How to Cure
Turning Disorder into Order
Dissociative Identity Disorder
Yes, Dissociative Identity Disorder can be cured.
The cure for Dissociative Identity Disorder (also known as Multiple Personality Disorder) is carefully explained in the website, beginning with Healing your “Inner Child” / Inner Pain: Help for Alters (Insiders) and Sufferers of Dissociative Identity Disorder (D.I.D.) or Multiple Personality Disorder (M.P.D.).
If you have not already read How to Speed Healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder, I urge you to do so before proceeding with this webpage. Readers might find the following interesting and useful but it is long, whereas How to Speed Healing of Dissociative Identity Disorder not only provides a useful summary of the techniques explained below, it covers other important aspects of the cure for D.I.D. not mentioned here.
The cure hinges on every part (alter) of the person learning how to relate harmoniously with each other. This webpage describes how anyone with Dissociative Identity Disorder can create an internal world that will facilitate the cure. To show you how, I have asked two of my friends who are healing from D.I.D. to explain precisely what they did to create, and subsequently modify, their inner world to maximize their healing. This is not some gimmick: both of them earnestly sought God’s direction and even though they did this quite independently, what they have ended up with is an astonishingly similar way of organizing their minds so as to minimize chaos and maximize order and thereby facilitate healing.
By following their example, you can turn the disorder into order in Dissociative Identity Disorder. To preserve their privacy, I will not use their real names. I’ll start with “Lilly”, who writes:
When I was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder I researched the dickens out of the subject. Here is my conclusion: living within me are separate entities who have all the characteristics of real people and should be treated as such. Each has his/her own dreams, desires, tastes, beliefs and abilities. And all of them have been traumatized.
Alters are not imaginary. They really exit. Imagining they are unreal will not stop them from being real. Because they are real, however, they are capable of independent thought, and imagination is one of their many abilities that make them human.
As a little girl, I used my prodigious imagination as a tool to keep these vital parts of me feeling as safe as I could manage. Back then, I used my imagination to unlock the treasure chest of my mind and store away the precious gems that are my alters. So if my imagination was the tool that got me into this, then it is also the tool that will empower me get my parts working together as an effective team and facilitate my healing.
Note from Grantley: Lilly was cautious about wording this because, even as she was writing it, her alters were apprehensive about her mentioning imagination. They worried that some readers might misunderstand and conclude that alters themselves are imaginary. Alters who spend most of their time inside have little contact with the real world, often have a very limited range of memories and some of them try to avoid inner pain by blocking human feelings and might even not think of themselves as human. It is not surprising that this renders them vulnerable to the fear that they might be the product of someone’s imagination, even though the very fact that this disturbs them proves how real they are. The dilemma is that mentioning imagination is likely to freak out alters living a shallow existence in an shadowy world, and yet the skillful use of imagination is the very thing that will help them develop and feel more real than ever before.
The confused reaction of people’s alters to an early draft of this webpage confirmed Lilly’s alters’ concern. In fact, it stirred such unease that I’ve had to craft a small webpage to put everyone’s mind at rest: Imagination: An Essential Therapeutic Tool? A Christian and Scientific Evaluation. Some alters will need to read it before proceeding. Others will later find themselves needing reassurance and will have to scroll back to this point and click on the link. Of course, it would be easier for me to avoid the entire subject but it has far too critical a role in healing from Dissociative Identity Disorder for me to do so.
I have used my imagination to create an internal world where no harm could come to any part of me. It enables me to personally interact with my parts and for them to find more peace and fulfillment. Before creating this internal world, I had no way of interacting with these parts of me, other than with their voices in my head. That seemed too vague and inefficient. I chose to model my inner world on a wonderful camp I attended as a teen. Other people might feel more comfortable with imagining something quite different for their parts to reside and interact – perhaps even the Starship Enterprise.
I had just two parts when I started, and I enlisted their help. We used our imagination to made everything look cozy, inviting and fun. Here are the important things we included:
A Place for Each Alter to Live
The little ones have decided to live together and have decorated their own room. The adults and teens live wherever they want. Most of them live with other alters. I encourage them to employ their imagination to create whatever they want. I want them to feel at home with me, so I encourage self-expression. One has a garden. Another has, in my opinion, the coolest room. He added a watch tower to the top of his room so that he could look for new parts for me. The kids put in a water park and a playground.
A Place for Food
This is for socialization purposes. Also, we have a camp chef. She enjoys cooking in both worlds and it provides her with a meaningful role.
A Group Meeting Area
This is where we come together for our daily meetings. I’ll detail later what happens in these critical meetings.
Places for Quiet Contemplation
We have docks that look out onto a lake, a cliff face to sit on, and natural hot springs. These are places where everyone can be reached if necessary but it also helps establish the concept of respecting each other’s boundaries. I added these places because the camp can sometimes be chaotic. Some of my parts want space but they still want to be able to share cabins with their fellow parts.
These are domes floating on the lake. They are there for times when an alter wants to run away. Alters can go there whenever they feel the need to be completely alone but the domes allow everyone to know where these alters are and that they are safe. They know this because whenever a dome’s door is closed a sign appears displaying the occupant’s name. Each dome contains a special chest that allows alters to access what they have at their house. The little ones asked for this. A room with nothing to do doesn’t appeal to them.
A message to the occupant might be required when he or she has a skill or critically important information that is urgently needed, or to inform the occupant that circumstances that had upset the alter have improved, or simply to check as to whether anything can be done to comfort the alter. For such messages we have a high tech way of writing on the dome’s door so that the person inside can read it. Depending on the occupant’s mood and the nature of the message, he or she might choose not to respond, use the same method to reply in writing, or unlock the door and speak face to face with the visitor.
This contains living quarters for parts of me that I don’t yet know about. Sometimes they prefer just to watch what is going on at camp before making themselves known. I want them to do this in comfort. I never enter this area because I don’t want them to feel any pressure to reveal themselves until they are ready.
This the most important part of the camp. It contains the throne room of Christ. I would like all new alters to visit there first. Unless I send someone to the chapel, Jesus is always out with my alters and me. He loves his throne room but he loves time with us even more. Without his involvement in the camp there is no way I could survive all this.
A Computer System
For so many reasons, this has proved invaluable. Before this, for example, when learning to drive, each of us learned a little of what was required to drive safely. Not surprisingly, the result was highly dangerous. Now that we have stored in the computer all of our little bits of information, however, anyone with access to our computer can drive. Even the littles. And for all of us it is so much safer!
No one can be expected to make smart decisions if he only knows a fraction of the facts. The more information in our computer, the smarter and safer we will be. And how can anyone feel connected to reality if one has little awareness of one’s past or the outside world?
The computer system also allows alters fast access to information. Those in the know do not have to laboriously repeat it all to them. As long as one of us has learned it, they can learn new skills almost instantly.
We not only store memories in our computer, we are beginning to treasure memories. I tell my alters, “Hold good memories tightly for they bring life. Hold the bad ones gently for they bring strength.” Our abusers wanted to make us putty in their hands by keeping us quaking in fear and hopelessness. So they wanted to keep us from remembering and talking about good experiences. Facing bad memories – memories of abuse – empowers us to heal and remembering them empowers us to minister to other hurting people and reminds us that we are victors. Despite all that was thrown at us, we have overcome through Jesus and this reminder fills us with confidence for the future.
Everyone but me has a password-protected personal profile where they can store all of their personal information. All of my thoughts, memories and so on are on a camp-wide profile. It is not password-protected and any part can access it. Alters can also download to the camp-wide profile as much of their personal files as they wish. This way they can share memories, good and bad, when they feel comfortable about doing so. They started by sharing the good memories they have with Jesus. This has been incredibly helpful for new ones because then it makes it easier for them to trust Jesus. These memories are a part of the camp introduction video for all newcomers.
I’ve learned that I can direct my thoughts outwards to talk to parts, or I can direct them inwards to talk to myself. If I talk to myself, no one can hear me immediately. It does, however, get recorded and stored on the camp computer and then anyone can access my personal thoughts. The time lag, however, between me having private thoughts and them being downloaded and hence becoming common knowledge can be very useful!
A Message Board
The Message Board is an example of us continually experimenting with improving the efficiency and effectiveness of how we relate to each other and to the outside world. We still call it our giant chalkboard because it was originally modelled on one but since those early days my part Annalise has brilliantly added refinement after refinement to it. We owe the cool technical features of the Hiding Places to her genius as well.
The Message Board started off as a means whereby parts could express themselves anonymously. One of my parts was too shy to talk. I found her only because she wrote on it. Uplifting messages can also be placed there. Then Annalise thought of connecting it to our alters’ minds so that even those who cannot write can add a message to it. Later, Annalise come up with the idea of attaching it to my short term memory, both to improve my memory and to lessen the stress and distraction caused by me continually reminding myself not to forget something important. Another added function is that it allows my alters to inform me of things, without interrupting me at inappropriate times. The message board does this by monitoring the busyness of my mind and waiting for the appropriate level before sending the message. It’s a little like phone messages that I can access when I have time but this system knows when it’s the best time for me to be informed and that’s when it automatically alerts me.
Things to Do as a Group
Even though I’m not actively using my imagination all the time, my parts are using the facilities I provide. Being bored isn’t good!
At one stage I had two very powerful people in my system who hated each other. It was rough on everyone. So I had two camps for a while. I tried to spend equal time with each of them and helped the leaders of both camps set up a way of doing things that suited them. It took a lot of time and energy and peacemaking but now we’re back to one camp.
One of the alters that originally helped Lilly set up the camp adds:
At first, things were boring where we lived. There wasn’t anything to do and it was dark. All I could do was see whatever Lilly (I call her Mom) was looking at. But when Mom found me and another part, she loved us and now we live in a beautiful camp. She imagined it up for us. We have a lake to swim in and toys to play with. We even have a cabin to live in. It’s real pretty. But going swimming everyday can get kinda boring! So I asked Mom if we could make a playground and she let us.
There used to be a part who would hurt us littles but Mom and Jesus put up a shield to protect us. They even put it around the playground. But even a playground can get boring. So I asked Mom for a water park. She let us design it. It’s awesome. The best part is that we can change it anytime we want. Mom lets us make anything we want in here.
P.S. We’ve just decided to put a carnival on the roof of the complex in the middle of the camp. We have a lot of teenagers now and they want something not “kiddie”.
What if Visualization Seems Impossible?
You don’t have to start with anything as complex as Lilly’s inner world ended up. As will become even clearer later, even Lilly kept refining her inner world and you, too, can start off simple and modify it as the need arises.
Upon hearing about the value of developing an inner world, however, a woman raised a more perplexing issue. She wrote:
My problem with this suggestion is that I can’t seem to visualize. A long time ago, if I looked through a clothes catalog, within a short time I could see new creations, one after another and I knew I had the ability to design clothes. But after a few seconds these mental images would disappear and I could not retrieve them. I may be able to hold a fantasy or construed image in my mind for a millisecond, but then it vanishes. It is the same with my poems: if I start writing immediately, I can write them, but if I don’t, they are mostly gone forever.
When I was twelve I could draw really nice pictures (by merely looking at pictures) but I lost that ability by the time I was thirteen, and ever since I can’t even draw stick figures well.
You haven’t lost the ability to draw; you have merely lost access to this alter. The more you show love and kindness to the alters you currently know, the more other alters will see it and be inspired to reveal themselves to you.
Lost abilities, including your ability to remember, reside in your alters – some of whom you haven’t met yet, and some have not yet developed their abilities. For example, Christine [whose story appears later] used to be greatly hindered by having a problem with sequential memory. Eventually a three year old alter appeared and in time this alter began what she called “stealing memories” from other alters. She began organizing the memories into what she visualized as a filing cabinet (unlike Lilly, she did not like computers). Eventually she used this to become a whiz at accessing all the memories. Christine is now working in a job she couldn’t have done had it not been for this alter developing that “filing cabinet”.
Lilly, who also knows this woman, added something very significant:
Your parts seem to communicate by writing things down. Perhaps you could describe in your journal a safe internal world. You might start by putting in writing a brief outline and ask others to add details. If, for example, you decide upon a big tree house, you could later say something like, “I’m climbing the ladder to the tree house, punching in the security code and climbing through the hatch. Now, I’m sitting with you on the big, soft pillows and asking you . . .”
That way, no one has to remember anything and nothing has to be visualized but it still allows them live in a world they can control. Every day, read aloud what alters have already written and then write more. Be open to the possibility that they may add something unexpected. If they do, just go with it. You might eventually find yourself visualizing it (which would be faster) but writing might be a way to get started.
Interacting with the External World
More from Lilly:
I see relating to the outside world as like being in a car. Whoever is in what I call the driver’s seat controls the body. There is also a back seat. Any alter in neither seat is unaware of what is happening in the outside world, whereas those in the back seat can observe both the outside world and what the one in the driver’s seat is doing. They can advise the driver but they cannot interact with the outside world until they move to the front seat.
I am the default driver, but the backseat is infinitely large so anyone can sit there and see what is happening. Alters come and go as they like in the back seat. Both seats are installed with a computer with all the information that is necessary for life (plans for the day, recent conversations and other important information). It is stored unemotively as facts. Anyone entering is immediately downloaded with this information (as in Star Trek). They don’t have a choice. This is for our safety in case an uninvited, inadequately-prepared alter tried to take over.
My five protector parts are usually in the backseat. They feel the need to protect me by taking over in certain situations. However, they have started taking shifts so that they can do other things. I am glad they are gaining sufficient confidence in my abilities to do this.
If ever I try to interact with the outside world and nothing happens, I know I’ve been relegated to the backseat. From there I can talk to the one in the front seat and to those at camp but that is the extent of my power. I hate it when parts sneak up to the driver’s seat. It’s nerve racking to watch my body do things I don’t want it to do.
At first I did not realize what was happening, but now I know when they do this because I am suddenly and uncontrollably dissociated. I am conscious of what is going on but I see everything from an observer’s perspective or it’s all derealized or everything looks new. The precise effect it has on me depends on which part is out. When alters end their stint in the front seat I remember what happened but only as a vague impression – no emotion or detail.
When, however, instead of an alter forcing herself/himself into the front seat, I actually invite an alter to the front seat, I make myself go into an observer mode by imagining myself as a mere observer. Then the alter takes over. When this type of changeover occurs I better remember what happens.
Those parts of me who aren’t in either of the seats are free to do whatever they wish at camp. Unless parts are paying attention, they do not know what is happening in any area except the one they are in.
We’ve been practicing having two of us in the front seat. This, for example, enables one of us to be talking on the phone while another is looking through Facebook. It’s still kind of clunky but it’s getting better.
On the other extreme, I’m hoping to learn how to block out every mental distraction so I can give whatever I want to study such intense focus that it is beyond what most people are capable of.
Another skill I’m hoping to develop is putting myself so deeply and exclusively into my internal world that an alter of my choosing could move into the front seat and converse with someone in the outside world without me having any idea of what is said. You might think it strange that I would ever want to do this but I’ve found to my frustration that some of my parts refuse to reveal their secrets to me before telling my therapist or my friend, Grantley (who is co-authoring this webpage). Grantley explained that this is because they regard him as more expendable than me. If he were to reject one of my parts (which he would never do), that part would be less devastated than if it were me who rejected the alter. So they prefer to test Grantley’s reaction before taking the ultimate risk of letting me know their secrets. Even if they feel secure in my love and ongoing approval, they have devoted their entire existence to keeping secrets from me to protect me from distress and they look to Grantley for reassurance that I could cope with knowing their secrets. Anyhow, that’s why them knowing I could not eavesdrop could speed my healing.
A related skill I’m working on is to learn how to block pain when needed. I’m inspired by Jamie, one of my parts who is very good at this. When I let her have the body almost every pain goes away. I think a little pain remains because I am co-conscious. What if I learned to totally remove myself from the front or back seat? I would have to be careful about this because pain can be a God-given warning that I should ease up or that something needs attention (such as alerting me that I have a hand on a hot stove). Used wisely, however, blocking pain could be useful.
I’ve shared these examples in the hope of inspiring you to dream up your own ways of using Dissociative Identity Disorder to expand your mental powers beyond what average people are capable of. As Grantley says, “Why not transform a disability into a super-ability? Trauma you could not control pushed your mind to extremes. Why not turn this into an asset? When circumstances were out of control it was heroic merely to survive but now you can take control and thrive.”
Just days after writing all of the above, Lilly was stunned by a surprise attack that dramatically proved that the skills she had been experimenting with went way beyond some cute exercise in intellectual development. A powerful, highly dangerous alter who called himself World Changer suddenly burst into the camp, along with nearly as many alters as Lilly had already discovered.
As is typical of hostile alters, World Changer mistakenly thought he was doing what was necessary to help and he is now filled with remorse over his actions but until he was reigned in sufficiently to listen to reason he posed a serious threat. We later learned that he was formed when Lilly was a very little girl who had had so many bad things happen to her whenever she got out of bed that she concluded that she must never again get out of bed. World Changer accepted this as truth and took upon himself the duty of keeping her there no matter what. Alters kept wanting to get up, so he felt obligated to keep them in crates and to keep torturing them to keep them in submission. When the number of alters got too many for him to keep this up, he appointed other alters to torture them.
I don’t know the exactly how much damage would have been inflicted had Lilly been taken over by a highly confused little child who was convinced he must at any cost keep Lilly permanently in bed. I know that had he spoken with me or Lilly’s therapist we could have helped him but would he have ever contacted us?
Anyhow, World Changer was determined to seize control and physically harm Lilly and not only oppress all the alters he had not previously restrained but to cruelly punish them. It was only because of the structure, safeguards and skills that Lilly had so recently developed that this devastating takeover attempt was nipped in the bud.
The fascinating details are provided later in this webpage. Immediately after the victory, however, an entirely different inner world had to be added to the existing one to accommodate the different needs and phobias of the previously-unknown traumatized alters who had arrived with World Changer. Having been kept in crates by him, these young alters were afraid of any kind of enclosure – even clear ones. So Lilly and her established team of alters immediately set about creating for them a town on the clouds called Agape Village. All the new alters have their own cloud with a voice activated draw bridge for whenever they feel the need to be alone. Underneath every home cloud is a bowl shaped cloud to catch them should they fall off the edge, and a voice activated levitation device to return them to their home cloud. This is set up not to help them feel secure but for fun. They can jump off and land and float up to do it again as much as they like. Every cloud is tethered to the ground so that no one can accidentally float away. On one cloud is open-air chapel and a playground and a levitation device to get people to and from the camp. To help the new ones adjust quicker, all of the littles in the camp who are strong enough healthy and some of the adult alters volunteered to live with the new arrivals,
The experience gained by creating and modifying the original camp empowered Lilly and the team she had trained to achieve this with remarkable ease and speed.
My parts are the result of a traumatized child’s mind. So whenever I think of my parts I think of the traumatized children I have worked with. One of these children would get triggered and try to run away. Since it wasn’t always safe for him to do that, I would catch him and hold onto him. I was keeping him safe but while I was holding him he would keep kicking me and biting me. I know he wasn’t genuinely angry with me because when he had finished fighting me he would sob on my shoulder and repeatedly say “I’m sorry”. I didn’t discipline him for what seemed to be angry behavior because he wasn’t being rebellious. He was simply afraid and when he received the help he needed to alleviate his fear the behavior ceased.
The same is true of my parts. I expect from my parts crying and cussing, insults and clinginess. I expect them to treat me like dirt and to tell my therapist what evil scum she is. I expect them to shun Jesus and even flat out reject him. This is what traumatized people do – children or otherwise.
I held onto that little boy regardless of the abuse he lashed out on me because I loved him and wanted him to find healing. The same is true of my therapist and me. I let my parts say, and sometimes do, horrible. things because I love them and want them to find healing.
The emotional climate in my class of traumatized children is critical. Here’s what I do at camp to mirror my classroom:
I remove all pressure to behave.
I never require anyone to do anything he or she doesn’t want to do. This includes spending time with Jesus, even though I ache for them to do this.
I encourage community.
In a community, everyone has a part to play. Every day in our meeting we make a list of the things we need to get done. And everyone chooses which, if any, they want to do. I relinquish control of this and let them choose.
I make myself a safe caregiver.
I try to love them regardless of their behaviors. I give them what they need and, whenever practical, what they want. I listen to them and try to respect all the boundaries they set – even boundaries that make me nervous. I spend time with them and play with the littles. I am committed to seeking their best, regardless of the hurdles I have to jump. I strive to focus myself, and their healing, on Jesus. Without him I know I’d be sunk.
I encourage communication.
We have a roll call every morning meeting. We each talk about any problems we have and see what we can do to resolve things. I try to be honest with my feelings because trauma isn’t easy and they need me to be an example of how to deal with hard things.
I encourage interaction in the outside world.
One day they may have to be in the driver’s seat. So they need to feel safe and know what to do. If a part is reticent to try it out, I invite him or her into the back seat to watch. Then, when the part is comfortable, I do my best to guess what the alter would like and I ask the alter what he or she thinks I should do. Then I do as the alter has instructed me. Soon enough, the part has the confidence to do things in the outside world. Then, when the alter is ready, I encourage him or her to talk to a safe person in the outside world.
As explained, communicating with someone you can’t see can be hard for obvious reasons and I’ve found a way of overcoming this handicap. I wasn’t an adult when my earliest parts were created. So it makes sense to me that in order to best connect with my parts I should go back to using imagination as children do.
There are three rules children follow when playing pretend:
1. Never say it isn’t real
You can’t imagine something to be true at the same time as believing it is false. It might seem like you can but what really happens is you believe it is true for a moment and then you believe it isn’t true for another moment. Kids just believe what they imagine to be true for a long time. They never say it isn’t real. Camp is real because I make it real with my imagination, just as kids do. When I stop believing camp is real, the people still exist; I’m just not communicating with them.
2. Expect the other person to play along
If two little girls are playing with dolls and one little girl makes a doll say, “Hello,” she assumes that the other little girl will respond. If that little girl doesn’t respond it’s considered bad form. Likewise, I expect the parts I am dealing with at camp to respond. I do this by relaxing my brain and pausing to listen for a response. Then I assume what comes into my brain next is that part’s voice. Sometimes one of my parts doesn’t respond, but that’s okay. These people are hurting. They will respond when they are ready.
3. Accept the fact that the person you are playing with may respond in an unexpected way
This is the rule that causes most fights when kids are playing pretend. If one little girl says, “Hello” with a doll and the other little girl responds with, “I’m angry,” the first girl has a choice. She can say, “Why are you angry?” or she can say to her friend, “No, you’re supposed to say, ‘Hi!’” It’s the same at camp. My parts can respond in some pretty unexpected ways. This is actually a good thing. It means I heard correctly! I get nervous when things sound like something I would say because I don’t want to be the little girl who makes her friend say only what she wants to hear. Over time, I have gotten better at distinguishing between their voice and mine. For some of my parts, the difference between their voice and mine is subtle. I think the only way to grow in this area is through experience and asking for clarification. I ask for clarification because that adds more words for me to hear and therefore more exposure. It’s okay to mishear them. What matters most is that I am trying and not giving up. This is more than my parts have ever received before.
Life with D.I.D. can be overwhelming at times. When I feel overwhelmed I just remember what my therapist said, “You live with twenty trauma clients,” (my current number of alters). Then I do what she does – I take a day off! I spend a day in which all of us focus on doing fun things and try to leave squabbles and unpleasant memories for another day.
Although I was initially amazed to learn of the similarity between Lilly’s and Christine’s inner worlds it should really have come as no surprise and I believe other people with Dissociative Identity Disorder have also developed similar systems. I think another reason for the similarity is that both of them have been led of God on their healing journey.
Originally, Christine’s equivalent of Lilly’s camp was a spaceship. The story of how this came about and why it was later changed is not only touching and informative but shows how what Lilly describes is not artificial. It can develop quite naturally as one pushes forward on the healing journey. Deliberately creating and modifying one’s inner world, however, can significantly speed the journey.
One of Christine’s alters used to be nameless but after talking to me she chose the name Freedom because she longed to be free of all earthly restrictions. She is still around but these days most of the time she is integrated with Christine’s host and many other alters. Freedom has much to offer those she integrated with because she had learned not to be thrown by people and circumstances. So this merger brought a significant increase in stability to the host. But let’s zip back in time to the beginning of her story.
The young alter who decades later became known as Freedom noticed that neighbors and her own parents treated their dogs with greater kindness than she received. Concluding that being human makes one vulnerable to cruel treatment and to awful feelings, she wished she were a dog and began pretending she was one. She would eat out of a dog bowl, bark, and so on. I presume observers thought she was just playing but it was driven by a deep wish that would probably have eventuated in her becoming convinced she really was a dog. She knew God, however, and he convinced her that this was not a good path to take. She remained adamant that being human exposed her to too much pain. So she decided to compromise by seeing herself as an alien from another planet who only occasionally visited earth. When not on this planet, she was off in her spaceship flying to God and to other worlds, such as Ice Cream Planet, where everything was made of delicious ice cream.
Almost thirty years later, Christine began dating a kind man who not only loved her, but loved her alters who, for the first time ever, were beginning to reveal themselves to Christine and to him. One day, Freedom happened to be visiting earth and heard this man talking with Christine. Eventually she made herself known to him and began to like him a lot. That was fine for several months until one day Freedom discovered to her horror that she was in love with this man. That was impossible! She was an alien! Aliens don’t fall in love with humans! Nevertheless, she found herself forced to conclude that she really was human and subject to human emotions and therefore vulnerable to being hurt. She felt devastated.
Freedom soon discovered, however, that being human was not so bad after all – especially when there’s a wonderful man to love. More little alters began to emerge and they desperately needed comforting and mothering. Seeing the need, Freedom began helping. They needed somewhere safe to stay, so she took them into the spaceship. She wasn’t too keen about sharing her spaceship with them but they had to be cared for somewhere. Freedom loved designing things and created beautiful rooms for them. God told her to arrange for them to sleep two per room, so that each pair got to know each other well, and then to regularly swap roommates. That way they eventually all got to know each other deeply. And they would all come together to play and Freedom would fly needy ones to God, as required, and take them all to Ice Cream planet and all the other worlds she loved.
