United Front Blog
July 26, 2014, at 07:07 AM
In my article on home renovations, I started talking about how malleable and plastic our internal landscape is, and how we can mold it to specific purposes.
Internal systems communication has come up many times lately, so I wanted to touch base on the importance of internal landscape with regards to internal communication, and give a few tips on how one can purposefully adjust the internal landscape to foster better internal communication.
March 26, 2014, at 09:03 AM
This is not about being bold or flashy. It's not about wanting to compete with the indelible icons of Eve or Sybil. We don't want or need anyone's sympathy for whatever we may have gone through, nor people's anxiety or fear for what may or may not be going through our mind on the 8-track player.
February 07, 2014, at 10:02 PM
Like most things in life, there's no "one right way" to be multiple. Most multiples I've met have an internal landscape of some type, although it's certainly not a prerequisite, just a common feature. I consider internal landscapes to be the (subjective, possibly imaginary) environment we picture in our mind's eye when we interact with one another inside our respective heads.
February 04, 2014, at 09:02 AM
You know you're multiple. You're used to having a gaggle of voices in your head at all times, to the sometimes-comforting presences and multitude of opinions on everything from which toothpaste to use today to whether to reach out for a doorknob with the right or left hand. When you've been living with the voices since childhood, it can be nerve-wracking when they disappear suddenly, leaving you uncertain of anything, even who you are.
July 03, 2013, at 07:07 PM
Many years ago, we made our own film of ourselves. We force-switched a few times. Mostly the video was for ourselves, not really for the public.
You can see 4 different people in the videos: Hart, Taelee, Aliessa and Dreal. It starts with Aliessa doing a test take, then goes through footage of others. We sliced out the bits of us meditating (to force-switch) because they could run as much as a couple minutes and were boring to watch.
February 09, 2014, at 12:02 PM
Our society still has a lot of prejudice and fear around mental health issues. While there are laws protecting people with differences from being excluded, harassed or bullied, it still happens. Here's some things to try to help yourself cope with your diagnosis in the short and long term.
June 29, 2013, at 07:06 AM
Reparenting some of our youngers has been very important towards our recovery. A few are beyond reach, not co-aware enough and in states of mind too damaged and wrapped up in their own cocoon to do much of anything with, but the ones who are co-aware enough to interact in our internal landscape or to front are the ones we're able to work with.
July 19, 2011, at 09:07 PM
When people hurt you over and over in the same way, you build up some automatic programs against that type of hurt.
These automatic programs are like those old 8-tracks &mdash: a continuous-loop that can play over and over. You just choose which track to play and it starts wherever the tape's at, and it plays over and over until you switch tracks.
I have a real problem with the idea of conditional friendship &mdash: and conditional love by extension. Those people who would place conditions on whether they could like me, or love me, from parents who told me what I had to do to earn their love to friends who were only my friends when no one else was around.
July 17, 2011, at 09:07 PM
One potential hot topic that many multiples will find helpful to put on their agenda for one or more meetings is the topic of gender identity and sexual orientation -- especially if you have residents who are a different gender than your body. I call these residents "cross-gendered residents" for lack of a better term for them. Their gender is different than your body. These residents may have sexual desires and attractions that pose a problem on one level or another for your system or for your social environment.
July 16, 2011, at 09:07 AM
Maybe you know you're not one of the people "in charge." You're a Johnny come lately to the system in some way, and there's a lot of people who are part of the "in" crowd. You aren't welcomed, or you aren't treated well, or maybe you're never given any say or invited to participate in making decisions. At worst, there are blatantly problematic things going on and you need to take action to have a better life.
July 15, 2011, at 08:07 AM
I've had this happen to me, where I've gotten so reactive towards other people that I can't let anything good in. The irony is that I was so damaged and broken, I would also allow all the bad things in. My partners would complain about walking on eggshells. I would doubt their every good intention, their every act of love, and treat it like it was a problem somehow. I reframed their interactions -- changed what I thought was going on -- so that they seemed to be lying or coddling or they were humoring me, or somehow being dishonest when they reached out to help me.
I would transform every positive interaction into an attempt to manipulate me, use me, coerce me, convince me. I would push my partner away then blame them for being distant. I would hold grudges for weeks on things that I imagined they did wrong.
July 14, 2011, at 11:07 PM
Disagreements can challenge us to remain respectful of one another. It's very important to maintain your own dignity and your sense of respect for your fellow residents when you have a difference of opinion.
Don't wait for differences to occur, have a plan in place for how to handle them from the start. Perhaps a group of mediators who can intervene, or a cool-down period (like a time-out) if things get heated, anything to help you regain your composure and think about what's really going on.
July 13, 2011, at 04:07 PM
Just as we play roles on the inside of the system, we also play roles outside the system.
All singletons play a variety of roles in the world, and itís no different for multiples. We can be parents, teachers, students, role-models, employees, volunteers, children (of our parents), friends, siblings, etc. When we find ourselves in different roles we show different aspects of our personality. In this way, everyone is a little multi, and if they donít keep to their roles, theyíre socially dysfunctional.
