More on Internal Communication

There are three announcements after the main part of this post.

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In the previous post, I emphasized the attitude you should bring to talking to your alters, or parts, or inner people, or head-mates. It was pretty general, encouraging kindness and compassion.

Now I’ll get more practical and share some of the approaches I and others have found helpful.

1. Who is your audience?

Start by taking a moment to think of who you want to talk to. If it is a group, do they have different opinions, desires, needs? How long have you known them? How friendly are they to you? What is the age range? This is very important because you want to reach everybody.

Say there is a group of inner children ranging from five to eleven who have all had similar experiences. Tell them you want everybody to understand, and if somebody doesn’t know what a word means, they can interrupt you and ask, and you will explain. Then use fairly simple words. If you talk to the eight-year-olds, the older ones won’t feel talked down to, and the younger ones will understand most of it.

2. Set a time limit

It’s important to have some structure because lack of structure causes unnecessary anxiety. If you have a set amount of time, you can pace yourself and leave time at the end to summarize what you have talked about and thank everybody for participating. If you hope to meet again, say so, and set another time. 

3. Set some ground rules

Keep the rules few and simple. Include “do’s” with the “don’t’s.” Everybody takes turns.  No being mean to anybody else. It’s okay not to talk or to say you don’t understand something. It’s okay to swear and cry and laugh.

4. Make yourself comfortable

Choose a quiet place and bring some things that help make you calm. Bring supplies that the others might want – drawing equipment, stuffed animals, favorite objects. Turn the ringer on the phone off and put on some music, if you want.

5. Talk through to parts that you have not met or that are not available often.

“Talking through” means trusting that parts will hear you even if you cannot see or hear, or even sense them. They might be listening silently as you talk. Or one alter might be reporting what you are saying to them. 

Since this may be happening, whether you know it or not, it’s a good idea to give permission before you start. “It’s okay to just listen and not say anything. Later on, you may feel comfortable enough to speak directly to me.” “If you know of parts that aren’t here now that would benefit from knowing what I will tell you, please let them know what I said. Also, tell them they are welcome to come next time I talk to you-all.” Word the permission so that it is also an invitation.

6. Consider having a recurring meeting.

There are many advantages to having a meeting at the same time every week or every day.

Parts who are shy know that they can always join in when they feel braver. Parts who have gone to a different place internally understand that they are welcome to come back at any time.

If you design the meeting for parts to share memories, you may diminish the number of flashbacks you have during the day. Tell everybody that you have made a special time for them to share memories and feelings. This way, you can give them your full attention and not have to think about anything else. Give them the time and the ground rules. Whenever you feel a flashback coming on or feel triggered, remind them of that special time.

If you feel a lot of ambivalence or internal conflict, you can ask the two main alters who disagree – or everybody who has an opinion on the subject – to come to a meeting. Again, be careful to tell them about the ground rules you have prepared. They are coming to listen to the other person and learn where they are coming from. Tell them that they don’t need to make any decisions; it will just be information-gathering.

7. Meetings to share memories and make friends.

It’s interesting to see how exchanging information can lead to changes in belief and then changes in behavior. I can’t tell you a story about my internal process because my mind isn’t populated with full-fledged alters, so I’ll tell you about an experience I had with a cult-identified alter of one of my friends.

Since my friend was living on her own and did not go home for holidays, this alter had the job of celebrating the holidays on his own. He usually ended up in a psych ward in four-point restraints. He had no inside or outside friends. One day, he was quietly listening to me and my friend’s conversation and gathered I had been raised a Satanist. He came out, and we started talking. We were discussing the upcoming holiday (I forget which one it was), and I found out that his group read the words of the ritual. I was shocked because our group kept nothing in writing. Wasn’t he afraid it might get into the wrong hands?

Comparing our traditions opened up the possibility that there were options, other ways of doing things. We never tried to change the other; we just were curious about what the other thought and did. Gradually, we became friends.

