December 9th 2015 Blogging Meme Post - communication, and memory tricks and tips we
use for headmates who are dissociative, have poorer communication skills and/or are
sensitive to time-weirdness (spawned from a discussion between lb_lee and I believe
dreamer_marie during LB's livestream on Sunday December 6th 2015 wherein they
attempted to ask advice about dissociation stuff and I kept having internet fail, also part of
a backlog of things we've wanted to write since our 2011 FONSFAQ on
Note: take all these things with a grain of salt. These are things we use, they might not
necessarily be the same things that work for other people.
Body Association Tools
These are two techniques we learned from bodywork classes though they work even if you
don't have the energy skills.
Energy Swipe: (note: I'd suggest only doing this if you have someone you trust for
safe-touch, but it's extraordinarily effective)
Person to be swiped stands with hands against a wall. Swiper starts at either the top back of
the head OR the shoulders (depending on person's comfort level), and then with firm but
not too heavy pressure, drag your hands down the back, shifting to the sides at the hips and
then down the legs and off the feet.
If possible, cross your leg so that the foot to be sandwiched makes the crossover of a 4
shape. If you can't cross your leg or for example you are in public wearing a skirt, you can
also use a stool or a chair or a porch step (you just want the bottom of your foot to be more
easily reachable by your arms). Put one hand on the bottom of the foot. Put the other on the
top. Hold while breathing. Repeat on the opposite side.
Anti-Stress Position: And this is a third energy technique, that also works without the
energywork skills. It's a variation of a self-hug. Our reiki master calls it the "Anti-Stress
Position" Put one hand at your chest over your breast bone, and the other on the stomach.
Bonus perks is it helps regulate breathing back to diaphragm breathing because you can
feel the difference.
Additional body-awareness tools we might use:
- various textures
- pretty pictures
- strong tastes
- steepling hands (face palms to each other and press the fingertips to each other firmly)
- that beaded pouch necklace we're wearing in the anti-stress position demo is both a tactile
grounding tool itself AND has polished "grounding" stones in it that are also tactile
This is a variation of a tool that's really common as a recommendation in books for systems
who identify as having Dissociative Identity Disorder/Multiple Personality Disorder.
Basically they're little emergency cards, though our version removes things like emergency
contacts because we keep those in separate paper things AND our phone applications
(which we train EVERY new fronter to use even if they're selectively mute). For us, we have
a general card which has on the back our legal information (name, current year, our home
address) and a note to look at the WRAP application for self-care support AND/OR
And then one for every headmate who is susceptible to various forms of dissociation/time
weirdness. We used to keep ALL the cards in our wallet, but now that our system has for
the most part gotten a FAIRLY regular fronting team schedule, we usually only keep the
ones for the fronters who show up in the morning. This is the one for Honeybees (Kevin's
system) that went into our purse today.
Finally, we use a lot of redundancy tactics WE DO have multiple to-do list apps on our
phone and our schedule is ALWAYS mirrored into our google calendar, but we got this
daily organizer at Staples when we started getting to be a much larger system fairly early in
college and weren't doing so well on communication due to school-stress and just
headmates's personal dissociative tendencies. It's only lasted this long because we use it
irregularly now -- only when we know we have a crowd of dissociative people fronting or if
our medication is messing around with our ability to communicate.
The left side is a page that has a to-do list section, an appointment book section, and a little
journal section. The right side is a page that's for a phone message log. We usually ignore
the priorities on the to-do list section. We use the appointment book section for
meetings/classes on the days we use it. The journal section is used to make notes for
provider meetings. The phone message log is repurposed to be a communication board
between headmates. Sometimes it'll have additional to-do lists (like today's), other times it
will have requests such as: "Does anyone know how to snake the bathroom sink drain?" or
"Can someone else please schedule our upcoming doctor's appointment?", and yet other
times, it can be little doodles from the headmates who identify as nonverbal/selectively