You know, littles are really just like outside children with all of their questions. We have a friend who also has DID and she has a little I call the professor sometimes. Today she was asking me which came first the color orange or the fruit. I usually try to come up with some kind of answer even if she knows I just made it up LOL, so I told her the fruit. Of course that answer didn’t satisfy her because then she asked if the fruit was the color blue then what would happen to the color orange. Foolishly I thought that would be the most difficult question she would ask today but it wasn’t.  Then I realized its was no tougher than questions our littles have been asking for 3 years.

I’ve always gotten along well with littles for some reason and Ive made it a point, whether they are littles in our system or littles in a friends system to always be honest with them no mater what. The main reason I do that is because in my opinion I think they have already been hurt and lied to enough to last a lifetime that we owe them that respect. So what do you do when a little asks you a question about something that still confuses you? I can remember when Rebe, one of our littles use to ask us all the time “why mommy didn’t want us”  I mean how the hell do you answer that when you don’t know yourself.

In the recent past our system was in a difficult situation that when we were finally able to get out of it many, especially the littles, were hurt very badly. I believe its why the Big switched over into ultra over protective mode and then burned out.  When anyone, not just people with DID but I believe anyone who has endured some type of abuse, trust is a very big issue. So when you let down your walls to trust someone and then have that trust betrayed you end up with chaos. At least thats what happened with us.  I’m not a therapist and I won’t pretend to be one, so I don’t know if that person knew what they were doing or not, I just know the effect it had on us.  So when one of our littles asks if that person is bad all we can do is pick them up, hold them and let them know that us older ones will be watching a lot harder in the future so they won’t have to go through that pain again.



As October marks the start of our difficult months we’ve had a changing of the guards so to speak.  I am Toni, Antoinette to some but most just call me Toni. I’m not the Big, Host person, Birth person or what ever you choose to call it. I just usually stand in for the Big when she can’t handle out for a while.  Writing is one of the ways that helps a lot of us heal which is why we have chosen to still do the blog during this time. Any posts done by us insiders for now on will use the tonietal author, just to make things easier when She is back out.  OK now that the “business” end is taken care off we can relax I hope and have some fun 😛


Been having a hard week and I know I need to do some writing but I keep stalling. My asthma has been really bad and something about not being able to breathe makes me flash alot. Plus on top of that my dad was in the hospital for a few days and because I was sick I couldn’t go see him.  Trying to fight off the depression but not doing a good job of it. Just feels like I’m being swallowed up by everything- insiders wanting to be out, littles crying cause the body is sick, trying to put a “good face” on for family and friends, guilt for wanting to pretend that I’m “normal” with no DID or any other mental stuff, guilt that I should be making jewelry and being creative but all the energy I had for the last 4 weeks has disappeared some where, angry that i was abused, angry about the ritual abuse, angry about memories, angry that no one no one no one no one no one said a damn thing when they knew or suspected stuff was goin on, and then there’s the aloneness like a dark smothering cloud. So gonna let my insiders do their thing here and find a quiet corner inside.

Spider, one of my main shadow alters grumbles every time I use that phrase lol. However, for lack of a better word I use protector because in my opinion they protect in their own way.  True at times they butt heads with my regular protectors over the way they protect but it all comes down to getting the job done.  An example is how they handled things with my last roommate. I had been living with her for about 2 years and she was very controlling and manipulative to the point where she had me doing all the housework, cooking, shopping, bills all with my own money while she spent hers on stuff she liked. When through therapy, I started setting boundaries, the more I tried to set boundaries the harder she tried to manipulate and control me. Because my shadow alters had no emotional ties to her they were not swayed by her manipulations, they were able to see through the games she was playing. As soon as we walked in the door one of them would immediately take front and “lock it down” so only shadow alters could get out. They were able to reinforce the boundaries and not give in to manipulations until we were able to move out.

Thinking about my last post I thought it might be a good idea to explain more about my system and how it has evolved over the years.  I can remember when I was first diagnosed and looking for explanations for what the heck was happening with me. Hopefully this will help some newly diagnosed people out. Please remember though not all DID systems are alike.

I have a fairly large system which includes: littles, middles, teens and adults functioning as protectors, healers, ISHes, caretakers, listeners, guardians, recordkeepers and shadow alters.  I will explain the functioning in a minute. I may or may not post a system map I haven’t decided yet or rather we haven’t since it will be a group decision.

OK as far as functions go:

Protectors- do just what the name says they protect the system from harm or perceived harm. They will front when we feel threatened. 5 years ago when my mother tried to hit me my lead protector Lou fronted, packed my bags and took us out of there even though the house was full of people for Thanksgiving dinner.

