It’s that time of year again — the holidays are nearly here, and holidays can be very complicated. Are you feeling happy? sad? scared? angry? confused? peaceful? There are so many different emotions connected to the holiday time of year.
This year, here at Discussing Dissociation, we have something brand new planned for the little ones for the dissociative systems, starting now, in the holiday season.
Hey Kids! This stuff is for you !!
This year, we are introducing a REAL LITTLE holiday activities area to be created right here at the Discussing Dissociation site. You’ll find our newly created and specifically designated area showing up a little further down the Home page, so watch for this. You’ll see the new kids area showing up soon!
Also… part of the plans include music! We are going to have some newly written songs for you, specifically written as MultiMusic — music written and created for multiples.
To start with…. here’s a holiday article for you to read that will say even more. Oh, and if reading lots of words is too hard for your littles, we have an audio recording already created for you. I’ll be posting that soon. You will be able to hear all these words said by a Real Little, read for other Real Littles to hear.
Also…. from time to time, we will add some related Real Little Activities to do as well. Need some ideas of what you and your littles can do over the holidays? We’ll be posting those!
So….. If you’re a Real Little, start here, and check this out!
These beautiful holiday thoughts are being given to you from The Littles from TRibe.
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Real Little Holiday Season
When you’re a little person living in a DID system, the holidays can be such a tricky time of year. A big part of this is because of all the different feelings coming from all the different people, all at once. Some of the feelings come from memories of things that have happened at this time of year before — some of them are nice feelings about good things that happened, and some of them are hard feelings about bad things that happened.
A big chunk of these system feelings come from the little people. They’re about all of our stories and hopes and fears. We remember what has happened before, and we expect those things to happen again. When some little people remember and expect happy holidays, and other little people remember and expect sad or scary holidays, this can get really confusing inside. Like lots of different things all bumping up and pushing against each other. For us, it can get really noisy or chaos-y and messy and we just can’t figure out what we need to feel nice and okay. It’s pretty hard.
Sometimes the feelings around the holidays come from the grown-ups in the system remembering things that happened in the past. That can be hard for little people because it can be scary when your grown-up people feel sad or angry or afraid. Sometimes we start to worry about who’s going to take care of us and keep us safe if they’re not okay. Little people need their grown-up people to stay okay enough to take care of them. And it can be confusing to feel grown-up feelings about grown-up things coming through the system so strong. When you’re a little person, you don’t always understand these so very well, and they can feel overwhelming.
It’s really complicated.
It’s always complicated with all the feelings moving around in a DID system, but at this time of year it really seems extra-complicated. This is probably because holidays has so much to do with families, and when you’re DID, families are complicated. Also, there are so many expectations of how this time of year ‘should’ be, in a ‘nice and normal’ world, and this can make extra pressure to try and be ‘nice and normal’. When you’re a multipack and you have lots of traumas that get triggered by the holiday season, this can be really, really hard. If you are living in a system where you are spending time with outside people who have been part of those traumas, that can be extra-triggery and maybe even unsafe. There’s going to be lots of big feelings about that. That’s a lot of things to feel and manage for anyone, but especially for the little people.
Depending on who we are in our system, and the things we feel and know and hold the most, we probably want different things to happen at this time of year. Some people want to have a beautiful, colorful holiday season with lots of celebrating. Other people just want to hide in a quiet corner until it’s all over. And there’s everything in-between.
How do we all come together to decide what we’re going to do over these weeks? How do we little people make sure we all get taken good care of when we’re feeling so many different things and have so many different needs, all at once? How do we help our heart to be okay at this time of year? What are the most important things to concentrate on?
Oh my goodness! So many big questions. Let’s all breathe together. Ready? Big inhale. Big exhale.
Okay. We can do this! Let’s think it through together.
Now. It seems to us that the main challenge for us little people is All The Feelings. Our little people feelings, which are big and go in different directions, and then all the older people’s feelings that we can feel too, and that we worry will make life harder somehow.
We can get overwhelmed and overloaded by All The Feelings. But we’ve learned by now that you can’t make feelings go away. We can maybe try to block them out, but they don’t go away. Often, in a DID system, a feeling equals a person — lots of our people have had the jobs of ‘being’ or holding a feeling for everyone. So, to say that the feeling is too hard or too much or wrong is like saying they are too hard or too much or wrong. Which is really, really unfair because they probably didn’t ask for that job. We need to find another way to deal with the hard feelings.
