Having Their Own Things

One of the basic components of our humanity is the need to “own” things. We all want the ability to say, “That is mine.” And as I have welcomed Karen’s insiders into my life, Sophia, Amy and Alleylieu (the 3 main insiders) have each exhibited this need. But unlike most outsiders, these girls all seemed to exhibit a deficit in having this need fulfilled. So it was up to me to begin filling the vacuum they each felt.

During the first year that the girls were part of my life, I spent a lot of time and effort getting to know them. As I have stated previously, my girls didn’t just come out with a power point presentation of their basic individuality. I had to make the time to invest in a personal relationship with each one. If you are a guy reading this, think of it as being back at square one when you first got to know your future wife, but this time you’ve got an entire network of girls to “court.”

As my relationship deepened with each girl, I began to discover their felt needs. Read more here about that(https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2010/07/09/meeting-the-felt-needs-of-the-insiders/). But in this entry I want to emphasize the importance of buying things for each insider that she/he can literally point to or hold and say, “This is mine.” It’s more than just meeting felt needs, as important as that is. Often those needs are intangible. What I’m talking about now is making the intangibles tangible.

Sophia exhibited this need concretely. As I got to know her, these are the things that I gave her: a bathtub boat, 3 smaller bathtub boats with people for each, a little squirting dolphin (yes, for the bathtub!), a Christmas tree, and a playhouse. And each weekend, for a couple of months, when she came out for her bath she would catalogue out loud all the things that were hers:  “boats…Sophia’s, tree…Sophia’s, house…Sophia’s” This was an extremely important part of our weekly routine together!

The older girls had the same need even if they didn’t catalogue their things to me like Sophia. Even though Amy and Alleylieu both do the mystery shopping together, Amy took the lead in it. So when I recently began giving Alleylieu money as a reward for being brave as she deals with her trauma, the first thing out of her mouth was, “I never had my own money before.” She repeated that sentence a couple of times for the next few days with a look of wonder and satisfaction on her face.

Even the insiders who I rarely see like to own things. Alleylieu’s sister is consumed with the pretty paper that Karen, Amy and Alleylieu use in their scrapbooking projects. When I found this out, I immediately took her to JoAnn’s and let her pick out ANY book of cardstock that she wanted. I emphasized to her that this was “her own.” Then she turned the tables on me and asked, “Can’t the other girls use this for their albums.” So I quickly affirmed that, of course, it would be ok if she wanted to share her paper with the other girls!

During childhood trauma the satisfaction of fundamental needs is stripped out of a child’s heart: the need for love, innocence, safety, and for a sense of belonging among others. For whatever reason the trauma also seems to attack a child’s need to “own” things. I know that Karen owned things growing up. Her family was not rich, but she certainly wasn’t poor. And yet, the insiders needed to own things: they came to the outside world feeling destitute. As I have given them concrete things to call their own, it is one more deficit in their heart that is now being satisfied. The satisfaction that I see by the content look on their face as I meet those needs is worth any price.

Blessings.

Sam, I Am

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. serafina
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 02:04:13

    Sam,

    This so resinates with me. We had lots of toys growing up but my mom gave all of them away when we went to the hospital. Each of my “sisters” have their own toys and things that are theirs. Two have special shawls “blankets” as they call them. They each have special dolls that someone made for each of them. It is these tangible things that help them feel safe and loved and known. It is sweet that you get your girls things!

    blessings

    Reply

  2. Brianna Lea Pruett
    Jul 29, 2010 @ 14:25:48

    Hi Sam,

    This is a great idea. I tried this with one part that was extremely traumatized from being electro shocked, put in a cage to be quote-unquote born, and given no name. This part did not know if she was a boy or a girl, what gender was, how old she was, or even that she deserved a name. She is still having a hard time understanding the idea of having a name, and some other teenage girl parts are at odds with what name to call her, so its a process right now! Ha. Anyway, when I first started working with her, she did not understand the concept of being able to want anything for herself. I was eventually able to get around this by having other parts talk to her about it, and asking her, if she WERE allowed to want something, what would it be? She replied with some very specific want-to-wants, including a certain color of shorts, a taco from taco bell, and a strawberry. It was really cute. Can I cute myself out? YES! Its hilarious. Healing can be fun. Anyway, I love this idea and I think I will do this. Allowance!

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jul 29, 2010 @ 17:35:43

      Brianna,

      I can’t even believe some of the things some “professionals” are doing. It is beyond my ability to comprehend how they can’t see the damage they are doing.

      For Alleylieu she didn’t even have suggestions, so my son and I just had to start guessing as to what she might like based upon the age that we thought she might be. I remember when we presented her with a “love froggy” webkinz pet and she smiled from ear to ear and hugged it like it reached down to the depth of her heart. It almost makes me cry as I type it. Those are good days!

      Blessings, and I’m glad I gave you something that might help.

      Sam

      Reply

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