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social protectors

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social protectors

Postby birdsong87 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 10:50 am

In our system I qualify as social protector. I mainly protect the system by having decent social skills and winning people over by being nice and communicating that they matter and through support and all that.
Not what I do here. I come here because I want to. I mean what I do with people whom we are stuck with for one reason or the other. Somehow I seem to charm my way into their hearts without even noticing what I am doing, it's just what I seem to do. And I always stay distant inside, not sharing my heart and thought, but it seems to them that I am totally genuine.

then they come back, sometimes years later, telling me that I had such a huge impact and they kept thinking of me and I feel terrible because I didn't mean for this to be a meaningful relationship and because I forget things really fast I sometimes can't recall a single thing we talked about.
like the strange woman who sat at my table in the clinic more than 2 years ago, for like 3 weeks, and she keeps sending me letters, even though I never respond at all.

I feel like a fraud. a bad one too, as I seem to pretend to care about people when I don't.
(again, not you guys, you are tribe. You are the people I trust to tell you about it. I mean the random people in our offline life)
I am not sure if that is just social skills and everyone does it. if its just what is called friendly.
I am also not sure if maybe I try especially hard to keep people with bad boundaries appeased and that might be why I am extra charming and then they just act with their bad boundaries and feel extra invited?

it is creeping me out a bit. especially the idea of being important to someone I only tried to keep at a distance. that sounds like lousy protecting to me! "I want you to stay away from me, so here is all you need to feel loved. now stay away from me"

so, I feel like a giant frauf AND it doesn't really seem to work.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
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Re: social protectors

Postby Sarandipity » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:31 am

I chat with complete strangers, on park benches, at bus stops. Someone saw me once and thought the woman I was talking to was my Grandmother.

In other interactions, college and work etc I am friendly and take an interest but I keep a boundary. I haven't had the problems you're describing.

I saw a woman the other day who I haven't seen for years. I only vaguely recognised her until she approached me. I don't approach people I recognise because I can't remember where I recognise them from etc and it's awkward. When then approach me and jog my memory it's ok because I immediately remember everything I knew about them, fine details. The conversation was lovely with the woman we hugged, she checked if she had my number, I said definitely text me we'll get coffee but I know she won't lol

I quite love what I call these deep acquaintances. They're not in my life but if someone pops up and we have a quick chat, a hug, genuine warmth it's really nice. One woman was a receptionist at a college. She approached me but gave no memory jog and was really friendly, we chatted and it took weeks on and off to think of who the hell she was. Another lady I made the mistake of approaching without knowing how I knew her I eventually a couple of days later realised I'd been on a course with her. One lady I knew her a few months, helped her escape a bad situation and she calls me out the blue every few years and come stays in my house lol

The world is very isolated because it's so connected by technology. People don't bother to talk to people irl as much because they're staring at their phones.

So I think it's nice to make deep acquaintances.

Ok you have the added problem of these letters, people feel a connection that you don't feel and you feel bad.

People feel a connection to you. They feel the connection and they feel good. You're not giving that connection to gain anything, you can't remember them after they've gone but they remember you - you can't help that part. People feel so alone generally it seems to me so I don't see a harm in giving a feeling of connection.

I won't see the old lady I had a deep conversation with on a bench while I was eating my sandwich, I won't see the woman who was struggling with her pram so I stopped and chatted to her, I won't see the gay guy I was chatting to in a bar who ended up tearing up saying it's hard to find a loving relationship for him - and I said various things that made him feel better that I can't remember now either lol. It's getting hard remembering all these.

But my point is connection is good. Even if it's brief. Connection doesn't have to be years of ins and outs friendship. Giving people a feeling of connection is like giving them a gift. Especially because you're not doing it to your own ends. Psychos etc fein deep connection so they can work their victims, that's terrible. You creating it for no particular purpose and these people feel good I see as a plus.

Yes you don't feel it back, do you want to feel it back? I don't see a need to feel bad about not feeling it back unless you want to feel connection.

The letter lady, I'm not sure what to do about her. Maybe you could try writing back? Although she's written alot of letters with no response so I'm slightly concerned she has some issues of her own.
Last edited by Sarandipity on Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: social protectors

Postby birdsong87 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:37 am

I am actually an introvert. I don't start conversations. And I know about healthy boundaries and circles of intimacy. So it is not that I am going crazy over board. I only do it with encounters that are forced upon us. Usually uncomfortable ones that are not dangerous. Otherwise Annett would jump in and start with mild intimidation.
I am absolutely not sharing anything personal, just making people feel good with themselves so they won't notice the deeper levels of me.
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
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Re: social protectors

Postby IainEtc » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:49 am

Hi,

I guess I'm the social protector for our system too. Host doesn't have many social skills so I always help him with social stuff. The problem is I learned it to help us survive an abuser so I'm not so good at boundaries (or really I'm good at no-boundaries since that's what abusers like). People LOVE my no-boundaries and keep coming around wanting more and more and more. Then Colin has to come out and get rid of them and they go like WTF! because we changed.

