Saturday, November 12, 2011

How to Believe a Multiple

I'm running into this in my personal life and thought it might be helpful or relevant for others- how to believe someone with multiple personalities, with contradictory stories being told with the same mouth.  I wrote this out as a sort of guide for interacting with alters.

With many alters, my story will change, or be told from different points of view. They may be panicked or not know the exact cause, because they frequently have different information blocked from them at different times, I can never see the overall picture at once. It is a system designed to keep alters unaware of the others, unable to share information, even if or especially if something is wrong. It is a system not designed for our safety so much as our silence, especially when there is a problem.

I can understand how frustrating it would be to be running after each alter's story. I prefer and recommend that you step back and view situations for yourself. However please understand that when anyone says something is wrong, something IS wrong. Even when they are panicked, it is never just 'in their head' or a bid for attention. Because of their nature of secrecy, I don't think any of us would ask you for help unless we desperately needed it and had no choice. Asking for outside help is always a last resort. They may be telling you everything they know, which is only one piece of the whole story. It is truth, but it may not be all of it.
You do not need to take orders from them, but you do need to take them seriously.

The most important thing for any of them to ever know is that they can trust you. They will need to be reassured of this repeatedly, but don't say it unless you know you mean it. Don't ever go along with something just to placate or humor them, be honest about what you think. Try using open sentences for this. If what they are saying seems suspicious or incomplete, tell them you'd like to get more information before deciding anything. Or "I'd like to take a break, but I'm not shutting you down. Can we come back to this later?" should be fine. The best thing is to show that the subject is still open and you are still believing and supporting them regardless of what is going on.

Closed sentences like "No", "I don't believe you" "Stop" are very frightening. It is difficult to ask for help or admit there is a problem, and they are usually very desperate when they do. It is generally safe to assume that if they are asking for help, it is a big problem. They rarely ever ask help for little things that they could find a solution for themselves. Hearing closed sentences feels like a rebuttal for asking for help, and makes it sound like they should just forget about asking for help no matter how desperately they may need it. It also sends the message that you do not support them, even if that was not your intention.

One thing to do to get the whole picture might be to write down the different stories you hear, then we can sit down and look at the whole thing. I am often surprised or alters in my head are surprised to hear you quote me on something I don't remember saying or thinking or knowing.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

DID/MPD and the Root Chakra

     I was introduced to the world of auras and chakras about 6 years ago, around the same time I got very ill and the system my alternate personalities had collapsed.  I had always been a bit sensitive to vibes from the animate and inanimate, but now it was overwhelming.  Some alters didn't (and still don't) believe 'such nonsense' existed at all.  But eventually we have all had to accept that something is happening on an energetic level whether some of us don't believe in it or not.  It is a continuous debate and struggle between those who do and those who don't, but all have been affected.  This is written primarily from the perspective of my intuitive one.

     Going out in public became a nightmare.  I could feel emotion and mental chatter coming out of people in waves, and I had nothing to keep those waves of tangible thickness from pressing against my skin and being absorbed right into me.  I felt so fragile, trying to conserve my strength, only to go to classes to feel it washed away in a tidal wave of other people's emotion; their anger, wants, competition.  These harsher emotions I found difficult to deal with, unlike peace and happiness which I found soothing but far more infrequent.  I would go to my dorm and spend the rest of the day curled up trying to regain my shattered sense of self.  I did not only sense the state of others, it was physically taxing on myself. 
     I learned to reach out to the energy of trees, go to the park and sit against one, and feel myself instantly aligned with the roots reaching far into the earth, grounded, calming, and the branches reaching high for the blue Montana sky, the pulse of the tree itself racing up and up.  I grew up in the Idaho mountains with trees, and I realized just how much nurturing and protection I had gotten from the earth there.  There were no mountains here, hardly any trees to keep the energy grounded.  You had to learn a new way of connection, a new way of living.  The energy on campus was like an electric buzz, always jumping, nothing to hold it down, full of life and questions from all the young adults pushing and testing every limit they could find.  It was not bad, I was just too raw.
     Crowded places like airports and malls were particularly difficult to navigate.  I found myself seeking out calm people with strong shielding to use as shelter from the cacophony of  everyone else.  Yogis were the best, of course.  The perfect find for the frazzled sensitive.  They glowed.  So did the proverbial pregnant women, incidentally, although not nearly as much as their rounded bellies, which radiated life and color like a jukebox blaring out music.  Other than the unborn, age seemed to have little difference on a persons energetic state.  A twelve year old could have more calm and confidence, wisdom and 'age' than a 40 year old business executive. 
     Telling other people who were energy sensitive of my problem usually only got me one answer: learn to shield.  The most common wisdom on how to do that was "surround yourself with bright light" which irked me to no end, having tried it repeatedly with no effect.  Finally I talked to a woman, a Reiki Master, who had written an article about empaths who take on the energy of others.  I told her I had recently been diagnosed with DID/MPD, which thankfully she knew something about.  Finally I got an answer that made sense:  Your root chakra is damaged.  Chakras intake and outtake energy, and any damaged chakra will negatively impact the well being of a persons' energy body.  The root chakra is connected to a sense of safety and plays a large role in grounding and filtering input of energy.  Any trauma severe enough to cause DID/MPD will damage the root chakra, possibly even cause it to stop functioning altogether.  A person with a damaged root chakra will have extreme difficulty getting grounded (feeling a solid connection with the whole body and the earth and reality, "down to earth").  As their ability to intake energy is impeded, they may often not or barely have enough energy to function.  
     I have noticed that the strength of a persons' shield seems to correlate, (not surprisingly), with their ability to set and keep personal boundaries.  As I have started to integrate I have felt more unified and whole - and stronger, simply because the resources I have are now more pooled together and united as one front.  My ability to defend myself and set boundaries may be pithy compared to a completely whole and healthy person, but for me it is a marked improvement because it is there at all.  My aura has also strengthened considerably, and what shielding I can do comes as naturally as breathing, as I suspect it does unconsciously for many people.  It requires little to no effort on my part, whereas before I started to integrate shielding was not possible, no matter how much effort I put into it.  (I believe a multiple setting and keeping boundaries is a valiant feat, as they generally have little to no resources, encouragement, or experience to do so.  Whether integrated or not, multiple or not, setting boundaries is a significant sign of healing for someone who was never permitted to have them before.)
     If you have multiple personalities, and one or more of you feel vulnerable to the energies of others, you will need to take extra precautions to shield yourself.  There are many articles online about shielding methods, using crystals, essential oils, homeopathic drops, etc..  You can see which ones work best for you, but remember you will need to use more than one at a time to create a temporary shield until yours can be healed.  I have found Bach's Flower Remedies Rescue Remedy to be excellent, along with oils and stones which help some.  Good self care is vital.  For me the number one has been eating nutritious food and keeping my body temperature warm.  Walks in nature, yoga, meditation, these are all very helpful.  As a multiple it is difficult for me to keep track of my body and see that it is cared for, and regular medical check ups and health care are important to remember if at all possible.  The physical body affects the energy body.