Do you have DID kids or DID teenagers or DID adults who have difficulty in knowing how to play?
Do you have insiders who are violent or mean to others?
We all know that exposure to violence and trauma adds to these problems, but it can be more than just that. Children who are repeated neglected and abused typically do not have enough fun and playtime in their everyday life.
Instead of having a great time experiencing the benefits of play, exploring with fun toys, enjoying their friends, or playing sports, the children who are severely traumatized are learning how to dissociate, how to split into other people, how to cope with pain, how to sit with loneliness, how to manage chaos, how to calm their anxiety, how to obey craziness, etc.
The benefits of play, happy imagination and a healthy environment are replaced with the necessity of learning the coping skills for surviving a horrendous abusive environment.
Play deprivation may cause more difficulty for you and your insiders than you realize.
Therapeutic Value of Play
All children need the experience of playing freely, safely, with fun and imagination.
Anyone who has spent time discussing the therapeutic principles for Dissociative Identity Disorder with me have heard me say repeatedly, “Let your kids play.”
It’s important to talk with the littles — your DID kids — about their trauma, of course, but it is equally important to let them experience the fun, play-filled side of life.
So much of the recovery process in healing from trauma and abuse is hard, gut-wrenching, painful, emotional work. It is not fun, not at all.
Purposefully creating a fun place for your insiders to play is essential to provide a balanced environment that promotes healing and meets unmet needs.
- Play is fundamentally important for the emotional health of both children and adults.
- Play is a way to express emotion that cannot be said in words.
- Play is a way to learn new skills, resolve conflict, and enhance the development of positive self esteem.
- Play implies freedom, safety, trust, a sense of well-being, and pure joy.
Unfortunately, for most children who have been severely abused, play was not allowed.
Often there was too much family crisis to play, or the children were too chronically upset, or the rigid, controlling rules of the perpetrator did not allow children to play.
However, safe play is very therapeutic in and of itself.
Play is a way of de-stressing, a way to be creative, and a way to laugh. Through play, people develop imagination, problem solving skills, flexibility, social skills, trust, and intimacy.
Adding play to your life will lead to less depression, less anxiety, less stress, and less aggression.
On the other hand, according to the Institute for Play, play-deprived children and adults are more likely to be violent or choose violent and impulsive problem solving strategies. They have more fear, more pessimism, and more cynicism, and more rigidity. They have greater communication problems, more pent up emotions, and more intense conflicts with people.
Does this sound familiar? Do you have insiders who experience life with this kind of oppressive darkness around them? The meaner the insider, the more they need to learn about light-hearted fun and play.
Laughter and fun are truly very important parts of healing. For all of your system, and particularly for those who have never had the chance to play.
You and your insiders, might not know what kind of things they want to do for fun, but exploring these options is part of the process.
Try new things!!
Try fun things !!
Get a variety of toys that can develop healthy interests.
Join spots teams, join craft groups, explore the DIY options.
There are hundreds of options for play, no matter what the age.
So, come on, everyone, let’s go have fun!
It’s never too late to have a good time!
Copyright © 2008-2018 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation