This is supposed to be good for groups that really do have MPD or DID, are disorganized or have really bad management. It might be good for any group temporarily in a crisis situation. It does put one person in charge but emphasizes working together in sort of a team or group effort. From our friends' experience, the person in charge does not have to be the person who was born to the body. It is not necessary to think of group members as "alters" -- use whatever word is comfortable for you. When it says "gifted wholeness", that could be integration or just everybody cooperating.
Inner Faces Of Multiplicity: Contemporary Look at a Classic Mystery by Jaclyn Pia. Standard psychiatric view, nothing new here.
I am an adult survivor of Satanic Ritual Abuse and am gifted with Multiple Personalities. Inside me are a variety of little kids, teenagers, and adults. Before understanding and accepting my inside family, I felt badly about them, thought I must be crazy, or maybe had some kind of disease. As I have met and developed a caring, respectful relationship with the members of my inside family, they have begun to accept me as the head of the household and we are learning to appreciate the gift we are to each other.
As a result of sharing during group therapy, I discovered that other survivors are struggling with their understanding of M. P. G. They also feel afraid and are unsure about when and where to get the help they need.
This is a book to help you think through whether you might have M.P.G. If you do, it will suggest a way to feel more confident, creatively balanced and in control of who you are.
M.P.G. is not a European sports car, but instead M.P.G. describes a person who, as an infant or child usually under the age of six, was traumatically abused. Through this pain the person developed additional personalities, or parts, which together make up the whole person. So, M.P.G.'s are a uniquely gifted people.
A Host is the person to whom the whole bady belongs. He or she is the one who suffered the original abuse, and developed the alternate personalities. The host is the head of the household.
Alter is a word therapists use to describe a personality or part of the host. Alters are our storytellers who hold parts of the painful experiences in our lives. An alter is also a caretaker who came out during our unbearable pain; as we split, they came and took the pain for us. They took care of us and literally saved our lives.
Inside Family is a collective term used to describe the individual personalities of each alter which become a family within the host. They are the ones the host communicates with, appreciates and loves. They are your storytellers, your caretakers, and your children who become your gifted wholeness.
Because a multiple has the presence of two or more distinct and recognizable personalities within, a variety of inside and outside happenings are present in his/her life that are not present in the lives of "singletons" (a non-multiple person). Discovering and accepting these kinds of occurrences in your life is sometimes slow, sometimes sudden, and often scary. In the following paragraph, are a number of inside and outside happenings commonly reported by people with the gift of multiplicity. Read them carefully and ask yourself, and/or a significant other in your life, if any of the happenings suggested occur in your life.
Everyone has thoughts in their mind. Sometimes the thoughts will be conflicting or self depreciating, etc. Are you someone who not only hears thoughts, but voices too? Are they inside, not outside your head? Are some voices childlike, some adolescent, adult, or even voices with the unique season of advanced years? Are there cuts, bruises, burns, etc., on your body that you cannot remember doing? Have you lost minutes, hours, days, or even months with no memory of what occurred? Have you discovered clothes in your closet you did not purchase, or experienced the embarrassment of being greeted by strangers who seem to know you well, or who call you by a different name?
Do you experience a never ending urgency about time? Are there sudden shifts in mood or in voice noticed by you or by others? Do you have a long history of either sleeping too much, or too little, or sleep walking, talking in your sleep, or frequent recurring nightmares? Do you struggle with eating too much, or too little? Do people view you as being very creative and/or very smart?
The more of these kinds of happenings that are noticed by you or by others as being part of your life, the greater the possibility that you may have the gift of multiplicity and you can discuss this with a skilled and caring therapist.
My fellow survivors, I want you to know that there is hope. Though this may be an upsetting and scary time, you can look forward to seeing good things happen for you, for your inside family, and in the relationships you share with others.
It all takes time, but the time is worth it because of the wonderful potential for growth and wholeness you'll discover within yourself. I know that this workbook will gently lead you as you diligently endeavor to work through each of the steps it outlines for you.
