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Journaling with alters

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Journaling with alters

Postby Floralie » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:12 pm

We started journal for ourselves, to each other, with the ones I know about, and with the hope someone I maybe don't know would possibly write there too.

I started with writing what is it about. I left short note individually to all parts that I have noticed being active in my body, and together message to parts who I know, but who have not been present a lot lately. And I left a note to all of them I don't know about, told they are welcome to write or draw or anything that feels right.

I was suppose to introduce myself in the beginning but I didn't. The reason why, was I wasn't sure who was I, I felt presence but couldn't define whose it was. I felt them being near when I chose to start the journal and that was the reason why I made it just then when I did. I have multiple little books that are good for that purpose, and chose one. Then I juts wrote. I hoped the one being close would have something to say.

It was fourteen who was near. I realized it, because my handwriting changed into his handwriting when I wrote to him. It was my words, to him, but with his handwriting.

I hope he writes his own thoughts too sometimes, and I hope others will too.

How are your journals like? where do you keep them? Do you keep writing yourself even if no one answers? Then what do you write about? Are you writing just this and that, or do you leave specific notes to someone? What about parts you don't know, do you write them questions or do you try to keep it as free and relaxed you can?

I think about parts that may be not trusty or are feeling shy, and I think maybe simple questions are easier for them to approach, than if there is no structure at all. On the other hand the ones who may not like questions or structure - at least in our system - may be the kind, they don't worry about it too much. I wrote they are free to do anything except for ripping pages or messing up what they or someone else wrote.

So far there's no answers there. Should I wait or should I keep writing? How do you do the journaling thing? Is it diary as well or is it just for discussions?

I know I am being impatient.
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby VioletFlux » Mon Nov 05, 2018 5:43 pm

At first V1 just grabbed a spare notebook that was a handy size and started writing. Once we filled that up, we found a particular brand/style that we like and keep buying that kind. Our journals last a couple months before they're filled.

We use it like a diary, and for communication. There have been stretches where I'm the only one writing in it, and it feels kinda lonely. Other times, the handwriting changes a few times through the day and I realize there's been switches I didn't know about lol.

A few times we've had like, 2-way conversations. Writing back and forth to each other. Charlie prefered to communicate that way.

I write even if it's only me using it, in the hopes that others will eventually start again. Usually someone does. Melissa sometimes draws pictures in the margins or will take up a page with a big drawing.

We don't use different colours, just go by handwriting. Mine is big and round, V1's was like mine but much smaller, Viola's is incredibly sloppy lol. Rebecca's is sort of neat and deliberate. Mike presses really hard with the pen. Oh, Melissa likes to use a pink pen if one is around. Her writing is very big and fairly basic.

The past month or two I've been slacking off a bit with it. Skipping days. I don't know why. Maybe it feels like a chore, maybe sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself. Then something comes up and I fill in 2 or 3 pages in one sitting.

We keep ours on our desk beside the keyboard, so it's always in view and always available. If we're going away for a day or something then we bring it along, it fits perfectly in our purse.

I don't think there's any like, rules or whatever. Just use it however feels best for you.

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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby Zor » Mon Nov 05, 2018 6:01 pm

VioletFlux wrote:The past month or two I've been slacking off a bit with it. Skipping days. I don't know why. Maybe it feels like a chore, maybe sometimes I feel like I'm talking to myself. Then something comes up and I fill in 2 or 3 pages in one sitting.

Violet


This is how we do it, too... we don't write daily (none of us do), but we write when we have something to share or talk about... I think I already shared my rules I put in the front cover of the notebook we use for a journal in a different thread (I can go look for them, or retype them, if someone wants them here, too)... but they encourage people to just be open with whatever comes to mind... no judgment. No removing things. It is a safe place to exchange ideas, feelings, and thoughts with each other.

I can say, from a personal experience, it's been IMMENSELY valuable to us. Pixie and I particularly have a TON of regular communication in the journal- not daily, not even always directly to each other- but communication and sharing within a system (especially if not co-conscious) is a massive benefit to all parts. It helps to create familiarity and comfort with each other, it helps to understand each other, and it creates a sense of unity of purpose and existence. That last point being critical to just surviving day to day with each other and in daily life and all it's stresses.

It does not need to be daily. It does not need to be in-depth or examining things, analyzing events and feelings. Some times it can just be talking about a book or movie, music, whatever is on your mind... something is better than nothing, and something meaningful when it happens is beyond measure in value. It's a level of intimacy rarely expressed between people, and since alters are all in the same life, the same body, and have to exist together, that can only be for the better in most cases (I can't speak about potentially hostile ones, b/c we don't seem to have any like that- thankfully).
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby birdsong87 » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:42 pm

we started to work with a book about journaling in trauma therapy that includes DID a bit, called "the way of the journal", we already packed it so I can't tell you the author. But it has more or less structured exercises for journaling that we really love. maybe that could be a helpful resource to support you as well.
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby Zor » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:54 pm

birdsong87 wrote:we started to work with a book about journaling in trauma therapy that includes DID a bit, called "the way of the journal", we already packed it so I can't tell you the author. But it has more or less structured exercises for journaling that we really love. maybe that could be a helpful resource to support you as well.


This look like it?
https://www.amazon.com/Way-Journal-Therapy-Workbook-Healing/dp/0962916420/
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby SOHank » Mon Nov 05, 2018 8:29 pm

Starting out with an open invitation and a “hi, I’d like to get to know you.” is great. Asking questions about them, like how old they are, what do they like, what do they do are great followups. Focus on no pressure though. They are invited, not ordered to reply with what they are comfortable with.

SF usually would do it when she felt “funny”. That usually meant that someone wanted to be heard, but was afraid or unable to fully front. Sometimes it was notes from them. Other times 3-4 way conversation recorded.

Also, don’t limit it to just writing. Some of the earliest ones to present themselves in SF’s system were littles. Some coloring sheets or books and some crayons or markers may help. Let them know that it’s okay to use them. That was important in my wife’s system as many said they weren’t allowed to have things, so I “loaned” them to them and told them if they used them all up it would be okay and I would get more. :wink:

If you show one that they are welcome and appreciated, usually others will follow. :)
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby KawaiiKitty » Tue Nov 06, 2018 1:22 am

Nyaaaaaa I think you should keep writing! Don't give up it can take time. Our journal we use only to fill in blankies and stuff now nyaaaa we talk constantly. Our journal is always kept on our person or in arms reach. To get started nyaaa you could ask questions, or tell them about your day or anything!


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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby TheCollective » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:09 am

We just journal when we have something to share. Like how we think or feel about things, or to remember practical stuff (like everything that happens basically lol).. Sometimes new ones present themselves other times someone write with or without saying who they are. This is the intention anyway. We've stopped Journaling for man years and just recently picked it up again so we still have to get used to it. We forget about it or are still learning to be detailed enough or honest enough etc.
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby Muninn » Tue Nov 06, 2018 7:35 am

We are using an app as main-journal for the more active ones. It makes possible to write anywhere and at anytime, because we have our phone always with us.
Usually there are just notes about stuff that happens or thoughts and feelings we have, but we also sometimes direct messages to others. Usually a part who gets aware, that he or she is present also makes a note in the journal. Sometime it is just a "i, <name>, am here. I feel like <x>. Sometimes it is half a book of thoughts written in there ;)
There are also days in a row, when only one part is writing and getting no answers. I don't think that it is possible to enforce it.

We also noticed that not all parts like the same type of journal, so we also started to use a paper one for those who are not so much into digital stuff. Some also don't like the traceable date, name, time, habit in the journal-app, therefore we have no rules to identify ourselves in the paper journal.

Maybe it could help you to also have more than one place or structure to write. Maybe a place with simple questions and an other for free writing.

Some thing we learned is, that we are really different in ways of habits and it does not work if one part tries to enforce his habits and ideas about how to write a journal.
Also: The more we focus on getting an answer from some specific part, the lower the chance, that this will happen. The more we relax and do not think about it, the more communication happens.
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Re: Journaling with alters

Postby birdsong87 » Tue Nov 06, 2018 8:01 am

Zor wrote:
birdsong87 wrote:we started to work with a book about journaling in trauma therapy that includes DID a bit, called "the way of the journal", we already packed it so I can't tell you the author. But it has more or less structured exercises for journaling that we really love. maybe that could be a helpful resource to support you as well.


This look like it?
https://www.amazon.com/Way-Journal-Therapy-Workbook-Healing/dp/0962916420/



yes, that
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