During this extended time of “Shelter in Place,” the COVID-19 quarantine processes, social distancing, closed borders, limited travel, worldwide lock-downs, millions of people, including dissociative trauma survivors, are required to stay home, unable to get out to their normal places of support and interaction. Right now, we are separated from and unable to meet with the people with whom we usually meet. This social isolation can be rather difficult and emotionally painful. Are you without your therapeutic support? Are you alone? Are you scared?
Being home, unable to leave, and not feeling safe to go out into the community isn’t as easy as it sounds. It can bring a lot of frustration, tension, and anxiety into your life. Does this sound like how you feel?
- Are you feeling alone and isolated?
- Are you separated from your team of people who offer support?
- Are you able to get to your therapist’s office?
- Is being by yourself becoming a struggle?
- Are your insiders needing someone to talk to?
- Are you feeling triggered and upset?
- Are you scared to be by yourself?
First of all — don’t forget — the Discussing Dissociation Community Forum is completely virus-free, protected from the public, and available 24/7. You can interact with other dissociative survivors all day long, without having to leave your home. You can be safe from all COVID-19 transmission fears, and yet, not be alone without support or understanding for what you are feeling or experiencing. A solid, good dose of safe, compassionate peer support can get you through some very difficult times, that’s for sure.
Being alone can be truly stressful. It can be fantastic in the right circumstances, of course, but forced social isolation can be triggering, upsetting, and emotionally complicated as well. However… you have other options. You don’t have to stay as alone as it feels in the outside world. DDCF relationships can be immensely helpful at this point in time.
Oh – please note. If you are looking for some extra learning information about DID, we have the Educational Forum open as well. Right now, you can join DDEF via the Community Forum, but with so many folks being stranded within their homes, we are checking into additional options. In the Educational Forum, Laura and I participate in the discussions and offer additional questions, perspectives, or ideas to the topics. More info upcoming about DDEF.
What could be triggering for Dissociative Systems in these world circumstances?
1. Feelings of isolation and abandonment
Thousands of people in the world are now struggling to survive isolation via home quarantine, or “Shelter in Place,” forced quarantine, or medical ICU quarantine. However, many DID trauma survivors already know and recognize the feeling of being left alone during a difficult or traumatic situation. Living with separateness, not fitting in, feelings of abandonment, being isolated, and being socially deprived may have felt like life-long issues for you.
The feelings of being alone and separated might be triggering up some old painful memories. How many different ways have you already experienced social isolation in your lifetime? Is this an old wound and are those isolated parts of your system feeling triggered?
You might have internal parts who have memories of being purposefully separated other people, or purposefully removed from family or loved ones. These are tender spots and the world’s current state could be triggering up those parts of your system. And with them, their memories and emotional pain could be surfacing for you as well.
2. Fear of not being able to be with your therapeutic support team
With many therapists and mental health facilities no longer able to do face-to-face visits, the fear of having your therapist removed from you could be intensified by any old memories where you were hurt and unable to reach anyone for help. The fear of losing your emotional support person this year can layer onto many years of family trauma where you weren’t helped when you needed to be.
Is this an old wound for anyone in your system? Was your mother or grandmother or loving parent taken from you? Was any protective family member removed from you? Have you already lost a treasured therapist or support person before? The heartbreak of losing someone who genuinely matters in the emotional support area can feel truly devastating.
Many dissociative survivors have chronic PTSD remaining from trauma or abuse memories where these circumstances applied:
- Fear of your help being removed from you.
- Fear of nobody knowing what’s happening for you.
- Fear of no one hearing your pain.
- Fear of internal conflicts and not knowing how to resolve issues without the help of your therapeutic support team.
If you’ve lost your support person, the question of how to process the rising internal pain becomes a big issue as well. Where do you go for help and support with all the pain that you are feeling? How do you “shut it all down” and hold all that pain inside again? How will your little ones handle it if they cannot see the therapist person on a regular basis? Will they understand what is happening?
3. Fear of death, or threats of death
So many dissociative trauma survivors have had near-death experiences in their trauma history. All too many DID survivors have had their lives threatened, multiple times, in various ways. Hearing about death rates and death threats can be scary, no matter what. However, if you have a history of death threats and life-threatening trauma, these phrases could be triggering your insiders who hold these memories. Are these parts being pulled up, or triggered out, and what memories and body pain are they bringing with them? These could be very difficult to deal with at this time.
On top of that, the Coronavirus is most dangerous to people with other underlying health issues. If you have any of these additional health issues, you may be truly fearful for your safety right now. Living with a real and genuine threat to your life can be highly stressful and traumatic. It might mean that you have to be even more socially isolated, and even more withdrawn from the world. While it is critical to protect yourself from harm, it could also be extremely difficult to be so isolated and alone with your fears.
And of course, if any of your loved ones are highly susceptible, or even ill with the Coronavirus, you could be struggling with genuine life or death issues right at this moment of time. And with so many people expected to die over the next few months of time, the fears, grief, and loss experienced will no doubt, impact many of the readers of this blog directly. I am sorry for your pain and for your loss.
4. Increased depression, and threats to self-injury
All of this world chaos and fear can most certainly lead to increased depression, suicidal thoughts, anxiety, and PTSD. Hopefully, you have already learned some good coping skills during your therapy and healing process. Do your very best to practice good self-care during this time of world crisis.
However, I am very sure that many dissociative survivors will still look towards self-blame, self-hatred, self-injury, and self-destruction during this time. Dig deeper than that, and find your healthiest thoughts and resources. Don’t fall back into listening to old negative messages from perpetrators or abusers. The COVID-19 pandemic is not your fault, and you are not to blame for it. You didn’t cause it, and you don’t have to be used to do anything negative at this time. Yes, please do your part in keeping your own local community safe, but don’t absorb these world issues as your own fault.
Have any of your insiders been triggered in ways that they are struggling with suicidal feelings or self-injury? If this is the case, be sure to work with those parts as quickly as you can. Help them separate their past traumas and old programmed messages from what is going on in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic. Freeing your insiders from any old programmed messages or old programmed jobs, especially self-destruction-related tasks, could be essential for your own health and well-being. Let your insiders know that you can protect yourselves now, and that there are helpful resources for them today.