You will find as you, practice this concept, that you like other survivors who have used Household Management with success, will rejoice with enthusiasm from your learning experience and the strength you will receive. You will learn to treasure your inside family as well as yourself. From that point, you will discover as I did, that you are the winner; truly deserving the great achievement you are working so hard for. What is that achievement? The unique wholeness of a very special and gifted person, YOU.
Say to yourself: (use your name) _______________, you are a very special person with a gifted unique personality. Next, believe in what you are setting out to do and take the first step forward.
GO for it, you CAN do it. I believe in YOU!!
Your thoughts and Experiences:
Allow yourself to search through childhood memories. Ask yourself questions regarding possible types of abuse; mental, physical, emotional, and sexual. Was any of your abuse ritualistic in nature? Perhaps you were abandoned, or your family neglected you, leaving you to care for yourself the best way you could.
Find a therapist that is knowledgeable, and one comfortable with dissociative and multiple clients. To assist you in your search, in your search, many support or crisis lines provide lists of therapists, or know who you can contact for that information. It is wisdom to interview several therapists before deciding upon one worthy of your investment of trust and finances. Finding a therapist who is not only knowledgeable, but who is safe and will help you stay safe.
Select a few books that will provide you with information about child abuse. You may not think of your childhood experiences as abuse, and you may feel scared to use descriptive words, but it will be important for you to recognize the past in order to build a safer future (suggested reading is listed in the appendix).
You may find you have periods of time you are more willing to explore than others. That's O.K. You know best when to press on and when to take breaks. This process of investigating, learning, feeling and working takes time.
Communication with your alters is essential. If there is no communication, there is no relationship among alters and the isolation can lead to rebellious or maladaptive behavior from one or more alters. A mutual respect can be established if the host learns to respect the rights of the alters and the alters begin to respect the rights of the host.
First, create opportunities to demonstrate trust and love to your alters. Communication will be easier in an atmosphere of trust and love. An important part of communication is patiently listening to what your alters want to say. Remember, they took the pain for you when you needed them. If you do not listen to them, they may feel like clamming up, hiding, or they may get angry and rebellious.
Tell your alters that you are the host, and the main body. Share with them that it is your house they live in and that you are the head of the household; you are in charge. Communicate that there are priorities as well as boundaries. With love and communication as priorities, appropriate and beneficial boundaries can be set.
Encourage the alters in their talents. Let them know that you are proud of them and their gifts and you want them to learn more and to get an education in their area of interest, if that's what they would like to do.
Be available to them. Make time for your alters, choosing times when you (the host) are free, and you can help or support the alter to develop his/her talent. Instruct the alter to ask the host if it is convenient and acceptable for him/her to come out. Sometimes the host may not be available due to stress or fatigue.
Sometimes the alters come out to help you without your permission. Yes, I said to help. You're wondering how that could be? Well, with the right loving communication, the alters will not be "just alters" but a family inside you. They will help provide order and enjoyment, rather than the clamoring havoc you may be used to inside your head.
Some alters like to have responsibilities which gives them the opportunity to be creative in constructive and adaptive ways. Delegate tasks to your alters. As your alters learn that you love and appreciate them, they will choose to listen to you and observe you. For example, the attitudes and behaviors you model for them will show them how you would like them to live. This will reduce maladaptive behavior born out of fear or pain and increase adaptive interaction, thus benefiting the entire household.
Alters need to hear consistent messages of appreciation, love and caring. They need to know that we (the hosts) are as committed to them as they were dedicated and committed to us when times were bad. They made a sacrifice for us, so now we must reciprocate with our time and love.
Thank them for the part they played in your life. Let them know that without them you might be dead today. Let them know how important they are. Encourage the alters to put their feelings into words, letting them know that it's okay to be worried, angry, frustrated, or sad. They may know about some feelings but not others. It's okay to feel anyway they feel. Help them to discover safe and perhaps new ways to handle upsetting situations.
All alters are creative, exciting and unique! Once they learn to communicate with each other and with you, trust develops and they are much more free to be personalities that express humor, happiness, and understanding. They will feel permission to be honest with their thoughts and feelings.