A big thing in T has been for me to have boundaries. It feels really scary but is really better when I do. I learned that no-boundaries attract abusers and other people who hurt you (even if they don't mean to).

Iain
Iain - 14, Colin - 17, Evan - 7, Cody - 16, Raven, Host - the adult out front

When they say 'be yourself',
which one do they mean?
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Re: social protectors

Postby Sarandipity » Sat Dec 29, 2018 11:58 am

birdsong87 wrote:I am actually an introvert. I don't start conversations. And I know about healthy boundaries and circles of intimacy. So it is not that I am going crazy over board. I only do it with encounters that are forced upon us. Usually uncomfortable ones that are not dangerous. Otherwise Annett would jump in and start with mild intimidation.
I am absolutely not sharing anything personal, just making people feel good with themselves so they won't notice the deeper levels of me.


Sounds ok for them. I wouldn't feel bad about them. If you're feeling you need deeper connections then I would work on that but I wouldn't worry about upsetting people because it seems you're doing the reverse.
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Re: social protectors

Postby Sarandipity » Sat Dec 29, 2018 12:30 pm

Actually I have issue in one area of my life. Romantic relationships.

Pathological people like me because they see a vulnerability. They work the vulnerability. With the memory gaps and forgetting if they've displayed worrying characteristics I stay in relationships with them for years. Once I work out I'm being badly treated all positive emotions or personalities shut off towards them. Sometimes they accidently get a compassionate person but over all we just let "the twins" deal with them.

It's really heartbreaking for Rose every single time because she falls in love with them. The others might like their charm or compliments and gifts before they turn nasty. Once they turn nasty they loose interest but Rose gets heart broken. It takes alot to ply her out of their clutches. We have to force her to see and remember them being nasty.

We had a fool proof plan that worked for a couple of years. We just dated. Three months with of person max and then move on not risking if they were pathological or not. Then we met the latest narcissist, although we did at first think sociopath, he's definitely narcissist. Rose fell for him hook line and sinker before anyone could stop her. So we spent 2 years trying to make the best of it. He got really nasty, only ever to Rose but she'd dissociate in a mess and someone else would have to take the car journey home with the narc or deal with him. One night he was really really nasty, a couple of months ago. Rose was in a terrible state. She hasn't come out since. Patrick decided he couldn't be bothered to deal with the guy because he had work the next day so he woke up "the twins" and they've been unpicking this whole situation since.

They had to work out every angle he'd worked our system from. Unpick it. Talk to Rose loads because she's the only one who cares. She's sobbing constantly because she's heart broken so she's not out much which puts more strain on the others.

The twins speak narcissist and sociopath so they reflect the guys traits back to him with words and he seems to just go away. He leaves the house. He hangs up the phone. The twins don't get emotionally involved so all they care about is get Rose feeling ok again, get Karen back to her old self, get everyone back fully functioning so they can move onto the next part of how they want our lives to go with full negotiation. Despite not being bothered about love they are going to focus on finding Rose someone nice using Peters suggestion which is a bit weird and it didn't work out well before because he basically dated a closet gay guy but he said he won't do that again - and we trust him because no one wants Rose miserable like this.

Anyway my connection issue is that psychos get connected to Rose. See her as exploitable. Work her compassion and warm heart to their advantage and then trample on it.

This guy was a little smart though. He wasn't mean to the others, he noticed quick we were different sometimes. Because he wasn't mean to the others and only mean to Rose she got more and more depressed.

We would waste energy with revenge out of rage we feel for how he treated Rose but we don't engage in revenge any more because it wastes time and there's other things to do.

So generally connection isn't an issue, weakness or bad thing unless in our case it's Rose in a romantic situation. She deeply connects. The others connect but more cautiously and not so deep. Rose falls head over heals.

Then it looks like from being head over heals we just cut off. We just bury Rose. Psycho types don't like that and they sometimes stalk us and/or get really nasty.

I'm worried your letter writing lady is a bit pathological somehow.

Sorry to write all this here. It just poured out.
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Re: social protectors

Postby birdsong87 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 1:18 pm

I think what I am actually feeling is shame.
Cause somehow I make people believe that we have something that we don't have. and that makes me a liar.
And I am confused. because we value connection really high and we know when we feel connected and it is confusing to see that others get that feeling when we don't. That they feel connected when I am doing my best to hide us and disconnect into superficial friendliness.
And I am somewhat angry with myself, because the actual need is distance but for some reason I act in a way that makes people come back.

I feel like I am good with boundaries. I never give what I don't want to give. but I wonder if we could save some energy if I got more greedy with social stuff. It is confusing to me. From the outside it doesn't seem to be much of a problem. But it creates one inside when I feel estranged when people tell me of their experience with me. Or mention that they think of me all the time.
and maybe there is a shame issue that makes me wonder who I am that these people think I am important...
my head is a mess right now. I will have to reflect on this a little more
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
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Re: social protectors

Postby fireheart » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:04 pm

I really relate to your experiences, birdsong. It's less extreme for me, as I don't have random people contacting me, but I do have that thing where I don't actually show anything of myself and then people still think that they are very close to me.

