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Writing a letter to other parts

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Writing a letter to other parts

Postby walden » Wed Jan 09, 2019 2:56 am

Hi All, I know I've been full of questions lately. I had a appointment with my Doc today, and during this appt there was more interaction with other parts than ever. P.S. I'm also ceasing all withholding of commentary from these parts now, so please forgive me if the post seems scattered.

A Big Success!

Last week she suggested I start a journal about all the parts, with the goal of making sense of the purposes, qualities, values, and causes of each "part/ego/identity"..She also said "The goal is to understand how they all fit into "Me"", with an ultimate goal of bringing everyone/they/us closer together.

I ended up filtering out 13 parts, with 4 parts that seem to be the strongest. We have discussed and encountered those 4 majors over the last couple appts, and they became very active during the discussion.
So many nightmares lately.

So back to the subject of this post: During the appointment, she asked which parts I felt most connected with. I replied with 2 parts I have felt for the longest---Not sure if these are the most connected, but definitely the "oldest" "I" am aware of.

Their commentary was very clear at this point! She seems to be on point with this!

She asked "me" to pick one, (a young boy or a very sexual part) and write a letter to them.
They are connected to separate very protective parts, and I wonder if I should talk with those protective parts beforehand?

So if I have any choice in the matter, I would want to write with that little boy first. "We" have had significant contact in the past, and he used to come out a lot in the past. Aside from "coming out" with a couple of very comforting and lovely women I used to work with, he also knows to tap the left index finger to let "me" know when he is present. This system seems to have taken, and the finger taps are happening a lot lately..

My doc suggested I write this letter to a child I knew was going through abuse, with the purpose of letting them know I was supportive and there for them.

Has anyone here done this before? Does this approach make sense? If so, any thoughts on how I can show this little guy that I have his back?
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby raptureblues » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:08 am

i think showing your support is a really good thing to do. not so sure about a letter specifically, depending on how old the boy is, though you mentioned he's connected to a protective part so a letter addressed to that part about the young boy might work? it also might ease that part's mind about contact and show you have good intentions.

with our littles at least, they can read and respond in a written way sometimes but for the most part they find it difficult. something that works well with them is art. they draw a lot when they wanna express themselves or get a message across. drawing something for the boy or giving him an opportunity to draw with you might help.

you mentioned you've been having a lot of nightmares recently. make sure to be careful and keep safe, sometimes it's better to wait or take fewer steps than perhaps you want to in order to keep things stable. establishing communication is important, definitely, but make sure you're safe and comfortable first.

good luck!!

- alice
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby walden » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:04 am

raptureblues wrote:i think showing your support is a really good thing to do. not so sure about a letter specifically, depending on how old the boy is, though you mentioned he's connected to a protective part so a letter addressed to that part about the young boy might work? it also might ease that part's mind about contact and show you have good intentions.


I spent a lot of time today thinking about what you wrote. I appreciate your thoughts very much.

Your thoughts make a lot of sense. The protective parts come forward when that little guy feels unsafe. It's like they are watching. I think I will write to the little guy, but I will keep it simple..I think he only knows that things those people did hurt and made him feel yucky and tired. Maybe I should write something to the effect of "I can feel how you feel, especially when you want to show me..How about you let me feel all the ouches and yucky stuff? I'll trade you some good stuff for it." Again, trying to keep it super simple and based on comments he has made.

raptureblues wrote:with our littles at least, they can read and respond in a written way sometimes but for the most part they find it difficult. something that works well with them is art. they draw a lot when they wanna express themselves or get a message across. drawing something for the boy or giving him an opportunity to draw with you might help.


Too interesting. I'm curious about how this started for you. I've always been a sketcher, I tend to turn to freehand sketching while angry about everything that has happened.

It seems like this could be better harnessed.

raptureblues wrote:you mentioned you've been having a lot of nightmares recently. make sure to be careful and keep safe, sometimes it's better to wait or take fewer steps than perhaps you want to in order to keep things stable. establishing communication is important, definitely, but make sure you're safe and comfortable first.