The old symptoms of withdrawal and inhibition, feelings of discontent, beliefs that they must be punished, feelings of suicide, self-mutilation, or rejection, will all start to decrease as they become more comfortable with the signs of appreciation, love, and caring that are being shown. They will realize that the danger has passed and they can let down some of their guard.
Always be aware that they were, and still are, positive parts of you. Praise them, they belong to you. They are your inner family.
Like in most families, conflicts will arise and there will be a need to resolve conflicts through negotiation. Negotiation means to discuss or confer with another party in order to reach an agreement.
You are the head of the household. It is your body and your alters are parts of you. In order to live harmoniously there needs to be a healthy, growing attitude in these areas:
Inward towards self:
Self view is central in your search for meaning and direction. Everything possible has been done by those who abused you to negatively color and distort your view of yourself as you looked inside yourself. Now it's your turn, as head of household, to work with yourself and your alters toward seeing yourself as the creative, resilient, intelligent survivor family you really are.
Outward towards others:
The same lens with which you view yourself and your inside family can now be used to scrutinize others and the outside world. Gradually learning to trust others and to see yourself as deserving of and capable in social, work, and family situations, is a vital step toward reclaiming your total sense of well being and harmonious relationships.
How wonderful to see yourself and your alters as distinct, unique individuals with rights and responsibilities. You are free to feel good about yourself and to recognize your individual attributes. As head of household, you are a key to each alter recognizing his/her individuality.
By providing opportunities for them to express their pain, ideas, talents and gifts, you the host, and your family, will move together toward wholeness.
Good relationships are built on mutual respect. As a survivor, flagrant disrespect was repeatedly shown you and silence or programmed responses were all you could risk. Now you are free to choose your own thoughts and to listen to others without so much fear. As you choose to become increasingly healthy, listening to yourself and to your inside family will help prepare you to listen to others, and to learn to exchange thoughts and ideas with growing freedom.
Boundaries: yours and the alters
Boundary is a word describing limits and separations, or divisions of time and space. Boundaries relates to knowing the difference between yourself, your rights, and the rights of someone else; they may be emotional or physical. Boundaries imply that you, as head of the household, have the first and primary say in all decisions relating to the needs, desires, and goals of you and your inside family. Out of respect for the rights of your alters, make solid agreements with them and allow them time to express their gifts or enjoy a favorite activity.
Respect of personal limits, the right to express a want or need, the right to say yes or no and be respected by the head of household greatly increases each alters: sense of well being and contributes to a harmonious household.
Privacy: yours and the alters
Sometimes you, the host, need to have a private time to meditate, pray, have a quiet time with someone you love, or talk with someone like your therapist. These are all examples of times you may choose not to share with your inside family: private times. The alters also may feel the same about their quiet time, or perhaps because of the mood you are in they may choose to not let you hear. There may be times they simply need to open up in a private place where they feel safe. The agreement to respect each others rights to privacy is a healthy growing decision, and contributes to a harmonious household.
Because you are a survivor, the opportunity to control yourself, rather than being controlled by others, is a new experience to you. You are now free to manage your own behavior and to teach your alters to be in control of their own behavior. Now that you are a loving family, they will not want to come out in a maladaptive way because you, the host, are the head and in control. If a difficult situation arises, you can teach your inside family to work it out together in a caring and adaptive way.
For example, if you worked in a place and a person said something that hurt you deeply, or triggered a flashback and you dissociated, the alter who came out would not embarrass you. He or she would be under control and behave and speak in a proper way so that you, the host, would not look bad or project to others that you were crazy or out of control.
Sense of Humor:
A sense of humor is a quality or expression of being lovable, laughable and happy. Yes, believe it or not, some of your alters have a sense of humor. Being part of a harmoniously managed household helps free this wonderful quality. You, the host, can learn to give your alters permission to show their source of happiness.
