Kinhost dot Org

Introduction to United Front (005) Transcript

Audio Episode New

<voices overlapping, music in background>
Oh! Good morning — oh! Do we have to get up?
Keep it down; I’m trying to sleep.
Yeah, we want to make that recording.
What are we going to record today?
What? What recording?
You know, the one about multiplicity.
You know, the usual — we’re trying to make a difference in the world or something.
Oh, yeah.
Well — I just really wanna help people!
I have no idea what to say.
I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who have really good questions, and need really good answers.
Why talk to them? It’s not like anybody gives a shit.
Well what makes us an authority?
I don’t really think it matters how long we’ve been multiple, or how long we’ve known we’re multiple — we’re multiple!
<Aliessa laughs richly>

Episode Five: Introduction to the United Front Boot Camp. A quote from Eric Fromm in the Art of Being: "If people don't understand our behavior, so what. Their requests that we must only do what they understand is an attempt to dictate to us. If this is being asocial or irrational in their eyes, so be it. Mostly they resent our freedom and our courage to be ourselves. We owe nobody an explanation or an accounting, as long as our acts do not hurt or infringe on them." On that note, the United Front boot camp is about positive, proactive and collaborative self-help for people with multiple personalities. The idea is—let me give you a little bit of a background about us. We're the Crisses. That's our system name. We did not start out with a system name. We were 16 when we explicitly had others come forward and give us names and tell us about their past lives. And very shortly, you know, I—Well, I guess we were familiar in some ways already. They had come forward, we had some memories about a couple of the people who came forward and the things that they had done for us. It was like, "Oh, it's you," rather than "Who the heck are you?" It was "Oh, it's you. You have a name, you have a face, you have a history? Wow. Thanks for introducing yourself to us." After, I guess, a cascade of seven or eight people doing this, we realized we weren't alone. And we kind of had choices. We had options. What are we going to do about this? Well, there are eight of us. We have a choice - we can disagree, or we can agree. We didn't formally have any training in collaboration or coming up with house rules and so on, but it didn't take very long before we realized we needed some. We wouldn't call it that. We did draw like a headmap, so we had an internal landscape.

So the United Front Boot Camp is kind of me looking back and saying, "If I were to have to show somebody how to get from point A, you know, there's a bunch of you, to point Z, you're all getting along, what would I suggest - B, D, all little steps along the way to B - what might their path be to get from A to Z?" So a starts out with "Hey, you" - whoever is reading this - "You are actually interested in getting along with everyone else? So what can you do about it?" Rather than playing the victim role, and saying, "Oh, I'm so helpless. All these people won't listen to me." How about switch it around and take a proactive stance and say, "Maybe if I put out an invitation." If I post posters around town, or whatever your internal landscape looks like. If I put it in the journal in our internal landscape, if I just say it out loud, so others can hear me, if I write it in a journal in the physical world. Whatever methods you use to get whatever communication you can across to others. If you say, "Open meeting tonight, anyone who wants to show up, please do." And plan for a meeting of one or more - could be meeting by yourself. And you sit down. And you say, "I'm done with this. I don't want to be fighting. I want to know who I live with. I want to get along with everybody. We need some rules. We want to get along. And if you want to see what this is like, if you want to be part of the conversation, come join me." There's this great viral video on the internet. And it's about leadership. And there's this guy, he's dancing his own dance in a crowd. Most people are lying on the grass on their blankets. This guy is dancing his little dance, and all of a sudden some other guy comes and tries to dance with them. Like alright, I can do do the same dance. And the whole point of the video, at least in some of the versions of it, is that you have a great leader, you have somebody doing something different and dancing to the beat of a different drum, and they're not really a leader until there's somebody to lead Well, the first person to step forward and say, "Let's do this different" is a potential leader. And it only takes one more person in the system to get on board to say, "You know what, even if nobody else shows up, let's do this together. I'm going to help." That second person creates a movement. So the whole idea of the United Front Boot Camp, or the United Front as the book will be called, is to create a movement takes two - one to start, and one to follow or join in or be a partner. Doesn't matter what level of their involvement or even if they become the leader, you know, and the other person steps back and says, "You're better at this than I am, you go ahead." It doesn't matter who's running the meetings, it doesn't matter how many are at the meeting. It takes at least two of you to say, "Hey, we can reach a consensus, we can work together, we can iron out our differences." And you get to be an individual. Still, within this larger framework, you become a part of a community.

