Hey hello !
How are you?! I hope you are doing well.
I’ve got some fantastic news for you.
I’m so pleased to say that we are heading into some very exciting times for Discussing Dissociation. This year will bring lots of new opportunities for healing and support for folks with DID. I’ve got some uniquely cool things planned!
First …. I’ll be introducing the Bears of Hiddenton Point, starting with the Saddest Little Bear Dissoci-ACTION Story Pack.
The Saddest Little Bear, an original story by Distance Ness, is available now! This is the first book in the series, as there are several stories about Hiddenton Point Bears.
The Saddest Little Bear is written specifically for people with Dissociative Identity Disorder by someone who exactly understands living life with DID. I didn’t write the story, but I’ve added pictures, some helpful therapeutic applications, and of course, created a big ol‘ list of Dissoci-ACTION questions. Plus, I’ve made several videos connected to the topics in the Saddest Little Bear.
Yep, you saw that right. Videos!
The Saddest Little Bear Dissoci-ACTION Story Pack has all kinds of good stuff to enhance your understanding of the principles taught in the story. It’s full of helpful hints teaching you how work with your own DID system, especially with the new parts that surface. I am very sure that if you apply what you learn, you’ll be much better equipped to work with some of your insiders.
What do you think you could learn from the Saddest Little Bear?
Why are you feeling so sad, little bear?
Do you think you’ll relate to how he is feeling?
And there’s more, of course.
(What’s next, Kathy, what’s next ?!!)
I’ve noticed this busy busy busy and WONDERFUL the thread:
Our Normal Complicated Selves – a place to write about anything
That thread already has over 700 comments in it, from y’all, the readers here at Discussing Dissociation !!
How fantastic is that?!!
What that says to me — PLUS with the numerous requests I’ve received via email and blog comments — is that y’all are very very interested in having safe, supervised, support areas where you can talk together about the struggles and the joys you feel while living with DID.
I understand that, of course. It makes total sense to me. I completely agree that it’s important to safely surround yourself with people who understand what you’re going through. That’s good for healing, good for morale, and good for your health.
Remember Laura the Email Consultant lady???
Well…. we’ve been talking.
We know exactly how important support options are for folks with DID, and we understand the difficulties when there is a LACK of private, safe support. So…..
We are looking into the possibilities of opening a DID Support Forum here at Discussing Dissociation.
It’s very very early days, so I don’t have any details to share about that yet, as I am still exploring possibilities myself. However, I will soon have an Information Page where I’ll describe more what Laura and I are considering, re: Support Options. You will be able to add your thoughts and opinions, and voice your interest at that time.
Look for that Info Page coming in the not so distant future.
And ANOTHER thing……
Do you remember back when I mentioned this:
A Quick Heads Up re: Kids Time with Kathy Email Course
And then you didn’t hear much more about it….. (oooopsie, my bad!)
Well… I didn’t forget, but I am slow! Really sorry about that.
The Kids Time with Kathy Email Course has become something else, because as it turns out, this Course is much, much MUCH bigger than an email course. So…. Kids Time with Kathy is gonna have a slightly new name because it is a much more thorough resource than originally planned. Turns out, I just had so much to say to kids…. !
And I have to say…. this new format is just so cool! Like SUPER cool! I really love it.
It will most definitely be worth the wait.
So SOON….. you’ll soon see a new Information Page about Kids Time with Kathy.
I’ll tell you lots more about it then.
Just know…. it’s still on the way!
That’s LOTS to look forward to !!!
I’ll be working on the Information Pages as quickly as I can, so you can get more information as soon as possible.
In the meantime, I hope you are doing well, I hope you had a safe and happy holiday season, and please know that I am thinking about you every single day.
Pop by and say hello whenever you can.
I wish you the best in your healing journey.
Copyright © 2008-2018 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
How do we find this action pack and bears? We get confused and sad and will probably forget all about this
Will you email the email list a few times when it’s acailable so we may see it eventually? I sure hope
I like bears
Kathy will send emails for sure. Right, Kathy? Are you on her email list? Probably just checking. Soooonnnn. We will get to see them sooooonnn.
Say yes 🙂
Hold on cuz she’s been busy with muddy dogs. Ew.
Kathy Broady MSW says
LOL, oh Kennedy Kids !!!
Y’all are too funny. 🙂
It did FINALLY stop raining, so the dogs are a little less muddy now, (thank goodness!) – (it was very ewwey!) -but I still don’t have a new washing machine, so you know… things are still terrible, lol. Small tiny minor problems because I’ve got BEARS to deal with instead of washers!
And yes… like I mentioned to Systemofsophie, the folks on the Email Newsletter List will be FIRST FIRST FIRST to hear about the bears.
AND, I will tell you this much…. the web tech gal got a LOT done this week. Just this morning, she sent me some bits’n pieces to finish up, but oh my gosh…. I can almost smell it. :). So excited. Can’t wait! 🙂
Glad you’re excited too. 🙂
Kathy Broady MSW says
Welcome to DiscussingDissociation! I’m so glad you are interested in hearing about the bears, and yes, yes, yes, I will absolutely be sending out emails. You can bet on that.
In fact, the Bears will be available FIRST to people on the email list!!!
AND, I can confirm that you are already on the Discussing Dissociation email list, so you’ll definitely get the information as soon as it’s available. You might need to drag the email into your main inbox to train your email. Sometimes, the newsletters will end up in Promotions tabs or Social tabs, or junk mail, or spam mail — just because your personal inbox doesn’t yet know that you want to see what I send to you.
For practice… there is a DID kids email coming out this weekend. Well, as in today — in a few hours from now. And, if you search your inbox for “Discussing Dissociation”, you should be able to find all the emails that have been sent. Unless they’ve been deleted… and then, well… then we’ll just have to start over with new ones, hey? 🙂
Anyway, thanks for asking, and it won’t be long now….
Well Kathy … that was quite the email about your “challenging” day – broken washing machine, puppies out on an adventure and then the thoughts of the puppies arriving home all triumphant and ripping around the house sprinkling mud everywhere. Squirrel (my one little one) said it was like they were covering your house in fun day polka dots. But, I sure do know the feeling – some days just feel like a giant step backward. And, then the next day dawns and everything clicks!
Kennedy … you crack me up. So much fun to laugh at and with ourselves, the crazy things that we all do … oh just to feel the silly beans of life. Yes my little ones are anxious to hear more about the bears too. I am trying to teach them patience but sometimes they really get ahead of themselves with excitement.
And what a wonderful experience it is to be all excited about what Kathy is cooking up for us. It is like baking a wonderfully batch of sugar cookies with all kinds of sweet and chewing treasures mixed inside them. We are all standing by the oven window looking in and wondering when they are going to be done and when we will be able to feast on their fun sweet goodness. It sure sounds like that they are pretty well done but we have to patient a little longer until Kathy and her tech crew have had a chance to put all of the sprinkles on top. Then what joyous fun it will be!
Oh and Systemofsophie … so nice to meet you. I hope that you keep checking back and maybe look at some of the other discussions going on the website as well. I sure do hear you forgetting. I read, reread and then read again and still things do not stick. So, I just keep coming back and reading again. ☺
Kennedy kids says
Did you see the story of Maisy and the cookies? You wrote about cookies and Miss Kathy has a story about Maisy and cookies.
Miss Kathy, who is Maisy and where did she come from? Is she from your childhood? She a long time friend of yours? She goes on a lot of adventures with you. Is there a story about how you two got to be friends? Is the picture of the two little kids at a table with Maisy in a story somewhere here you?
And, if you read Alexander and the Terrible HOrrible No good very bad day would you and Alexander want to move to America? Cuz you know he wants to move to Austraila when you read the book here. LOL. just playing! 🙂 You move alot. we moved alot to different states but never to different contries. that would be scary but really fun. we looked up pictures of Asutrailia and its so pretty. and we read that the weather is not too hot there. Like Dallas. We lived in Dallas too. For 13 years! It’s HOT there. We live in Oklahoma now. Its HOT here too. Its not far from Dallas thats why. I like the fun stories the best.
I am writing cause the little ones don’t know there letters.
I just read the Maizy story to the little girls.
Thanks for telling me about it. It was fun.
Yes, yes, yes – we all do love cookies.
Chocolate chip are the favourite and chocolate marshmallow.
I like oat cakes, oatmeal with raisins and gingerbread.
Oh, Squirrel says ice cream sandwiches.
Hey, you have moved some big time.
We have moved a bit but kinda not to big time far.
It is a bit scary for the little ones.
They have problems knowing where we are.
Sometimes when they wake up at night they don’t know where they are and they kinda panic.
