Answering Candid Objections to My Blog

I received this comment today from someone with grave concerns about what I have been espousing on my blog. Since I’m sure he isn’t the only one with such concerns, I wanted to post his comments and then try the best I can to answer them. And thanks so much to him for being so candid. These are valid concerns, and I take them seriously. Here is his comment:

I just took a cursory look at your site, based on what’s been happening on the other sites, and of course each to their own.

 But I will say something that that may help you understand people’s reaction to what you are doing and saying. By any definition, your approach is very unorthodox (as in it only works on soap operas), and, as someone said earlier, it is  “off putting”. It’s that way because while it appears your heart is in the right place and may seem like what you are doing is healing for your wife, it does not resonate with what healing means to survivors who have done some healing.  In other words, for many of us it runs contrary to healing.

 As one specific example to illustrate what I mean, I can think of a million reasons why it’s not at all good for your wife’s young parts to think of you as their father. For one, it’s not reality.  Two, it perpetuates the view of separateness. Third, it creates an unnatural dependency on you. Of course, I can understand that younger part liking it.

 But you are setting up a dangerous dynamic that an outside survivor may look at as abusive (which is why a word like “predator” is coming up in other blogs). Again, I know your heart is in the right place, or at least I don’t have any reason to doubt your sincerity. But I can tell you you are on dangerous ground.  If your relationship works with this approach, all the more power to you, but it’s not going to foster healing.

Now for my response. Previously on this blog I noted that Karen and I are taking a 3-pronged approach to her healing. I mentioned the other two “prongs” but only in passing because I’m not really involved in them. My wife demands secrecy about the therapy she is part of, and even though I wish it were otherwise, I give her the privacy she demands. Therefore, this blog centers on what my son and I do as the third prong in our healing approach.

Now for the rest of the story…

Because I have largely ignored the other two legs of Karen’s healing methodology, I think people are wrongly concluding that I’m just wandering around “doing whatever feels right.” I readily admit that my approach is largely an intuitive approach based primarily on fulfilling the Golden Rule: treating the insiders like I would want to be treated. But I listen very carefully and continuously to the feedback that I get from Karen, Amy and Alleylieu. And from time to time they let me know that I have the blessings of the ladies on their forum and their theophostic facilitator. But who are these people?

My wife’s theophostic facilitator (“C”) got into her ministry when she moved a woman who had been an SRA victim into her house to help her heal. C spent 8 years working with this lady. At the end of that time, the lady was fully healed and integrated. She is now living in another part of the state as a fully functioning adult. Since then Karen believes C has helped other DID ladies as well as a host of other people needing emotional healing. C told my wife that she became “mom” to the insiders of that first lady just like I am Daddy to Amy. And the only concern that C had when she heard Amy had adopted me as her Daddy was the extensive amount of time and emotional energy that it would take to fulfill that role. And how!

Now the last part of Karen’s healing method is the internet forum she is part of. First please don’t ask me the name or address. I don’t know, and my wife won’t tell me or you. Sorry, I’ve tried in the past for other ladies. That’s part of me giving her the privacy she demands. But Karen said there are at least a hundred (her exact word was “hundreds”) ladies on there. They are all abuse victims who are working to become “overcomers.” The site is broken into further subsections for the various problems associated with abuse: eating disorders, DID, self injury, etc. The site is totally staffed by volunteers, but that includes professional therapists and also a host of ladies who are totally through the healing process whether they have chosen to call co-consciousness or full-integration their goal. Each lady is provided a mentor to shepherd her through the healing process, and when finished she is expected to stay and help others like she was given help for an agreed time period.

When I write my blog, I write about methods I am using with the full blessing of my wife’s theophostic facilitator who is not a novice with DID patients and also the ladies who are shepherding my wife through the healing process on her forum. Karen says that though the site is run by Christians, the ladies who use it represent the entire spectrum of therapeutic methods currently being used to help DID patients. And according to the feedback my wife gets from all these ladies, she, Amy and Alleylieu are making some of the most rapid and remarkable healing progress of all those represented.

So although my blog may espouse the unorthodox; although it may seem “offputting” to those unused to a husband as intimately involved with the insiders as I am; and although our experiences may seem more appropriate for the “soap operas” than for the real world of DID therapy, Karen has only been in therapy for about 3 years and Amy, Alleylieu, Sophia and the 3 others have been part of my life for 2 years. Trigger events are nearly a thing of the past. Co-consciousness has already begun in a couple of areas. And my girls continue to make progress.