Freedom has a beautiful relationship with God. She had learned so much from him and she taught all the alters what she had learned. Then one day God asked Freedom to give up her spaceship for him. Whew! That was asking a lot! Freedom had been spending more and more time on earth but without a spaceship she would be permanently stuck on earth. She could never again flit off whenever things got challenging. But God was her God, so she obeyed.
That meant everyone had to find a new place to live. They used their imagination to build it and called it Clown Town. I’ve asked the self-appointed Mayor of Clown Town to share with you:
Hi! My name is Seven. I chose that name because that’s the age at which I was formed. I’m cheeky. I make the others laugh. It helps them relax and not take life so seriously. I often stand on my head, but only on the inside. Christine won’t let me use the body to do it. She says the body is too old for such things. But I can do all sorts of fun things on the inside. We have used our powerful imaginations to create a place inside where only alters, our host and God can go. It is a beautiful, safe, fun place to be.
You, too, can use your powerful imagination to create a beautiful realm within. It’s yours, so let it have unique features that make it perfect for you. It might be an exquisite crystal palace, or a beach, or whatever most helps you and your parts feel safe and relaxed and happy.
In our case, as well as gardens, lagoons and so on, we have many rooms, including one for each alter, although alters can bunk together if they wish. It also has what we call the White Room [the equivalent of Lilly’s Hiding Places]. This is reserved for anyone who has become freaked by something on the outside and needs time alone to recover from an upsetting experience. Its design suits us perfectly but it might seem too clinical for you. Modify it however you wish to create whatever place most helps you feel secure and relaxed and fosters recovery. For us, it has a white interior and is totally empty except for a bed. That way, even an alter who is feeling paranoid can be certain there is nothing scary hiding behind something. If the distressed alter wishes, she can lock the door from the inside to help her feel really safe and know that no one but God can enter. We can tell at a glance when the room is occupied and a sign indicates the name of the alter inside. That way we always know where each alter is. If needed, we can slip a note under the door, but as much as we can we let the alter recover without interruptions.
In our main area is a huge filing cabinet [the equivalent of Lilly’s Computer] containing all the memories each alter has chosen to share. The memories were filed away by a particular alter who is very good at organizing information, but all of us volunteer for the memories to be collected and if any alter were to object we would respect her wishes. Nevertheless, we have discovered how highly beneficial it is to let our memories be accessible to our fellow alters. For you, the filing cabinet might be replaced by a video library with arm chairs and background music. Design it however best suits you but I highly recommend the concept.
Whenever we discover a new alter, she is placed in a beautiful safe room. The new alter is tended to by what we call a feeler alter. Some alters take quite a while to learn how to feel. They originally dealt only with facts and left the feeling to feeler alters. Feeler alters, however, were originally formed to store memories of feelings rather than memories of facts. Remembering either without the other are complementary forms of dissociation. For the alter remembering little but facts, it feels almost as if the traumatic event happened to someone else or was no big deal. For the feeler alter, not knowing the associated facts still makes it seem unreal and this part of the person does not have to cope with knowing that her abuse was inflected by someone she longs to love and trust, nor deal with the horror of knowing that the abuse could be repeated at almost any moment.
Feeler alters are very sensitive and kind but it’s best for them to work on the inside until they get very strong because they are so sensitive that they tend to overreact to things in the outside world and get hurt easily. Feeler alters make awesome friends and can really help new alters. They make great support alters, too.
New alters are educated about all of us. They are informed, for example, that they are married, have a child, hold down a job, know Jesus, like plants and animals, that I’m right about everything – oops that isn’t supposed to be there. Oh well. They don’t call me cheeky for nothing.
The feeler alter who is paired up with the new alter up explains that it is not safe to enter the outside world without a protector alter. As the new alter heals, she can go to the filing cabinet and access the memories of the other alters at whatever pace she feels comfortable with. Alters can access it alone but usually they prefer the feeler they have been paired with to be with them, offering support, comfort and guidance during this challenging time. Both the happy memories and the unhappy ones are stored because both promote healing. By consulting the files, new alters also learn about the other alters. If they wish, they can ask for a meeting with any of alters they are learning about and ask them specific questions.
The filing cabinet of memories is, of course, how I learned all about what happened before I was born and all the many things that happened afterward when I wasn’t around. If, for example, I take a snooze while the others have fun on the outside going on a hike in the wilderness, I can catch up on all the memories when I wake up and the memories then end up being as vivid for me as they are for any part who was actively involved in the hike.
We also have a huge message wall [equivalent to Lilly’s Message Bank] on which we can scribble notes to each other. Freedom (an alter who is good at organizing things) often puts our to-do lists there. She hands everyone a to-do list. Outsiders, insiders, God – no one escapes! Yes, God gets his own to-do list from her. It’s a little joke they share because he loves her, like he does the rest of us, but he takes seriously the things she wants.
Sometimes we post funny things on the message wall. I posted the outcome of my election to Mayor of Clown Town. Amazingly, I won unanimously (it was entirely democratic but I simplified the process by only allowing myself to vote). Sometimes alters post notes of appreciation to other alters. We also post reminder notes so that we don’t forget something and so other alters can know where one alter put the keys or whatever.
The message wall is also where new alters can post meeting requests to other alters. It is explained to them that if they request a meeting with a protector alter it could be a little while because protector alters are on the front line and need to stay there to keep the system safe and flowing.
Feeler alters help the new alters learn that they are not alone and that fear always lies. Fear is not truth. Feelings are not truth either. It is okay to feel and okay to fear, but not to act on it or to trust it. Let me share something I learned about fear.
One day I was eavesdropping on God telling Christine that love endures all things and overcomes. Being the sassy one who dives in where angels fear to paddle, I immediately challenged that.
“Love wins?” I exclaimed, “Love endures all things!?!? Are ya nuts? If hell’s minions want ya, they’re gonna get ya.” At the time I thought abusers hold all the power and that victims are just that: victims. I cringe now, because I know how silly that sounds, but back then it really seemed true. (Rule Number One: You are free to think the smartest Person in the universe has the brains of a rubber monkey, but when you do, be prepared to end up looking somewhat less than a genius.)
The Lord is too smart, kind and patient to be thrown by my outbursts. He just smiled at me and said, “Love heals itself. Love has no regrets and therefore no torment. Guilt and regret create a lot of torment.”
“I sure know that torment,” I mumbled to myself.