For example, when the host agrees that an alter can come out and say or do something to cause amusement in others, he or she gives the gift of laughter which releases stress and tension in the listener. When the host encourages laughter, alters discover their right to feel good and to know it's O.K.; that they won't be punished or get in any kind of trouble.
Each of the above are worthwhile goals and will provide meaning and direction for you and your entire inside family. Allow them their own individual and meaningful approach to creative balance in your collective life. Encourage your alters to use their creative talents and abilities while increasing your sense of control and harmony. After all, they are a part of you the principle person, the "head of household". Understanding your authority as the "head of household" will help bring your alters together as your family in respectful interpersonal relationship with you and each other.
I encourage you, my M.P.G. survivors, look forward to and anticipate a whole new, wonderful environment for you and your inner family. It is exciting to watch and participate in the careful nurturing of growth between you and your alters; to be in loving cooperative control of yourselves. Rather than the loud confusing havoc of many voices in protesting uproar, there can be an orchestrated harmony of mutual love and respect. Open shared communication between and your alters (who are your storytellers) will occur. The spiritual and emotional bond created between you and your alters helps them move from the pain and isolation from which they emerged, to the safety and hope of a growing relationship based on truth and love. How wonderful to anticipate with confident hope the natural result of the above communication: a sense of wholeness with the intelligent, creative and talented personalities within. What a GIFT!!
COMMUNICATE: Getting to know your inner family
Look inside and let your inner family know that you welcome them and want to get to know them. Invite them to speak to you or make themselves known to you in other ways. Encourage the voicing and sharing of feelings. Create a warm receptive environment.
1. Write down what you learn. Describe what you can about those who show themselves to you.
An Example of Host-Alter Communication
Alter: Danny, one of the better known alters and protector of the child alters. He felt that he was the brains of the whole inside family and was programmed to kill the host when hearing a specific programmed word.
Host: The owner of the house that the alters live in. She wants to make friends with them and have them work as a unit, or family, to do good for each other with the host as the head.
Host: "hi, Danny how're you doing today?"
Danny: "Eh, who gives a rip and what's it to you?"
Host: "I give a rip, and it is a lot to me."
Danny: "Ya, if you say so. So what do you want me for?"
Host: "I want to tell you that I appreciate what you did for me when I was in pain and could not take it anymore, and tell you that I would like to be your friend. I would like us to work together instead of against each other."
Danny: "Listen, I'm the brains of this clan and I like things the way they are."
Host: "Danny, I believe that you're the brains of the clan, but don't forget that I'm the head of our household. You live in my body, so that gives me the right to make the main decisions. I'm the head of our household."
Danny: "So what's going to happen to me?"
Host: "Lots of good things will happen to you. You will get opportunities to express your talents. You'll find out that I will let you out without you having to force your way out at inconvenient times. We will learn to work together and agree to priorities and mutual boundaries."
Danny: "Priorities and boundaries, what's that mean? Are you saying that I won't get to watch over the children, and I won't get to run things inside, and you're going to set up a boundary that I can't cross over? You're saying I can't come out when I want and drive the car and go shopping and do things like that? I can't build things that I like?"
Host: "Danny, you're still going to be able to take care of the children, and you can still be in charge of the things inside, but you have to let the others express their opinions and have input in decisions too. What I am saying about priorities is that when you want to come out it needs to be at an agreed upon time. When you come out it must be with a proper attitude and behavior. You can drive the car, but at the proper speed. And I want you to be conscious of the gas you use. You cannot go out and spend all the money you want on the credit cards because I cannot pay for it, and it is not fair to do that. I will give you a credit card and allow you to spend only so much, and no more. If you exceed the agreed limit, I will not let you use it. I love you Danny, and I want you to know that I deeply appreciate what you have done for me. I feel that you have the right to voice your opinion about things in a proper way. You have the right to develop your talents and learn more about them as well. Remember, I want us to be friends and to work together as a team because I care about you."
Danny: " That sounds too good to me. I'm not sure that you're being straight with me, though. How do I know that it's all to turn out that way? I'm not sure I trust you anyway."
