I feel like —given how my body feels, the migraine I have, and these other sensations I’ve never experienced before in my life— like Jessa and Annie may *actually* be trying to raid Downstairs and get them out. Petrifying, nervous, excited, anxious, worried; so many feels.
Unfortunately, I think this may be self-explanatory (just by what most people’s imagination contains). …along with excruciatingly painful to think about. Downstairs is comprised of introjects — all parts whom mirror our abusers. They behave as such, reenact things we’ve been through. Only, because they felt so powerless in the real-life abusive situations they lived through, they tend to take things to a whole new level when engaging in internal persecution against others. The kinds of things that occur are things that are unconscionable and can’t even be given words. Basically, if your mind can conceive of it, it can (and likely does) happen. It’s not something one should ever have to, or want to, imagine. And, for the sake of how viscerally triggering it would be, there’s no way to put it into words. Physical violence, along with headgames and emotional duress seem to be the biggest themes — but there’s extreme neglect and lack of any basic needs in addition to the punishments. It’s a hell no one ever returns from the same. Their bedrooms alone, in the better parts of Downstairs, are merely concrete and bars; where Upstairs members are kept in times like this are even more unkempt, dilapidated and dangerous. The other thing worth mentioning while still refusing to mention specifics is that, when there’s more than one Upstairs member there at a time, they usually keep them all together. That sounds positive, maybe even comforting — but that means being forced to bear witness to the suffering those you care deeply about are being put through. It’s also part of the emotional scarring because many will attempt to intervene on their behalf, trying to spare them — only resulting in greater harm to them both. But, sitting and doing nothing (because you know that’s how it will go), is torture for many. This replicates a trauma dynamic many are very familiar with and therefore it gets reenacted in scenarios such as this. It’s cruel and unusual punishment and can hardly be thought about without shuddering, feeling the need to duck, and incredible amounts of genuine despair knowing that’s what they’re enduring.
Downstairs. With Ian, Molly; Nikhi, Kyle, Landon; CJ and well, David, too since he now cannot leave either. :(
There’s unfortunately no way to know still :( Always hoping and praying it’s very very soon.
insiders: Abigail “Abby” Riley // 15
-so many photos of Abby include a precious little kitty. i wonder if….given Katie has her puppies, we have a stable full of horses, and now we just got Conor for Kyle and Annie; should we let her get a fluffy little cutie? :) i’m thinking so. i’ll hafta see what she thinks about that. it might be really healing for Emily, too!-
-just another that looks sooooo much like Annie in Kristie’s room. so so so much like her. i only wish that, for only two full minutes, she could appear this calm.-
insiders; DOWNSTAIRS: Annie Lorelei // 30
insiders: Katie Janessa // 6
-this is such a Rachael outfit. we even used to have that exact necklace. she even treasured the person who gave it to us.-
insiders: Rachael “Rae” Avery // 28
-if the hair was just a touch lighter, that would be yours truly to a T - maybe even more accurate facially than some of the other faceclaims. the others are always so ethereal that others find; this one finally makes me look like the average simple person that I am. this also more accurately shows my age to someeeeeone i know who thought i looked like a baby- :P
insiders: Sydney Rebekah // 28
This is a little difficult to answer. Every one of us seems to have a different “rule” for our ages. However, the current rule of thumb is that “if we’re older than Kristie, we get older when she does; anyone younger stays frozen”. But, when we were younger and/or created, it wasn’t so precise. When we began, Jae came first. She was three and she’s remained three all along. Annie came next, she was 7; and has grown up every age alongside Kristie until her current age of 30. Some other parts like Rachael and David came close to some of our next kids. They were each two and three years older than Kristie and grew up each year with her just like Annie. But, then it’s a little confusing because some of our kids and teens were actually created about a year or two (or three) older than the body was at the time — but have remained static ever since. For example, Bridget’s eight; but, we’re confident she got here when we were a little younger than that. She’ll still always be eight. Even Charlie and Katie (who are 5 and 6), are believed to have arrived when we were a little younger than that. It seems that if there was any part of our roles that included being protective and/or nurturing to Kristie or to other parts, we were made to age alongside Kristie. We always needed to be older than her or we couldn’t look after her, too. We also needed to always be older than the other kids that were coming in — even though many of us were still kids at the time, too. But, being older still supplied us with a confidence or steadiness she wouldn’t have had otherwise. Others who just needed to hold memories or feelings specific to that age have remained that age. For our triplets who are seventeen (Addie, Morganne, Kyle), they came somewhere around 15/16 and they’ve said they didn’t really feel the age of the body - felt a little older - and didn’t identify with a number. But then one day, all at the same time, they locked into 17 and have remained there. There was something specific about that which required them to stay there. And, that’s important because they (all three) have been SO active in our external life for so many years after that, and even fronted more than most of us ever have for a long long time, that they emotionally and mentally still matured. They “grew” from experience, and all three were already wise beyond their years. So, even though they’re all 17, not ONE of them feels, thinks or behaves like a seventeen-year-old. They’re much older than that to us in our minds. They are absolutely adults. There have been many times where they wanted to grow up because of that (plus, all their closest friends/siblings inside are aging and they’re not, which is increasing the age gap); but, because of that memory-specific content, they have to stay 17 until that’s processed. One could be ready to age (Morganne), but they struggle so much with that bc she’d be leaving the other two behind and that pains them so deeply. (Plus, they’re a trifecta of specific things and separating them in any way seems like it might compromise some of the integrity that is critical to their collective design.) Thennnn, there are two other enigmas we don’t understand. When Kristie was about 20/21, Sinead and I got here. We were the last two alters to come. I was created two years older than Kristie at the time (same as Rachael bc that’s who I came “from”), which meant I was about 22/23 and have aged every year since. But Sinead came and was 28. Up until that point (since our teens), if they were older than Kristie, they aged every year, too. But not Sinead. She’s still 28, has been for several years for some reason. Yet, I’ll turn 29 in August. Then there’s Seth. We only just learned this — but it was already strange. He always had a nebulous age. It was always “thirties” “late thirties” “forties” “mid forties” etc. We thought that this was because we didn’t know the age of the real person he’s an introject of, so he was made to be vague …. but the other day we realized he’s actually an introject of more than one person. And those people are about 15-20 years apart. We never see Seth, so we’ve never noticed it visually. ….but we believe Seth actually age slides. Whomever he’s identifying most with at that time he seems to slide to that end. It’s why we thought here and there that we had someone new. We kept feeling influences that didn’t fit anyone we knew, or even an age range of anyone inside who’d behave that way. He’s still a work in progress we’re trying to figure out.
As for those of us who are older than Kristie, we’re coming up on some interesting times, though. It’s likely Annie will stop aging soon. Early thirties are about as old as it can get for her to have her role be most effective. Similarly with some of the nurturers. If we get too old, we feel disconnected from some but also run out of steam faster and are less effective. If it’s imperative to our job, our age seems to reflect that. Before everyone needed to remain older than Kristie so as to always have power over her (if they were Downstairs). But Annie could be a feisty 30-year-old forever and still have dominance over, say, a 45-year-old Kristie. Any younger though and Annie might start to lose influence and power.
It’s something on our minds, but more importantly it’s something we’re just starting to feel in our bones. Like the fabric of who we are is being called to change in some way. I hope this made some sense to you :)
This is wonderful of you. I’ll absolutely be certain that he sees this when he’s free. I feel exactly just as you do and have grown exponential amounts of respect for him in the past two weeks. I hope one day he can join us a little more permanently, too. Thank you for your appreciation and support <33
Oh dear. Uh, we hardly do. I don’t have a job; I’m much, much too unstable for work still and am actually physically too unwell at the moment due to a new issue we’ve said nothing about. I go for an extended session each time, because I travel 2.5hrs one way and only going for 50-60min and getting right back in the car wouldn’t be worth it. Normally she’d be over $240/hr. She put me on a sliding scale and let me pay roughly half that. So, for an extended session, that’d still be $200+/session. Then I do that twice a week (currently, just because we’re still struggling so much). My insurance (medical assistance) made a single case agreement after much fighting and now pays a little less than half that. So, yes, it’s about $1000/month for anyone who missed that. (But, without all those aids it should have been a few thousand a month.)
I get SSI, or government assistance for those not in the US. I’m also in government housing and have food stamps, etc. I still only get a little over $700/month. Clearly I can’t pay that therapy bill alone in a month, let alone my apt, utilities, gas, etc. So, the short answer is that my dad pays over half. They have a great deal of money (though after this many years in economic recession, their excess is even running out fast) and are free to be more willing than most people. I pay $400/month-ish depending on my bills that month. I saved up a considerable amt of money before moving out in order to be able to maintain that while not having that much to give with my income (clearly my bills are much more that $300/month, so I don’t have 400 to give every month with my income). But, this is why life is so…precarious. We’re on our own but still heavily financially dependent on my parents. And it’s not just money, but my treatment. Refusing their aid means I have no treatment whatsoever. Plus, I could never afford the gas for that length a trip, nor would my car (also theirs, but is 20yrs old) EVER make it that far — so we rely on them for transportation to and from sessions. Sometimes we’re asked to chip in for gas if we’re able, but they know that the “extra” we saved is almost out and we’re soon going to be unable to maintain the amount we have been giving. So, the shortest answer to this question is: we made a deal with the devil to be able to afford treatment. But, we’ve been through every “local” and supposedly “qualified” person from here to there (trust me, my insurance insisted I go through every possible provider before agreeing to that non-par agreement) and they’ve been epic disasters. So, we chose to get treatment over refusing help from my parents — bc in all honesty, we’re so poor we’d have to rely on them anyway (and still use their car) that we’d remain dependent on them in SOME way no matter what…for an unfortunate amount of time. If that’s going to be true then I absolutely absolutely need treatment. We’d have died longgg ago without the therapy we’re in. We have no idea how any of you without therapy do it — we’re in constant awe of you. We’d never ever ever have made it through without. I can’t even explain how confidently I know that. Even now, without it, it wouldn’t be but a very short amount of time before we were just…. unable to continue.
