Past meeting topics are posted below ~
You’re welcome to respond to the topics/questions listed below by going to our BLOG. Or, click on the month that has the topics you want to reply to, and you’ll be taken straight to those particular topics/questions.
- Confusion vs. Organization
- Little parts and when it’s OK for them to come out
- How to handle switching in front of people you don’t know that well
- Sharing with others that you have DID
- Sexuality and gender identity
- Attending clubhouses for people with mental illness
- Attachment trauma
- Body dysmorphia (example: confused by the image you or alters see in the mirror) and identity coming and going with alters
- Eating issues, over or under eating
- Mother’s Day
- Waiting for others to see what I see. Being understood.
- Managing huge unexpected life changes
- Getting an official diagnosis and its impacts
- What causes switching for you? Can you explain how it feels as it happens?
- When are you healed enough?
- Why do I have a tendency to dwell on the past?
- Therapist vacations
- Is pretending useful or damaging?
- Over active minds
- Missing holes/memory
- Friends that know
- Saying too much
- What to do with internal silence
- Dealing with pain
- How do you know when you’re done with therapy or working on things?
- Dealing with your behavior
- Feelings about the concept of integration
- Shame preventing healing
- Being better than my parent(s)
- When being DID doesn’t seem to be the biggest problem in life
- Restlessness, trying to meet all the needs felt inside
- Being overwhelmed causing self abuse, meltdowns, anger
- Why me?
- Life transitions and feeling disconnected or lost
- Missing appointments and meetings
- Parts denying injuries to the body
- Practical jokes
- Changes in how one identifies oneself
- Needing to help others
- What things are helpful for you?
- Inner communication
- Disclosure to outside people
- Abreactions and dejavue
- FMFS (False Memory Syndrome Foundation)
- Natural disasters on the inside
- Healing: What does that look like?
- Support people
- Birthdays for parts: Do you have them?
- Treatment issues: access, funding, best usage
- Adding more alters
- Dimensions: Living in or seeing 2+ dimensions at once, like 2-3 places or states at once (the present, a past place, and our internal world)
- The DID Conference in Florida
- Violence among parts
- What do you want? Re: dissociation issues or life?
- Separating emotions from the reality/story/experience
- Child parts out in inappropriate places
- Spiritual revelations
- Adapting to physical body changes (like weight gain, illness, health, etc)
- Conflicting memories
- Safely interacting with abusers
- Conflict amongst parts
- Inner-family vacations
- Coping with external circumstances when I have no control
- Grounding techniques
- Do you feel like you fully know your past? How does that make you feel?
- How do you change your dominant alter?
- How do you get your little kid (internal) to grow up?
- Are you able to have internal group meetings? Can you describe what that’s like for your system?
- What do you think about the idea of a documentary on DID?
- It’s hard to keep hope.
- Kids – parenting both internal and external kids, the desire/ability to have external kids or not
- Conflict resolution between alters
- How to relax without dissociating
- The experience of shifting: paralysis inbetween, the difficulty of coming back to the surface after sessions or after shifting, the need to have space and time to come back
- Planning for the possibility of shifting in various circumstances
- Coming out of the closet with DID
- When someone else tries to manipulate your system by pitting alters against each other
- When your parts get insulted
- Life seemed better when I didn’t know my dx. Is it better to know it or not?
- What is the current model for treating DID and do you believe it works? What do you think is the way through your DID? What are your life goals?
- Handling being triggered by others- when other’s can’t help it due to their own issues.
- Dealing with hopelessness
- Building new friendships
- Handling times of extreme stress without resorting to negative behaviors
- Internal systems living in the outside world
- Having Fun
- Trusting your instincts
- Standing up for yourself
- Losing time: feelings about it, what to do
- Therapist vacations
- Fear and recovery
- Relationships: how to have them, what they should look like, what’s realistic?
- Working to maintain a consistent exterior in order to relate to the world
- Wanting time in the body. Not wanting shifting to happen.