I like the idea of taking fewer steps, but I also feel like the drive behind tackling those memories has been very helpful, and I don't want to extinguish it. How would I do this? It seems like increased communication has led to an increase in memories and a massive increase in nightmares. Usually about 3 per night, often times waking up crying or feeling terrified. I think I am safe, but only because of a presence of a newly "met" part that seems to have the resolve to get through this.
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby SOHank » Thu Jan 10, 2019 2:47 pm

I agree with Alice. Art has done wonders for the littles I’ve met in my wife’s system. A letter is good. A letter plus crayons and a coloring book is better. (They may end up wanting something different, markers, paint, etc., but it’s a great start.)

From my experience, and I hear this is fairly common, the littles don’t feel like they are allowed to have things. I got around this saying I would let them borrow the crayons to use. We later moved to “you can borrow them as long as you want and if you use them up I’ll get you new ones”. Eventually they got to have crayons that are their’s.

What to put in the letter? The littles from SF’s system mostly wanted hugs and comfort, but were conflicted because they were afraid and especially afraid of men. Lou wanted hugs but was very afraid, so we started out touching one figertip to one fingertip to relieve her anxiety of touch. As trust grew, she grew to like hugs, but we still have the finger tip thing as our special thing. :wink:

About asking the protector… I don’t know. Lou came out because she couldn’t stand being alone. She escaped AJ’s watch to see me. AJ was very angry with me about this. She finally agreed to supervised visits after several more escapes. In time AJ realized I had Lou’s best interests at heart and began to trust me. AJ and I are now quite friendly, but it took a while. In this case it was better to let the little lead and ask forgiveness as permission never would have been granted, but the protectors do have their charges best interests at heart. If they see that in you as well, it opens conversation, etc. :D
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Thu Jan 10, 2019 3:54 pm

walden wrote:I like the idea of taking fewer steps, but I also feel like the drive behind tackling those memories has been very helpful, and I don't want to extinguish it. How would I do this? It seems like increased communication has led to an increase in memories and a massive increase in nightmares. Usually about 3 per night, often times waking up crying or feeling terrified.


It doesn't have to be an all-or-nothing thing--you can decrease the pressure and speed of tackling these memories without "extinguishing" the drive. It's much better to approach these things more slowly--if you're at the point where you're having several nightmares per night, that sounds a little too fast and destabilizing, in my opinion.
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby raptureblues » Thu Jan 10, 2019 9:02 pm

walden wrote:I spent a lot of time today thinking about what you wrote. I appreciate your thoughts very much.

Your thoughts make a lot of sense. The protective parts come forward when that little guy feels unsafe. It's like they are watching. I think I will write to the little guy, but I will keep it simple..I think he only knows that things those people did hurt and made him feel yucky and tired. Maybe I should write something to the effect of "I can feel how you feel, especially when you want to show me..How about you let me feel all the ouches and yucky stuff? I'll trade you some good stuff for it." Again, trying to keep it super simple and based on comments he has made.


i'm glad to be of help! littles tend to be the most vulnerable so others being protective of them makes sense. basically write to him as you would any outside kid his age. something simple but honest and clear intention-wise. i'm not sure if that would be a good approach, though it's completely up to you of course. memories of trauma are more often than not locked away for a reason. it is good to let him know that you don't want him to hurt and that you want to help, but where those hurts and feelings come from might be better left to when you have more stable communication with the others.

walden wrote:Too interesting. I'm curious about how this started for you. I've always been a sketcher, I tend to turn to freehand sketching while angry about everything that has happened.

It seems like this could be better harnessed.


we keep a journal and i found entries from the littles that were drawings. most of us write and communicate that way, but the littles find it easier to draw. sometimes they also use "mind drawings" to communicate, if that makes sense. they'll express a thought or feeling by showing a drawing in the mind. do whatever seems to help and come easiest.

walden wrote:I like the idea of taking fewer steps, but I also feel like the drive behind tackling those memories has been very helpful, and I don't want to extinguish it. How would I do this? It seems like increased communication has led to an increase in memories and a massive increase in nightmares. Usually about 3 per night, often times waking up crying or feeling terrified. I think I am safe, but only because of a presence of a newly "met" part that seems to have the resolve to get through this.


like TheGangsAllHere said, going slowly is best so you can avoid destabilising and potentially relapsing. establishing communication and forming a stable and cohesive set-up within your system is really important so you can all handle the kind of destabilising and potentially retraumatising work that comes with processing memories and trauma. i can understand why you want to push hard, i did that for a while too, but it often does more harm than good if you rush it.

