Talking to Young Parts

Remember the RA/MC Survivor Poetry Reading

On Saturday, October 23 at 4-5:30 PM Pacific Time, there will be a joyous event. Another online poetry reading! I hope those of you who missed the first one will come to this one.

The format will be a little different. The event will be shorter, but it will have the same structure. Greetings and a preview of what’s coming, the poetry reading itself, a short break, and then questions and answers. This time, people are invited to read one of their own poems.

Sign up for it at Eventbrite (click “register”)  

If you want to be on the mailing list, let me know in the comment section and I’ll make sure you are included. 


I’ve been wondering how come I can give suggestions on how to talk to littles, suggestions that people actually find useful. And yet I don’t have young parts inside me. Nobody is there with a name, with even a hint of what they look like, no sounds of crying. So what gives me the right to give suggestions?

I think I merge three things:

  1. Personal experience of what it was like to be various ages
  2. Reading lots of psychology and child development books, getting an MSW
  3. Having my own kids and learning (with difficulty) how to communicate with them at various ages

This mishmash of experience, knowledge, curiosity, and willingness to experiment makes me comfortable talking to the littles that I don’t have and the littles that many other multiples do have.

I talk to myself “as if” I had littles inside. I just assume that some part of me is listening and understands what I am saying. And if not, it is strengthening ideas in my brain that are counter to those that were laid down by the cult and my family. However it works, I know it works because I see the results.

When you think about it, there must be memories and feelings from the past, either conscious or unconscious, and they must be able to change. So if you have a memory, and you say over and over, “It wasn’t your fault, they made you do it. It wasn’t your fault,” something will shift. Slowly you will notice that you don’t feel as guilty. You won’t hate yourself as much. You will feel lighter, you will be able to breathe more freely.

It doesn’t matter what the inside of your mind is like, or how it is organized, or what your diagnosis is, once you were a child, and once you were abused, and nobody was there to tell you it wasn’t your fault and to comfort you, to love you, to say they wished they could have rescued you. But you are here now, and so you can pay attention to the child you used to be. You can send love back through the years to your child-self, and somehow it will counter the hate you received back then.

When my children were little, I didn’t naturally know how to talk to them. I had decided I would do the opposite of what my mother did. That intention was helpful, but it didn’t give me the actual “how do” knowledge. It was a do-it-yourself project and I learned as I went along.

I’ll summarize some of the things I learned that were most useful. They apply to kids of all ages – and, if I stop to think about it, they apply to grown-ups, too.  

The first thing is your attitude. Respect the child parts (or outside children). They are human beings and as worthy as any other human being in the world. 

Children’s opinions and beliefs are valid. They are the best possible response they could have had to the situation they found themselves in. If you listen carefully, not only will you come to understand what the child is trying to communicate, but, by listening and not criticizing and ordering the child around, you will convey a spirit of respect and empathy.

A good way to show that you have paid close attention is to summarize what the child has said and to ask if you got it right. Invite the child to correct you if you have misunderstood anything. 

Note that being treated in this manner is a new experience for the little part you are speaking to. Perpetrators don’t give a shit what their victims think, feel, or believe. All they care about is power and control. Some parts may catch on quickly, some may take much longer to understand that you are different and that what you are offering them is real. Don’t give up on the parts that remain wary for a long time – it’s perfectly natural.

When you feel that you have a good relationship, one based on respect and trust, try expanding the child’s self-image. Point out that there are choices, and that it is okay to choose. Praise the child for stepping out of their comfort zone and learning something new.

Actually, I don’t wait for a relationship to develop to give choices when I talk to myself because my parts never answer and so I have no idea where we are in our relationship. I just, when I start to talk, say something like, “You can listen if you want to, but you don’t have to. Later on, if you decide you want to know what I said, some part inside can tell you. I will repeat this later, so you can listen then if you want to.” Offering choices, not pushing either choice, not rushing things. 

If you are talking to a part who does something you don’t like, you will have to prepare yourself to approach that part with respect, curiosity, and trust that the part is doing the very best it can under the circumstances. Or rather, trust that you will come to understand that part in a different way if you listen long enough. 