Sure would be nice to go to New Zealand cause we got a friend there.
Way far away.
We can go there in our imaginations.
I go lots of places in my imagination.
little b says
Where’s the bears?? are they coming soon? I loved the Pies. And the story about you saving the one with the fishing wire wrapped in it claw. I would like to see bear stories. FUN bear stories . i like bears. T.Clark has a bear on his name. Its a good picture. Are we getting closer to them stories coming yet?
We liked the bird Kathy saved, too. Glad you like our photo, little b. We took that picture! We were near that momma grizzly bear in a beautiful field of wild flowers. She had 2 or 3 babies with her, so we stayed at our car to not threaten the bears and to keep us safe. The babies played: rolling, wrestling, climbing while Momma ate plants. Bears are da bomb! We also have seen wolves and moose and bighorn sheep and mountain goats and black bear and coyotes and foxes and badgers and elk and deer and wild horses in the wild. It’s fun!
little b says
WOW!! That’d be so much fun! watching baby bears play with theyre momma. You guys have alot of fun with all the animals.
Wild horses? where did you see all these. Yellowstone? Man! that’d be fun! we like your picture. is Summer an insider name or was it taken in the summertime?
Summertime. The grizzly was at Grand Teton. Most of the others have been Yellowstone, so you’re super smart to suggest that, and Grand Teton, and we’ve seen wolves and black bears and moose in Minnesota, too. Any Alberta, Canada. We looove wildlife watching. 3/15/18
It would be great to see a forum added here. We’d be interested in participating.
Everyone got a lot to say its all confusing. Everyone at odds and trying to be nice about it. I don’t know. I can’t write complicated like that. I would like somewhere to be and not feel alone but don’t know if I belong here. scary.
Kathy I like your bears.
It sure sounds to me like the discussions here confused and scared you. I am so very sorry that you feel that way Sky. I want to reassure you that, just as I said to Wren above, it is okay to not always agree on things here. We are all unique and special people and we all have our own ideas on things. And, sometimes our ideas are not the same as others. That’s okay. We do not have to agree on everything to still like each other and still be friends.
I am thinking that maybe you have had a lot of bad things happen when people around you were not agreeing with each other, maybe even mad and saying things that were not nice. I know I have had that experience. And, I also know from experience that sometimes we got hurt because other folks were mad at each other and took that out on us. I do not feel that that is going to happen here Sky because I think that we all want to make this place different from what we have experienced in the past. We all want this to be a safe and welcoming place.
Now, as to not being able to write complicated – you do not have to. You just write any way that you like Sky. There are no right or wrong ways on how to write here. You can just talk to us in your own way, your own words and in your own time. I would be happy to hear you, talk to you and get to know you better whatever way you want to do that.
What a mess.
Asking for what you need is WONDERFUL.
Be involved or not involved. Your choice. If you get overly involved in something and your energy is depleted that is on you, not on the person who is struggling. Engage or not at whatever depth and level you choose.
This should be a place for inclusion, not exclusion. Everyone should feel welcome and appreciated regardless of where they are at in their journey.
ME+WE, you are one of the most kind and patient people here. What a gem. Personally, my mama bear is showing as I think of all those posts I’ve seen where someone said they have been lurking and wanting to post but haven’t dared because they don’t feel they deserve space here or don’t feel worthy of inclusion. I hope no lurker is now discouraged. They are all welcome here as far as I am concerned.
I want to build longer bridges not higher walls.
And that is all I have to say about this.
Wren and ME+WE are my friends. I hope you two keep posting. The way you stick up for each other is affirming.
The Ross model says we too-much play roles of victim-rescuer-perpetrator. I find myself looking for those roles in life often. Ross says to move toward coach-challenger-healer (the one healing).
I try to look for that second triad more. Hard to do. Parts get stuck in trauma time.
New scripts instead of old ones to forge healthier neuropathways is an admirable goal and takes practice.
Here’s to all of us supporting one another where we find ourselves.
I am honoured and humbled to be your friend as I am all of my friends here on this website. Wren and I have supported one another and I am deeply grateful for her friendship and understanding. We all have so much to offer each other in just being here for one another, letting us tell our stories, concerns, insights and to feel really heard and understood for the first time in our lives. What a precious gift to give and receive.
It can be a bit challenging at times, however, as we break free from the dysfunctional messages, expectations and abusive lives of our past. But, we can do that because we have a safe place here to practice new ways of being and build new neural pathways. I have been learning a great deal about neural pathways (and how the brain works) this past year with my meditation teachers one of whom is a clinical psychologist. She described it as walking through a field from Point A to Point B. At first, the grass is tall and the route is unknown and uncertain. But, with time, a well-worn path emerges through the grass and eventually that path gets deep and rutted into the soil. If the pathway was forged from repetitive abuse, it is certainly not a path that we want to keep following. Yet, we continue to take that path because there is no other path to follow. What we have to do is start building a new path. That is rough and uncertain at the beginning and, because we have not dug this pathway in deeply yet, we tend to jump back on to the old path. But, with a lot of time and patience we can build a new, healthy path for ourselves. That is a lot of what we are doing here is it not?
I chuckled when I read the “victim-rescuer-perpetrator” model reference here T.Clark. That is because I have a dear friend who lives a long way away from me but we have these epic telephone conversations. Last summer we had one such conversation in which she introduced me to this model – actually made me draw it on paper as she spoke. She is a nurse by training and works as a counselor with clients with AIDS or who are at high risk for AIDS. This is a model that she uses in her work. Well anyway, we were both in the middle of major upset with our husbands and were gabbing away about that when she said, “we need to make this into a teachable moment” and so it began. When I read your posting here, I could not help but think — “remember that teachable moment?” Thank you for that reminder!!!
Yours in humble friendship,
You absolutely rock, ME+WE. Thanks for your wisdom and willingness to make yourself vulnerable. You are special.
You are too kind. My husband calls me “special” but somehow I do not think that he means the same thing most times … hahaha. I am happy to jump in where I can and am so heartened that others (like you) are doing the same. Everyone here rocks big time in my world (our lead singer being Kathy) whether you are putting yourself out here in comments (which I appreciate is hard to do sometimes) or staying quiet reading these blogs. There is a collective energy of camaraderie, healing and hope going on here that I am sincerely thankful and honoured to be a part of.
I just wanted to jump in on the comments about potential forums for discussion. I am not sure how complex (i.e., multilayered) Kathy intends for this addition to be. It certainly would mean a lot of extra work for Kathy so I am mindful that we may want to start small here and build as we go where a need is seen and Kathy can accommodate.
I do think that Netiquette and a framework of guidelines for posting in a forum might be in order to ensure that things stay on a positive and respectful track. Maybe we can initiate a dialogue about this in the “Our Normal Complicated Selves” blog. I would be especially interested to hear the thoughts of you folks who have participated in such forums.
I too feel that it would be great to dialogue about the up sides of DID, humorous stories, what it is like to live with DID in a positive, productive way, etc. We have already done some of this in the “Our Normal Complicated Selves” blog. If you have not checked this out yet, I encourage you to do so. And, since it is our space to post on whatever we like, I encourage folks to post new ideas/topics for discussion there. Last fall there were many interesting discussion topics initiated including: “the funny things our insiders do”, “our best friends: our pets”, “our baskets of safety nets”, “bird watching”, “what kind of a bird would you be?”, “what makes a good Therapist”, “favourite music” and “intensions for 2018” to name a few. There has been a lot of positive activity there and different topics to choose from. I hope that we continue to inspire each other with fun, uplifting and challenging topics for discussion.
I also want to be mindful that some folks really are going through rough stuff and need a safe place to put those thoughts and questions out there. I hope that this place continues to offer that space and forums for those difficult topics. And, while I think that I am well down the road to healing and living successfully with my diagnosis, I have bad spells and value the opportunity to talk about it here. I would also encourage a perspective of mutual support. I find that, when I respond to a friend in need here, I am not scratching an old wound or dredging up the past. Quite the contrary is true. I am reaffirming and reinforcing my own healing process and how far I have come.
I am in awe with all of the wonderful ideas being discussed here. The new ideas presented by Kathy and Laura have really taken off with a whole lot of super suggestions by everyone. It is very exciting to be a part of this incredible community!
D K says
I really appreciate all the comments here, my aim is to help others as I also get encouraged as I struggle with the realities of daily life. I don’t have many close friends (2 to be exact), and I am not close to my family or my in-laws. This is a “safe” safe for us to talk about struggles and trials. Right now we have to tackle the angry part with all the bad memory. It sucks. Most of the time BPD type rage fills my heart, and we try to work through it. It sucks. We weren’t allowed to say “NO” to the abuse, nor we we allowed to get angry. So there’s a place for processing angry. We’re pissed about that stuff. So yeah, we will probably journal about it, talk with our therapist about it; and work through it here some.
i appreciate everyone on here who takes the time to comment. For those in crises, we are here to support you. I know if WE are in crises, we have team to help. And that included all of you. Here. So thank you.
