Sora & Roo’s Daily Journal

[For 6/14/17]

In an effort to find ways for Sora to get to know himself, and for us to find constructive ways of hanging out I asked him if he wanted to do some kind of (mostly) everyday blog post where we answer journal prompts or something similar. I would like them to also include a description of our day just to document our life since we don’t remember crap! I also think it would be cool to follow the journey of a system mate coming to terms with The Real World™.

Prompt: Ten things you love about summer:

Sora: I don’t remember a lot of summers. But if I had to pick some things I love about it I would have to go with the following. I love that you can sit outside under the warm sunshine and hang out with a dog. I love that the grass is so green. I love swimming. I love cold showers which I’m only able to take in the summer. I love the blue sky and clouds. Summer rain storms. Ice cream shops. Swinging. Shorts and tee shirts.

But I think I’m stealing them from other people.

Roo: My favorite things about summer are mostly things I’ve experienced in the last year and a half that I’ve been back from being dormant & able to be myself! Here is my list:

  • S’mores Ice Cream: I get this at this really great ice cream place down by Home Depot. Also, Friendly’s came out with a limited edition s’mores flavor last year and I was super excited to see it back on the shelves. They are both different, and equally great.
  • The car window being down. Last year we had a different car, and it didn’t have A/C until about June. That car was a gas hog so we really didn’t run the A/C unless we were parked some where. Our current car doesn’t have A/C and there is no end in site for when we may get it (its a bigger problem than in our old car) BUT having the window down is so nice in the summer anyway.
  • Being warm! I hate being cold (though I love sweatshirts) and even though the heat is killer I love being warm.
  • My sister being home. We go on lots of adventures! Even though her summer program has longer days that regular school.
  • The photo opportunities. Which are good in winter too, but summer has such good light!
  • Seeing animals out. Wild or otherwise. So many birds!
  • Longer days. I’m so afraid of the dark but it doesn’t get dark until 9pm so I’m good!
  • Sandles. Need I say more?
  • Tourist in my town. They’re very rich and it’s always funny to pick on them to make myself feel better that even though I’m broke at least I’m not wearing a sweater tied around my neck.
  • The clear skies at night!

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!

~ Roo & Sora

Expressing Emotions

Since we were young we’ve always had a hard time of expressing emotions. This stems from many things, but it makes it hard for us to deal with life’s general happenings. Our mother has always been the emotional one, all of our emotions weren’t has important has hers were. Our abuser also played a part in our lack of emotions, but that’s a story for another day.

We hold them all in until we just burst with a big flash of anger. Then we calm back down. Our therapist wants us to work on it, not by breaking down the wall but by maybe putting a one-way mirror in the wall so that we can see in and our emotions can’t come out. She want’s us to wait though and take it slowly. She’s a very good therapist.

In the meantime, we try and find ways to express ourselves. Writing this blog and tweeting on Twitter has helped. Roo thinks poetry would help a lot too, but we need to put more focus into it. Sometimes just petting the family dog helps too.

We also try and make art that is just patterns made out of shapes and lines. We haven’t finished a full piece yet, but it’s nice to just sit and doodle. Patterns help us a lot. It can be calming to just have something have the right number of circles, triangles, and squares in an area.

We like coloring too, but it’s something the kids like more. We recently bought a dinosaur coloring book because dinos are the kid’s current interest. Art for us can be very healing, even looking at it.

~Adam

 

Sleep and Kids.

We’ve slept for most the weekend, even though our insomnia gave us a run for it on Friday night. We’ve been spending a bit more time hanging out with the kids in headworld to try and make them feel a bit better. Even now though we’re yawning though we slept all day long.

Spending time with the kiddos has been nice though. It’s hard because sometimes Jonah cries and just wants to cuddle with Roo, and Chance always wants me to hold him and is always wanting to spend time with me. I like that Chance wants to be around me all the time, he’s so sweet and is a breath of fresh air.

It’s nice having a kids view on things sometimes, though sometimes it can be hard. They’re so sweet but easily scared. We feel bad if we disappoint them, but they bring us all so much joy. We really have no idea how to handle internal kids, but our therapist says we do a good job. That’s always a relief.

