Practicing Self Inclusion

We have been working very hard on including our various selves in things normally outside of their comfort zones, we all need to work together better and more often but it’s been really challenging.

Katie doesn’t front alone anymore, not for very long anyway and I find myself hovering around when she does with an urge to jump in and ‘do it the right way’. It’s like letting young children try to do things that would only take you a few minutes to do yourself, annoying but a necessary part of their learning.

I am not a patient person and have a few control issues, so I struggle hard with this and have a tendency to take over and Katie’s not overly good at standing her ground either so she tends to give up pretty easily and let me.

I find myself getting very frustrated with Katie’s negativity and her anxieties. I think it’s because the more I get to know our mother the more infuriated I feel about certain traits of Katie’s that so clearly stem from our Mother.

I feel like I see the reasons for behavioural patterns so clearly and I feel like I know the steps to overcome those issues, but she’s the one who needs to figure those things out for herself as despite ‘sharing a brain’, she can’t access my interpretations and all the knowledge and understanding in the world means nothing unless she has those logical and emotional realisations and can piece those things together herself.

So We have started a new course at the little college and it is on self harm with a recovery focus. Katie needs to do this course, it would help her where as I have never self harmed – I feel that I intellectually understand how it works pretty well but it’s not actually a problem for ME.

Katie has the strongest links internally to Bel, I can’t reach Bel at all and I don’t think Kate can anymore either (correct me if I’m wrong).

Bel was the driving force behind the majority of ‘Our’ self harm incidents via Katie and I feel that she and Katie would benefit from learning and understanding this course material the most as it may really help them understand their own driving forces with this issue.

So we signed up and started the course the other day, Katie agreed and was actually kind of excited initially but she walked in anxious after a women had cut her off in the car park and yelled at her (not our fault, Katie still blames us).

Things went south pretty quickly when she introduced herself as Katie – at the college we usually go under ‘Kate’ (because Kate has done the majority of the courses in the past) so the facilitator who none of us had met before commented apologetically that they had ‘Kate’ written on the sign in sheet and she’d have it changed, Katie said it was fine we tend to go by either then realised she’d actually said ‘we’ and started freaking out that they’d noticed.

Just to add to it, the other group facilitators name was Kate. Kate-the-facilitator looked a lot like our Kate sees herself which was weirding Katie out because she said it was “like seeing Kate in 3D”.

So anxiety levels were high already and We had to walk away for a moment to re group, ground ourselves and make a cup of tea.

The facilitators are apparently incorporating lots of arty stuff into this group to try and reduce the seriousness of the topic, so they did one of those ‘introduction’ exercise involving repeating everyone’s name while walking around but one lady already knew us as ‘Kate’ and new people were calling us ‘Katie’ and things got really confusing.

Unfortunately, the next icebreaker activity was to make (out of various craft materials) a post card sized thing that basically represented how you see yourself. Everyone was putting their name then drawing things they liked or their job, families and so forth.

Cue Katie’s internal meltdown. Poor dear, she tried to do something but ‘self identity’ is obviously an issue for us and it all got too much and she couldn’t cope.

So, Meghan apparently came out and made ours for us, she loves craft so that worked out okay. She’s shy and doesn’t generally talk to people so I’m not sure if anyone thought we were acting ‘weird’…I hope not, nobody commented to my awareness and I don’t think she shared the introduction card with the group, if so I’ve got no clue how she explained it. She apparently also made us a drink because when I ‘came to’ so to speak, I went for a sip of the tea I vaguely remembered us making earlier, and got a mouthful of hot chocolate (ick!)

Meghan’s introduction art

Katie wasn’t coming back so I just did the rest of the coursework, it was all about interpreting definitions and proposed DSM criteria for ‘non suicidal self injury disorder’ which sparked some interesting debate around ethics, stigma and cultural / social norms and I really enjoyed it anyway!

We had the storytelling class in the afternoon, the one Kate was planning on skipping (I think she wrote about it last week?) So she did go in the end and it was apparently actually very valuable, she got a lot of good ideas and thoughts from it so that was good, she might write about it at some point.

– Catherine

2 Comments on “Practicing Self Inclusion

  1. It sounds hard that different insiders get triggered by things that were not expected but that you all did well working together in different tasks. It’s great that Meghan is good with crafts and did them, and that you, Catherine, can work in ways that allow certain other insiders to do what they are good at. I’m sorry Katie got overwhelmed, although she did seem to do well for a while. I’m just used to a world where I presume almost everyone I know is, or could be, multiple, so can see the stress of the one-per-body assumption on the part of the teacher. The poor teacher was probably just focussed on her own performance and not taking possible multiplicity into account.

    Liked by 1 person

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