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Reparenting & Selves Reliance (023) Transcript

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<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!
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Why talk to them? It’s not like anybody gives a shit.
Well what makes us an authority?
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<Aliessa laughs richly>
<music fades out>

Reparenting and Selves Reliance.

Hey everybody, it's the Crisses, and we are recording under not-the-best circumstances from our car. But if we don't, it'll be months and months before we get any podcasts done, so better not-so-hot on the quality and actually having a podcast.

So one of the things that had been concerning us, and we want to make sure to get podcasts out about, is kind of a dual problem. It's like two sides of the same coin. One side of it is that people need reparenting, and we'll talk about the need. People within our system need reparenting because it didn't go so hot the first time around. And we also don't know how to properly rely on ourselves. Like we get either the all-or-nothing problem where we are either way too self reliant, and not able to ask for help and trying to do everything on our own even when we can't, and then on the other side, get too dependent and try to give all of our power to somebody else so that we're not taking responsibility for our life anymore. And some of us have a very difficult time finding a middle ground between being like "Fine, I'll do it myself" versus "Here you do it", you know, and there's no "Hey, can we do this together?" You know, there's no, "Can you show me how to do this correctly?" or anything in the middle.

So what we end up with is littles in our system desperately looking for parenting figures, and we get adults in our system who are so standoffish and so pushing-everybody-else-away and trying to be 100% self reliant, that we can't have healthy interdependent relationships.

So the root of the problem is that we didn't get what we needed the first time around as children. We, the whole group, even those of us who started out as adults, etc. Obviously, if we started out 18-and-up, we didn't have an opportunity to be parented properly. And of course, then there's the ones that are stuck as littles and so on. They didn't get it right the first time around either. It wasn't given to them correctly. They weren't afforded good parenting. And there may be some individuals in our system who had better parenting or better role models for parenting than others. And that's good, you know, and we're gonna, hopefully, I'll remember to talk about that. So one thing we end up with is kind of a skewed idea of what childhood should be like. And some of us could really use some parenting classes, especially if we're going to have our own children, or just developmental classes and go "Oh, so that's what kids are supposed to be like", or "that's how kids are supposed to be treated." because we didn't have exemplary role models to start with. And I'm basing that not on abuse so much as the inconsistent or detached parenting that's a hallmark of DID development.

So we had, we may have had a parent who was in the hospital a lot, and so they were just not available. But maybe they were really good when they were available, but they weren't there all the time. So it was inconsistent. It didn't matter if it was a fault or a blame. It just didn't go right the first time that we went through childhood.

So in some ways we require another go-around, another chance to be a child or learn what it's like to be a child in an inappropriate environment and to be given, even if we have to give it to ourselves, to be given that opportunity to grow properly. And we don't have to become kids to do it, but the ones that are kids can stay kids while they do it. That's fine.

[Ad break.] Hey everybody, partner interruption. I wanted to remind you about the Plural Positivity World Conference. It's July 13th to 19th, 2020, but it'll be online forever after. You can get more information at, or you can subscribe and click for notifications on Plural Events channel on YouTube. Many Minds on the Issue and Eclectic Tech are proud sponsors of the Plural Positivity World Conference. It's inclusive, online, free and recorded sessions. We look forward to seeing you there.

So just a very quick overview of some key essential elements of children's needs as they grow up. I'm not going to go fully into childhood development issues. We don't have the time. You know, I tried to keep the podcast like 20 to 30 minutes, so we don't have time for that. But as a baby, you know, in infancy and especially newborns simply need nurturing and safety. There's other peripheral needs - mirroring, so seeing a baby smile, and then you smile, it gives the child an opportunity to see on somebody else's face what they're doing. And then hopefully, eventually, they mirror back. So when you smile at them, they smile. You know, there's a whole bunch of different things, but the key essential element that we may have been missing is the nurturing and safety. What we got instead was the unreliable caregivers. And as we get older, we need more flexibility, slightly more permeable boundaries, a secure base from which to explore life.

