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

Kid Protectors and Stuff.


Before kid parts ever started to be around in this system, we had never given the idea of them any thought. With Zack finally allowing himself to be something other a dog, and finally fitting himself into the role has the first kid, it kind of changed the way we thought of things. Some of us started age sliding, though now I think it was just kid parts blurring with us to try and get some attention since it has stopped happening. Then kids just started showing up on our doorstep basically. I think the kids have all finally come out of the woodwork, though who really knows at this point.
The kids and the “newbies” are going through the same kind of thing right now, trying to find themselves and learn about who they are. There are only a few who are going through the change right now. By change, I mean getting used to the idea of this all being real and us being a system, fronting and the idea of spending time doing things they like, sharing time with others, getting to know everyone, and building up their own personality. Currently, Lolly, Zack, and Sora are going trough this. Lolly seems to be the furthest along, but there are always unexpected bumps in the road.

Zack is the first kiddo we’ve had that’s going through this. We don’t know a lot about kid parts and how to make their lives happy. We try and do things like coloring, or watching TV, we buy toys and kids books. It seemed to be working fine until the other night.

It was Thursday, we were running into Walmart to buy some stuff for our mom. We had just gotten our disability check and we usually give ourselves $10 – $15 to spend on something that isn’t food, phone card, laundry, meds, or rent. Our budget is tighter this month because last month we said we’d give our mom $50 more for rent for driving us to (almost) Canada to get our bird. No big deal, that $50 usually just loosens our food budget and gives us a couple more bucks to spend on extras.

I (Roo) took us over to toys because I wanted the kiddos to try and pick something out. We found some dinosaur figures we really liked (the Schleich ones), even though they only had two in stock. One was $13 and I say they could get it if they wanted. Zack started to get really angry and said he didn’t deserve any toys. Sharkie and Chance who were the other two kiddos out kind of just followed along and said they didn’t want anything.

We left and went to the grocery store. They have this box of balls that are sometimes in fun colors, and I promised I would let the kiddos pick out something to eat. Chance and Sharkie picked out Lucky Charms, but Zack still seemed to be in a pretty bad mood about everything. I asked him if he wanted to pick out a ball. He kind of seemed in awe that I was asking him if he wanted one. He picked out a blue one and it seemed like that was that.

Today (Saturday) we went to Target with our mom. We looked in the toy section again, and Zack got unbelievably angry. He was angry throughout the entire store and I had to go out to the car early. We went into Micheals after, and they have the Safari LTD toys there. I tried to get the kids to pick one out, only Zack and Sharkie were out at the time. We were having a hard time deciding and Zack kept getting angrier and angrier. He started to get kind of mean about stuff, so I eventually just left. He was so angry that he was crying and Squall picked him up and carried him into the decompressing room in our hang out apartment in headworld.

On the car ride home, Lolly and I started to talk about him. Lolly felt responsible in some way for Zack acting out since they seem like buddies. Lolly went in to talk to Zack about everything in the hopes of getting him to calm down and think.

It came out that Zack has been feeling bad because he couldn’t protect any of the kids from getting hurt. Chance and Zack’s close friend Jordan have some impairments from trauma. One of the newer toddlers also has some internal showings of trauma. Zack feels responsible for them and felt like he didn’t deserve toys or to even pick them out. The other kids just kind of went along with it (though they may have their own deeper reasons for it).

It was pretty obvious that he is suffering from what we call “protectors guilt”, where a protector feels like they couldnt protect anyone right, or that they’re the cause of it. Almost every one of our protective alters feels this way or has at some point. Squall bardged in on them and called a meeting for the other protectors to come in and talk to Zack. It seemed to help him a lot.

I’m hoping if anything else happens that we can have the oppertunity to work through it with our T. Though she will probably say what we’ve been doing is all that we need to do because she says everything we do is stuff she’d suggest. Then she’d ask if we wanted to let a drop of it go, or if we wanted to hold the buzzies to work through it.

~ Roo

(side note I realize we haven’t done ‘song of the day’ for a few days, we’ve been really tired and have been staying up with our sister too late to write them)

 

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 

Hating on myself

Trigger warning: abuse, self harm, and suicide mention.

The other night, in a moment of pure stupidity that is only caused by something I’ll get into later in this post, I decided to look up my abuser on Facebook. 
My mother had told me he had a new one, and I won’t lie I’m curious to see how far I can push myself with the ‘I don’t hate you, I just don’t care’ which in it’s own way is a lie. I try not to hate for my own personal reasons, but deep down, if I hate anyone it’s him and his wife. So I looked. 

