Help! We're new to our DID
What can we do about this?
How to handle some of the challenges of newly-realized systems:
- If y'all are experiencing headaches, rapid switching, struggling with brown & blackouts, and don't have good communication yet, then folk may be trying to get close to or take over front to get or share external information. We suggest that y'all open up to the idea of sharing external information freely. Put what's going on outside your body on "Broadcast" - y'all can just have the intention of sharing, or picture an internal TV broadcast or public address system so that folk inside don't have to fight over front to know what's going on outside. (see also Communication Techniques)
- Overall mapping can wait, but you will want to start to create a list or list of details regarding your headmates, and keep it in a secure place that you can ensure your own privacy. When internals feel seen/heard/acknowledged in some way it can help them settle down.
- Give yourselves time to work through getting to know each other and get on the same page. It's like y'all have all been thrown together in a ship (or we like space ship) and whether y'all can get everything working is a sink-or-swim situation. You need to get along. You probably did before you realized it, even if there was significant dysfunction. Now that you know, you either can get on the same page or spend your energy fighting each other. We advocate for getting on the same page asap.
- One of our most-recommended resources for brand-new "systems" is the System Trust Issues New podcast series. It specifically helps with helping y'all with any internal friction and understand why it's so important to work together, as well as how to build trust more efficiently.
- After System Trust, we recommend that y'all consider working on one or both of the following resources:
- The United Front Boot Camp is a self-help "30-day" challenge. Feel free to take way more than 30 days. You can do 1 or 2 a week, or however y'all want to work through it.
- Consider taking the The System Safety Plan course on Plurality Resource. It's a self-contained course that walks your system through creating a personalized safety plan. It's a living document that outlines what it's like when y'all are doing well, or less than well, or on the brink of crisis, and how y'all can take care of yourselves or know when it's time to ask for help.
- Flashbacks, emotional volatility, and trauma: It's likely that y'all also have traumaholders — they are likely to be elusive, hidden, or in many ways unreachable for now. And that's ok. Don't chase any trauma (like digging into WHY) or traumaholders at the start of learning y'all are plural or have DID — comfort them, be compassionate with them, and work more with the folk who have been running your life right beside you all along for now.
- Trauma work waits until y'all have a good working relationship with your "crew". If someone sends emotional or other sensory flashbacks, thank them for the information, comfort them, say wow that really sucked, is there something I can do for you right now? and maybe "I really appreciate that you want to share this with me. We need to work some things out first. Is there some way I can comfort you or help you right now? We highly recommend that you make sure we have internal and external teams to help before working on that." They may not understand all that, but if you respond in a calm, compassionate, loving, gentle way they hopefully will get the gist.
Hopefully that will help get y'all started and a little calmer and help y'all get on the same page.