So at first, we need to be kept really close, right? When we're really, really young, we need to be really close to people and feel really secure and attached to reliable caregivers. And then we start needing them to let go a little bit to let us explore. When we start walking and start moving around on our own, we need to explore our environment safely. And so we need that secure base and flexible boundaries. And you know, for our parents not to run over and grab us and pick us up every single time we like walk off. But to still be where we expect them to be when we come back, you know. And if you do childhood development classes, you know, you find like, there's actually a range at certain ages. They go so far and that's it, and then they feel insecure and they come back. So that secure base that the caregiver is going to be there and it's reliable, is important.

So then, as -- well, and what happened instead. So for us through repeated traumas while we were young children, we learn not to trust anyone, especially ourselves, okay, because that firm base from which to explore life that we should have had at that age wasn't there. We learn to either be afraid of the exploration itself, or that we can't depend on that rock, on that nest, that we can come back to. So we end up with some of those core values and needs, as a child exploring the world, we end up either being afraid to explore or we can't rely on that security, on that stability from the caregiver.

So then, the developmental milestones in the teen years is really the -- what we need is good role models and to be given more and more freedom and responsibility. To be trusted with freedom and responsibilities slowly, you know, in drips. We're not talking about like the minute you hit 12, you know, "okay, that's it, you're out of here." No. But to slowly give, you know, children more responsibility and more freedom, and more decision-making and things like that, more say over their personal expression, their identity, just little little drips of more freedom and responsibility. But what we had, instead of good role models, we had broken idols. We had those unreliable caregivers now are the broken role models that we had as teenagers. That we end up with no idea of what good is, and how to judge what's right because we were either too constricted, or too free too soon. We didn't have a good sense of direction or responsibility. Or if we had to parent our parents, maybe we were responsible too soon. But there's something about the compass, the knowing-the-right-direction-to-go-in, that we end up losing out on because nobody really helped role model that good direction sense, that good, moral, ethical, whatever you want to call it, like cultural compass. So we're kind of lacking some sense of direction, some sense of identity because maybe our identity was squished.

It's gonna depend on all the particulars of what happened in each of the three stages to you. But I'm just trying to give like a little idea of the things that have gone missing, or are likely to have gone missing. And just give a little hint of some of the problems that we faced in different ages and stages. Once our earlier development was undermined, some of these other things become undermined. Like if you couldn't trust the caregivers when you went out exploring, and then, you know, you couldn't explore or you couldn't trust that they would be there, now it's harder to take the responsibility, even if your caregivers are giving you appropriate responsibility. You're scared to take it. Or if you couldn't trust your caregivers, so you wanted to explore but you couldn't trust that they would still be there, so you stayed close to the home base or the nest because of that fear of exploration -- not fearing the exploration, but fearing the caregiver wasn't going to be reliable -- then how do you know that your role models are good role models? How do you trust the role models? If you couldn't trust the caregivers when you were younger, when you get older, now you have problems trusting the caregivers, you know, being good role models. So you know, these things like -- you can develop these earlier problems that become later problems as well.

So given all of that, it's really no wonder that many people with DID are deeply insecure as adults, because those foundations that build that security and the trust and having those good compasses and knowing you're going in the right direction, all those things aren't there. And so we're not very good judges sometimes of who we can trust to get our needs met. So we end up with some parts of our system that are the ones that said, "Okay, fine, I'll do it myself." And then you end up with the other parts that just flounder. They don't have -- they're kind of lost and don't have a good sense of what to do or where to go and so we end up with vulnerable parts. And we end up with parts that are capable and not, sometimes missing some of the gray area between the two. We may end up with more at one end and more at the other end and not a whole lot of them in the middle. And also without the flexibility. If you're mature, there's times you allow yourself to rely on others. And there are other times you take the control and you do the thing yourself. And sometimes you do it with other people. You do it together. When everything is working right. You and your partner make dinner together, you know, versus, you know, like, I just have to do this all myself or I'm completely helpless and I can't do it. I don't know if we're doing this right. But anyway, we're trying to go by notes we wrote like a month ago.

Your most vulnerable parts are probably your youngest children in your system. So they need to go back to the babies and infants and toddlers stages of needing nurturing and safety. They need to really stay safe, and be attended to, and be really constantly attended to. There's something called attachment parenting, which we are personally particularly fond of the idea of attachment parenting. And what it basically says is when your baby is born, when you have a very, very young child, very young infant, they just need to be constantly held and swaddled or in one of those snugglies, those kind of a big bandana that the baby is like hugged up against your chest, or in all those other little things, the snugglies and things like that. And if you look at other cultures, they're always wearing their babies, when they're that young, you know. In fact, they wear them, you know, usually until they're well into toddlerness.

So, you know, you'll see a woman or a person with a baby out in the field, picking food, you know, farmers or harvesting, and they'll be picking food with the baby, like attached to them, literally attached to them. So the idea of attachment parenting is when you give in to that need for security and for constant reassurance, and to basically be constantly hugged, that you build a more firm emotional base, that it fills that need to be reassured that your caregiver is there, cares about you, and is paying attention. And when a child does not get that, it can be -- I was looking to see if anybody's parked next to me. And if you don't get that, then it can lead to much more insecurity through life.

So what we think, is that those youngest children really need like 24/7/365 caregivers. And the only way we can think of to do that is internally. So we're gonna be making the case for internal reparenting because of this. Now, the most adaptable parts in your system, the adults, the hosts, the protectors, they can learn to choose good role models. So they can go to the teenage side of that spectrum and start filling some of those needs from the teenage side of the spectrum. And they can choose good role models and start role modeling, you know, adopting ethics and principles to follow and laying the groundwork for an internal culture of rehabilitation within the system. So an internal, I guess a multilayered school or like a one room schoolhouse kind of thing. Back in the day where different people at different levels of maturity -- t's not the best word but we'll use maturity at the moment -- different ages and stages of development can fulfill different needs for each other within the system.

So the middles in your system, those kind of school age in-betweenie people, they should have boundaries and earn privileges as appropriate for their age, and they need the security of having agreements and rules and boundaries. If they're given the whole world, if they're allowed to run amok, it actually makes them insecure. It makes them act out more and act worse, as a general rule, and you might start noticing this if you're looking for it out in the wild, out in the external world and watching children. The more permissive the parents, the more the kids act out to get attention. You know, the more permissive/neglectful. So the looser the reins or the looser the leash, if you will. I mean, I'm not saying you should literally leash a child, but you know, you give them permission to do certain things and they earn or are given privileges. A child who earns privileges is going to respect the privileges more than somebody who's just given them.

And the -- How can I put this? I mean -- okay, so I'll give an example. I had a permissive parent and a restrictive parent. And really, in retrospect, I think my father, Spurt the Unloader. That's our nickname for the sperm donor. Spurt the Unloader is only restrictive in comparison to Bertha. That's the port of manufacture or the egg donor or the womb, the womb parent. So Bertha was extremely lax, very permissive. I was allowed to ride my bike up and down the block in Brooklyn. So we're not talking about nowhere. But it was the 70s, and this was fairly normal. It wasn't like it was excessively permissive, but it was pretty damn permissive. When Bertha was at work, you know, Spurt was always at work during the day, but Bertha also got jobs and while Bertha was at work, I had keys and was allowed to be out and about while they weren't even home. Now, there were other parents on the block and sometimes they would keep an eye on other kids, other people's kids, not like officially but unofficially. But really, I really had way too much permission, if you ask me.

So when Spurt would come home and see me outside, sometimes Spurt would get mad. Depending on who was fronting, would delineate the level of mad and how it was taken out, but I think sometimes they came home just happy to see us and you know, ready for dinner, where other times they came home, saw us outside and got really pissed. And it would be easy to tell when they were walking down the block which one was front. And so we would just be like, uh oh, you know, tail between the legs and running home versus you know, just like oh, okay, you know, it's the nice dad. You know, "Hey, guys, I'll see you tomorrow." You know, saying goodbye to my friends instead of like sulking back to the house. I'd be like, "Oh okay, bye. Bye, everybody. See you tomorrow." you know.

But the permissive parent issue forced me or some parts of me to grow up too soon and to grow up very insecurely. We didn't learn to take responsibility. We just suddenly had it. And so we didn't have it because responsibility is learned. So we just, we did some very irresponsible things because we didn't have responsibility. We were just granted too much permission without the responsibility. That's like getting to the borderline of teenager, you know, towards the later end of that, but we were doing this, we were 7 8 9 years old. So it wasn't like we were extremely young, but we weren't teenagers yet either. So in those middle years, we had too much permission. If there were better agreements -- I mean, there were unspoken agreements. Like when dad comes home, it's time to come home. It was an unspoken agreement, but it was enforced by him. Not by Bertha but by Spurt. And the rules and the boundaries, we didn't have much boundaries. When we were younger, we had the "don't cross the street" kind of boundary. By the time we were 11, that was gone and we were riding our bike all over the place, and going off the block, and yeah.

Yeah, I think we imposed more of our own boundaries as the years went on, and they weren't given to us by parental figures. Especially once Spurt left when we were 13, then we were pretty much on our own because all we had was the permissive parent. We really went off the rails. We did a lot of things way too young that we should never have done, because we had no boundaries. Once Spurt was gone, we had no boundaries. Really. Yeah. So in a way that's neglectful. I mean, we've pretty much always known that Bertha was a neglectful parent, but yeah, it was definitely neglectful. And it comes from Bertha and not having had boundaries when Bertha was a kid, so Bertha didn't know how to instill boundaries.

Okay, so. So your middles need to have boundaries, and then your teens need to be given really good to great adult role models. And they can pick them probably. So they have really great adult role models, but they're also always going to be watching you. And by you, I mean the adults in your system. So all of your teens are going to be looking at what you do. So even though they may pick external role models, you know, actors and actresses, and whatever, they may pick external role models, and try to role model their life after them. And that's perfectly fine. That's identity building stuff. And that's fine. They will also still be watching all of the adults in your system. Everybody will, the littles at all ages, but the middles, the teens, everybody will be watching your behavior, and they will be monitoring your integrity.

So that's where great adult role modeling comes in. You can't lie without them knowing. You can't cheat without them knowing. You know, you won't get away with anything internally. You might get away with it in the external world, but you won't get away with it inside. So if you lie, if you cheat, don't expect them not to. You have to hold yourself to the same exact standards you expect from them, if not better. And they will, they will, maybe not even realizing it, do what you do, not what you say.

So it's very important to role model really good qualities, so they can imitate really good qualities. So they have a ruler against which to measure their own behavior, and holding them to something you don't hold yourself to is hypocritical and it causes all kinds of internal issues. So that's not a good idea either.

So your teenagers need to be given great, good to great, good to great adult role models with increasing responsibility for their life, their actions and your shared life. And this way, they get room to become who they want to become. And they will cherry pick, you know, they'll say "Oh, I like this person's ethics." You know, they won't say it consciously. But like "I like this person's ethics, that person's religious beliefs, that person's taste in music" and whatever. So they will pick and choose. But let's say you are extremely honest. Now they have a ruler against which to measure their own honesty. If you're always gonna keep your word, they have something to measure their integrity by. If, you know, you give them those measures. You being all of you, you know. You may not all be perfect. We're not talking about perfection, but we're talking about just having really laudable qualities or -- how do I put this -- values. You can role model values, and you can have different values. So you don't have to all value honesty equally. But somebody who really values honesty should be in their own integrity when it comes to honesty. Hopefully, I'm getting that across right, anyway.