This isn’t a very long post, sorry.

The kiddos have wanted to write some posts, and I think I may let them do that.

~Adam

Spending Time Together

Last night I kind of had a magical experience. It’s weird when your partners and you share a body, there isn’t a lot of moments to spend with one another. It’s harder for us to focus on each other when we know any moment we might get called away to do something.

It’s weird when your partners and you share a body, there isn’t a lot of moments to spend with one another. It’s harder for us to focus on each other when we know any moment we might get called away to do something.

We spend most of our time together either in the car (while not driving of course) or right before bed. Before we go to sleep is when we get the most time to spend with one another.

Then we come with the problem of figuring out what to do with each other. It can get kind of boring just sitting around with nothing to talk about.

Kenny and Renau kind of had this little breakthrough, but it was Kenny who started it. Back before we knew we were a system, we would tell stories using the characters we used to identify has. They would play out in our mind and I guess this is how we learned about spending time with each other.

Now that we know we’re parts in a system, we feel like it would be weird to tell stories with each other, but we’ve found something that works for now. Putting ourselves into real life situations that we been through and telling a story about what would happen if we had been there in our own bodies.

It’s kind of fun in a way! We have something to talk about and something that we can do and it gives us time to spend together.

How do you all spend time with one another?

~ Roo

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’s Dreams and Trauma

We’ve been really tired lately. It might be depression, or it might be something to do with our iron levels (probably both honestly). We try not to nap, but sometimes it just happens. Sunday we napped for a while, Kenny was fronting and had already had nightmares the night before.
Kenny must have slipped into one of the kiddo’s dreams. It was traumatic, to say the least. This must have also been the reason why this particular kiddo has also had a problem sleeping. I’m not going to describe it, I feel like it would not only bring the blog down but it would also be unnecessarily re-traumatizing for this kiddo.

I should describe this kiddo a little bit.

His name is Chance, we found him in front of the main door to the terrarium back when we lived there. He cannot walk, and the one time he accidentally fronted we couldn’t move our legs until Zack managed to take front back. He’s around four years old, maybe a little younger depending on the situation. He is bonded to Adam mostly but is also bonded to myself (Roo) and Joji. He has a great personality, very sweet. He loves dinosaurs (like most of the kiddos seem to right now).

When we figured out it was him who had the dream, Kenny and I checked up on him. I’ve kept a close eye on him since then (I’m writing this on Monday night). He slept in bed with me, Adam, and Joji last night per his request.

I was able to talk to our therapist today (or well listen in while Lolly talked) and I’d like to share the advice she gave us. Most of it is stuff we have already done with him (and the other kiddos).

She said to offer him more care and be gentle with him. He’s been trying to be closer to whoever is fronting since I’ve been fronting it’s been nice to hang out with him. Our T talks about giving ‘loving eyes’ which is where we make eye contact (usually in headworld) with the kiddo (or another adult) in question and try to push loving thoughts into the front of our mind.

We do this with the babies a lot, just because we think their trauma is more based on neglect. It seems to work well, we usually do this while giving them a bottle since that’s like double care.

In general, we really try to push the care and love onto one another. We have always gotten our love and affection from one another which I guess is a depressing concept in general.

Honestly, I can’t think of any ‘family’ in this system that doesn’t really enjoy spending time with their kiddos. I know that while they were coming around it was pretty stressful, but now that they have all settled it’s quite great to have them.

Working through their trauma will be hard. My therapist and I both agree that we don’t want to push it too quickly, my therapist is even weary of having us adults do trauma work right now. I want more time with the kiddos before we work on anything. I want to enjoy them and get to know them.

All of the kids are friendly with each other (so far) and all are loved by every one of us main guys.

I knew that it was a possibility that they hold trauma, I just didn’t think it would be that severe.

~ Roo

Things I’ve Learned Since Getting Diagnosed.

I thought this might be a good idea, especially since I can add to it (or revise it) as I learn more. Also not to toot my own horn or anything but if this is helpful to anyone and you want to share it, feel free to! (But you really don’t have to.)
I also want to note that for two years after getting diagnosed I didn’t have therapy. I had a few sessions while I was still in a group home, but the therapist there was mostly absent. A lot of this has been learned on my own so take this with a grain of salt.

  • Everyone has different ways of handling their system and no one way is better than another. This one was hard to get a hang of. When I was first diagnosed I was a sponge soaking in all the information. It was both helpful and hindering because I thought that I had to follow some set way. After months of coming downstairs and ranting at my mom about how this thing or that made me so mad and didn’t fit what I wanted, I figured out that maybe I should just not care about what other people say.
  • Treat your parts nicely and things go smoother. That’s not to say that everything will always be calm and nice, but working as a team helps a ton. Relationships between parts are built slowly, just like real life relationships. I’m lucky, a lot of us already had a connection and the few of us who were talking when we were diagnosed were already close. Even now though, since most everyone had come back (I think???) it still feels awkward between some of us. Kind of like, hey you’re here and so am I but we don’t ever talk. It takes time, but don’t give up.
  • Remember that you are all abuse survivors. This one can be hard. Kids can be annoying with crying and whining, teens can be too outgoing, protectors can be scary and sometimes mean. Sometimes you just don’t want to be surrounded by all these people! The noise gets to be too much, there are too many needs that are all over the map. It can be wild. Still, you’ve all been through some horrible stuff. Just think about that next time a kid part wants to buy that $10 stuffed animal.
  • Sometimes switches just happen. You can really never know if you’re going to randomly switch for no reason. That being said, some systems switch more than others (or some less than others). We switch at least 3 times a day. More if someone who “shouldn’t be out” is fronting. It can be exhausting, but for some (like us) not switching can also be exhausting.
  • You can ask for some alone time. You might not get it, but you can always ask. Going to the bathroom and don’t want someone talking to you? Want to watch a video without someone talking over it? Just ask. Setting boundaries with your parts can be good.
  • Kid parts are developmentally kids. Don’t let them out unsupervised, don’t let them use the internet alone. Things you wouldn’t let a real child do, don’t let a kid part do either.
  • A good therapist is KEY. There is only so much you can do on your own. You can take the advice of blogs and books all you want, but that’s not finding a way to re-box the trauma into better places so it isn’t breathing down your neck all the time.
  • Find/build a support network. It can be blogs, twitters, facebooks, in real life people. Just find people you can talk to. Find people who are open to DID or who have DID. Don’t try and stick with people who don’t understand and who never will.
  • Remember self-care. Basic stuff like eating, sleeping, cleaning yourself and your house. Get that down first, then move on to setting up times to read a book or paint your nails.
  • Write things down! I’m still so bad at this, but it is so helpful when I do it. Even if I never look at the paper again, writing it down is so helpful to set it a bit better into your brain so it doesn’t fall out and go where ever all the stuff we forget goes.
  • Stuff that helps people with Traumatic Brain Injuries can be helpful for DID systems. I don’t know how it is from a medical standpoint, but my mom has a TBI and she’s given me advice for the memory problems. They do help, but your mileage may vary.
  • Healthy habits help. That’s a big one for memory stuff. If you form a habit it makes it so much easier to remember for everyone in your system. Stick with something for long enough and it will stick there.
  • Flashback Advice: (I don’t have a funky pulling in sentence.) Scent can help pull someone from a flashback. Find one you really like and keep it with you or where you have the most flashbacks. Candles (be careful if you light it), essential oils (put a little on a cotton ball and keep it in something, they can be overwhelming right from the bottle), body lotion or oils (my personal favorite). A cold shock like holding or sucking on an ice cube, a cold bath, grabbing (or even going outside in) some snow. Be careful though, don’t stay in a cold bath too long (you can get sick) and if you go outside make sure someone knows in case you wander off. Heat like a heating blanket or pad, make sure they have a timer and are controlled so they don’t hurt you. I warn that a hot bath or something like that would be too dangerous. If you can’t feel the temperature you could burn yourself and seriously hurt yourself. Cold is better than heat! 
  • Get enough fresh air. Going and sitting outside in summer, going for a walk, even just standing in your doorway for a few minutes can help ease any struggles. Open a window if you don’t think you can go outside. Sitting in a stuffy room always makes me feel worse.
  • When you work up to it, get a pet. I’ve always had animals, and I usually find taking care of them helps me a lot. Don’t get a pet if you don’t think you can handle to remember one (forming self-care habits is one way to prepare). Make sure to do research, don’t just put a fish in a bowl or a bird in a round cage. Make sure it’s something your entire system wants and will help with. Having a pet helps if you live alone too.
  • Have an area to decompress. Whether it’s a blanket fort, or just your bedroom finding a place you can make your own and that is quiet and peaceful can be a great help.

This is the list so far. If you have any suggestions leave them down in the comments!

Thanks, all.

~ Kenny & Roo

Rebuilding Inner World: Update One

Working on our inner world has come to a standstill at the moment, as we’ve been super-extra busy with our sister, appointments, and life in general. Though that doesn’t mean we haven’t worked on it.
Kenny and the building bosses (Renau and Squall) went down to the town to try and see if houses were something that could be built. Kenny just wanted to move in himself and his little family but had the invitation that anyone could come down and if we were able to form houses they could move in.

In our real life, we live in a community full of three different housing types. We copied one of them. Three stories, each story has their own apartment. We worked out that we would need four buildings. Everyone showed up after we got the first building formed, so three more buildings went up.

Inside they are mostly the same since they are copies of one another to keep it simple. They surround a dirt path that forms a circle with a fountain in the middle. The top floor of Kenny’s building is home to our current hang-out spot.

They have been a great change since our old homes were starting to feel cramped. We have a map drawn out of all the things we’d like to add to the town and where they would go, but we are giving ourselves a break to work on other stuff.

~ Roo

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)

 

Personality Boxes and Breaking Free. 

Kind of an odd title. This is going to be about ‘fandom’ stuff and how it has effected us. This can give you a little more insight into how we got into fandom and how it has hindered our healing. I will warn you that the beginning is triggering! 

Last Saturday we were out with our mom grocery shopping. Saturday is the one day our sister is at her fathers for the entire day so my mom and I use that day to relax and have a minimal stress kind of day. 

We had been sitting in a Walmart parking lot for about 45 minutes when our mom wanted us to go inside so she could call her ‘friend’. Reluctantly we went inside to sit and find something to do. One thing we do is look at posters, because every month we think we’ll buy one but we never do. 

They had a poster that was from 2006 when the game a large chunk of us took our identity from. Something had happened earlier that day, but I can’t remember it now, so we were already in a bad mood. I say in the medium post I linked above that we are generally okay with seeing pictures, but apparently we are not anymore. I’ll explain more down below. 

We were pretty affected all that night (something else also happened which took the ‘bad’ spot). It’s put us in a pretty foul mood that we haven’t been able to pin point. Last night I kind of figured it out that I’m having problems with seeing the poster, and I’m also holding the problems that other people may be having. 

I brought this up with our therapist today, because it felt like something I should talk about to try and get off my chest. I kind of rambled along nervously because I had never really tried to explain this to someone. The only other time is in the post I link above. 

Here’s what my therapist and I brainstormed. 

  • Finding out that we are actually real, and allowed to have our own feelings/thoughts/likes/dislikes/etc has been hard for us. Fandom allowed us to just be in a box where we were only that character and nothing else.
  • Finding out that we are born of trauma and that most of us have gone through our own trauma is in a way retraumatizing. Having to accept that we’ve come here from pain isn’t fun.
  • Feeling like we’ve lost our sense of self and having to have something other than ‘the box’ we used to fit in. It’s hard finding out who you are, it takes time. We don’t have a lot of time to do that, and we don’t even know we’re to start. 
  • Not wanting to go back into ‘the box’ vs. wanting to stay in the box. Once we come out of ‘the box’ and accept that it’s scary the idea of being put back into ‘the box’ even if we do it ourselves. Some of us just want to stay in ‘the box’ because it’s all we’ve known. 

Working on finding yourself when we already have so much going on seems impossible. The people who still need to work on this are afraid to take any time away from us regular fronters, and they don’t know what to do anyway. 

All we can do is try to communicate with one another in an attempt to move forward.

Have a nice night all.

– Roo