EMDR and Aftercare

As we’ve been doing EMDR at most every session with our therapist now, I’d like to talk a little bit about aftercare and care during the session. It’s important to remember to take care of yourself and your system.

While doing EMDR, you should internally be close to someone you are comfortable with. We usually do it with our protectors, so I (Cloud) did my session today with Squall. Kiddos should be tucked in and taken care of away from you unless they are the ones doing the EMDR then they should be rallied behind and kept comfortable with someone co-fronting.

Make sure you’re therapist and you have it out in the open that you can take a break if needed. Don’t try to push yourself with this, take your time. You can always look away, or drop the buzzies if you’re using those. You are in control while doing this.

Afterwards, you may get very sleepy or really energized. I’ve had both reactions. You may dissociate completely or you may feel too hyper aware. Be sure to leave time to sit and breathe with your therapist and collect yourself.

Once home, taking it easy on yourself is best. Try not to have any big appointments or other hard stuff going on if you’re doing EMDR in a session. Take the chance to do something relaxing, like taking a bath or reading a nice book. Switching to a part who is less traumatized can also be good to get through the day.

I always find it nice to hold a system meeting either at night or the next day to try and collect everyone and make sure you’re all doing okay.

Always check in with you’re system before, during, and after EMDR. Working together on healing is great, but you don’t want to be re-traumatizing anyone either.

~ Cloud

 

So I haven’t fronted for a while;

Usually, when someone comes back into fronting from not doing it for a while they seem to always lose themselves somewhere in the abyss. That didn’t happen to me this time though, I came back feeling as normal as ever, though there is a lot of anxiety.

It’s been nice to just hang out and not do much, we’ve hung out with our sister all day. I miss hanging out with Squall though, so I’ll probably front long enough to do that for a long while.

He’s a mess when I don’t front. He’s the only protector who can front on their own and not be overwhelmed, but he hasn’t fronted while I haven’t been. He’s very cute when he’s excited to hang out with me.

This is just a short post, no real meaning.

Thanks!

~Cloud

Musing On Romance and Other Silliness.

I think back to when I was around 12 years-old and I had just gotten into reading YA books. I was also just getting into writing at that time as well. 

I remember my stepdad and I were driving down a dirt road around where we lived at the time. I may have been running errands with him, but around that age I hung out with him a lot. 

We got on the topic of what I had been reading, and I started to complain to him that I didn’t like that all my books revolved around romance. It was boring to me, it didn’t work with any of the stories. 

This was around the time Twilight (the movie) came out. Before this conversation I had seen the movie and wanted to read the books because I was a tween/teenaged girl and there was nothing better to me than fitting in with my borderline abusive classmates. 

I read the first book in one night, I stayed up all night to finish it (this was also around the time my insomnia was starting to rear it’s ugly head). The next night I read the next one and so on and so forth. I ended up reading them all within five or six days. 

There was more YA supernatural books at Walmart, so I bought them all (over a period of time) and read them. This lead to the conversation with my stepdad. 

“Why are all books romances?” I asked him. 

He told me that not all of them were and that I’d find some I would like that werent romance based.

As I slowly devoured the Borders book store that was in the closest shopping town my mom and I went to every weekend, I got more and more irritated by it. I didn’t want romance! Why couldn’t the boy and girl just be friends? Why couldn’t they just go through something hard and be close friends? 

Kissing especially made me mad. It was always at such a random point in the book, like it was shoehorned in there last minute just to fit the genera better. They would share all these great experiences and with no hint at romance (that I could see anyway) and then boom, end of book two (or one) there was a kissing cliffhanger. 

I moved onto Manga after that, because I figured that if they were romantic that they would be more up front about it. The pictures probably also helped me see the subtle hints the author was trying to convey. 

The romance there was slightly better but in general I was still irritated but the amount of love that surrounded me. 

Love especially didn’t feel like that to me. Even between family memebers. My mom and stepdad always fought, my biological father abused me with no end in sight. My moms family all hated each other. The only loving relationships I had seen were not typical at all. 

Romance felt like a cheap way to get more people interested in something. 

High school came around, I was in a new school with new opportunities to make friends. Of course this also came with people doing what teens do and hooking up and romancing each other in the hallways. 

I didn’t realize I was Asexual until I was 17 and I lived in a domestic violence shelter with my mom and sister (no, my stepdad was not the cause for this). Learning about it made me not want to accept it. I was already so abnormal, why was I now not able to do the one thing nearly every thing on the planet does? 

