Hey — how are you today?!
I wanted to show you a cool beach shack I found by surprise one day.
I thought about it a bit, and decided to use this fun little beach shack as a metaphor for talking to insiders within a dissociative system.
I was recently asked if outside people should / could talk with the various insiders from a system of another person with DID. Dissociative Identity Disorder. DID/MPD. I have all kinds of thoughts about that question, so …
While I was sitting INSIDE this beach shack….
I took a few minutes to say a few things about OUTSIDE people.
Enjoy the video!
Of course I have lots more thoughts on this topic, but that’s a start!
- What do you think?
- How would you answer that question?
- Do you let your insiders talk to outside people?
- What guidelines do you give your system?
Your thoughts and comments are welcome, of course.
For more videos about Dissociative Identity Disorder, jump on over to my Discussing Dissociation YouTube channel.
See you there!
Copyright © 2008-2018 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
Just my therapist, one session 4 of my insiders spoke to her, she says each has a different voice and my outer showed each had a different posture. I could hear the words but not the different voices. Lucas who is so brave, only 4 but he protects all insiders and my outer self was scared because its only sage when he is silent and invisible but gradually he feels safe with the therapist. My mother geard a male grownup voice from my outer mouth, i am female and she said i was demon possessed, i know i am not. Insiders tend to stay silent or use braver insiders to speak on their behalf
Thank you, T. Clark for your quick response………afraid I was making stuff up or something…….I have done the same thing with my T – so much Inside stuff (triggered by Outside stuff) that I tell her “my plate is filled up and falling over – there are piles everywhere and I don’t know which one to pick”……I will rattle stuff off and let her (sometimes) pick a direction to go….I try to tell all the other directions that are waiting that their turn will come…….
Maybe it’s just me…but I do have a question about your comment of “I try not to have in-head-only sessions with T…sometimes my energy will request her energy, and I don’t want to impose (boundary issues)” ……. I’m not sure what that means…..I know that when the Internal pressure is intense because of time constraints and not being able to get some stuff out, the continuing session with T has released some of the pressure…..I left there the other day with a bad headache – feeling like I was going to explode somewhere…..the Internal session “continued” when I got working and the bit of insight helped turn it into just a dull ache…….I didn’t know if there was such thing as a “good” introject….and if that was what was happening…..????
So, are you saying that that direction is not the best way to go? I don’t quite know how to stop it – it just happened (as far as I can tell)………Thanks for your input!!
As for the “bravery” in having a job?? Bottom line – it is an absolute necessity – not something that I prefer to do right now …..and trying to navigate the clashes of the Outside World with the often “chaos” of the Inside World has been very, very challenging at times……I fear that I have, at times, been a top subject of the local “grapevine”……I just do the best I can…..(I would put a smiley face here – but am afraid I am an old “old school” – can’t figure out how to do it! – another smiley!)
MissyMing, a toast to “old school” (I’m raising my black iced tea). 😁
I’m not judging your continuing sessions in your head. That sounds helpful. And probably energetically neutral since you just left T’s office.
Sorry I was confusing. When I initiate a T session in my head over the weekend, I worry that I might actually be using my T’s real energy—like summoning her for real. So I worry that I might violate healthy boundaries we’ve established. My T is very special to me, and after 4 years I really try not to overburden her.
On your bravery, I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable. I don’t work and admire that you are—even if it sux. Wishing you well. 11/9/18
Oh my, T.Clark! I’m not “uncomfortable” with ANYTHING you have said! (Not yelling! Just don’t know how to do an underline!)…….Am Just being curious ….. still in the “new” realm of learning about all this…..and I guess I can be in the “blunt, objective” realm in my responses……didn’t mean to make YOU uncomfortable……..I “see” what happens (to varying degrees) to my Inside and I check blog comments to see what matches with mine – so I can at least validate to some degree that I am NOT making this stuff up……if someone else experiences something similar….then I must be on the right track in learning……just a way for me to not feel so alone and “weird”……..
Thanks for all your input! I really appreciate it……….
Hi, MissyMing. I definitely have sessions with my T that don’t take place in physical reality and are in my head. That can help between sessions when it’s medium-urgent (I’ll contact her if it’s urgent). And I try not to because I want to exist more in the regular reality.
