Hello Real Littles!
It’s Carlita here, with the Littles from TRibe, and we’ve been wondering how all your holidays went?
Ours was definitely full of so many feelings about All The Things! So. Many. Feelings. About. So. Many. Things.
Which means that our holiday season truly was All The Things — it was beautiful, it was sad, it was frustrating, it was happy, it was scary, it was peaceful, and it was complicated!
We hope that no matter how many different things your holiday seasons were, and no matter how many things you all needed to feel about that, that you were all safe. We really and truly do.
Our people all worked really hard on keeping safety over the holidays, and that is something we do in heaps of different ways. Some of the ways we keep safe is by making sure we do nice things together that help us feel connected. That’s why those activities we shared in our last post are so important!
We want to catch you up on some of those things we did, and also, thank you for sharing some of the cool stories and pictures some of you Real Littles out there sent in about the activities you did over the holidays! Thank-you so much for sharing with us! We are super-jazzed about that.
The Feelings Tree
So! We really needed to practice being flexible when it came to this activity. We had planned to pull our Feelings Cone out of storage, upgrade it — with a base it could stand on, to make it like a tree — and make new ornaments on Christmas Eve. But it turned out with everything else in the mix at That Time of Year, and all the normal boring grown-up things that had to happen still, there really wasn’t enough time and energy to do it all and still have fun. We all had a chat about it, and decided there was no point doing all those things if we couldn’t have fun with it.
So, we changed our plans: on Christmas Eve we just took the cone out and put it in its special place in the living room, and hung the ornaments we made last year. We decided that because the holiday season really goes until around New Year’s Day, that we could have until then to do the other activities for the Feelings Cone.
We planned on doing them in the week between Christmas and New Year’s. But then that got tricky, too! Some unexpected Life Stuff came up that had to take up time, and then, on the day we were going to do our activities, we woke up with a little bit of a fluey bug. It was the same problem again: we weren’t going to be able to have fun if we kept to our plan. So, we were flexible and let it go again.
But some of us Littles were starting to get a bit worried that it wasn’t going to happen, and we felt sad that the tradition we’d started together was maybe going to just get let go by everyone. Because it really means something to us.
But then, New Year’s Day was the day! Our grown-ups made sure of it! We basically spent most of New Year’s Day doing the activities! The cone got its upgrade, and it turned out exactly how we’d imagined it, which is awesome. And then we gathered our craft supplies and sat down at the table and made our ornaments.
Here is a picture of our Feelings Cone:
This activity turned out to be way more emotional that we’d ever expected. It really does make you connect with other people’s feelings, when they take the time and effort to make a decoration that expresses something about what they are feeling.
It’s a bit too personal for us to share here about all of our ornaments. Our grown-up people said it’s really important to only put out there what we’re all comfy with. But we’d love to tell you about this one.
This ornament we made to show our joy about the way we’ve come together as a system this year to start making music.
We found an old pendant that is a treble clef. That represents the music. Then we made a string of beads above it, and each bead represents a person from our system who is feeling really happy or proud or excited or hopeful about the contribution they got to make to TRibe’s music creations this year, and wanted to express that.
Then we left a whole heap of space at the top to add to next year, because we just know that there are going to be so many more of our people joining us to make music in 2022!
Choosing Special Foods
At first we were a little bit stumped by this one, this year. Because of the whacky climate change weather, it’s not been a normal season in the food-growing garden, and so much of how we like to make our food comes from our garden.
We have Eastern European heritage, and it’s always really important for a group of our people to make food for Christmas Eve that uses ingredients and flavors from that part of the world. This year we had to be a bit creative to make that happen!
Our go-to is normally the beautiful herb, dill. But this year our dill didn’t grown very well, and there was none to work with at Christmas time. But we did have the very first of our cucumbers ripen. Normally we wait until there’s loads of them before we do any pickling, but this was super-important. So the first three cucumbers of the season got put into a salty brine solution, flavoured with dill seeds we had collected and dried months ago, and left on the bench for a few days to ferment, in the old traditional methods of pickling.
Now, where we live, it’s pretty tricky to grow potatoes because they don’t like the humidity. But we grow this amazing plant called Arrowroot, which makes tubers that are similar in lots of ways to potatoes. So, for our Christmas Eve Eastern European meal, we made a whacky version of a potato salad, flavoured with dill cucumber pickles and fresh chives from the garden.