So it's kind of your own decisions about who you want to be. Be true to who you want to be. And then they'll have a good example of that type of person.

So ideally, what you end up with is a team of adults or older teens. But, you know, in a pinch could be older teens, like, you know, your 17 year olds and stuff like that. We're not going to like, there's a magic number of 18 and you have to be over 18. Your 16 and your 17 year olds can fill in if you have a system full of kids, and you don't have a lot of adults to pick from. You can have a team of teenagers helping out or as the adults, quote, unquote, in the group, with the recognition that they still have some growing up to do too. But the reparenting role, it's just important that the littlest littles in your system get that constant attachment parenting. And it doesn't have to be from only one of you. It can be from a group or a team. So it's not like Oh, so and so is always stuck with the kids. It can be a team of three or four or five who rotate responsibilities so that they still get time to take care of their own needs, to be their own person, to enjoy life, you know, and have time front and all the other things. So you can have a team of people in your system who reparent your children.

We are dead set against having externals as our reparenting figures. And this is where things can get a little scary. So we don't like talking about it, but we really have to talk about it. There's a bunch of reasons that external people can't reliably reparent your littles in your system. And if you've already got a reparenting relationship with an external, you can start to shift by sharing responsibility with them first. So get into a team effort of reparenting your littles internally and externally, and shift more and more of it internal. So over time, you can take that power and control back into your system and get it, you know, get it off of the externals if you decide you want to do that. But we're gonna talk about why we don't like it when people have external reparenting relationships. So there's a bunch of reasons that we don't like it, we'll try and take it easy because some of them are really tough.

So the external role models or the external parenting figures are adults who have their own life, and quite possibly their own children or partners to take care of and can't be available 24/7/365. That's tough. I mean, examples of the types of people we've seen is best friend. You know, like the host's best friend is the parent for the littles. We've seen partner like their sexual, marital partner, or relationship partner being a reparenting figure for the littles. And we've seen therapists and other similar authority figures being taken on as a reparenting figure. We don't think any of these are a good idea for a lot of reasons. It's a lot for your friend to take care of you that way. It imbalances the friendship in many ways. It kind of undermines the respect and the equality between you and the other person. You being everybody in your body and the other person being everybody in their body. Because they could be plural too. It's not like, "hey, let's trade and be each other's parents" or anything like that. That's not equality, either. It's a very worrying dynamic from a codependency point of view. And it has certain inherent dangers in it. Somebody can take advantage of you, if they're not trustworthy. You may think they're trustworthy, and they would never ever hurt you. But they can even do it unintentionally. You could end up being gaslit, and a bunch of other stuff.

So it's just the power and control dynamics are not good. And if the person does turn out to be somebody who has not the best intentions on purpose, it puts you in a very, very vulnerable position. So it's not good for them in terms of them having their own life. It's not good for you in terms of you having yours. And even the most well intentioned externals can retire, move or get sick. They can become disabled or they can underestimate how long your littles will really need to heal and get older. And at the very worst, they might die and leave, you know, you and yours in your body alive while they're not in this world anymore. And that can be very distressing for the children in your system.

So one of the things that bothered us about this idea is that, like we've been saying, it was screwed up the first time, right? So we had that first opportunity to be children and be parented correctly or get what we needed from the parenting relationship the first time. Okay, not saying that, like, a parent who was sick and in and out of the hospital was doing it wrong, per se, but it was traumatizing to us as children. And so we didn't get what we needed. And we got scared, or we, you know, we got hurt in the bargain. So we had that first go around, and it didn't go right. And that's really demoralizing. And it's really harmful. And it really leaves us extremely traumatized. Imagine if it happens again. So we start putting our eggs into that basket, and we start trusting whoever it is, internal or external, we start trusting someone and then something goes wrong. We can prevent some of those things that might go wrong by making it internal relationships. Doesn't say it's 100% perfect if it's internal, but our internal caregivers are there 24/7/365. We can trade off the responsibilities so that no one person has to take care of them. And we -- I can't say can't die. We don't seem to die permanently if we do. And of course, if there's more than one internal caregiver, if somebody does get really distressed and have to go deep for any reason, there are others to pick up the slack. And you can always onboard more people to be in the parenting group. You know, so long as the children are getting continuous care.