Oh wow … I am dealing with an “angry one” right now too. All my little ones called her “the Angry One” and so did I. But then my husband said to me some time ago, “maybe she does not like being called the Angry One. Have you ever asked her if she has a name?” Well, it turns out that she does. From that point forward, I have had a bit of a better relationship with her. Okay, she still hates me, thinks I am useless and a wimp and often feels the need to punish me to make me strong. But, she has been a little more cooperative. Just a small step in the process of building communication and cooperation with her. Anything you can do to try and build a place of mutual safety and respect sometimes helps. It can start with a name.
Sending positive thoughts.
D K says
ME + We,
Thank you for validating my thoughts here. I call her the angry part b/c she only seems to know angry and seems to hate everyone. It’s not personal. She is a 12 year old teen who feels nothing is fair, she holds the key to everything. She is the one who has to heal for all of us to thrive. I will ask her why she is angry. She is scared and wants to run and hide. She is scared and confused. She doesn’t want anyone to know. She doesn’t want to talk about the abuse. She loves her abuser. He is the bad one, not her. He hurt her and that’s not ok. We don’t have to talk to them anymore. We can walk away. It’s time. We can minimize contact. She’s angry because she has a story to tell and we are scared no one will believe her. We will be brave and talk to our therapist about it.
I completely understand why you call your little girl angry one. I just reread what I wrote and I am thinking that I might have come off as saying that it was not nice or respectful to call her angry one. I hope that you know that that is NOT what I was trying to say. I was just trying to offer an idea about how you might start building communication with her. But, from the sounds of it, you already have a solid foundation of understanding with her. WOW … I am impressed and wishing that I could say the same about me and my angry one.
ARGH!!! I should never write and send things off when I am tired and have not had proper time to reread what I have written with a clear head. My apologies DK if what I said was in any way off mark or sounded disrespectful.
ME + WE, no not at all. Your comments were insightful, and thought provoking. We are working with a new therapist, too. So we want to deal with “angry” but the new therapist wisely reminded us that hurt, shame are usually behind angry. So if we start calling her the “hurt” one that can help us frame things in the right context. She is really sad, angry, hurt, shameful, and embarrassed about the abuse. She pretends all is well but she is confused b/c she trusts her abuser and loves him, even now. We cannot seem to separate ourselves from them, but we are slowly limiting contact. New T says he is a “douchbag” and we don’t have to be a cofidant for him anymore. Mother is dying, and we help coordinate her care. He calls to vent about the problems.
ME + WE sorry this got a little off topic. I don’t see anything you are saying as anything but helpful. So thank you. We will call her the hurt one. So thanks again for all your encouragement in this “journey.” I am learning each time I come on the site!!
I’m mostly an observer… But I’m excited about some of the new stuff. DD has been an amazing resource in my new journey (about 5 months). The idea of a community sounds great! But I struggle with a lot of denial so I’m not sure I got the criteria to belong here.
I was an observer here for three years before I started participating. And I certainly went through a lot of denial when I was first diagnosed. But it was actually this space, reading Kathy’s postings and the experience of others through their comments that helped me to come to terms with my DID diagnosis. As for “criteria’ and “belonging”, my experience here is that everyone is welcome. You are free to just be yourself here CD. How liberating is that?!
Sorry I’m just getting back to this. But thank you so much your words. It’s been two months since I posted and I still struggle with the denial…but there are days and even weeks sometimes where I accept it. So I guess that’s an improvement. I’m still getting the hang of the posts and comments. I’ll try to check back more.
Forgot to add/ask-
if you DO make a forum, can you PLEEEEEASE include an area for those of us who are in the maintenance stages of our healing journey?
Eg. Away from our abusers,
not in crisis anymore,
working WITH our systems instead of against them
and at a pretty healthy stable place in our life.
And generally have a pretty positive world view of DID and know how to cope with it…
I get that most people who go looking for forums etc are usually in crisis and at the early or stuck stages of their recovery but those of us who are past all that tend to get forgotten and still want to be included but get extremely drained and or sucked dry, hashing and re-hashing the same stuff over and over and over again in regular forums…
Those who are in crisis tend to take precedent and as they should i guess, i mean we were all newbs once. But all to often the development PAST that stage seems to get forgotten about.
It’s be so lovely to have a place where we could chat with other like-minded people who have already come so far and have put in the hard yards…Who would still like to challenge themselves and love to discuss things with others without having to wade through dozens and dozens of ‘woe is me’ threads
i dunno, all of this may come off sounding really up myself LOL But i just feel really exhausted and left out when i try to have anything to do with the DID community because it seems to me a competition of who has it worse and who’s system is more mucked up…
All those people who have reached past that headspace or are at a maintenance part of their recovery seem to have disappeared looool. Probably because we’re uncatered to or don’t feel the need to be in communities anymore, dunno. its 50/50 for us with that.
Anyway, just a thought. Thanks for even thinking about the forum idea.
May I second this suggestion! It’s already beautifully expressed, so I won’t add more.
I agree Astrie.
Sometimes it is hard to move forward or stay in a place of recovery when the group gets bogged down or stuck on a hard topics or in difficult place. We have all experienced those times, and can offer some support, but, ultimately, we all have to do the hard work and make the changes in ourselves.
I find it much more helpful and hope to connect with others who can find the humor in being DID, can celebrate with others when there are system successes and growing communication among parts, can recognize that DID is really an incredible survival skill and celebrate our unique gifts and abilities much more than we do.
One of my boy child parts communicated to me by opening and closing my car window repeatedly. I was in front, talking with someone outside of the car. The child part was understandably afraid and kept closing the window, and then I would open it, and then it would close again. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. I was so confused and amused!
It was humorous, but a very clear communication from that part about not feeling safe. And since I was talking with a person who jumped out of their car at a red light and started pounding on my car window offering me money, I can see why that part reacted that way!
After some internal communication about what happened, that part felt good because he felt useful and worthwhile to me.
A little understanding, recognition, and validation of parts goes a long way!
And I forgot to add that when I was first diagnosed with DID and looking/lurking online at forums, I got so depressed because everyone always seemed in crisis. I thought people with DID didn’t get well, didn’t learn to function better, didn’t have a life outside of DID.
That there was no hope for any kind of normal life.
I didn’t ( and still don’t) want DID to define me. I want to be someone with DID who is high functioning and capable of doing and being and living at my full potential. And I work hard toward those goals.
I think a forum like that would be helpful and give hope to those starting out on the journey to see and understand that life with DID can be manageable and does improve.
I agree, i’ve tried to go back to forums just for some sense of community and even to discuss current research findings etc but yes, you’re absolutely right, its soooo easy to get sucked back into that negative headspace. And its easy to spend years in it too!
I have a specific system on youtube and tumblr to thank for our outlook, that DID is not a terminal illness. It doesn’t HAVE to define who you are, how you live or the future for you. Not unless you let it. There are ways, people, resources and techniques that can help (and very rapidly too).
I’m by absolutely NO MEANS saying other places within the forum shouldn’t exist or that all forums are bad etc etc. But it’s a well known fact among the psych community that those with mental illnesses can and do feed off each other. Sometimes for the better and sometimes for the worse. I’ve experienced both in the 8 yrs since i was first diagnosed.
My point is and always will be- There needs to be places for both ends of the spectrum. EVERYONE’s needs need to be catered for and in a best case scenario, those 2 ends of the spectrum should be separate spaces. Everyone is free to go in and out of them at will, but there needs to be clear division of topics, boundaries and expectations of people in each section.
I’m sure it comes off sounding way harsher than i mean it to, i’m brain fried at the moment LOL. Struggling to put my words into context and sound less harsh than i intend them to LOL
I’m glad you’ve stuck around Neo, to see that there are other systems out there who aren’t depressed and in crisis all the time. I feel like Kathy is a shining light in the realm of a positive outlook too. She’s really helped me grasp that it doesn’t have to be crappy all the time LOL
That just took the wind right out of my sails.
“Woe is me” ???? Really?
Some people really do get stuck in that frame of mind. And they stay there for years. (i can list off at least 3 people/systems who would spam forums with threads about how crappy their life is, how their system is rebelling against them, how it’s their life not the systems etc etc and when offered suggestions for things to do to help themselves or their system, they’d simply say no it won’t work or list off really bad excuses. You’d never ever hear of them trying any of the dozens of suggestions,(and often they’d openly state they won’t try any) only of their misery.