I had a friend who tried to strong-arm the alters who did things he didn’t like. His idea of an effective approach was, “Listen up, assholes.” That’s a great way to alienate anybody!

So hang on tightly to respect and the desire to know what is going on with that part.

If you are talking to children of different ages, you can:

  1. Tell the older ones that you know they can easily translate what you say into the language they use and then speak to the youngest in simple terms,
  2. Speak to the oldest and ask them to explain to the younger ones,
  3. Say at the beginning that you will flip back and forth in the language you use, talking first to one age group and then the other.

I had a friend read this over, and she suggested I say that many people’s thoughts are very visual. She’s right – people think in pictures, words, or both.

I have a friend who can’t think in words – it’s all pictures and patterns and colors. You would never guess; he is smart and articulate and has a large vocabulary. I knew a woman who thought in words as a child until she had a concussion. From that point on, she thought only in pictures. My thoughts are pretty redundant. If I think of a cow, I see a picture of a cow, hear the word cow, and see C O W written on its side.

My guess is that babies think in pictures and start adding words when they learn to talk. As their vocabulary grows, words are added to or replace pictures until they reach their preferred mode of thinking. If this is so, you are more apt to reach younger parts if you include word pictures in talking to your inner parts.

“It’s 2021 now. The cars are smaller than they were when we were little. Refrigerators – we called them iceboxes – are either white or shiny stainless steel. They used to be white or avocado green, remember? And you never have to scrape the ice off the inside of the freezer compartment.”

That’s not a very good example, but it’s all I can think of. It must be lunchtime!

One last thing —

It makes no difference if you are talking to inside littles or outside littles. If you have children, you will find that the same techniques work just as well as they do with your younger parts. After all, kids are kids, right? Children treated with respect want to please you and do what you want. Children who are told what to do, bossed around, naturally want to resist. There will probably be sullen obedience and meltdowns.

And for people like me, people who talk to furniture and computers and plants and stuff, well, it works there, too. Because the furniture isn’t listening, but some part of me is. That part of me will tell another part of me there is a problem, and, hopefully, some part of me will be able to fix that problem.


 Upcoming Holidays


 10/11 (?) Columbus Day

 10/13 Backward Halloween

 10/20 Full Moon

 10/31 Halloween/start of Celtic New Year/start of the dark half of the year


 11/1 All Saints’ Day

 11/2 All Souls’ Day

 11/4 Satanic Revels

 11/11 (?) Veterans’ Day

 11/18-19 Partial Lunar Eclipse

 11/19 Full Moon

 11/25 Thanksgiving Day (United States)

 11/28 First Sunday of Advent

 11/30 St Andrew’s Day


 Sundays of advent: 11/28, 12/5, 12/12, 12/19

 12/4 Total Solar Eclipse

 12/18 Full Moon

 12/21 Winter solstice/Yule/St. Thomas’ Day

 12/24 Christmas Eve

 12/25 Christmas Day

 12/31 New Year’s Eve

Dates Important to Nazi and Neo-Nazi groups

10/16 Death of Rosenburg

10/19 Death of Goering

10/20 Hitler’s half-birthday

11/9 Kristallnacht

11/29 -12/16 Chanukah/Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights)

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


You can find more information on the following holidays at: 

 Halloween (personal) – 

 Halloween (background) –

 Thanksgiving –

 Yule/Winter Solstice – 

 Candlemas –

 Valentine’s Day –

 Spring Equinox –

 Easter: personal – (for background, see Spring Equinox) –

 Walpurgisnacht/May Eve –

 Beltane –

 Mothers’ Day –

 Fathers’ Day –

 Summer Solstice (corrected text) –

 Lammas –


 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 1 –

 Feast of the Beast/Bride of Satan: Part 2 –

 Fall Equinox –

I Wish I Had Kept an RA Journal

* Detailed instructions for making comments are in “News Items.”
* Looking for people who have been used as breeders in a cult setting for submissions for an anthology I hope to put together. Even if you have not been abused this way, could you spread the word and tell all your survivor friends and supportive therapists or pastors about the project? They can write me at for more information. Thank you so much!