Now one of the other things I do in the United Front Boot Camp is I parallel living together in your head similarly to living together in a house, I have a saying, I'm going to say it again: "As inside, so outside, and vice versa." You're gonna hear me say that a lot. "As inside, so outside, and vice versa." If you can behave well outside your head in your house, you can behave well inside your head in your internal landscape. You can share your head with others, if you can share a house. And if you start sharing your house outside your body in a better way - if you're a better roommate, if you're a better spouse, if you're a better child, if you're living with your parents, if you're a better landlord tenant, whatever - in the physical world, then your head mates will see. Because really, believe me, they're paying attention. On some level, subconscious or conscious, they will see what you're doing in the world outside of your body. And if you're doing well, they will use you as a role model. Yes, some of them will be kicking and screaming and dragging their feet. You know, some are there to be resistant. For a reason, we'll get into that somewhere in this whole discussion of different aspects of being multiple. We'll get there - we'll talk about the resistant people, the ones that are sarcastic, or quote unquote, "mean" - just put that in big, big, big fat quotes, because they're not being mean. They may be being defensive. I don't think really it's mean - it comes off as mean, the other party may interpret it as mean, but I don't think they're coming from a place of wanting to be mean, unless they're really hurt and scared. So we're going to discuss that in and of itself.

So I come to the United Front Boot Camp from a perspective that everybody has the potential of getting along. Everybody has the potential of being a contributing member of your internal community. Everybody has the potential of working together. Everybody has the potential of agreeing to goals. So one of the reasons I wrote it up as a blog is because, given our current healthcare system here in the United States and possibly in other places, we're currently handed—most HMOs, at least, hand out eight session packages. And the packages are limited, you know, 8 half hour sessions. Where working with multiples is usually a protracted—protracted therapy sessions. Whatever. It takes a long time to work it out, and if you need constant hand holding by your therapist and your eight sessions are two weeks apart, you're probably not going to make progress very quickly. So this self-help program allows you the option of doing steps in between therapy appointments. Or if you're underinsured, and you can't even get therapy or you can't find the right therapist, it gives you an option to try to do some self help work while you're trying to work that out and figure out what else to do. It gives you something to hold on to to improve internal communication. There is nothing I'm promising you, because it's all about you and what work you do. And it's a method, it's a toolkit, it's a possibility of a way of framing your reality. So that you can actually get to a productive place of working on the structuring inside of your head and work on the relationships and work on co-consciousness and work on collaboration, and maybe even improve co-awareness. The more trust you have in your system, the more the walls have a chance to become flexible. So if you can work in the background on this, even while you're working with a therapist, or if you are working outside of the medical system and you need something anyway, due to a lack of insurance or a lack of money, then this gives you an option for trying something that I think quite often therapy fails to do. With most therapists. Therapists who are very familiar with DID will make some of these suggestions, but usually not in a structured way, or in an orderly format like I do. They'll pull one of these ideas out of a hat and offer it, or maybe they'll have part of some of the ideas that I come up with, or something similar or parallel. This isn't therapy, per se. We're not talking about digging into your past, we're not even talking about building skills for the future. We're really talking about what is going on in your head right now, and can you make plans, I come to this from life coaching experience, I come to this as a minister, I come to this as somebody with shared experience, I come as a peer, and I'm saying, "Look, this kind of stuff worked for me. I've been using this methodology for 30 years. It took me a while to get through all of these steps, I'm trying to help you shortcut it by laying it out and putting it in an outline. But this—I did this. I did this. I didn't necessarily do it explicitly. I didn't have written directions. But I did this." And so when I come up with a new idea and add a new article is from my personal experience, as well as framing it a little bit in a coaching way like, like, "Hey, why don't you try this? And maybe this will help you plan for the future. Maybe this will help you make progress later. Maybe this will help you in your therapy sessions." I'm not looking to replace therapy at all. I think it's very important to have an expert, a professional, a medical professional, psychological professional, helping you out. But that's not always possible. So I want to give you a cheap, easy, proactive alternative, or adjunct. Either one, your choice.

