Keeping records

We're trying to keep records of stuff that goes on in the system. It's been hard because we rarely write stuff down but putting effort into it has given some nice results. We carry a journal along with us. It's really three of them all in one folder thing, one for just general stuff- stuff that isn't necessarily system related but is still nice to remember.

Another is for the kids to have. The kids have been co-fronting a ton and it's great having them around but some don't talk (even big kids) and there's always a need to doodle or color. They can do anything in it, it's just for the kids.

The last is for system stuff. We made a pocket for therapy sticky notes, a page for anxiety coping skills, a wish list, a page for copies of papers we bring to our therapist and one for old system conversations/notes. The book we had them in got water soaked, but the few notes we had survived and are now in their own pocket.

The rest of the last journal will be for system conversations and anything else important like med start dates or memories that come up.

Along side having that note book we carry a pouch/large pencil case that has tons of sticker, gel pens, two pencils, and a multi-colored pen and a note book we keep the points system in.

It's really nice to have this because we can make it look nice and it gives us something to do with our hands that's relaxing and crafty.

It's also something we'll all collectively enjoy which is always nice!

– Kenny

DID System Members, and Panic Attacks

Edit: this was supposed to be posted sometime this past week, but it never was. I guess that week was a down week, but this week should be a bit better! – Adam
Last night something new and strange happened to me. I was laying in my room, watching a nice calm youtube video and getting ready to go to sleep. I got up to do my nightly routine and I felt anxiety start to boil in my chest. My throat was tight, my heart was pounding, I was sweating and shaking.
But I didn’t feel anxious mentally.

My body was having a panic attack without me knowing why or what was causing the panic. It was such a strange sensation, to have your body be so full of fear but to have no idea why.

I did my nightly routine, climbed into bed and took an anti-anxiety PRN, and I went in search to see who in my system was anxious. No one was fessing up to it, none of the adults anyway. I went into my kid’s room to say goodnight and I found the source.

Sunny was in such a bad place, over what I still don’t know. I can only hypothesize it had something to do with sleeping. I grabbed him out of his room and walked into the living room where my partners were. I sat in a rocking chair/glider type of thing, Elijah came over and put a blanket over the two of us and I started to try and calm him down.

After a minute, Sharkie came out carrying Matty and the guys too them and we all slept in the living room like we were having a sleepover. Elijah came up with the great idea to build a pillow fort but wanted to wait until we could all (or most of us) sleep in it.

Adam has had to do this a few times with Chance, though Jonah will either stay in bed or stay around Roo. Chance and Adam are very close, and Chance depends on Adam a lot.

Sunny was close to me when he first came around, but after that I went on a ‘no fronting’ kick because fronting and I don’t get along. I’ve been out off and on for the last two days, and I’m thinking of letting Adam take back over.

My therapist gave me some advice with what she does with her in real life children, she said it might not work for us but to try it if we remember. Last night we didn’t remember so we didn’t try it but I’ll pass it onto you all as well in the hopes of maybe helping someone else.

She does this with her kids when they have nightmares. With her older kids age 4+ she will say something along the lines of “When I get to 50, you should feel better” then she taps either side of their body (say the right hand and left hand) one at a time and counts to 50. She says it’s supposed to make the nightmare feel better, but not go away completely. If they’re younger than 4 she’ll say that at the end of a rhyme or lullaby that they’ll feel better and then do the tapping.

I don’t know if this works or not, but most the stuff my therapist suggests works so I try and pass it on.

In the end though, maybe having sleepovers will be something we’ll have to do. A lot of the kiddos like to be held, and a lot of them feel scared all the time. Usually, Zack and Sharkie can help bring them to an adults attention, but it shouldn’t be all on them.

If we come up with anything that works super well and isn’t something obvious, then we’ll write about it here. I just wanted to make a post about how odd it was to have a panic attack while also not having one.

~Kenny

Protecting The Protectors.

In my system, protectors will sometimes front on their own, for no reason other than just to front. They’re alters too, so of course, they’d like fronting sometimes. It’s always very funny when they do unless they’re forced to the front for a situation that needs them, they tend to be a little scared of things? I’m not sure if that explains it quite well enough.