If you need extra help with this, don’t hesitate to request a Phone Consultation with me or an Email Consultation with Laura. We are willing to help to the best of our ability.
5. Fear of being deprived and neglected
There are plenty of worries and panic stories on the news where people are fearing they will not have enough food, not have enough medical supplies, not have enough TP, not have enough necessities. And it is true, that many people are losing their jobs, or their businesses are failing. The economic hardships right now are going to the extreme. One of the more stressful issues is that in so many ways, we don’t know how long this storm will last. We don’t know when our stores will be open again. We don’t know when we will be able to get back to work. We don’t know how long we will be living on the edge of crashing. We just don’t know how long this period will last.
Deprivation, neglect, hunger, or starvation, and memories of not being properly tended to layers deep into nearly all dissociative systems. Even if some needs were met, there will always be a whole list of insiders who’s normal health and welfare needs were NOT met.
Is this worldwide fear of deprivation, starvation, and economic disaster triggering some of your insiders who already know hunger, deprivation and similar fears?
6. Fear of contamination and germs
Oh, so so many dissociative survivors have issues with germs, and touching something yucky, and feeling dirty, or feeling contaminated. These trigger-filled issues have clear and extensive trauma histories and loads of bad memories that come attached to them, but nowadays, out in the outside world, the fear of germs and touch being scary and unhealthy is probably stirring up all kinds of turmoil with some of your parts. We hear and see this message on every public channel we listen to — whether it’s television, radio, internet — or anywhere in everyday life, from people-watching through the windows or going to the grocery store.
People everywhere are afraid of contamination.
The whole world is afraid of germs now.
And rightly so, but how is this affecting your insiders? What impact is this worldwide message having on your people?
Is the wearing of respiratory facial masks triggering to you? That sure could be — I know plenty of DID folks who have a strong fear of masks and facial coverings. There are also many dissociative folks who have phobias and traumas related to any restrictions with breathing.
It’s true, I’m sure that many of your system members are very pleased about the 6-foot / 2-meter social distancing rule, but for others, the fear of germs and contamination can lead to increased anxiety and panic. On another level, the message of being “too dirty to touch” is an enormously painful trigger for all too many survivors who were abused and left alone and uncomforted after severe abuse.
The whole “don’t touch anybody” message can be triggering for those folks who were neglected and not given enough helpful, comforting, positive touch. Touch-deprivation scars in a longterm way, and adding COVID-19 fears doesn’t help these feelings feel less painful. Are those parts of your system being triggered up this month?
7. Being forced to live in close quarters with abusive housemates
Trauma is trauma, and abuse is abuse. Whether it happened now, or then, if you are forced to live in a home with someone else who is abusive towards you, then these days of “Shelter in Place” will not be very safe for you. Incidents of child abuse, domestic violence, and any version of family violence have been on the rise during this phase of lockdown, and if you are living in a violent or dangerous home situation, please get help as quickly as you can. Getting out and away from the abuser will be important for your safety. Your local Family Violence / Child Advocacy resources will have more information to share with you.
The dilemma of where to go will be a complicated issue to solve, but please don’t let yourself or your children continue to live quarantined in an abusive environment.
For dissociative survivors, the triggers related to confinement and trauma are many, and heavy-duty. This topic alone could be disturbing and triggering your internal system people much more than you realize. Your parts may be relating to their own years of entrapment, and their own experiences of not having freedom or safety. For your own healing, be sure to work with your system as much as possible to heal these wounds and give them a genuinely safe place to live in the here and now, both on the outside, and on the inside.
8. Internal System activities — what do you do while you are required to be at home?
There are so many heavy topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic! However, on a lighter side, what on earth are you doing to keep your internal system busy, productive, or entertained?
Those little ones will need entertainment, activities, food, and safety. Are your DIDkids doing fun things? Are they finding ways to enjoy their time? Are you using the “stay-at-home” requirement as an opportunity to do more interaction with your own system? This chunk of time — while you are LESS busy in the outside world — could give you MORE time to address your inside world or your inside parts.
It’s true, your interaction with the outside world will be limited right now, but if we look for a silver lining in this situation, as a dissociative system, you have a whole internal world that needs your time and attention. I know, without a doubt, that you have insiders who have been waiting what feels like forevvvvvvver to have a turn to do their things. I’m sure you could come up with a long list of “stuff” your system wants to do while you are staying put inside your home.
Maybe there are changes to make, projects to do, crafts to create, organizing to happen, etc. Maybe some of your insiders just need time outside in the body so they can be themselves out in the outside living space, and not just in the internal space. Ask your people what they want and need to do. Make a list, and see how many of those things you can actually do this month.
These extra days at home could become something truly valuable for your insiders, and you could benefit from having extra time to work on what you and your system needs.
This topic is probably an entire blog post of its own, so maybe I’ll wait till then to explore this more. But for now, ask your people, what do they want to do during this time of home-quarantine?
How can this time be useful and helpful for them?
What can you accomplish in this month that you just didn’t have time to do before?
Does this look like you?
Do you relate to this picture of isolation and loneliness?
If you are struggling with loneliness, depression, isolation, please consider joining the DDCF forum community for more support and connection. We are all having to find new ways to connect with each other, and with the world, and this is the perfect time to reach out in a way that you’ve never had to before. Let DDCF be a helpful support for you.
The DDCF community is warm, friendly, and will welcome you to be part of the forum group. You do NOT have to be alone in your pain, or alone in your fears. There are more options for dissociative trauma survivors now. You, too, can be part of this healthy, and healing-inspired resource.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the Discussing Dissociation Community Forum.
I hope to see you there.
I wish you safety, and healthiness during these difficult times.
Join us, and stay connected!
