6 thoughts on “When You’re ‘Left Holding the Bag’

  1. chariots

    Depending on what was done by whoever was in charge – ok – well, mostly I end up feeling embarrassed – even if there was no outsider to see what was done!! Or, I sometimes have had to try and explain myself somehow. I have begun to recognize how much I used to cover for myself. I struggled to remember simple things, or events that had happened – yet I would pretend to know what my friend might have been talking about. Or I would laugh and pretend I was reveling in the memory too. Or maybe fill in a gap somehow. Automatically. Or just shrug my shoulders and admit that I couldn’t remember and feel stupid.

    I’d say my biggest feeling with it all though, has been shame. Shame that I am the way I am. Shame that I would act this way or that way. Ashamed to have little people coming out of my adult body. Reality though – few people have really seen my little people. Mostly, I think over time people have felt like ‘the lights are on but no one’s home’ when it comes to me. Or that I was smart in some ways, wise even, yet ditzy at the same time.

    Ok – describing myself is impossible…… Embarrassment. Ya. That’s about it.

  2. JigsawAnalogy-ellis

    People have described me as “quirky” or “moody.” And I know people thought I was weirdly inconsistent about things, before we knew about me being multiple. Weirdly, because it would be like, “Oh, strawberry ice cream is my favorite.” And then a day (or ten minutes) later, it would be “STRAWBERRY? My favorite is Rocky Road!”

    What’s been interesting with other people knowing I’m multiple is the realization that each of us inside my body is consistent on our own. It’s just that there are several of us in here.

    As for “holding the bag,” that’s complicated. With people who don’t know about me being multiple, it’s easier, because we pretty much just take responsibility for anything that’s been done. So if someone does something that isn’t ok, or that causes a problem, whoever is able to make amends does so.

    It’s harder with people who know we’re multiple, because with them, it’s like if someone is trying to make amends for something one of their siblings did…

    i get it about the “covering up,” because i do some of that. and making up for the problems. just, like, “oh, well, my memory isn’t great” or something like that. and making all of the weirdness seem “normal for me.”

    what can be difficult is when one part expresses something that several parts actually believe, but does it in a way that’s not really appropriate (like picking a fight). and then the response from the outside person is that it’s about whichever part it was picking a fight, and not about them being upset about something that has also upset the rest of us. that can be really frustrating. particularly when whoever comes out to deal with the mess then tries to calm things down without addressing the issue the last part was upset over…. it’s complicated.

    ps–my captcha phrase is “ventilating multi” tee hee!

  3. JigsawAnalogy-ellis

    right now what i’m wondering about this is, what do i do when i can’t even *get* ahold of the bag? i mean, ultimately, i’m responsible for what other parts do. i’m *supposed* to be able to control them. well, maybe not me. *someone* in the system is supposed to control them and the adults haven’t been around, and i’m pretty much the only one around any more who cares about whether we’re f***ing things up with our behavior, so i guess it’s my responsibility, because i’m the one who sees the mess, like the person who sees the cat threw up is the one responsible for cleaning it up.

    but it sucks, because i just don’t *know* how to take control and stay there, and so the other parts keep coming out and causing trouble, and i can’t stop them.

    i know eventually i’ll be left “holding the bag,” but how do i get the bag so i can be left holding it?

  4. chariots

    I think the stupid “bag” creates all kinds of tension. If someone does “this”, then someone else might pay. Sometimes someone just does “this” anyway. Sometimes someone doesn’t care or even think about who’s left with the blasted “bag”. Usually the someone left with the bag is me – the hostess with the mostest I guess. I hate holding bags.

    And to Ellis – I don’t know. Except for the standard type answer of communicating and cooperating more. I guess everyone has to have a reason to make them even want to cooperate or communicate to begin with though. ?

  5. JigsawAnalogy-ellis

    i think this is where it helps to have people who know that i am multiple. one thing i’ve been discovering is that while people are frustrated with the behavior of parts of my system, they at least *say* they do still like and respect me (collectively). that’s been helping… for the parts to know that they aren’t going to be able to destroy the good things in my life, just by being present.

    i think it’s really hard on the people who care about me, and who we trust enough to feel like it’s safe not to be perfect with. and i feel bad about that, and do what i can to make things better.

    it’s complicated, because i don’t want to say that i’m not responsible for the behavior of other parts. that would seem like making excuses. but at the same time, i think that the responsibility needs to belong to the system as a whole; which is to say, yes, we are responsible for what any of us does. but we aren’t necessarily responsible in the same ways. and the solution, at least for us, isn’t to “lock up” the parts who are behaving badly. it’s to find ways of helping those parts not to feel bad, and to communicate to others about how they can help.

    i guess it’s as though my system is a family of sorts. any member of a family isn’t responsible for the behavior of the other members. if a kid throws a tantrum, it isn’t their caretaker’s fault. but it *is* their caretaker’s responsibility to help them manage their behavior.

    reading over my first response in this thread… i think that there must have been someone else out with me at the same time. weird. probably one of the adults, since i don’t think any of the teenagers capitalizes when they are typing.

  6. chariots

    It seems like most in my system get it – that if they do something, I will likely ‘pay’. I’m the public person who works and deals with the outside world, etc. It seems like most of my people try to help me maintain my life and not get me into trouble. Some don’t seem to care as much. And sometimes we’re so overwhelmed that none of us cares what is done. Sometimes I think there are little aliens (my aliens that is) who are gonna present no matter what – but not because they are trying to ruin me or our life. Overall, my system seems to get that it is in their best interest to not rock the boat too much, to not talk to strangers and tell their name, to not act out in front of people…… etc. They save themselves too I think, by being aware of this. I think I trust them a lot more now, to not show up at the wrong times for the most part.

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