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Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

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Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby MeMyselfMaureen » Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:49 pm

Ok so my daughter and I have been in the safe house for a month now and there have been some changes in her behavior that are concerning perticularly in her attempts to express emotions that were banned when we lived with SO.

Negative emotions were banned in our house, we were not allowed to be angry or frustrated if our daughter was upset she was given exactly 2 minuets too cry and then she had to be happy and smiling or SO would make her force a smile by threatening reprisals if she didnt.


When my SO got angry he would declare he was "feeling wolfy" and when my daughter questioned his verbaly agresive outbursts he would say "daddy is wolfy today" and if another word was said there would be punishments for questioning daddy's "sense of justice". He would tell werewolf stories that justified the use of violence in persute of "justice". On the other hand when my daughter copied his outrage at something she had read or heard (the tirade she spouted on climate change ...!) he would praise her and tell her she was "daddy's little wolfling". Those few moments of mock outrage were the only times she was allowed to vent negative emotion.


Since moving to the safe house we have been working on the fact that all emotions are allowed now, that it is ok to express them. The past few days I have noticed when distressed or upset DD will whine. At night she will kick her legs behind her and chew on the covers. When I have found her like this and woken her there has been no sense of recognition. I've been bitten a couple of times.

When she has to talk about her father she will give a low growl or a snorting huffing sound.



Then yesterday while we were watching the bath fill she started to whine went down on all fours and started to scratch at the floor. I thought she was just playing and asked her which bath bubbles she wanted but she didnt reply. she just cocked her head and ran off on hands and feat. Not hands and knees like you'd expect but hands and feet. she was fast too. when I finaly caught up with her she was back on two feet looked at me blankly and asked if I needed anything.

I wasn't sure how to react so I just said that her bath was ready.

This evening I found her chewing on pencils.

DD knows about my DID but I haven't told her about animal alters because it wasn't something she needed to know. Her knowledge of DID goes as far as "there are lots of people in mummy's head and they like different things and remember different things but they all love you and want to be your friend and take care of you."

As I am typing this Peter is saying "did you met whiskers I like him he a good wolf cub."

I know you guys cant diagnose im not asking you too. And personally I wonder if it's just imagination, if she was trying to trigger peter to come out to play, or is she just playing about with the idea of multiple selves because mummy has them and being a wolf cub is fun? But then why the chewing on the bed clothes in her sleap. I guess I'm typing to try and help myself get my head round this.

I was wondering you guys with animal alters how do they come about? How do you help an animal alter that's is fronting? If this is just imaginary play then eventually she will just get bored but if this is alters expressing themselves I want to help. DD has not yet turned 9 so in theory she is still young enough for her sense of self not to be set in stone yet, there is time for her to heal and still grow up to be a single self.

Grace
Grace (host) Mo (protector) Peter (child) Elspeth (child) Midnight (unkown) Shadow (fragment, grief holder, toddler) Aegipan (goatbeing - the ultimate solution) Christopher (faith, caretaker)
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby MeMyselfMaureen » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:28 am

Grace was worrying and DD is not sleeping so we just did the Dissociative Experiences scale and she scored 25. Average adolesent is meant to score 16.6 dont know what a child her age would score....

http://traumadissociation.com/des

We then tried the Child Dissocociative checklist She scored 16

"Generaly scores of 12 or more can be considered tentative indications of sustained pathological dissocoiation."

https://studylib.net/doc/7189204/child- ... list--cdc-


Not looking good for the imaginary play theory........
mo
Grace (host) Mo (protector) Peter (child) Elspeth (child) Midnight (unkown) Shadow (fragment, grief holder, toddler) Aegipan (goatbeing - the ultimate solution) Christopher (faith, caretaker)
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby ArbreMonde » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:06 am

But you can help her, and "Whiskers" (if I got the name of wolf-cub right from Peter). Find a way to bring balance between the two.

Maybe the therian communities could help you regarding this animal aspect? The forum Werelist is quite nice, a lot of serious adults with a lot of thinking. There is also a few systems on this forum, with a lot of animal alters. DID or not, this forum might give you hints on how to help your child dealing with her animal side, and reflecting on what it means for her.

If you need more ressources on the subject, I have a list of links I could PM you (or post here publicly, depends if others are interested too). There are many ways and reasons do be animal - or humanimal - and DID is only one of them.

You are a good parent for taking such care of your child.

--Zami-- (oh and I'm a qilin by the way, if you ever want to discuss being an animal)
Multiple system Dx autistic, depression, c-PTSD...