Copyright © 2008-2020 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
My post is an extremely sad post. On Father’s Day at 2:30 AM we got the call of all parents worst nightmare…our son was in a motorcycle accident and died. 💔😭. We have had an outpouring of love, kindness and support. I’m so appreciative. It helps having love, condolences, support and care. I’m noticing what a difference it makes at such a difficult time to have so much outpouring of support and love. Then I compare the difference of suffering with depression and DID… that’s not something that we can get the same degree of love and support to surround us and lift us about. With mental illness, trauma and DID…we carry so much pain in private. We don’t post it on Facebook! Instead we hide in shame and blame ourselves. It’s so sad. The same is true with my hoarding and eating disorder. We need the outpouring of love and support through all of our sufferings… I can’t let people in to that part of me…
Thank you for listening to my realization! Love to all my fellow sufferers, regardless of what brings on that pain! 💞
My sincere, heartfelt condolences to you and your family. I cannot imagine the pain and grief that you are feeling. Just such a sad and tragic loss.
I hear the message of loss in your realization as well. The losses that brought about your need to dissociate to the point of developing DID. The losses of life lived with the shadow of trauma . And the loss that has led to other losses of healthy self and life circumstances.
I also hear and know the struggle to be heard and supported in your journey with mental health issues. Yes … it sure is not something that you share on Facebook!!! But, you can share it here with folks who truly understand and want to support you. And, if ever you are so inclined, there are also two Forums that Kathy and Laura offer that provide space for multiples to be their multidimensional selves. These are safe places to find the support that comes with this package of losses.
Kathy Broady MSW says
Oh Linda, I am so very very sorry to hear of your loss — such a horrible, tragic, nightmare call that would have been to get at 2:30am. I am sooo sorry. So very sorry…. I’m glad to hear that you’ve had support around you, and thank you for coming here to let us know your heartbreaking news.
Post again when you can.
Sending my heart-felt condolences…
I am so sorry for your loss and the pain that goes with this enormous loss. I have not suffered the loss of a child, and I can’t even begin to think of the pain..
You are so right about the difference in pain… and mental illness, trauma and DID. I too have hoarding and eating disorder.. my heart goes out to you. Sending love back to you 🌺❤️
The title of this article caught my eye because it’s currently my biggest struggle
I have very little support right now and I think its the biggest struggle for me and our inside kids. I am taking over the system again and its been years… I have to adjust to a totally new way of life, and I have to do it quickly,
I personally am struggling a lot with loneliness, and emotion, as all our work friends are gone for the summer, and a husband who has no idea how to help. I am worried that my own issues of loneliness, grief, depression, and eating disorder stuff will get in the way of me helping the inside kids.
i have been very alone and isolated for the past ten years, so I dont quite know why its so much more challenging at this time. Perhaps just because i am now responsible for all the inside kids and safety of the system as well. I dont currently have anyone inside who is capable of helping me out with all this. The only one available is some one that I do not trust at all to actually help.
We are trying to keep very busy doing projects, from resin to painting and many things in between, to help pass the time, until things somehow get better.. but it doesnt make all the underlying issues go away. They’re constantly buzzing underneath all our busy-ness.
I do not have anyone around to talk to who even knows whats going on, let alone help guide me through it.. I WILL get through it, and hopefully eventually I will get used to things, but its a much bigger struggle than I anticipated ”How do you learn to take over your internal system of 50 upset, overly emotional kids while also curing yourself of all your own issues at the same time…” isnt exactly something to bring up on facebook or over lunch.
So yes, its a big trigger, and a lot to take in, and lots of feeling really alone. I have got to adapt, and Ive got to help all these inside kids, and quickly, while getting all my own fears/ issues under control.
Sorry for writing so many comments… it has been a very long week, and all of this stuff is weighing heavily on my heart. I needed to write down just a tiny bit of whats going on so that its out there somewhere… its really weighing me down. I feel like o have the weight of the world on my shoulders lately.
Are you feeling alone and isolated?
– yes, absolutely, it’s a struggle
Are you separated from your team of people who offer support?
– we have been cut off from all our supports for months; the walk in crisis service at CMHA, our local mental wellness drop in centre, and worst of all our therapist
Are you able to get to your therapist’s office?
– thankfully she is finally doing in person Appointments!!!
Is being by yourself becoming a struggle?
– its sadly seductive and unhealthy. Covid-19 has only increased our agoraphobia.
Are your insiders needing someone to talk to?
Are you feeling triggered and upset?
– frequently, maybe more so than usual being alone 99% of the time takes a toll.
Are you scared to be by yourself?
– Not really, except when we’re suicidal, we have had to reach out to the text crisis line when things get too rough
Oh MissyMing, you speak of inside Ice skating…that excites me! We Love Ice Skating and try to go every winter!
Disorganization is huge for us..such a problem!
We actually canceled our last two T appts. We were too shut down to talk. And the denial…especially because we seem to be so different by not having any vision and writing although really shows our parts-I can’t identify any one. I’m only who I am at the moment and I never know who or what’s going on. It’s so out of control. I used to think I had good insight…but now I’ll have this Big moment of great insight and feel as if we have a good idea where we’re going…good plan. I get excited tell my therapist and then it’s gone! I’m wondering again what am I to do! So now I can’t even trust me. A lot of discouragement! I’m having trouble to trust anyone or anything! And of course denial comes in strong and back to self blame…I’m a flake that doesn’t try hard enough.
I does help to hear how others struggle and do their best to cope!
It’s great you have so many interests! I used to but now I don’t find anything of interest. I have sewed some masks to donate recently, but could have done so much more.
I have a LOT of interests…but no “organization” or clue how to get started in ANY of them and it ends up just “flitting” away…..It’s like a “dreamer” who just sits there and doesn’t attempt anything….. Disorganization is such a “wall”…..My brain just keeps jumping around and everything ends up feeling overwhelming and I just end up going in circles…..So yeah – I have interests….but can’t get anywhere with them…..
I don’t know if anybody else goes through this – although it sounds similar to your situation…but I get to where I think I have an idea of what is going on Inside and then here it comes….change. Sometimes something will happen and I have suddenly watched a group of parts Inside rearranging “boundaries” or “groupings”…..One time it looked like a whole bunch of “railroad ties” Inside that had been arranged in “blocks” one way…but then the parts were changing it all around in a completely different pattern….Talk about a “lost” feeling….I had NO idea what was going on or what “I” was supposed to do with it…and they told me NOTHING…..I just had to keep “feeling” my way through everything which was not fun…..
