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[life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Sat Aug 28, 2021 1:03 pm

Alright so, the integration works goes well and results in involuntary fusions. Again. So we're re-mapping the system. Again.

Social interactions
In-progress fusion of Urielles + Zami + G/Hosties. Named: Zamiel. Contains some fragments from Theo van Hohenheim.

Envy.

System management
The Mirror (more front-oriented) and Isaïa (more oriented towards the supervision of trauma holders).

Also, Theia, gatekeeper.

Self-care
David

Trauma holders
Pride|Wrath (two aspects)
Lust (who is also Pride's caretaker)
Reyna
Ulysses

Parts who are completely dissipated by now
Hohenheim (his fragments has been spread between Zamiel and the Mirror)
Trisha (her fragments are found in Lust, Reyna and David)
Saul and Wolf (fragments fully integrated in Zamiel)
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Tue Sep 07, 2021 9:19 am

We switch less and less often during the day. Most of the time it is me (for the mundane daily life), Zamiel (for the social and administrative aspects) and the Mirror (to keep me grounded and organized especially when I am getting lost chatting with V.).

We feel the difference between the days when we do the physical therapy exercises and when we do not. When we do not, we are less grounded, dissociate more. When we do them, we switch less, we are more focused, less tired, less overwhelmed.

V. and I do our best to keep our relationship as healthy as possible this time over. Absolutely no role-play, as frustrating as can be. We send each-other cheezy gifs and messages and pictures, and in order to have the experience of "living together" we use Discord timer bots when we wish to "do something togeter" such as reading for example. This way, we announce regularily how many pages we read, how the story is going, what we think of it... We also read to each-other aloud a few times a week.

This feels frustrating at times compared to the unhealthy mechanisms we used to have but on the long run, it feels healthier therefore, more pleasant.

We also decided on once a week period of not talking to each-other in order to avoid the social overload. It also allows some time to focus on ourselves separately and on our systems. It is frustrating but it is healthier. Moreover, it keeps the tension between us going since we have some time to miss each-other.

We also talk about how our systems are evolving, trying to help each-other out by giving suggestions as well as sharing informations about DID or psychology as a whole.

(I know it is a lot of non-DID things but after the disaster of our first try at a relationship, I feel like I need some accountability so that people from the outside can point out the mistakes we might be doing in order to avoid allowing said mistakes to evolve into a catastrophe.)

Last week-end, I had a horrible headache. At first I thought it might have been from dehydratation, since our HRT makes us sweat more than before HRT. So I drank all day long. It did not help. Then I thought it might have been the heat, since our area experienced an increase of 10°C in temperature in a mere two days. I put the water bottle in the fridge, ate ice cream, it did not help.

I then realized, I had been alone at the front for almost 24 hours in a row, which is very unusual for us. I tried reaching inside for Zamiel, but I could not reach them. I then met the Mirror who stepped deeper inside. I guessed it was my cue that I needed to pay more attention to the insiders of the system, instead of keeping away from them because of trauma phobia.

I met Lust and Pride, then. Pride has it rough lately with the integration work, and all of the painful emotions flowing back inside of him. Lust does her best to comfort him but it is not enough. He needs more. He is too anxious to reach the front and ask outsiders for comfort or a listening ear. Therapist included. Or maybe, this is not what he needs right now.

********************CW : talk about denial, nihilism, and how identity is an illusion***********************






So, I gave up on my "denial walls" so to speak. And I gave him a hug. I think it was the first time I interacted with him. It is painful for me to accept that yes, what happened to him, also happened to me. Having different identities is an illusion that we keep. I am the same as Zamiel, Pride, Ulysses, Lust, or any other.

And yet, we are different. Different faces of the same person.

It is normal for people to have different ways of functioning depending on the situation, to evolve with time. The sense of self is a mere byproduct of the brain. It is a useful tool in order to better make sense of the world around and of what happens inside. But it is nothing more than a tool. A frame, a filter.

Singletons have only one frame, one filter. Dissociative people have more than one, because it was more useful for them to develop this way than with only one filter. Yet, the filters do not exist in a vacuum. I do not exist in a vacuum. I am not independant from the rest of the system. Even if I close my eyes to the painful things that happened, they still happened. And they still happened to "me" as in "me as a whole system".

I am an alter, part of a system. A filter, a point of view upon the world. I have worth as such. But I do not exist in a vacuum. I cannot keep on closing my eyes to the rest of the system. Even if the trauma is not part of me-the-filter, it is still part of me-the-system. I am still responsible of taking care of said trauma, even if I do not identify with it.







***************************END WARNING**************************************

So, I gave Pride a hug. It seemed that it is what he needed, because the headache stopped the very moment I apologized to him for neglecting him.

I have also started reading "Healing the fragmented selves of trauma survivors. Overcoming internal self-alienation" by Janina Fisher. It is very interesting from a neurological point of view. The part about the right brain / left brain dissociation rang a bell. Ten years ago, we were seeing a "rebouteux" (some sort of folk healer) that another person had recommended to heal from trauma. He had told us that we were experiencing disconnection between our two brain hemispheres and he gave us some physical integration work to do. Which worked, for as long as we used them.