It was very apparent in a group once. There was an exercise where you had to close your eyes and the other people had to put themselves in some distance from you - closer or further away - in correspondence to how close they felt to you.

I felt like I barely knew these people at all and that I had kept 99.9% of myself hidden - and yet, they all put themselves close to me. Why on Earth?
I didn't tell them, but later I reflected that I am very much capable of being in-the-moment - present with them. As in, listening to them, responding in a thoughtful way (and dissociating from/hiding my true feelings/issues). I think people will feel connected when you are present. I think that especially because of the past with my parents, I pick up on miniscule social cues that other people don't notice. Then it becomes easy to mold yourself to be in a way that works for them.

The big challenge is being in a way that works for me.
Because there are downsides. One of them is that it takes a lot of energy.
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Re: social protectors

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:25 pm

birdsong87 wrote: Somehow I seem to charm my way into their hearts without even noticing what I am doing, it's just what I seem to do. And I always stay distant inside, not sharing my heart and thought, but it seems to them that I am totally genuine.

then they come back, sometimes years later, telling me that I had such a huge impact and they kept thinking of me and I feel terrible because I didn't mean for this to be a meaningful relationship and because I forget things really fast I sometimes can't recall a single thing we talked about.
like the strange woman who sat at my table in the clinic more than 2 years ago, for like 3 weeks, and she keeps sending me letters, even though I never respond at all.

I feel like a fraud. a bad one too, as I seem to pretend to care about people when I don't.


birdsong87 wrote: we value connection really high and we know when we feel connected and it is confusing to see that others get that feeling when we don't. That they feel connected when I am doing my best to hide us and disconnect into superficial friendliness.
And I am somewhat angry with myself, because the actual need is distance but for some reason I act in a way that makes people come back.

I feel like I am good with boundaries. I never give what I don't want to give. but I wonder if we could save some energy if I got more greedy with social stuff. It is confusing to me. From the outside it doesn't seem to be much of a problem. But it creates one inside when I feel estranged when people tell me of their experience with me. Or mention that they think of me all the time.
and maybe there is a shame issue that makes me wonder who I am that these people think I am important...


This is one of those things that is so much a part of my life that I haven't thought to step back and really think about it. I know that it's rare for me to feel really connected to someone, and if I do, I'm pretty sure that I don't let them know about it.

So I guess it doesn't seem odd to me that someone could feel really connected to me, and I could see that they feel that way, but not reciprocate it in the least.

To complicate things, even if I don't feel connected when I'm actually with them, because my feelings are hidden (from myself as well as from them), there are some people that I feel connected with later, when I think about the interaction we had. I just can't have those feelings when I'm with them.

It's easier with (outside) young kids for me to make a real connection that's mutual and to feel it when it's happening. Because they are honest and transparent with their feelings, so I can trust that what they're saying and doing is a reflection of how they feel.

Since making a connection is one of the things I'm working on in therapy, I'm paying more attention there to how this works for me. I can be present there, and "see" the connection, but not be able to feel it in the moment. Later, I can feel the positive feelings I have about it. But the T is able to be there and feel connected at the same time. I can see that he's feeling that way, and I think sometimes he assumes that I must be feeling the connection that he's "sending" me, but I can't, and that's frustrating. It really helps that we can talk about it and examine it.

fireheart wrote:I felt like I barely knew these people at all and that I had kept 99.9% of myself hidden - and yet, they all put themselves close to me. Why on Earth?
I didn't tell them, but later I reflected that I am very much capable of being in-the-moment - present with them. As in, listening to them, responding in a thoughtful way (and dissociating from/hiding my true feelings/issues).


This skill is very important for the job that I do--that's probably one of the reasons I was drawn to it.

This is a very important topic, birdsong87. I have things to get to today, but I'm going to do more thinking about this and come back to it later.
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Re: social protectors

Postby birdsong87 » Sat Dec 29, 2018 4:33 pm

fireheart wrote:Then it becomes easy to mold yourself to be in a way that works for them.
The big challenge is being in a way that works for me.


that.

and I can see similar results if we were to do that exercise.
Somehow I am able to create true meaningful connection with friends that works for me.
But I also create an illusion of connection with people I want to hide from.
Not sure what to change or how to change it.


I feel uncomfortable being around children. Probably because I would have to be more real and not hide behind a mask of social pleasantries. I am sacred to be overwhelming. But I do feel connected to friends. yes, presence is an important part of that. But I am present with those random people too. the difference is in how much of myself I am sharing. which brings me back to trust and that is such a difficult topic all our adults roll their eyes the moment it comes up...
Dx: DID cPTSD
L (host 1); Asti (host 2); Annett (teen protector); Maya (child); Age (observer); Thamara (child); Danielle (aut. teen); Mike (caregiver) and others
our blog on resources: https://www.dis-sos.com
birdsong87
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