I hope this answers some of the questions and objections you may have had. I’d be happy to answer any others.

Blessings.

Sam, I Am

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42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paul from Mind Parts
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 00:02:27

    Sam, Since you appreciate my candid comments and you said you would be willing to entertain more, I’ll tell you my thoughts.

    That’s a great golden rule. But with respect to “C”, just because she did something one way with someone that mirrors what you are doing doesn’t mean it’s healthy or was the right way. You don’t know the complexities of what that relationship was all about. Besides, it’s different for C and her SRA survivor because she wasn’t married to her. There are zero dissociative experts would advocate that approach (for you to take on the role of Daddy to your wife’s young parts). I listed three reasons why it wasn’t healthy. And I could list a dozen more.

    It’s great you are “intimately involved” with your wife’s insiders, no question about that, but it’s the way you are involved that is troubling. I can only imagine how distorted my often distorted world would become if my inside young parts thought of my wife as their mother. Do you see how much more complex this makes something that is already so complex?

    Inside young parts cannot have another mother, because that’s just not reality. You can’t make things right by replacing reality with fantasy. You can still be caring and loving and all that. But to specifically take on a role as “Daddy” is not going to help the “whole” of your wife sort all of this out. As I said in my original comment, it may feel good for the specific parts and can be seen as a temporary fix to accommodate these parts desires. But you as the husband have to think about the whole and the long term picture.

    Some questions to ponder for yourselves: How do you and your wife measure healing? Why do you trust psychological advice of one person who advocates an approach that runs contrary to all literature in the field? Why not broaden the advice you get? How can you be sure that the feedback your wife is getting is valid?

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 11, 2010 @ 09:46:46

      Paul, thanks for continuing the discussion. You packed a lot into your response. I will do my best to answer.

      1) Overall your response seems to ignore my wife’s internet forum that is staffed with professional therapists as well as numerous ladies who have successfully completed the healing journey. It is not only my wife’s theophostic facilitator who has given approval to our methodology. But even if she was the only one, think about it. In my opinion SRA victims are probably about the “worst case” scenarios when it comes to abuse because they are “systematically” abused. And yet C started out with the “worst case” scenario, and that lady is now completely healed in only 8 years.

      2) You speak as if Amy calling me Daddy is unheard of. I have a DID friend with whom I’m in daily contact and her partner does the same, and I believe she also has the full blessing of her therapist. So in my tiny little world, I already know two other people who allowed insiders to call external outsiders mommy or daddy and it did work, and this was with the blessing of trained therapists.

      3) Amy is totally cognizant that I am not her “real” daddy. She has been aware of this from day one. It causes her no confusion. Is it really any different from the myriads of people who have been adopted? They have a birth daddy, and then the one that raised them.

      4) It seems that when it comes down to it, your objections seem primarily directed at the “unorthodoxy” of the method we are using. But let me ask a question. What benefits do the “orthodox” method offer? I know people here on wordpress that have been in and out of the mental health system for DECADES. Not only was their childhood hell, but now that they are seeking health for healing, the process is being dragged out and often they are being retraumatized by some professionals who don’t seem to have a clue how to help DID people. I personally know women who have had insiders “exorcised” by professionals, not whacko religious people. Another lady was subjected to electro-shock therapy which added trauma to her insiders. And then there’s the debate among professionals if DID is even real. In fact, the only person visiting wordpress who I know who is fully healed and integrated told me that she took 11 years from start to finish. With this kind of track record I would think the DID population would be demanding new ways of treating them!!!

      So all I hope for my blog is to offer an alternative. I think that with the trajectory we are on, it is possible for Karen and me to be totally through this process in 5 years. And to me total integration is the goal. Doesn’t a 5-year plan offer hope to any who have been dragging through a seemingly endless healing process? Moreover, the process we are using is mostly loved based, so there is so much joy and delightfulness surrounding it. Karen and the girls still have to do the hard work of expunging the hurt from the memories, but when they are with me “it’s recess time!” We play. We love. We have fun! What is so objectionable about that?

      I welcome your continued discussion, if you would like!