I Wish I Had Kept an RA Journal

The other day I came across a piece of paper. It was writing dating from sometime between 1994 and 1996, a time when many memories were surfacing. I have no recollection of writing it.

I’ve never been good at journaling. I start one, do a few pages, put it aside and forget about it. Then when I need to write something down I either start a new journal or grab any old piece of paper. Since there is no central place I keep all these writings, I cannot go back and look something up.

Many people have the organizational skills to keep their writing together, and maybe even date it or – wow! – index it. I wish I were that way, but I’m not, and never will be. I did make a small step toward organization and made a “locator book” where I write where I have put things. Now I have only one thing to lose instead of dozens…as long as I remember to use the book!

That piece of paper upset me and has been on my mind ever since I found it about two weeks before Beltane. Even though it’s important, I wasn’t ready to pursue it back in the ’90’s. I was so overwhelmed then, and I pursued the things that were pursuing me and taking over my life. I can’t fault myself: I think I made the right choice.

But now I am more stable and less often in relentless flashbacks. So I have the luxury of pursuing it now.

I have wondered for a long time why I am so fragmented. I learned that fragments were used in one of the experimental programming systems that were implanted in me. But I couldn’t have become fragmented then: I didn’t start being used for MC experimentation until I was six. And if fragmentation had been induced at that age, there would have been a trace, a memory, a longing for a less fragmented state. I never experienced any loss or yearning.

I don’t have trouble accepting that I was pretty well dissociated before the age of six because I remember what it felt like to be dissociated back then. Early photos show the vacant stare of a dissociated child. Before the age of about a year and a half I looked like a regular baby; my face was expressive and my body seemed to move freely.

Although I remember being dissociated, I don’t remember being multiple, in the classic sense, with inner parts with separate personalities and histories and places within my mind. I remember thinking just the way I think now and I remember freezing and going blank just the way I do now.

In the writing that I discovered, I was dialoguing with a two-year-old boy, a baby still. He did not know what happened to him, but he knew it hurt. I asked if somebody did know, and he pointed to another two-year-old boy whose body was covered with intersecting black lines. He reminded me of a picture puzzle. This boy could not talk. He understood me and nodded or shook his head to communicate. Since he couldn’t tell me what had happened. he pointed to another boy.

This one was in pieces, tiny pieces. The boy with the marks tried to reassemble him. He could only find pieces that fit for one little finger. That is where the writing stopped.

What it signals to me is heart-breaking. I feel that I was electroshocked when I was two and that was what caused the fragmentation. Recently I asked a survivor half my age what a feather symbolized, as I have doodled feathers on and off since childhood, and she told me it meant electroshock. I felt validated.

I had no words at the time to describe to anybody, even  myself, what had happened, and no way to make myself whole again. But fragments could be assembled to make a small part of me, and that is how I have always experienced myself. Small groups of fragments come together to write a blog entry or feed the cats and then dissolve, waiting safely someplace until needed again.

I’ve also always had some confusion about my gender. I know I am a woman, and I don’t feel like a man in a woman’s body. There are times, however, especially when I first wake up, when I am surprised to find that I am a woman. I remembered abuse when I was five that explained the confusion to my satisfaction. Looking at the writing, though, it seems to me that messing with my beliefs about my gender started around the age of two. Why? I have no idea, at least consciously

It just now occurred to me that the first little boy I spoke with is, indeed an alter. He took me forward in time to the moment when he felt the electroshock and then to when he was fragmented and no longer himself.  It shows me I was once unfragmented but have forgotten what that felt like. although I do have a couple of memories from before the age of two. Was I multiple then? I don’t know.

Every answer brings up more questions. I know that this process will continue for the rest of my life. Each time I get an answer, with its accompanying questions, I know myself a little better. I know for sure that there will not be enough time to answer all the questions raised, and so I shall never completely know my past. Some days that makes me sad and angry, other days I think I know all too much about my past, and that too makes me sad and angry.


