alter communication

anonymous asked:

I don't hear my alters, at all ever. Like it is totally quiet in my head all the time and I'm scared I'm fake. Is this normal?

The amount of communication really depends on the system, but the frequency with which you communicate with your alters is not really part of diagnosis and shouldn’t invalidate your having DID. 

Alters can go dormant for weeks at a time, months, occasionally even for years. There could be internal communication going on that you’re not connected to (ie, the host being locked out of the headspace). It could be that communication is more subtle than that (I tend to “talk to myself” aloud when I’m alone a lot of the time). Only about a third of people with DID hear voices- communication via thoughts that feel somewhat distinctly “not yours” is a common form of communication. 

DID is complicated. It’s messy and different for everyone and confusing. If you’ve recently realized you have this (within the past few years) then you might not be in tune with what’s going on and are missing the bulk of the communication. Trauma therapy will help with this and help your system to open up. DID has a weird tendency to hide itself so you can function as best you can when you’re younger/in bad situations, so if either of those apply your system might be in a resting state until you’re safer. Communication is complex and changes with DID take a long time, it’s slow going. Let’s be patient with this and see how it develops, but again frequently of communication doesn’t invalidate you.

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anonymous asked:

So I have 5 alters so far, and they all regularly front most of the time... except one. She's quite shy and has GAD (generalised anxiety disorder). She fronted a few times like last year around Christmas, but hasn't fronted since. I feel her around still and I know she's still there but doesn't really front anymore? Could there be a reason for this or is it just maybe my other alters being more forward and dominant that she doesn't really get the chance? Thank you!

Some alters don’t front as often as others, that’s pretty normal. She could be a floater, a type of alter that tends to not front but stay dissociated and watch from afar. She might front more frequently if she has a good reason to or if the anxiety prevents her from fronting and can be managed differently. You might have more luck getting her to front if you work on communication with her or have good reasons for her to come out (maybe pick up some coloring books or stuffed animals she might like to interact with). There’s a chance other alters are keeping her from fronting, and if that were the case, she’d just need space to be able to front. 

I wouldn’t worry about it too much, just keep communicating with her. 

Last night I talked with Genevieve. For the past few days–or basically since I’ve finally started accepting the fact that I have DID–I’ve been trying to convince her to front more.

I’m having a hard time dealing with emotions (aka depression) and have been finding it hard to stay awake lately. Finally she agreed it would be a good idea for her to come out more often.

And she did! Today! (In protest of my starvation diet..) She decided to front for a bit, eat food, and experience Tumblr. Lmfao. (I’m having weight problems but we’ve talked and I realize that starving myself won’t do any good.)

I appreciate her so much honestly. I hope things start to improve like this in the future between the others and I.

— Genesis

Using the Internal Landscape to Address Dissociative System Issues

Kathy Broady, LCSW

“As I’ve said over and over in this blog, internal communication – people within the DID system talking to each other – is absolutely central and crucial to the healing process.  The inside parts need to hear each other, talk to each other, see each other, write to each other, etc.  The more you all talk amongst yourselves, the better your healing journey will progress.

Addressing and finding problem issues as they surface via the internal landscape is another key element in the healing process.  This involves an intense level of system interaction that can feel very real and be very powerful.  Looking inside and finding the visual manifestations of the problem issues makes for a quick way to understand what is happening for you.

For example, if you have a strong urge to self-injure, and yet you don’t quite know where that is coming from or how to control the compulsions, look inside to your internal world and see who is demonstrating that pull towards self-harm.

Do you see someone inside that is holding a weapon?  Do you see someone inside who is internally doing harm to her inside body or threatening to hurt someone else within the system?

When you can see who it is in your system that is containing the feelings, urges, and beliefs about doing self-harm and internally acting it out at that precise moment in time, you can address the problem more specifically.   Problem-solve with those specific insiders about the their desires to self-injure, and find other ways to meet their specific needs.