When this goes on for years on end, it really honestly does look like they’re attention seeking and get a kick out of complaining. (its worth noting too, that the forum i’m talking about has a venting section where these types of posts should go. But these people refuse to post there because they can’t get the sympathy or replies there or it doesn’t get seen etc. )
And when a forum has no division of spaces between topics, levels of coping/functioning, heck, even with things like triggers its all just blends into 1 big unhealthy space and those who are doing really well are literally inundated by the crises of others. Through absolutely no fault of their own either.
Nobody chooses these phases of recovery and i’m the first to admit I’ve been there, And i absolutely needed those lower functioning places while i was working with my system. But i guess, my only argument is that there needs to be a place for the people who have grown/healed/whatever beyond that specific place in their life and healing journey. A place where they aren’t being sucked dry reading nothing but negativity. A positive, affirming, non triggering place where like minded souls are too.
I’m sorry my words weren’t or aren’t more gentle and that they took the wind out of your sails Wren. Wasn’t my intention. Obviously, i’m not out to make anyone’s life harder or to judge anyone for where they are in their journey, its purely about this systems experiences and trying to meet needs that not only we have but others have too. Though , i do, again, apologize for the harshness of how i said it.
Take heart Wren. I am hoping that some of the words used here were not intended to shut others down. I will assume a positive intent even though I, like you it would seem Wren, felt that some of the words spoken were rather harsh and off putting. Maybe astrie would like to clarify this for us. Some of your wording and ideas expressed astrie (e.g., “its just a bunch of people constantly in extreme crisis winging about their DID “, “stop being so selfish”, “intolerant of pitty parties”, “‘woe is me’ threads”, etc.) felt “unhealthy” and “toxic” to me.
I am not saying this to disagree with some of your overall sentiments/ideas astrie, Ollie (in affirming what astrie wrote) and Neo. As I said in another comment below, I too would like to engage in some dialogue about the positives of DID, living life “normal”, everyday stuff, etc. But, I do not feel that someone else (read, Kathy and Laura in this context) needs to do this for me. The whole notion of those in more maintenance mode being “left out” and “uncatered to” feels a little like a “pity party” to me.
Last fall, Kathy established the “Our Normal Complicated Selves” blog so that we had a forum to do exactly what you are talking about. But, it is a place where we have to take the initiate to frame our own discussion topics and to participate in those discussions. If the topics have not been of interest to folks, that is okay. Propose your own topics that speak to what you want to talk about. Some folks have just talked about their everyday stuff and that has been wonderfully uplifting, positive and reaffirming of the successes of our lives.
Finally, I feel compelled here to speak up for those folks who are in crisis, who maybe cannot see their way out right now, who are struggling to find peace with their alters, who find that it takes every ounce of energy that they have to just get through the day, who are stuck or, like me, find themselves on this endless merry-go-round of great successes and happiness as a DID survivor one day, only to be triggered into old ways of being the next. We are not slackers. We do not wallow in self-pity. We do not enjoy our pain. We do not run away from the hard work. We are not selfish. We do want to reject, fear and struggle with understanding our alters. Well, I will stop there. I think that you get the idea.
I am so genuinely happy for you that you have found peace, understanding and a great working relationship with your alters astrie. And, I would sincerely enjoy reading more about your experiences. But, many of us have not gotten there yet. Writing about our difficulties, issues, questions, life stories is what is going to get us there. Having a safe place like this to do it in is essential. I would venture to say that most of us have lived lives in silent torment. To be able to release some of that burden of silence gives us hope that we will find a place of peace and healing too some day. While it may not be discussions that some folks wish to engage in, I would hope that we could all be respectful if not compassionate to those who need to be wherever they are in their healing process.
With sincere regard,
I’ve sat here for 30 odd mins now trying to work out how best to word this all again… so here goes for the last time LOL
The existence and need for more than 1 part of a forum does not in ANY WAY detract from those who need to ‘find their feet’ and or learn coping skills or even just be heard and validated from others. It literally just provides everyone a safe place to do it.
And somewhere else for others to go if they don’t want to be a part of it or don’t have the emotional energy to give on that day.
That’s it. That’s literally all i’m asking for. Designated spaces for designated things in a DID forum.
Call me asking for healthy boundaries a pity party or not, sup to you really loool.
I’ve said what i mean multiple times and i’ve apologized personally to those who took offense to the bluntness. I’ve said repeatedly that there was no malice behind any of it, more just a bluntness and lack of better way of putting it. (as well as my own extensive past experiences- for which i will not apologize, its all out there in cyber space lol)
Anyway, i’ve said all i can and all i need to, and i know it will be a fantastic place to be once it gets up and running. I look forward to seeing all the new changes coming to the blogs.
First, I would like to clarify that I made my posting above BEFORE I was able to see your response to Wren. The downside of asynchronous communication I am afraid. Indeed, some of the clarification that I was asking you about (inviting is perhaps the better phrase) was addressed in said post by you. I am sorry for any confusion or misunderstanding the timing of my comment above may have caused.
Please know that the intent of my comments were not to shut down your ideas or even disagree with much of what you said because, as I have said in my two comment posts on this topic, I agree with the need for dialogue appropriate for those farther along in the healing process and just plain positive, uplifting conversations about life with DID. That is why I have proposed numerous topics on the “Our Normal Complicated Selves” blog to this end. I have been disappointed that folks have not jumped in to talk about these topics (or others) of a more fun and uplifting nature but thought that I had let that frustration go. Obviously I had not. So, when you were talking about there being no forum for discussion of this nature, I thought, “what the heck have we been doing on the ‘Our Normal Complicated Selves’ blog all of this time?” I took some of that frustration out on you astrie and, for that, I am sincerely sorry.
I am also sorry to have used the words “pity party” to describe your call for a space for folks more advanced in their healing process. All I was hearing from you was complaints that more advanced folks are being ignored especially in favour of those in crisis and this is not fair. And, again I thought, “what the heck?” I also smarted when you used the words “pity party” to describe some folks in crisis who post to online forums. I did not feel that that was a very kind characterization of these folks and chose to use this phrase to describe your comments about the neglect of more advanced folks on the healing spectrum. A kind of mirror back to you on how those words feel. That was not kind and respectful of me and I apologize for having done that. And, I ask the forgiveness of all of my friends here who may have been upset or offended for my having done this.
What I would like to explain here is my feelings, interpretation and response to what you have said about folks in crisis who post to forums with their problems. This is the crux of my concerns and, hence, my comments about your postings. I want to be clear here first that this is my interpretation and gut response to what you have said or, perhaps more accurately, how you said it. I take full ownership for how I feel about what you said and I accept your response to Wren that there was no negative intent meant on your part. The focus of my concerns are the words that you used and the characterizations that you made of some folks in crisis. This disturbed me and caused me great concern that folks reading here would take this as a put-down of them or, even worse, a call to silence them. Again, I take full responsibility for my reaction here and have read your response to Wren where you have reassured her that this was not your intent. I hope that others have read your response to Wren as well.
I personally felt that, to make your point about a need for a forum for folks farther long the path to healing did not require tearing down (again, my interpretation) those folks in crisis. Blunt is one thing. Language that can be interpreted as harsh and hurtful is another thing from my perspective. Something for us to be mindful of as we are offered the opportunity to enter into forum discussions together (i.e., the language that we use and how it may be interpreted/misinterpreted by others). Folks in crisis (of which I count myself one on numerous occasions here) are not out to cause you to be “sucked dry” or expect you to have all of the answers for them or any answers at all for that matter. They are simply expressing their needs, concerns, questions, etc. on their journey with DID.
I agree, some folks will never get there for reasons that I will never know. I say this from 62 years of living. I spent five years in group therapy when I was younger and would beat my head against the wall with how some of the group members “loved their shit” too much to let it go … or, so I interpreted their lives. I have come to understand that, I have no way of knowing what their life journey has been that has gotten them to where they are now, what their mental, physical and spiritual capacities are to heal or what may be lost to their hearts and minds forever. I do know that, if you are here, a whole lot of bad stuff happened in your life and you are trying to deal with it the best way that you can.
Do I always understand the path that others have chosen or even feel that it is a healthful choice to make? No. But, I can help hold a safe and welcoming space here where everyone can feel protected, heard, respected and (hopefully) nurtured when this is possible. That does not mean that everyone needs to read everything or respond to any of the postings made on the various blogs. If such postings are too much for you to take in, that is perfectly fine. I would like to think that we are holding a safe and welcoming space for everyone to do what they feel is best for themselves including choosing not to engage in discussions of a more “crisis”(for want of a better word) nature.
