Organisation and communication. How does your system do it?Posted by theswarm on January 9, 2023 at 5:29 pm
Since learning that we are a system we have been attempting to communicate with each other and figuring out wants and needs of individuals and the system as a collective.
We mainly use written communicate as being co-con is a struggle/ we are still learning to recognise each alter. We go through so many post it notes.
Part of a discussion was allocating time for different alters where they can front (that isn’t due to a trauma response) and do their own thing.
It’s not an exact science and still learning what positive triggers are for each alter but the whiteboard is how we have started working towards it.
Would love to hear how other systems organise and communicate with each other.
MemberJanuary 9, 2023 at 7:45 pmLevel 5: Froglet
Our organization is a mess. We still don’t want most people irl to know, so we try to avoid physical forms of communication when possible. Sometimes it’s not avoidable, especially if our gatekeepers have shutdown co-con communication, so we do use it in those cases.
But for general everyday communication, we might use different apps for different sorts of information we need to communicate or talk mentally in like that co-con state. We’re still not very good at figuring things out, but slowly and surely, we’re making progress on knowing what each alter feels like and establishing times for them to come out that would be safe and comfortable for them.
Which we’re basically playing telephone to some degree at times. Information gets transferred around the inner world by alters who know each other, telling them if they know something the other might not.
Overall, we’re disorganized, lol. But we do try.
MemberJanuary 10, 2023 at 1:03 pmLevel 5: Froglet
That is completely fair enough. We are very lucky in the fact that we only share a home with our partners and the whiteboard + journals are in the bedroom so wouldn’t be seen if we did have people over (can explain away the post it notes as being forgetful and needing reminders).
Do you use any particular apps or anything for communication?
MemberJanuary 12, 2023 at 9:56 pmLevel 5: Froglet
We usually use Pluralkit on discord or an app called Antar, though we definitely seem to prefer Pluralkit because it’s a lot easier for us personally to organize in our experience. We also try to track who’s out with the Simply Plural app too.
For general information, we’ll leave a note in the notes app on our phone and just hope for the best, lol.
– Uncertain, very fuzzy.
MemberJanuary 10, 2023 at 3:57 amLevel 5: Froglet
we mostly use digital means, when we dont forget to look at them
we have a private discord server with just us in it and pluralkit, and the app simply plural(it just got an update that lets you leave messages for eachother)
but even with all that we’re kinda shit at scheduling and stuff, or keeping up with comunicating. mostly do to ‘being spacey’ and amnesia.
looks like you’ve got good methods, just keep at it. it may take a few years before you see results, or it may only take a few weeks, just keep at it and eventually it will start working.
when we found out and Paper was host, she wrote in a journal every day asking us questions and trying to get engagment, i never had the gut to reply back then, but some of us did and that made it less scary for the rest.
MemberJanuary 10, 2023 at 12:44 pmLevel 5: Froglet
Puralkitat is an interesting idea. Hubby did set us up with a discord server but just made a channel for each alter, got very overwhelming as no one was signing off their name or sticking to their channel, so might have a look into that.
Ah yes we also have the simplypural app but everybody is bad at keeping on top of it so there were days and days of it being logged as the host and no one else despite knowing I was losing time. Maybe will give it another go now they aren’t trying to hide as much.
MemberJanuary 12, 2023 at 3:13 amLevel 5: Froglet
i feel that >< is so hard when most of us just dont care or don’t remember
AdministratorJanuary 10, 2023 at 8:06 amLevel 5: Froglet
We’d be lost without our tech. Our outlook calendar runs our life and syncs to our phone and watch. We also use email – the major players each have their own email accounts, and we have a special mailing list that everyone subscribes to. Anything sent to the list gets copied to everyone’s email addresses, so we email the group if we need to broadcast something important.
We also journal. The T-E-C blog is one of our journals, but we also keep a handwritten one. We found that a journal written in pen can’t be edited easily like something on a computer (I mean, duh) and that it’s best for sensitive topics that might otherwise be edited out of existence. We have a strict rule that our written journal can’t be directly shared with anyone outside the system. That’s to encourage writing about uncomfortable, vulnerable topics.
Finally, we do have internal communication. It’s not always direct to each other, but we’ve figured out lines of communication to get from A to Z. It’s not 100% by any means, though, so we still need our calendar and our written communications.
We suck at scheduling time for everyone and using positive triggers to bring people out on any schedule. We try to give Saoirse the working hours, and Janet is supposed to get at least one night a week to play video games, but sometimes that doesn’t work out. Like right now, it would be ideal for Saoirse to be out instead of me. We’ve found that positive triggers work less well after heavy usage, though, so we try to save the powerful ones for emergencies. Over the years, positive triggers lose their oomph in our system. Your mileage may vary. Generally, we just let switches happen when they happen, and it’s up to whoever is out to look at our watch or phone to see what we should be doing and where we need to be.
MemberJanuary 10, 2023 at 1:19 pmLevel 5: Froglet
Emails are a good idea, however I think the switching between all the accounts would cause problems for the not so tech savvy members.
Oh that is interesting about the positive triggers, I will keep an eye on it. I don’t see it as being a problem for some members like 7, she loves candy (to the point we can’t go down that isle at the supermarket or she ends up out) and gets pulled to the front if it is even mentioned haha spelling out the word has become a thing in our house 😅
AdministratorJanuary 11, 2023 at 2:44 amLevel 7: Prince/Princess
We have things set up so switching between accounts is easy – just a few clicks. We’re not 100% on always using our own accounts, but we try, mainly for our own clarification and tracking. I know it’s confusing for people that we have a ton of different email addresses, but it works for us? /shrug
As for positive triggers wearing out, I think Winnie the Pooh will be one until we reincarnate for the 1000th time, so 7’s may be with you forever. Many of our positive triggers are music-based, though, and those do wear out over several years of use. It’s not something that just stops working all at once – they kind of fade with time and overuse. Some of us actually have favorite songs/albums we rarely listen to, just so others in the system can use them to trigger us in an emergency. I don’t know why music has such a strong effect on our system, it just always has, and not always in a positive way.
MemberMarch 8, 2023 at 7:13 amLevel 5: Froglet
I am a self-Dx’d OSDD system, based on my experiences. I have very poor System communication.
I can sometimes hear the distant crying of a young child in my head, and sometimes there’s emotional bleed-through. I’m able to speak to/with the child and comfort them. Fronting used to occur, and has happened once recently involving a letter to my therapist where I disclosed the names of system individuals.
I have awareness of the names of several individuals of my System, and memories of some of them fronting.
I know one is like a gatekeeper who works more beneath-the-surface. Mecca, spider-like (literally used to appear in my dreams as a spider watching me) with connection through web to all the System individuals, memories, and alter creating. I remember the first time I learned the word ‘Mecca,’ and feeling that finally some core part of me had a name for herself that described what they are. And Mecca can kind of semi-front (feels more like a submarine popping up a periscope into the consciousness of whomever is fronting, to take in the way whomever is fronting is living, to get data for another Alter they’re working on once it’s been decided that the current fronting Alter isn’t able to sustain a thriving existence).
As I’ve become more integrated, Mecca hasn’t needed to consciously create new identities. I’m kind of lacking a full identity at the moment, very slowly getting stable enough to authentically explore myself. Depersonalization and derealization, on top of lots of dissociation and fatigue, have been issues contributing to a lack of a sense of Self.
I occasionally try to meditate at getting better communication with other Alters. There’s a voice that I can kind of communicate with, but I feel like I can’t tell if I’m just making it up. It feels like an inner voice communicating its own thoughts; I’m not taking time to think of and construct responses, the voice just knows what she thinks/feels.
However, interestingly, I get the voice of a young adult male sometimes. Loud as day inside my head, saying just “Hello.” Usually when I’m half-awake, which naturally leads me to thinking its a weird dream phenomenon. Happened again this morning.
But I previously only knew of females in my System. So maybe it is just dreaming? Feels quite differently to dreaming, despite my admitting to being in that semi-awake state.
I used to have better communication with my Alters when I was more fragmented and I used cannabis (legal in my country). It helped bring down barriers to my consciousness and the consciousness of the others. But now I cannot use it.
Physical forms of communication aren’t necessary in my System. Though perhaps I’ll try more automatic writing after connecting with the child identity.
I don’t know if it’s an OSDD thing, given that there’s no amnesia, and feeling blendy occurs, but it’s hard to sometimes say if it’s me, my imagination, or an Alter. I’m trying to lean into it being an Alter, but I feel still phobic of accepting the different identities in me. Particularly if one is male, I find that very awkward for me to accept.
I’m going to try to talk to my Therapist today about the male “Hello” that happened again. But even my therapist seems a bit dismissive of the extent to which I think I have “identities” (versus that my therapist is ok talking about singleton IFS parts). So that kind of annoys me. But maybe I need to better self-advocate; he’s an otherwise wonderful Therapist I’d never dream of leaving.
I find I think more about communication when my dissociative symptoms are at their worst because I usually feel like I’m caught in a stasis of not functioning, and I wonder what I can do about it. When I’m not dissociating, I’m more about functioning and exterior Self-discovery.
Anyhow, kudos to anyone who reads all this. I’m just not sure how my experience stacks up with folks’ notions of being a System and trying to have communication.
MemberMarch 10, 2023 at 4:07 amLevel 5: Froglet
Really glad for this conversation because I have wondered about this too.
I’m still relatively new to being aware of the system. It seems that a few certain parts are almost always nearby to some extent and can come into situations as needed, often co-con, I believe. Or at least I don’t lose the memories in those cases. When life gets tumultuous, on the other hand, I start to get absent minded and my partner starts to tell me about what I said or did or already took care of earlier in the day to help get me up to speed. Other than hearing things like that I don’t really have a way currently to keep track.
For communication, it seems to be mostly feelings, and some communication where like I don’t hear the words but the thought is suddenly there. I’ve done some exploring by thinking questions or guesses and getting feedback in the form of like an excited “yes that’s right” feeling or a more draining or even upset, “no not that at all” feeling.<div>
“I wonder if there is a-“
“… name or not. Is Bob right?”
In some cases, I think there is also communication in the form of memories. Remembering suddenly a time where I felt a certain way or something had happened (good or bad) that seems to be more of a response or comment to something than just a memory popping up. It makes me think of the one Star Trek species that only spoke in metaphors from their history. </div><div>
Before I had any idea about any of it, I would sometimes have dreams where the person in the dream knew things that I didn’t, or was aware of things in the moment that I had forgotten. Like during high school, I dreamed that someone was trying to have a conversation with me in French. They asked something like, “Comment allez-vous?” I’d recently started taking French and struggled to remember the right way to phrase the response, “Je me… j’ai… je m’appelle…” trying to remember how to say what my name was. The person chuckled when I had finally introduced myself and said, “And how are you today?”
After waking up and thinking about it, I realized they had asked me “how are you” in French, not “what is your name.”
Since learning about the system, I have started to pay more attention to dreams that feel different from normal dreams in that way.
Often in the moments before I fall asleep, I do hear voices. Not typically talking to me, just around, having all sorts of conversations that I’m only getting parts of without knowing the context. Some quieter, some louder, as though I was sitting somewhere and hearing people talk as they walked through the room. I’ve heard that can be due to something else so I don’t know for sure if that’s communication, but it’s one of the things I used to think everybody had and then later realized it’s not as universal as I had thought.
But in general I do not have a really concrete way to communicate externally, other than parts talking to our partner sometimes. So I’ll get things like, “You already told me this,” or “That’s not what you thought before. You told me earlier that….”
I also don’t have super structured organization, at least to the extent of my knowledge. It seems that there is some amount of structure behind the scenes that I don’t see. I get the feeling that this is partially because I would be likely to panic with very direct communication.
Sometimes I wish it was more concrete and direct, so there’d be no question. But I can’t deny that I would most likely also have a heart attack. (Image enters the mind of gatekeeper giving a wink and finger guns and saying, “That’s why.”)
Anyway, that’s me so far. I’ve been really glad to get to hear you guys’ experiences.
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