**Disclaimer: all thoughts, feelings, opinions and expressions here are from the perspective of one or more alters in our system. Not anyone else**
First post today.
We have been lax about posting. Thursday and Friday this week were busy with family and coping with unexpected challenges. Different parts of our system are still victims. Others are survivors. Some are thriving instead.
But all of us are struggling with how to interact with our relatives and certain friends. We are struggling not to fall back into old patterns. We are struggling with automatic switching.
In the last 24 hours 15 of us switched places and talked to our friend – who we traveled to visit and stayed with as a guest – and did not tell anyone it happened. Our host self did not even know it happened. Since we all have the same voice as adults (and the child parts and mimic that voice too) that came to some awkward assumptions (her about our whole self) and repeated, but useful reminders and advice to deal with the current coping challenges (next post).
Our host self sounded like she was talking about herself a lot. Very self-centered and not interested in others – absolute untruth. She also seemed wound up and stressed out; true. And she appeared to be back in the victim mentality based on how she tried to explain what was really going on – but we wouldn’t let her tell the friend we were hijacking her voice and sharing our fears and frustrations instead.
Our host self, who is actually okay with and able to handle the relatives well, hardly spoke to the friend. We know this friend is safe and accepting of our past and present situation. We could talk without fear and used it to speak our thoughts instead of asking the rest of the system for help coping with our triggers.
When our friend pointed it out today, we loosened the reins and let our host self explain a little about alter personalities, but not much. Not the most important piece: that our friend wasn’t talking to the adult host self who is caring, empathetic, okay with small talk, and more interested in listening to others than herself.
She knows that when the conversation gets to be a lot like therapy or the words coming out are mostly “I” statements, then we are taking over her voice and talking. But she doesn’t tell others. She just lets them think that she is selfish and self centered and stuck in the past. Or using therapy strategies for expressing feelings and setting boundaries in conversations instead of typical social conversation language. The second option is typically used on the hotline only to help us work through an issue and find the best way to verbalize it in a conversation. But sometimes one of us will ask friends for help and then use this technique with them too.
The problem was, none of us told our host self we were doing this. And we didn’t tell our friend either. We just fell back into old patterns and then embarrassed our host self.
Now we have to figure out how to fix this for her and everyone else in the system. Otherwise, it will be a very long week.
p.s. This post aas written on a smart phone, so please excuse the unusual formatting, etc.
thanks for reading.