So all of that said, who is this going to be most helpful to? This program really is best suited for systems that are doing okay most of the time, but still know they need to do better or need to work more. It's for ones who have a lot of group buy-in on the idea that they need to change, that they need to work on progress. It's for systems that want to get along better, collaborate together on shared goals, look forward to sharing the rest of their life together, or who need to come to consensus about integration and other ideas. It's for groups that are really mo—motivated to do the work and expand their willpower to get things done. It's for people who, for whatever reason, don't have therapy available, or maybe their therapist wasn't working out for them, and they're unable to find a professional to replace them. Or maybe those who feel like progress stalled and need something new to maybe recharge them, or come in a different direction. It's especially good if you want to work together with a therapist on more proactive model. It's also helpful if you're concerned because your therapist doesn't specialize in DID, so that you can familiarize themself - you know, you could like suggest it to your therapist - to look it over to get an idea of types of homework you might do. So they can assign different things or come to their own conclusion about how helpful it is. And maybe say "Yeah, yeah, I think this is good, you should try it." There are persons who can't, for emotional or mental reasons, see a therapist for some reason, and they still want some kind of help or guidance on working on themselves. And I would really love if therapists who need alternatives and information who are looking for more positive or upbeat ways of making progress with their clients. I'd love to hear back from them.

So just want to mention some of the steps. I mean, there's there's 37 right now, plus couple of sub-steps. So I'm not going to mention all of them, but I want to mention a few of them, just to give you an idea of the range. And also, they're a little campy. You know, it is the United Front Boot Camp. So I made them a little campy. I made it all about living with the people—I call the people in my head residents. They're either residents or guests. That's how I put it. They're residents or guests. They're basically roommates, or they're just visiting, even if they're visiting forever. But, you know, either you're a roommate with some kind of agreements with each other about how to behave, or they're kind of couch hopping, but not really like with any particular agreements. But that's kind of how I look at it. So it goes from 'Can't we all just get along?' You know, if your head were a house, how are you treating each other? So that's how I start the framing, the metaphor I guess, of the Boot Camp is set up. So the Boot Camp, United Front, picture a picket fence around a house, you know, it's like, the fence itself is united, and it's in front of the house. So it's kind of that's how I pictured in my head, it's like, talking about like, making something orderly and organized and neat outside the little white picket fence. Even though I hate that idea of the white picket fence. But you know, it's like, it's the white little picket fence around the house, to say, "Here's your safe space, here's your space." So we want a united front, we want everybody to be together. So it starts with boot camp, we get along.

And I go through a couple of, I guess, necessary book-keeping type of things. I want you to be your own healthcare advocate, so I have a whole post on that. That you're your own best case manager - no matter what country you're in, you really are supposed to be in charge of your own health and the professionals that you work with, are supposed to be consultants, you know, and you don't handle your power over to them. You should be really checking their advice at the door and saying, "Do I want this or not want this? Is this for me? Or is this their ego?" You know? Because it does happen. It does happen? That's a conversation in of itself.

So is this therapy? No, and I talked about that a little bit. But there's a whole post on that. 'Please wipe your feet before you come in.' So now I start really framing things as interactions in a household. 'Being a responsible roommate.' So somebody being a headmate in your system, when it's not functional. What is it that a head in chaos looks like? 'Thanks for washing the dishes.' So we get to gratitude, and how we can be grateful for our companions within our system. 'The bathroom is the first left down the hall.' Head maps, things like that, and an exercise for starting to work on one. 'Come back inside.' You know, the art of looking inside when somebody is fronting how they can both be dealing with the outside world and keep an eye on what's going on inside. 'The problem with extremes', handling perfectionism, procrastination, etc. And how those end up blocking us from making progress. Then we start getting into meetings. 'We need to sit down and talk', having your first meeting. And then there's a couple of exercises on having your first two meetings. And then 'Always lock the door when you leave.' That's the house rules, protecting the system both inside and out. 'Knives point down in the dishwasher.' Again, house rules, personal and interpersonal safety issues. So protection, safety. 'That's MY shampoo!' Internal boundaries and respecting one another. 'Hey, my friends coming over...' Again, house rules, relationships between people inside of you and the people outside of you that are important to you. Ice cream is a right... I'm sorry. [Laugh.] Thank you. Alright. 'Ice cream is not a right. It's a privilege.' Understanding the needs of the quote unquote 'bad guys' by way of our littles. Frame the whole thing talking about littles, but really I'm talking about everybody in the system.