(Then our ex told us it was all a fraud and we stopped doing it. We also stopped being able to properly percieve our environment, bear with sensory overload, and being able to stand for ourselves. Which might have been the reason why the ex asked us to stop seeing the folk healer: because, even if he did not do what a proper therapist would do, he helped us a bit.)

We will talk about it with our DID T next time we see her, ask her what she thinks of the exercise that was given to us so long ago, if she thinks it might help. Well, my guess is that, it cannot NOT help but, I would rather have her opinion on the matter.

Reading Janina Fisher, I also realized something. Our tendency to over-share regarding our traumas, seeking validation, needing someone from the outside to tell us that yes, it happened and yes, it was awful. She talks about it, as something being tied to (if I understood and remember well) the need for internal self-validation. She also pointed out that the psycho-analysis way of dealing with trauma (talking about it untill the whole story is in the proper chronological order again) is NOT something that is healthy to do as a first treatment plan. The first thing that needs be done is, to find a way to talk about it and get validation, without getting lost in the re-experiencing of it.

Bad things happened. It was awful. It happened to me too, since it happened to the whole system. It was unfair. But we survived. I survived. I became one among many and it made me - us - completely badass for doiong so in order to survive. And we will keep becoming more badass as each time goes by, learning to share the positive ressources, taking care of me-the-system by taking care of each-others-the-alters.

Me-the-system learnt patience, persistence, stamina, self-reliance. Me-the-system is able to independently work on a lot of things that other people are unable to even imagine.

Fueled by spite and hope, me-the-system is able to keep going where other people would give up.

Me-the-system is strong. And I am proud to be part of it.
__
David.
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby gremandco » Wed Sep 08, 2021 5:37 am

glad to hear that you are able to work through these things together and figure these things out. genuinely i enjoyed reading this entry a lot since we have similar struggles and thought processes about alters and systems and identity and such.

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Sep 10, 2021 6:46 pm

Moniez for therapy
After all our hard work, and tons of papers sent, we finally got the maximum amount of moniez that can be sent for us to pay for therapy and that is...

...2 moniez a month. One session costs 4 moniez. Welp, better than nothing I guess. We will manage to pay the other 2 moniez to get one therapy sesson per month. We'll cut the corners somewhere else. As an example, we found second-hand clothes for peanuts online, and we made a list of the stuff we need that we can go get at the super cheap store just outside of town. This way we will need only one trip there instead of tons of trips in different places. We checked on their website what they are available at the moment to make sure to get the most of it.

AD and HRT
Thanks to therapy, and transition euphoria, we have started to lower our antidepressant meds. We do not plan to stop them completely - we know better. But we adjusted the dose downwards. It feels nice and secure to adjust the dose. To know that we can get the dose up or down with the supervision of the psychiatrist, according to our needs.

Hormone Replacement Therapy works well. We are still impatient to get chest hair and grow a luxurious beard like some of the guys we know from the disability association. One of them started being all daddy-like with us the moment we started talking about growing a beard, it felt like we were being "gender-adopted" and it felt cute. It felt like family. It's a very odd feeling, since we never felt it with our bio relatives.

Other guys at the association have started to see us like a "baby man" or so it feels - maybe it's us who have started to look up at them like "future grown-up us". At least we feel a kinship, something we never felt with women. I mean, we enjoy chatting with women too, since we like dresses, make-up, we know of the struggles of being a woman in a patriarcal society, all the gender roles they need to fulfill... But it's not the same kinship that we are now starting to experience with the men.

Things evolve and change. This kind of change does not feel scary. It's nice.

Chest surgery
We are less anxious. We had our pre-surgery meeting with the surgeon - she's an adorable lady. She was patient enough to work us through all the different steps of the preparations we need to make pre-surgery, the last minute exams we need (blood tests and the like), how to organize for the hospital stay, how the post-op will be, what we will be able to manage by ourselves and what we will need to ask help for...

Things are less scary now that we know exactly what will happen.

We still need to meet with the anesthesia person. Even if we do not have any formal diagnosis for DID, we are going to still tell them that we have a lot of dissociation going on, because some anesthesia stuff can mess up with dissociation. So that they and the team can be ready and adjust the types of meds they'll use accordingly. (I say "they" because I do not remember what are their pronons right now. I remember the secretary told us when we placed the appointment but... I forgot. Oopsie.)

Even though we long for chest hair, finally it's a good thing we are not that hairy yet since the whole area needs a shave pre-surgery. It's less complicated to shave three brave chest hair trying to settle in an empty area, than to shave a whole carpet of hair. And yes I know I need to do the armpits too, no need to remind me ;) (I've been reminded on transgender forums by a few guys who did not do these areas properly and the sticky tape that was holding the bandages to their chest did the hairs removal for them... ouchie.)

Results of integration work
We have been outside of the house every forking day of this week so far, and tomorrow too. And we do not feel the exhaustion from it, or just barely. The house chores are up to date, some fitness sessions have been cancelled for time-table reasons (we do the fitness in the morning when the heat is still bearable for us and well, it's difficult to be fitnessing in the appartment and riding the bus at the same time...)

We are a bit late for other stuff though, and when we "clicked" that it was for lack of time due to being outside of the house for 3 hours a day, we barely believed it. Like, da fudge? We were outside today? For real? Where is the exhaustion? The sensory overload?

We also reconnect to our autobiographic memories. The not-scary ones, that is. And they are not flashbacks. They feel like a timeline filling in, no longer like old pictures mashed together inside of a shoebox. We are starting to get a better picture of what a linear time is. It feels so peaceful. So organized.

Start of a new "school year" at the disability association
New year new me! Back to doing stuff at the disability association, and with less anxiety now that we got the two vaccine shots. Well, "first two" since maybe a third one will be needed? We'll follow what the health orgnizations tell us.

We'll try to get two, maybe three activities. Arts, and two theme-based discussion activities. When the organizer of one of them heard us saying that we pre-booked it, he looked genuinely shocked. He did not have a lot of people in his group the past years and we thought it's a shame, it sounds interesting. Maybe he was surprised people were interested. I hope it was a good surprise.

OF COURSE S. started a "I will teach you psychoanalysis" group. I'm throwing the towel about her. If the organization is willing to take the risk of having her claiming that the way she misunderstood psychoanalysis is going to solve everybody's issues, not my problem anymore. I rang the alarm on her. Now, I'll just wait and see. Maybe nobody will care. Maybe she'll find some proper psychoanalysis course online that she can read aloud to people, that contain the latest up-to-date infos, who knows? Not me. I'm not caring. I'm just annoyed. Almost triggered but well, it's not about me anymore. I did what had to be done. There is no danger for me since I did not book a place into her group so, there is no need for me to be alarmed. Let everybody deal with their own issues.

Bookcase, workman1, workman2
Sent an email to see if I can get the bookcase/buffet/whatever big furniture, back from the painter and proper carpenter. Will send a reminder next week if I still don't have any answer.

Regarding workman1 who messed with the bookcase thing and with the future book room, we had an appointment with a free lawyer adviser. The advice was: well, you did all you could without going to the police, and now... go to the police. So we organized with the awesome J. (social worker) to meet together in november to print all the documents and then go to the police with all the documents. (We did not feel comfident enough to go by ourselves, it still is emotionaly overwhelming, and we are at too much of a risk to dissociate and freeze or fawn if we go alone). J. is a nice person. We like her. She is always giving things her 100% and it shows.

Regarding workman2 for the kitchen we had sent an official letter telling him that heck, he did a mess and it's time to clean up the mess. We recieved the notice that he recieved the letter. Now we wait. He has untill the end of the month to contact us back and clean his mess. If he does not... Well, it will be a double trip for J. and us, and double the papers to print. At least it will save gas.

I think it's about it for today.
__
Zamiel.
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:07 pm

That's an amazing amount of stuff! Really impressive.

I hope everyone is feeling good about being so on top of things, and also that with all this "grownup" stuff being handled that there's time for littles to get their needs met as well.

Definitely a lot to be proud of!

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:54 am

Thanks, Gang!

Dealing with our Little
We do our best to reach out to the trauma holders who are hiding inside lately. Pride (Little) stays in a dark, empty room, a bit like a basement room, and Lust holds him in her arms. It sounds like Pride needs time to process things that he becomes more connected with.

Theia tried to reach out to him, opening up the door, suggesting that she can give him toys and decoration and light and plants and puppies etc. to make the room more comfortable, but he refuses "for now" (says he). He needs to stay in the dark being held like a baby by his "inner mommy" (Lust) for now.

It sorts of feels like he is more and more being connected to the past time (when his traumas happened) and that he is slowly falling asleep "back in time where he belongs" - but THIS TIME he has a mommy who takes care of his needs and is acting in a loving way. It feels like the time David reached out inside to him, helped him a lot with some "closure" about having his pain being heard and accounted for, being assured that it will be taken care of.

The evolution of out trauma holders
Almost all our trauma holders are "falling asleep" lately, with feelings of safety. Not as in "our traumas have been treated" but in a "we no longer need to yell to be heard, we are heard, the therapy is in progress, we can take a break and a nap during phase 1 while waiting for the treatment to reach phase 2 and the trauma work". But also in a "we belong to the past" way. Which is sort of what phase 2 is about...

The way we react to therapy is a complete chaos compared to what is planned by the ISSTD Guidelines, but well, there is progress. (I mean, we have had fusions and that is a phase 3 thing if I am not mistaken... :roll: ) I guess that the integration exercices given by our therapist are way more effective on our brain compared to what was planned by the ISSTD.

Integration and autism
I wonder if it is autism-related? After all, autistic brain is way more vulnerable to trauma and dissociation because its very structure is very dissociated (there is literature about how brain functions are dissociated in autism though we did not find anything yet regading trauma-related dissociation and autism...). So, maybe the integration work is also super effective because we have neurological dissociation from autism, that is being treated in the same time as structural trauma dissociation.

Zamiel and their friends (they have a few autistic-and-DID friends) are all hyped up by this and the nerdiest are thirsty for scientific papers on the subject. Which leads to autistic hyped up conversations along the lines of:
"AAAAAAAAAA SO INTERESTING AAAAAAAAAAAAA
- AAAAAAAAAAA WANNA READ AAAAAAAAAAAAA
- AAAAAAAAAA SHARING INTERESTING PAPERS AAAAAAAAAA
- AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA"
All while flapping and jumping excitedly. As well as autistic hyped-up "THIS CONNECTS TO THAT" "eurêka" moments. The only "issue" is that, being autistic, it works a lot on intuitive understanding, and finding a way to "scientifically" express it (with sources to back things up) is difficult. (See the lack of literature about trauma-related dissociation in autism for example...)

We also started to make sense chronologically of the different trauma holders and our gender identity history, too.

Pride: masc, birth until circa 7-8 years old. Trauma from this period of time. Enjoys wearing dresses etc. sometimes for fun. Does it mean we were already a trans femboy back then? Probably. We are not sure yet how he came to also be the too-grown-up Wrath specialized with everything money and budget management. Maybe because the bio mother was an accountant? Unclear.

G/Hosties (cluster of host-type fragments, part of Zamiel): fem due to social pressure (and enjoying dresses because, FEMboy). Maybe some sort of dissociated ANPs since they remember a lot of what could be best labelled as the "normal" part of the life, though it was still kinda traumatic. But not the worse trauma. From circa 6-7 to circa 16-17 years old (school years before Lust poped up to hyper perform for our ex) and some events during the rest of our studies and our first try at a "proper job" though it was less and less often as time went by and Zami took over due to constantly feeling unsafe.

Zami (cluster of animal alters containing conflicting survival mechanisms and attachment mechanisms, part of Zamiel): non-binary since survival mechanism are not gender-related. Contains the worse traumas that happened during the childhood (CSA). Maladapted protector who still needs to learn how to manage their reactions, though things are better than they used to be. Their shape and the material they contain is partly influenced by our understanding of the movie "The last unicorn". Started "seriously" existing separately circa 8-9 years old, took over more and more of the time as the chronic trauma settled in and the anxiety and feeling of danger became more and more constant.

Ulysses: split from Zami at circa 9 years old, contains specific, Mewtwo-like traumas and thoughts patterns (the content they inherited is influenced by the fact that they are an introjection from watching the first Pokémon movie). Non-binary because trauma has no gender.

The Mirror (me): the first "Inner world manager" caming to be, can be traced back at circa 10-12 years old but became more present circa 13-14 years old. I am also a metamorph and I deal with the mirror neurones effect. I re-integrate/d all the stray introjections which stroll around (Miles, Sherlock Holmes, Lucifer, Aragorn, you name it...) Of course, all of my "cast" is masc because the system is masc as a whole. And the whole "cast" is mostly of a soft, nontoxic and/or queer masculinity (at least from our point of view). Because this is what we are (supposed to be).

Envy: teenagehood. Fear of missing out during our middle-high and high school years, as well as a desperate need to be a "normal teenager" and fit in the group. Evolved into being our "meh, good enough" alter (function of resting and energy management). Non-binary because fitting in and being a teenager has no gender. They might be being integrated into Zamiel and David lately.

Trisha: fem, because she contains traumatic and reaction materials tied to "forced feminine roles" (social roles that were forced upon us because of our gender assigned at birth). She leans towards nonbinary since with time we came to understand that it is not a feminine-only thing to do what we were asked to do and that she contains (namely, parenting the whole family, taking care of the laundry). I guess that originally the different materials she contains (well, contained since she dissipated and her content was reintegrated somewhere else) were "stray" and that they gathered under the name and face "Trisha" under the influence of the original material most of our system is introjected from (namely, the Fullmetal Alchemist series).

Lust: hyper-performing feminity and heterosexuality since we met our first ex at circa 16-17 years old. Of course she is fem. She was also required to be the ex's "mom" (his family had the toxic idea that a woman is the "mother of the family" including the "mother" of her husband). She is conflicted between the duty of performing feminity, and how traumatic it can be to do so in a patriarcal society. Especially when the system is transmasc as a whole. She started as a cis woman, now she's a trans woman and more comfortable so.

Isaïa: masc because this is what we are meant to be in our normal, everyday life. He "poped up" to deal with the "normal everyday life" when we moved in with our ex at circa 22 years old, especially in social situations needing more self-control and more "masking" as well as more situation- specific reactions (namely, dealing with the ex's family and friend group). He is now in charge of managing the part of the Innerworld where the trauma holders stay.

Reyna: split from Isaïa after maybe a year or so of living with the ex, fem because she contains what the ex did to us because he percieved us as fem. Leaning towards being *trans*fem and nonbinary though (or transmasc, depending on the day), because part of what he did to us, he did to "punish" us for not being cishet (we're aroace leaning as a whole, more specifically demi aroace). She is the "passive" counterpart to the "active" Lust.

Uriel/le: transmasc, leaning towards nonbinary trans femboy. Part of Zamiel. Originally, split from Zami in order to have a better understanding of healthier (well at least, less disorganized) attachment styles at circa 32-33 years old. Our attachment is becoming more coherent and healthier with time. Now Uriel/le is part of Zamiel.

van Hohenheim: masc because, we are masc. Used to contain some ANP functions related to administration. It is unclear when he "appeared" because he rarely fronted. Now his functions are spread between Zamiel and David, and his identity is being reintegrated inside of me (Mirror).