Having one external caregiver, one external parental figure to reparent your littles means they're not trusting the adults in your system that closely and not relying on the adults in your system that closely. So if that external person has a problem, they move, they retire, they have an accident, they get a divorce, they whatever it is that happens, if that happens now your littles are lost without them and don't have internals in your system to rely on instead. So even the splitting the duty between internal and external is still an improvement over it being all an external person. If it has to be externals, having it be more than one external person might be okay-ish. But again, it's still never going to be that 24/7/365 that you can get from internals. And so we're concerned about that lack of attachment parenting, especially for the youngest in the system. Because like, imagine a three year old, and you may not understand childhood development enough to know this, but a three year old cannot be left on their own. There always has to be a caregiver for a three year old. They're just not ready to be alone. The caregiver can be 20 feet away. It can be in the next room, maybe briefly. At three, usually same room, usually line of sight.

So how can the three year olds -- in a plural system, how can the three year olds, say, get reparented by a therapist that you only see once or twice a week for an hour? That's devastating. We consider it really ouch, you know? How do you do that? Like, that just doesn't work. So now, every minute of the day that's outside of that therapy relationship, that little is looking for mommy or daddy. And like, where are they? And feeling kind of like they've been shunted off to daycare, you know, or something. And not even that, because there's no -- you know, if you don't have internal caregivers, then it's not even like having daycare. It's kind of like being lost in the park. And -- sorry, we're littling and getting concerned about your littles. So yeah, we get concerned because we don't see how that would work.

So little kids, little, little kids, toddlers and younger, really need constant parenting, caregiving. You know, some attachment parental figure type person. So if you use external adults, and they need to work, or they have vacations, and they live their own dreams and goals, it's not usually okay to expect them or ask them to reparent people within your system. Because parents don't go on vacation from their kids. So it ends up being like a weird pseudo parent rather than a real parent. And kids don't need a pseudo parent. They need a real parent. And I mean, I don't mean birth parent. I mean somebody who's really there, an adopted parent, the person who's going to be their caregiver 24/7/365, even if it's a group. It can be a big -- you know, polyamorous families have many, many adults or there are many situations in which like clan structure and stuff like that, where you have many adults taking care of kids. And they're all looked at as parental figures and they have responsibility for those children, even if they're not the birthing or sperm donating parents.

Another interesting aspect of doing your own internal reparenting is we were talking about this as reparenting and selves reliance. So if you start taking care of your system mates internally, that's a very healthy and mature step towards healing and being empowered, and being mature and self reliant as a group entity. So doing it internally, moving that power from the external world into the internal world and taking care of it at home, if you will, or in your inner world, is really an exercise in selves empowerment, and selves reliance, which is nice. Another great thing about doing this internally is you have everything you need to get started already there. It's just a matter of making a decision and making it happen, you know, like doing it and not backing down. This is a commitment. So I will say, it's definitely a commitment to reparent your inner children. It is not something that's going to be easy. Just like, you know, all those problems that externals could have, you can't go on a vacation from your inner children. You can group parent them and take time off while others are taking care of them, but you all have to balance that, you know, and somebody always has to be on duty, if not more than one. Depending on how many kids you have and their age range and stuff like that, you may need more people to do it. But you know, everybody deserves a break. But you can't take a vacation. You can't quit.

