question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them

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Andyman73

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I have no idea where this question goes, I would not be surprised to get censored or removed either. This has been my experience elsewhere with similarly hard questions. So..all you bad * Moderators, be gentle and move this to the appropriate location, if need be. Thank you in advance.

I have...me, the one that lives my life..when referring to me, I am Big Andrew, or Andrew. There is little andy, he's 3 years old, and was MIA for over 40 years. Then there is Broken Andy, he's between 11 and 12. He talks in short choppy sentences and refers to self as Andy or him. He's my punishment recipient. He also comes when something is too emotional for me. If you ever see me go from writing in generally speaking proper grammar and such, into short choppy sentences...I've dissociated and Andy is here. Also have Big Silent Andrew...never talks, just stares off into the distance with tear filled eyes.  Sort of like Kurt Russell in the movie Soldier. (I think that's the one). I think there is one more, hiding out, because I've noticed things that don't coincide with the others.

Question is....what is the explanation of this? or I don't even know what....not looking for DX, just layman's terms and such...please, anybody that wants to comment please do. Thank you.

Andrew

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Blueberry

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2017, 09:24:10 PM »
I'm not a moderator, but I can't see any reason to remove or censor this post, or in my case to report it!

Officially I know of the term Inner Children, which presumably includes Inner Teenagers, of which I also have a number. For me, I refer to them as Little Blueberries, or sometimes as the Inners. They've come bit by bit through therapy. At last count I had 15, but since then they have been being better integrated again. Also about 4 years ago when I was in inpatient treatment, the Ts decided I was drifting apart too much and that my Adult needed strengthening. And see, there I don't say adult Blueberry or Big Blueberry, I just capitalise adult.

Most of my Inners turned up with a more or less precise age, which I could sense. Some hold more strengths than pain or sadness or anger. For a number of years my 4 year-old and my 6 year-old were getting me out of bed in the morning. The 6 year-old is the part of me that likes to be out in nature and the 4 year-old is I think the most active part of me, and is the most consistently happy.

Not only have my Inners become better integrated over the years, but they have also learned new skills. For instance, some who used not to communicate verbally at all began to nod or shake their heads and then eventually 'speak'. I see or hear an image of that, they don't actually say anything out loud. They can all understand the language I now speak day-to-day which is not English, and I didn't speak this other language growing up.  I actually quite like to talk or write about them, which is why I've gone off on a tangent here instead of answering your other questions  ;D

The explanation. Hmm. Parts of us are locked away and they start coming back. Parts of us that couldn't show themselves before. Also parts of us that didn't realise that things have changed. I talk to my Little Blueberries e.g. that dangerous situation has changed. No danger anymore. Time has moved on.

My Little Blueberries communicate with me. They used to scoff at the idea that I could or would protect them. They were right because I couldn't very well then. Also I have learned that if I say to them or one of them not to worry, that doesn't work. It only works if I know what they are frightened of. Which makes sense. "Don't worry about the thunderstorm, it's far away" isn't going to help a child who's frightened of the dog next door.

From what I understand some people have just one or two of these, maybe one Child and one Teen or one Happy Child and one - to use your term - Broken Child. Others of us have a whole lot. Some people with a whole lot can facilitate communication among the Inners, others have a lot of trouble facilitating that. Mine can communicate with each other, or at least know that there are others there. Two of my most disturbed Inners - 7 year-old and 12 year-old - are in the same Inner Safe Place.

When the 16 year-old turned up, my Adult and quite a number of Little Ones felt flattened. But my 16 year-old is really pretty tame for a 16 year-old and she's not 'bad' or anything. Actually she likes to stay in bed and sleep. In the past, I have told her and the Babies that they could stay in bed, the rest of us would get up. And that worked. I'd forgotten about that! I could try that again ;)

What is MIA? I suppose I could look, but I'm too lazy  ;)

I can't remember offhand, but I think we have a Inner Child thread on here somewhere, if you're interested in reading other ideas and explanations. Yes, here it is: http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?board=60.0 You can also ask me more if you want.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2017, 09:39:01 PM by Blueberry »

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Three Roses

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2017, 11:45:00 PM »
Quote
So..all you bad * Moderators, be gentle and move this to the appropriate location, if need be. 

:rofl:

I think your thread is fine where it is.  :yes:

I have the sense of inner children, too. I sometimes invite my inner Angry Teen out when there's an unpleasant situation or conversation I must attend to. I sense another one about age three, a nine year old and a 12 year old, and the teen is about 17.

My T has said that we are each of us a bus load of people inside. It's my opinion that these parts of us have dissociated in order to preserve our sanity, but I don't know exactly how they're formed. I know they are very common among us here at OOTS so you're not alone.

MIA = missing in action.

Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #3 on: September 08, 2017, 02:29:33 AM »
It's interesting that you all have very specific names and details about these kind of 'identities'. And wow, a lot of them too! I'm still trying to work mine out, they are there though, definitely.

As far as I know there's 'She', doesn't have a name, but She was present a lot a few years back and She was more of an Inner Critic. She's kind of a %^&#! so I'm glad She's not around as much. Haha

Then there's a more free-spirited energetic kind of me, really living the childhood innocence I'm sure. He comes round during my darker moments to help me get back on my feet, he says all the things I'm too afraid to say to others, the one always calling for help for me.

There's one other, a more cold apathetic Aphotic (lol, try saying that 10 times in a row real fast).  She's extremely critical and judgemental but that helps me get out of tense situations where I need to defend myself, probably the part of me that wanted to fight back for years and years throughout my childhood but never could, so now she's here catching up. She's made people cry before lmao. And once I feel I'm back to just... Me, I look back at the path of destruction I just created and have to nervously laugh a little. "Oops. Did I do that?"

I'm not too sure why these things are about, but I can connect with what Blueberry said; "Parts of us are locked away and they start coming back. Parts of us that couldn't show themselves before."
Because I can definitely see all these 'inners' of mine having to hide away when I was younger.

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Candid

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2017, 06:43:42 AM »
My hunch is, trauma at a particular age splits off a part of us.  It all sounds a bit Sybil -- but a logical extension of CPTSD was what Sybil was about. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sybil_(Schreiber_book)

Sybil had DID (formerly MPD), in which the dissociation is so bad that one 'personality' can't remember what another has done -- but it's not such a wide gulf.  With acute insomnia for the past few weeks, I can forget what I've done within seconds, so that, for example, I now have the OCD thing of having to go back and check I've locked a door.  I invariably have, I just don't remember doing it.  In a 'disinhibited' state in the past, I've bought expensive dresses I wouldn't dream of wearing.  (Something just popped up to say "Oh, yes you do!" -- and I guess that must be true on some level.)

There is a Big (or adult) Candid, the one who's on board when anyone needs my help.  Since living with MIL I've got in touch with an Angry Teenager.  I guess she needed to come out!  There's also a very sad Toddler, who would do anything to help her mummy like her.

I can't see any better place to put this than under Symptoms.  Tell Broken Andy he's a good boy.  Please?

Could Big Andrew and Big Silent Andrew be the same 'you' having good days and bad days?  If I wanted to split off Current Candids I'd have to consult H.

From the Bible:
Renowned traumatologist, John Briere, is said to have quipped that if Complex PTSD were ever given its due that is, if the role of dysfunctional parenting in adult psychological disorders was ever fully recognized, the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders used by all mental health professionals) would shrink to the size of a thin pamphlet.  It currently resembles a large dictionary. In my experience, many clients with Complex PTSD have been misdiagnosed with various anxiety and depressive disorders, as well as bipolar, narcissistic, codependent and borderline disorders. Further confusion arises in the case of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), as well as obsessive/compulsive disorder, which is sometimes more accurately described  as an excessive, fixated flight response to trauma. This is also true of ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) and some dissociative disorders which are similarly excessive, fixated freeze responses to trauma.