David: masc because this is who we are supposed to be. Mostly ANP. Traces of him can be found as far back as the earlier memories we have of experiencing "very normal and secure life" at the grandparents' (even though he went dormant as long as we were in toxic sexual relationships, and woke up again 1 year after we put a stop to our latest, sexually abusive relationship) Consequently he also contains the backlash of the "transgenerational trauma" about WW2 we inherited from the grandmother. He is slowly learning to become an adapted protector as well as experiencing a secure attachment style. He is also learning what it is to have a heathy, queerplatonic, long-distance relationship with V. (an alter from another system). He also contains the safe and healthy interests we have regarding religion/spirituality and the history of religions, as well as psychology, romance, sex... In the future he might become our "official daily life host" (well, co-hosting with the social events-oriented Zamiel).

Theia: nonbinary fem. One of the Innerworld managers. She is the secretary in charge of organizing the memory, who can access what, and so on (gatekeeper alter). She shares a lot of traits with the biological mother (hair and skin color, height, type of job) so she might be a positively-twisted introjection of the bio mother. As in, this is what our bio mother was supposed to do: making sure everybody has their needs met, encouraging everybody to do the therapy work inside (she makes all of us follow with the therapy exercices inside during "yoga classes" atop of what we do with the body), organizing the main Innerworld layer so that it is pleasant for everybody, managing the "non player characters" decorating the Innerworld, fishing out the un-filed fragments, organizing everything... She is a very busy person. She is also playful and positive (the opposite of the bio mother) while doing the job the bio mother used to do professionaly (accountant / administration papers), but in a positive, emotional and psychological way. She is the happy, positive fantasy version of the bio mother. And since she is part of us and we are not a woman, she is *nonbinary* fem. Leaning towards agender. She used to share her trauma-accessing abilities with Uriel/le but now the two are separate again.

Saul: teenage masc. He temporarily helped us manage the earlier effects of hormone replacement therapy (puberty 2.0) but now this function is re-integrated into Uriel/le hence into Zamiel.

...I had planned to simply answer the Gang about Pride but got carried away. At least now the chronology is put into words. I had planned to do this in the future and had not found the motivation. Well, here it is now.
__
The Mirror.
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Sep 24, 2021 3:42 pm

Things keep evolving and changing. Here are our latest updates.

New exercices in therapy

I have been very unanchored lately but could not bring myself to do the exercices the T gave us in the previous sessions. These exercices are a bit too integrating in the meaning that, the integration was starting to become too fast and too intense for me. I still need to stay disconnected from most of the traumatic memories and most of the experiences of the system. Even though the "main me" of the system is starting to shift from Zamiel to me, I need this peace and quiet brought to me by being in a state of an "everlasting present". Yet, not doing the "Moro" exercice and the others, makes me dissociate a lot. Which is uncomfortable and keeps me from being efficient and "here".

I talked about it with our T and she gave me new exercices. She also advised to ditch the "rocking" exercices since they trigger dissociation for us, and to "mix and match" the exercises according to our needs and the mood of the day.

The new exercises are as follow:

• eye movement integrations: slowly, without moving the head and with the feet planted firmly on the floor, moving the eyes right-left as far as possible, then up-down, then clockwise, then counterclockwise.
• eye movement integrations, baby style: on all four or in a crawling position, move the eyes as far as possible in one direction, then follow with the head. It must feel as if the eyes are pulling the head in different directions. Do not hesitate to do the yoga "cat/cow" thing when doing it up/down.
• different "brain gym" exercices from the following illustration: http://www.pf-solutions.ca/wp-content/u ... in-Gym.jpg

Interrestingly, these are all exercices the "faith healer" had advised us to do. Exercises we had stopped in the past because our social circle of the moment used to "scream cult" and complain we were less submissive after doing them.

The rest of the therapy session

We discussed the new and updated system map. We drew it in a way that shows the chronology of the events contained by each of us with a vertical axis. Each box symbolized one of us, some of the boxes being nested because of fusions. The bottom line of the box showed approximately the earlier memory of said alter, the top line the moment said alter stopped "growing" or "being anchored in the present". As an example, Pride, our Little, was a box with a bottom line at the bottom of the page, and a top line marked in red and indicating the first major trauma and the moment he stopped growing and was replaced by the animal parts which became Zami & Ulysses, and the fragmented human host-like parts which became G/Hosties (now Zami and G/Hosties are part of Zamiel). Each box also contained commentaries relevent to the content of each alter (type of functions, type of memories...).

It took us a lot of time to draw it, but it was way more organized and easy to read than the first rough map we had given the T.

Zami from Zamiel also had some fun writing down our latest news, discoveries, progresses... under the shape of a newspaper. It makes it easier to read as it is organized with a date, who wrote what, and titles. The T was pleasantly surprised to learn that she could keep it - we made sure to keep a copy of it of course, so we could give it to her to keep in our files.

We also noted some of the trigger chains we became aware of thanks to reading Janina Fisher. (such as, [situation] triggers [reaction from A] which triggers [reaction from B] which in turn triggers [reaction from C] and so on, sometimes in a loop) Becoming aware of the trigger chains/loops is the first step towards working with every member of the chain to calm them and undo the triggers.