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He/him: -X- or -David- | oOo van H. oOo | //Ulysses// | °Isaïa° | ((Wolf)) | {Envy} | #Uriel# | .....
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby Dwelt » Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:16 pm

Hi,

She's still young, it's highly possible it's just a mild dissociated part of her that react this way, because of the words chosen to describe those feelings. It doesn't necessarily mean it's an alter ;)

I (Plume) qualify myself as an animal alter, because when I'm hypervigilent and/or dissociated, my sense of self tend to shift : I feel more like a canine, a coyote, than a human. When I was younger, I could even forget I didn't have ears, fur and a tail which leads to awkward situations. But the animal part of me isn't separate from me, it's not an alter. It's myself when I dissociate (which means myself through the first 20 years of my life... :roll: ).

I grew up with a grand-mother saying that animals were better than humans and a dad that loved to humiliate me. Also, I grew up around animals who were authorized to show their emotion to say when they had enough, and everyone was supposed to respect that... something my father never did for me.

I have also some autistic traits, and canines were my specific interest as a child and teen. Understanding them allowed me to give sense to some of my feelings. I remember I was used to comparing social interactions between humans to the pack dynamic of captive wolves... and it worked :lol:

Behaving like an animal, being an animal, was reassuring, put some sense into my world, and my identity build itself around this since the age of 3/4yo. I could spend hours on all 4, hands en feet, behaving like a dog : whining, growling, yapping, etc. to the point it became a normal way to express myself.
My specialty was communicating through my body language and it took me a while to get that other children weren't ignoring what I was expressing, they just couldn't understand me. But in another hand, expressing those feelings in a more human way didn't felt safe at all. And words were already seen as useless because no one respected them.

Hopefully, my parents never stopped me. It was the only way I knew express my feelings, it worked well for me, and if someone had told me to stop and/or tried to ashamed me for this, it would have been awful.

I've met people who made me feel safe and with whom I started to learn to express myself with words. They asked questions when my behavior didn't make sense to them, and never been angry, upset or annoyed by my answers, or by my inability to answer at the moment. If I was avoidant or unable to answer with words, it wasn't a big deal. If I wasn't able to find the right words to express myself, it wasn't a big deal either, they would just said "it's okay, say it the way you want to, we will figure it out after".
They also respected the feelings I was expressing. It was a huge help.

Now I'm less dissociated and able to accept and express those feelings with words, I don't shift like I used to. The animal part is still there, and it will probably always be, but it's not as overwhelming and inadequate as before. In fact, now it's a strength as I sometimes work with non-verbal children with autism. I'm able to handle their "silence" very well, and we communicate through body language, often with subtle and not even conscious signs.

Even if she's pretending, it's still a way to express herself ; and if she's not, it doesn't mean it's a "full" alter, it could be just a way to handle and make sense of the dissociation and those feelings she wasn't allowed to feel before.
I think there're high chances it will slowly fade away as she will feel more secure and learn new ways to cope with those new feelings. I've briefly heard about ways to help emotional self-regulation in children, maybe you should search about those ?
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby SOHank » Mon Dec 30, 2019 1:01 pm

I can't add much. SF has non-human alters, but no animals, ... that we know of... :roll:

The most important thing is to be accepting. Don't make Whiskers or your daughter feel like there is something wrong or bad.

My hunch is that talking to a therapist would help her long term, regardless of where the canine actions originate.
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby MeMyselfMaureen » Mon Dec 30, 2019 2:30 pm

Thanks everyone. DD is on the waiting list for a therapist just because of what she has seen. If whiskers is still around when she finaly gets a T we'll role with what happens.
Grace (host) Mo (protector) Peter (child) Elspeth (child) Midnight (unkown) Shadow (fragment, grief holder, toddler) Aegipan (goatbeing - the ultimate solution) Christopher (faith, caretaker)
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby Johnny-Jack » Mon Dec 30, 2019 5:53 pm

So you're getting help for both you and your daughter. This is excellent and the right thing to do.

It doesn't seem fully expressed but you're concerned that your daughter may have DID also, right? Given she has a very abusive parent, it's a valid concern and you'll know over time. If so, it should help to express those concerns to whoever is working with her. The more they know, the better they will be able to help her, assuming a generally informed, competent, ethical professional.

We have an animal alter who arrived extremely early due to ritualized torture by the DID mother's bad alter(s). The littles had names for various mothers, in fact, it was our initial evidence that the mother had DID. They identified one of her states as "the animal" and that animal was a lion. I have a very clear picture in my head how the mother's hair looked when she was this animal, wildly expanded and disshelved, like a (male) lion's mane. I don't know if the mother actually made her hair like that or if it's just how we saw her, but it's a very clear image.