Upcoming Holidays
5/28 Memorial Day
5/29 Full moon
6/17 Fathers’ Day
6/21 Summer Solstice
6/23 Midsummer’s Eve
6/23 St John’s Eve
6/28 Full moon
7/4 Fourth of July/US Independence Day
7/25 St. James’ Day/Festival of the Horned God
7/27 Full Moon

Dates important to Neo-Nazi groups
6/6 D-Day: invasion of France in WW2
7/29 Hitler proclaimed leader of the Nazi party
(Some groups also mark Candlemas, Beltane, Lamas, Halloween, solstices, equinoxes, and full moons.)

Safety on the Inside

Here is a page with literally hundreds of articles on safety in all sort of places and situations. Well worth reading!

I’ve saved the most important part of keeping yourself safe for last. Why? It’s the hardest to write! And perhaps it will linger in your mind, which has been prepared by all sorts of practical advice in dealing with the outside world.

Your internal safety and internal communication are crucial to creating external safety. All the precautions in the world won’t help if part of you refuses to take them and sabotages every effort of yours to put them in place. The image that comes to my mind is having a pretty carriage, attaching six horses to differ parts of it, and then telling the horses to pull as hard as they can indifferent directions. Even if one horse is stronger than the others, it won’t go smoothly on one direction. Chances are it will quickly break into a million pieces.

Internal communication, therefore, is the key to successfully keeping yourself safe. Everybody has to be on the same page, or at least watching when the others agree on a plan and put it into action. You might try appealing to alters’ curiosity. “We did it the old way last time. Let’s try a new way as an experiment and see what happens.” Or you might try reassuring your insiders that you are older and stronger and wiser and you have found all these nifty new safety devices and therefore you can keep the whole system safe.

It’s the sad truth that it takes a long time and a lot of hard work to establish internal communication and cooperation. I’ve heard of some people who left the cult all at once and never looked back. Like they snapped their fingers or threw a light switch and immediately saw everything differently. But all the people I know (myself included) had a dimmer switch to work with. They left slowly, left and came back, left and came back, over and over. Many have made it all the way into freedom, others are still struggling and experimenting.

It’s not how long it takes, it’s how persistent you are and how strongly you persevere. You take small steps forward, rest, assess how it went, and plan your next small step. You stay curious and willing to experiment with new approaches. You stay determined. And then one day there is a break through.

I met a woman who was beaten up in her apartment on a regular basis. She tried different ways of keeping her assailants out, but none worked. Or they seemed to work for a few weeks, and then her apartment was broken into again, just as she started to relax a little. She was hurt, puzzled, frightened, and discouraged to the point of giving up. She was convinced that they  knew how to bypass each way she tried of securing the windows and doors.

She had also been talking to her insiders and thought they all agreed on the efforts to keep intruders out.  She kept talking to them even in the face of failure. One day a little stepped up and said that if she opened the door, they did get hurt, but that the men had promised that if they could come and hit her a little they would not kill her sister. The little was full of love and more than willing to get hurt to save her sister’s life.

Suddenly it all made sense. Her perpetrators had no high tech or magic way of bypassing the alarms, they just knew how to bully a child. What worked was helping the newly discovered alter to grieve, thanking her for her loving heart, explaining how the adults tried to control children by making threats, and finally explaining that they would not kill her sister because they wanted her alive.

There were no more “break ins.” But there were, of course, other challenges to be met with a whole new bunch of baby steps.

This short entry only skims the surface of things that you can do internally. You can find an article by Arauna Morgan, “Seeing and Breaking the Chains: Steps for Recognizing On-Going Abuse and How to Break FREE,”  at If you get overwhelmed reading it, remember that you don’t have to do everything at once. Pick what speaks to your condition and start with that.

Try and remember that every small step is an achievement: reading part of the article, talking to your insiders, speaking to them with love and respect, pondering what else you can do to protect yourselves. Most of all, cherishing your hope and determination.


I hope you all get through the holidays okay. May you stay safe, inside and out, may you cry if you need to, may you be calmly alone or with people you trust and care about. For those of you that have a faith that celebrates these days, may your soul be filled. For those of you that don’t, may you think of things you can be grateful for and feel happy about them, even for a moment.