Everything being so up in the air at work has been really hard on us….”we” don’t know for sure what is expected of us or if we are doing anything right….teachers are scheduled to come back for emptying their rooms and we want to RUN….the responsibility of getting everything disinfected exactly “right” after their access is causing “panic” Inside…We never feel like we did anything “right” or “good enough” and so we are always on guard for consequences and repercussions….it can be Internally exhausting…..We wish we knew how to “feel OK”……..
Certain young parts who were EXTREMELY attached to our critters who passed away a year ago have been creating havoc….We did have a Christmas ornament who looked like our cat, but we have no idea where we put it and haven’t been able to find it which has caused a part to “hound” us…we have been snowballing in so many directions….we keep asking if any part knows where the cat ornament is…but no answer….it is NOT fun when Inside is full of “silence” AND chaos and each direction ends up slamming you in the face…..things feel SO “critical” to parts….
We still haven’t gotten the “hang” of how to “provide” Internal stuff for the parts….Maybe it is because we STILL battle denial that they are even REALLY there (even though we can watch them)….maybe it is because the idea of “comforting” them still scares us for some reason….sometimes we feel like we haven’t even gotten to “square one” with this “stuff” yet….often we are just trying to keep our head above water…..
Hope you get a breakthrough to get to your T…sometimes I am “all over the place” with mine…but it IS what it IS…..
Absolutely-For me, disorganized and overwhelmed is my baseline! Denial as well—right now I have canceled my last 2 weekly T appt. With COVID19 SIP and I don’t really like phone appt, so I find I actually feel better—so I’ve had this diagnosis for 30 years…none of my parts want to be identified, maybe I just have different feelings and opinions…I have no vision of an inside world…Maybe I need to end therapy and go out and try to function as a “non-DID’er” or “singleton” as I’ve seen it said…I feel like what we’ve been doing is not working
Maybe I should try something else.
It sounds like you have a lot of awareness of your inside world. And yes, a lot of chaos! I have a lot of chaos as well but no way to identify it! All over the place-Yes to that too! Yes comfort and “self- compassion” is supposed to be a key to healing! I have lots for others..
But hard to give to me!
Oooops! Linda….somehow I missed seeing your reply…yeah – I guess I have a lot of “awareness” of my Inside World…just wish I knew how to help them – PLUS – at the same time – how NOT to keep denying their existence!….I am as chaotic as my parts!….I’ve been through the “act like a singleton” mode many times – haven’t figured that one out yet either when parts get in your face…. 🙂
Restrictions are lessening at work – and more people are coming in – which has stirred up a LOT of Internal stress….AGAIN – we are not sure what all is expected of us which triggers off vulnerability and fear…..the cycle that seems to keep going…..
We’ve been what we call “popcorning” a LOT lately….Inside “flashes” of stuff suddenly popping up in front of our “eyes” and then going back down to where we cannot see…. there is a strong sense of Objective and his Helper sorting through puzzle-pieces ….working on how stuff fits together…..but we have to focus on our Outside job to get it right so we don’t get in trouble…. we don’t have time or space to try to see Inside as to what is going on…..”flashes” everywhere – but we are left out of the loop…frustratingly leaves us feeling “off-balance”……
We so desperately want to take some of our long overdue vacation time – but some parts are blocking us because of their fear that then we won’t be doing what we are “supposed” to be doing and they are afraid of “consequences”…..I keep trying to tell them we have EARNED vacation time – there WON’T be “consequences” – but it seems like their ears have gone deaf…there has to be a LEGITIMATE reason for taking off….for them – it is either we are too sick to go – OR someone in authority over us tells us to – then it is OK…..good luck with THAT!….
Our sister had one of her weird “as she is waking up” dreams (usually nightmares) which did some triggering in us…..on the way to work at our super early morning side job – we were driving in the dark on an empty highway and stuff started bubbling…..but it wasn’t “objective” enough….too much sensation of “feeling” and we got scared and shut it all down – saying, “NO! NO! Not NOW! I gotta work!” I knew that working alone in an empty building where there are a lot of “undercurrents” would head me into bottoming out…..
No wonder my parts are so confused with me….I say, “I want to see! I want to see!” and then I go, “NO! Not now! Not now!”……One of these days maybe I can figure this “timing” stuff out!!!…..
Finally…. a break….the “popcorning” stopped….whew!….but didn’t know if that was “good” or “bad”…..too busy with Outside to try to deal with any of it…..While driving (which seems to be the most often way I “see” stuff Inside) I suddenly saw Objective and his Helper just standing there….I guess they were taking a break too!!…But then, a couple of steps off to their side I saw a HUGE pile of “stuff” that was at least an arm’s length above Objective’s head….I KNEW it was a pile of all those “popcorns” (potential puzzle-pieces) that had been popping up….NO WONDER I felt so scattered….All I could do was relish the “break” and say to them “PLEASE! PLEASE! DON’T think it is a “pile of leaves” and want to jump into the middle of it!!!!” 🙂
MissyMing, I really appreciate how you respond to every one with very understanding supportive messages. Thanks!
I too need to see my T in person just like you say, even though my parts never look at her! Also we do a lot of art expression that needs to be seen and often we have writing that she needs to read,. Last week we even chose not to have an appt,
maybe not a wise decision, I don’t know. It does make it harder now.
Thanks, linda…I don’t have answers – I still flounder a lot myself…but I can try to “hear” people….sometimes just being “heard” is what is needed in the moment……
It is much easier for me to “hear” in writing than in person (unless I feel a “shift”)…..usually I am too on guard for undercurrents and faces – things that feel “contradictory” ….parts are constantly taking “snapshots” of moments and then they play them back to me afterwards on a loop….asking questions which I have no answers for…it is Internal agony….But here? – I don’t have to deal with “faces”….. just the “heart” I “hear”…….