In our system, we have a super-strong belief about always being kind to all of our people. The ones with the most difficult feelings have usually had the most awful things happen, so we need to give them the most love and patience and compassion. We are learning, over and over again, that even the most impossible-seeming troubles our people face get easier when we give each other kindness. It helps take down the pressure and the noise and the mess. We think this is because it helps our heart to be kind to each other. People not being kind to us was the problem in the first place — we don’t need more of it from ourselves! When our heart hurts less, then we all feel better and can work through problems easier.
Us little people have also learned that our grown-up people will be able to take so much better care of us if we can work out exactly what we need. Which can be tricky. Sometimes what we need is for our grown-up people to help us figure out what we need! That’s okay! If it’s too hard for little people to do on our own, we can say, “Excuse me, could you please help us figure out this problem?”
Because we are always going to be kind to each other, we know they will say yes and and show up and do their best to help us, and we will all do our best to work it out. Often, that’s half the trouble solved. Once we know what we need, then it’s usually pretty easy — with some super-little-powered imaginative thinkings! — to come up with what to do about it. It’s really the bit where there’s so much noise and pressure and confusion that’s the biggest problem.
So, we little people need to form a team and learn to keep speaking out through the mess: “EXCUSE ME, COULD YOU PLEASE HELP US FIGURE OUT THIS PROBLEM?” And then we turn up, the grown-ups turn up, we sit down, and we work it out as best we can.
That’s all pretty much the story of where this Real Little Holiday Song came from. We were getting all jumbled up and pressure-y with the holidays coming, and doing that thing again of not being able to figure out what to do about it. So we asked our grown-up people if we could talk and have some help. They quickly saw that all the little people were feeling All The Things about the holidays — and actually, that so were they! — and that there was not going to be any one answer or activity that would ‘solve’ that. They told us that there is nothing to solve or fix about having All The Feelings. We are all real little people and we all have our own experiences, which means we are all going to be feeling different things at this time of year. Then we all figured out together that everyone just needs a safe space to feel All The Things.
Our grown-up people asked us what was in our heart about how to feel more okay about feeling All The Things at this time of year. We asked if we could make a song about it. Because that idea felt really good in our heart. And they, of course, said yes.
So, we wrote a song about it! Actually, we made the song to make a safe place to feel All The Things we’re feeling at this time of year. We made the song to help hold us and teach us and make us stronger and kinder. When we hear it, or sing it, it reminds us that it’s okay to feel All The Things. It reminds us that even though we have so many different feelings between us all, it’s also the feelings that connect us up. It reminds us that no one needs to be alone just because they have big feelings. It reminds us how much it helps to go up to each other and just let the feelings be there. Nothing to solve or fix. Just feelings and kindness about the feelings.
And while we were making the song, we thought that probably there are lots of other littles out there living in DID systems that go through the same type of troubles at this time of year, and maybe they would like to hear the song, too. Which made our heart feel even more good, that we could make something our own people need, and that it might also help other little people out there, too.
It turns out that this was one of the things we needed to do this year to make the holidays feel a little more gentle and beautiful. We needed to make a song for ourselves and for other little people. We needed to keep learning more about how it’s okay to feel All The Things, and that actually when we let ourselves feel All The Things, we are opening our hearts to all our people, and that makes our lives safer and more peaceful.
So, this is our holiday gift to ourselves, and also now, to all of you wonderful and brave little people out there living as part of DID systems. We wish so many good things for you all. We wish for your hearts to be happy. We wish for your hurts to be healed. We wish for your lives to be safe. We wish for all your people to receive a lot of kindness, inside and out. We wish that you get to have all the fun and color and joy and peace that you need to be happy and healthy little people!
This time of year might be super-tricky, with All the Things we need to feel, but us little people can be there for each other and we can make sure there is so much love and hope in the mix as well.
The Littles from TRibe.
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Here is Carlita’s READING of all those words.
You can HEAR what is there instead of reading, if that is easier for you. Thank you, Carlita!
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Do you want to hear the Real Little Holiday Song?
Do you like to sing along?
You can! You are invited to do exactly that! I will be posting the Real Little Holiday Song very soon! Please check back here tomorrow or the next day. [UPDATE! It’s been posted now – click the link below]
The song will be posted here at Discussing Dissociation, right on the Home Page, and you will be able to sing along with The Littles from TRibe.
OH, and same with the audio reading [UPDATE! It’s been posted now too — see above.]
I sincerely hope you and yours will enjoy your holidays this month, and that the Real Little ideas will bring hope, and peace, fun, and some happiness to your days.
Thinking of you, and sending many blessings your way.
Copyright © 2008-2022 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation