United Front Blog
July 19, 2011, at 09:07 PM
When people hurt you over and over in the same way, you build up some automatic programs against that type of hurt.
These automatic programs are like those old 8-tracks -- a continuous-loop that can play over and over. You just choose which track to play and it starts wherever the tape's at, and it plays over and over until you switch tracks.
I have a real problem with the idea of conditional friendship -- and conditional love by extension. Those people who would place conditions on whether they could like me, or love me, from parents who told me what I had to do to earn their love to friends who were only my friends when no one else was around.
July 17, 2011, at 09:07 PM
One potential hot topic that many multiples will find helpful to put on their agenda for one or more meetings is the topic of gender identity and sexual orientation -- especially if you have residents who are a different gender than your body. I call these residents "cross-gendered residents" for lack of a better term for them. Their gender is different than your body. These residents may have sexual desires and attractions that pose a problem on one level or another for your system or for your social environment.
July 16, 2011, at 09:07 AM
Maybe you know you're not one of the people "in charge." You're a Johnny come lately to the system in some way, and there's a lot of people who are part of the "in" crowd. You aren't welcomed, or you aren't treated well, or maybe you're never given any say or invited to participate in making decisions. At worst, there are blatantly problematic things going on and you need to take action to have a better life.
July 15, 2011, at 08:07 AM
I've had this happen to me, where I've gotten so reactive towards other people that I can't let anything good in. The irony is that I was so damaged and broken, I would also allow all the bad things in. My partners would complain about walking on eggshells. I would doubt their every good intention, their every act of love, and treat it like it was a problem somehow. I reframed their interactions -- changed what I thought was going on -- so that they seemed to be lying or coddling or they were humoring me, or somehow being dishonest when they reached out to help me.
I would transform every positive interaction into an attempt to manipulate me, use me, coerce me, convince me. I would push my partner away then blame them for being distant. I would hold grudges for weeks on things that I imagined they did wrong.
July 14, 2011, at 11:07 PM
Disagreements can challenge us to remain respectful of one another. It's very important to maintain your own dignity and your sense of respect for your fellow residents when you have a difference of opinion.
Don't wait for differences to occur, have a plan in place for how to handle them from the start. Perhaps a group of mediators who can intervene, or a cool-down period (like a time-out) if things get heated, anything to help you regain your composure and think about what's really going on.
July 13, 2011, at 04:07 PM
Just as we play roles on the inside of the system, we also play roles outside the system.
All singletons play a variety of roles in the world, and itís no different for multiples. We can be parents, teachers, students, role-models, employees, volunteers, children (of our parents), friends, siblings, etc. When we find ourselves in different roles we show different aspects of our personality. In this way, everyone is a little multi, and if they donít keep to their roles, theyíre socially dysfunctional.
July 12, 2011, at 11:07 AM
We all have different roles we play outside our body, and we also have different roles we play on the inside too. So that we spread out the work, we tweak our roles inside as needed. For example, we have folk who are guardians from outside influences, people who are enforcers of our house rules, those who play mommy/daddy to our littles, those who make sure we keep appointments or go to work, and others who make sure our household chores are completed, etc. Most of our internal roles involve some type of monitoring, and a method for mobilizing a response to events, or executing routines.
July 11, 2011, at 02:07 PM
I have my moments, just like you might. Slip up, say things I shouldn't. Maybe offend someone. Nothing terribly unusual. But when we cross the line and disrespect another resident's friends, we might damage their relationships irrevocably.
July 10, 2011, at 08:07 AM
I have some real problems with birthdays and other such points of passage. It stems from childhood traumas around holidays and birthdays and also I would guess it comes from the inconguity of being both a child and an adult, or a teen and a pre-menopausal woman.
Another point of passage occurred every time one or both of my children (by birth) passed a milestone that I associated with traumatic points of my life. Most especially my daughter.
July 09, 2011, at 08:07 AM
For a while I actually used external metaphor to help with internal processes. This is one place where "As outside, so inside (and vice versa)" can come in quite handy. I used 500 or 1000-piece puzzles as a means of deliberate meditation and metaphor for what was going on in my head. It was very relaxing, very zen, putting together the puzzle on the outside while my internal friends were tidying up things on the inside.
July 08, 2011, at 10:07 PM
One nice thing about being multiple and having a high level of internal communication is that we always have someone to talk to. However, talking is not usually enough. Human creatures are designed to play and we learn best while playing. Playing is also a peacetime activity, it brings people together into a community, relaxes them, makes them do some of the best activities for bonding: smiling and laughing.
July 07, 2011, at 11:07 PM
While I don't have much problem with my parents anymore, it doesn't really make me terribly comfortable to be around them. We have to employ some pretty creative means of keeping our internal peace to be around them. We deliberately choose who will be fronting, certain residents are asked pretty much to stay in their rooms, and we get by.
July 06, 2011, at 10:07 PM
I have suggestions for ways to remove foreign energies from your system and body [links to Kinhost.org] that I ask that you consider. This is the mental, emotional and spiritual equivalent of de-cluttering your home of the things that make you feel bad.
I can't really stress how important it is to do this, especially if you've been abused. There are many little nagging problems multiples can have that a little housekeeping and a lot of decluttering will take care of.
July 05, 2011, at 10:07 AM
First, what is a boundary? In everyday life we use boundaries constantly. We use glasses, plates, bowls, boxes, drawers, shelves, rooms, homes, cars, and we have an invisible boundary we take everywhere we go called "personal space" the size of which is determined by both cultural rules and personal preference.
July 04, 2011, at 12:07 PM
I've found the concept of "As outside, so inside (and vice versa)" to be very important in my personal recovery. Some of the mysteries of why things are the way they are in my head were answered by this simple hypothesis, and it certainly helps affect why we need to behave the way we need to internally in order to get along in life externally.
July 03, 2011, at 12:07 PM
I think I mentioned this when talking about littles, but it's important and it bears repeating. Be very careful about giving all the goodies and rewards to only the residents that ask, that pout, that show obvious joy in receiving. Even the guests who don't seem to be on-board are acting on the behalf of the system. They may be stuck defending you from things that no longer exist, or defending you in the wrong ways from the wrong people, but the underlying motivation is still to serve the system in some way.
July 02, 2011, at 08:07 PM
Can there be false memories? Oh, yeah, I'm pretty sure. If you're silly enough to let someone hypnotize you, and they're either incompetent or way too competent for your own good, and you want to allow them to do it on some level, yeah. I can accept that. [One thing I don't get about that idea is why would anyone want to allow someone to make up memories of abuse? But I guess there's an argument for anything.]
Are those memories you can open up the local newspaper a few years later and have splashed all over the front page? I think we all agree that if it's a false memory, that's pretty unlikely.
July 01, 2011, at 10:07 PM
Since throughout this boot camp, there's mention of things that you should be taking care of at meetings, I thought it would be a good time to revisit the idea of meetings, and all the lovely things that you could put on your agenda, and point to the associated posts. I'm assuming you actually did the exercises that explicitly instruct you to use a meeting, since you probably won't need to use those exercises again.
June 30, 2011, at 08:06 AM
I've thought about this long and hard, because my situation is overall different from many other multiples. Here's what I've decided: no matter which method I use -- psychology's paradigm or other less conventional ways of thinking about being multiple -- this body's time is not just mine. I am sharing a body and a life. Some time needs to be shared. If you take this attitude it will contribute to an atmosphere that will help you succeed at your goals.
June 29, 2011, at 10:06 AM
Often we'll have sets of feelings and we don't realize they're coming from guests that are tucked away in the background of our minds, and they're equally unaware that we're a multiple, that their hardship situation is over, and that living in the now is waiting for them just a few mental feet or yards away.
If you have an internal atmosphere that is conducive to building trust, respect, responsibility, and welcomes guests as new residents, then you have built a situation that is ready to begin the rough but unusually rewarding work of bringing stuck guests become co-aware.