I have so many parts that want to talk to T sometimes that I’ll come to session with stuff written out for T. That works great. Wednesday this week my head was so crowded I said to T, “Okay, my head is so busy I’m just gonna tell you all these things real fast and you can decide what we’ll talk about.”
Another reason I try not to have in-head-only sessions with T is sometimes my energy will request her energy, and I don’t want to impose (boundary issues).
It must be hard going to work like that. You are so brave to have a job. I’m proud of your amazing strength and energy! 11/8/18
Weird question…..more and more parts are finally starting to surface and speak out during my sessions with T. I am co-conscious to a degree but it is very foggy and dream-like and I only get bits and pieces that gradually bubble to the surface afterwards…..I have to be at work a short while after the session and it can be a struggle…taking some time before I can drive, feeling more bubbling going on Inside yet still having to work…..somehow a system has developed that while I am working…I sometimes hear the session continuing on Inside…..
I can see groups discussing things and I can see T and hear her voice asking questions and making comments that I don’t remember hearing in the session…the group discusses how to “explain” and then they give her an answer….insights into how the system works……
In such a situation, I know that during work in my Outside Her mode, I fight panic about doing something wrong, about my eyes accidentally reading something I am not supposed to read while I am cleaning……I NEED to see the papers so I can make sure they remain in the EXACT same position so I don’t get in trouble, yet I am not supposed to “read” anything…..I would get scared that my eyes would accidentally “read” a word…….
For a while now, I have noticed that when I am cleaning around papers, I get weirdly “blind”…..my eyes cannot decipher words….there seems to be no connection of them to my brain…..so – I can then continue on with cleaning in at least a bit calmer state of mind……I have – with a “safer” paper tested it during those “blind” moments….I cannot tell you what a single word says – I just see letters that don’t make any sense……I thought something else was “wrong” with me…….
During one of the “continuing” Inside sessions, I saw and heard a group discussing with the Inside T how that took place…..a little girl hung around near the surface – a little girl who can’t read…(she is one who often presents first in a T session)……The group said that when Outside Her had to be around papers when working, the little girl would step in and see the words on the paper with her eyes while Outside Her used her eyes to make sure the papers stayed in the exact same position….so it worked out much better……Outside Her could keep working with less panic and not be so afraid of accidentally reading anything…..
Is there such a thing as an “Inside T”…..I know that there are definite time constraints in sessions and sometimes I feel an intense internal bubbling that more is wanting to be said – but, alas, we are out of time……can there be an Inside T who continues the session for a bit afterwards?……or am I somehow making all this up……?
Sometimes I feel like I am so “off the wall” it’s not funny……
Jumping in here late. Starting to work backwards through the most recent postings to the start of strings. I know that I will miss many but … thought that I would jump in where I could.
My sessions with my T are like you describe. When some of my insiders are out talking to my T f2f, I am not aware of anything (i.e., I am completely unaware of what is happening or being said). But with others and as my therapy has progressed, I feel like I am hearing and observing what is happening with my T as it is happening. It is blurry and a little surreal as you describe but I feel that I am listening in. But, when I switch back, it seems to go – PUFF – and it is like I was not there at all. When I switch back in session and my T asks me if I was aware of what went on, I say no. Sometimes I feel like I am lying to her because I had the feeling that I did hear it all but I just cannot remember it. I know that that sounds strange but that is the sensation – I feel like I was there but I have no immediate memory of being there. Over the course of the week between sessions, parts of the session do come back to me. Sometimes I do not know if it is my memory or my insiders telling me what happened.
Yes I do have insider sessions with my T in between my f2f sessions with her. I mostly use this as an opportunity for my insiders to tell me stuff. My insiders trust my T more than they do me so it gets around the barriers a bit. I let them talk with her as if she was there with them. I learn a lot from these inside sessions. Sometimes it also leads to my insiders actually having the discussion with my T in our next f2f session. I find that it opens up understanding and dialogue with me and my T in the outside world. It is also a great way to sooth my insiders. There is always a countdown to our next session as soon as I leave her office. When I get too anxious about what seems to be a HUGE wait in between sessions, I can always have an internal session to calm things down.
When we traveling and stoping for food. The easiest thing is buffets. This way all that are hunger can eat and get what is liked. It save time money and cuts down on the disagreements.