Healers- in my system these are the ones who help me and insiders who are flashing, suicidal, wanting to self harm etc. They also help my system by slowing memories down so they aren’t as over powering. If a memory is being brought up before the right time they can stop it.

ISHes- for those who don’t know, ISH stands for Internal Self Helper- they know what’s going on in the system, what’s best for the system, and can really help with therapy stuff. My system is different in that my main ISH is now about 15 but she is also one of my first alters so has been with the body from the time the body was young.

Caretakers- besides taking care of the littles and middles, they make sure newly found alters are connected in with someone so they are not alone. Inside they teach our littles so that they can communicate in writing if they want.

Listeners- can hear whats going on in any part of the system and front. This helps a lot to know whats going when theres a crisis.

Guardians- special kind of protector who comes in very handy when we are having trouble with persecutor alters.

Recordkeeper- keeps a record of everything that has happened either with the body and system as a whole or the specific subsystem they are a part of.

Shadow Alters- these guys I learned the hard way can wreak havoc with my system when they first come forward. I could be wrong but I think you tend to see them more when people have RA backgrounds. Anyway, one of their big things is to not allow anyone to talk about what happened and they will try all kinds of things to keep people from talking or torment someone after they talk.  Now, on the good side, if you can work with them they can make excellent protectors- more about that later.

OK now that you know the different functions, here is how I have my system set up:

Front- I’ve learned over the years that if I am front or certain alters are front and we start flashing then we “put a wall up” which makes it difficult to pull us in from front to let someone else out who can function. In light of this fact we now have 3 in the front area- 1)the one who is actually “out”, 2)a healer in case someone is flashing, and 3)one of the protectors who is able to get through all walls so they can pull someone in if needed. This also helps when I lose time because the protector will know what happened front while I lost time, though I am only told about stuff I need to know.

Inside- First let me say that inside every DID system is different. It’s where your alters stay when they are not front so let them decide what it looks like. As far as mine goes, because my alters were in the dark for so long there’s lots of light, green and togetherness so no one is alone. Groups reside in houses like families. There’s stuff for littles and middles to do, the teens have a club house which actually helps a lot in keeping them out of trouble. Hidden alters, when they first come forward are paired up with a mentor. The shadow alters have their own thing going but I’ll let them explain that on their wall.

Well, that’s how my DID system works for me.

   When I first opened up communication with my insiders I was hit with memory after memory. The flashbacks were horrible and my startle reflex was extremely high. For those who don’t know much about DID, most alters/insiders are like locked doors behind which are memories that have been locked away so the host person can survive, live and function. I think that by me initiating open communication freed some of them to open their doors, but that is my opinion. Anyway I say this as a bases of my fears. I am not mad that they shared the memories with me because it filled the rest of the puzzle in of the memories I already had, it was just difficult to go through.

   Two years ago, after being gone for 25 years, I moved back to the hometown I grew up in. At that time until recently I had tried to “close off” my insiders partly for their protection, partly because I didn’t want people to walk away from me if “they only knew” . But thinking about it, I think the main reason, well actually I know the main reason was because I didn’t want to get overwhelmed with memories again.  When I first moved back I would get panic attacks just riding the bus past buildings where abuse took place.  I didn’t want to have a panic attack in the middle of downtown, so I foolishly decided to “close off” my insiders. The reason I say foolishly is because the way my DID system had gotten to the point where different ones flowed freely so we could function normally.  If we were having a panic attack then there was someone who could front who wasn’t affected and others could calm the rest of the system down.  If whoever was front was having a flashback, then the one guarding front would pull them in so someone else could front and the one flashing would be taken care of.  By me “closing off” my insiders, I threw a wrench in my ability to function normally.

[rockyou id=123739913&w=426&h=320]

This is a collection of self portraits I have done over the years.

Time passages

From past to present

Picking up precious cargo

Some carrying baggage

To be left as waste

Along the side

Other parcels

To be locked up

Till the appointed time

Still all to be embraced

None left out

What does it mean

All this travel

For it seems we go backwards

But all the while

Moving ahead

Pressing toward our goal

Of being whole.

Well I think this new medicine is going to work. So far no negative side affects and moods are slowing down. Still am not sleeping that well but thats nothing new so I just sleep when I can. On another note communication is better with my insiders now that I am not trying to be a control freak. I’m actually able to get some things done yaaaaaaaaaay. Ok I need to go eat some breakfast and figure out what we’re doing today.

Well I took the plunge and saw the need so started a webring for bloggers re: mental illness. Not sure how much of a response I will get but Im hoping it will help others.  Anyway if your interested here’s more info

Creative Commons License
The Faces of Me by Johnna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at Contact Me
Add to Technorati Favorites
Directory of Mental Health Blogs
hits counter

Blog Stats

  • 9,310 hits