- My body locks up and I can’t move. Does that happen to you? How do you get out of it?
- What people say vs what they do
- Feelings about Mothers Day
- When doctors don’t take your physical health seriously because of your mental health diagnosis
- Therapy issues: wanna quit, losing time, do I need it?, what do I really need to work on?, sometimes seems like a waste of time, etc.
- Control over switching
- Dr Phil show on DID
- Determining what I will and won’t deal with or live with
- Needing space for shifting due to overdoing containment
- When it seems my alters have disappeared. Or when it gets really quiet. Or noisy!
- Is integration a choice?
- Overcompensation as a parent, due to our past
- What is real integration, considering that people with DID actually have an altered brain structure?
- “Breaking up with your therapist” and therapist issues or relationships
- Truth vs illusion
- Long term effects of trauma
- How do u feel about snow?
- Is it an alter or my own feelings? How do I know the difference?
- Grief and mourning
- What are appropriate relationship expectations?
- Responding to other peoples’ reactions to me/us
- Accepting uncontrolled shifting
- Internal abusers
- “Just get over it.” Dealing with comments like that, feeling misunderstood and feeling like we are too much for others to deal with.
- US of Tara TV show
- Upcoming holidays
- Relationships: how do know how much to expect from others? What’s realistic and healthy and what’s too much?
And what’s expecting too little?
- Getting rid of lifelong triggers
- Fear of being wrong
- What does therapy mean once healing is finished?
- What does being healed mean?
- How do we accept for ourselves that we are multiple or dissociative?
- Is being multiple the worst thing a person can be?
- Taking responsibility for what other parts have done.
- Integration: how does it work and feelings about it
- Therapist vacations
- Acknowledging progress
- Healing in a spiral – how it’s circular instead of linear
- Dealing with loss
1. How do you call on certain parts?
2. Becoming more aware of the affects of abuse in my every day life.
3. How do you know when you’re done with therapy?
4. What am I really trying to accomplish in therapy? What is the purpose of therapy for me?
5. Not recognizing people in different contexts.
1) Unrealistic fears
5) Other peoples’ perceptions
6) Beyond the continuum theory of what it means to be multiple
7) Dealing with old triggers
8.) Getting to the right diagnosis
1) Finding a therapist
2) Accepting myself(selves) as a multiple
3) Balancing needs of all the parts
4) Realistic expectations (of life, others, etc) – what are they??
5) Can DID people be successful parents or should they just forget about it?
1) Controlling internal kids
2) Experiencing anger
3) Putting blame in the right place
4) Where do you feel that you have power in your life?
5) In what areas do you feel hopeless?
6) Being late to therapy
7) Feelings about switching
1) Physical health and how it interacts with mental health
2) Finding a new shrink
3) Getting used to things being good
4) Being judged
5) Standing up for yourself with people who don’t understand why you’re switching
6) Figuring out why things work when they work!
7) Do you believe your alters?
1) Conflicts between alters, including alters being angry at each other
2) What if one alter is alcoholic but the rest aren’t? … does that mean having a drink is wrong if you’re not the alcoholic alter?
3) Can you control your shifting? If so – how?
4) Relationships with family
5) Fear of the unknown (future)
6) Acceptance of my reality and what it really means for me
7) It’s frustrating to drop back into child alters/child-like functioning when I’m triggered
8.) Physical health
9) Guilt – for getting what you want
2) Dealing with old triggers
3) How were the holidays?
4) Is getting peace of mind possible?
5) Quitting therapy
6) Being healed
7) Different things that different parts enjoy and how that affects the whole
1) How do I keep from resorting to a part who freaks out?
2) How to handle stress. Avoiding parts that can’t handle it or helping that part cope with stress better.
3) Recognizing the healing we’ve done. Confirming it really happened (the healing)
4) Holidays (and what do we want to do over the holidays)
5) Feeling empowered to handle situations
6) Why it’s so hard getting angry at particular people. Past anger on present day people (get angry at present day people because of past anger that’s unresolved).
7) Holding on to reality in spite of others’ denial
1) Getting “stuck” – is it a part or a memory or something else?
2) Spiritual Issues
3) Creative and constructive ways to help parts get what they need
4) Selective Amnesia
5) Having to be patient for something you really want
6) Not recognizing the discomfort of something until change happens or is possible
7) Fear of anger (we discussed both getting angry and experiencing others’ anger)
8.) How do you express intense emotions constructively?
2) How crazy the rest of the world seems to be (even though I’m the one with DID!)
3) Help vs. Rescue
4) The past – fears of repeating it
5) Relationships – alters not feeling similar about an external person(s)
6) Sleep – can you sleep and others be up?
8.) Dealing with others who are in denial – particularly, denial of their own multiplicity
9) How do I know if it’s an alter or hypomania (causing this feeling/change)? Does it really even matter?
1) “I hit my husband!”
2) Getting external validation or proof of my past
3) How I feel when I’m shifted (and am aware of it)
4) Who do I tell about myself? And how much should I say?
5) Spontaneous integration or blending
6) Dealing with others’ denial, especially people significant to me
1) Confusing physical symptoms with psychological ones
2) Therapist Vacations
3) Standing up for yourself
4) Acceptance of your diagnosis and your reality
5) Trusting your sense of self. Trusting your intuition
6) Social situations, including outing yourself as DID and making friends
7) Trying to change old patterns
1) What’s good in your life now?
2) Disagreement between parts
3) Can a multiple spot a multiple?
4) Super-vigilant & controlling younger parts (or any parts)
6) Time Management
7) Boundaries and saying “no”
8.) Different meanings of “integration”
1) Themes – What themes (negative or positive) keep showing up in your life?
2) How physical health affects mental health
3) Resistance – What areas of resistance do you have – things you know you need to change or face, but sort of aren’t or won’t
4) Relationships *instead of making a separate post for this, click HERE to see where you can respond to this
6) Are we healing from DID/MPD or are we healing from abuse?
7) Proving yourself to outsiders/ Justifying my existence
8.) What’s your definition of “integration”?
1) How have you dealt with your perpetrator(s)?
2) Is there anything you need to let go of, in order to heal?
3) Responding to others’ emotional states and separating that from your own
4) Getting out of crisis mode
5) Others wanting you to stay “sick” – internal or external others
6) Saying “no”
7) Relationships – dynamics
8.) Time management
9) Internal communication – especially with littles
2) Fear of abandonment
3) Getting better – how it feels to be “getting better”
5) External children
6) Acceptance of who I am and what my alters/parts say or do
8.) What is normal? How do I know what is or isn’t normal for other people?
1) What’s it like to be “doing well”? What does that feel like or look like? What does it mean to be “doing well”?
2) Validation – how do you know what’s real? How do you know what the truth is about your history or experience?
3) How do you calm down a roller coaster?
4) How are you doing?
5) Finding support
6) Anger – This topic has been posted a couple times now, so if you want to talk about it click here.
1) How do you tell people about your alters especially if the alter is another gender?
2) How do you handle alters coming out at inappropriate times, such as at work?
3) Being in therapy less
4) Time Management
5) Holiday Fall-out
6) Suspecting someone else is multiple
7) “Expert” perspectives/opinions vs. experience
5) Dealing with triggers: including food & road rage
6) Time Management
7) Contentedness/Happiness/Good Feelings – is it hard to feel those things?
1) Flashbacks & PTSD
2) Coming out of the DID closet
4) Making Friends
5) Forgetting the good stuff in the present (because I’m constantly in the past)
6) Different views of integration
7) Handling Anxiety
8.) Being perfect, or not
1) Being special vs. being loved
2) Distancing past triggers from present scenarios
4) How do you console your parts?
5) Responding to family dysfunction
6) Coping with progress
8.) Cooperating to make healthy choices
1) Relationships with perpetrators
3) How do you tell someone you have DID? How do you explain it to others?
4) Stuck vs unstuck in flashbacks. (EMDR)
5) Dealing with therapist’s vacations
1) Work and MPD/DID
3) Telling others about my DID
4) Triggers – recognizing them BEFORE they cause problems
5) Hard to say “no” – over-identification with others needs
6) How DID complicates my non-DID issues
8.) What does it mean if I haven’t been switching as much? It seems like they (alters) have gone underground and actually don’t want to come out.
1) Telling health care providers about your DID
2) Dealing with people who aren’t dealing with their own issues
3) Male and female alters and the body’s gender – gender issues
4) Time management
5) Self acceptance
6) Relationships with our therapists – expressing need for them, dealing with their absence, how a relationship with them might transfer to our other relationships
7) Suicidal Thoughts – people said; It’s ok to feel good. I don’t know how to feel good. I’m comfortable with being depressed and in the pit because it’s what I know. How do you get out of it?
1) Not hiding your DID – ie, online or in any relationship
2) Relationships and DID
4) How to connect your internal world with the real world
5) How do you access your memories?
6) Building up routines of communication
7) Dealing with people who trigger/remind me of my perpetrator
8) Understanding “why”, when things work well in my system so that I can do it again on purpose
1) United States of Tara
2) Triggers and how they affect our lives. Triggers = things that take one to when one was young and make it hard to function in the present
3) Dealing with suicidal feelings
4) Getting “stuck” in therapy
5) Feelings of neediness
6) Trust in relationships
7) Dealing with other people’s defensiveness
1) What does the process of healing look like?
2) How have things changed since my diagnosis of DID?
4) Resentments, Anger and Rage
5) Self-hurtful Behaviors
6) DID vs MPD
1) What are your feelings with regard to letting others know you are DID? How do you feel about being “out” as DID, or being closeted as DID?
2) People in the group have been watching Showtime’s “United States of Tara” and it sparks many thoughts. Talk about your thoughts with regard to this show.
3) How do you keep conscious contact with your parts?
4) When you ignore your parts, how do they get your attention?
5) How do you console a troubled part?
6) Do you notice opposites in your life? If so, how do you deal with these “opposites”?
7) Does anything happen to you when you are driving a vehicle? Do you have any feelings associated with driving?
1) Share any experiences you’ve had with rescuing an alter/part
2) A new sit-com about a DID person called, “United States of Tara” comes out this month. What are your thoughts/feelings about a show like this? Here’s the official site: http://www.sho.com/site/tara/home.do
3) Where do your alters/parts reside? In your body? Brain? Anywhere else? In the group we also talked about body memory and how that might relate.
4) Moving is stressful. Talk about how you’ve dealt with moving: your feelings about it, or how you’d feel if you HAD to move.
5) What is your experience with very close/intimate relationships (partners, spouses, etc.)? Is it possible to have an intimate relationship even if you’re DID?
1) How do you deal with triggers?
2) Memory lapses and how you manage them
3) Talk about your experience with integration
4) How can I keep from switching?
5) What to do if you accuse one of your parts of lying to your therapist….. or, how do you deal with what your parts say and do?
7) How do you give your parts what they need if you don’t have time?
8.) How much do my people really NEED to be out?
1) How do you ask for information from inside? What challenges and successes do you have communicating with other parts?
2) Applying for SSI/SSDI (see: http://www.ssa.gov/disability/)
3) Building a support network
4) Making friends, especially for parts
5) Fear of being revictimized
7) Coping with change
1) Periods of denial
2) Protection – parts protect me
3) How to interrupt/re-educate “trigger to response”
4) The fluidity of DID
5) Healing from abuse – not DID (DID is a coping mechanism)
6) Does everyone have a host? What do you mean by “host”?
8.) Relating to others: How do your parts relate to others? How do others relate to your DID?
9) How do you relate to your own parts?
1) Dreams & Flashbacks – and how they relate to past trauma
2) Defending Oneself
3) Reparenting and dealing with kids – internal or external
4) Alters talking in therapy – what is that like? Is it difficult?