Oooooo! We LOVE art, too! There are so many directions we want to try – but right now the job time factor interferes..PLUS – we are SO disorganized now – which can feel overwhelming ….but one of these days – it will happen! We want to also try “pioneer” type stuff like making our own butter, making a sweater starting with a sheep fleece, spinning yarn, etc….there are SO many directions we want to try….like sculpturing, wood-carving, painting, weaving, quilt-making, bee-keeping, herbal medicine, and on and on….enough to make our head spin!…As if it already wasn’t….:)
Our T took a break last week, so we didn’t get to have our appointment….but, we did better than we thought we would…. which in itself caused a lot of Internal questioning – like “Is that good – or not good”?…..ugh – Is there NO end???? 🙂
RainSinger, I’m so glad you found DD—there is so much helpful information to be found here! And great you wrote right away. I read for years before writing anything.
I also had my T drop me when I was first diagnosed. I know how hard that is and how hard to find someone new, the Trust part, it’s all so hard and confusing too. I’m glad you’ve got your singing in place. I’m so sorry for your pain, I understand so well about being in a deep pit and not knowing if you’ll ever find a way out. I have no answers, but I have understanding and compassion for your pain.
Welcome here, many people will support you here in writing and many that read these messages but don’t respond.
Thank you for welcoming me. I could not see my post until now, so i thought it got lost bc thats how i feel . . . lost and hopeless, really. I wanted to say what city i live in bc I can’t find a new T, and i thought maybe someone here may know one near me. My T dumped us bc she said she doesn’t know how to work with DID. But we dont understand bc she always knew I was multiple. The only good thing is she says its not my fault. So we are feeling very bad and confused especially our little ones. We dont know if we can ever trust anybody ever again ever. ever. ever. My heart is breaking.
Thankyou about our name. I am a singer and songwriter. Have been a musician all my life. We are sunk in a deep Pit. Feels like we will never find our way out of it. But our music people are spending hours playing and it is keeping us alive.
I know I have lots of people inside but I mostly dont know them. We have lots of babies. I am just starting to tell them I want to know them and want us all to learn to get along with each other. There has been a battle in my mind for a long time. I have been in different therapies for a lot of years. Sometimes still dont think i am DID.
HazelE, i am sorry you are having a very hard time. Wish things were better for everybody.
We apologize this is too long.
Oh, my RainSinger….if you felt you needed to apologize for “this is too long”, then “I” would be having to apologize ALL the time….I have looked back and seen some REALLY, REALLY LONG ones of mine – but evidently it is what needed to come out for some reason…..I have NEVER read a post on DD from anyone that I considered TOO long – I see it as them “processing” in the way they needed and I have gained insight into my own “stuff” through it….We still battle “denial” a lot – so even a “crumb” of validation helps us get our feet under us in all this….All the articles and posts here are a “treasure trove” of validation that makes me feel less “crazy”…….
I know what you are saying about “not seeing your post”…..we have found we have to keep refreshing the home page – sometimes even going to a specific listed comment on an article and refreshing from there before it will show up on the home page…..we thought it was our really old quirky computer!….but refreshing a lot might help you know you are NOT “lost”….!
We are working on learning our “parts”, too….definitely young parts and have had flashes of “babies”…..it can feel overwhelming at times trying to “see” why they are there…about the main thing we have learned so far is that the dissociative system is the most “head-scratching” confusing yet absolutely AMAZING system of emotional survival we have ever encountered….when I am “lost” in the “confusing” part of it – I have to make myself remember there is also the “amazing” part of it….understanding will eventually come……
So glad you have music parts – I LOVE songs – they can often speak so much more than just talking can…..we don’t have any parts who can play music OR sing – but we DO have a part who LOVES to ice skate to music….we don’t know why she is there – but she sure is a “stress-reliever” while listening to the radio on the way to work….we can’t skate a lick on the Outside – but that’s OK – we just watch her…she does a fabulous job on the Inside! (Okay – that sounded a bit crazy – a skating rink Inside – but oh, well – it IS what it IS….!)……
We are not ok. We have T by phone but it’s a disaster for us, and is borderline worse than nothing. We talked to T today and got triggered by something she said, but she didn’t know and we were huddled in a ball with our eyes closed for the rest of the session. We’re sure she’s sick of us, we’re so much trouble. We’re so frustrating.
Masks are triggering and they’re everywhere.
And we are juggling work and parenting a small child. So we have no time to ourselves at ALL to do the things that help the system stay afloat. And still we are failing… we can’t keep up at work even though we are taking partial FMLA. We are on the edge of tears while we’re with our kid. We can’t even go out to the grocery store because we think the kiddo has a mild case and we have to stay isolated. So we’re triggered by the idea of running out of food, even though I’m sure we’ll be able to get delivery. But just the knowledge that we can’t go get food if we need it feels terrifying to some inside. We’ve spent decades telling them that we can always get more food if they need it.
We need T, and we don’t know what to do.
Oh HazelE, I keep thinking about your post so I decided to give a response. I understand completely how you say you were triggered by your T…that is so hard. And now on phone sessions it’s so much harder—I’m so sorry for all you’re dealing with. I also understand the feeling of being a frustration to your T…I am also such a frustration to me! I just wanted to give you some understanding and support. I care!
HazelE, having a session like that would have been VERY hard for us, too….We HAVE to see T’s face – weird in that when a “part” triggers to the surface “I” am aware (at the side) that we cannot bear to look at T’s face – we look anywhere but at her because faces scare us….but for her to not see us in a triggered ball would have been horrendous for us, too…to not be “seen” or “heard” IS terrifying….we get scared that our T is going to get sick of us, too – that we are taking too long – that she is going to give up on us….but hopefully she knows we are TRYING to move forward….hopefully your T knows that about you, too……
You stated that not being able to actually go get food was terrifying to some Inside – hopefully there are other parts who can help calm them with the knowledge that there still IS delivery available….but I know it is rough when a triggered part can only see what it sees….not easy to walk through…..but maybe a little extra treat for them would help calm their fears….sometimes it doesn’t take much – our T gave a young part 3 Robin egg candies the other day…she didn’t let us forget they were there…….
We don’t seem to have much trouble with the look of masks…but sometimes we do feel claustrophobic….but have managed to get through the moments……
Hope you are doing better now HazelE….thank you for letting us know how you are….