      Sam

      Reply

      • Paul
        Aug 11, 2010 @ 10:36:01

        Honestly, and please don’t take this the wrong way (though I suppose there’s only one way to take this), you are trying admirably to understand something you really don’t understand well.

        I know of several internet forums, some staffed by “professional therapists” that are entirely dysfunctional. Your approach is guided by advice that’s not consistent with any of the peer-reviewed literature. If you want to carve your own path and ignore all that, then go ahead. But be clear about what you are doing.

        You also are using an example that if you’ve happened to see it somewhere else (even in your small circle) that it means it’s appropriate. Even if it happens 20 times in your small circle. If you asked the top 10 experts in dissociative disorders, let’s say all the members of the board of ISST&D, I can assure you that not a single one will say that your deliberately cultivating the role of you as a Daddy to your wife’s inside parts is appropriate. This is why I suggested you broaden the advice you are getting. Your saying that Amy is “totally cognizant” that you are not her “real” daddy is backtracking a bit. This has not been the direct impression your blog posts have made.

        Yes, there are tons of bad approaches and many don’t have a clue. But what does that have to do with you? There are many unorthodox methods that I’m comfortable with. I object to your method for the original reason I stated. That you are deliberately creating a unbalanced dynamic between your wife, her parts, and you that is not reality based. It’s aligned more with appeasing younger parts. It has the advantage that it’s a temporary fix. But it’s a fix that comes with a price.

        Better yet, why not write out why your therapist friends think your approach is appropriate instead of just saying they said it is. I can’t imagine what rationale they would give. Why not validate your advice? Have them reality check that with the rest of the knowledge base in this area, which by now is vast. Make an argument for it.

        Of course, you don’t have to do any of that. But if you did, I would be prepared to listen. I’m not wedded to my views. I am happy to be wrong and if your approach ultimately works, then I’ll be the first to eat my words. But I also don’t understand how you can go by anecdotal testimonials saying that I heard X did this and she’s fully healed. With respect, you don’t know what was really wrong with X and you really can’t know if they are really healed.

        It’s hard to base big logical decisions on small sample sizes.

        Why are you so opposed to reality checking your approach with what is known in the field?

      • Sam Ruck
        Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:56:11

        Paul,

        see my comment to David.

        Thanks!

        Sam

  2. jo-sexualself-injury
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 00:18:40

    WTF?
    If is looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, walks like a duck………..

    Reply

  3. davidrochester
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 13:43:50

    Just as a point of interest — would you consider it similarly healthy and acceptable if your wife’s parts were to call her therapist “Mommy” and blur that line between healing advocate and parent?

    I suppose I wonder why, if it is clearly understood that you are not Daddy, that title, with all its connotations and subtexts, is used. It is quite possible to take on a reparenting role with a DIDer, or with anyone, without being referred to as Mommy or Daddy.

    Amy may understand who you are, but I wonder how well you and your wife understand that she may have many other younger parts or more dissociated parts whom you do not see or interact with, but who listen to and see what goes on when others are out. This is probably one of the most difficult lessons for any DIDer to learn — the fact that what is done is heard and seen by alters/fragments whom the host may not be aware of, and who can be confused despite the best intentions of the host and the host’s helpers.

    A forum is of somewhat limited utility due to the lack of actual in-person contact. It is very easy to hide, and to lie, on the Internet, and in a forum. Without personal investigation into the credentials and histories of the facilitators, there is no way to know whether those running the forum actually know what they are doing. Many DIDers, when they interact online, have one alter or persona who specifically controls that interaction, and so may give information on a forum that does not reflect the state or experience of the entire system. My most recent therapist has an administrative role at the ISSTD, and one of her most urgent causes is to educate therapists about the dangers of allowing clients to participate in online forums or “therapist blogs” for this very reason — without personal face-to-face interaction, there is no accountability. You see that here, on your own blog … your commenters could be anyone. We could be lying about having DID. We could be lying about our gender. All your commenters could be one person logged in on different emails. Paul and I could be two alters of the same person. (We’re not, but I’m simply using that as an example of the fact that online interaction can’t be taken at face value.) And so relying on an internet forum as a major facet of healing, and using information gleaned there in order to gain confidence in healing progress, may be building on shifting sands at best.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 11, 2010 @ 18:55:35

      Dear David and Paul and any others,

      As much as I am happy to answer questions about my methods, unfortunately this seems to have devolved into an attempt to discredit what my wife and I are doing. I’m not willing to turn my blog into a scientific, theoretical examination of the validity of the methods we are using. I could. I’m intelligent enough to do it. But that’s not the point of my blog. The point of my blog is to show how I love Karen, Amy, Alleylieu, Sophia, and the other two insiders with whom I interact, and how as I love them sacrificially and without boundaries, they are getting healed and healed in a way that is very rapid and causes very little additional trauma to any of them.

