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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.

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.

Toni is my insider who has nudged me the most towards digital art stuff though I have not gotten into it as much as she has. So I am very pleased that she has put her wall up and I look forward to seeing what art she shares lol she has files and sketchpads that say “KEEP OUT”. Anyway to give you some info on her as far as my system goes, she is one of my few sliders, meaning she goes between age 18 and 22 but lately she is mostly around 22.  She is a protector and from what I have been able to learn was the main one who handled high school years. She use to like to live on the edge and got us into and out of many scrapes including knocking down the best friend’s psycho boyfriend. Anyway check out Toni’s Wall.

I am so proud of Lash and so excited for him. I know this move has been difficult for him and the situation we were in before the move was even more difficult.  Just a little bit about Lash: He is one of my littles who is also a protector. Some may disagree with me on that because he has issues with anger and self harm  but I see those as barometers for the system as a whole. I know we have worked hard with him and he has worked hard to the point that now if he self harms it means we are at the point where we need outside help usually hospitalization, and as i said in an earlier post that has not happened in several years.  Please check out Lash’s Wall

Petals of Life

Petals of Life

Well I’m sitting here, another sleepless night. I love this picture and looking at it makes me realize even more how much I have screwed up since I have moved back to RI. My system worked together so well. We functioned much better. Different ones, like Toni, were given time to express themselves more. I wasn’t afraid to be out around people. I keep thinking about a video on DID I saw the other day. One of the things the author said that really struck a nerve was that she was afraid of people finding out because she was afraid they would leave her and that it would be like re-victimization. I realized that’s part of why I tried to “shut everything down” and keep everyone in. Part of it I know was for their protection too because I didn’t want the little ones hurt by some people in my life, but still… I miss Toni’s sketch books scattered all over. I miss Hope skipping and sneaking out for grilled cheese sandwiches. I miss the group projects and plans, the saturday cartoons, coping and functioning. I’m thinking it’s time for change.

I hate Hate HATE trying new medicine.  I know in the end it helps so that I can function better but when I first start on it I get sooooo tired and it is so frustrating. It took almost 3 weeks to get something that might actually work. First getting in to see the doctor and then of course the red tape with the insurance company. It took all I had to keep my insiders who self harm from doing anything while we worked the medicine crisis out. It’s been years since I’ve had to go inpatient and I didn’t want to go that route. I’m so thankful for my therapist and doctor because they worked close with me so that I could avoid the hosptial. We’re not totaly through this yet but so far no nasty side affects. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaay

Once again I reach the top

Only to find there is more at the bottom

That needs to be looked at

So many to hear

So much to see

They can’t be forgotten

Their pain ignored

It happened before

But not now, no more

The young ones cry out

To be held,

Comforted,

Made to feel safe

To be protected

So as I stand at the top

Hearing their cries

Feeling their pain

Holding back the tears

Once again I descend.

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The Faces of Me by Johnna is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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