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[life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby YunaTheSummoner » Fri Oct 08, 2021 7:50 am

WOW :shock: the hospital part sounded scary! ...but glad you're back home with your cat!

Our dog also went very clingy after we were rushed away suddenly. He wouldn't even go into the garden for a wee unless we sat at the door or went out with him, but he seems to have calmed down better now, though still anxious when strangers come into the house (I guess cos of ambulance crew coming in then having to take me away).

I'm sure your cat will forgive you after a few tasty treats! :D
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Fri Oct 08, 2021 8:02 am

Yes, the hospital was scary at first but the blood cells count and blood pressure are still way better than what we had during our college/university years so we're not too worried. We've been through worse without any rest, now we're getting the rest, and the human help, and the proper iron supplements, and we are in an overall healthier physical state (more muscular so, more blood and faster blood recovery rate), so things can only get better now! :D
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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 » Wed Oct 13, 2021 8:38 pm

Chatting with a friend today, I realized that we had let go of a guilt we carried for a very, very long time.

**********************Content warning: death of pets, accidental cause**************************

For a long time we carried the guilt of accidentally causing the death of two beloved pets: a guinea pig and a canary bird. In both instances, we were the direct cause, which caused a lot of guilt.

We had realized intellectually that for the guinea pig we were too young to properly care for him and that it was the parents' responsibility that he was unhealthy - and their responsibility for refusing to take him to the vet when we realized we had accidentally hurt him, which caused his life to meet an early end. Yet we still carried the guilt for such a long time that we kept on having dreams in which we needed to take care of him, and realized that nobody had taken care of him since the previous dream. It was as if he was still alive in our Innerworld, still needing the care we could not properly give him because we were too young to know how to, and because we could not magically summon what he needed that the parents refused to provide.

For the canary bird it was more difficult to intellectually realize we were not the only ones responsible. We accidentally forgot to take care of him for a few days which shortened his life. And yet, thinking back to what caused us to forget, we realized we were only the latest link in the chain of events. We were awfully burnt out back then, because we had so many things to take care of: our studies, the house chores, the two to three hours daily commute (the parents prefered to provide the brother with a room at his school 20 minutes of bus ride from home rather than provide US with a room), the abuses thrown at us by the parents, and the ones from the ex. We were so burnt out we sometimes half-fainted half-fell asleep many times during the days. Moreover, there were three other persons in the appartment who could have taken care of the canary. They did notice the lack of care. They did tell us. They did see we had eyes like a racoon due to the exhaustion. Still none of them took the five minutes it would have taken to provide the bird with the most basic necessities.

Similarly to the guinea pig, the canary bird was not provided with what he really needed. Here again, we were powerless to provide - we were limited by what the parents would allow.

*********************End warning*********************

Relizing and accepting we were *powerless* gave us the extra nudge we needed to finally let go of the guilt. We felt like we needed to do something, that we should have done something. And yet, the situation did not allow us any possibility to maneuver around what the parents had decided would be done. It was either their way, or no way.

There was nothing else we could have done.

Accepting it, completely and fully, is a sad way of letting go of this old old guilt.

We had gone from "it was our fault" to "it was the parents' fault" but we still needed this extra step. The step of accepting that not only was it their responsibility, but also that we were powerless.

This last step was a very very difficult one. I think we finally took it today - or realized today that we took it.

Letting go of the thought that we could have done something, is painful and sad. We feel more at peace with it now, but not in a happy way. We feel a sad peace. It is a kind of mourning, and mourning is a peacful and sad process - well, peaceful in its outcome anyway.

Everything is moving so fast inside the system. Lust has a more androgynous aspect now and she feels more at peace with her Innerworld body - I guess that this reflects she feels more at peace with the physical body too, since her Innerworld body changed following our chest surgery. Pride has grown a few years and still remains circa 8-10 years old. He seems at peace with "growing up" now though he seems to wish to stay at the 8-10 years stage for a while in order to take the time to completely wrap up the guinea pig mourning situation.

I am more and more often blended / co-present with Zamiel, to the point that I wonder if we should look for a (nick)name for this state. If it becomes more and more common, this might be useful to have a word for the two of us together, atop of a word for each of us. Then, what to go for?

I like "Solomon" and it is a (nick)name I have used before and might use in the future. Though I also like the -iel ending from Zamiel. Blended with a Da- in the front this might give the name "Daniel" which I also like. We might use it, we might not. If it ends up feeling more natural to keep using "David" rather than forcing a blending of names, then David it will be.
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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 Oct 13, 2021 9:42 pm

we’ve been through something similar with pets before, so this is something we understand.