The T says that we make very fast progress, she thinks it might be the combo between having a high IQ (meaning, our brain works faster than most brains, making everything more intense for us, which is uncomfortable when our anxiety and flashbacks are slapping us in the face, but which also makes healing, possibly faster, since our brain's base speed is faster than usual). Our hypothesis is that, because we are autistic, our brain structure is very dissociated to begin with, leavin a lot of room for improvement. Both make sense. The combo between the two makes even more sense.

We are lucky/privileged to have the resilient brain that we have.

Learning safe interactions with V.

I am really happy regarding the direction my relationship with V. is taking. I might be biased but I feel like everything is screaming "This is healthy, this is what happiness feels like". Well, the first time over did scream "happiness" but it did not scream "healthy" nor "balanced". This time, it does.

We discussed our transition surgeries with V. because we know V.'s system has some triggers related to private parts of the anatomy. We offered to discuss what options could be both comfortable for my system, and his. He answered that, it is a decision he has no say in. Even if he has triggers. That his triggers are something he needs to deal with, that I should not preoccupy myself with his triggers when taking decisions about modifying my own body.

It was as if a puzzle piece inside of me, had felt into its proper place. Hearing him say this, felt more right than anything anyone else had ever said about our body. I felt truly loved and accepted, wholy and completely, unconditionaly. I was moved to tears.

In the past we had heard people say "do as you please" in a dismissive way. Or other people ordering us to do this or that (or not to do this or that) to modify our body (some "innocent" things such as clothes or haircuts or makeup, and less innocent things such as transition surgeries). With V. it was different. He told me to do as I needed to do, and that he would still love me no matter his triggers.

We thought we had felt loved before. It turns out, we did not. We had merely felt "not hated". This time we feel loved and accepted. All of us, not only me.

This time over, V.'s system and mine really want to do things right. And I think that, we do.

I hope that I am right and not blinded by my emotions and desires.

Picking up a new FtM prosthesis SLIGHT CONTENT WARNING FOR AWKWARD SITUATIONS IN THE BATHROOM do not hesitate to jump to the next title if you do not want to read some bathroom ramblings.

I finally felt confident enough to look up some more realistic prostesis than the one we presently own (which is barely more realistic than knotting socks together). We have had more and more situations in public restrooms when we had to awkwardly wait at the door of the only cubicle in the men's room while others came and went using the open, standing options.

This felt awkward and uncomfortable, almost as if we had a neon sign above our head displaying the shape of what is under our kilt. Which is a biased view since the men coming and going at the standing open toilets, were probably thinking "This poor lad needs to take a shirt and the only sitting toilet is closed, I feel bad for him, let us avoid awkward eye contact."

All in all, a "stand to pee" option is starting to become a necessity. One that looks realistic enough to feel comfortable to use in a public bathroom - as opposed to the cheap pastel purple one so popular everywhere.

I located a seller, and was about to order "my" size (according to the measurement of "my" body in the Innerworld) before I realized that, if I want it to sit on the physical body in the same proportions as on my body in the Innerworld, I need to order another one.

It is frustrating. I cannot have it in "me" size else it would not look "me-sized" on the body.

It is the same type of frustration as when buying clothes. They need to be "body-sized" instead of "me-sized".

Getting in touch with the body

I have noticed that more and more, I am able to "feel" through bodily sensations, what the body needs to eat. In amount (calories) as well as in composition (nutrients). I can "feel" when we overate and need to skip breakfast or eat more lightly, I can "feel" when the body needs more carbs or proteins, or when we cooked too lean for a few days and need some healthy fatty acids.

Of course I double-check with our nutrition app. Too many times in the past we misjudged our perception of the bodily needs and unbalanced our diet. Yet lately, each time I checked with the app to see if the body's feels were right, it turned out that they were.

The body still feels uncomfortably "not me-shaped" (it looks "Zamiel-shaped" to me) but I am able to be anchored in it well enough to intuitively eat what it needs. Which is no small victory for us.

Reaching inside to Pride (Little)

I know that I am very uncomfortable getting anywhere near Pride. But I also know that he is only a little boy who needs to be cared for. I know Lust cares for him, but I also know that he needs me to do it too. Therefore, when I went to the pharmacy to pick up some of our october prescription meds, I also added the unicorn "Warmie" which was sitting by the door between the llama one and the king-frog one.

(Warmies are very soft plushies weighted with lavander flowers and wheat; when micro-waved they become warm. They are safer for little kids than hot water bottles. The only thing I regret is that the warming inside is not kept in a separate removable pouch but instead stuffed inside the body of the toy, meaning that the toy cannot be machine-washed and neither can the warming pouch be replaced if needed.)

Usually when we buy something for Pride, he is the one picking them up for himself and adding them to the cart. This time, I did not allow him to do that. I decided to pick it myself for him. To pay it myself for him.

Seen from the outside it makes no difference - same body picking the toy up, same bank account. Seen from the inside of the system, it is very different. It was me aknowledging that he has the needs of a child. It was me aknowledging his existence, that I am a failable adult who is not yet able to properly care for him, but that I am doing what I can for know.