Fear of Mask. The trigger that come with things be put on our face and tied . The main front person has made over 200. I don’t understand why when knowing the potential harms that can happen with them. Such has chloroform blindfolded muzzled so forth and so on..when She had to put one on. She became aware of some of the upsets with in
Oh my, Reboot….the confusion that comes with conflict….how one “part” of you can so disconnectedly do something that terrifies another “part” of you…..you watch it happening and don’t know which way you are “supposed” to go…..like times we would objectively “dissect” stuff while there is borderline “hysteria” somewhere Inside……we don’t know what to do with it….why it is all even there…….we think we are being “scientific” in one thing….yet fall apart if we see a dead animal in the road…..all we can see is their moments just before death…their confusion, their fear…..it overwhelms us……or are we just “projecting” something?…who knows….
I discovered your website a few days ago.
I am feeling all these triggers. My T terminated me the same day her office shut down bc of covid-19. This was completely without warning. I am leaving out the details bc it hurts too much to write about it right now. I feel afraid of death equally with wanting it. (I hope it’s ok to say that. I am not going to act on it)
I live in the northern Alabama area. I am having a hard time to find a T that works with multiples. I wish I could find other DID people near me, that I could talk to on the phone. I am so alone. Please if you know of anybody?
I wish i could be in your forum but we don’t have any money
Oh, my, RainSinger….BTW – we LIKE your name….it says a LOT to us!…..We are so sorry about you losing your T….I know that has to be HARD….I don’t know what we would do if that happened to us…except be HERE a LOT more than we currently are……
“I feel afraid of death equally with wanting it.”….We know what you are talking about…..I think a LOT of us here know what you mean by that….but SO GLAD you aren’t going to act on it….but we know that NOT acting on it doesn’t make the “feeling” any less “real” – or less “scary”… or less hard….
We find it easier to talk here than on a phone…..stuff just comes out here….on a phone we are constantly scanning for “undercurrents” in tones of voice, what do the “silences” REALLY mean?…, did we say something “wrong”?…..it is hard for us on a phone unless we know the person REALLY, REALLY well – but then we STILL question…..
Maybe being here will be like that for you, too! Even EASIER than talking on a phone….. We hope you come back here more…..
We found a new ways for new inside kids to show up. Shove oneself into a house-sized box for five weeks, shake, add bad memories.and cease to exist to anyone else. Bam! Instant chaos, extra kids to take care of.
Ewwww….a recipe I wish did not exist….but it DOES…..your “spot on” description actually made my “gut” hurt…..we know you were being “tongue-in-cheek”…but it sure reeks of our “reality”…..”cease to exist to anyone else” is a ball-park all its own……Wow, nobody…you have an amazing way with words….!!!!
Finally numb….finally…..got some “breathing room” at work with the school shut down….now I only have to wade through triggers from co-workers….but then “numb” throws me into the direction of wondering even more if I am making all this stuff up…sometimes I wish there was a way to just turn me upside down and empty everything out so I can just go ahead and see what is what – and go from there…..
I am grateful that I still have opportunity to work….although I also am aware of a desperate need for real down-time….things so “up in the air” with EVERYTHING is hard on me….young parts go into “20-questions” mode – needing to know what is going on…what are we “supposed” to do….are we OK?….I have no answers to give them…..co-workers don’t understand my “weird questions” and I watch them “shut down” on me – which of course only causes MORE “20-questions”……I feel so much like a “mis-fit”……
Sooooo – I keep trying to go numb, stay steady, and act “normal”…..I keep pushing Inside “turmoil” way down so I can get through each day……I wish I knew what “rest” felt like…..my body may be still…but Inside is anything but…deep Inside “bouncing” is hard to know what to do with……
Luckily my area isn’t hit as hard with COVID as other areas…so I still get to see my T – with definite precautions in place….my computer doesn’t do video and my phone is TOO over my head to try…..I am so clueless with technology – especially smartphones…. even my simple, $30 smartphone has left me far behind…!!
Parents are wanting kids back into school….and I am mentally and emotionally standing there going “NOT YET! I’m NOT ready yet!”….but SUCH decisions don’t belong to me…but, of course, it will only happen when it is deemed safe to do so…..so, for now, I am trying to get the “feel” of “breathing room”……..
This is certainly a very scary and triggering time. So far this year has offered me up all of my biggest fears. I am trying to stay positive but I do feel the rumblings inside of insiders who are not happy. In part this is because I have squashed them down a whole lot the past three months as we did the hospital and recovery thing with my husband. Now I am in another crazy fight for his life making sure that this darn COVID-19 virus does not come near him.
Anyway, to Kathy’s questions.
Are you feeling alone and isolated?
Yes and no. I am home with my husband so I am not alone. He is my best friend and the person that I would most want to be stranded on a deserted island with so … check that one. But, I do feel isolated from my family and friends and usual routine. We are using the telephone (even though I have a big phone phobia) and other social networking and video conferencing platforms. But, it is not the same as actually being with them. My husband did point out that we are reaching out and making more contact then we usually do with our extended network of family and friends. So, that is a positive.
Are you separated from your team of people who offer support?
Yes and no again. I am physically separated from them but I do contact them. Again, it is not the same as sitting and having lunch with my best friend and having her reach out when I need a hand to hold or to give me her big, beautiful hug. I really miss human contact the most. We can be in touch and that stimulates my mind but I crave human contact and physical energy. I am really surprised about this because my body has been numb most of my life. Hum … shows me how much I have thawed out.
Are you able to get to your therapist’s office?
No … her office closed down at the beginning of March. I do have video conferencing sessions with her once a week. So, I get to hear her and see her. Again, not the same as having her physical presence in the room with me but I am very thankful that I do have contact with her and that I can see her. I was a bit restrained at first not knowing how to do my work like that but the past two sessions have opened up a lot more. I was very worried about what we would do if my insiders switched me out and I was very guarded about that not happening. But, this week I did switch out and it went fine. My T’s voice was enough to help me do the work I needed to do (or rather the work that my insider needed to do) and to get me back.
Is being by yourself becoming a struggle?
I really like time by myself so that is not an issue for me. Actually, there have been too many interruptions for my liking of things that needed to be done or my husband wandering into my space.