A younger sister, who has dissociative symptoms like all my siblings, once felt trapped by someone ringing the doorbell and went to a corner, crouched like an animal, looked blank, and hissed like a cat. We've discussed the extensive physical abuse she experienced from our mother.

Any alter's traits are going to be formed by the environment the child was in at that time -- the details of the abuse, the abuser, and a wide variety of images or stories that the child was aware of at that time.

I have DID due to continual abuse of various kinds and serious problems attaching to both parents, who were abusers. I'm sure the characteristics of my alters are due, in part, to how the parents were with us during specific instances of that abuse.

It makes total sense there would be animal behavior in a child -- as an alter or an ego state -- that mimicked an abusive parent, especially if that behavior was the only sanctioned way to express an otherwise forbidden emotion. Indeed, it was encouraged.
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby MeMyselfMaureen » Tue Dec 31, 2019 12:55 pm

So the therins say she isn't a therin. Apparently therins don't dissociate when their animal side takes over.


Johnny-Jack wrote:It makes total sense there would be animal behavior in a child -- as an alter or an ego state -- that mimicked an abusive parent, especially if that behavior was the only sanctioned way to express an otherwise forbidden emotion. Indeed, it was encouraged.


Dwelt wrote: it's highly possible it's just a mild dissociated part of her that react this way, because of the words chosen to describe those feelings. It doesn't necessarily mean it's an alter ;)

Even if she's pretending, it's still a way to express herself ; and if she's not, it doesn't mean it's a "full" alter, it could be just a way to handle and make sense of the dissociation and those feelings she wasn't allowed to feel before.
I think there're high chances it will slowly fade away as she will feel more secure and learn new ways to cope with those new feelings. I've briefly heard about ways to help emotional self-regulation in children, maybe you should search about those ?


Thanks guys. We'll muddle through some how and keep our fingers crossed that the waiting list isn't to long.
Grace (host) Mo (protector) Peter (child) Elspeth (child) Midnight (unkown) Shadow (fragment, grief holder, toddler) Aegipan (goatbeing - the ultimate solution) Christopher (faith, caretaker)
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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby ArbreMonde » Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:15 pm

She might not be therian, but Whiskers might be one. And, Werelist has a few systems too subscribed to the board, who might help. And, advices from therians might help Whiskers.

There are many ways and reasons to be animalistic or "humanimal", and being therian is only one way. They do have the advantage though of having a lot of discussions about it and how to deal with it, how to "let the animal out" only at times and in ways that do not pose a problem, what being the animal means for them, and so on. In the opinion of some of us, their reflexions still might be of use for DD and Whiskers - or you.

Though some of us also think that talking with systems comprising animal alters might be more useful. We know of one who blogs a lot, tell us if you want a link to some of their blogs.

You are a good and caring parent. You will find what your child needs. We are sure of it.

-David-
Multiple system Dx autistic, depression, c-PTSD...

They/them: --Zami--
He/him: -X- or -David- | oOo van H. oOo | //Ulysses// | °Isaïa° | ((Wolf)) | {Envy} | #Uriel# | .....
She/her: ~Theia~ | oOo Mrs. H. oOo | *Reyna* | ♥Lust♥ | .....

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Re: Animal Alter??? How to tell???? what to do????

Postby MeMyselfMaureen » Wed Jan 01, 2020 1:36 am

Hi David

The links to the blogs would be really useful thanks.


I guess I wouldn't be so worried if whiskers was a human I could talk to.... I know whiskers is needed right now and I understand that he has needs to be met, but I don't speak wolf so I am really struggling to understand what it is he needs. I cant even work out what it is that triggers him other that the general emotional state.

I'm also worried about the potential for whiskers appearing in public.DD starts a new school next week what if the school bully decides to pick on her and whiskers scuttles of whining or worse decides to bite the bully?

So yeh reading stuff about working with animal alters will be of great help.

In the mean time I found some age appropriate games to help develop "emotional problem solving"..... if I can equip DD with the ability to deal with the emotions herself hopefully they will be less triggering for whiskers. (Thanks plume for the tip.)
Grace (host) Mo (protector) Peter (child) Elspeth (child) Midnight (unkown) Shadow (fragment, grief holder, toddler) Aegipan (goatbeing - the ultimate solution) Christopher (faith, caretaker)
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