“Perfect love casts out fear,” God added.
Okay, but I was an alter who stayed on the inside. I didn’t relate to the outside word, so what opportunity did I have to love?
All of us who share Christine’s body see ourselves as an army. Some are front liners, Some are medics who treat the wounded. Some get supplies and messages to the front line. We know we are all part of the one person and each of us has a role. So there is no wondering, “What good is this alter?” Instead we ask each one, “Where is your place in our army?” Places and jobs can change from time to time but every alter belongs with us and has a vital role to play.
Inside I was learning. (Jesus has encouraged us to think of ourselves as learners. Learning empowers us.) So I studied about war (since we always seem to be battling one thing or another), and about our host and other alters.
Now returning to what God said about love. I had been a happy inside alter. I got to play in our gorgeous garden inside. We have unicorns. We have Ice Cream planet. We have lagoons and friendly mermaids. We have butterflies we can ride on. Life inside is pretty cool.
But one day I noticed that Christine was outside getting attacked by someone saying hurtful things and, because of her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), it was making her shake and get sick. I like Christine. So I stopped playing and ran outside to help her, yelling to the outside person, “Leave her alone!” Christine told me to stay back because the attack was really intense. I refused. I knew I didn’t have PTSD like Christine did and it seemed unfair to expect her to stand alone for all of us. I told her I loved her and wanted to stand with her. Some of the harsh words hurled at her were now aimed at me, but they didn’t hurt me like they hurt Christine. I felt the attack, but it didn’t stop me. I was a bit confused but I continued to stand for Christine. I could hear Christine saying thanks.
After each battle, we alters get together to discuss what happened. We unload our feelings and encourage each other and see what we can learn from the experience. We need all the help we can get, so we are not so dumb as to exclude the smartest Person in the universe from our meetings. Jesus is always welcome to listen and/or contribute. So after the incident I asked Christine why it hadn’t hurt me like it had hurt Christine. Jesus chimed in, explaining that I have strengths that Christine didn’t have and that this is true for each alter, as we are all part of the same person. Not one of us is complete without the others. We are complete only when all of us, together with God, contribute.
I had jumped in out of love for Christine. That didn’t mean I was safe. It didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be attacked by those being nasty to her, but acting in love rather than being bullied by fear meant that I would heal and that we would overcome. Love is indeed a very important aspect of healing.
As new alters get stronger and learn they begin to see the power of love and that fear is not truth. Abusers are dominated by fear; they feel fear and they use fear; they tell lies to hide their own fears and create false fears in their victims. New alters can heal inside and they are not exposed to stress on the outside until that one day when, driven by love, they choose to enter a battle, just as I did. Even before then, however, they learn to love each other and, motivated by love, they let alters share their painful memories so that they no longer have to bear them alone but have our loving support and understanding, and sometimes we have useful insights that lessen the pain.
Upside down and giggling,
Comment by Grantley:
Love casts out fear, says 1 John 4:18. Technically, this refers to no longer being afraid of God because of our love relationship with him. Even when taken out of context, however, there is truth in these words. Demons are cast out not be running from them but by standing up to them, no matter how scary they might seem. So it is with fear itself. Every time we stand up to something we fear, we take a step forward and fear takes a reluctant step backwards. It can still scream at us and try to bully us but every time we stand up to fear, it is as if we grow that little bit bigger and fear shrinks a little smaller.
And what motivated this sassy alter to face something scary? Her love for Christine. Whether it be love for God, love for fellow alters or love for outside people, love is the great motivator that refuses to cower to fear.
You’ll recall Lilly saying she has a special area in her camp set aside for daily group meetings. I’ve asked her to share what happens in these meetings. She writes:
Every morning I go on a walk in the outside world. While doing so, I visit the Group Meeting Area and ring the bell for roll call. Jesus takes the lead for most of the meeting. Here’s the format we use for the meeting:
1. Roll call
We are family and every part is important. No one must be forgotten. Also, for us to stay safe and stable we need to know if anyone is missing. Recently, for example, one part went to a Hiding Place to be with Jesus for a few days. He was sorely missed because he plays a vital role in our spiritual morale. So I have a roll call and ask anyone not on the roll to indicate their presence. I might immediately help a newcomer feel comfortable and welcome but I leave it until after the meeting to follow up on any absentees and give additional support for newcomers.
2. Encouragement time.
Jesus says something encouraging to each part, including me. It’s nice to watch my parts glow as they receive his loving words. Then he gives us each a chance to say something nice to him and/or someone else. It is wonderful to hear his voice speaking to me and to take time to encourage each part as well. It is vital for staying connected with Jesus in a comforting and personal way. It also helps build morale and encourages teamwork, both of which are important when decisions are being made. Obviously if you are grateful for someone, you are more willing to work with them.
3. Feelings and problems
Then Jesus opens the floor for any of us to discuss feelings and problems. We talk them through one at a time. Sometimes Jesus has to moderate the discussion, especially if it applies to more than one person. Hard feelings need to be discussed because, no matter what they are, undiscussed feelings tear apart families. These discussions aren’t always easy. Sometimes people have to walk away. This happens a lot with new, angry parts. Jesus is much more patient than me and he has a way of keeping things calm.
Recently, during one of these meetings, someone said some less than complimentary things about girls. One of the girls was particularly triggered by this and Jesus had to talk her into walking away because she was so angry. In the end, however, these feelings were talked about and resolved, with the result that we have two parts who were fully heard and one of them received healing.
It’s hard work but the healing of even one part makes it worthwhile.
4. Planning the day
Annalise or Lacey do this part. Annalise is highly organized. She writes the list on the giant message board. All alters have the opportunity to do something if they want but no one is ever compelled to do anything. If no one wants to do a particular job then Annalise, Lacey or I do it. I admit there are things I hate doing. Cleaning my room is an example. It baffles me why, but Annalise actually likes that sort of thing! One of the upsides to having DID is finding people to do the things you hate. Moreover, parts can have body time by doing this. It helps them feel more human when they have the opportunity to contribute in this way. Listing on the message board who has volunteered for each task helps hold me accountable and helps others remember their job.
5. A word from God
Then I open the Bible. We either read a verse or two from a few different sources or continue memorizing whatever Scriptures we have been memorizing. During that time Jesus usually has a private message for each of us. It’s a special and prized moment in the day. Sometimes, we get instructions on what to look for during the day or a group challenge to overcome. But, most of the time, it is sweet communion with our Great Lover.
6. Reaffirmation of our motto
Finally, we sing together the song Fix My Eyes (by For King and Country © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.) It is from this song that our camp motto is derived.