Life is never easy when your always traveling in a group. We have asked our therapist a few time; If she would give us a note for the commuter lane. That way if we every got pulled over , we would have poof, other were in the car. I offen wonder what a police office would do and say to that. It would be funny to see it un-fold.
Yes it can be very difficult when you have just use the bathroom, then another needs to go.
When my husband was alive. In the morning he could here the pee stop and go. Something he would say ok 2 more of you need to pee.
His job would required him to head out early. It was so frustrating for him to get us all tuck back in bed then oops, then someone need to get up and pee. (!he was good about it. It just gave him less time to help Baby and Jessie to settle back in)
Some other thing happen completely I Individually too. Meal time. if we don’t have something that everyone can eat. Then more food is being made . So a lot of times we have small meals. We are getting better at other things. We share more stuff. The more we become living united. Living untied is not Integration. It’s more about being aware of each other and our needs . Instead of fighting against each other. To get them meet.
I really love the idea of – “living united.”
Oh my — your husband sounds like he was an incredibly patient and supportive man. I know that you all must miss him but his legacy reaches out here in your wonderful recollections of him. Thank you for that.
My husband is supportive as well although I do not bother him with a lot of the everyday struggles. Dining out is a problem as each one of my insiders wants something different. So, we made a pact that they take turns ordering. My husband will ask, “who’s turn is it to order?” That is the signal for someone to take charge of the ordering. At home, we can be all over the place snacking on different things. One uses food and drink as punishment. Others use it to sooth them. So the problem is multi-layered. I have not solved that one yet.
To All… Sometimes I feel like I’m in control of who we talk to but when I’m haven’t a difficult time I feel like it’s a free for all.. (no control) I have a friend who is DID and she and I say that (they….insiders) are tossing around the “captains hat”… We try to catch it (the hat 🎩…) or gain control but it doesn’t always work. …
But I can t talk anymore bc I’m not doing well and I have to go ok
You are right about that . We have a few that can hear all and see all. Sometimes it’s hard to keep anything or anyone to one self. I found ithe best way to keep things private, or just to have a conversation without switching, is hard. So we have this rule that we have had for sometime now. It’s call private conversation. That means none of the other roommates can hear what’s being said or see the outside world.
Thank you for sharing with us. This is a hard one to deal with (talking with outsiders). I have a standard protocol that insiders do not talk to outsiders unless I give them permission to do so. Well, that works until one of them is triggered. Then it can be a free-for-all. I do have a couple of friends where it is okay for them to talk with them without permission. That has alleviated some of the pressure actually in that they have a couple of safe people that it is okay to be themselves with. I have also found that the more that I try to “control” them the less control that I have. So, it is more a matter of mutual agreement so that they feel that they have some control as well.
That having been said, one of my insiders insisted that we go to the bathroom in the middle of our session with our T this week (something that we NEVER do). Turned out it was her new trick to switching me out (she did it once before a couple of months ago). So, I have some new negotiations to do!
I had to laugh when reading you post. Switching when going to the bathroom. That is very common for us.
So I have this one question for you .
Do all your primaries use the bathroom individually ? I know this body we didnt. It is something that we are working on. So we’re not spending so much time in the bathroom. We are all trying to use it together. Our Belinda Suggested that we just simply say “hey does anybody else have to go to bathroom? Sometime it works and other time not so much. People have taken notice about that. I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal. For the simple fact we now get from point A to point B on road trip a lot faster.
I am glad to hear that I am not the only one who switches in the bathroom!. Actually, the bathroom was my safe place to go as a kid because I could lock the door. I realize now how much switching I did while in there. My family would pound on the door for me to get out. Now I understand what was happening. Also, my husband pointed out how I cannot finish a meal at the dinner table with my family without having to get up and go to the bathroom. I understand now that the dinner table was always a source of triggering stress and I would escape to the bathroom for refuge and for my insiders to come out. I also find myself loosing time while in the bathroom as in going to the bathroom and then “coming to” some time later not knowing how long I was in there.
Now as to your question — “Do all your primaries use the bathroom individually?” – thank you for asking. I think that it would be great to talk more about the every day practical aspects of dealing with our DID. I would have to say yes and no because I have not gotten this all sorted out. I only became acutely aware of the problem this past year and a half.