As I scrolled I got more and more disgusted by what he posted, but it was a kind of emotionally detached disgusted. Like, it would be funny if I didn’t have the connection. 
Then I stumbled upon something that I know he knew I would see. A post on my birthday, that was basically him emotionally abusing me by working on the old connection we had. The old ‘I’m your father, I’ll always love you’ b.s. 
I didn’t believe if for a second, but it sure did make me mad. Not like a blinding rage mad, but just so dumbfounded with everything. I got very upset, ran outside and quickly grabbed two fistfuls of snow. 

The pure icy cold brought me back down to reality, enough so that I could walk inside, collect my phone, and walk to my room. I was fine, my heart was racing, and my hands were cold. My eyelashes were frozen with wet tears and I was shaking, but I was fine.

My mother came in a moment later, I was vaguely mad at her for coming outside then quickly abandoning me for the house- she later told me she wanted to see what he wrote. We sat on the floor, and I vented. 

I was amazed by the pure stupidity of it all. He actually thinks we still have some sort of connection. Some cosmic love that will reunite us when I finally see the evils of my mother. 

All I can think is about when we were 16, and we did go back to live with him. It was hellish. I got my first self harm scar that is still visible. I stayed there being sexually abused by his wife’s daughter because of some reason I can’t even think to know.  I lost everything. I didn’t go back to school when I finally came home. I became scared and withdrawn. I tried to commit suicide multiple times in the coming years.

My life turned to one giant nightmare for years, and is only now settling down again. Though, I will say my life wasn’t very good before this. From ages 12-14 when I didn’t see him were okay, but the rest was an abuse filled mess. 

And he actually thinks we still have a connection. He must think I didn’t read the police transcripts for the rape case I had against him. The one where he calls me a ‘crazy stupid lying c**t’. 

After I venting to my mom, something (aka a protector) told me to try what my therapist calls a ‘butterfly hug’, where you cross your arms against your chest and pat your shoulders one at a time. It’s an EMDR thing that surprisingly worked really well. 

I went back to feeling a little more worked up than normal, but I was otherwise okay. 

This whole incident got me thinking about why I do this. Why I look up my abusers, or at triggering things. Why I’m always testing myself to see how far I can go before I push myself over the edge. 

Joji, the protector that deals with Adam and I’s b.s thinks it has something to do with feeling emotions. Being emotionally numb to nearly everything is draining. When it moves into the body, that’s when we self harm. But when it’s just all too much, when there’s no ticking in our heart and we feel broken we push ourselves to feel anything. 

It’s kind of sick. It’s something I definitely need to talk over with my therapist. Why do I feel the need to push myself over the edge? I don’t know. 

Roo 

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

Unlikely Protectors.

I am one of the ‘newbies’. I am not new at all, I have been around in this system since we were 10. I can pin point the trauma I was made to take. I remember it fully. 

I control myself, my emotions, and my actions very well. Everything I do is neat. My writing, my speaking, my way of presenting myself to the world. I do not appear to have emotions, though I do. They may not always be strong and noticeable, but they’re there. 

I especially have emotions for my partner. He is a gentle giant, and I could never hurt him. I would never hurt him- nor would I let anyone hurt him. He is my soul. The thing that keeps me grounded to this world and myself. 

When I came back into this system in mid to late 2016, I was surprised to learn that we were a system. That this wasn’t all just pretend. I wasn’t an imaginary friend in Kenny’s head. I am a real being, and I can have some say in my life. 

I came back with my angel in tow. We hid for many days, him not talking- and me being too detached to try and connect with anyone. Kenny eventually pulled me in, and I found that fronting comes as naturally to me as eating or breathing. 

I was getting to spend time with my love. But something was different. First, he doesn’t speak. He barely makes any sounds. He at first seemed distant, but has warmed up to me.

The other night, whatever has been on his mind came to a head. Try as I might I couldn’t think of what to do. This was not his usual MO. I remember Kenny doing this, and at one time Adam, but never him. I’ve never been more scared.

Thankfully, after our weekly meeting (something I’m sure someone will make a post about), I was able to speak with Kenny and Roo about what I should be doing. They had Elijah help fix him up, and the three of them started talking.

After many minutes of talking, with out my love listening, I come to find out that I am his protector, not the other way round. This surprised everyone who knows. My love is a big man, tall and muscular. I am average height and thin. 

Protectors in this system don’t really fit into the stereotypical ‘protector’ box. They are more caretakers, but we feel that the word protector describes the role better. I guess I fit this role. 

I am scared to find what this may mean for me and my love. I hope I can be there for him emotionally and be able to help him any way I can.
the cat and the shark