Okay, I will try and wrap up an already too long posting. I personally believe that when something is not understood here or perhaps even misunderstood here, it is always best to let the other person know and open up a dialogue that clarifies both the intent of the commenter and the way that such comments may have been read/perceived by others. That is why I engaged in this dialogue in the first place astrie. I wanted you to hear my concerns and, in turn, offer you the opportunity to clarify your points. I would like to say that I have not written this expecting a response astrie. I respect that you feel that you have said all that you feel that you need to say on this topic. I just wanted to end my side of the discussion on a similar note.
I look forward to our future discussions. I think that we have made a great start here in an open, honest and frank dialogue.
With sincere regard,
I agree that we need to be respectful and compassionate to those who need to be wherever they are in their healing process – including those who may be a little further down the road toward healing and recovery.
I know I like seeing and connecting to those who have gained wisdom and experience that I need or see as the next step for me. Like playing tennis, a player will only get better by playing with someone more skilled. It is how you learn to be a better player. By playing with and watching those whose skills are better than your own.
Living with DID is similar. There are lots of skills that need to be learned and practiced. And I think it is important to recognize that and find those people a little further down the road so that I can learn from them. But it is extremely difficult to find those people in online forums. Most forums are geared toward those in early stages, who are, understandably overwhelmed and in crisis. While I think it is important to be that ‘down the road’ person to others, I can’t do that for everyone here. It would overwhelm me.
ME & WE, I appreciate your kindness and compassion and willingness to engage with so many here. You truly have a gift of compassion. But, in all honesty, I would find it overwhelming to engage with so many on these difficult topics. I couldn’t do what you do without jeopardizing my own well-being. And I’m just not willing to sacrifice my growth for the needs of others. That may sound harsh, but it is a personal boundary I’ve set to keep myself healthy.
While I don’t agree with some of the comments in Astrie’s post, I do understand her feelings of frustration and where she is coming from. Sometimes people have made peace with the past enough that they really don’t need or want to step back into that place, emotionally. While I haven’t gotten to that place, I do see it on the horizon. And I would very much like to learn from people with DID who are there so I can learn those skills have an easier, more stable transition to the next stage of healing.
There are numerous books and studies talking about the therapeutic needs of those with DID ‘post integration’ or after co-consciousness and who are communicating well with alters. It isn’t talked about much, but those needs are there and addressing them is just as important as addressing those in the early stages.
I hope that we can make room for and acknowledge all of those differing needs and perspectives.
First of all, thank you for your very kind comments. I am sincerely grateful. I have always appreciated your comments when you have jumped in where you have felt that you could. I certainly do not want, or expect, anyone to engage in discussions that they are not comfortable with nor do I think that everyone should. And, please Neo, understand that I would never feel that you should do anything but what feels right, comfortable and manageable for you. I am so glad that you know your boundaries and are looking after them in such a positive way. That, in itself, is a HUGE part of the healing process from my perspective. Kudos to you for stating that so clearly here and standing firm on what is healthful for you!
I am jumping in to a lot of discussions sometimes (perhaps too much for some folk’s liking) and not others when I see that someone else has responded. I came to this web sanctuary for three years before I made my first posting. What I was reading here educated me; helped me feel that I belonged (i.e., was not alone); challenged me; and gave me hope. That does not mean that I did not read a whole bunch of stuff that scared the heck out of me; angered me at times; confused me; and made me want to run and hide in nearest cave. But still, I kept coming back because this was the one place where I felt that I was understood in a genuine, honest and deeply insightful way (kudos to Kathy for that). So, when I did feel healthy enough on my own journey with DID, I decided that it was time for me to give back to Kathy and the community that kept me going and, quite literally, alive at times over that first three years. That is my motivation for commenting here.
I wholeheartedly accept and respect that everyone has their own path and that will lead everyone to use this wonderful space that Kathy has created for us in the way that best serves their needs. Quite honestly, I feel that I get more out of making my comments for my own healing process than I am possibly able to offer to others. In the end, silent or gabby like me, we all hold space for one another here in words, spirit, energy and understanding.
Now, as to the discussion about a space for dialogue of a more positive, functioning nature with regard to life with DID, I totally agree. I too really appreciate hearing from folks farther down the healing line and would like to share my successes, fun with my alters, everyday stuff, etc. I LOVE your tennis analogy by-the-way (I am sure that Laura for one will really appreciate that as well). Spot on. We can help pull each other up by showing the way and sharing in the positive challenges of life with DID. I am all in for that kind of dialogue!
It may sound strange but, I would not change my life or my DID diagnosis if I had the opportunity to do so. That is not saying that I wish what happened to me happened in the first place. But, I know that I am the creative, thoughtful, curious, wonderful, special person that I am because of where I came from. I am not DID — I am ME who happens to live with some awesome WE folks and that is pretty darn incredible. I was at a meditation retreat all last weekend and it was marvelous. In no small way because I was there with a bunch of insiders who loved learning a new meditation technique. At one point, a friend said to me, “where do you get such imaginative ideas from?” And, then another said, “you are one unique collection of beings.” I thought, “ya … how incredible is this gift that I have been given. All these folks cannot possibly see the wonders that go on in head even when I try to describe it to them.” Yes, life with DID has many, many challenges but it also has many, many incredible gifts to offer us (if only we could see sometimes).
Humbly your fellow traveler on this wondrous journey,
Laura from DD says
Hello astrie and all –
I’ve delayed poking my head into this conversation while you all were talking through it, but astrie, I do want to affirm that you are not the only person who has expressed a desire for a community where there is still a comfortable place for survivors who are further along in their healing journey.
Healing and creating a peaceful and satisfying life after years of abuse is not a one-stop trip. It’s a long journey with a lot of stages along the way.
Your language may have been strong, astrie, but what I see in in your comments is a lot of frustration because you have been unable to find support and belonging in online survivor groups now that you have progressed to a different stage in your healing.
Support and belonging are the very things that make online groups so sought out by people who are newly diagnosed or in the early stages of healing. People at those stages of their journey have a million questions, they’re feeling overwhelmed by it all, and they’re looking for help in understanding and coping from others who are working through the same issues and confusions and crises.
Finding “others like me” is incredibly important. Equally important is the compassion and understanding and patience that all survivors need at these early stages, Everyone starts here. Each and every one of you knows what it’s like, and I’m sure you all have empathy for how hard it is to be at this point in the journey.
However, astrie does have a valid point in that a lot of the online support groups end up being heavily weighted toward people in the early stages of healing. This is neither good nor bad, nor a judgment on those folks for being where they are in their healing. It’s just how things are! Online support groups are great for people in the early stages of healing, but less helpful for those who are no longer in those stages. astrie is not alone in feeling this limitation.
Receiving support and compassion and understanding is important at every stage of the healing journey, not just the early stages. And yet, while everyone has been at the starting point and can relate and offer support to others who are there, not everyone has experienced the types of issues and challenges that survivors face at the later stages of healing.
Survivors at those stages of the healing journey need others who are at the same place, just as newcomers need others who are at their same stage. That’s how we all find belonging and a sense of place.
We hear your frustration, astrie, and we want to do something about it. 🙂
We hope to make this new forum a place where survivors at all stages of the healing journey will find community and support and a place where they feel like they belong.
In the meantime, keep letting us know how you envision the group and what you’d like to see.
WOW … not sure how to read and take this in Laura. “However, astrie does have a valid point …” I was not thinking that any of us were not hearing and respecting astrie or were dismissing astrie’s ideas that a forum was needed for those more advanced in their healing journey. I certainly did not think that I was. I thought that I was supporting such an idea. But, maybe I was not communicating that properly or well enough or …. certainly not intended. Please I am really feeling … WOW … I just do not know what to do with this. I thought that I tried hard to be respectful and honouring of astrie’s ideas and I agreed with and repeated astrie’s request for such a forum. WOW … don’t know what to think. WOW … feeling smacked down. Feeling like I need to take some time away here. I am not sure what to do with this. WOW … where did WE screw up here? I mean, I thought that we had communicated our feelings in a supportive, respectful way. WOW … I screw up all of the time I know. I am a big screw up. I should never talk. Talking just gets us in trouble. I am sorry for that. I will shut up now.
Laura from DD says
Let’s slow down a little bit, okay?
I hear your hurt and surprise. I’m very sorry you’ve taken my post so personally. Feeling attacked is really hurtful, and I definitely hear the upset and turmoil this has caused for you.
Honestly, though, I’m surprised and kind of baffled by your response. Where is this coming from?
Apart from an inclusive greeting to acknowledge that I was stepping into a conversation where a number of people were already participating, my post was addressed specifically toward astrie and her comments, not to yours. You’re reacting as if I had directly challenged you, but my post has no such challenge in it.