It turned out that he was, or became, more than just his job. He was a poet, and he had tender feelings toward me. He once said that he dreamed of me lying in a bed of tulips. That still touches my heart today. He eventually decided to give up his job without anybody ordering him to or suggesting it, as far as I know. Shortly afterward, he integrated, and I missed him keenly.  

I am suggesting is that relationships, either internal or external, don’t always have to be filled with strife and pain. As parts get to understand each other, they may either agree to disagree or find common ground. Change can happen organically simply by opening up channels of communication. It is so gratifying to know that you have set the stage for growth to happen!

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* I had a brainstorm!

Would anybody be interested in participating in a virtual poetry reading? I’ve been to several in-person survivor poetry readings, and they were very moving and inspiring. 

I could host a ZOOM meeting, but I would need somebody to help me with the technical part.

Let me know if you are interested in helping me, reading your poetry, or attended the reading. Post in the comment section or write me at rahome@ra-info.org.

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* Bryn L. Kroto is a Physician’s Assistant who is writing a thesis at Arizona’s A.T. Still University in the School of Health Sciences. It will be on “…service gaps between Doctors/Physician’s Assistants/Nurse Practitioners and victims of ritual abuse and their families. How can the medical field help connect the dots identifying abuse and foster healing?”

If you would like to meet Bryn, she has made a podcast on “Remembering Truth: Time to Get Real on Ritual Abuse.” https://anchor.fm/bryn-kroto/episodes/Season-2-Episode-5-Time-to-Get-Real-on-Ritual-Abuse-eofq9r

If any survivors, family/friends, or therapists, are willing to be interviewed for this thesis, please write brynkroto23623@msn.com

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I have organized a ZOOM group of survivors whose systems are polyfragmented, or partially so. If you would like to join, contact me through the comments section or write rahome@ra-info.org

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* You can find more information on the following holidays at: 
Candlemas https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/candlemas/
Valentine’s Day https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/02/10/valentines-day/
Spring Equinox https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/the-spring-equinox/
Easter: personal. (for background, see Spring Equinox) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/easter-blues/
Walpurgisnacht/May Eve: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/04/20/walpurgisnacht/
Beltane: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/beltane/
Mothers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/04/26/mothers-day/
Fathers’ Day: https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/ritual-abuse-and-fathers-day/
Summer Solstice (corrected text) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/well-this-is-embarrassing/
Lammas https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/category/lamas/
and https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/august-ritual-dates/

Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2013/08/31/the-feast-of-the-beast/
Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2017/03/20/feast-of-the-beast-part-ii/
Fall Equinox https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/the-fall-equinox/
Halloween {personal) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/10/11/halloween/ 
Halloween (background) https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2011/10/02/samhainhalloween/
Thanksgiving https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2016/11/20/thanksgiving/
Yule/Winter Solstice https://ritualabuse.wordpress.com/2012/12/15/yulewinter-solstice/ 

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Upcoming Holidays

February
2/2 Candlemas/Imbolc/Satanic Revels
2/12 (?) Lincoln’s Birthday
2/14 Valentine’s Day
2/15 (?) Presidents’ Day/Washington’s birthday
2/16 Shrove Tuesday/ Mardi Gras
2/17 Ash Wednesday/beginning of Lent
2/25 Walpurgis Day
2/27 Full Moon

March
3/1 St David’s Day (patron saint of Wales)
3/1 St. Eichstadt’s Day
3/17 St. Patrick’s Day (patron saint of Ireland)
3/21 Spring Equinox
3/24 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan
3/28 Full Moon
3/28 Palm Sunday

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups
1/30 Hitler named Chancellor of Germany
2/26 Purim (Deliverance of the Jewish people from Haman in Persia)
3/28 – 4/4 Passover/Pesach (Deliverance of the Jewish people from slavery in Egypt)

(NOTE: Not all groups meet on Jewish holidays. Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lammas, Halloween, the solstices, and the equinoxes.)

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