5) Alters being lonely, and wanting interaction with outside people their own age or otherwise.
1) Hearing voices or sounds or music
2) Experiencing the urge to leave/go somewhere physically & the fear of ending up somewhere else
3) The problem with having one body
4) Is it OK to push through fear or difficult things? To override yourself? Even with things like sex, etc.
5) Dealing with the sadness beneath the anger. Overall feelings of sadness or lack of. Crying in therapy.
6) Anger turned inward and anger at your parts
1) Fear – how it relates to your alters
2) Shame in the present that might be related to the past
3) How do you know where you are in therapy? How do you know how far along you are?
4) Feelings about having sex
5) Effects of EMDR Therapy
1) Is this DID stuff even real? How do I know if I really even have it or if I just listened to my therapist and am basically creating it myself?
2) Is the cost of therapy worth it? What if I’m in huge debt because of my therapy?
3) What defines “getting better” as a DID person? How do others define it?
4) Creating “safe places”, real or otherwise.
7) How can I help parts to feel safe enough to talk in therapy sessions?
9) Does anyone know of any good self-help materials like books or workbooks?
10) Making friends
11) Abuse by a family member while others were unaware or “don’t remember”
12) Self hypnosis and memory
1) Identity – How do you maintain your sense of self if others in your system start to be out more and more?
2) Gender Issues – How do you deal with being male in a female body? Or vice-versa? Or anything else related to gender identity issues.
3) Talk about anything related to having DID and a physical illness/auto-immune disease (ie, fibro). Do you think there’s a relationship between the two?
4) Applying for and/or being on disability
5) Talk about any books or media (TV, movies, music, online forums, etc) that you’ve read/seen in relation to DID, and your reactions to it/them.
6) Share some/all of your ’story’ or aspects of it – without going into graphic detail
7) Coping with intense feelings – Talk about ways you handle excess tension or anger or overwhelming feelings – whether your methods are considered healthy or unhealthy
1) Feelings – Feelings that come from my parts/people (meaning they’re probably from the past), and how those feelings influence the present. Or, how do you know where your feelings are coming from?
2) Anger – our group keeps coming back to this topic!
3) How do you deal with the actions of other parts of you (whether good or bad)?
4) What do you think about being ‘out’ as a DID person, or coming ‘out’.
5) What do you think of the current APA Guidelines for dealing with someone who is DID? How does this relate to your own therapy?
6) Dealing with emergencies/crisis from your parts when you’re on your own (and can’t reach your therapist).
7) ‘Crazy-making’ Situations – Ie; someone keeps telling you the sky is green, even though you are clearly looking at a blue sky.
1) Anxiety – Handling internal anxiety? I’m always in ‘fight or flight’ mode.
2) Ways of building up your support system with external people.
3) Making use of a journal.
4) How do your internal parts/people relate to or think about external people their own age?
5) Problems at work with shifting.
8. Being co-present vs. co-conscious. “Co-conscious” was described as 2 or more parts being present together and knowing it/cooperating. “Co-present” was described as 2 or more parts being present together but not really knowing it or cooperating.
1) How do you include/exclude your parts in decision making – and how does that effect your decisions?
2) How do you get parts to the point of recognizing who they are? How do you get other parts to recognize who is out?
3) Making use of a journal.
4) How do you deal with feelings of having DID when your siblings don’t seem to have it? And what if you remember things that they don’t?
5) How do you have system meetings?
6) Integration – what does it really mean?
7) The shame of having DID
1) How do you prevent triggers from becoming flashbacks?
2) Can anyone share an experience of integration?
3) Factors that promote resiliency in life/relationships
4) Memory – especially for things that happen in therapy
5) Why do few of our younger parts actually show up at these meetings?
6) Guarding yourself – trying not to shift even in supposedly safe places
7) Has anyone experienced their DID being dormant for a while?
8. How DID has helped in life
1) Changing of therapists
2) How does therapy help?