In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. As you’ve pointed out, we support the same things. We are in agreement. I’m not sure why, rather than seeing agreement, you’ve interpreted my post as negatively singling you out.
I know that must feel really painful. I’m so sorry you’re feeling that way. But your interpretation is incorrect, and it is a sign that there’s more going on with your reaction than meets the eye.
I encourage you to take a step back and think through what has happened here. Any time you feel a big emotional response that doesn’t match the situation at hand, it is a clue! It can lead you to a better understanding of the dynamics between you and your insiders.
For example, you commented several times on feeling like you screwed up and how talking gets you in trouble. Maybe one of your insiders is not so comfortable with all the talking you’ve been doing here, so they have activated old scripts about being a screw up and how talking is bad, influencing your interpretations and emotions and trying to make you talk less.
Or maybe this situation reminds you of a different situation, a time when you actually were “smacked down,” and you are responding now with an emotional intensity that actually belonged to that earlier situation.
Or it could be something else entirely.
Whatever it is, it would be worthwhile for you to try to step back from the emotions and check in with your insiders. Try to explore your reaction from a more analytical perspective. What you can learn from this?? Every little bit of learning about how things operate between you and your insiders is valuable information for healing.
I understand that you might want to take a little time away from posting. Taking time out to regroup and reset is something from which we can all benefit on occasion. But when you’re ready, I hope you’ll continue to participate with the group. You have a lot to share and a lot to offer, and you would be missed if you chose to stay away.
Warm regards –
More sadness. Words fail, so I will keep them to myself.
Please do not be disheartened. Take strength from the knowledge that we are learning to speak our truths and express our differences as well as our similarities in a constructive and healing way. We do not all have to agree here although I do hope that we try to understand and be respectful of each other’s perspective.
I apologize for not getting back to you sooner dear friend. I wanted to take my time composing my response to Laura first. I was hit with three days at the dentist with emergency dental work in the meantime. ARGH!!! Everything is going to be okay (eventually) but it rather knocked me off stride in an already busy week.
I hope that you are taking good care dear Wren!
With warm regards,
I will miss you, ME+WE. This is not a safe place.
I am heartbroken reading your posting here. I sincerely hope that I did not do anything to make you feel unsafe. That certainly was not my intention and I would surely like the opportunity to try and help change things if that is the case.
Can I ask you why you are feeling unsafe?
Maybe we can work together on feeling safe again?
Is that possible?
Remember our basket of safety nets Wren? Maybe it is time to dig in deeply and take ALL of your safety nets out.
I told DK about the magic whistle that my one boy insider – Tom — gave to one of my little girls — Squirrel. When Tom is not around, Squirrel gets scared. When that happens, all she has to do is blow her magic whistle and he is there. Well, can I add a very special magic whistle to your basket of safety nets Wren – “a gold one,” Squirrel says, “with lots of pretty jewels on it”? If you get scared Wren, all you have to do is blow that magic whistle into the comments section wherever you want to on this website. I will hear it and come running as soon as I can Wren I promise.
I understand that you are feeling scared Wren but please know that you have friends here to help you through whatever you are feeling. A few days ago T.Clark posted, “Wren and ME+WE are my friends. I hope you two keep posting. The way you stick up for each other is affirming.” Well, that is absolutely right. I am here for you Wren all you have to do is ask me for help and I am on it. I am sure that T.Clark is here for you too and a whole bunch of other folks who may be too shy to say so.
We have all felt scared and unsafe – WOW have we all felt scared and unsafe! We know Wren. We truly know! And we so want to help you feel safe again. Please let us try.
Your humble friend who feels deep despair and worry right now.
Yes, Wren, I consider you my friend. Do you see any crows, ravens or Blu jays where you are? If so, I will try to be one of those birds bringing you my affection and compassion. You matter. 1/24/18
Kennedy (aka TheC4B) says
And I hope you begin to feel safe again here because when I first started talking you were here to make me feel wanted and welcomed and I would like you to consider us as your friend too. You are part of the reason we keep coming back. You make us feel safe so we want to help you feel safe again too. We have eastern bluebirds that live in the tree in our front yard. They are special birds in these parts and they are beautiful. Like T.Clark says, we will try to send you our care through them.
As you suggested, I have critically analyzed my comments in light of yours and have consulted with my alters and my clinical psychologist in doing so. I would like to make it known clearly at the start of my posting here my belief that the world is not played out in black and white definitive reality, truth or understanding. As such, I wish to acknowledge that what follows is my perspective on the various postings that have been made here in this discussion thread. Please assume that, even if not stated so, this is the basis of the comments that follow.
At the beginning of your reply to me Laura, you say, “Honestly, though, I’m surprised and kind of baffled by your response. Where is this coming from?” Let me try to explain where my response was coming from as best I can.
I will start by saying that I have DID. That may sound like an obvious statement to make here but I feel that it is necessary to acknowledge that, as an abuse survivor, I have been trained to be alert to danger (a prey animal if you will). What I was reading in your message Laura did not make any sense to me and confused me. That led to a danger and fear response and resulted in a dissociative switch (hence the disjointed nature of my posting and the regression into the expressions of fear). I do acknowledge that two of my alters were triggered and, thus, I lost my emotional grounding. However, I believe that, on the whole, my response was appropriate to the information that I was taking in (whether or not it was the intention of your posting as you saw it). Suffice it to say here, I work hard with my alters to find the middle ground between an emotionless, dissociative state and a hyper-vigilant, emotional one. I feel that I have managed that middle ground quite well in general, especially here on this website. I wish to say though that, given that this website and its blogs are devoted to DID, it is not surprising that folks might be triggered by what others may say no matter how benign one might feel their posting is.
Most of us have lived a life of imposed silence Laura by means that were cruel, damaging (physically, emotionally and spiritually), threatening, and heart and soul crushing. Finding this place where we can speak our truths is terrifying and liberating all at the same time. I have cherished the opportunity to practice my skills of communicating my feelings here and have tried to encourage others in their attempts to do so as well. That is why I try to be diligent in the practice of ensuring that others who post here feel that they have been heard. My alters support this endeavor. And yes, our history is one of being “smacked down” for expressing ourselves and, hence, my perception of not being heard by you was triggering for me. As my T has encouraged me, I have to learn to trust my emotions and the emotional information that my alters are signaling to me, find my truth and stand up for myself.
When I first read your posting Laura, my immediate reaction was:
• I do not understand why Laura is jumping into this discussion.
• Why does she keep telling astrie that there are others who want such a forum as well? Have there been requests that we do not know about and Laura thinks that we should know that?
• Why tell astrie that she is not alone in this request when we have already done so? Did she not hear us?
• Why does she feel a need to restate the position that we all need to be heard in appropriate forums when we have already agreed on this?
• Why does she need to tell us that astrie has a valid point?
• Why has she chosen to speak only to this one part of our much broader discussion?
• Why has she not seen our “valid” concerns and spoken to them?
• What is the “real” message, the subtext of this posting?
In my mind Laura, your posting raised a whole bunch of questions and did not make any sense to me. And, let us be clear here — as in any community, even the most egalitarian, there is a power structure. I am not putting any value judgment on that statement. I am simply acknowledging that you and Kathy are not our peers. You hold a role of power and authority including your professional status. When you choose to jump into a discussion, you do not do so as our equal. And, you rarely do comment Laura. So, your decision to enter this discussion signaled to me that you felt that there was something that you needed to say to us that we were missing somehow. If it was simply to tell astrie she had been heard and her wishes would be accommodated, that could have been said in one line –“We hear your desire for a forum that is solely directed to folks in the later and maintenance stages of their healing process astrie and we want you to know that we will include such a forum here.” But, your posting was much more than that Laura.
In your reply to me, you say that: “Apart from an inclusive greeting to acknowledge that I was stepping into a conversation where a number of people were already participating, my post was addressed specifically toward astrie and her comments, not to yours.” This intention (as confusing as that is in itself to me) is not reflected in the words and phrases that you used throughout your posting (e.g., “Each and every one of you knows what it’s like, and I’m sure you all have empathy …”). Furthermore, posting to a public forum automatically makes your comments inclusive to everyone in that virtual place. You acknowledge there were other participants in the discussions in your salutation of which I was one. In my mind, it was not unreasonable to think that you were speaking to me as well as to the others who had been a part of that discussion thread in a more specific way. I could not speak to how the others perceived your comments. I could only speak for myself.