I tried relationships, I tried long distance thinking that might be easier. It wasn’t, I was just stuck doing phone sex and pretending to enjoy myself. 

Aromanticism was something I just assumed was made up. I mean, I have pretty close relationships between my system mates. I would date, kiss, marry my partner in my system. I know others feel the same way. Why couldn’t we have that same kind of connection between us and another in real life human.

Looking back at the kind of abuse I lived through, and thinking of any other developmental issues I may have (undiagnosed of course), I realized that my interactions between myself and other in real life humans have never been normal. I am outwardly friendly, happy, kind. Inside though I really cannot stand to interact with people on a face-to-face basis.

‘Professional’ relationships I can handle. Things with my mom, sister, and stepdad are all okay to me. Anything more than that is just stressful, painful even. 

My system mates are all like me, we all know each other and are all close. We’ve been the majority of our social interaction for a very long time. It doesn’t make the pain when seeing other people connect with each other, or when a in person friend writes something on my Facebook wall and I cannot find it in my to respond. 

It’s painful being to try and pretend to be normal in a world that seems to be full of extroverts and romantics. 

I’m always welcoming to friends online, though. I cherish twitter interaction between each other. I love it when I get the notification that someone has liked my post. You all are my saviors. You make me feel like someday I might be able to hold down a friendship with someone. 

So thank you. I know this started out as a Romantic musing post, but I got sidetracked. 

For my fellow abuse survivors: is there an aspect of your abuse that you find still impacts you in a major way? Or that was happening at such an early stage that impacted your development? 

How about other aroaces? What do you think is the reason you are asexual/aromantic? Are you both or just one?

Have a great day all!

– Cloud

Keeping On Track

Kenny and I were talking only a moment ago about things that have happened in headworld and trying to continue to put energy towards working on them. I talked to our therapist about this a bit today in between discussion about the wall that is blocking us from feeling our emotions. 

She asked us about how the newer kids were doing, and I didn’t know what to say. I told her that our energy had been pulled in so many different directions with the dog, our bird, and the emotional stuff that had come up these past few weeks.

She asked me if they were still getting time spent with them in head world and I said yes, but I feel like they haven’t gotten nearly has much time has they could have been getting. Kenny, Adam, and Roo all agree with me that we haven’t been spending nearly enough time with them. 

People do spend time with them though, Squall or Lolly and Kuzu are always around my bonded kids. Ren and Elijah are always around their kiddos. Joji, Sora, and Roku have their kids under control. 

That doesn’t seem like enough though. They bonded with us main guys and we’ve been too wrapped up in our own BS to even watch TV and cuddle with them. 

We can’t forgot our kiddos. 

Cloud 

Wednesday Update!

I was going to post another one like last week, but enough stuff has been going on that I can make a post with out a prompt. 

I think our last post was “Kid-uation” where Elijah explains what’s been going on with the kiddos and us in general.

Adam and I (Cloud) have been fronting again, I think we’re finally just ready to do it. We’re still having problems, but we’ve been handling it okay so far. 

Two more kids have shown up. Both of them are as bad as the last boy who joined Ken’s family. One is paralyzed from the waist down and one is blind. I don’t know if that’s a normal thing to have disabled alters,  but we have them. 

The blind kid is attached to me, and the other kiddo is attached to Adam. They are very sweet. 

We built a area for people to front and have fun with the kids with all of them around. We haven’t used it yet but I feel like it could come in handy.

Do any of you have disabled alters? 

We have been pretty busy these past three days, but the hardest part of the week is over!

Thanks all – Cloud

System Talk

I’ve been having a hard time coming up with things to blog about- not for lack of things happening, but because I have a chronic problem of feeling my life isn’t important enough to write about. This is a feeling shared by the entire system, so you can imagine why we may be a little slow to write up a blog. 

This past Monday. We finally got to talk to our therapist about the terrible flashback problem that had only gotten worse over the weekend. I told her why, for one night at least, I thought they were bad (our mother and her boyfriend having some alone time) but I told her they had been bad even before my moms friend had come over.

Now this appointment was done by Elijah, which isn’t his usual territory. I think he may have mad our therapist a bit nervous by his never ending blank stare. She and Elijah got a long well though, thankfully. He is a protector who certainly needs his own time to work though the things he’s fronted for. 

She commended him for being able to comfort Kenny while in a flashback, and for thinking quickly  enough at one point to pull us out from some serious emotions with some cold snow. The snow is melting though, and with our mothers boyfriend being a almost every weekend thing (meaning we can’t just jump into the bath), our therapist suggested scent as a way to pull us out.