Jumpy! They’re so hypervigilant about everything that they get nervous about simple things. Of course, though they try to still act tough, you can feel our heart rate rise in situations it normally wouldn’t if it was just a regular fronter doing it.

We went into Micheals (a craft store in the USA). Joji and Elijah both were fronting with me (Kenny), we went in to pick out some sort of craft to keep ourselves busy. Joji and Elijah are both very big into crafting. Joji sews most things in headworld. Elijah likes to knit and scrapbook.

I figured it would be the perfect place to take them. It was kind of great really, they were very nervous. They acted like I was going to do something, or that someone was going to do something to me.

That’s not what I wanted this post to be about though. I wanted to talk about protecting them.

First I think I should define “protecting” and what it means to me and the rest of my system.

To protect someone in my system, it doesn’t mean actively keeping them from danger- though that was a big part of it at one point. It still can be at times, but once we realized that we are all in the same body and have learned our bodies limitations, we know that they cannot protect us in all the ways they would like to.

Some of the time their protecting comes in the form of doing things that they deem too hard for anyone of us regulars to do. That could be going to doctors appointments, acting in cases of emergency, going to triggering places.

Usually, they do emotional care and internal supporting. It can be calming their protectee down from a flashback or panic attack or helping them work through an emotional moment even cleaning up after self-harm. They are the ones who provide us the love and the care that we don’t get from outside sources.

That is their main job, providing love and care.

But who ‘protects’ them? Who provides them with love and care that they so badly need.

Simple! Us protectee’s do.

I should explain something else to provide a little more context. There are two levels of ‘protector’, mains and lessers. There can be a lot of blurring between the two of them. Though the defining characteristic of a lesser protector is that they themselves have a main who protects them. The blurring happens mainly in their actions, and it way too complicated to get into in one post!

The mains are; Joji (who is the head protector), Elijah, Squall, Kuzu, Duck, and Clarence. Our lesser protectors are; Renau, Adam, Kyu, and Cat. We are still figuring out if there are any kiddos who are protectors but Zack has a lot of the same characteristics of a main protector.

Back to my main point! It’s very obvious that the protectors look at their protectees has cute little bunnies/puppies who can do no wrong. They find it funny whenever we try to act tough. We worry about them a lot though. The protectors have been through some stuff. I’ll talk about Elijah more because he is my (and Ren’s) protector. Elijah is also the oldest main protector, meaning he has been around since we were very young.

Elijah sometimes has these moments of extreme guilt. He feels like he didn’t protect me the right way, or that he has caused some of my trauma because of things we used to do in headworld when we were very young.

He gets these thoughts that he is an abuser or an introject of our abuser. He 100% isn’t, and is getting better at accepting it. Our therapist on Monday helped us explain to Zack the difference in size between us and our abuser at the times when the abuse was happening. Lolly and I dragged Elijah to watch it too, hoping that he would get the message too.

In these moments of great sadness, Elijah will usually need someone to help him. He will sometimes go to another protector but he usually saves that as a last resort. I feel like Elijah and I are very close, we’ve been through so much together. I always feel somewhat responsible for the abuse he has endured.

I try and give him emotional support whenever I can, and usually, we support each other at the same time. Kind of leaning on one another even though we’re both falling down. We weren’t through a time where we were both going through flashbacks that were basically the same. He was strong, but we had to hold each other to get through that month. We also really depended on Renau for help, and he did great really.

I’ve talked a lot of personal stuff in this post, but I want to talk about how important it is to take care of everyone in your system. The way to heal isn’t by fighting each other until you all go dormant and have blocks between each other. Trying to take care of one another, even if integration is your end goal, is taking care of yourself.

I have different views about who my parts are, and how they got into my body (trauma is obviously the reason they’re here), but from a clinical point of view, your parts are part of you. It’s no use fighting yourself or ignoring parts in the hopes that they’ll go away.

The key thing I try to remember is that we are all abuse survivors at the end of the day. Try and give your parts they same kind of care you’d offer any other abused person.

