Psychology and Mental Health Forum

Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Sun Sep 01, 2019 1:10 pm ]
Blog Subject:  Ryder, workin' alter, hidden in plain sight

Soon after we learned about Ryder we added him to our list of hosts along with John and Johnny. Until recently I've thought, why is his name there, he doesn't feel like a host, he avoids interacting with people. I should move him off of the hosts list. I did a couple times but soon readded him, realizing it was a case of me not understanding a truth about our system that others knew. Turns out Ryder is incredibly important to our life and he's absolutely a host.

Our condo back porch railing has been coming apart for years, ballisters broken and falling out, wood rotting. Embarrassing because the neighbors have to look at it but not enough for me to take action. I was resentful that neighbor carelessness originally started the breakage, it would cost over $2K to get it fixed, and I just didn't want to spend that. So I avoided thinking about it -- or using the large porch at all. But a fellow condo owner is selling and I had to make a decision, be a jerk and do nothing (no way), pay $2K, or fix it myself.

I've never done major carpentry work. But it doesn't involve quantum physics so we determined to do it. We were slow at first, then something kicked in. We spent long hours after work and on weekends, plugging away: measuring, researching, buying new tools, pulling down the old railing, priming, nailing, etc.

My son wanted to help but explaining and teaching him was somehow incompatible with actually doing the project. I, John, love to teach my son things. It's critical for him to learn practical life skills and it's a chance to bond. We let him some but there was little chatting. So it became clear that this couldn't be me doing the work.

Ryder isn't just the guy who does parts of our career. He's the one buckles down whenever we simply must get something done. He can work diligently, steadily for many hours straight, no break. I was absolutely shocked yesterday when I realized he went all day without food -- and afterwards we were not hungry! I still can't get over that --- his physiology is different. Figure out a way to keep Ryder fronting and we'll get slim again! (half serious)

Ryder succeeds for us by focusing, and interacting with people interrupts that. Maybe if it's more than a couple sentences, Johnny or I switch in automatically. But once we all realized it's been Ryder, he's tried talking more to our son. It's, uh, challenging but he loves him and is learning.

As always, in hindsight, I want to kick myself for not understanding this has been him, not me (John) or Johnny. But as alters most of us function with no awareness that we aren't just one person. Well, we are one person but we're composed of alters who function in tandem.

Now we're not sure if he arrived at age 23, as suspected, or if he reawakened or something. We have images of doing cleaning chores in our childhood once the father died and we no longer had a cleaning lady. I'm not sure we did any "manual labor" until age 12. Heck, one of us, Chase, initially refused to do physical work as something beneath him. All this was due to the way we were raised.


Author:  Johnny-Jack [ Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:58 am ]

Yet another day of long work by Ryder. It's not just that he doesn't get hungry or eat, it's like he's just not that into food or doesn't need it to control his blood sugar or something. I don't think I'm making too much of this. I'm generally low energy and use food to revive me. This is amazing.

The work is now finished and looks completely professional. What?! Now we know how to switch to him, what gives him a reason to front, how to keep him occupied and fronting, the next several weeks we'll be depending on him to utilize our time effectively.

Our son did a couple hours of work one day compared to our 20 overall. But it's critical we praise our son for what he did do. He did as much as we asked and would have done more if Ryder had let him but Ryder didn't have patience.

One of our son's youngish alters commented on how much progress had been made and added "and I helped!" Ryder replied "you want a medal?" It wasn't mean, it was just snarky. My son looked confused because we're not usually sarcastic with littles.

We adults didn't like his comments at all and later we thanked our son for helping so much to fix our home. He was so proud. Ryder learned a lot from that exchange. He's not used to chatting but he'll learn.

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