I have a non-verbal infant insider and I have come to learn that I have to be very careful to keep a watch on any hints of having to pee. She will wet the bed or pee on the way to the bathroom. I do not have bladder control problems and can sleep all night without going to the washroom so I know that this is not usual for me. When I come bolt upright awake at night I think that one of my other insiders wakes me up and alerts me to fact that I should go to the bathroom. Often I am disoriented and do not know where I am but I manage to get to the bathroom. Usually I call out in my head to hang on I am going to the bathroom. But, sometimes the disorientation will get in the way and I will not know where the bathroom is – well, at least in time. This just happens at night.
During the day, I have some of the little girls who will keep me going back and forth to the bathroom. It is like their “time out” place. I know that this can also be stress but this happens when I am home and there is no apparent stressors. But, there will be flashbacks going on – quite often and mostly small and brief – and BAM – off I am to the bathroom. This can be annoying and I try to talk to them and put it off. I love the idea of asking if anyone else has to pee while I am in there because I have gone to the bathroom repeatedly within minutes of just having gone. So, I guess that that is my different insiders going to the bathroom individually. WOW … that is a crazy thought though eh?
Now, my T and I have been working in our sessions to keep me present (i.e., for me not to be switching out if possible). So, lots of grounding, trying to manage my insiders and staying focused on my T. But, my one precocious little girl does not like that. So, she figured out a month and a half ago that if she could get me to go to the bathroom, I would be out of the grounding/focusing influence of my T and she can switch me out. When it first happened a couple of months ago, I talked to her about not doing this. Seems like I need to have that talk again!
So THAT’S what has been happening to me …..my hubby often asks me about getting “lost” in the bathroom….. it feels like the bathroom is my bit of “safe” space where I can just let everything Inside settle for a bit into whatever direction they want to go – and there are a number of directions ….Insiders reading (I have a lot of books in there for that one – he loves to learn), singing (on the Inside – Outside “me” can’t find the key!), collapsing and wailing, etc, etc …..
We need the breathing space because we are on “high alert” much of the time ……when hubby comes to the door checking on me I have to watch out for Rage wanting to step in – angry at him intruding ……I don’t think Hubby knows what all I am dealing with – (except I get “lost” in the bathroom!) – I get as much breathing space there as I can for everybody – considering that Hubby doesn’t allow the door to be locked – he even removed it ….(baggage from his previous marriages)……so I still have to keep an eye on Rage to make sure he doesn’t go ballistic when Hubby checks on me…….makes life interesting indeed!
Hubby HAS gotten better over the years – less checking on me than he used to – he finally started accepting I will come out when I am ready – even if he doesn’t understand it……I am still afraid to let Hubby know the extent of my struggles – he was previously married to a Multiple, didn’t understand what was happening and just got out of the marriage…..hopefully, he just thinks I am “weird” – like bottoming out when he is watching shows where animals are hunted, hurt, and killed by people or other animals…….so far, I think, he just thinks I am “weird”…….
Rage is also protective of my truck – the only other “breathing room” space I have…..When I have to take Hubby somewhere (he doesn’t like to drive much) – my Inside jaws are clenched until he gets out of “my space”……….Hopefully it doesn’t show much on the Outside…..Sometimes I feel like I am a BIG mess!………
I just wanted to add my own experience too. I feel safe in our bathroom. I talk to myself in there quietly, like fantasize and go away. It’s harmless, but I find it weird sometimes. I haven’t told anybody before, so this is my first time mentioning it “in public”.
I think it’s interesting we all have similar experiences. I wonder why that is. Bathrooms can’t be safe places for everyone, but I wonder why they’re safe for us that haven’t mentioned it. I’m curious, does anyone else talk out loud to themselves or is it internal dialogue?
Talking out loud oh yes. Sometimes our husband would say.. “Do I need To be here for the conversation” or “hey your talking out loud again. He would always be amazed when Jessie and Baby would be playing with each other. In the outside world.
MultipleMe to Clancy says
I haven’t had an experience in a long time where someone talks to my insiders, except my therapist. I was just wondering, does the person speaking to one of your insiders know that they are speaking to one of them? Does that make sense? Sometimes I switch, but I tend to have parts that when they come out, the person I’m speaking with doesn’t know they’re speaking to one of my insiders. So I guess it hasn’t been a long time, but my voice and actions are different to me, but probably don’t come across as being different to outsiders.