Here is the motto:
Love like you’re not scared.
Give when it’s not fair
Live life for another
Take time for a brother
Fight for the weak ones
Speak up for freedom
Find faith in the battle
Stand tall and above it all
Fix your eyes on Jesus.
This is an important reaffirmation of who we strive to be. It’s a call to action and a reminder of who we are and who Jesus is to us as a group. It is repeated daily so that it is in the forefront of our mind and gives us a common goal to help one another.
Recently, one of our parts did something that affected all of the others adversely. It was an action born out of fear and a desire for safety but this part felt horrible for what she did. She was afraid to talk to Jesus about it. She and I talked about how we “stand tall and above it all” because we are Jesus’ kids. We are loved beyond reason. And, contrary to past experiences, we can “love like I’m not scared” by running to Jesus when we’ve done something wrong. No one is unwelcome in Jesus’ family. This reminder was very healing for her and me.
Plainly, these meeting can take a long while. The saving grace, however, is having Jesus chair the meeting. He has much more time than me. On days when I can’t do the meeting Annalise keeps me informed of the meeting as we go through the day. I try to always stay around long enough to say something nice to everyone and look for new parts. Sometimes Annalise requests my presence and we break the meeting up into bite sized chunks throughout the day. I rely on Annalise a lot for this part of the day.
Sometimes parts don’t want to attend the meeting or they do so with a horrible attitude or they are deeply hurt and just sit there. One of Lacey’s first appearances was during a meeting and she actually tried to attack me. We had to take her outside and Jesus calmed her down. She eventually started attending meetings regularly but she would sit at the back of the room and glower at us. We laugh to think back on that because she is a very different person now. In fact, she helps lead the meetings and is a vital component of the camp. Sometimes it takes a while for a part to be comfortable but they always come around with patience.
This daily meeting is vital to the stability of our system. Without it things can get pretty rocky.
I promised to include the story of how events unfolded that dramatically proved the importance of the abilities and safeguards that Lilly has described. It also forced her to improve the efficiency of her daily meetings and we will mention some of these changes. I will let Lilly provide some background to the story because it is informative and could prove helpful in resolving certain perplexing problems that some readers might encounter.
As is typical, the crisis resulted from a significant advance in Lilly’s healing. Because important breakthroughs radically change internal dynamics, they often trigger previously unknown alters into drastic attempts to counter what they mistakenly perceive as danger, or a breakthrough can simply encourage other alters to reveal themselves in the hope that they will receive the love and healing that others are receiving. The emergence of previously-unknown alters results in further breakthroughs but for a while it can seem like lurching from crisis to crisis. Lilly writes:
I now have 42 parts. That’s almost twice the number as last night! Here is what happened:
We had been dealing with black goo up at camp. One alter, Lacey, was covered in it when we first found her. Another was being chased by it. We didn’t know what it was but we knew what to do about it because Jesus, himself, took care of it when we found Lacey. The more alters we found, the more goo we got in the camp. It was getting out of hand. We set up goo patrols and everything.
A few of us asked Jesus what the stuff was. I can handle a “No,” or “Yes,” or “Not right now,” but to my frustration he just said, “You’ll find out soon enough.”
My alters and I have people pray over us once a week. One of the ladies there prayed against generational sin and the hold that it has on my family. She said that she could see in the Spirit that our DNA was covered in black slime. I was amazed because I had never told her about the black goo. I shot a questioning look at Jesus and he just made a smug nod towards me. After prayer, we checked around camp and to my surprise there was no more black stuff. I figured there would be rejoicing at this turn of events. Instead, it just seemed to make the alters more nervous.
Then one of my alters, Shelly, started acting up. When she had originally appeared at camp she looked like a monkey. This was because she thought being a monkey would allow her to outrun harm and that it would help her father love her because he liked monkeys and called our sister, who he seemed to love more than us, his “little monkey.” Anyhow, Shelly began reverting to being a monkey when another alter, Max, conjured up in his imagination a giant bee to play with and it accidentally escaped and terrorized Shelly.
Shelly started telling Grantley what made so afraid that she felt safer as a monkey with the speed and agility to evade humans. She spoke of people being locked up in dog carriers.
Grantley suggested that rather than become a monkey again she enter a Hiding Place. She ran to one. I checked on her. She let me in and clung to me and wouldn’t let me go. Her fear was palpable and it rocked my body.
“They’re coming,” she said. I wanted to know who was coming but she wouldn’t give a clear answer. “Mommy, do you love me?” she asked. When I assured her that I did, she looked terrified and said, “Then they are going to take you, too.”
I called Annalise and two other key alters to come over and explained what Shelly had said. All three of them turned pale, “We are so sorry, Lilly,” they said, “thank you for all you do”.
I started freaking out. I was tired of cryptic responses and wanted something more solid. About this time I kept getting an image of a field full of dog carriers with people in them. Shadowy figures walked among the carriers carrying red hot pokers. Every now and then they would jam a poker into one of the carriers and a human occupant would howl in pain. The scene was so vivid that I could smell burning flesh. My anxiety skyrocketed. I asked Jesus what was happening.
“You’ll be fine, he said. “It will be hard, but you’ll be fine.”
I absolutely hate cryptic replies.
By now, I was getting ready for bed. Jesus said very clearly, “Don’t take your seizure medication tonight.” I had a few choice words to say at that point. Then, as I was deciding on whether or not to sleep up at camp, he added, “And sleep up at the camp.” Usually I love to do that, but the cryptic responses and the stress was making me lean towards staying in the outside world.
I glared at him. “Look at it this way,” he said. “This is the middle of the book and here is your twist in the plot!”
That made me laugh. Then thought hit me. The “middle” implies being half way through, right? I looked at him with a question mark on my face.
He laughed and replied, “Not necessarily. The middle is a pretty big area.”
This is the kind of conversation we had last night. If it had not been this way, I am pretty sure everything would ended up much worse.
I entered my nightly routine of getting to bed up at camp and fell asleep.
Four hours later I woke up via my internal alarm clock. It was earlier than expected. That smelled of something Annalise would do. I set off to find her and discovered the camp was in chaos. Terrified kids I did not recognize were running around in ragged tunics stained with dirt and blood. I found all of my sister parts in the dining hall along with a man – whose name I later learned was World Changer – shouting threats. The little alters were in tears over the threats hurled at them.
An older alter was arguing with the man, trying to convince him that things were different now and we were safe. But he was having none of it. He looked dazed and confused, though. I took this to be a good sign.
Another of the older alters was standing between the kids and the angry man. She looked ready to take on the man. I admired her courage. Annalise was white and shaking. I snuck over to her and we stepped into a different room to talk. She told me that about twenty people, most of them children, had come out of the woods and taken over while I had slept. It took a few minutes for me to get her to stop shaking and we started to make plans.