***trigger warning for animal death and medical neglect***

we had a dog that was old and sick that we’d been asking for our mother to take to the vet, and yet she never did until he started having seizures. he eventually passed away.

our mom is the same even with us and our own body. she neglects us medically unless it seems life threatening (to her) or somehow affects our ability to do things for her directly (unless she can berate us to do things for her).

***end warning***

it’s kind of hard to accept that you were powerless during situations like that, to have that kind of grief. it still makes us so angry, honestly, that we were supposed to be able to rely on these people and yet they do nothing to help us when we need it the most. it’s infuriating.

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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Thu Oct 28, 2021 3:15 pm

Things get calmer and quieter in here nowadays. I barely switch, mostly early mornings during the "waking up" phase when we can have 20 to 60 minutes of more or less rapid-switching time to get the brain started. The everything calms down and I'm back in the front. Though who "I" am becomes more fuzzy as time goes by.

I know I am Dani - short for Daniel - but I am Dani because I am David with a lot of blendings from the others. Mainly Zamiel (our mix of tons of fragments, mostly oriented towards social and attachment functions) but I get more and more feelings that Pride is "me" too - "me from the past" in a way. "Me from the past who is cut from me in the present". Some use the expression "Inner Child" to label their past childhood self who they are partly dissociated from but not completely dissociated from.

I have a more relaxed relationship with Pride. The more I accept his existence and his pain, the more he lights up around me. I love this kid to bits. I want to shield him from any future pain that might occure. He has seen enough. I should not have left him alone in the dark for so long. Too long did I leave him to fend for himself to have his needs met - too long did he need to actively front in order to take for himself what I should have given feely. This is slowly changing. I purchased Halloween candies and unicorn stickers with him in mind, without him needing to ask for them. Because a child should not need to beg in order to have his needs met. Because a child should not need to grab the bus pass and credit card and go to the store by himself if he wishes/needs to have a plushie.

Pride feels more and more like "another me", less and less like "someone else than me". So does Zamiel, with whom I blend a lot, so much so that together we are Daniel.

I feel the other traumatized parts close by. Mostly Lust and Ulysses. The Mirror too. It feels like Lust and Ulysses are in "stand by" for therapy, taking the "just after Pride" therapy slot, while Reyna and Isaïa are more dormant. I think Theia is also working in the background somewhere since I have less and less traumatic flashbacks, more and more access to the memories of the traumas.

It seems that the more I respect the reality of the traumas as well as the pain the others experienced from it, the more Theia allows me access to their memories. Or maybe my acceptance of the reality of it all, removes the amnesia and dissociation veils from my eyes. Or both.

It is only the beginning of the therapy process. We still have a lot to deal with. But things get better since I started to stop pushing the traumatized ones away from me.

They should not live the life in my stead, shielding me with their habits of being traumatized. I should be the one taking them away from harm - and me with them of course. I should be the one taking care of them - and of me, too.

It feels like I used to flee away from my life for so long I had forgotten it was MY life, too. It feels like I am back from hiding away from a warzone, only to realize that all my comrades back in war were all waiting for me to save them all, pick them up, tend to their wounds, put them somewhere safe, and completely anihilate the ennemy who hurt them so.

For a long time the other me's were waiting for a Prince Charming or Superman to come and save them. It was me they were waiting for.

Blending with Zamiel, occasionally with the others, I feel like I finally have gathered the power, calm and abilities necessary to fulfill my role of savior of the world. Well, savior of the INNERworld but still, it's a world. And I am going to save it.

I still have trouble seeing the physical life as "my life", it still feels a bit like some interim job, but it at least feels like MY interim job. So it's progress, since there is less depersonalization going on. It still feels weird seing the body's face in the mirror but the testosterone hormone replacement therapy works its magic in masculinizing the face, which makes it look less alien to me. Same with the chest surgery. The scars feel more "Uriel from Zamiel" than "me" but the flatness feels more "me" than what was before the surgery. It feels so "me" that I have trouble remembering how it was pre-surgery as "me" or even "real". As if it was some bad dream I was finally waking up from.

I think that "waking up" really summarize how I feel more and more lately. The more anchored I feel in the here and now, the less overwhelmed I am by everything that happens in the physical world. It is completely counter-intuitive to realize that running TOWARDS the physical world makes it less scary and less overwhelming, while all instincts say that we must run AWAY from the pain and danger.