Once home, I unwrapped the plushie and settled it on the bed with the others. I made sure it was comfortable, and pat its head. I felt really silly doing that, but inside, something was responding positively.

I guess that, even if it feels silly, patting the plushie's head "good morning" and "good night" might be a good idea. It might show Pride that, even if it is painful for me to look at him, I still care for him. It might show him that his need to be cared for is just as important as my need to remain ignorant for now. That I am willing to make compromises.

I still have a lot to learn. I am willing to learn.
__
David.
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Sat Sep 25, 2021 10:12 am

Things happened yesterday evening between David and Pride. This will be a bit long and kinda emotional.

David was putting the Warmie plushie to bed when Pride showed up, giving instructions on where and how to set it up to "sleep".

David noticed the space where Pride stays is an empty white space. Pride explained that he does not want to have anything in his space, becase if it is empty, he can better spot when danger is coming and where it is coming from.

David suggested who could keep Pride safe in the Innerword. Zamiel is out of the question since they are a maladapted protector. Isaïa is already "paired" with Reyna. Lust sometimes keeps him company but she is wounded too, and she is "paired" with Ulysses in a strange and twisted "Eros and Thanatos" way (Lust being a twisted Eros, Ulysses being a twisted Thanatos, and both needing each-other to recover from their respective wounds and find balance). Theia is in charge of organizing the memory access, and me the Mirror, I have already a lot to deal with regading how our mirror neurones tend to act out and copy-paste everything relatable in sight. Wrath cannot protect Pride since they are the same person - Wrath being the "grown up too early" version of Pride.

The only one left is David.

David started to excuse himself, saying that he just cannot cope with what happened to Pride. But as soon as he saw Pride's distressed face, he apologized and explained: his ears cannot deal with the words of what happened. But his heart is wide open to the pain coming from what happened, his shoulder is here to cry upon, and his arms are here to carry and hold and protect Pride.

So they hugged, tight, crying.

David apologized for not knowing yet how to deal with it all and how to protect the system properly, but he said he was doing his best and trying his best.

Pride asked what David was doing / would do to protect the system. In a way, Pride was feeling that David was endangering the system sometimes, by doing "grown-up stuff" - while in the same time, fearing that he was not doing enough "grown-up stuff". So, David explained. A lot.

David explained that Pride was NOT a "bad child" for being unable to do grown-up stuff even when he tries again and again and again. It's normal for a child not to be able to do things like drive a car or do the taxes, even if he tries to. Because the brain of a child is not mature enough for that. Quite the contrary, trying too much to train to do grown-up stuff, can hurt a child's brain. Training to do grown-up stuff does NOT make a child grow. If Pride was hurt in the past when doing grown-up stuff, or failed to do it, it's NOT because he did not train enough or had to try harder. It's because he needs to do more child stuff first.

It was like turning on a lightbulb inside of Pride's mind. A child needs to do child stuff in order to grow-up. A lot of them. If he fails to do grown-up stuff, it's because he has not done enough child stuff yet. Therefore, if Pride wants to grow up, he needs first to complete all the childhood stage and THEN he'll unlock the grown-up stuff.

After that, Pride asked if he'll "have to" do the grown-up stuff, even if he does not want to. So, David explained stuff again.

He explained that nobody should be forced to do things they do not want to do. Because it hurts grown-ups too, to be forced to do things. And even when it does not hurt in the litteral sense, it is still wrong.

He gave the example of a supermarket. It is okay to follow the rules of the shop: during the opening hours, enter through the entrance door, put the items from the shelf into the cart, drive the cart to the cashier, allow the cashier to process the amount of money it costs, pay, then leave with the items through the exit door before the closing hour. If someone enters the shop during closing time, even if they leave enough or even more money to pay for what they take, it is wrong and the shop will call the police. If someone tries to enter through the wrong door, the shopkeepers will ask them to leave and re-enter through the right door. If someone tries to bypass the cashier, even if they leave tons of money in the shop to pay for the item, it is wrong and the security or the police will be called.

Leaving more money than necessary is "good" for the shop and yet, because the rules are broken, the police will be called.

The system is not perfect. The bad guys are not always caught. Sometimes the police does not even show up. But it does not mean it's okay to break the rules. People who break the rules are bad guys.

This is why it's important when grown-ups do things together, to talk about it and if they are okay or not, if they want to keep going or stop. If someone says "no" or "stop" or just does not say "yes", then it is bad to keep going anyway. Even though the actions made are exactly the same as when the person says "yes".

This helped Pride feel safer. He heard that even grown-ups do not want to do all the grown-ups stuff. That grown-ups are allowed to say no. That the people who break the rules are bad, even if the police does not help. He also knows for sure that he does not have to do grown-up stuff in order to grow up, quite the contrary.

There is a hige feeling of relief inside. It's okay to say no, even grown-ups say no. Children are meant to do children things and only children things. Baddies are baddies even when they are unpunished. The people who hurt Pride are monstrous baddies even if nobody helped Pride back then. Moreover, the ones who refused to help are baddies too.