July 12, 2011, at 11:07 AM
We all have different roles we play outside our body, and we also have different roles we play on the inside too. So that we spread out the work, we tweak our roles inside as needed. For example, we have folk who are guardians from outside influences, people who are enforcers of our house rules, those who play mommy/daddy to our littles, those who make sure we keep appointments or go to work, and others who make sure our household chores are completed, etc. Most of our internal roles involve some type of monitoring, and a method for mobilizing a response to events, or executing routines.
July 11, 2011, at 02:07 PM
I have my moments, just like you might. Slip up, say things I shouldn't. Maybe offend someone. Nothing terribly unusual. But when we cross the line and disrespect another resident's friends, we might damage their relationships irrevocably.
July 10, 2011, at 08:07 AM
I have some real problems with birthdays and other such points of passage. It stems from childhood traumas around holidays and birthdays and also I would guess it comes from the inconguity of being both a child and an adult, or a teen and a pre-menopausal woman.
Another point of passage occurred every time one or both of my children (by birth) passed a milestone that I associated with traumatic points of my life. Most especially my daughter.
July 09, 2011, at 08:07 AM
For a while I actually used external metaphor to help with internal processes. This is one place where "As outside, so inside (and vice versa)" can come in quite handy. I used 500 or 1000-piece puzzles as a means of deliberate meditation and metaphor for what was going on in my head. It was very relaxing, very zen, putting together the puzzle on the outside while my internal friends were tidying up things on the inside.
July 08, 2011, at 10:07 PM
One nice thing about being multiple and having a high level of internal communication is that we always have someone to talk to. However, talking is not usually enough. Human creatures are designed to play and we learn best while playing. Playing is also a peacetime activity, it brings people together into a community, relaxes them, makes them do some of the best activities for bonding: smiling and laughing.
July 07, 2011, at 11:07 PM
While I don't have much problem with my parents anymore, it doesn't really make me terribly comfortable to be around them. We have to employ some pretty creative means of keeping our internal peace to be around them. We deliberately choose who will be fronting, certain residents are asked pretty much to stay in their rooms, and we get by.
July 06, 2011, at 10:07 PM
I have suggestions for ways to remove foreign energies from your system and body that I ask that you consider. This is the mental, emotional and spiritual equivalent of de-cluttering your home of the things that make you feel bad.
I can't really stress how important it is to do this, especially if you've been abused. There are many little nagging problems multiples can have that a little housekeeping and a lot of decluttering will take care of.
- Barbed wire or white picket fence? - Different levels of boundaries and what they mean.
- Taking out the Trash - More on "as outside, so inside (and vice versa)."
- I got you a present - What's all the work worth if you don't spread the wealth?
- I don't remember...oops, here it is! - All that "false memory syndrome" stuff just makes me upset
- Meetings, Part 2 - Meeting agendas - a review of boot camp posts.
- Is this a home or a prison? - On sharing front versus stealing front.
- We're so glad you could join us! - Helping stuck guests gain co-awareness.
- Don't shove me around! - "Stealing front." Not the crime of the century after all...
- Where am I and what time is it? - On "losing time" -- what is it really?
- You're always making me late! - Some ideas on "time management" and keeping track of time.
- Please make yourself at home - Part 2 - Rudimentary through elaborate internal landscapes.
- You're really looking good today! - Internal landscape and cues that foster communication.
- Please make yourself at home - Part 1 - Basic thoughts on internal landscapes.
- Don't Snoop in my Diary! Part II - Precautions about digging up forgotten memories.
- Don't Snoop in my Diary! Part I - More tips on building trust in the system.
- Thanks for Washing the Dishes! - Gratitude is so powerful; we take the time to be grateful to our companions.
- Who Stole My Money? - How to handle rule violations.
- You Can't Make Me! - Encouraging others to follow the rules.
- Can we talk this over? - Some specific notes on internal communication and some suggestions.
- It's ok to have a party! - Time for a break and reflection.
- Ice cream is NOT a right; it's a privilege - Understanding the needs of the "bad guys" by way of our littles.
- That's MY Shampoo! - Internal boundaries & respect.
- Knives Point Down in the Dishwasher - House rules - personal & intrapersonal safety issues.
- Always Lock the Door When You Leave - House rules - protecting the system inside and out.
- Hiring and Firing and Self-Advocacy - These days you're your best case manager -- or should be.
- Exercise: Signing the Lease - Next meeting: creating a contract of participation in the program.
- Exercise: Meeting - Hold your first official meeting. Nothing big, just getting it done.
- We need to sit down and talk... - The idea of having internal meetings and taking roll calls.
- The problem with extremes - Handling perfectionism, procrastination, and using extremes to hold ourselves back.
- Come back inside - Thoughts on the art of looking inside when you're fronting.
- The bathroom is the first left down the hall - Headmaps, rudimentary and beyond. Exercise included.
- Exercise: Starting Over - Making our shared residence (mind) a more hospitable place to live.
- Please wipe your feet before you come in - Reframing to a non-victim, non-blame mentality. Welcome, all!
- Something to Get off My chest -
- Is this therapy? (NO!) - This is a self-help tool for you to use with whomever you'd like, even alone.
- Canít we all just get along? - If our head were a house, how are we treating each other?