I feel strong and brave. The more I run TOWARDS the danger the better I am able to deal with it and manage it. Of course I also need to assess what "dangers" need to be run towards and which ones are real dangers and needs to be avoided. As an example, staying here and now when I feel like dissociating because there is background noise, makes the background noise more bearable - while running under the wheels of a moving truck still remains a very bad idea because this is a real danger here.

Social situations are still complicated to navigate and manage. Maybe they will remain so all my life due to the autistic brain. But I no longer feel powerless because now I am able to assesss who I need to ask for help when social situations turn ugly, and how to ask for said help, and I am more and more able to pinpoint when the lines are being crossed. I still have some lag in my reactions, but a couple of weeks of lag compared to the few YEARS we used to have, it's a pretty nice improvement.

As for the relationship with V., I think we have found the proper distance to enjoy each other's company without overwhelming each other and without putting each other and the relationship at risk. We talk often about the little adjustments we wish to make - alone time we need, things we want to talk about or avoid talking about, etc. We have found the proper dynamic where we manage to help each-other out rather than getting lost together deep in the positive schneiderian symptoms. I hope this keeps going.
__
Daniel.
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 Eliseahorse » Wed Nov 03, 2021 12:52 am

Hi Daniel
It sounds like you are making fantastic progress. Well done for finding your boundaries with v and good luck
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Sat Nov 27, 2021 4:39 pm

Here are some news.

The NaNoWriMo is completed. We are feeling very proud about that. With the constant work on integration and anchoring, we have less and less the impression that days are fractionned, more and more the feeling of all we achieve daily. We have less and less the impression that we do "nothing" because we are no longer stuck in a 30 minutes time window, we are more aware of the totality of the day.

Still, staying anchored properly all day long is exhausting. I am far from being able to manage the 100% anchoring time. But I am getting better at it, which leads to less amnesia during the day. I still "zone out" sometimes, I still feel like I am having micro-switches, micro episodes of depersonnalization and/or derealization, times when I feel like I am "landing back into the body", but it is less frequent. I am less confused all the time. I still am when aspects of Zamiel take over too much, though. Such as, when we get hyperfocused into something, triggering some ADHD/autistic hyperactivity time and loss of control. But now we are more aware of what is happening. When we cannot "close" the infodumping after leaving the social situation, we start to become aware of what is happening instead of getting lost into keeping on infudumping through intrusive thoughts. We become able to "pause" the thought infodump instead of being overwhelmed by it, we become more and more aware of what aspects/parts of us tend to get stuck into infodumping mode, why they cannot "close" the interaction, what their anxieties are...

They are the same group of parts who are anxious about "What will people say?" regarding our torsoplasty (mammectomy). For a long time, people interacted a lot with our gone bodyparts to such an extend as some parts of us still see them as The Most Important Bodyparts for social interactions, meaning that if they are gone, we might have no social worth. Which might have played an important part into the general desire to have them removed, because if they are gone, people can finally see us as a Person rather than "that thing carrying the Most Important Bodyparts". Part of their anxieties can stem from the fact that we are a lot more social these last few weeks, meaning, a lot more occasions to be misgendered. As an example, in the philosophy discussion groups we go to, we are the only person assigned girl at birth. All the other participants are cisgender men, and they have a lot of difficulties saying "he/him" about us. They sometimes manage the "they/them" though, and to be fair with them, they have barely any queer culture so they still have trouble wrapping their mind around the whole "pronouns refer to the brain's gender, not the shape of the private bodyparts". They do apologize each time their cisnormative reflexes make them talk faster than their brains though, which is nice. Personally I just do not care, I enjoy being a trans masculine person among them, to remind them that they can relax and no longer need to perform toxic masculinity around me. That they are men no matter what, that they can wear pink tutu dresses and still be men, that they can cry, have weaknesses, and still be masculine men. At least one of them seems relieved to know that. At least one of them is confused and dizzied by the infinite possibilities offered to him. But it's okay. I do my best to hook all of the queer stuff to the philosophy concepts we talk about (Sartre's existentialism is just, queer gender things applied to "what it means to be human/a person" as an example so I can just tell them "It's Sartre but specifically applied to the gender part of the identity"). As well as reminding them that, because there is a rainbow of possibilities, it does not mean they have to follow the rainbow, they can just stay on the color they already are sitting if it is what feels best for them (metaphorocally).