Anyway, I’m sorry if you feel out of control sometimes. Maybe it would help by making an agreement to ask you if it’s okay to come out and letting them have lots of time to come out to a safe person? I don’t know, it’s something I’m working on.
Just taking on a couple of your questions here. I think that folks who do not know me well would never know that they are talking to an alter. Hum … let me rethink that because I know that insiders have spoken to my family and they just think that it is me. So, I would guess that most folks would just think that it is shades of me coming out not actually alters. My husband said that he always thought that my angry alter was PMS. Well … I was in a constant state of PMS sometimes! 😉
My husband and my T know my insiders very well so they know who they are talking to. Actually, my last session I managed to have all to myself (i.e., no insiders came out) until the end when my T was emphasizing a point and my one alter gave a somewhat sarcastic response. My T just thanked the insider by name for their point. I was a bit embarrassed that she knew that it was that insider.
I do have a couple of friends that my insiders come out to and they have gotten to know who they are talking to. I know that some DID folks do not like to be asked but I do not mind if they ask me who is speaking. My insiders like to be recognized and are happy to say who is there. I do not encourage this as I do not like to be “out of control” but it is rather liberating to have some trusted folks that my insiders can come out to.
And that’s why everyone thinks I am clumsy.
Kennedy to A says
What’s why everyone thinks you’re clumsy?
Oh, I got it. Switching and they don’t know. I’m a ‘lil slow. 🙂
Just wanna say hi.
A to Kennedy says
Hi to you as well.
I have a lot of injuries. But, I am private, so they think I am just clumsy.
No switching in public. Very seriously controlled.
Thank you for saying hello. You are so sweet.
Nope. Fiercely private.
Thank you for making this post and reminding us DIDers of the pain that our loved ones may (and most likely do) experience dealing with our mental health issues. I am so sorry to hear that you are feeling so crushed by the experience. It sounds like you want and wanted to help but that that was not possible. I know what life can be like with folks who have mental health issues that are not being attended to (for various reasons including the person in question not wanting to face their problems) or who just are not someone you can live with despite all of your good intensions. It may be just one voice here but please know that I hear your pain and respect and support your decision to set boundaries even if that meant the end of your marriage. In the end, know that, boundaries are a must for you and for your ex.
Thank you for sharing.
Hum … must go and give my husband a big hug!
Pretty frightening thought…and yet it happens all the time. I’m just starting to notice sometimes when there has been a switch. It’s like watching from the inside of the shack…and someone else is ‘on deck.”
I *think* my T is willing to have a conversation with insiders. I’m not sure if that has happened yet or not. I have a little who is interested in talking to her and one that wonders if she would like to color.
Maybe I can trust my insiders and let them speak for themselves. Maybe.
I’m recently divorced from my undiagnosed DID wife. It’s been a soul crushing experience to have to set boundaries because of the host .
I’m sorry you wife hasn’t had haple yet. My hope is someday she will get the help.
It’s hard on the entire group that loves your ex. For this system ( I can’t speak for any others) it was a freeing moment when we shared what we were about. I’m sure it aloud us to say married until death did is part.
My husband was able to seek help. Not only from therapy but also our more reasonable parts. when others were being head strong. He was also able to look at each of us as individuals. So if the 10 year old was acting out he could adress her like he would any other 10 year old girl. If the youngest one was crying and not knowing what she needed he knew how to help with that too.
Until this body was willing to share and get the help that was needed. His life was extremely hard . Our children would incounter the same stuff. When we all sat down and talked about lt. the relief on my husband and the 4 daughters was enormous.
So please don’t feel bad. Boundaries are important. With ever relationship but even more with people like us. The primaries need to be responsible for the entire body’s reactions to the outside world. We may be many but the world only see one.