We have lots of memories of our grandmother chopping chives fresh from the garden to go into her cottage cheese. So that is pretty special.
It turned out super-tasty.
Because all of this was a compromise for our Eastern European group, when it came to trying out a new food, we let it be a bit about them, too! We have a beautiful cookbook by a Ukrainian lady, who shares lots of her favourite traditional recipes.
One of them is for fermented tomatoes.
Now that might sound pretty whacky to lots of people. But we’re really into fermenting our foods at the moment. It’s super-good for our health and they are really, really tasty. So, we tried out this recipe that they’ve been eyeing off for ages! And it turned out amazing! And our Eastern Europeans feel so happy about it that whenever we saw the jar in the fridge, or had some on our meals, the happiness rippled through us all and made us feel really good in our heart.
Pick a Present for the Whole Tribe
This one is beautiful!
We had made our very democratic shopping list for everyone’s presents, after big chats about budgets and priorities and blah-blah-blah. We sat down to do an online shopping extravaganza.
Now, we’d been talking about how the thing we all really want most was the gift of Time. As you all know, when you are part of a DID system, getting time to do the things you want to do is a pretty precious thing. We all wish there was more time to go round. And one of our beautiful mama ladies, who cooks amazing meals and takes care of us, had been saying that if she had a bigger cookpot, she could make bigger batches of food, which would be a real time-saver. So ‘bigger cookpot’ was on the list. Now, this mama lady never asks for much for herself. She just wants for all of us to be happy and healthy. So she was only ever going to get a pretty cheap, simple pot. But when she started looking, we found this sale on for the pots she loooooooooves. You know those big, cast iron pots with the colored enamel finishes? Really old-school and heavy? And the pots were less than half their usual price!
So, we had a lighting-fast TRibe meeting. It was unanimous. We decided to put our whole present budget to getting our mama lady her beautiful cookpot. She took a bit of convincing, but it was lucky we’d written here already about how good it can make everyone’s heart feel to decide to give a gift to one person in your system because you want them to know they are seen and cared about. She couldn’t really argue with that!
Check it out! Huge! And her heart just swells with the gratitudes every time she uses it — so now she knows how much gratitudes we feel towards her for always making us beautiful food.
Such a system love-in. It absolutely rocks!
The giant cookpot:
Give Grown-Up People Some Breathing Space
Yep, this was hard and also not hard at all. Us little people didn’t mind giving our grown-ups more time to do their own processing at This Time of Year, because we know it keeps us all safer. But it was hard because the things they handle for us are hard, and we love them, and we can feel what they are going through.
So. They made their cover of ‘Rescue’ by Lauren Daigle, and wrote the DD post to go with it.
It really helped their hearts, to spend time with that song, and singing it together, and then finding the words to write about solstice. And it was good for us Littles to know they were really focusing on safety at This Time of Year.
But none of that is easy.
Thank goodness we had our Feelings Cone, and our special foods, and our mama lady’s heart brimming with cookpot joy. It really helped to balance things out for everyone. At This Time of Year.
We didn’t mean to end on such a heavy note, but that’s just how things are. That’s why we needed a song about how it’s okay to feel All The Things at this time of year. (Click THIS.) Because there are so many beautiful things alongside so many really, really, hard things.
For us, when there is at least a balance of beautiful and hard, we are on-track. It means we are getting closer and closer to the life we want to live together, on as many levels as possible, all at once.
Real Littles Community
We put the call out to all you Real Littles to send in stories and pictures about what you got up to over the Holiday Season. We are so happy in our heart that some of you did that!
(This is already super long, so more about your sharings another time.)
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Thank you, Carlita, and all the Littles from Tribe! We appreciate your creativity, your sharings, and your stories. We’re certainly looking forward to more Real Little fun and activites in the days ahead.
Also, I will add, these activities, ALL the THINGS, including the Feelings Cone, and selecting special foods, giving adults breathing space, etc, and the Rescue song — all of these helpful ideas and resources can be used for comfort and system connection at any time of the year — not just during holiday times of the year. I encourage everyone to consider these activities at any time!
Meanwhile, I wish you, and all the Real Littles around here the very-bo-berry best in your healing journeys.
Copyright © 2008-2022 Kathy Broady MSW and Discussing Dissociation
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