Meeting the Felt Needs of the Insiders

As I said previously, I believe if I meet the needs of my girls, it will give them the freedom to heal. A person whose felt needs go unmet will so focus upon those unmet desires, that she will not be able to focus on the deeper trauma that needs healed and released. An insider is NO different. Remember, insiders are just normal children who happen to be trapped inside an adult body.

So that is where I focus my attention as the spouse of a DID wife. The girls do not seem to want to talk to me extensively about their original trauma other than when I sought the forgiveness of Alleylieu for the incidents in our 22-year marriage where I had specifically traumatized her or Karen. Therefore my focus in the healing process is to give the girls the happy childhood they never had and to meet other needs they express.

I repeatedly emphasize to the girls that it is my pleasure to take care of them. Amy loved the attention to her needs that I gave, and she had no problems telling me things she truly wanted. However, I had to slowly win over Alleylieu. She was used to taking care of everyone, not having someone take care of her. But in time with a lot of effort on my part, she is finally able to enjoy me meeting her needs, too. And Sophia and the ones I saw infrequently had very limited communication skills. So it was up to me to figure out what they needed.

Play therapy at my home means letting the girls play hours each day. My son got Amy and Alleylieu involved in webkinz, and though the website glitches and has some issues we are not very happy about, overall that website has been a wonderful means of meeting the girls’ need to be “normal little girls.” Plus it can be totally safe from any predators if you make sure the settings are right. When Amy first got on it and started to get “friended” she would tell me with great delight how many friends she had. She told me how popular she was and about playing with the other children. And both older girls take great delight in creating a delightful imaginary world for their pets. See the webkinzinsider site for inside information to help them get the most out of their experience.

EBay was another great resource in my attempt to meet my girls’ needs. Amy wanted her old Velvet doll she had originally, and she also loves to have Barbie, Ken, Kelly and Tommy dolls. EBay is definitely the place to recreate a lost childhood from the past for much cheaper than retail. With each arrival in the mail, Amy’s eyes would light up like any normal little girl. For months we had Christmas weekly as I bought her and the others various auction lots of dolls and clothing that they would love.

My son and I also spent a lot of time playing games with Amy and Alleylieu. But here their expectations are different for each of us. My son plays normally with the girls: to win. I hear the pouting and gloating of all concerned whenever they play games together. But when either of the girls plays games with me, I am expected to lose. I have been repeatedly told that “a daddy would never beat his daughter.” And that’s ok. They’ve had enough hard knocks in their lives already. I don’t need to teach them sportsmanship in game playing at this point.

Another means of meeting the girls’ needs is by watching lots of tv and movies together. Movies at the theater especially are a great thing for the insiders because they can discreetly come out in a public setting during the movie and watch like any normal child. In the beginning Amy was delightful to watch when I would take her to little kid movies. She was so easily delighted and amused. She was more fun to watch than the movie as her entire body would convulse in laughter or she would jump up and down in her seat in delight. But as the girls have healed a lot of the movies also teach them lessons and give me opportunities to talk with them about issues that wouldn’t normally come up.

But insiders don’t only need to play. Amy and Alleylieu want to have money to spend, and so they has tried various means of making money. I call Amy my little business woman. After a couple of failed ventures, she has settled upon mystery shopping. My son or I am always required to go with them for moral support. She has applied to various evaluating companies, and we evaluate various chains in the vicinity. I think mystery shopping is a fabulous way to meet a number of needs in my girls’ life. Most jobs are low stress. They teach the girls confidence as they do the evaluation in the store and then fill out what is required online, and this gives the girls some spending money, too. They aren’t going to get rich at it, but it really is a good thing for them.

Lastly it almost seems a given to some people that insiders will “act up.” I’ve read various reviews of The United States of Tara, and it seems that many of the episodes center on the various insiders “doing their own thing” often without regard of consequences to the other insiders or to the family.

However, as I’ve lived with Karen’s insiders for the last 2 years, the incidences of an insider acting up extremely or getting everyone lost or going out and spending money without permission, etc have almost been totally absent in my house. I hope one reason is because I go to great lengths to meet the desires of my girls when they express them. When I do so, then they have no reason to meet their needs on their own in their own way. Moreover, I listen for “wishes” not only “I need” statements. If you are a guy, this is no time to play the “If you need something, why didn’t you just ask me?” game. Many of the insiders will be too timid and lacking in self-esteem to ask for what they need. You will need to listen attentively for clues and hints of their desires!!

Meeting the needs of a broken-hearted network of girls is a fulltime job. But I see my son and my place in the healing strategy as foundational. By meeting the current felt needs of the various girls, I pave the way for them to deal with the actual trauma from the past. Felt needs are things that the best therapist in the world or survivors’ forum has NO ability to adequately meet. But by satisfying the longings of my girls’ hearts, I influence whether the healing process will take double, triple or longer than necessary to be completed if those needs go unfulfilled.


Sam, I Am


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Having Their Own Things « Loving My DID Girl(s)

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