing. Things I used to find innocent, now seem menacing. Even a nature show on tv took my favorite creatures on earth and turned them into fearful monsters. Nothing is as it seems and this seems to parilize us more, but also I am there to say “push thru it, move forward, we can’t let the fear make us stuck – that makes it more dangerous for us, not less”. And still we talk about “safety”… and i don’t get it.
I was never scared of “the end of the world” but i am scared daily of just daily living. Surviving. The more I know of my past the less I want too and the more we all push it farther from us. A never-ending tunnel of darkness it seems to me. Where, indeed, did the light go? The kid that used to wear yellow to match the days in the desert, full of sun, who pretended nothing was wrong and was just happy to be in the moment? Oh yeah, that kid was before the long 6 week stay with the main abuser. Not that that kid wasn’t abused, but she was younger, happier, not comprehending, not knowing this abuse would continue her whole life and she would have to split (was split) her mind over an over again to get through life. Very dark winter this year. Need some light.
Nothing like being fucking alone on the winter solstice stupid fucking day. Pctures remind me of getting sucked down a dam black hole and never getting out. They remind me of spinning and spinning ans hearing yelling in my head and being too tired to listen to people but having to do what they tell me too anywyay. There is no comfort because its fucking hopeless. You get sucked in and you dont ever get out. Happy fucking winter.m.
Fun Pics! The first one offers me beauty & hope with the bright flowers & colors, however I also felt dizzy & could Fall into it. The 2nd one is less hopeful for me. Perhaps it’s the black in the colors & the mirror effect of the silver. And I could fall into this one too. Maybe I could hide there between the colors. :). Relevant to my life … Spring will come. Christmas is only a day. The world will keep spinning long after I’m gone. The silver one feels like a steel ball is being thrown at me & will hit me soon in the center of my head. Gives me a headache. Also I live on a globe. I can take a flight to warmth, better therapist, friends & family that I WANT to be with. I have more choices than power.
Thank You so very much for noting us in the dark! OMG. It is so hard to survive it every winter! Dark & oh so cold! A light box helps if I’m not too depressed to remember to turn it on. Also vitamin D truly makes an incredible difference. In a deep depression the Dr checked mine & it was at Zero! He put me at 5,000 IU & I can truly feel the difference! I try to plan a grip to a sunny & warm place every January but that doesn’t always work. Again, thank you for noting how hard this season is for so many of us for so many reasons. Also *Clap Clap Clap* and *many Cheers* for getting an iPad!!! They are practical $ incredible fun to play with! YEAH KATHY. *smiling*
I like the symmetry in the images.
They seem to be reminding me of the images I`d stare at as a child/young person that would help me`zone out` from traumatic events.Don`t know about that…just a feeling.
Symmetry is a comfort. It is easy to get lost in them. Which means it`s also more likely to `suck me in` where I could get lost in dissociation(which is less ikey with the snowflakes fluttering over the screen and the images being pretty small
Solstices werent particularly difficult times for me, that I know of though I know they were for many others. Four days time will be for me, though.