Anyway, this all revealed some of our unresolved issues, but thanks to all the books on trauma therapy we read, we have a better idea of what NOT to do when the inner conflicts arise, and what to DO. We listen, we offer safety to the anxious ones, remind them of when and where we are standing right now, that it's okay if the past wounds still hurt, remind them that they are heard no matter what caused their pain. Tell them that they do not need to describe the painful things to convince me that it hurt because I know, I can feel their pain too (sort of - I am not able to take it all full-on but I can sample it and it's enough for me to know how bad it hurts). I do my best to make them feel heard and validated and cared for. It is difficult. I do not like it.

I know they are me, and I am them, so their vulnerability and pain are mine too. Which is something difficult to accept. I have trouble accepting that I can be vulnerable. After all in the past, every time we were vulnerable, bad things happened. We sometimes turn it into a passive-agressive behavior: showing vulnerability in order to trigger the bad things to happen, so that later on we can be legitimate in pointing at the abusive person and seeking outside help. But it is not an adapted behavior. In fact, it is quite toxic towards ourselves, because it is not a protection behavior. The bad things keep on happening. We need to un-learn the passive-agressive "Come and hurt me if you dare". We need to re-learn to feel vulnerable and accept it, own it, and protect ourselves.

Because I really am bad with accepting to be vulnerable, I have trouble falling asleep. I think it is called "sleep avoidance". It might also come from starting to integrate with the memories contained by G/Hosties@Zamiel. The lot of them have painful traumas from not being safe while falling asleep at night, staying awake as long as possible in order to check if the rest of the family is asleep first, getting up first in the morning for similar reasons, being able to sleep only at odd times and in misadapted sleep situation (sleeping in the bus, during car rides, seated at the desk at school...). I manage to slowly lull myself to sleep at still reasonable hours by playing short reflexion games on the phone (think Sudoku, crosswords, Spider Solitaire...) untill I just fall asleep with the phone in my hand, but it is not healthy. Moreover, the tiredness from lack of sleep causes misadapted eating behaviors to resurface. I tend to seek foods leading to unbalanced diet. I manage by taking a protein shake with coffee first thing in the morning to re-balance everything and give an energy boost, but it is not the healthier way to go. It is better than what happens when I don't do it (way more unbalanced diet) but still, not the healthiest option.

At least now I am better at pinpointing the problematic behaviors of the daily life. We feel less trapped inside the traumatic memories and feelings of helplessness and unfairness. We are far from done with therapy but at least we have a better view of the different therapy steps we need to take, and which ones are the most urgent ones.

And lastly, I have trouble saying outside of DID communities that I am in a relationship. It is a little bit as if I as a whole person, was not able to see myself as bieng in a relationship. After all, V. is one among many. Even if I also enjoy flirting with W. and the other way around, I am not in a relationship with the rest of the system. We all are on friendly terms but the relationship is only with V. Therefore, when V. told me that he was very happy to have a place where he could feel safe to say "I have a boyfriend", it made me sad because of my own behavior. Of course I need to be compassionate about myself: after all, my system have been through abusive relationships in the past and other unhealthy things, it is logical that we have some sort of protection mechanisms about seeings ourselves as "not in a relationship" or "forever single" because, if there is no relationship, there can be no unhealthy relationship and no abuse. Which turns completely my love with V. on its head. We DO have a healthy relationship. We found a balance where we frequently talk about our boundaries, what cutesy mushy and not so cutesy mushy things we want to do or not want to do, if meeting in-person in the physical world would be reasonable or not, and what to do then to keep the feeling of safety intact for the both of us, what things we already know will completely be off-limits, and so on.

Still, there is this pang at the back of my mind, going on and on and on about "You must not talk to the people you meet in-person about this relationship". Something dated back from when the couple "next door" (same neighborhood and I can see a bit of their appartment building from one of my windows) did so many abusive things towards us on so many levels, all by pretending we had to do the things for them because, said them, we were in a polyamorous relationship. (The abusive things NOT being the polyam one, just to be clear - polyamory was used as a weapon or pretext by them, the way other abusive people use monoamorous relationships as a weapon or pretext for their own abuses.) They used to also define when I would be able to say "we are together" and when I would not be able to say it. They used to define the relationship without allowing me any say in it. Which might be why I just do not know how to talk about V. They left wounds of confusion in our brain and now I no longer know when it is acceptable to say that I am in a relationship and when it is not. How it is acceptable to talk about the relationship and how it is not.

Now that I can decide again (or for the first time maybe) how to talk about my relationships, I freeze. I do not know what to say. There is a part of me still waiting for orders and instructions, for fear of the consequences that will happen if I guess things wrong by myself. It is better not to act and to wait for orders, than to guess things wrong and be punished.