      By nature this blog is anecdotal. I’m sorry if that’s offensive or not scientifically verified enough for you or others. There are plenty of blogs that do tend toward the cerebral. Not mine. I just give advice based on my experiences with my girls. Nothing more and nothing less. And maybe there are others out there who might find even one little thing that I suggest beneficial. If Amy calling me Daddy is offensive, maybe one of the other entries might be of benefit to them or you.

      Certainly most of us Americans are eclectic. We pick and choose. We rarely recognize an omniscient authority figure to whom we go for all the information we need in our lives. Instead, we read and listen and pick and choose. If we didn’t like choices we could shop smaller stores, but we like our SuperWalmarts, and Targets, and Best Buys, and everything else that gives us a dozen choices for whatever one item we are shopping.

      So here’s my blog. It’s not Christian per se, but the underlying principle is the sacrificial love that Jesus commanded us to have for others. Right now I’ve got 7 girls in my life who have been deeply traumatized, and if the DID authorities want to take issue with my methods because I want to love each of them like I would any normal outsider, so be it.

      Blessings.

      Sam, I Am

      Reply

  4. roguesophia
    Aug 11, 2010 @ 14:58:12

    And I think that an important thing for people who are against your blog is to remember that different things work for different people.

    Reply

  5. undercoverdid
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 07:27:26

    I second the comment about different things working for different people.

    I’d like to offer an additional comment of these people seem generally offended about the “Daddy” status. These “young girls” for whatever reason did not have a “Daddy” they could trust which results in psychological trauma. Of course you could discuss this with these young parts about the many reasons their “Daddy” wasn’t there for them and how you wish you could help them resolve their inner feelings and even guide them to know logically what a “real Daddy” should have been like. However, how do most people learn? Most learn by example. My inside little girls have seen my husband but my husband has not yet seen them. Maybe someday, but he’s not that comfortable yet. However, I see the “Daddy” provides two very good things for these young ones. First of all, it provides them an example, a concrete example, of what a “Daddy” should have been. Plus they can experience this within a stable and safe relationship. Also, I would think it would provide the person, in this case Sam, the “frame of mind” to be in “Daddy” mode vs being in “Husband” mode. It gives him a clear distinction to know how to safely interact- it gives him bounds to work within. Think about it, people’s bounds are crossed all the time in relationships, whether or not he is cognizant of her lils looking to him as a Daddy they are. My lils are constantly watching my husband to see what a Daddy should be like, but they won’t “be known to him” until he is comfortable knowing them as lil girls.

    I had a therapist once who was very “boundary conscious” and touch is something very hard for me, even a tap on my should can cause visible freezing. However, there is the draw to connect physically to another human being. THere were relationships um, dug into just to have someone close, to “get hugs” so my therapist at the time said while being a professional I must be careful let’s set up specific guides for hugs, such as we stand up (vs say “cuddling on a couch”) and you have a safe environment to get a hug and yet we maintain professional boundaries.

    There is an exception to every rule and yes there can be sordid ways to take this situation, however, it is the heart of it that matters, and the heart is good so why beat it up? Isn’t that why we’re here in the first place?

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 12, 2010 @ 20:05:56

      Those are great points, LH,

      The first one I covered in my entry about meeting their felt needs; it frees them up to seek healing for other traumas. And the second point is really true though I had never thought about it.

      Sam

      Reply

      • undercoverdid
        Aug 13, 2010 @ 07:54:17

        Thanks Sam. I didn’t think of it at first but that was the reason I was compelled to jump into this. My first therapist set the mark for me in what I expect in therapy. For me therapy is rather professional though I do tend to get a bit of a personal connection but not nearly what I have heard from my online friends. But to offer me a safe place for a connection (that was not off the deep end if you get my drift) was the best thing he could have done- it really did help and it gave me something to consider. Like I said, no lil has come out to my H, however I have felt strong urgings to hug or lean onto him and those are from the lils and they soak it up, even though they are hidden. I don’t want them trying to find someone else safe and it’s a need they have. Just makes sense. We’re people, not boxes to be stacked or papers to be filed. But then again, I’m preaching to the choir LOL!

