Wednesday, December 19, 2007

life with little alters

enola from has asked a question and we would firstly like to thank her for the question and secondly answer it here as it is a good question and one many people have asked before.

Can I ask a question? What happens if a young alter is "in charge" when you need to be fulfilling a Mom role with your children? Can you stay in control of that type situation? I'd imagine that would be a scary proposition.

For those who arent aware we have five outside children all under 11. Juggling that with many many internal children is challenging so for the best explanation we will say outside children and inside alters. Alters inside being the littles we often refer to who havent had a chance to grow up the way our outside children have. In other words they were so abused their growth was stunted and they remain the ages that their abuse took place in. A six year old has the traits of any six year old and she is six years old, the same applies to those whose ages are the same.

The inside alters understand mostly that they live within a big body but heir mind has not been healed enough to grow up to the age the body is, so in essence they remain as children.

Well before we were first diagnosed we had a system growing and working inside, we had places the littles could go to play and be safe we had built a community internally based around the needs of those inside. We have places to play we have grounds we have a huge mansion we have flying foxes and even a nearly built ski lift, in essence we took what we saw that was nice on the outside and placed it inside, thus making our internal world far safer than how we see the external. And until we started therapy we think we had a very good programn going but it was lacking one dimension healing. We had everything else but we couldnt stop the littles hurt or pain or fear or terror for that reason our functioning on the outside was getting worse and worse losing time every day and having appalling reactions to things we had no other choice but attend therapy.

Within months as it has been written about before we were formally diagnosed, by a Counsellor a psychologist and just in case we wanted to run back to denial a psychiatrist as well. We are not escaping multiplicity anymore, suddenly all those inside felt their life was going to be heard so heard they wanted to be, they came in and out faster than a steam train through a tunnel and for a long time we were afraid to go out without someone who knew about our multiplicity with us because littles would get into toy shops and poke and press until something broke, the worst was probably a year after diagnosis when the littles believed they now had a right to be seen and someone was listening. One little sat on a kids trike in the middle of a shopping centre and broke it then proceeded to scream and cry because they had, moments like that are embarrassing and we try to not think about all those things. I guess if you were going to sum it up we had at times like that in the first two years after being diagnosed become one of the multiples the movies depict so much, we were like they described.

So after a while it was obvious the littles were controlling most of our time and we by this stage had sustained a few accidents because the littles were out driving a car, one nine year old thought it was funny to drive our car as she thought it was a dodgem car and many times ended up in the ditch laughing. Finally we couldnt do it anymore we had tried so many times to commit suicide and numerous stitches from alters who cut themselves for various reasons something had to give. And so we went to our T at the time (not M) and pleaded for help, slowly she and us worked toward letting the littes have time out but in more constructive ways. She would bring in coloured pencils and textas and games an toys and numerous stuffed animals (our T at the time was specialising ins childrens psychology) and we slowly taught them that they could have time out and be out and get support and love and all of that but they needed to understand that it wasnt to anyone benefit to be that much out all the time and that is they got into danger how could we as bigs help them.

We got lists together of times they couldbe out and having fun and times they coudlnt we also talked ot hem about what they thought they needed inside to help them when they werent out. We allotted specific time with our T just for the littles and that improved things greatly. We organised internal meetings in a huge meeting room where all alters could air their grievances and have their say, something we still do on a weekly basis, those alters too shy to talk to such a big group had their own pens and pencils and areas they could tell one of their own peers who then could tell us. We managed to do this in the three years after diagnosis.

Our first child was a surprise (w never wanted children) and the littles for a while were put out as they body grew and changed in pregnancy and then our son was born they had to learn new things and that was sharing. When he was little they would crawl around the house beside him and watched him like any mother. In fact they were very fiercely protective of him, he was the most loved in ways he could never know. I think seeing him grow and seeing us look after him gave the littles some hope in their own future and some trust in us bigs making and helping them with a future. They finally saw what a mum was and could be. Along came our daughter and they again reacted in nothing but protectiveness, and so came the final three children.

over the years they have learnt that what our outside kids get they can also play with that the kids go to school and they can use them then, they can sneak looks and watch and sometimes the sheer delight of seeing the excitement on our outside kids faces make our inside littles feel very much part of the action. They know they arent capable of looking after five children and they understand they can interact with them but without our outside kids knowing. In turn when we get say a new teddy bear the outside kids smile and say cool mum and accept that is their mum whose a bit silly, they have been taught yes you can hold but you must give back and they accept that and in the same way our inside are taught the same.

Our littles are very aware they are part of a unique relationship and the years of embarrassing moments has thankfully passed almost. Occasionally a new alter will pop up not understanding the rules but over time and patience they learn. We have learnt over time to flunk our way through with jokes and silliness to side track from anyone noticing a little was out. We are unfortunate in many ways because even after all these years we are still unable to disguise a little being out. Our face changes to such a degree you cant help but notice and their mannerisms are very apparent, but mostly they come out when they think its safe nad they are free to be who they want to be and not all the time everytime.

If an alter cant get back in they have M's number in the phone we have taught them how to use it for her and hope they can get through if not they have many other avenues they can try while they are waiting. But thankfully a little as in under 10 hasnt been in charge of the household alone in a very long time. Mostly if we are taken out or cant get out its a teen and they dont panic as much and know to wait for help to arrive. In time of high triggering Easter and Xmas we know the littles might be out a bit more but thats mostly at night and we know those times are huge traffic areas for our system so we put as much into place to make it easier on all who are involved. Over all the years of therapy have freed us to have a system that is workable and efficient and right for us.

The links


keepers said...

this was a great post that we feel you explained a lot to those who are survivors but not multiples like we are. it was detailed and we are sure it answered lots of peoples questions, thanks for sharing here and we hope a lot of people read this.

peace and blessings


Kahless said...

I really found this post interesting and really insightful.

Also thank-you for the support on my blog. I appreciate it very much. I am going to reply myself in a moment.

Again, thanks.

Enola said...

Thanks for answering the question. I'm amazed at how you have been able to work everything out. It sounds overwhelming to me.

Pixie said...

JIP I'm lost in admiration for how you all cope.This is just astounding.
I never realised it was so complicated.
I would love to know more about all of you, so if you have earlier posts, perhaps you could point me in the direction of them.
Or if not when you have time, explain some more.
Not that you haven't got enough on at the moment!!

Marj aka Thriver said...

Wow--I've been reading a lot here. Thanks for the updates. I don't have the strength to comment much today, but I always have safe cyber hugs for you.
BTW, these Q/A posts would be great for the blog carnival sometime. Thninking of you all.

Anonymous Mom said...

thanks from me too for this post - it is amazing to me that there is a whole community to you that love and protect each other. i'm just in awe as to how advanced your mind must have to be to be able to keep the constant check and balance going on. if that makes any sense.

Anonymous said...

We need all the prayer back up right now we can get, they are trying to destablise everyone before I go away. Sorry this is not a response to this blog but the quickest way to get this out to you. Mon.

Kahless said...

Jip and Mon,
you are both in my prayers and thoughts.