Or, as a second example, if you are feeling an overwhelming sadness and you do not know why, look inside and see who it is in your inside world that is demonstrating and expressing that sadness and despair.  If you feel like you need to cry (and yet those feelings really aren’t “yours” to claim), look around in your system and see who is crying.  When you can visually see who is feeling so sad, you can then make some decisions about how to comfort the one that is crying.

Do you see a little girl crying in the corner?  Is she hiding in a closet or under the bed?  Do you know why she is crying?  Do you know who she is?  Look around till you find where she is, talk gently to her, give her a teddy bear or a blanket or a hug, and find out what the problem is.  As you learn more about what is bothering her, reassure her that you will do something to help fix the problem, comfort her and address her needs the same as you would if you saw a real child crying.

Here’s another for instance.  If you are having the kind of week where you find that you are really really having trouble eating, and you really don’t know what that is about but you know you feel like starving yourself, look inside for clues.  Who do you see close to you that is in full agreement with actively starving themselves?  Is your anorexic part pulled near the front?  Is your anorexic part having a bigger struggle than usual during that week for some reason?  What is going on with her?  If you approach her, and speak to her, you might be able to understand what is bothering her so much at the current time.  Once you start talking with her, you can probably find a solution to the issue that is more effective than self-starvation.

Any time you feel something prominent happening in your external everyday life and you can’t quite figure out what it’s about, look inside for clues.  Literally, look.  Go inside and look.  What do you see?  Chances are, someone within your inside world will be intensely feeling those very same things and will be visually showing that when you look in their general direction.

The intensity of internal feelings or desired behaviors will be rippling out to the front of the system from the insiders deeper within your system.  They may or may not be literally presenting in the outside worlds, but the intensity of their issues can still strongly affect how you present-behave-feel in the outside world.   In essence, their issues can overflow onto you, and you end up feeling what they are feeling, even when the issue actually belongs to them.

Become familiar enough with your internal worlds and friendly enough with your insiders to make checking in with them an easy process on a regular basis.  Check with them frequently, repeatedly, in an ongoing kind of way.  As you are familiar with the “norm”, you will more quickly recognize the changes that happen along the way.

Learn to identify problems by what you can see from your system, instead of staying stuck in the outside world being clueless as to why a certain emotion or behavior has suddenly become so prominent for you.  If you can feel it, but you can’t claim it as “yours”, then it’s coming from someone within your system.  Even if they can’t tell you what is happening, they can often show you.  So — the more you look inside, and the more you can see of your internal people and see what they are doing, the better you can understand the source of any problems.  An accurate assessment of the problem is necessary before you can accurately problem-solve.

Looking closely at your internal world will provide a wealth of information for you.

What is your internal world telling you today?

What are your insiders showing you?”

To any alters who feel like they're worthless

I want to tell you a thing.

You exist because you were needed to help deal with something that couldn’t be dealt with without you. You are needed. In fact, you’re some of the only people in the world that can say that they exist entirely because someone could not live without them.

If that’s worthless, or useless, I think the rest of us really have to step up our game.

- K Hart

Bootsie Life | #18 | 16.12.12 | Inside

-this comic is about Dissociative Identity Disorder- ok 2 rb if you dont have DID-

-this comic covers the interaction and private lives of traumagenic alters in a DID headspace- this is the area we exist in when we arent controlling the body-

-please understand this is not make believe or delusions- this is very real to us and was created by our brain as a means of increasing communication between alters- we have relationships and lives in this space to help us handle outer life- 

-this post is NOT about kin or imaginary friends or original characters- 

usage of “alterous” vs “platonic” in aro discourse

i hesitate to post this at all*, but i’ve been casually mulling it over for a little while now and am getting no where in keeping this to myself, so here goes nothing…

there’s a relatively new word going around on Tumblr: alterous.

from this post by @alterous-albatross

What is Alterous Attraction?
Alterous attraction is a type of attraction which cannot be described as entirely romantic or platonic. It is described as a desire for emotional closeness.