We sent a message to Jesus and asked him to take care of the littles. He said he would but suggested that we send them all over to the other camp (you’ll recall that one time we had two camps). To do that, we needed to get the man distracted. I suggested that we get him to talk to Grantley from the front seat.
Fortunately, he took the bait. This gave another alter the chance to start ushering the littles to the second camp. Thankfully, one of the features we had previously built into the Message Board allowed alters wanting Grantley’s support to email him surreptitiously. Annalise used this to let Grantley know what was happening while the littles were moving to safety and World Changer was distracted by being in the driver’s seat.
Allowing World Changer into the driver’s seat, however, had the drawback of us losing control of the body. Nevertheless, since we had been experimenting with dual-consciousness, we had a degree of control over what would happen with the body. This proved critical because World Changer was planning to harm our body with knives. We used dual consciousness to steer away from knives and he was left with only our hands with which to hurt us. We ended up with just a few bruises. We had to be careful about the extent to which we controlled the body because if we went too far he would be aware that we were sabotaging his efforts and punish everyone.
It took a while, but because we all worked together and had previously established fail- safes in our inner world, we were able to get everyone to safety and get World Changer to begin understanding our change in circumstances. One of the huge helps was the required downloading of information from the computer whenever anyone entered the driver’s seat. Without that, we could never have gotten so far this quickly. Him finally discovering that it was the Twenty First Century significantly helped. It was obvious to him that if he could be so wrong about what year it is, there could be many other things he was mistaken about.
I am so proud of my sister parts! It was scary and rough but we used the teamwork we had been developing and all the tools we have been working on and stayed calm and worked in unity. We remembered that Jesus was with us and even if it meant we had to deal with pain and tiredness, our focus was on bringing everyone, including World Changer, to safety and freedom.
Altogether, it took about nine hours. Like Jesus said, it was hard but we are all just fine. I feel like we did an excellent job living up to our camp motto – even if it took a lot out of us. I’m so glad that I had worked hard on this.
In addition to setting up a new village for the newcomers, we now have to work on streamlining our meetings to cope with this huge influx in attendees. We’ve already got ideas.
We have a new location for the meetings; an outdoor amphitheater that accommodates many more attendees and has an assortment of blankets and pillows for comfort. The Message Board will be replaced by a giant retractable Smart Board. It is equipped with face scanning cameras so that roll call is taken automatically. If a new part comes, the camera will keep an eye on where they sit and alert the appropriate person. Missing people will be contacted after the meeting by the administrator for their age group.
The meeting agenda is divided into business and an interpersonal aspect.
For the business aspect we need to cover two basic things:
1. Camp wide problems
They can now be logged into the computer’s administrative account. This account is private to all except those in administrative positions. Once a problem is logged, the administrator for their age group will be notified and they will be contacted within 24 hours to determine what can be done and whether the matter needs to go on the agenda.
A program on the computer allows alters to sign up for jobs at their leisure. There are two types of jobs, each with their subsets:
1. Outside Jobs
These are chores in the outside world such as cooking and cleaning.
These are typically jobs done from the back seat. For example, Allen is a very good at discerning people’s motives. He typically sits in the backseat when we are meeting new people.
2. Inside Jobs
This includes those who make the decisions. Lilly and Annalise are responsible for all of what happens at camp and outside. Under them is Lacey, (who takes care of the littles) Sharon, (who takes care of the teens) and Jamie (who takes care of the adults). Each of these has a mentee under them.
These jobs include:
For the interpersonal aspect, we consulted Jesus. He was responsible for this part, anyway. He said he would like to set up small group meetings throughout the day. During these meetings he will do encouragement time and help resolve interpersonal conflict. Each group should have:
Greeting newcomers and getting them established
Following up absentees from meetings, and bringing any resulting concerns to the notice of the appropriate people
Being mentored into a new skill or position
No more than 10 people in them.
A variety of ages
A rotating mixture of people in them so that no group contains the same constituents every day
A person who is being trained in conflict management
The business meeting’s agenda will look like this:
1. A time of thankfulness. This was Jesus’ suggestion. He said that those in the administrative roles would be a great example to others by being thankful at the beginning of the meeting. It will also keep people focused in a positive direction. He leaves it to us to nominate what we are thankful.
2. Schedule update This way everyone knows where and when they need to be to complete their job.
3. Discussing camp problems. The administrators will run this portion, supported by Jesus. Problems that become too contentious will be given a separate time for discussion.
4. Reaffirmation of the motto. A positive note to end the meeting on as well as a great reminder of who we are together.
This should save time and still get the job done.
P.S. You will develop your own way of doing things and I guess we’ll keep tweaking what we do to make it even more effective. Just days after writing the above, for example, we decided that after our time of thankfulness together, the littles should break off for a kid version of the planning and problem solving part of the meeting. Lacey, one of our older alters, has a way of making business matters interesting for the littles That way they don’t get bored and cause disruptions during that part of the meeting. Then they return to the full meeting and if there is an issue the littles have identified we discuss it.
And our inner world keeps on improving. One of the new arrivals used to be called #10 but is delighted with her new nickname, “Spunky”. She writes about their new home:
Today we jumped off clouds and we even made a forest in the clouds. But all the trees are made of bubbles. You can run right into the trunk of the tree and all the bubbles go poof and blow away from you. Then, when you turn around, all the bubbles zap back together. Jesus and I played and played in there! It was so much fun!
The next day Spunky wrote:
Today we made the bubble tree forest even better! We made the bubbles taste like things. Strawberry bubbles. Orange bubbles. Bubblegum bubbles. Someone even made steak bubbles. Then we got a bunch of ladders so that we can climb up to the top of the tree and pop the bubbles all the way down! Totally awesome! When we get done playing in the forest we smell like fruit punch with just a little bit of steak thrown in.
Mom [Lilly] came to camp and we had so much fun in the bubble forest. It was amazing! I never knew adults could have so much fun! I felt like she loved me an awful lot since she spent time with me. She is really busy! All the things she is learning! But she still came to be with me! I love her so much that I could pop like one of the bubble trees. Oh, yeah! I almost forgot! The bubbles make a new sound when they pop! Well, that depends on what the dial is set at. There are fart sounds and pop sounds and splat sounds and someone even made throw up sounds! It’s the best forest ever! I wish you guys could come and see it with us! It’s great!
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Not to be sold. © Copyright, Grantley Morris, 2016. For much more by the same author, see www.net-burst.net No part of these writings may be copied without citing this entire paragraph.