Protecting your protectors is important. They can’t do a good job of protecting you (no matter what that means for you) if they’re emotionally compromised.

Thanks for reading! I know I cover this basic idea a lot.

~ Kenny

Whisps, trauma, and inner world goings on.

I have another post lined up that I wanted to write, but I’m not quite finished with it and I feel this needed to be written up today. 

I can’t remember if we’ve described what a whisp is, and frankly we don’t really know what they are either. Our therapist and I have hypothesized that they are probably parts that are fully stuck in memories or some kind of split from actual parts that are just bad memories. In head world they’re long flowing dragon like things that when black (their original color- I’ll get into that later down the post) they have no face. 

🚨 Odd Pronoun Use Ahead! 🚨

The whisps use ce/cir/cirs/cirself pronouns. 

Ce = he/she/they 
cir = him/her/them
 cirs = his/hers/theirs
 cirself = themself/themselves/himself/herself


We have a rainbow one, who is just called Rainbow. Cir is a whisp with a kind of possum-pig face and small front paws that can go into cirs body. Cirs body is a stream of colors that flows out like a comet trail has ce moves. Kind of like if you held up sheer rainbow silk and let it flow out behind you. 

Cir is the original one to make contact as a ‘color whisp’. Ce came around when Sunny was first found and have stayed present ever since. 

In therapy today we were talking about how we had tried to explore what is out old living space in head world. We’ve been trying to find a way to add more things to do in headworld just so that it isn’t always just sit-talk-sleep. 

At the moment we live in a kind of terrarium of sorts. It’s like a very large warehouse(?) that has a lake, small forest, cabins and a rec center. This is off the main hall that is the downstairs of our ‘house’. Now we,  back when it was ‘just the 9 of us'(hah), lived in the downstairs but it was a different downstairs. Then we moved upstairs which is where we lived when all the ‘newbies’ were coming around. 

The house is settled on a hill surrounded by forests. There’s a path to the right that leads down to a town. The town has a road that leads to the caves which is where we all lived initially. The town was where we all lived during high school and for a little time before and after that. 

We went back down to the town, knowing the whisps were going to be a problem. There were more problems then we expected. The whisps left us alone for the most part, which was good! When we got into town everything was destroyed. The entire town is in ruins, building are crumbling down, nothing was bright or sunny like it used to be. There were monsters roaming around trying to get our attention.

We brought this up with our therapist, because to me especially it felt like a major blow. This town was supposed to be connected to good memories. The fact that everything is in shambles means that this place has been tainted like everything else. 

Our therapist listened to us (Kyu fronting at the time) vent. Kyu is really smart, and thinks of things to help the system all the time. He had the idea of maybe giving the whisps a color other than black that would make them less scary to be around and would give them the sense that they are important and can be a part of every day life in head world. 

So we grabbed the buzzers and our therapist just let us (Rainbow, myself, Kyu, Clarence, and Levi) sit and work ourselves out with the help of bilateral stimulus. 

Every one of the whisps got a color they’re happy with, and then they started to become more defined. Rainbow stayed the same possum-pig nosed creature, but others took a some what different form that would still be easy enough for them to keep. Teal, Lilac, and Powder Pink are kind of eel-like with a betta fish face. Orange, Red+Orange, Black+White, and Yellow are all kind of koi fish like though not as much as others. Cotton Candy, and Maple/Fawn are like Rainbow. Forest Green and The Big Guy (black+white+pink) are obviously koi fish, though Forest green might be more goldfish like. 

When we were finished and I had pushed Kyu out of front we felt so much better! Tired and drained, but I could feel the sunshine in there already. I asked my therapist what we should do about the town, since it was me who came up with the idea to maybe move back there and it was me who got so upset about it being razed. 

She said that it might have to be rebuilt, like by hand. We have builders (Squall, Renau are the main guys but Sora and Marly also help out) and they’re always looking for new things to build (and maybe feeding into my bad ideas too much). They of course said they would. Ren is my hubby so he’d do anything I wanted with in reason (apparently building a town is a reasonable thing to do), Squall is just a helpful guy and also Cloud’s partner and Cloud spoils me too much. 