      • Sam Ruck
        Aug 13, 2010 @ 10:18:22

        Yes, insiders perceive themselves to be every bit as “real” as the host. And who’s to say who is more “real.” So when people won’t validate those needs and love them where they are at, the abuse and neglect continues.

        Sam

  6. davidrochester
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 15:04:05

    Sam,

    My intention is not to discredit you; some of the content here catches my attention much in the same way that my attention would be caught if I read a blog about someone learning to play the cello while using a bow intended for a violin. All the heart and feeling and dedication in the world will not overcome a lack of solid technique; lack of technique is damaging in the long run. Some of us have had more exposure to a broader range of examples and therapeutic models than you and your wife have had. It seems you are as closed to unfamiliar or contradictory ideas as you believe us to be.

    I can’t speak for any other commenters, but in my own healing journey I’ve done everything from CBT to soul retrieval with a shaman, so I’m pretty sure I’m open to out of the box thinking, and I agree that if it works, it works. I also know, from my own experience, that sometimes things look like they’re working and they’re actually not; and this is where a solid base of reliable technique can be a barometer to gauge whether something is going to be helpful in the long run. To reference my earlier analogy; yes, you can get some beautiful music out of a cello using the wrong bow, but in the long run, you’ll end up with injuries that will make it impossible to make any music at all.

    And this, I believe, is the concern that some of us have; that without a basis of accepted or agreed-upon method, there may be future repercussions that you cannot yet anticipate. I don’t think this is quite the same as discrediting you; it is rather in the spirit of asking you to consider factors that you may not be aware of, or may not have fully thought about. But I don’t think you are willing even to consider that any dissenting opinion may have validity, even as a point to ponder, and so I will refrain from commenting further on this blog.

    On a completely unrelated note … “devolve” doesn’t mean what you think it means. 🙂

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 12, 2010 @ 19:36:11

      David,

      Thanks so much for you and Paul discussing this with me. I hope you both understand that I am in NO WAY uninviting you from my blog. But I think we all see how difficult it is to have any kind of a discussion when you both have refused to accept the credibility of my wife’s theophostic facilitator (who is also versed in many other methods of healing. The theophostic website is just the way I found her originally so that’s how I always refer to her.) who Karen sees in person weekly AND her internet forum that is highly organized and professionally run. Would you do the same to Kathy Broady’s (who is on wordpress) forum that she runs or is it simply because the people on my wife’s forum are volunteers who aren’t charging for their time? Anyway I hope that my readers will consider your points which largely seem to be that my personal methods are in dissonance with ISSTD’s. I guess that’s partially why I started this blog. If I were in step with the mainstream, why would I bother to write? There’s already plenty of stuff out there as both of you have repeatedly pointed out. But hopefully there are those who might think that the methodology that I espouse on “Loving My DID Girl(s)” meets a need that ISSTD just isn’t willing to consider for whatever reason. They aren’t omniscient, and we’re getting results even if they aren’t “clinically tested or approved.” And my girls LOVE how I treat them!!!

      Blessings.

      Sam

      Reply

  7. Sam Ruck
    Sep 28, 2010 @ 19:06:12

    Having reflected on this discussion with David and Paul for the last month, I wonder if their objections are somewhat misdirected. Both of these gentlemen seem to object that I am doing things that would stand in opposition to ISSTD standards. But as I recently talked with one well-respected DID counselor who blogs on wordpress, I pointed out that as a husband I am not bound by the ISSTD standards which are directed toward professionals and she did NOT contradict that statement. I can bathe little Sophia which is totally appropriate for me to do, but I’ve yet to come up with a scenario in my head where it would be appropriate for a professional. I can do all kinds of things totally outside of the ISSTD box because of the very fact that I AM a husband not a professional, and these things have been extremely therapeutic and facilitated my wife’s rapid healing.

    The therapist, who answered my personal request to make sure that I was still welcome on her blog, finished her positive response with this:

    “I am very sure you have been a great help to your wife. And frankly, if she feels supported, cared for, understood, listened to, loved, and cherished, you are providing a very deep level of healing that will have an incredible impact on her life.”

