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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Thu Nov 19, 2020 2:23 am

Thanks, MDs.

We've been a mess actually. We didn't realize how much his email from Monday upset us. We needed him to understand what his words meant to US. He doesn't have to agree that that's what they mean to him, but we wanted him to at least understand, and instead of showing that he understood, he explained again what HE meant, as if we just hadn't understood HIM.

We texted him a lot last night and again this morning, and

************TW self-harm***************



made a bruise on our hip last night, and added to it this morning.



***********end TW****************

We had a very real-seeming dream last night that everything was "fixed up" with him, and then when we woke up it was like a gut-punch to realize it had just been a dream. In our texts to him today, we said that if he was able to text us back and it seemed like he understood what we were saying, and things were moving in the right direction, then maybe it would be a good idea to see him tomorrow if he can still do it. Because some of us have the feeling that we're just floating away in space, completely disconnected from him, and it doesn't seem anymore like a good choice to wait to see him until Tuesday.

It's not helping that it seems like he's been especially busy with something in his life recently, and it's taking him much longer to respond than usual. We're doing ok with not thinking that it has anything to do with us, and he did send emojis eventually to say that he at least saw our texts.

All this takes such a physical toll--we've had a migraine headache all day, and have been constantly feel a kind of dizzy brain fog, like we might feel if we were coming down with something. There's been a lot of crying, too. Hopefully things will get better soon.

us
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby Amythyst » Thu Nov 19, 2020 3:23 pm

hey Gang,

sorry you're all still going through this stuff.

we hope things get sorted out soon with your T

and we hope you're all ok

<3

viola & others
Ciara(10f); Em(22f); Teg(6f); Viola(17f); et cetera
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:42 pm

Thanks Viola and others.

The T finally responded to all of our texts last night by putting them in an email and writing something to each one, but it still wasn't at all what we needed to hear, and we ended up


************TW self-harm***************



adding more to the bruise until we could feel it more and



**************end TW*********************

texting him AGAIN even though it was kind of late. Then we couldn't fall asleep, and got up to write an email. We put a little urgent thing next to it, which we've never done before, and someone was kind of scared about that when they saw the little red exclamation mark next to it, and felt like we were being too dramatic.

We had to explain to him that he can't just say "I understand how you feel," because how do we KNOW that he understands if he doesn't repeat back what we said??? If he doesn't say, "I hear that you feel 'x'."

And that if he says, "I'm sorry you feel so alone and disconnected," instead of something like "I'm sorry that what I did contributed to you feeling more alone and more disconnected," that it just makes things WORSE.

It's like if someone accidentally stomped on your foot when it was already injured, and when you told them that they made it hurt more, they just kept saying "I'm sorry your foot is hurting so much." Except in this case it's even worse than that, because him saying, "I'm sorry you feel so alone," without acknowledging his contribution to the feeling, actually makes the feeling worse.

I guess the analogy would be more like if each time they said, "I'm sorry your foot is hurting so much," it was accompanied by another inadvertent stomp on it.

The other thing that he never seems to get is that it's really important to our young protector to hear responses in full sentences. They're very literal, and if they ask him whether if he had known how upset we would get from what he said, would he have still said it, then they need him to say more than just "nope," and that he didn't expect that we would be upset by what he said. They really need him to say, "no, if I had known how much it would upset you, I wouldn't have said it."

We've told him this before about other difficult things in the past and I don't know if he just forgets, or if the meaning seems obvious to him, or what. There are a lot of things that we've come to call the "of course" things, which for him are so obvious that he thinks past them and doesn't think we need to hear them spelled out. But we do and we've told him that many times.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby Eliseahorse » Thu Nov 19, 2020 8:21 pm

Big hugs to your young protector it's awful when your t adds to the hurt. Any chance of getting a new t?
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:53 pm

Thanks, Eliseahorse people.

We don’t need or want a new T. This one is very good, and he has been involved and caring. It’s just that the connection and caring are so obvious and constant to him from his end, that I think he doesn’t realize that we don’t know it as a consistent baseline.

He said once that growing up in his family, they could communicate in a kind of shorthand, and all the love and caring was always there so they didn’t have to always spell it out. So when we would ask something like whether he really thought about us outside of sessions, or whether he “really” cared about us, he would text back something like “yup,” and expected that we would just know that the rest of the sentence was implied. But we need to hear or read the words, because otherwise it feels like it could be a trick. That later he might say that his “yup” didn’t mean what we assumed that it did. And it’s not because he’s ever tricked us—it’s just all our past experiences that make us so suspicious and doubting.

And when he says, “I understand,” there have been times with him when he DID think he understood, but really didn’t, so it seems valid to us to ask him to say what he thinks he’s understanding. I know he’s been really busy lately, and that’s probably why his answers were so short last night, but that doesn’t change the fact that it’s not helpful for him to say things like that.

He’s being as available as he can to work this out with us, so we’ll just hope that we’ve made it clear enough finally so he can respond in a way that will help us feel better. We sent him what we posted here this morning in case that was more helpful than how we said it directly to him.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri Nov 20, 2020 4:25 am

We finally got a response that satisfied Watcher enough that they're "standing down" somewhat and allowing the rest of us to feel and remember some of the good feelings and attachment that we've had with the T.

It's quite striking actually, how all those feelings were effectively gone, and all that there was awareness of was the pain that the T had caused for the past three weeks. We remembered that there had been good feelings, but it seemed like everything had changed and would never go back to being that way. And it has consistently felt like that for three weeks--worse over the past few days.

Then this afternoon the T sent a short email with the more specific literal response that Watcher needed to hear, and as it sunk in, we felt like we were letting go of all the pain, and kind of crying from relief, and then we could feel again how much the littles love the T, and feel how much he cares and is committed to helping us. We can remember Tuesday's session better now, and instead of just intellectually knowing that the extra time he spent with us was because helping us with our pain and distress was so important to him--now we can feel the caring that was implied in what he did and said.

But it was a lot to go through. And I think we still need to sort out with the T what we can do in these situations to be more clear about what we need from him. We need some way of slowing things down so we (him and whichever of us is talking to him) don't get lost in a lot of words and lose track of the feelings that we need him to acknowledge. Whatever the misunderstanding or misattunement is, the solution is usually a lot simpler and more literal than he tends to think it is.

Maybe we can try to sort that out with him so we can get to this point faster next time.
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Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

Postby MakersDozn » Sat Nov 21, 2020 1:47 am

Hi Gang,

We're sorry that this has been so difficult for you folks. But we're glad that you've made enough progress with your T for Watcher to be at least partially satisfied. We know that with us, it's a challenge to recognize the value of small steps and incremental progress.

Hoping that these initial steps forward lead to more good things for you.

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Notable: Charity 25, Deborah 23, Drew 23f, Mary 23, Rachel 23, Laura 17.5, Allegra 17, Cass 17, shawn 16f.
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