We had a case yesterday of a child who we found at the door to the house who was… in bad shape (that’s putting it very lightly). He poofed away before anyone could really focus on helping him (aka get over how bad of shape he was in). Today Lolly got fed up and went out to find him with Kuzu by his side. They found the kid but neither of them knew how to help him. 

Squall came to them because most protectors have some sort of “medical training” (not in real life). There was really no easy way to help this kid, and Squall had to rebuild part of his body.  Long story short he managed to rebuild the boys broken parts and now the kid is fairly healthy!

This gave me the idea, as I sat waiting for my mom to come down from a shower to watch TV, maybe we should see what the outside headworld was looking like now. The biggest problems that were keeping us from being able to rebuild it were the lack of sun and the monsters. 

I came out the door, and it’s actually bright and sunny. The monsters have formed themselves into less(?) scary forest animals which is easier to live around. The town is stil destroyed, but Ren and Squall are hopeful that they can rebuild it with some help. 

I may make this a series about inner world stuff and the progress we make. I want it to be slow so that we don’t push ourselves too far too soon. 

My therapist always says that taking care of either other system mates or the headworld in general is a form of healing ourselves with out having to relive the trauma. I agree with her 100% because it’s always worked. Putting effort into making our space better and more happy/healthy/homey/warm/etc always makes us feel better. 

If any of you bring anything out of this, my suggestion to you is that if you have a inner world/head world try and tidy it up a bit. Add some lamps/light, give people beds, cook warm food, have toys for the kiddos. I don’t know how else to explain but but doing stuff in headworld to better your relationship with your parts or bettering the space you go to to escape is healing. I’ve heard/read professionals saying that and it’s true at least for us.

Take care of yourselves! You’re all important. You matter. Your feelings/thoughts/everything are valid. 

Thanks for reading!

Kenny

A new muppet. 

So, I’m only now seeing the comment that seems to predict what happened this past week, and what was discovered at our last therapy session. 

Our T wanted to do some EMDR to see if we could let a drop of the bad feelings go, she wanted me to ask my system if they were comfortable with having it done. I gathered everyone up quick, and ask. One person held up their hand, a redhead who is called Matty. He hadn’t gotten a lot of time to front, he always refused to hang out with the group. 

When he raised his hand I knew something was up. I pulled him to the side and I was surprised to see a toddler before me. I took him to the back room, quickly told my T that I found a kid. I explained to him that it wouldn’t hurt, and I asked him to co-front so our T would explain it. 

He did really well, and our session ended before I could talk about him. I’ve been working with what little I know about kid parts, our only other full time kid is Zack, but he’s 7(ish) and can mostly hold his own. Besides, he was mainly bonded with Cloud who is the one who’s taken care of every one who age slides when they are a younger part. 

Matty bonded with me, he’s very attached to me and at first he didn’t want to leave me at all. Now, he’ll be held by someone else but needs to be in the same space as me. I feel very attached to him as well. I’ve taken him under my wing and have kind of formed a parental role with him (same has Cloud & Squall are with Zack) 

He wets the bed/himself when scared (so far only in our inner world), he is attached to a stuffed toy and a small plastic toy in inner world. I’m hoping to get his stuffed Dino made by one of those drawing to toy companies.

I can’t wait for my next appointment so I can get some advice. A few things have been coming up, but I think it’s the stress of my sister & mother along side the inner world stuff.
Kenny 

& stuff 

This week has been packed full of mental health appointments and a little bit of disappointment. Along with some fairly good system work from a tid bit our therapist said.

On Monday, instead of my usual therapy appointment, I had a psych appointment. My psych is okay, he’s a resident and he works under an okay doctor. That’s they best way to describe them, okay. The rest of that hospital is truly awful, and I hate that I go there.

The resident is leaving in the beginning of July, and I’ll be getting another one. I don’t mind, I’m probably going to start hunting around for another one in the hopes of finding one who won’t just shove horrible medication on me, and will actually listen. The attending doctor decided to up both the medications my resident was thinking of, and so far it’s been kind of hard. It’s not too bad though, but I’m not having a very good time of it. 