4) How can I keep from running from my parts?
1) How do I bring flashbacks to the present?
2) How does my fear of other peoples’ reactions effect my actions?
3) Integration (absorption)
4) Importance of communication with my parts.
5) Trying to differentiate between physical symptoms and symptoms that come from my parts.
1) How do you keep conscious contact with your parts?
2) How do you capture a feeling and go through it (vs. avoiding or dissociating)?
3) How do you safely express anger (from today, not the past)?
4) Being judgmental of yourself and parts.
5) Dealing with those outside who are judgmental of you (because of DID or otherwise).
6) Finding friends who are not internal.
1) Physical and emotional symptoms: How do I know if a particular symptom (excess crying, hot flashes, fatigue, etc) is from a biological issue or from my alters?
2) Gradual switching vs. instantaneous – I have more awareness when it’s gradual
4) How having alters effect relationships
5) Intimate relationships (including sexually intimate) – how are we supposed to have them? Could anyone share their experiences being in an intimate relationship while also being DID?
1) Headaches and shifting/flashbacks, or other physical feelings associated with shifting (dizziness).
2) Thoughts on EMDR Therapy
3) Losing your ability to speak, in therapy or otherwise:
-Sometimes writing works when we can’t speak
-Silence in therapy
4) Traumatic Re-enactment Syndrome in terms of hurtful behavior: Doing to yourself what was done to you.
5) Post-therapy status: I seem to not “be there” after a therapy session.
6) Not knowing who’s out when asked.
-Having little memory of anything, or poor memory in general
-Ways of learning about your past (talking to siblings, finding facts)
-Having no memory of abuse (the host has no memory that is!)
-Denying and basically forgetting things you DO know
This was the first month since New Landscape started, that we didn’t have a meeting. It was cancelled since none of the regulars, who could moderate a meeting, were able to attend.
1) Survival Skills:
-What are some survival skills that no longer work?
-What (positive) skills have I learned that replace the old ones?
2) Dealing with significant others’ “issues”. Recognizing that all my relationship problems aren’t just because of me (having DID).
3) How do these statement make you feel?:
-Your parts don’t exist.
-MPD/DID is not real.
-You’re making this up (about having MPD/DID).
4) What does it mean that I have these parts? What are they really? It’s hard to grasp. I don’t know how to think about them or what they really are.
5) Medication – often isn’t helpful
1) Accepting that I have DID, but not accepting the trauma that caused it.
3) Cognitive knowledge vs. emotional knowledge or feelings: Knowing things, but having no feelings associated with them
4) Allowing “break times”: Feeling guilt about allowing parts to be out, or giving them time
5) Negative feelings:
-Coping with negative feelings that are so visceral (ie, anger and depression)
-Suicidal parts and feelings
-Finding better alternatives to hurtful behaviors
6) Increased embarrassment associated with increased awareness:
-If I know that I’m shifting, shouldn’t I be able to stop it?
-If I know a part and their story, why do I struggle to just say the story myself (without shifting)?
1) People who know I have DID: My reactions and feelings toward them. Their reactions and feelings toward me.
2) Relationships: With my parts, my therapist, myself, God, others, at work.
3) Coping with feelings that are relatively new.
4) Financial issues related to my therapy and having DID.
1) What does the process of DID look like for me?
2) How can I best live with DID a day at a time: caring for myself and my parts, protecting myself and my parts, dealing with triggers?
3) I not only split myself up – I split other people up, too, especially my therapist. Trying to piece together the different parts of other people to make them into one.
4) Anger – how to deal with living in the shadows of the past, and how to deal with disproportionate reactions to things in the present.
5) Your external family – partners, children – feelings about having them, feelings about not having them. Family in general.
Another topic came up spontaneously during the meeting: Music – Playing an instrument and/or singing (or wanting to) in groups or alone. The feelings that music creates.
1) Feelings when you dissociate, and how you deal with them. Feelings when you’re in between parts.