Yesterday we finally found something that may work. It’s a roll on scent that smells calming and gentle. Though it was very expensive, which I guess is okay if it works. 

Have any of you ever tried scent to pull yourselves out of a flashback? We’ve never tried it before, but can see how it could help. 

Other than that, this week I think ends Kennys long period of fronting by himself. For the last two days, I (Cloud) have been default fronter. I’m glad Kenny and Roo are taking a step back from fronting for long periods of time. Neither of them are very well cut out for long term fronting since they both have a heavy trauma burden. 

With me fronting now, two of the less experienced parts have kind of latched onto me for front time. It’s very sweet having two puppy dog like people following you around and asking questions. So thank you Lolli and Ox for being so sweet. 

Cloud 

bernina-pass-lake

First off, I want to thank another blogger for linking this article. I’ve never really put too much thought into my inner world, meaning I never really thought it was something strange that others (singlets) didn’t have. Even after I got my diagnosis it never hit me how important my inner world is to my system.

Now, our inner world has gone through many changes. When Kenny would first go to it, back as a very young child, he and Elijah would hang out in this little shack on the beach, with a pier right behind them. It would sometimes change to be a jungle, but mostly it stayed as a beach.There’s a big gap in our memory where we don’t remember what went on with each other, but when we were 11 or so, our inner world changed to be this big system of caves underground. After that, it was a town, then a big mansion, and now finally it is what it is today.

Everything is still in its original place, but the caves are boarded off, the town is flooded with a thick black gunk, the mansion is locked away from the outside with a huge metal door. We currently live in something indescribable. It may be another place altogether, or it may just be a big warehouse that doesn’t follow true life rules.

I would like to start a series where we go on about what’s going on in our inner world, just to document it.

In the article I linked above, it talks about the importance of how an inner world can increase internal communication and co-consciousness. This makes a lot of sense to us because we’ve surprised many people (ourselves included) with how far we are along with getting to know everyone system wise. I mean there’s really not a lot left to do in terms of gaining co-consciousness or setting up better communication. There are still tons of things to work on, but we don’t have too many troubles interacting with one another.

It’s nice, we’ve all known each other for so long (our newest people part came around in 2008) that we know each other quirks.

I say that, but there is a whole lot to learn about each other. I mention in our about that we have a group we call the “newbies”. They aren’t new to the system, but they are new to the idea of being a system. They’re parts we managed to pull back from dormancy while exploring our inner world. They are still getting used to the idea of fronting and dealing with trauma. We’re all getting to know each other as our own people and not just as whatever we thought we were before.

Our inner world has been very helpful to us just as an escape from the nasty stuff and the not so nasty stuff. Long car rides (something we still fall into: we step in a car and once it starts moving instantly in inner world), before bed (now a habit), sitting in class, watching a boring movie, etc.

It’s brought us together, and I honestly think it’s helped us heal further than we where we would have been without it.

Cloud 

 

 

 

Just Jump In! 


Sometimes in life you just have to jump in. That’s what I’m doing with this blog, jumping in – feet first of course. We aren’t diving here! 

To start this blog off right, I figure I minus well share a memory this system has that we cherish to no end

Mexico; the greatest time we have ever known. We went has a school trip, it took a year to raise all the money for us and 14 days for it to be over. I didn’t want those 14 days to end.

Now, none of us are very keen on spicy food, or beans, or vegetables, or… well most anything that isn’t chocolate, a milk product, bread, or fish- and even then some of those foods don’t always make the cut! None of us are very social either. We’re introverts through and through. In high school it was worse, because we were still being abused, and any friends we made we couldn’t really keep. 

So if not for the friends and not for the food, what makes Mexico such an important part of our life?

I can’t really put it into words honestly. ‘The experience’ is the only way I know how to say it, but it doesn’t seem like enough! 

We look back on memories of the Yucatán Peninsula with fondness and rose colored glasses. 

On the drive back from the airport, it was 45 F, freezing rain and dark. We were in a school bus wearing nothing but a sweatshirt. Our life came crashing back on us, and it came crashing down hard. 

That same year, we later went back to our abuser and suffered abuse that we can’t even think about. It changed our life for the worse. The years following would be filled with nights spent in the car driving to woman’s shelters, group homes and hospitals, and a horrible lawyer who didn’t give us the chance to get justice. 

Mexico was the last hoorah of my teen years, the last bit of time I spent feeling like a normal human. The last time I was able to go outside and not be afraid of my own shadow.

Mexico will always be special to us, and I hope we never forget it.

Written by Cloud.