As to the present-day "baddies" who damaged our things instead of fixing them: we are going to give them one last notice (which we know they will not answer) then we will gather all the documents and give them to the police. Because if they refuse to answer our last notice, it means they are even worse baddies and must be punished even more. David explained to Pride that it is like a spider setting a web to catch a fly. We are the patient spider, spinning a web, to catch the bad mean fly. The more patient we are, the better we will be able to catch the bad fly.

He liked the metaphor, since he enjoys "dark" imageries.

When David "woke up" the Warmie plushie this morning, we recieved an image of Pride tucked in a cute child bed, hugging a big teddy bear, in a children's room full of children's toys and books.

I left David with Pride this morning and took care of the house chores. We feel less dissociated and more focused now.

We have Janina Fisher's "Healing the fragmented selves" book to thank for it. She showed us it is possible to talk about the consequences of the traumatic events and deal with them, without needing to summon the traumatic memories. David cannot cope with the traumatic memories, but he can be a good father figure for Pride. Which is what we need right now.
__
The Mirror.
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby TheGangsAllHere » Sat Sep 25, 2021 7:51 pm

That was heartwarming to read. Thank you for sharing it.
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Thu Oct 07, 2021 10:31 pm

So, we are back from the chest surgery (transition surgery) and oh my, so many things happened!

********CONTENT WARNING: talk of surgery, needles, blood loss, health issues but all is well that ends well don't worry!*********




We entered the hospital on monday morning, the surgeon took time she needed to draw the surgery lines properly and double-checked them to make sure the result would be nice. We had some hard time pre-op because we did not know what was going to happen so we were hypervigilent, the nurses had to prick us everywhere like a pincushion to properly set in the perfusions because the veins were not showing. Then we were sent to the surgery room, hello surgery team, warm blanket, and poof we went under.

Woke up like a breeze 3h later or so, and it all went downhill. We had some kung-fu-like reflex movements waking up, which tore a blood vessel. We were sent to our room temporarily but since the blood was not stopping, we were back to the surgery room very fast, with the surgeon calling dips on her workmates because hey, a broken limb can wait a couple hours with enough painkillers, but one cannot put a cork on a ruptured blood vessel and wait a couple hours until the surgery room is clear.

We were strangely calm, watching everybody panick and hurry around us. We felt cared for and safe. Okay, it looked bad and we were feeling so cold and weak but hey, we were still conscious enough to understand what was going on so it was not that bad, and we understood everybody was hurrying so that things would NOT get worse. They made some blood test in case we needed a transfusion but turns out, the surgeon was fast enough and we did not need any. On the contrary: our body took it very well given the amount lost, and we woke up again like a breeze. Well, a heavier breeze, but still.






**********************END CONTENT WARNING***********************

We thought that with the anesthesia and stuff we might be confused and rapid-switching but it turns out, we were not. We are oddly calm and anchored. The whole system is going "Yes, this is me" about the body post-surgery. The girls are feeling free. The embies are feeling relieved. The guys are hyped and feel "home". Pride grew up to pre-teen (dunno if temporarily or permanently though).

Everything feels good and right and safe. Of course we are exhausted. We have iron supplements to take for at least 3 months, and at least 3 weeks of complete rest. The surgeon thought she might keep us for a couple more days but since we have a petsitter for our cat, enough canned meals for a month, as well as a housekeeper, can have our meds delivered to our home (our local pharmacy does that, they are awesome), are not in any pain (or just barely enough to call it pain), and do not plan on leaving the bed for longer than 30 mins at a time, she deemed us reasonable and cared for enough to go home.

So, home we are now.

Our cat could not believe we were back so he clung to us like we were going to disappear again if he dared to let us go. It was a whole adventure just to manage to unpack our stuff and slip in bed.

We had the "good idea" to make some coffee right away (the hospital coffee being... what it is, we needed a decent cup) so now we are facing insomnia. After sleeping for 2-3 days straight. Talk about a regular sleep schedule lol.

Life feels good, and safe, and hopeful. We feel closer inside the system. David and I are a lot co-present / blending, the other insiders feel happy and cared for and listened to. Trauma integration sounds more bearable than pre-surgery. Not to the point of "let's start tomorrow" but maybe, let's start in 6 months or so? Future possible fusions do not feel scary anymore either. Happens what happens. We are together. We all like V. and V.'s system and so does the other way around so, no matter what fusions might happen, we know the relationship will be safe too.

There is so much hope for the future, despite all the complicated things related to the appartment issues, that it's almost unreal. Could this be really true? Could we really feel all of these positive things for real, because they are our true feelings? How is it even possible?

Even if this progress does not last forever, it still shows that we CAN experience these things - and we WILL work towards experiencing all these positive things again, and again, and again, and again. Takes what it takes, we will keep moving forwards. There is light at the end of the tunnel and will will allow no-one to snuff it out.

Step aside, the WorldTree is coming.
__
Zamiel.
Key: ♂ he/him | ♀ she/her | ɸ they/them

Social: Zamiel ɸ (complex fusion) or Daniel ♂ɸ (Zamiel + David)
Self-care: David ♂
Managers: The Mirror ♂ (inner self-helper) - Isaïa ♂ ("trauma-sitter") - Theia ♀ (gatekeeper)
Trauma holders: Pride|Wrath ♂ - Lust ♀ - Reyna ♀ - Ulysses ɸ

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