Host: "The only way to find out is to try it. Test me and find out. Since you're the brains of the clan, I'm sure that you will find a way to test me and be sure of the whole idea."
Danny: "I'm not sure I like this head of household stuff. You weren't so good a long time ago at being the head. If you were, then why did we come to help you when times were bad? Huh?"
Host: "It's only because I was head of household that you are here. Remember, if I wasn't you would not be here. So believe me, I can take care of things out here and in there, but I'm asking you for your help and leadership inside."
Danny: " Welllll.............I'll have to think about this. I'm not sure I would like the change, but I guess I could consider it."
Host: "Thanks, Danny. I know that you will come up with the right answer because you're a smart dude and I respect you."
Danny: "Ya! I know I am. I'll let you know in a few days or so what we'll do."
Appreciate: Showing appreciation and thanks to your inner family
2. Write down how you appreciate your inner family and be generous and specific. Don't just say, "You make me feel safe." Say, "When you take me home early instead of letting me drive in unfamiliar neighborhoods in the dark, I feel safe. I know you care for me when you help me out like this."
Negotiate: Who's the head - you or them?
3. Make a list of responsibilities and see if you can designate tasks in ways that feels good to you and your inside people. If there's disagreement, come up with a compromise by negotiation in a cooperative manner.
4. Make a list of all the responsibilities you are willing to shoulder to keep everyone safe and content.
Anticipate: Excitement over recognition and use of gift
5. Make a list of all the talents shared by you and your inside family. Be sure you recognize all your gifts and don't take any for granted.
Gifted Wholeness: combining all your unique personality parts into one gifted wholeness.
6. Write down your strengths and weaknesses, likes and dislikes, and preferences. Make this be celebration of who you are. If there are things you want to improve or strengthen, don't be shy and write these down too.
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step and getting to know yourself, sharing, being seen and heard, are all steps towards a fullers, happier you.
This was written after Household Management by one of my twelve and a half year old alters named Micheal who is deaf and can't speak.
Some call me Mikey, but I don't mind what they call me. A name is just a name. I don't hear and I don't speak. But my eyes hear, and my hands speak, and my body works okay. I'm not bad off. I hear no evil nor do I speak any evil. I do my best not to write evil because evil is bad and that's how I came to be. Not that I mind being here. I'm doing fine in my world, no complaints. I guess my world is a little different than my friends around me, but that's okay too. I see things the way I would like them to be everywhere, so like to live in my own world. I hope that's okay with everyone.
I would be glad to share my world with those around me. So I'll write, and if you want, you can climb into my words and travel with me into the journey of the Michael world.
Michael or Mikey
P.S. I use no dates because in my world there is not time, nor day, nor months. It's a world of freedom. It's my world.
The world around me seems to be falling apart. Struggling and stress, backbiters and tormentors and rage. It seems that out there, there is destruction all over. But not in my world. It is a perfect world. I rest in a deep rest of tranquillity where grace and glory are like rays of sunshine. My world is a touch from the warmth of a mothers caressing love that a child would feel when he is rocked in his mothers arms. Like a stream of pleasure falling upon him he hears her sing a delightful nourishing love song to him. The mountains sing their song to me. Oh! This is a perfect day. Bees and humming birds keep up a constant sound of joyful undertone and humming. Everything that has breath moves to welcome the peace of the fall day. Even a dark twisted gnarly tree reached out to thank Him for the sun that beat between the twisted tree and Him, the man you could see through like transparency. This is a good man, there is no bad in my world.
Down the road I can see a spiral of smoke creeping up into the air from a chimney of a cottage that nestles between the hill and the forest, with a broken fence around it, and weeds popping through the wooden slats, waving a welcome to the by passers.
The window and door of the cottage were open wide and people were sitting on the old porch swinging back and forth. They were a peaceful and warm looking old couple waving to me as I walked by with a loving smile on their face. I waved and smiled back and thought.....
This is a perfect day.
Inner Faces Of Multiplicity: Contemporary Look at a Classic Mystery by Jaclyn Pia. Covers the standard stuff that used to be believed about multiplicity, nothing new here.