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Andyman73

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2017, 09:59:51 AM »
Wow!!! This was more of an answer than I ever expected!!! This calls for  :grouphug: Candid,  AphoticAtramentous, Three Roses and Blueberry...thank you all so very much.

Yes, I had thought of Sybil. I recall when some were saying that she made it all up...years later....But I personally believe maybe she and her others had integrated. And I also thought.. :pissed:...which of those naysayers walked a step, much less a mile in Sybil's shoes?  I know for a fact that the 5 of us right here right now, could at least put her shoes on a take a few steps.  I've only met one, IRL who could...and she can only put one of my shoes on.

I did look at the Inner Child, here, but it seemed more like a sense of self, what may or may not have been.  I didn't get the feeling it was such as we're discussing here.

Okay, gotta run. Work meeting starts in 30 seconds!!!  :aaauuugh:

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Candid

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #6 on: September 08, 2017, 11:02:17 AM »
I recall when some were saying that she made it all up...years later....But I personally believe maybe she and her others had integrated. And I also thought.. :pissed:...which of those naysayers walked a step, much less a mile in Sybil's shoes?

Someone cynical said to me: "It's a good novel."  As a matter of fact, it isn't.  After integration Sybil actually said, when she started dating and a man wanted to marry her, that she had been too damaged for too long to be in a position to consider it.  No happy ending.  Far too many characters rapidly introduced as therapy drew to a conclusion.  It's a terrific case study, though.

If we want to say Sybil herself (as opposed to the author) was making it up, we might as well say no child is ever brutalised by a parent.  She was a talented artist and obviously very bright, but her life was totally screwed up by a torturing mother and a father who didn't want to see the signs.

While we're nattering about famous child abuse cases, has anyone else read Dibs in Search of Self by Virginia Axline?  Dibs was lucky in that his wealthy parents got him to psychologist Axline when he was only five.  His parents didn't change, but Dibs got outside validation while he was in primary school -- and that made all the difference.

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Andyman73

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2017, 06:42:50 PM »
Candid,

It doesn't feel like me and silent Andrew are still me. He's been here about 5 years now...came from a time when's i was having "brain fires" .

I stare out the window all the time. Which feels like it always did...spacey until something brings me back.  Silent Andrew feels completely different and separated.

Broken Andy came from my last CPA beating...most severe of them all.  He takes my lumps and stuff which is why he came. He protects me from the emotional and mental harm of anything harmful. Mostly stuff that triggers me or upsets me...he steps in.  He keeps me safe, so he is a good boy.

There is another...but only have sensations of them, no real knowledge of them yet.  But sometimes I feel them looking out watching what I'm doing.

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Whobuddy

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #8 on: September 10, 2017, 01:19:12 AM »
This is a good discussion of a topic that many people would not understand. My default is a very frightened 3 year old. I have others but I don't have such a clear impression of the age. Sometimes I just go somewhere in my head - I know not where - and I cannot talk when this happens. And I have a persona that interfaces quite well with the world in which I work. I notice that there are several books about our 'fragmented selves' so I think this is pretty common.

If you have an 'adult' version of yourself that can help, soothe, comfort, console your younger parts that can be very helpful. I have a hard time staying in 'adult' mode long enough to do this but I am working on that.

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woodsgnome

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2017, 03:51:04 AM »
This discussion of inners/outers/etc. brought to mind a book I started once but didn't finish. It bears the wordy title of "Self-Therapy: A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating Wholeness and Healing Your Inner Child Using IFS, A New, Cutting-Edge Psychotherapy". The author has been a therapist; what I recall of what I did read was a little bit of self-aggrandizement about the lasting and sure benefits of this approach but nonetheless the concept was interesting.