I am sad for your wife she hasn’t found a common space yet . I’m also sad for you. You have Endoored so much. With the lose of your wife. Yes it is a lose you maybe the one that tchose to separate.Just remember you had to so you wouldn’t get lost also. Like the saying “ if you can’t take care of yourself you will not be strong enough to help others”
We have worked hard to create a healthy balance in speaking with outsiders. My outside circle consists of my husband, 2 sons, therapist, and a few friends. My community, like some, have been purposefully drawn out and hurt by outsiders in the past. We have spent many hours in therapy getting to a safe place and creating boundaries. My protector, has been a great source of strength in recognizing “the bad ones”. It is hard when the Little’s trust everyone and don’t have good boundaries (especially at first).
I agree, it is very difficult to stop dissociating, whether it is in therapy, with trusted people or outsiders. But as we work together, in our community, to communicate and help one another see potential issues, it keeps us safe.
Jill Summerville Sparks says
Wow. We just can’t imagine the dissociative process NOT happening whether in a public place, church, at home or in therapy. For us, it isn’t like some facet to turn on or off. It’s on all of the time.
We tried one time to stop the dissociative process from happening in therapy and other places. We found that our system was not to be harnessed. My system longs to be heard.
At times, it is very frightening because we just don’t want outside people to know something is “wrong”. Most of the time, outside people just don’t notice at all. It’s nice when people like you, Kathy who notice when there is a switch.
Our trauma t talks to any insider who wants to speak. She encourages it. We are so glad that there are still some ts who will.
Thank you, Kathy.. For all you do!
Kathy Broady says
Reblogged this on Discussing Dissociation and commented:
This is one of my favorite videos. Love the beach shack, and the unexpected insight. Do you remember what it was?
Regarding your video. I think everything in moderation…
I think that there can be too much dependence on the T. Parts need to work towards communicating with each other. Too many times I see what seems like they end up only wanting to talk to T, and that fills some need to some extent, then there is less of an impetus to work towards communicating with each other internally.
I have lots I want to say but no time. I dont know if this makes sense. I know working with DID can be so variable. What works for one may not work for another. So my comment relates more to me and my system. But I don’t know though. Cuz it was a burning desire for some to be actually be recognized as existing. I think maybe it was harmful that they were not in some ways.
I am rambling. Just trying to figger stuff out.
You Kathy are pretty smart.
Thanks for what you do.
Kathy Broady says
Hi muffled ones,
Welcome back! And your comment makes perfect sense and brings up some excellent points. Being recognized safely, as individual selves, is definitely important. And yet, as you said, finding that balance, of talking with each other in the system without putting too much dependence on having to talk to the therapist (instead of each other), is crucial. I think the emphasis has to be put on talking with each other first, and the t is a distant second. 🙂
Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Very helpful ideas.
For us, it has never been a case of “letting” external people talk with parts. It just happens. Which can be positive in therapy….though the vast majority are deeply ashamed of and confused by being “parts” so often will hide their identity so that it is not noticed they are “parts”. For us, parts can be and have been deliberately “drawn out” by very un-safe people, too, but have never communicated in therapy, or with the mainly up-front group of the”front system” who are around most.
It seems to me that the often deemed “ideal” of parts communicating with one another first is just not possible in all cases. So, if there is a trustworthy, external relationship with a therapist, it can be so helpful for parts to “be” within that relationship….to find their voices, to work out the who, why and how they have developed and to work out how to find ways of surviving in the safest, most agreeable to all ways for all involved.
Like everything, it is a very fine balance and one we have not managed to achieve, but the theory seems to feel right, which is all we can base it on.
Kathy Broady says
Hey broken but being repaired!
Thanks for the comment. Well said. It does take a significant amount of work to find that balance and it sounds like you are working hard to get it. Well done. Keep at it. And yes, I dare say that it is very very common for the very un-safe people to know how to pull insiders out. Learning the difference of who is safe, vs who isn’t, who to speak with and who to avoid… All very big steps for healing work. Keep at it tho, for sure. It will make a huge difference !
We cant get them girls to shut up evin when we try
But we onle got 1 safe persin to talk to who no us for rel
I miss the bech i wish i was there
we do allow a select few to talk to our insiders. Mainly our significant other, therapist, and psychiatrist, and one or two friends. We’re careful as I think all people with did should be. The main guideline is that our main protector checks out the person first, for a while, to see if they are safe before others talk to them.
Kathy Broady says
Excellent ideas. Yes, checking people out carefully, as in again and again, is a good idea.
Thanks for the comment. 🙂