2) The validation of memories. The lack of validation of memories.
3) Acting fine when you’re not. Keeping an appropriate exterior to show the world while you’re having an earthquake inside.
Another topic came up spontaneously during the meeting: Object constancy – Knowing your therapist exists when you can’t see him/her. Knowing your therapist is the same person, even if he/she changes facial expression.
1) What is your experience like when you forget that your parts are you?
2) What is your experience like when you don’t accept certain parts of yourself?
3) Feeling devastated at the same time that I’m trying to go about my daily life.
4) Sometimes doubting that my therapist is capable of getting through the next step with me, even though he has been fine with the steps up to now.
1) What consequences do you experience when you ignore your parts?
2) What consequences do you experience when you dissociate?
3) Parts fighting with each other. A war going on inside. How to handle it.
5) Family members the way they used to be, and family members the way they are now. Adapting to my changed relationship with them.
In addition, these topics came up spontaneously during the sharing:
7) Attaching to therapists. Internalizing therapists.
1) Anger. Inappropriate anger. Appropriate anger. What to do with the enormous feeling inside me.
2) Belonging. Fitting into ordinary everyday life the way regular people do.
3) Lately, I just burst into tears. How can I get in touch with that part of me?
4) I deserve to be loved and respected by myself, but feelings of guilt and shame keep this from happening.
1) Shame. Shame at having feelings/emotions, shame about my body, shame in general.
2) Feeling different ages. Formerly I felt young most of the time. Now I feel older. I’m not used to the new me, to my new conception of my body, to the way I’m accepted in the world by other people.
3) Tools for overcoming resistance. How to break through to my parts when a part wants to say something that I don’t want to hear.
4) Tools for dealing with triggers – rather than avoiding triggers.
Topics that came up spontaneously during the discussion:
5) Paralysis: having your whole body, or just parts of your body, become paralyzed. Losing sensation in some parts of your body.
6) How you feel immediately after a session. Needing alone time after a session before you can go on with your life.
1) Feeling lonely – in the presence of just yourself/yourselves; in the presence of outside people. Feeling lonely from losing your inside people. Other loneliness.
2) System changes: Losing the vibrancy of some of your parts, even though they haven’t disappeared altogether.
3) Feeling needy. Getting your needs satisfied. Worrying that your neediness will push other people away.
4) Emotional states: I used to have one emotional state per part. Now some of my parts are becoming blended and are experiencing more than one emotion. I’m trying to learn the difference between switching and having a new emotion.
5) Handling family crises. Having alters take over for what has to be done in an emergency.
A topic that came up during the discussion spontaneously: Sybil—comparing her relationship with Dr. Wilbur to our relationships with our own therapists.
1) What keeps me from having conscious contact with my parts, and what are the consequences?
2) Entitlement. Feeling entitled to belong, or to have an opinion, or to participate in a discussion. Feeling entitled to be a member of the human race, the same as everyone else. Feeling entitled to stand up for your rights.
3) How one creates a safe space within.
1) What is it that triggers my dissociation?
2) When I dissociate, I’m disconnecting from myself. What tools can I use to be more connected?
4) How do you stay who you are despite what happens in the world?
5) Feeling lonely. Connecting, attaching, having relationships. Making friends with non-multiples.
1) I was 64 on my birthday. It feels as if I went from 6 to 64, without stepping through all the stages along the way—I never experienced adulthood. I’m angry and depressed that I missed out on my life.
2) I find it hard to accept people doing things for me. It’s easier for me to do something for someone else. It’s hard to say “thank you” graciously.
3) My changing relationship with my therapist. As the older ones of me are becoming dominant, I don’t feel as close to him as I did when younger ones of me were dominant. I have to make a whole new relationship with him.
As the sharing portion of the meeting progressed, another theme emerged:
– Not having names for all alters
– Sometimes not knowing who is out
– Therapists who ask who is out
– Therapists who try to call alters out by name
1) Experiencing the past coming into the present, and what tools I can use for it.