'It's okay to have a party!' Time for a break and taking some reflection and seeing that we're about halfway through the system already, you know, through the United Front Boot Camp. So we take a break. Now we get more into other things. 'Can we talk this over?' Internal communication work? 'You can't make me!' - encouraging everybody to follow the rules. 'Who stole my money?' - what to do about rule violations. 'Don't snoop in my diary!' There's two parts to that, about building trust within the system. 'Please make yourself at home' - thoughts on your internal landscape and ways to use it in your favor. And another one called 'You're really looking good today' is another internal landscape post. 'Dividing up the chores' - how to define and divvy roles in the system. 'You're always making me late' - ideas on time management and keeping track of time. 'Where am I and what time is it' - about losing time? 'Don't shove me around!' - stealing front. 'We're so glad you can join us' - helping the stuck guests skiing co-awareness and buy in into the system. 'Is this a whole more prison?' - on sharing front versus stealing front?

And so on. So there's a good number of posts on internal landscape issue, meeting issues, house rules, working on relationships, head maps, communication and boundaries, and also things to maybe give some hints and help towards co-consciousness and co-awareness. Okay.

So what am I looking for? I want feedback. Like if people read one or two posts, and it's not working for you - if I'm putting too much of the complication, the ground rules and things - if I'm putting too much of that stuff at the beginning, let me know. I can rearrange this so that it's, it gets to other things first. That some of the steps are moved around. That's absolutely no problem. I want to know where you get stuck. I have one system tell me it is so helpful for them that they've bookmarked several parts of it, and they go back to it over and over again. They have the book form of the same steps. It's, you know, an ebook, basically. And they have different parts of it bookmarked. And I have a lot more work to do to really make it a book. So it's mostly the blog posts put in a slightly different order. And I may have gotten around to polishing a few of them and, and expanding on a few of them. But it's basically still the blog. So you know, for now, you can go to the blog. But they said that it has been very helpful for them since I put it out several years ago, and that they do refer back to sections of it when they have issues. I would like more feedback. I would love some critical feedback, if anybody has anything wrong with it. But you know, it does feel good to know that I've helped somebody. Can't say it doesn't, it does, it just feel good. But I'm not looking to feel good. Unless this is perfect, in which case, like, unlike any of humanity, it's like if I've produced perfection, and there's no room for improvement, alright, awesome. But really, I'm, I'm positive, I'm not perfect. My system isn't perfect. And, and these posts are not perfect. So I want criticism as well, as you know, people who clap and jump up and down and say it's wonderful. I want my ego stroked, not gonna lie. But no, I really, really want to help people. And I want to know, are there, are there gaps? Are there things missing? Do I need to add more posts? What do you struggle with that I haven't covered?

