The first P in the P4 name belongs to PROCESS.
What does the healing process look like for a dissociative system?
The fundamental element of healing for a dissociative system involves an ongoing process of connection, communication, and compassion for all system members. It is the very complicated but deeply rewarding process of bringing those who were once forced apart back together as a tightly-knit, well-functioning team, all working towards the same basic goals.
- What does that look like?
- What does that feel like?
- What is included in that process?
- How does this process happen?
There are many ways for this process to occur. Can you relate to the following description of how this dissociative system follows their healing process?
Check this out. PROCESS: written by members of The Writing Team.
We often think about how crucial process is to the DID healing journey. We think about how, if we were going to try and teach someone else how to ‘do’ DID system work and healing, we would go on and on about how the most important thing to get really, really good at, is process.
Because, let’s face it, the content of this journey is profoundly hard, confronting, painful and overwhelming. And there’s just so much of it. It’s truly incredible how much we, as a system of people, are able to hold within our collective consciousness. Sometimes it feels like it’s never going to end — we find another person, and a whole new pocket of memory and information, a whole new section of internal landscape; and then another, and another. Sometimes we feel like we can’t possibly stretch our collective, constructive, cohesive reach that wide and far.
And in these moments, it’s our commitment to process that holds us. Saves us. Because, thank goodness, it is pretty much the same thing that is required, over and over again. Process has become our constant, our protective edges, our connective tissue.
So, we find another person. OK. And then there’s the swag of difficult memories. OK. And then maybe there’s an entire new subsection of people and inside world attached. OK. That feels hard. Really hard and overwhelming. But we know what to do, people. We’ve done this a millions times before. What’s one more? We can do one more.
Start with hello. Start with, are you OK? Do you need anything? Can I help? What’s your name? And all we have to do is mean it. Honestly. That’s the key to everything.
Then, we listen. We listen with all the things: sight, sound, touch, taste, feeling, intuition, words, images, hunches, flashes, songs, color and movement. How do they communicate? What are they trying to say? How does it fit together with everything we’ve already learned about our story?
Then, we trust. Trust we will find a connection. A way in. Something to say back to our newly-found person that will land, help, hold, reclaim. Something that will make them feel a little safer, a little less alone. Something that will catalyse their piece of the healing; something that will show up where it fits in relation to all of our other pieces, and to the overall picture.
And then: heart. Sit in our heart. Knowing it is their heart, too. No matter how unfathomable their reality and story is to us, we must remember it comes from the same heart. The same heart that was faced with the impossible situation no one else among our people had to face. They took that burden so no one else had to. That is how amazing the collective heart is. Sit in it. Let its beat do its work.
And then, just as there was a way in, there will be a way through. Eventually. With enough asking if we can help, and with enough faithful following through on that. With enough listening and enough trust. With enough time spent sat in the heart. There will be a way through.
For us, this is the process of healing from the traumas that created our dissociative system. It’s everything. It’s the light force that expresses who we are and what we stand for as a group, a family, a tribe, an army. It’s what keeps us sane, upright, hopeful, helpful, and driven towards a better life.
~ ~ ~
That’s pretty amazing, hey? What a strong voice of experience on a truly beautiful process.
Do you approach your insiders with such kindness and acceptance? Do you talk with your insiders? Listen to the others? Trust in a connection? Find a way in? Let them reach your heart?
Will you try this process?
Are you this dedicated to bringing your people together?
Do you have your own process of healing? Feel free to share what works for you in the comment section below.
And, a giant Thank You Writing Team, for sharing your wisdom and encouragement. My hope is that both DIDer’s and MHP’s will gain a deeper understanding in all that is involved in the healing process by taking your words seriously.
The first P in the P4 name belongs to PROCESS.
I like this video representing the P4² DID Conference. I like it because it also shows the PROCESS of healing and communication via the different waves of color that pass through the words. What starts out feeling very vague, unclear, hidden, can then feel more muddled, and dark, then bright, or messy. The distinct differences becomes very important but also interesting. Over time, the colors blend together beautifully, and as seen typically in my work with DID systems, in the end, the darkness is left behind and the system makes a decision to stand for the Light.
You’ll see that PROCESS as you watch:
We hope to see you in Chicago — in the ROOM, or on ZOOM!
Click here for more information:
Registration begins this week!
I wish you the very best in your healing process.
Copyright © 2008-2021 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
Hum … thought that I had replied to this thread but … Do any of you have this experience? You think that you have done something but it does not appear on the radar. It is just as disorienting to me as when I discover a reply here that I do not remember writing.
Anyway, I have used many different methods to learn to communicate with my insiders and do my work — traditional therapy, somatic coaching, equine therapy, Havening and meditation. I am going to start EMDR and neuro-feedback in the near future. PBSP sure does sound interesting as well Julie. I am open to try anything once if it does not sound harmful in any way.
My process with my insiders began with one little one (the only one that I knew about at the time) who lived in a cold dark cage on a cement floor. I spent months just showing up and being there with her and bringing her things that I thought that she might need like cloths, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, food, a light, etc. Eventually I was able to enter the cage and over time she sat next to me and took my hand. Eventually she would stand outside of the cage with me and finally she went with me to my house and we found a safe, warm place to build a sunshine tent with yellow sheets for her to live in.
I did all of this long before she began to talk with my therapist. The idea was that she was cold and scared and lost and did not trust big people so I had to build that trust first and see to her needs. Often that was just me showing up every day and talking softly and lovingly to her, singing her songs and telling her stories. Trust takes time and patience.
For me, the process began with seeing her, meeting her needs and being consistent and caring.
I have had a lot of success in my healing process with a modality known as Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor (PBSP). This somatic therapy actually helps heal traumas and times when I split and my “Littles” got stuck developmentally by creating new, virtual memories within the safety of a caring group. For example, instead of being left alone with the abusers when I was 6 years old, a group member would play an Ideal Father who would have loved me and been strong enough to never put me in such an unsafe situation. It’s not what really happened however, it creates a new memory that can come alongside the actual memory and give my my mind an alternative to reflect on, if my ideal had been back there then. It’s a fascinating modality that I believe can help those with dissociative disorders on their healing journey. I encourage you to Google Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor and learn more about it.
We used to not talk to each other much. If we did, we fought. We used to refer to our system as being stuck together in prison with people we hate.Not exactly encouraging, right? We used to have our own internal, brick towers, where we lived. Everyone else needed to stay out, leave each other alone. It was very lonely and made things really hard.
Over the years we have worked really hard to have been communication. We have worked hard to learn to support each other. These days we are sort of like a family . We watch out for each other. We help each other. There is very little fighting. Still arguments some times, and issues do still come out. We also had to re-arrange our internal environment to hear and see more. But that has gotten lots, lots better in the past few months, and I think that all of us are now dedicated to making things better inside.