- alice
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby walden » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:19 am

SOHank wrote:I agree with Alice. Art has done wonders for the littles I’ve met in my wife’s system. A letter is good. A letter plus crayons and a coloring book is better. (They may end up wanting something different, markers, paint, etc., but it’s a great start.)

From my experience, and I hear this is fairly common, the littles don’t feel like they are allowed to have things. I got around this saying I would let them borrow the crayons to use. We later moved to “you can borrow them as long as you want and if you use them up I’ll get you new ones”. Eventually they got to have crayons that are their’s.


Thank you very much for your thoughts and advice...Especially the fingertip connection anecdote. It sounds like you care for your wife very much, I hope you don't mind me saying that it is very heartwarming to see.

SOHank wrote:What to put in the letter? The littles from SF’s system mostly wanted hugs and comfort, but were conflicted because they were afraid and especially afraid of men. Lou wanted hugs but was very afraid, so we started out touching one figertip to one fingertip to relieve her anxiety of touch. As trust grew, she grew to like hugs, but we still have the finger tip thing as our special thing.


I hear that! A side note to the topic here..I had a girlfriend that had a very calm and serene sort of presence a few years ago, and I found I lost lots of time when around her- entire movie nights with no recollection..and when "I" was present around her, a little guy was also very close to the surface and constantly making comments and talking with her inside (and also without "my" awareness at times). This girlfriend used to frequently say that I was like two people, one a strong man, and another as she said "such a sweet little boy"..I never really comprehended this until I realized I had DID.

TheGangsAllHere wrote:It's much better to approach these things more slowly--if you're at the point where you're having several nightmares per night, that sounds a little too fast and destabilizing, in my opinion.

Thank you "TheGangsAllHere". I met with a psychiatrist today per recommendation from my psychologist. She was amazing, we talked for over an hour about everything. She ended up prescribing me prazosin and trazodone (prazosin to help w/nightmares, and trazodone to help with falling and staying asleep). Starting these medications tomorrow, can't wait.

raptureblues wrote:i'm glad to be of help! littles tend to be the most vulnerable so others being protective of them makes sense. basically write to him as you would any outside kid his age. something simple but honest and clear intention-wise. i'm not sure if that would be a good approach, though it's completely up to you of course. memories of trauma are more often than not locked away for a reason. it is good to let him know that you don't want him to hurt and that you want to help, but where those hurts and feelings come from might be better left to when you have more stable communication with the others


"honest and clear intention-wise" makes sense.

Yea seems like he knows/remembers a lot, when those memories come into my mind the dissociation takes off. Lot's to think about here, thank you.
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby SOHank » Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:34 pm

walden wrote:Thank you very much for your thoughts and advice...Especially the fingertip connection anecdote. It sounds like you care for your wife very much, I hope you don't mind me saying that it is very heartwarming to see.


I don't mind at all. I appreciate it. I do my best to meet each insider (current count is 16) in their system where they are and it has helped a lot with overall stability and outlook on life. :D

I think it has made our marriage stronger as I now know the reasons behind some of the weird quirks we used to argue about and have reached understanding about them.
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby Exploring » Fri Jan 11, 2019 3:06 pm

walden wrote:Maybe I should write something to the effect of "I can feel how you feel, especially when you want to show me..How about you let me feel all the ouches and yucky stuff? I'll trade you some good stuff for it."


This will really depend on your background, but personally I'd be careful with phrases like "I'll trade you X for it", "If you show / give me X, I will show / give you Y" and so on, simply because they resemble phrases often used in abusive contexts or grooming. But again, really depends. If phrases like that were never used to hurt him, that may be completely fine.
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Re: Writing a letter to other parts

Postby IainEtc » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:45 am

You got good intentions but be careful not to mess with the system too much. Protectors can come out and shut it all down real fast. We don't like mess or loose memories. It takes a while to get our trust so move slow.

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