    Blessings.

    Sam, I Am

    Reply

  8. MFF
    Sep 28, 2010 @ 21:04:05

    Most interesting. I am in the offput camp. That being said I think what you are doing is more valid than most mental health professionals and all that prescribe or condone medication as an answer to having experienced trauma.

    If in fact the therapist involved has successfully treated a person for SRA than that trumps any professional who has not. An expert who has decades of treating a person for DID is much like a person who has golfed for decades and still is a hack.

    I have not read much of your blog and only a few comments. It struck me that you use the term My Girls often. It makes me think of ownership. I am not being honest it reeks of it for me.

    Contending that having an adult bathe a woman as a child has the full blessing of any licensed professional is not credible. That you can measure progress with no experience is not credible.

    There is no doubt in my mind that you are in well over your head. So are most professionals that treat those that have experienced SRA.

    All that being said I do not believe that a person who is DID is a helpless person incapable of know what is best.

    So although offput from what little I have read I wish the person who has DID well and I hope that her healing is about her and not you.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Sep 28, 2010 @ 21:19:58

      Dear MFF,

      As you are not the first to object to “My Girls” I hope you will understand that my girls, Karen, Amy and Alleylieu, all LOVE it when I call them that. Do you remember the popular song of the same title (My Girl)? “My girls” does signify “ownership” but no more than my wife, my son, my family etc. I hope that puts it into context for you. My wife feels I am far more liberal than she is when it comes to “women’s rights.” I do not try to keep her home as my personal slave. I always push her to expand her limits, and as the girls have gotten healing, they have begun expanding this last year with my full blessing and help!

      When I bathe, Sophia, I am NOT bathing an adult. For whatever reason, I see a 2 year old when Sophia is out. I doubt I’m unique, but I “see” the insiders how they see themselves. As I’ve said elsewhere in this blog, I see the insiders where they are, so that as they receive healing, I can help them move to where they need to be.

      I can judge progress in my wife’s healing like anyone else can. Will it be the same markers as professionals use? Of course not. But my wife will go out in crowds now. We spent two weeks in Orlando at the beginning of this month at the Disney family of parks, Universal family of parks and Discovery Cove/Sea World. No panic attacks. It doesn’t take a professional to tell me that’s progress from just 6 months ago. There are lots of other ways I judge progress like the fact that Karen, Amy and Alleylieu now do many things co-consciously, Alleylieu now wants to be my girlfriend (whereas she used to hate me passionately), Sophia no longer cries but laughs, plays, and cuddles with me, etc, etc. Yes, these aren’t professional markers, but they ARE tangible markers of progress.

      “You are in well over your head.” It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to love someone according to the Golden Rule. And that is the foundation of everything that I do with my girls and espouse on this blog. But even if I was “over my head,” what options do I have as a husband? I could divorce my wife, and spare myself all the heartache and pain, BUT I love her and made a vow to her to love her for better or for worse. So in my opinion, the only other option I have (unless I end my life) is to do everything I possibly can to help all the girls heal as quickly as possible. A husband can speed healing or slow it. It would be self-defeating for me to do anything but help my girls as much as possible.

      “I hope that her healing is about her and not you” This healing journey is about “US.” When I married my wife, I married all of her including her past. So her abuse became my abuse in a sense. And her healing will be the same. We will heal together.

      Sam

      Reply

  9. Michael
    Sep 29, 2010 @ 06:14:32

    You have ownership of your wife and son?

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Sep 29, 2010 @ 12:29:44

      I’m not sure if you are being serious here or not. Personal pronouns (my, her, yours, ours, etc) show ownership. Does that mean slavery kind of ownership? Obviously not. Do you have no family members in your life? No relatives in which you say “that’s my mom” or “that’s my dad” or brother, sister, grandfather, etc. I don’ know if you have a trauma issue or a personal issue. I’m sorry for whatever it is, but I’ve never met anyone who didn’t use personal pronouns like I am. I hope that is a satisfactory explanation.

      Sam

      Reply

  10. Michael
    Oct 02, 2010 @ 11:03:20

    I was serious I was trying to come up with a clear question.

    In answer to your question I have never nor will I ever use the pronoun term to show ownership when referring to a person. I have met people that use personal pronouns like you often. Perhaps you have met people that do not use the pronoun to show ownership and never recognized it.