The IFS refers to what he calls the "Internal Family System", which I resisted at first as I thought he was referring to FOOs, and I want nothing to do with mine ever again, either in analysis or theory about its non-functionality--I numb up at the thought. No, his IFS refers to one's own inner characters, whether or not they resemble the FOO. They're those little voices we hear whispering (or shouting) at us. Sometimes they originate from within the FOO but they can develop independently as well.

I never did finish the book, but the concept of the many inner characters I found intriguing; just couldn't get over my block at the word family (sounds weird, I know; but so much of this is). Doesn't mean others might not find it useful, which is why I mention it.

Another, older and more scholarly read was "What We May Be" by Piero Ferruci and summarized an Italian-derived psychotherapy known as psychosynthesis. It includes a lot of discussion as well relating to the inner characters that inhabit our mind's 'theatre' and influences our lives.

While I don't devour books of this sort anymore in favour of more direct interpersonal therapy that I find more meaningful, books like these can be good adjuncts to trying to figure out what's going on.

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Blueberry

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2017, 05:55:53 PM »
This is a good discussion of a topic that many people would not understand.
lol thinking about the poor dears even reading this. They'll be sitting there  ??? :stars: ???

My default is a very frightened 3 year old. I have others but I don't have such a clear impression of the age. Sometimes I just go somewhere in my head - I know not where - and I cannot talk when this happens. And I have a persona that interfaces quite well with the world in which I work.

The first of mine that turned up was the 7 year old when I was in inpatient T the first time (about 15 years ago), and she stayed pretty close to the surface for a good number of weeks. She was certainly default for a long time. Bit by bit through therapy, others have come. Sometimes there's not a persona per se but 'something else' like a black cube. No idea if that might have turned into an Inner or not. I've done a lot of Inner Child T in groups. Have the good luck to live in a country where there are a few therapists who evolved their own method. It was a life-saver for me, at a time when I couldn't find any outpatient trauma T in my region of the country. In Inner Child group therapy it was very important for me to gain contact with Inners who held strengths before I could move onto more 'disturbed' ones.

Unfortunately I don't have anybody who interfaces well with the working world. It's one of my problems. I need a level of language and worldly understanding that a 16 year old just doesn't have.


If you have an 'adult' version of yourself that can help, soothe, comfort, console your younger parts that can be very helpful. I have a hard time staying in 'adult' mode long enough to do this but I am working on that.

I can stay better in Adult mode now to soothe and comfort (so there is hope!) but often I still feel that my Adult doesn't have all the answers / all the necessary information to console. Or maybe it is because I've slipped back into one of my Inners without really noticing.

It is a good topic here, thanks to Andyman for starting!

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Kat

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #11 on: September 10, 2017, 06:33:55 PM »
Over the years when my T has talked about dissociation, I've always had the sense that she was using it to mean two different things.  She used it to mean the kind of zoning out or blocking off of emotions and past experiences that were simply too much to handle.  (You can also think of it as compartmentalizing--putting that which is way too overwhelming in a box over there and forgetting all about it.)

But then she'd use the term dissociation in a way that I'm realizing now was used somewhat interchangeably with "fragmentation."  We would discuss my personality as being fragmented; that is, the different parts that make up the entire personality were separate and not "talking" to each other.  During development in which the child is not severely traumatized, these fragments come together naturally.  So, the shy, 4-your-old child and the outgoing 16-year-old live happily together.  When one is at the forefront, the other is still there, not lost. 

However, if you've been severely traumatized, each is distinct, so that when one is at the forefront, it is as if that is ALL of who you are.  So, at the times I've been triggered and feel as though I'm an awful, disgusting, stupid person and that there is no reason to live...that's all that's there.  I can't access the hiker me or the mother me or the playful me.  They no longer exist.  I think that's what makes some of our EFs so painful and difficult to find our way out of.

