After you’ve been diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, it can feel like there is nothing you can do to improve your situation. Wrong! While there are plenty of things you can do to improve things for your system, this article is going to walk you through ways that you can set up your external home to help your whole system function better. Let’s get started!
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WARNING AND DISCLAIMER
Because of the nature of D.I.D., it’s possible that something in this article could be triggering to your system. Please use caution and your best judgement when reading this article. Safety first!
Disclaimer: We are not doctors, therapists, or mental health professionals. We’re just a bunch of alters that are speaking from personal experience to help other systems live their best lives.
As with all things related to DID, safety is your top priority! Take a second to brainstorm all of the ways you could make your home more safe. If you’re newly diagnosed, keep in mind that your system likely has littles and self harming alters. What can be done to keep them more safe?
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Lock up any firearms and keep remove the bullets from the home
Pack up any knives or dangerous items like that
Remove any alcohol or drugs
Properly dispose of any unneeded medication in the house
Collect any movies, books, or video games that are violent, gory, pornographic, or just all around inappropriate for triggered or younger alters
A good thing to ask yourself is “Would I want a 5 year old to have access this? What about a suicidal person? Or someone recovering from a traumatic event?” This will help you to get into the right mindset when removing some things from the home.
This process doesn’t need to be perfect. It’s more about making sure that you’re giving your system more opportunities to pick the safe option.
**Pro tip: If there is someone you trust, it can help to get a second opinion on what could be realistically considered dangerous. If you have a loving friend that is willing to do a sweep of the house for you, it can be really helpful!
Make The Date And Time Obvious
After your system has removed any safety issues, it’s time to make sure that all of your fronting alters are aware of the date and time. This is a little different than bringing all of your alters to the present day.
The purpose of making sure that your fronting headmates know the date and time is that it will minimize things like disorientation, time jumps, and frustrations.
Doing this is very simple! All you need to do is to place a clock and calendar in each main room of your house. Some clocks even have built-in calendars. By doing this, no matter where the body is when an alter begins to front, they’ll have quick access to stabilizing information.
**Pro tip: Be aware that some alters may struggle to tell time with an analog clock. If this is an issue for your system, you can either teach them how to tell time or simply get a digital clock. Either works!
Simplify Difficult Tasks
The next thing you can do to improve your external home for your headmates is to make difficult tasks as easy as possible for all of your headmates. While there are countless ways to do this, the easiest and fastest way to do this is to put up signs that show the step by step process of doing something.
By putting out guides for how to do tasks, you can make sure that all of your alters will have an idea of how to keep things consistent. You’ll also be able to minimize alters feeling hopelessly lost and confused while they’re fronting. Win win!
Some ideas to get you started:
List of everything the body needs to pack in order to leave the house
Tasks the body does in the morning/first thing at work/on lunch break/at night/etc
How to do the laundry
How to make frequently made recipes
What to have ready before therapy
How to call for help/feel steady (this post talks about how to make a safety kit)
Standard grocery list
Every system is different so what your system needs will be unique to your system. Ask yourself “What do I know we currently struggle with?” That will help to get you moving in the right direction!
Show Some Love And Appreciation
The final (but arguably most important) step is to litter your house with gratitude and encouragement. In each main room of the house, put at least one uplifting picture, item, or quote that will speak to your system. These items don’t need to be DID specific; the goal is that they will help each of your alters to feel things like:
Their system is there for them
Hard moments don’t last forever
Things can get better
Life can be really wonderful
We get it. DID (and all of the related stuff that comes with it) can be really, REALLY hard. You and each of your alters are facing a battle. By making your home into everyone’s safe and happy place, your whole system will be strong enough to face those battles. And triumph! You can do this!
Now that you have set up your external home to help improve things for your system, what can you do to keep up with the positive changes? Check out our course, Home At Last, to learn how to set up your internal home, to develop great team meetings, and to create a home atmosphere inside of the headspace!