Another long answer to say that I don’t personally afford therapy. We made and keep making scary awful compromises to get it. And, we have infinite respect for the countless ones of you going without.
This is a good question. And I know I have a couple questions from you and others about the potential for David to one day become an Upstairs member again…and how possible is that? So, I’ll kind of answer that all now as best as I can. Annie being Upstairs (like I just answered seconds ago) isn’t permanent. It’s only to get her a reprieve to restore her health and get her on our side to help out. She wants the others freed as much as we do now that she’s even *aware* that this has been going on and she had anything to do with it. I don’t know when or under what terms she’ll return to Downstairs, but she’ll be expected to. David has a bedroom Upstairs — with a staircase toward the back that goes direction Downstairs, and it allows him to come and go a little more freely. Also, enough of us are familiar with David to not be alarmed if he’s Upstairs, though it’s still unsteady.
In the past three years or so, both David and Annie have been making great strides. David mostly in terms of how desirous he is to no longer do harm to others. But, being an introject means more than just good intentions have to be looked at. They’re hardwired with traits of abusers; respond to triggering stimuli in automatically abusive ways. They aren’t always in full control of their feelings and behaviour (as this recent incident showcases). They can overall wish to never hurt us again, but there are times where their feelings are overcome (as if they aren’t their own, bc they really aren’t) and instead have malice, sadism and hate in them. Working through all that will be what it’ll take for any of them to be freely Upstairs (which will be years of therapy). ….but we agree with you that there should be a middle ‘level’. We’re thinking of ways they could become more integrated (er, that’s a bad DID term… hm… just more homogenous) with the rest of us and our goals and whatnot on a daily basis….knowing they’re still too full of upsetting things that could erupt at any moment to stay. We know this will be imperative — esp for Annie — because she’s never felt joy. Ever. She doesn’t know or believe it’s possible to even be had. Living in darkness and deprivation every day forever only confirms that and leaves her unable to EVER believe in an idea of “hope” or “comfort” or anything positive. She has no basis for comprehension of those things. Being Upstairs will foster more opportunities for that. But here’s the clincher in all of this and where we run into most problems. Even though Annie runs this whole system, and knows all and sees all — that’s not actually how Downstairs hierarchy runs. They don’t care about controlling the rest of us and let her have that job, but in terms of a pecking order, it runs by age. Out of 7 DTeamers, Annie and David respectively fall 5th and 6th on the totem pole. Just because they want to come up now and then and behave nicer does NOT mean others will allow that. The more they fight for change, the more others enforce the reverse. The others Downstairs have done so little therapy work that they’re SOLID in their introjected, abusive roles; so, their need for control and dominance is SO high. It gets exercised on this topic to the nth degree. David has been frequenting Upstairs a lot the past two years, and clearly is the sole saviour behind all of our efforts here. Annie has had kind, soft and very helpful moments. We may tense a bit seeing them Upstairs, but it’s less terrifying after witnessing many days gone well. Hopefully finding some mid ground for them so they don’t always have to be Downstairs, but aren’t threatening other DTeamers by staying UPstairs for too long, will I’m sure be part of the transitionary period. But, they’re going to need so so much therapy for the parts of them that are mirrors to really abusive people and require us to always be wary even though we’d love to welcome them up from the basement with open arms. Really we need to keep working with the OTHERS Downstairs in order to loosen their grips, demands, and control over them which keeps things stagnant and even unsafe the more we push for movement.
I’m sure after what’s happened the past two weeks that this very discussion will be visited heavily and often.. Annie’s not dumb. She’ll knows she’s been played. And that will infuriate her to no end, and make her want to make changes, to at least avoid having to return there. …while knowing she’s not safe enough to freely be with others for a long, long time.