After my appointment, I went to the other side of the hall and tried to make an endocrinologist appointment. My hair is falling out in clumps, and since I was already connected to them I though maybe I’d move my appointment up. Apparently, I didn’t even have an appointment nor did the endocrinologist even want to see me again unless my PCP/GP gave me another referral. My PCP/GP is just awful, I can’t even go into it, she just sucks. 

I left a message with the nurse and maybe I can get an appointment, but I’m doubtful.

My therapy appointment was good. We worked a bit on trying to help some of the alters who hold trauma relax with help from their protectors. It was draining, and we left groggy. But it was worth it!

During our appointment, she mentioned how we had been so good at mentoring the alters who haven’t adjusted to being in a system yet (aka the newbies; old alters who were dormant until recently). I kind of took that idea and ran with it. 

The mentoring program; where one of our “older” (aka more experienced) alters are paired with one or two of the newbies. The newbies are welcome to come to their mentor when ever, and can ask for advice, front with them, or even just talk when ever. 

I’m hoping the newbies take advantage of it, it’s a worth while program to have since we need to have the newbies spend more time learning about system life and themselves.

Kenny

Resurfacing

Trigger warning: CSA 


My head has been in a dark place lately. All of the older alters, meaning Elijah, Adam, and myself have been dragged down by the weight of our trauma. Elijah and myself especially. It’s gotten to the point where even Elijah and I’s partner Renau has been feeling the blues. I don’t really know where to even start with this, though I suppose I was able to today with our therapist. I’m very happy to have her, she’s very helpful. 

Our mother and Elijah have always been on bad terms, Elijah feels that she was too selfish to realize that I was being sexually abused from a very young age- in her house, with her there. When we told her our of first initial remembering of being abused in that way (a time when we were 11 and she and my abuser has since left each other) she flipped. She’s selfishly making it all about her, and she always has. She tells me it’s too hard for her to look at me, she makes it seem like I’m going in and out of hospitals and being suicidal all the time. I’m not, I’m past that. I’m doing very well in my and every one around me’s opinion. 

We are starting to piece together memories that show signs of us being sexually abused from as young as 3. Even putting that into words makes me sick. My mother doesn’t know we are remembering these things, and since we started putting the pieces together we’ve also started remembering things. As a child, once my mom came back to our abuser (age 3) we would wet our clothes with out any meaning to- this ended at age 8 I believe. We wet the bed regularly until we were 16. She doesn’t know it lasted that long because we just ended up not telling her and doing our our laundry. We had fantasies of acts before even knowing what that was, and we watched porn from the second we found out about it. In front of people too. We would touch ourselves. 

I don’t understand how no one saw  what was going on. Why no one helped us. Not only from the sexual abuse, I was neglected terribly. I didn’t have a toilet or shower for most my childhood, I was constantly away from school. Always sick from living with a hoarder. I came in covered in fleas from the animals. 

Putting this into words is helping a bit. 

I just… I’m not even mad, I just feel abandoned by every one I know or have known. My alters are the only ones who have tried to save me. I love my new internet friends and the few people I met in the group home. I love my sister. Everyone else I have no emotion towards, I’m just so numb to this. 

A few times people tried to stop, but they couldn’t. No one would help them. I thank the nurse and teacher who came to my mom and asked if she needed help. They noticed something was wrong but couldn’t change it. 

I’m sorry for such a depressing post. 

Kenny & Elijah

“Bad”


With movies such as Split being out and being what most systems know of when they first hear about D.I.D, it’s no wonder some alters feel like they are “bad” alters. Now, disclaimer here; I understand that for some systems there are alters who are bad/problematic/aggressive/etc. I know that not everyone has as good of a community as my system has. I won’t say my system as been with out its fair share of problematic alters, when I got diagnosed three of the six or so alters I knew about were classified as bad alters (in my mind, when I thought we had to have a bad alter- I’ll get into that later). This is just my point of view, no one has to agree. I know every system is different, every alter is different, and every person is different. Feel free to comment your opinions here.