There's a paradigm, you know, this whole idea of what terminology I'm using and putting in kind of joking parallel to living in a house - external house - inside of your head. So the same kind of like college frat issues, or for a college dorm issues, that you might have in the real physical world, that you're having them inside of your head. You know, you have a whole bunch of young people living together, probably for the first time knowing each other even exists. And now you got all these issues that come up. Well, you know what, that happens in the real world, too. You throw a whole bunch of strangers into a house and see how quickly they get along. Actually, I think there are some reality shows that do that, too. So you know what, just turn on the TV, watch a few episodes and go, "Oh, no wonder we can't get along," you know, and see who gets voted out and all that kind of stuff. Well, you know what, you're kind of like that game show except nobody gets voted out. So you're gonna have ego wars, you're gonna have people that aren't trustworthy, you're gonna have people who piss on each other. You're gonna have ego battles and matches, you know, "I'm better than you. I'm the leader here. I'm this, I'm that." And you're gonna have other people that were like, "Who the heck are you?", unhappy with the person who's exerting themselves like "I am the strong person," you know, "I am better than everyone. I'm more healthy than you." So you're gonna have this, it's gonna go on until you actually sit there and say, "Hey, wait a minute. You know, we're all in this together, right?" Actually. Yeah. All right, somebody in my head is like, yeah, it's not really like those reality shows. It's more like The Walking Dead. Like, yeah, you got a point. You've got a whole bunch of survivors thrown into a horrible situation together, at least how many years ago, right? Whole bunch of survivors thrown into this horrible situation, hardly knowing each other exists, suddenly finding each other. Out, you know, in towns and wilderness and whatever. And everybody's really out for themselves. At least initially, when you find them, right. They're out for themselves. And they're in a horrible survival situation. And everybody outside your body is a zombie, and could be after you and want to eat you. So what do you do? You're gonna have to figure it out, right?

So you got a choice. Either you bond together, or you fall apart. And most multiple systems are tired of falling apart. So it's time to bond together. You know, it's time to pick yourselves up, bootstrap a little bit, pick yourselves up, get some grit, and get some mental fortitude and just have a meeting. Put your cards on the table, figure something out, get some household rules going, sign a lease together. Figure out how many of you have buy-in into this idea of a lease or an agreement. You know, a contract or, or just house rules? How many of you have buy-in? How many of you don't? Are you still going to take care of them? Or are you going to restrict them. You have so many choices, but in most cases, nobody's laying those choices out for you on the table. Even if you're working with a therapist, they're not as concerned usually with your internal world as they are with getting you to the point where you can deal with the external world. And in some cases, from my point of view, they're looking to change your internal world to conform with the way everybody else is in the external world. This is really weird to me, but that's another conversation for another day. Regardless whether you want to merge or fuse or integrate, depending on what words you're using, and your therapist is using. If you want to become a singleton again, or become a singleton for the first time, what I'm talking about is kind of the homework you still end up having to do in order to get to final fusion and becoming a singleton. It doesn't happen overnight. You don't get to singleton overnight. If you all can agree that you want to become a singleton, then you get hold-outs, and you get people resisting, and you get feedback from your system or, you know, maybe even ganging up. And anytime you have a group, inside or out, and you have a group that doesn't agree on what their goals are, it's a mess. It's a complete and utter mess. The best businesses don't run way—that way. The best community service organizations don't run that way. Nobody runs like that. As inside, so outside and vice versa. Okay, those external organizations can't do it without getting buy-in, without having rules, without having bylaws without having legal advice, with [laugh]. What makes you think—what makes anyone think, I'm sorry, you may not think this—what would make anybody think that it's possible to be a entity, a group entity, of any kind of internal or external group entity, and not get buy-in and have rules and, and have ways of enforcing those rules, and abiding by those rules, and checking whether or not those rules are okay and, and having votes and agreements and meetings.

That's me babbling for a half an hour or so on why you should have a meeting and why the United Front Boot Camp would help you if your goal is to have those meetings, to build that internal communication, to get along, to have agreements. And then basically make your inside a consortium, a group collaborative, similar to an external organization. And that's it. Please check out the United Front Boot Camp at 'Boot Camp' in the links at the top of the page. If you click on that, that gives you an explanation of the boot camp. A couple of bullet points on what, what would make it fit for you. And you can either click this 'Start Boot Camp' button or underneath it you can look at the steps of the boot camp if you prefer and see the whole list of steps as they stand currently. As of this recording, there are 37 main steps and a couple of sub-steps. Alright, this is Crisses signing off. And please take good care of yourselves.

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Many Minds on the Issue. Your Patreon support will keep this podcast coming. You can find more information, resources, and our Patreon link at K-I-N-H-O-S-T-dot-org