Anyhow, I just yesterday quite coincidentally came across the term "structural dissociation" which names that 2nd type of dissociation I always understood as fragmentation.  (I say 2nd type, but I don't think they're really two different things, which is probably why my  therapist never spoke of them as being different things altogether.)  I haven't read the whole research article, but skimmed enough to understand that it was talking about what I know to be fragmentation.

I hope this makes sense.  I know that through lots of hard work on my part and my therapist's part I'm feeling much more "solid," which I think is another way of saying I feel less fragmented.  I don't plummet to the depths I used to and I'm able to come out of those depths more quickly these days. 

Fascinating stuff these survival mechanisms!

Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2017, 01:27:23 AM »
However, if you've been severely traumatized, each is distinct, so that when one is at the forefront, it is as if that is ALL of who you are.  So, at the times I've been triggered and feel as though I'm an awful, disgusting, stupid person and that there is no reason to live...that's all that's there.  I can't access the hiker me or the mother me or the playful me.  They no longer exist.  I think that's what makes some of our EFs so painful and difficult to find our way out of.
Sounds about right!

I described my fragmentation as some kind of 'bipolar on speed' when I was undiagnosed. lol The way my self-esteem would just crash down was just so strange to me. But especially during those certain times of being triggered, or at least for me, it's extremely hard to get out of that state because all I can think of is; "What's the point" or "I deserve this anyway".
That's one of the reasons why I struggled so hard to find a psychologist for the longest of time because one half of me was; "Everything is fine. Things are fine. I don't need any help!", and the other half was; "Things are the worst, but I'm so terrible I don't deserve the help anyway". What a nightmare that was!

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Sweetsixty

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #13 on: September 11, 2017, 09:39:16 AM »
This is a brilliant thread and gives me further hope that time and therapy can heal the parts of us locked in bubbles in the past. The way my therapist described it is that the parts of us traumatised often get locked in that trauma and sometimes it's just the feelings. These parts do not recognise chronological progression and each time we feel them it's as if that feeling or that time is in the present.

Finding other parts of us (inner child/ teenager/ adult / inner / others) is a good thing as we then can see that part of us.  Sometimes we help them, sometimes they help us. I have lots too, but I've further created a Compassionate Companion (CC) which is a much older and wiser me who can calm me when nothing else can.  I see her as a more integrated me who has come through this terrible journey.

As my healing progresses I become less aware of those other parts of me and often have to work to conjure them up. This is a good sign as it means I am beginning to integrate those parts in the present day.

Great topic guys and very worthwhile.

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Andyman73

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Re: question regarding "inners/littles/others/ or what do you call them
« Reply #14 on: September 11, 2017, 09:31:14 PM »
In all of my social media experience, I never had a thread generate this kind of interest in such a short amount of time. Most of the time I have to keep feeding my own thread to keep it on life support. And even then most of them die off anyway. 
So I am very humbled by all of you here.
This is far beyond my typical response.

I've often questioned my belonging, on another website, because my topics seemed invisible.  How does one fit in, when nobody seems to care enough to notice. And if they see and don't post even an emoji to say they saw me, that just tells me I'm beyond their understanding.  And as you all have seen here, I certainly don't talk above peoples heads.

This all leads to a self-destructive persona coming out. He is very vocal sometimes even has control over my voice, and SH behaviors.  He is also the one that thinks we are too far gone to save, and thinks that nobody cares. And that they won't miss us when we're gone anyway.

I must confess that more than half the things you all have said, is just beyond my scope to understand what ya'll said.
I just feel so dumb, like there was a training class before this, and everyone went but me.

I *know* my mind works differently. Critical thinking doesn't exist for me. There isn't a time that I feel smart or knowledgeable.

Hmmm....wonder if these times of overwhelming emotions are different parts of me that are less defined than the ones mentioned previously?

Question....does anyone have an active relationship with someone and some of their others?  Should that question be its own thread?  I only ask this, because I do.

Thank you so very much to you all who have joined this conversation, and think it brilliant. ☺️