In reading your comments Laura and checking in with my alters and my T, I now see the core of what triggered me in your original comments. As I have said, I was surprised and baffled that you jumped into this discussion in the first place. But, more significantly, I was stunned that you chose to discuss only this one part of a much broader discussion and virtually ignored what I felt was the crux of our whole dialogue back-and-forth on this topic. The need for forums at all ends of the healing spectrum (the discussion that you jumped into and further elaborated upon) was never at issue in my mind. What we did not agree on was some of the language and characterizations that were used to put this idea forward. To me, that is what was at issue here. That was the part of the discussion that you chose not to address and that bewildered and dismayed me.
Laura when you said, “Your language may have been strong, astrie, but what I see in in your comments is a lot of frustration …” That was my BIG WOW. That was my “smack down” moment. That was my trigger. I have suffered decades of torment, pain and suffering because of other’s “strong” language. I have heard my abuser’s behaviours excused because they were frustrated and overwhelmed (BTW – I am NOT in any way calling astrie an abuser here because I objected to the language that she used). And now, here in what I had felt was my safe place, I was hearing those exact same excuses and rationalizations used for words and characterizations of abuse victims that, in my mind, were not appropriate or acceptable. I felt that, if this place did not call out and address such “strong” language and unkind characterizations of others, it was no different than the unsafe outside world that I have been healing from all of these years. To stand back and not say something about that issue Laura but rather to excuse it as simply “strong” language from someone who was understandably frustrated was stunning, scary and jaw dropping to me.
And yes … I had a deeply emotional response as a result.
With sincere regard,
Laura from DD says
Hi ME+WE –
You’ve done a good job of sorting through your responses!
Recognizing and learning from the ways in which your reaction to a current situation is being influenced by history is an important skill to add to your healing toolkit.
Where a reaction is dominated by trauma-based thinking, it is a sign that there is healing work to be done, and recognition that it’s happening is the necessary first step.
It is challenging and sometimes frustrating part of the healing process to change trauma-based thinking, but it is just as important as memory work and system cooperation.
I hope you’re feeling better after the dental surgery. That doesn’t sound fun at all!
Nice to see you back, and good work!
Warm regards –
All the Jill People says
There is one thing I would like to say. I deeply believe that we can learn from another human being bo matter what stage of healing they are in.
Some of the most valuable lessons I have learned have been from those who are in early stages of treatment.
It’s a gift.. when you open yourself up to others., you can go away wounded and broken by whatever words were written. The other thing you can do is learn from what is being written.
I have found that no matter where someone says they are on the healing journey, there is always a gem to find. You just never know where you will find it. It could possibly come from the roads that we have already taken and found no solice.
I think no matter where you are in your journey.. I can learn something from you.. and would hope you could learn something from me.
As far as the statement of “finding someone like me”… we have all seen trauma. It’s a matter of looking for how we are alike instead of how we are different…
I’ve had some time away from all this drama cos honestly, it got us so riled up i needed bigs to step in and pull us back LOL.
I do realize upon further introspection from what you, ME+WE and Neo has said, that yes, i had those people further along in the beginning stages of my journey too and i wouldn’t be were i am today without them. I’m forever grateful that they took the time to answer my questions when i was a ‘newb’ too. And i would absolutely give that back in times and places where i felt i could contribute. And yes, everyone does need those people and that safe space to exist/learn/grow/be supported. There are many many basic skills that i had to learn and learn and re learn many times to get it through out thick head LOOOOL. So if i could pass down any ‘life hacks’ i totally would. Our compassion needs to be worked on and i’ll get to that in a little to explain why/where the lack of it stems from. But please know it is something i’m working on… a lot LOL.
Honestly, my only concern (and i know this is self serving of me) was that i could have a choice as to whether i was confronted with the needs of the ‘newbs’ (for lack of a better word- its really all i can think of right now) or not…
Controlling our environment is what keeps us safe and what has helped keep us stable for so long. We don’t go looking in places or for things, or even speak with people who could jeopardize that. Letting go of negativity, abusers (family+everyone we ever knew), our own crises and the all too easy slide back into that dark place we all feel, was a very long and hard fought thing for us. It’s taken us years. But we’ve seen the other side now, and as such, these boundaries serve us really well.
But from the sounds of it, it would seem i’m not the only person who had these concerns. Or who wanted a forum with designated spaces for designated things/topics. Truthfully, i actually thought that was the OCD bigs influencing things there. They like things organized and ‘under control’ loool. I’m glad to hear you say that we arent the only ones with these needs or concerns. BEcause yup, as you said “the others like me” thing is real. And it does help to be with likeminded souls.
I can see my choice of words was cold, judgy and spoken with lots of emotional baggage there. We’ve been really deeply burnt a few times by forums and other DID’ians. And yep, every time we’ve tried to re-enter the DID world its ended with us pulling out because like Neo said, i’m not willing to sacrifice my growth for the needs of others.
Indeed, learning ones personal boundaries is actually a really big and positive step in the healing journey, and i like Neo, have been sucked into exhaustion and can at times get easily overwhelmed by the needs of others. That’s not a bad thing, its not a reflection of everyone in early stages, it’s just a fact. I don’t know any empaths, therapists, or survivors who can give themselves endlessly or be around negativity repetitively without some sort of personal sacrifice or need to time out in a safe happy place.
Please know that When i have spare energy to give I’m absolutely there with bells on… We are just wary of putting ourselves in these situations much these days because of above mentioned reasons. I’m still in the processes of working with short tempered protectors to remind them to step back, detatch and wish others well on their way with empathy. (protectors often get stuck with that part and tend to more black and white– hence the black and white all or nothing thinking in the initial posts, i’m sure you saw it too, it sticks out like a sore thumb once they step back and i can see it LOOOL) I think too, protectors (and myself as a host) tend to forget that everyone see’s everything written within the limited perspective of their own functioning/coping and knowledge. We tend to forget that and get frustrated.
Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks for replying and weighing in. I’m glad this happened because now i can now understand where things went wrong, what the underlying issue was and how i can work to change it and help those inside to be heard (by me and others) without having to be so agitated. Thanks for that 😀
In terms of things for the new forum i’m not really sure. A forum i was on yrs ago installed lots of positive changes and included things like an art club where a mod set an art task per week that everyone got involved in then shared our artwork (had to be non identifying and non triggering); book clubs to discuss current research and books with an educational section with peer reviews/recs of books on DID;little’s section with games etc; teens section; R rated section for adult aka triggering topics; general chat where we all talked about non DID related & non triggering things; coping skills and general non triggering DID type talk etc (this tended to be where people would ask their questions)…There was a homework section too where the mods would give everyone a topic or question to discuss amongst their own system then report back and discuss with the class kinda deal,like how Kathy asks us q’s in blogs- that one was always great for internal coop and generally getting to know your systems opinions on things. There was an inspirational section too where i and many others would post inspirational (non religious- religion should be in its own section for avoidance of triggering ppl) quotes and goals we had for our systems etc… I feel there was definitely room for that 1 section where people could discuss the challenges and postives etc of recovery, co-con, teamwork, life without abusers etc- for those who are not in crisis and who are stable etc. THen of course you may need a venting section in which people can vent away and maybe someone would lock it to show that it’s been read by someone out there. Oh and 1 place where there’s a list of online and phone numbers for emergency contacts or resources ppl can use… WIth a firm rule of any talk of immediate SU plans, details etc = banning…keeps it safe for everyone. oh and a greeting section for everyone to meet n greet as they do lol.
I dunno, i mean, there’s a LOT of work right there alone and a forum can go from being welcoming to a sterile place with too many labels or rules etc…But yeah, that’s just a few ideas to start off with LOL. I always have more if you need cos there’s been some really great aspects of other forums that have helped many many people. I think it just comes back to how in depth you and Kathy want to go with this. A forum alone can be a full time gig, let alone everything else you guys are working on. I do thank you for your devotion to it all already though. I know it’s going to be great.
Anyway, i’ve rambled on too much again. Sorry for the novel. Have a great day.
Hello astrie and all,
Thank you for all of the fun, interesting, challenging and supportive forum ideas that you have posted here astrie. You have certainly given this a lot of thought (from a lot of experience) and I appreciate you sharing those ideas with us all. I look forward to seeing these forums come to life.
If I may offer my personal perspective here, I do not think that it is “self-serving” at all to state your needs and to set your boundaries for your interaction here. I think that it is incredibly wise of you to know what you can/want or cannot/do not want to take on here. We all need to be mindful to do what is healthful for us. And I totally agree when you say, “learning ones personal boundaries is actually a really big and positive step in the healing journey”. Bang on target as far as I am concerned.