2) Changes within my system. Before, the child point of view was dominant and the adult point of view was secondary. Now the adult point of view is dominant and the child point of view is secondary. How that changes my relationships with everyone in my life. How that changes my relationship to myself.
3) One of me is depressed, and I feel it from someplace underneath, and it colors everything I do on the surface, but I can’t access it.
There were no topics this month, as no one but the moderator came to the meeting. See the “March ’06 Organizational Issues” for more info. about this.
1) When I don’t want to have DID, I automatically dissociate from my parts. I’m looking for tools to help me not do that.
2) I need some tools to get rid of rage toward people who are dead.
3) Anger in general – feeling it too much, not feeling it enough, being able to handle it appropriately, not being able to handle it appropriately.
4) Uncertainty – not being able to do something or take a risk unless you are 100% sure of the outcome (i.e., make a phone call, talk to someone, etc.). How needing a 100% guarantee ahead of time may prevent you from connecting with people.
1) What do I do with the feelings now that I have been receiving them from my parts?
2) Allowing myself to be open to connections with other people without shutting down pre-emptively – shutting down in advance because I’m afraid I’ll be hurt.
3) Coming out of the DID/MPD closet.
1) Feeling like a foreign student in the midst of the holidays (not feeling the way people all around you are feeling.)
2) Having new experiences, but still experiencing them with a fragmented structure.
3) Experience of an integration of a part. Knowledge and feeling resulting from integration.
4) Feeling more grownup, more an equal with other outside people. Feeling you have the right to have opinions and make choices that take your own likes and dislikes into consideration. Enjoying that, but at the same time, being scared of the feeling of power it gives you.
1) What happens when your parts want attention.
2) How not to convert anger into fear.
3) Feelings: Feeling them too strongly. Not feeling them at all.
4) Questioning whether MPD is real, and if it is, whether you really have it. Other times, you know it for sure.
1) Functioning: What functioning means to you. Functioning may get worse as you get better.
2) Then and now: Difference between how you were then and how you are now.
3) Helpful strategies.
4) Your Changing relationship to your parts.
5) Interacting with Outside people.
1) Task switching: Starting something, then changing to something else in a few minutes–never feeling satisfied about doing anything because there’s always the pull to do something else (cooking, cleaning, reading, playing, writing, doing crafts…).
2) Feeling Visible/Invisible; Connections.
3) Therapy: Feeling like an object, not a person. Needing to call your therapist after a session. Knowing personal things about your therapist. Other therapist issues.
4) When adults get triggered. Adults can get triggered as well as children. Recognizing when this happens. Giving yourself permission to let it happen.
5) Other adult/child issues.
6) Helpful strategies.
7) Imaginary friends.
1) Allocating Time: Feeling that you can’t stick with anything. Starting something, dropping it, starting something else. Other time issues.
2) Therapist Issues: Realizing your therapists has other patients/clients, and also an outside life. Feeling your therapist is off track. Feeling your connection is your only real connection in the world. Worry that your therapist will die while on vacation. Other therapist issues.
3) Feeling cut off from your insides as you “get better.”
1) Your changing relationship to your parts. What terms you use when you think of them: people, parts, alters, feelings… Whether you think of them as separate from you, or as part of you. Ignoring/denying them. Finding ways of listening to them.
2) Recognizing when you have a feeling. What happens when you let-the-feeling-stay/make-it-go-away. Taking time to process feelings after a session before returning to the hustle and bustle of the world. Listening to Inside. Staying in touch with yourself.
3) Relating to members of your outside family: brothers, sisters, parents, spouses, children. Living other people’s realities; erasing yourself; feeling you must be doing something wrong. How you feel when you change the way you view yourself in relation to them. How they react to the change in you.
4) Doing things socially with non-D.I.D. people (parties, dinner, classes…). What it feels like to be fully-connected/partially-connected. Watching/not-watching the way you are interacting. Dealing with feelings and/or switches. How you feel when the event is over.