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Need help for grieving little

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Need help for grieving little

Postby MeMyselfMaureen » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:58 am

So last night/this morning elspeth shared a memory in a dream. As we were analising it (awake) it triggered more snapshots from both elspeth and peter. Long story short Peter realised that he has been waiting for a hug from a father that never even knew he existed and can never know peter exists because to tell him about peters existance is to tell the truth about his wife and my dad would take it as a personal failure that he couldn't protect us from what happened (he didn't know he was at war when it happened)

Peter is realy in peices the worst part is that the few happy memories he has of interacting with my dad he now knows that my dad thought it was elspeth.

I have told peter that elspeth doesnt hold those memories that those things didnt happen to her that the happy things happened to him that when our dad loved him in those memories it was PETER he was loving because it was Peter that was up front then. Peter doesnt see it this way he is sobbing that it doesnt count because "daddy thought he was loving elspeth"

It is doubly hard because peter is as close to an origanal idintity as you can get in DID. Mum was so desperate for a boy that she brought us up as one. Called us peter, dressed us as a boy etc. Elspeth was a change of clothes and a dolly we were put in/given for the few weeks dad was home on leave. Mother only called us Elspeth when dad was home or if we had been naughty (she would ceremonialy strip us of our boy clothes and lock us naked outside). Peter was convinced Elspeth was a naughty girl who lived with them and mummy kept her locked in the cupboard (where the clothes and doll were kept) because she was a bad dirty girl. Of course peter got ignored when dad came home. He seams to have had a primitive co-con where peter was aware of what was happening but because it was hapenning to elspeth it was elspeth dad would call over for hugs.etc he experience elspeth as a physicaly seperate child.

How do I help peter through the grief? How do i convince him that the memories he has of our dad interacting with him (building dens, teaching him to tie knots etc,) are his even if dad didn't know peter existed? That in those moments dad loved peter.
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Re: Need help for grieving little

Postby fireheart » Fri Nov 29, 2019 7:10 am

I read your message and I care. I'm sorry you went through that.

I'm not sure if I can really give you useful advice, but my first hunch would be to focus on how together you form one system. And outside people see one person, so they tend to respond to that person.

But there may be a reason that Peter is invested in believing that his father loved Elspeth: if you break the dissociative barrier, maybe Peter will feel like he is bad, rather than Elspeth.
So, that's something to caution for. Maybe you can give Peter hugs in the inner world for now?
There is an exercise about holding hands on birdsong's website, that may also be helpful when trying to comfort parts.
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Re: Need help for grieving little

Postby Floralie » Fri Nov 29, 2019 5:10 pm

Oh, I feel so sorry for Peter. And he's bit too young I think to understand things from further away, he understands his point of view but big picture can be too much. But you can always try.

Your dad did not know about Elsbeth as a part more than he knows about Peter as a part, so hugs weren't for her more than to him, they were to a child that was there then. With that name your father meant the chid there then, not a part that's called Elspeth now. It doesn't matter what name he used, he didn't know Peter has a name of his own and that Eslbeth is not a name all of his children use. They're equally important and both special. When he was doing things with Peter, it was Peter who reacted to what dad said and did with him, and all things dad said to him, were to that child then there. Even when father does not know there's more than one child, he talked and answered to things Peter talked about, and Elsbeth wasn't there then in the memories Peter holds. That's why things were said to him and done with him, if it has been Elsbeth instead of him, she would've done things different ways and memories would not be like they are now with Peter in them. The special moments he remembers are only because he was there then, and that's why they're for him, and his own, regardless of the confusion with the names. It doesn't matter what names were used, because dad didn't know it was not the name of WHOLE child and both of them, the actions were Peter's and the reaction to them for him.

Same way hugs Elspeth had that are her memories, are her's, and they would be different if the child would've done different things, like would be the case if the child would have been a different child. That makes their memories theirs, not names, names were and are misconception.
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Re: Need help for grieving little

Postby IainEtc » Sun Dec 01, 2019 12:37 pm


Sorry that Peter is so sad. I wonder if you could help Peter think about his memories of dad more - like make a book with photos and write them down and read them to him or something. That way he could hold them better and maybe feel like they were more his. When the thinks about them now he has them now and that's pretty good.

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