It is silly really, anticipating that a person I no longer have contact with, will be angry at me if I guess wrong how I should talk about another person they know nothing about. But after all, we grew up in a household where the mother would defend like-minded criminals if the news talked bad about them, even when enough proofs were gathered so that they would be condemned for what they did. There is so much to un-learn.
__
Daniel.
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 Nov 27, 2021 8:13 pm

ArbreMonde wrote:we have a better idea of what NOT to do when the inner conflicts arise, and what to DO. We listen, we offer safety to the anxious ones, remind them of when and where we are standing right now, that it's okay if the past wounds still hurt, remind them that they are heard no matter what caused their pain. Tell them that they do not need to describe the painful things to convince me that it hurt because I know, I can feel their pain too

Daniel.


This is so useful and reassuring. It's what our T does for us, and what we need to be better at doing for ourselves.

I had some kind of overwhelming, but brief, emotional flashback today, with no clear trigger, and while I focused on taking care of us--just getting into bed for a few minutes, looking around the room to ground, and playing a relaxing/distracting game, we had the sense that we were supposed to be understanding why it was happening. Like, journaling about it, or something. But when all we can manage is to take care of it, that has to be enough. And it passed quickly, so we seem to have handled it well.
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby Eliseahorse » Mon Nov 29, 2021 8:23 am

Understanding framework for relationships is hard. We are constantly paranoid about our one because our protector part cannot unlearn what happened to us in the past. In the past we were a thing owned. From the age of 7 our body was one old man's property after another. Our current relationship is one of our own choosing with someone our own age respect full boundaries etc and yet the paranoia is still there in the background and we feel guilty because of it.

You were programmed by what sounds like a unicorn hunting couple into believing you were in a Pollyam relationship and that you were responsible for maintaining their facade of monogamy to the outside world. Part of you learnt that relationship causes pain so you conflate single with safety, that's understandable. Have you told all this to v? Perhaps if you can isolate the origanal fealing then you can work with that part of yourself. V and m might look at you as partner how do the others look at you? Is there a word that could sum up your relationship with the whole system that is less threatening to you yet still validates them... Besties perhaps or beloveds, soulmate? Words like these show how important that person is to you without having a specific digree of intimacy.

Good luck
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Re: [life journey thread]Tales from the WorldTree

Postby ArbreMonde » Mon Nov 29, 2021 5:44 pm

Eliseahorse wrote:the paranoia is still there in the background and we feel guilty because of it.


Our therapist suggested us to directly address the hyper-vigilent parts and thank them for keeping us safe. It made us feel relieved, as if the paranoid parts were given the signal that they can stop working. I hope this can work for you too.

Eliseahorse wrote:unicorn hunting couple


This is not the first time we hear about this kind of behavior. The other times we became blind to it because our host of back then, Zami, identifies among other things as a unicorn. This lead to some clash between the label of the behavior, and their identity, meaning we ended up "stuck" on "it means I am a real unicorn" rather than becoming aware of the bahvior. Now we are more able to step back and more able to realize that this is not uncommon, it has a name, and it is a dirty behavior.

Thank you for the precious reminder.

Eliseahorse wrote:Have you told all this to v?


Yes, we did. Thank you for the suggestion. We also talked to the therapist about it (lucky us we had an appointment today meaning we were able to apply your suggestion right away). The therapist addressed the anxious parts directly to remind them we are safe now. Some parts also are still loyal to ex'es which also conflicted to the present relationship. The therapist told the parts that it's okay to have attachment needs, it's okay to need to love and feel loved, and that they can find better and healthier persons to love and be loved by. She, and also V. and another member of V.'s system, reminded us that love is everywhere. That being best buds with our cat is love too, and so on. It allowed us to "click" and made us all feel relieved. Some of the parts loyal to the ex'es already told them "goodbye" through dreams (when things get integrated while we sleep, we experience them in the shape of dreams). But some were still clinging to them. Now we fully (I hope) realize that it's okay to let go of these attachments, because new and better ones exist here and now.

Eliseahorse wrote:Is there a word that could sum up your relationship with the whole system that is less threatening to you yet still validates them...


I guess that "queerplatonic partners" (also named "zucchinis") might work.

Thank you very much for your kind and helpful suggestions. They were on point.
__
Daniel.
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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Consumer 6
 
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Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2019 2:28 pm
Local time: Sat Dec 04, 2021 10:03 am
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