Are your insiders needing someone to talk to?
Yes. My one friend has always been an outlet for some of my insiders to talk and they are missing her terribly.
Are you feeling triggered and upset?
I am feeling very triggery and I know that there are a lot of upset folks inside. But, I am not sure how much is the self-imposed quarantine and the sadness about what is happening and what is because I just got home after two months away while my husband recuperated from surgery at a retirement residence. I had to really squash down my insiders as we dealt with the hospital stuff (one of my traumas), looking after my husband and living where we were. I knew that there would be a rebound of sorts when we got home and so I am not surprised that I am feeling like I am. The current circumstances sure have made it a lot more problematic. I feel like I am still on high alert watch for my husband’s health and that is really triggering.
Are you scared to be by yourself?
No not really. I have a bunch of insiders to keep me company.
Yes, yes and yes… so much. It actually gives me a overall feeling of relief to have to stay home—I’ve been severely depressed and wanting to stay home in bed—so it’s great to have an excuse now! I’m continuing to have phone appts with my T, TT and psychiatrist, but we are very guarded and self protective. So much of our work is done with writing, drawing and art work, much real therapy can’t happen over the phone.
I feel like for the most part we are in “survival mode” the system is mostly shut down—very little writing or communication is happening—It could cause me to deny even having DID—except I know we do. I’m having the most trouble with wanting and needing to stay safe and warm cozy in bed, only getting up for bathroom and to get food…with the pressure of knowing that is physically, emotionally and spiritually unhealthy to stay in bed…and the fight-the battle to Do, to accomplish
something, anything… this war is viscous…mean critical words, and even SI behavior. The other big issue is the history of a 50 yr marriage me with DID, him with Aspergers…it’s a long lonely empty time. I keep wanting better relationship—I try and get more disappointed over and over. He wants nothing to do with seeing a therapist together for us. He sees I’m (in his words) “messed up and if I get fixed we’ll be ok”…anyway us being together all the time is hard…
another SI trigger. I cook, I can enjoy that (he really likes my cooking) and I try really hard to go for a walk, with or without him. We have a 4 yr old golden retriever that needs her walk as much as I do.
I have watercolors, crayons and markers in every color and bright tissue paper to crinkle and glue—we have done a little art expression.
As Kathy wrote about house and organizing—there is so much of that I want to want to do…and I know this is a REALLY hard time for everyone… I struggle so much with the guilt over not being good enough, not accomplishing any thing, the SHAME of Me…what a waste..sometimes I feel it’s all I can do to keep me alive…(but then I’m not even sure that is a good thing)
I really don’t know how much of my struggle is just where I am right now, and how much is increased by COVID19…? Thanks Kathy for writing about this—and thanks to y’all that wrote comments!
I’m wondering if it would be possible to please see exactly how much the cost is to join the forum? Being somewhat distrustful, I’m hesitant to join without being able to see the cost.
We be trying hard to not lisin to the trash talk in our head. We say shut up!when we hear it. We be having a hard time. We be trying to find new things to watch on tv. We got some books we can read. We be really lonley and deprest cuz we dont got any suport at our house but so is every one rigth now so we dont be anything spechal. We been watching a show about Jesus a lot. We been praying a lot. We always got the tv or music on becuase we cant stand it to be quiit at all becuse then the yelling and flashbacks get to bad. I wish all this was over.
Hello Dear Friends,
“Are you feeling alone and isolated?”
In isolation yes but with my husband so I do not feel lonely. I am also phoning (even though I have a phone phobia), texting, Face Timing and emailing folks to stay in touch. Our meditation group is also getting together at our usual time using Zoom.
“Are you separated from your team of people who offer support?”
Yes, except for hubby. But, my therapist’s office is closed and I do not have various other treatments/therapies that I go to weekly. Also, I do not get to see family and friends or meet my new grandson who was just born (early thank heavens).
“Are you able to get to your therapist’s office?”
No, her office closed down three weeks ago. She is available by telephone or videoconferencing. I have done the latter with her over the past three weeks. Not the same as face-to-face but still wonderful to see her face and talk with her.
“Is being by yourself becoming a struggle?”
Not yet. My husband and I both like a lot of solitary time so this feels like that. As the weeks go by, however, I am sure that there will be more challenges.
“Are your insiders needing someone to talk to?”
Yes. A couple of my friends also do other therapies with me and the insiders are usually involved. They like having folks that will talk with them. There are also tactile and like the hugs and touch.
“Are you feeling triggered and upset?”
At times. I have waves of sadness and despair wash over me. I was desperate to get my husband home from the retirement residence where we were living as he recovered from hip replacement surgery. But, I felt like a rat leaving a sinking ship. Then I was terrified to get us moved (we could not have the helpers come in that got us there with some of our furniture in the first place — the residence was locked down), getting in supplies and keeping my husband safe (he is immune compromised with leukemia). Now that we are home and safely supplied I hope that things will calm down. It was a stressful few months already before the chaos of now.
“Are you scared to be by yourself?”
No, I can trust me the most. But, I fear for the lives of my loved ones (especially my husband) that would leave me really by myself.
Oooops! Fear of death? ANOTHER conflict that SI tries to help out with….the confusion, conflict and overwhelm make me long for it….a final way out of this whole mess….but then there is terror of it happening…..what if I end up in Hell (which I believe exists) because there is “something” SO BAD about me that even GOD would walk away from me? (although faith says He wouldn’t do that -but…sigh….it’s just ANOTHER conflict….) I don’t know how to “fix” the BAD because I DON’T KNOW what it is……If I could fix it, then maybe I wouldn’t be such a mess…but it is all in the tunnel where I cannot see yet…but I am still too scared to look there…..it is there….I “feel” it….people look at me and talk to me like it IS there…..I just can’t figure out what it is…..yet……..