What is Alterous Orientation?
Much like sexual and romantic orientation, alterous orientation is defined by whom you have the attraction towards. This being the case, the same prefixes apply.

i have mixed feelings about how this term is being used/described at present… it seems to have been coined to fill a void or disconnect that some people feel exists when using the word “platonic” to describe attraction in a way that is “more than just friends” but still not “romantic”.

i feel like this is a wonderful thing as such a word has long been needed, but at the same time i have reservations?

up until this point, i feel like many people within the aro community have been talking about & working towards awareness of the exact type of attraction that is being described now as alterous, however people have already been using “platonic (or emotional) attraction” to mean what alterous means for years. i feel like a notable chunk of aro awareness efforts have been about combating the “platonic” = “just friends” normative assumptions enforced by society, but now i see various posts aimed at alterous awareness pretty much supporting that very idea by positioning alterous attraction on a binary spectrum between platonic and romantic attraction, where alterous attraction is a step above platonic attraction, often with the consequences of equating platonic attraction with “just” friendship.

Gaby of @alterous-albatross attempted to address this problem, but i’m still rather miffed by it… not just because of how it positions platonic attraction, but also because of how it positions romantic attraction. it feels like a disservice to the years of effort that have been made to combat society’s assumption that platonic relationships aren’t necessarily the same as friendships nor are they a step below romantic relationships.

and don’t get me wrong, it is undeniable that how the word “platonic” is sometimes used within aro (and ace) spaces doesn’t always line up with what society at large understands and uses the word to mean, and that that is a large part of the problem. a problem that obviously alterous is trying to help with by distinguishing what some aros (among others) are referring to from what society refers to as “platonic”, but…

…at present raising awareness of alterous attraction seems to be at the costs of raising awareness about platonic attraction, even though that obviously is no one’s intention.

going forward, will “alterous” gain favor within the aro (and other) community(/ies)? will usage of the word “platonic” to describe the same thing fall by the way side? or perhaps it will be “platonic” that stands the test of time?

only time can tell, but in the meantime i’ll just throw up my hands in exasperation and refer to myself as bi and pan without the -romantic, -alterous, -platonic, or anything else because ugh. apathetic exasperation.


*disclaimer: i really am hesitant to post this at all since i don’t actively identify as aro spec (see: apathetic exasperation), but still… i feel enough of a tie to the aro community to really want to voice my feelings about this at least. ;(

How I Learned that Forcing My Alters to Talk Wasn’t Helping

System communication is a butt sometimes. I tried system meetings where everyone had their input, but listening to everyone talk and then trying to guess who was who was exhausting and I think it hurt some feelings because I would guess wrong or try to pigeonhole a particular response with a particular alter. 

I realized that my alters and I are much more fluid and interconnected than I thought. Obviously they are part of me and not entirely separate, but I wanted them to be more distinct and discrete than they truly are. So in the name of embracing that, I did some journaling with Carly as my guide. I didn’t try to force anyone out or call anyone to the front. I just answered the questions and whoever inside was free to front “as Jessica” and just answer, with no pressure. 

Carly/Jessica: For all intents and purposes, we’ll all go by Jessica and just let everyone chime in. “I am safe now. I am okay. Some bad things happened to me, but I’m okay now. I have a couple mental illnesses, but it is not my fault. I am free to tell my story.”

Carly (our internal therapist): Is this journal reminding you of something?
Me: Yes. Being a kid and writing to myself. Using left and right hand. Unleashing another side of me. Between 7 and 9 I started this.

Carly: Let’s try it again. I’ll talk to you like this [using my right hand]. Do you feel okay. Safe.
Me: Yes. I think so.

Carly: You are a child, yes.
Me: Yeah, I guess.

Carly: How old are you?
Me: I don’t know. 8? 9? 10? 11? That’s what I feel like.

Carly: What do you think of yourself?
Me: Mmm. I don’t really know. I’m bad sometimes I’m good. I try to be good.

Carly: Why do you think you’re bad?
Me: I get mad and I yell. I don’t like things. I am mean. I’m - I don’t know anything else.