I would like to be clear with you here astrie in stating that, you were/are not alone in your request for various forums (including ones for folks farther along in their healing process) and with the need to set boundaries for the forums (a point that I will elaborate on below). I agreed with you on both of these points previously and want to emphasize here that I support these ideas. What I did question in previous comments was the language that you used and the characterizations that you offered in the course of you making these requests. It was in this light that I read the responses of others here as well. You have acknowledged this point yourself astrie and have provided us with insight into where your comments were coming from. I sincerely appreciate you providing clarification and clearer understanding in that regard.
As I said above, I too believe that we need clearly stated boundaries and protocols for forums (and someone to ensure that such boundaries and protocols are followed) to keep us safe. Although my previous comments may not have been read as such (a bit to my disappointment I must admit), I was asking for boundaries and protocols as well. My boundaries and protocols concerned the kind of language that would be acceptable on these forums. So, for example, we cannot allow adult language to be posted on forums designed for the littles. To my way of thinking, so too any language that can be seen as harsh, hurtful, disrespectful, negatively targeted, etc. towards anyone participating in the forums.
I believe that these forums can be an exciting addition to what Kathy and Laura have already created here if there is a safe structure with clear boundaries and protocols set in place. When I have said in other comments that I spent three years lurking here before jumping into the discussions, I was also lurking on every DID forum and blog that I could find online at the same time. I watched and observed what was happening in those spaces and ultimately came to the conclusion that Kathy had the most informative, compassionate, interesting and safe space for DID folks on the Internet. I have participated in other online forums (non-DID) and I can relate to what astrie has said about how a forum can become stagnant or toxic if it does not have firm boundaries and protocols that are managed and maintained. For the past 17 years, I have facilitated/managed approximately 250 online forums with some 6,500 participants in total (not all at once btw) as a big part of my job. From a managerial perspective, I understand the fine line between a firm hand and a gentle touch. I hope that such a balance can be found here. As we launch into this new adventure with excitement and enthusiasm, we have to be mindful of the “nuts and bolts” of such a space that help maintain a safe place for us all.
Laura from DD says
hi astrie –
I’m glad the post was helpful to you. You’ve done a good job with your self-care skills and your ownership of the ways “your stuff” is still influencing you.
Thanks also for the forum ideas!
Any and all thoughts and ideas like this from the group are really helpful to Kathy and I at this point.
Warm regards –
Oh wow that all sounds amazing!
We used to be a part of a DID forum but had to leave when things got too toxic to be there. (and it was revealed -but quickly swept under the carpet that one of the biggest, most active members went to jail for kiddie p*rn)
I’ve looked back in on it in the past few months but again, its just a bunch of people constantly in extreme crisis winging about their DID and life in general (but doing nothing to help themselves and treating their alters like invaders and far from equals) and nobody actually standing up and saying that no, it doesn’t all have to be doom and gloom, but yeah, it does require you to stop being so selfish and living for ‘you’ and start living with the people who saved you *ss, repeatedly! (can you tell we’re more than a little intolerant of pitty parties and excuses these days looool).
I look forward to a productive place like that place used to be, it’d be awesome if it had some little homework tasks or critical thinking areas too where we can challenge ourselves at our own pace and kinda report back and share with others our findings on each topic etc… A place for little’s, teens, adulty topics and general chat. Boundaries in each section make things clear and concise about triggers etc. Maybe a little section that discusses some of your older blog posts would be really great too.
i think with mods as skilled as you guys are it would be a great HEALTHY place to be. I can’t wait till it gets up and running. It’ll be nice to be a part of a community again.
Overall, great plans and ideas, cant wait to learn more about the bears and see more stuff going on here at the blog. God knows there’s a massive gap in online stuff to do with DID at the moment. Places which are actually active and not unhealthy to be in are few and far between.
Thanks for all your hard work, we really appreciate it.
You are such a blessing, Kathy.
Peeking in, a bit shy. Read a lot here, but never written before, but have had great support from both Kathy and Laura. Have had tough holidays, yeay – they are almost finally over! Looked around for anywhere to hangout and feel safe – dreamt about a safe forum – and look here!!! Looks like we might be getting a belated Christmas gift! And yes, also curious about the stuff for the kids 🙂 *doing a little dance*
I spent three years just reading and absorbing here before getting my courage up to jump in to the comments. I am so very happy that you have done so here. It may not show but I am super shy too. Somehow being able to write here with folks who know what I am going through in a safe environment helps overcome the fears. I do hope that you continue to post. I look forward to getting to know you better and hearing your ideas on things.
I am “doing a little dance” that you are here and letting your voice be heard!
Thanks for sharing that with me! I feel courageous, I will try it out, the posting, I easily get into a panic and feel unsafe. Thanks for the dance 🙂
Well, hello, Just Us!
I am so very glad that you found us and so glad that you decided to write. Yay for the first post! You did it!
This really is a wonderful and safe place. Isn’t it amazing to be able to connect with others who get it? It’s good for our insiders, too! They get to have a place where they are also welcomed in a wider community.
Are we not bright and brave and beautiful?
Yes! Yes, we are!
Your new friend,
Yes I did! Yes, I have longed for that – talking to people who get it. Always feel like the odd one out. Haha, yes the insiders, not sure they share my perspective on who is the insiders or outsiders… I myself is quite new in this “living so much on the outside” – done that about a 1½ year or so, did it as very young too – but since then been hiding a lot.
Yes we are bright, brave and beautiful 🙂 Like diamonds – multifacetted 🙂
Thanks for being a new friend! I need those 🙂
Laura from DD says
*waves to JustUs*
So glad you found the courage to join in the conversation!
Just Me says
Thank you so much!! It is such a relief to talk with others who really understand it. I think my therapist is great. But none of my family knows about DID or the level of dissociation I experience. One friend I have trusted enough but she is going through some major issues in her own life and I don’t get to see her much lately.
Kathy and Laura,
I just wanted to thank you on behalf of everyone in my system for being so helpful. This is one of the greatest resources I have ever found and I am so grateful to you for being so willing to help systems like mine and people like me. I would also like to formally ask for permission to regard you as our mother figures, as we’re in desperate need of a new one.
Much love and respect.
Kathy Broady MSW says
Thank you for your very kind words! I really appreciate that. And I’m especially glad to hear that you are finding this resource to be helpful — that’s super good news.
I hope you are doing well… and yes, I am glad to be able to help systems like yours. If y’all find my words, and my teachings, and my emails, and my posts, and my videos to be kind, nurturing, and motherly, that’s fine with me. What matters most is you finding what you and your system needs to heal. And you know… no one can ever have enough positive people in their life, so count me in. 🙂
Thanks for writing, and I hope you keep reading and posting.
I am so excited too! YAY! Thank you so much for the years of hard work, heart and soul you have put into this website. I know I have read pretty much all the articles at least once. So much help! Thank you Kathy and Laura
d k says
This sounds really cool. Thank you for all the hard work being put into this website. I have gained a lot of encouragement to keep going forward and working on my STUFF through here. So THANK YOU. You all rock!
i under stand how the saddest littol bear feel
my heart be braking
i want to hear about the bears amd there storys
we like good news
this is exciting news! we are happy about all the cool things coming. you and laura are truly a blessing to us all; grateful for this place for our community to belong to and feel safe!
WOW! Thank you thank you Kathy and Laura! You are such a blessing to the DID community. I simply have no words. I just know that I am grateful beyond measure.
What wonderful stuff! What amazing delightful stuff. I am sure a support forum would be welcomed by so many people. I’m so glad the thread on our normal complicated selves has been so successful!
I’m right there with ME+WE. Anything I can do to support the two of you in this new adventure…just let me know.
With happy anticipation,
There is a whole lot of screaming and happy dancing going on in my system right now Kathy. You certainly have started the New Year off with great fun, excitement and wonder. I just LOVE all of your ideas and cannot wait to see what you have in store for us. Your wisdom, thoughtfulness, genuine regard for our needs and heart full of caring and silly beans are a guiding light to hope and healing. You not only teach us with your incredible insights and creative postings, but you inspire us with the depth of your understanding and compassion.
You are one remarkable gal Kathy and you have my utmost admiration, awe and respect!!! 🙂
Now, if there is anything that we individually or as a group can do to help with any of these projects, please let us know. I am on board with anything to help keep this gorgeous space continually grounding, growing and glowing!
With sincere affection and regard,
My apologies Laura. I most certainly should have included you in my message of gratitude for all that you are doing to make this such a wonderful place for us all. You have already offered incredible insight, support and compassion and now are working with Kathy to provide us with more. WOW! You have been an incredible gift to our community here.
With sincere gratitude,
Tim Okey says
Gotta hold off for now. Thanks anyhow. Far too many alligators in while my assignment is to drain the swamp while protecting the gators. They do not fully under stand that yet!