So your external friend or therapist or partner can participate in parenting by becoming a role model and an advisor to the parental figures in your system. So they can help your adult caregivers or your older teen caregivers become better parents so that you can do a better job of internally reparenting are your inner kids. And they can be friends to your littles and they can play with your littles. It's not like you can't spend any time with my littles because you can't be their parent. Littles are allowed to have adult friends, so long as it's appropriate and so long as the caregivers trust them. They are allowed to have friends and they can go places with, you know, external friends and stuff like that, so long as there's rules and restrictions and agreements on what time to bring them back and whether or not they can have ice cream, and things like that. You know, that all comes from your internal parents saying, okay, you know, you can see so and so but here are the rules. So now, you guys all get to set your boundaries with externals and say, okay, you know, I don't have any problem with you spending time with our three year old, but here's what we're working on with them. And, you know, here are the restrictions, and no, they can't have soda, and you know, or they're not allowed to have soda after three o'clock or whatever it is. You know, we used to have restrictions for our physical children on sodas and things like that. It doesn't mean that nobody slipped them a soda while we weren't looking. But, you know, we would say, look, you know, you can't do that. And of course, you know, the grandma/grandpa thing would always happen, I'm sure. But yeah, so be like, nope, no soda. We just didn't do a lot of sugar, so it wasn't like to be mean to the kids. It was just like sugar is not good for them. We're not doing sugar. So your littles can have external adult friends, so long as the internal parental figures are the primary caregivers. And so the external adults are friends, and you know, they're kind of like babysitting your kid. So you set the rules. You're the boss, and they, you know, they have to bring the kid back. And things like that, you know, it's like, you don't own this kid. This is my kid. It's on loan. And let me see. Yes, I've said this many times. For the internal so work as a team. Right. Okay, good. We covered that one.

So yeah, we're not trying to be scary on this, but it -- actually, you know, we do want people to understand that it's very concerning when externals want to be friends with -- I'm sorry, when externals want to be parents for your internal kids. It is concerning. There are some very creepy, weird people out there and you definitely don't want them to be doing it. Then there are the people that you really trust and you should and it's okay, and they're good people. Let's say it's your therapist, and they're a perfectly good person. It's still a violation of their professional ethics for them to reparent your inner kid. So that's really against the rules. They should be helping you learn to be a good parent for them. And that's an appropriate relationship for your therapist to have is to have the therapist teach the adults in your system how to be good parents to the kids in your system. That's an entirely appropriate relationship to have. But the therapist being the parent for the kids in your system is a very inappropriate relationship. And there's reasons for that.

And the saddest thing is when we hear about a therapist who encourages your children to look at them as parents. It's one thing it happens by accident, it's not a good thing, but it's not like you're a bad person, because it happened. You know, if it happened by accident, that's, it's, you know, just gonna have to redirect them, like you redirect the toddler away from the light socket and keep them from sticking screwdrivers in the electrical outlets, you know. You just, you got to pick them up and redirect them to something else. So if it happens, it happens. It's a matter of encouraging it to happen another way afterwards. But when there's a therapist who encourages it and helps it happen, that's really bad and that's a potentially abusive situation. And they shouldn't be doing that. Firstly, it's against the ethics of their profession. So it's actually something they were taught in school not to do. I mean, not explicitly with littles, necessarily, but they're not supposed to have that kind of a dependent relationship and emotional relationship with their client, and your littles or their client too. So they're not supposed to do that. And it's something they can actually get in trouble for. So that's first. Secondly, there are therapists who are in the business to be abusive. They want power and control over people, and they will figure out ways to do it. And this is one way to do it where they can undermine your system through your littles, because your littles are extraordinarily vulnerable and needy, and they really need that kind of attention and love and care. The littles are kind of like a backdoor through your defenses. And if exploited, then they can set your system against itself by controlling your littles to undermine other things and ruin your group trust and things like that.