Since I’ve been (basically) parenting my little sister since she was born, I’ve gotten my own ideas about how words and labels can sometimes be something people live up to. Meaning, if you call a kid a brat and they believe it then they’ll feel like that’s all they are and all they should be. 

I believe the same thing is true for alters. If I called an alter ‘bad’, then they’d get it in their head that they are ‘bad’ and they’d always seem to be bad. In my mind, if I label something has bad then everything they do will just seem bad- even if they’re just trying to get their needs met or their point across.

This is a long about way of saying that I don’t give anything a “bad” label unless I’m prepared for that thing to live up to being “bad”. That’s why, after I came to learn about my alters more, I didn’t call them bad. Now, two of the three original ‘baddies’ have integrated with another alter on their own free will. That alter has been the most helpful alter in our system so far.

The third, had always been labeled bad in our system. From way before we even knew we were a system. He was exiled to live away from everyone in the system multiple times. He was blamed for things that we now know aren’t his fault. He was demonized for reasons we don’t even remember.

Things have since changed. I was the only alter who had a continued connection with him, and when our outside head world went sour, I was the one who guilted the protectors into letting him inside. 

Our therapist has helped me change everyone’s idea about him. He has a very important role in our system, and is very loving despite being a little grumpy. 

I’m going to write a part two to this, just to break it up a bit. I have another point I want to make, about a different alter. One who has labeled himself has bad, and who cannot seem to let things go.

Kenny

P.S the alter talked about in this post is Clarence. 

Community Meeting – a prologue 


We’ve tried in the past to do meetings where we gather the system around and chitchat about how we’re doing and what’s been going on. Last time we did it majorly we tried to make it an every night thing, just to check in. Have everyone say ‘yup I’m good’ and then go back to doing what they were doing.

It didn’t really work out too well. 

Mostly because everyone would just say ‘I’m fine’ then leave. We were doing it over text, for our mute alters, and it didn’t really work properly. The whole point was to connect with each other and have meaningful conversations about where we wanted things to go, what needed to be done, if someone was struggling. Having that over text let my alters just say ‘I’m fine’ and it left me no room to judge if they really were fine.

Since that didn’t really work, we kind of gave up. That was around the time we moved to our current house, so maybe 5 or 6 months ago. Recently our therapist suggested trying again. During the holidays we gathered for our own inner system holidays (mainly thanksgiving). We managed to gather everyone into a big space in head world, and we just ate and talked. It was awkward, because we were all going though something at the time (a recent relapse in SH). 

When our therapist suggested we try the meetings again, she suggested doing them fully in head world, and not trying over text. Saying that alter may feel more comfortable in the place they spend most their time, and we could get every system member who wanted to show up to show up.

We have a small obsession with notebooks, and since all of us had been to a 4H meeting at one time in our life, we decided to do it that style. 

Our head world looks a bit like a summer camp. The summer camp being in our safe inside-outside and not the real outside. There’s an area with horses, gardening, some cows, a thousand dogs everywhere, a small forest and stream. The cabins are set up with one area being the “older” members of the systems cabins (so camp counselors) and the other area being the “newbie” cabins.

Most of the “older” system members cabins are just for their ‘unit’, so it will be 2-4 people in one cabin with a loft for sleeping, bathroom, kitchen, extra room (sewing room, kids room, etc) and a main living room. 

My cabin is a lot like the ‘newbies’ cabins, since it’s impossible for me to say no to anyone who wants to live in my cabin. There’s a loft, where people can sleep/enjoy living, three bedrooms, a kitchen, bathroom and living room. Some of the newbies cabins don’t have as many rooms- but they are all set up to hold more than one ‘unit’. 

Back to the meetings: much like a summer camp, there is a big rec-room where we all can meet. It’s like a big dining hall, with a bunch of things to do, a stage, and lots of chairs. I figured this would be a great place to hold a meeting. 

I gathered everyone up, saying that you don’t have to go if you don’t want to. Everyone showed up though!

Trying to make this a weekly thing will bring us together more as a system. A lot of the “newbies” feel as if they aren’t apart of the system, since they weren’t around when we got diagnosed. 

I hope we’ll have many meetings to come! Next post will be a over view of what went on in the meeting.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Kenny