OK…I will shut up now….sorry to monopolize…..just stuff is bubbling and I don’t want to be about to explode Inside again….it was WAY rough the other night……ROUGH……Gotta go to work……
Destany's House says
This is all of us to a T! One part of me is saying we deserve to die from covid-19, its our punishment from the cult. Another says let’s give up and die. My sexual part wants to act out on her behaviors. My protective part says f this were are on lock down and gets angry when people here in NY dont comply because we are immune compromised. In C’s words, “I want to fing throat punch them!” Justice says I’m not doing enough with work, we’re doomed and we’ll be homeless. My other OCD like part has alphabetized my entire pantry. Lol no joke!
Maybe, I have nothing and the brain damage TBI is worse due to the stress. Worse than this is not being able to write or do art. I set up an art therapy group on FB to help us cope. This is rough on all levels. Even my abusers have someone. I’ve been isolated and alone for 3 weeks. Have poly fragmented D.ID. and over 100s of parts. I’m not copresent to my other parts so right now instead of journaling they act out through their lenses of abuse. My littles are scared, sad, alone etc. Full gamut of emotions. Heres the thing. Right now, I have no use of my hands. Hand surgery was operation #61 and 5 brain surgeries due to our abuse. Were alone, no family just cats. Family were the perpetrators. The problem is disability, surgeries due to abuse and having nothing. All of the good things cost too much for us prior to covid-19 and now even worse between making the choice to have cereal or food or get help online.
I will say this in help for others. . .
artandculture.google.com has free virtual tours of art museums. Zoos and aquariums are free too. I left those links for my inner family and they enjoy it. 🙂 silver lining I guess to not losing my stuff completely. When you call crisis they dont understand D .I.D , they want to get you off the phone without listening sometimes when I share that.
It took a lot for me to talk to Talk to this. Much love to all battling the isolation we are so familiar with though feeling trapped in it now. ♥️ Weused to create art and write in my pain and now with no use of my one hand till April10th and the other being dead and surgery postponed till ??? Its rough. We would love Any ideas thoughts or free resources appreciated.
Forgot the feeling “contaminated” part….yup – I feel “defective’….don’t “measure up” in any way….am “dirty”, “worthless”, people can “barely tolerate” being around me….they see “something” about me that is very BAD but I don’t know what it is and nobody will tell me….and I am too terrified – or NOT allowed – to ask what they see…besides – they will just turn it around anyway and “prove” that something IS wrong with me….yeah – feeling like your existence reeks of “contamination” is rough……
Yup – didn’t realize the struggle could be connected to all this “isolation” stuff because I actually PREFER less people around – I don’t have to be quite so on guard and I can “breathe” a bit easier…..but I also am aware that I am terrified of “abandonment” – because there is no feedback as to “where I am at” and “what is going on”…abandonment contains strong measures of “betrayal, confusion, and fear”……the conflict between my need for “isolation” vs my need for “feedback” causes overwhelm that can easily trigger SI as a way out of the impossible conflict….”feedback” is necessary even though it causes fear and a “20 questions” mode with certain groups of young parts…..NOTHING ever feels “simple”……while dealing with all the changes of an Outside World….I am also dealing with the triggered turmoil of my Inside one……
I don’t feel like I am responsible for the initial cause of COVID-19…..but I DO battle intense Internal turmoil that I won’t do my job “good enough” (I am a cleaner) and will be the sole cause of a complete “relapse” after things return to normal…..even doing my daily job (which I still have) requires intense “energy” to stay steady…..I constantly fight deep panic that I am not doing “good enough” and will face (currently) unknown consequences….by the end of my shift I am “wiped out” – Inside and Out…..
I am not in an “abusive” home situation….but am VERY aware that hubby doesn’t “get” me….I have felt the need to have to “hide” much of what I deal with from him to prevent him from #1. “chewing on it” all day since he is retired and at home 24/7 and #2. causing triggers in him because he had a previous DID wife whose personality shifts caused him much strife…..His perspective for such situations is “it’s water under the bridge – get over it”….Thankfully I still have a job to go to (even though it is very draining for me)…because the idea of having to be constantly around him would be just as hard….. another “Catch-22″…….
Then there is the “shame” for even struggling with the stuff I struggle with because there are millions who have no job…and those who are exhausted and overwhelmed because THEY actually are on the critical front lines day in and day out….and here “I” am complaining about not cleaning “good enough” and potentially having to be around hubby more…..I am such a mess….
But…still….when SI is in your face again….it feels like your life is at stake…your battle is a battle….it just looks different from the rest of the world’s….
Isolated, and feeling like a pathetic loser for needing to talk to someone so bad. Most of the inside kids have been put in time out until they can quit the crying and all.
Her forgot, also so jeallous of pepol that got pepol that loves them around them. I want to feel wanted so bad.
Are you feeling alone and isolated? Very
Are you separated from your team of people who offer support? Completely
Are you able to get to your therapist’s office? No 😢
Is being by yourself becoming a struggle? Has been for a long while.
Are your insiders needing someone to talk to? More than ever
Are you feeling triggered and upset? Extremely.
Are you scared to be by yourself? Terrified
This situation is triggering all sorts of abandonment issues. And suicidal thoughts. And severe depression to the point where we can barely move around. Too heavy. Too much weight on our shoulder. Too many screwed up kids inside. Terrified inside kids that i dont know how to help anymore. Im not a therapist. I am exhausted.
Feeling completely hopeless. Feeling abandoned.Things are never going to get better. Not eating.
Constant stomachaches. So lonely.
Constant yelling in our head.
All day and all night memories and flashbacks.
Getting blown off.
Stuck. Not safe in the house,its trapped in the house.
Withdrawing inside more. Losing time a lot.
More of us becoming nobodies.
Feeling completely hopeless. Invisible. No one knows whats going on with us and it brings back tons of issues. Lost.
Nobodies, I want to respond to you because you sound so sad , lonely, discouraged and depressed. I am sad for you and sorry too. I’m feeling a lot of those same feelings too. I’m so depressed too, and like you say feeling heavy and can hardly move. I relate with feeling hopeless and not eating too. Yo say it’s been a long time, we’re y feeling this way before the COVID19 and quarantine hit us? I just want you to know I’m with you—I understand and feel a lot of the same things as you do. I have no answers, but I can offer my thoughts, caring heart and compassion for your hurt and struggles! I want to be your friend and care about you here.