We were talking a lot at the Healing Together conference with an author who wrote a book. Mending the Shattered Mirror, I think is the name of the book. And if her name comes to me, I will say it. But anyway, so they are plural and they were in a really abusive relationship with a therapist where the therapist did this and undermined their internal trust and set people against each other on purpose and encouraged -- See, there's like certain signs that things are really bad, like encouraging touch between the therapist and the client. So like, oh, here's a good one. Okay. So like a few weeks, like think two weeks, she said, if I remember correctly, but maybe it was more, but it was like two weeks into the relationship with the therapist that the therapist said, "Let's go out to lunch." That's not appropriate. And that's not allowed. That's against the rules for therapists to do that. But the therapist encouraged the client to go out to lunch with them. And that was -- I mean, that's like a very early, early, early sign that something is very wrong. So the client went out to lunch with the therapist. Eventually, the therapist got the children in the system hooked on them, eventually set the host and some other adults in the system or one or more adults in the system against each other and told them things about each other. And, you know, like she said this and he said that and whatever, you know, like pit them against each other like literally. This is just awful example, but it's one of the things that really brings it home to us that this is a situation that we have to talk about to the community and say, hey, you got to be aware that there is problems like this out there. And so you might get hooked on a therapist without the therapist really knowing that the littles are getting hooked on them. But there are also abusive therapists who will do things like this on purpose, and encourage it. And that is a really bad danger sign. And that's something that you don't want to happen.

So if you have a more secure relationship internally, and you all talk to each other more, and you reparent, and you work on internal relationships, and you have internal community going on, and stuff like that, you can protect each other from bad people more easily, because you have good relationships inside and you talk to each other instead of talking through someone else. So if you're able to talk to each other directly and deal with each other directly, it's much much safer than doing it externally with people whose motivations aren't as clear. You know, cuz like, we can hear each other in here and know that each other is honest and being good and stuff. And we don't know that with external people. Sorry, we're still kind of little-ish, but hopefully we're making sense.

So I think that's gonna be the end of the episode because actually, well -- so some recommendations for things to do if you want to work on reparenting relationships. Stronghold System, Power to the Plurals, did a hypnosis video. Trying to remember the name of the person in their system who did it. Catherine. Catherine in Power to the Plurals did a self hypnosis instructional video talking about different things to do to work on your inner world, and part of what she talked about in her video -- and this is for the -- it's at Plural Events on YouTube so you can go there, and there's only three days of videos, you know, like 30 videos to look at, you'll be able to find the self hypnosis one. So Catherine's video goes into rebuilding your internal world. So you can make like playgrounds and safe spaces for your little kids where you can do the reparenting. So you can have like play rooms and safe places for your littles. So there's actually like a place in your inner world to work with them. And that sounded like really, really good idea. So if you don't have a place in your inner world to work with your littles and to do the reparenting, I would suggest trying out her video. She had some really great suggestions. And for more information on parenting kids, if you don't know a lot about parenting, there's also a parenting video somebody did at the conference. So it was a really good one on external parenting for people with DID, but of course anything that's applied to external people's, your external children, could be applied internally to your internal children. So I would very, very highly recommend checking that out too, because there are some good ideas on appropriate boundary setting and like fun things to do with kids and, you know, all that kind of stuff like in that video. So it's a good place to start to learn about being a good parent. And you may not agree with everything she say. We didn't necessarily agree with everything she said, but we thought it was really good. We did the caption corrections on a portion of the video. We didn't get a chance to do it all but we were spot checking and skimming through her video and it was really good.

And don't be afraid to like -- like we're on anchor now and you can leave messages. So if you have questions, you can leave messages and maybe we do like mini podcasts between the podcasts, like with answering people's questions about things. So don't be afraid to like leave us messages, voice messages if you want or like email us at it's And don't forget to support us on Patreon because we don't like recording in our car and we can't wait to have an apartment at some point. So, it would go a long way to helping us out if you support us on Patreon. I think that's it. Thank you very much for listening. Sorry, we got so little. I guess we were talking about littling, so we got little. Oops. But it was probably Shawn and Lissie. So, I'm gonna try and find a responsible adult and stop this thing. Oh, yeah. Oh, yeah. So this is the Crisses and we're saying goodbye. And whatever you do, take really good care of yourselves and take really, really good care of your littles. Bye bye.

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