Carly: Those things don’t make you bad. You are good. You are loved. You are special.
Me: How do you know that?

Carly: Because every little kid is good. You don’t learn to be good. You are good. Everyone makes mistakes. Gets mad. Doesn’t like to do stuff. And that’s okay! You are still good. You are still special and unique. You are still loveable. 
Me: I don’t feel loved.

Carly: When do you feel loved?
Me: Mmm…when someone is nice to me. When they say I’m pretty or talented. When I can tell they’re attracted to me. 

Carly: Do you want to share anything that happened to you?
TW abuse// Me: Dad threatening me. Mom threatening me. Being called a brat, a bitch, spoiled, princess. Yelled at for crying. Spankings for being upset/crying. Yelled at for being annoyed/angry/human.//End TW

Carly: You didn’t deserve that. You’re a good, sweet, innocent, beautiful, and precious child. I love you. You’re worthy and wonderful–imperfections and all.

(click for better quality)
ALTER SPOTLIGHT!!

Mimi finished this before she went to therapy so I decided post it. She said she will make individual ones later but she just really wanted to draw us so here we are! <3 I adore the way she drew herself, she has a resting nice face so its funny she made herself look mean. 

-Victoria

hiphaba103  asked:

Before anything else.. Thank you for following me! I have a big big question! Well, I only have 4 alters (as far as I know hahaha) and it's like a really mess in my head, so if it doesn't not terribly if I ask, how does it feel to have 76 alters? PD: I hope I got the number right, cause I want sure haha 😅

You got the number right! Lol
To be honest, the number sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. We have a lot of coconsciousness, communication between alters, and a system overwatcher who is super vigilant. (Basically what he does is watch everything all the time and inform the fronter of important details they need to know. He’s awesome) We also listen to each other a lot. Like, if someone is doing something crazy, there’s usually a reason and we try to figure it out and compromise if we can.
Also, we have a huge inner world, so a lot of the less frequent fronters are preoccupied in there.
We try to work together as a family, even though half of them hate each other, but usually they realize their little fights aren’t worth it, and stick together when they really need to.
And since we’re in college, it’s especially important for everyone to work together, and most of them understand that

Even though getting everyone to coexist sounds all lovely, we have pretty bad days. Like, my knuckles are in a permanent state of bruised/scabbed over, I’ve spent weeks so dissociated I couldn’t feel my hands or feet (which is important since I study art), and sometimes my notes for class will be in a different handwriting I can’t read. And on top of that, we own a large, varied amount of clothing (though nobody notices the slight style changes, because apparently neurotypicals are just really bad at noticing things, so I’m glad about that).

So in short, we have about as many bad days as good days, and we’re very inconsistent as a person (even though everybody thinks we’re super stable), but we don’t have a ton of amnesia due to the teamwork, and we collectively try to achieve our goals :)

-Devon

My alters don’t seem to want to be acknowledged or addressed. In fact, the fronter seems to get angrier by the fact that someone is trying to address them by their name. I thought I had better system communication than this. I thought we were all on the same page, more or less. But it seems they are still trying to fly under the radar.

Journaling and therapy have helped, but not as much as I thought it had.

anonymous asked:

Our SO tries his best to treat each of us like separate people with different likes and dislikes and whatnot. When I mentioned it to my therapist she said it sounded like he was our safe space and didn't mention it being wrong, but we're wondering if it is? Could it cause system chaos or more dissociating? Would it be mentally healthier in the long run for him to treat us like a singlet? We're really confused on what's the best way to have someone who knows we have DID to treat us.

That’s a really good question. The way I see it, there are pros and cons to both. 

Being treated as one person, not as a multiple:

Worsening communication between alters

Higher functionality (potentially)

Dissociation may worsen with less communication 

Being treated as a system:

Better communication 

Potentially lower functionality

Dissociation may improve but internal conflict may worsen

Personally, I prefer to be treated as a single person in my relationships. Maybe talk it over with your therapist in more depth to hear what she says about it?