    Another question do your wife and son own you?

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 02, 2010 @ 22:19:01

      Michael,

      In further reflection of your question and also about the common usage of possessive personal pronouns, I think typically ownership is recognized of the relationship not the person. Son is a term showing his relationship, “my” means his relationship is to me and not some other person. Wife is a term showing Karen’s relationship, “my” means that relationship is to me and not another man. And I hope that my wife and son “own” their relationship to me. To not do so would me they feel unattached to me.

      Sam

      Reply

  11. shen
    Oct 05, 2010 @ 09:54:00

    This has created quite a stir in blogland. I looked at the original post, very briefly, did not feel called to comment, but have since heard the commotion mentioned by two others, so I am back to revisit the idea of husband as daddy.

    As a survivor whose youngest parts experienced incest with “daddy”, it is very hard for me to imagine blurring the line between spouse and parent. My husband and I have been together for over thirty years, married for twenty-six. I can’t even go there, in my mind… I can’t even make myself consider it. There is no possible way I could integrate my youngest parts if there was any knowledge of a sexual relationship with a parent figure in my current adult life. Even if you are not currently having relations with your wife, if you ever have or intend to that is enough to stir up the incestual feelings – distrust, a sense of being used, a sense of betrayal….

    There are many instances in life where the best intentions make things more complicated and difficult. Very often it is more amenable to change and healing to let someone suffer through their own, long process to get from A to B than to try to help them along.

    That said, there is a lot to of love, here. Maybe that is enough to beat the odds.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 05, 2010 @ 14:28:17

      Hi Shen,

      Thanks for visiting my blog again. I realize the format of my blog is a little different than the other DID blogs. First I’m a husband and NOT DID. And secondly I’m not just journaling my experiences but I’m actually trying to glean some wisdom from my experiences and offer it to other husbands and significant others. So I realize since I’m “offering” advice, I’m opening myself up to criticism that others don’t have to experience.

      Everyone’s abuse history is unique. You were subjected to incest, thus to you “daddy” is NOT a good thought. That word holds massive amounts of negative connotations for you. But many women like my wife were NOT abused by family members. And thus to my girls “daddy” still holds all the magic it should, of a man who will love you, give his life for you, protect you, and cherish you. Amy is under no illusions that I am her biological father. In fact she and her real parents actually are getting along better than they have for most of her life. And that’s good. But I still provide something that she needs and wants, and for me to withhold that would slow healing for my girls.

      Maybe I need to put a long paragraph in my about page that reminds people that a blog like mine should be read for what IS applicable to their situation and anything else should not be seen as threatening but simply “unapplicable” to the reader’s situation. Whenever we read self-help books, I hope people read discerningly and know how to glean for what would help and simply ignore what wouldn’t in their personal situation. I wish people could read my blog the same way. Just because “daddy” might be harmful to those who had a history of incest shouldn’t mean that there is NOTHING else that I have said that might help you and your husband.

      When I was younger I read books and thought it was “all or nothing.” I agreed or disagreed. Now I try to read for the nuggets and gems that will help me while I simply ignore the slag.

      Thanks,

      Sam

      Reply

  12. shen
    Oct 06, 2010 @ 00:01:58

    Wonderful response. Of course my idea of Daddy is not what most people’s is. I hear so much love coming through in your posts. Whatever else happens, that is such a gift for your wife… and all her parts.

    I wasnt’ really trying to criticize, but I do realize it came off that way. It’s hard for me to understand, but we all do get there in our own way, if we’re looking for the path.

    Reply

  13. The Maggie
    Oct 09, 2010 @ 03:50:15

    sam,

    i’ve run across you in another DID blog and you certainly seem consistent but i have to say that i’m still opposed to the ideas you espouse.

    I am not sure if you are having “relations” with your wife but i know from experience that if a child insider comes to close to the front during a consensual sexual act it can be scary/traumatizing for them. i can only imagine how magnified that feeling would be if it is someone they refer to as “daddy”.

    the other thing that sticks out to me is that the term “daddy” can also be used to refer to the Dom in a D/s relationship, something that doesn’t seem to far outside the realm of possibility in your life, even having read just this much of your blog. is that something that you and your wife consensually explore?

    we, as a system, do not believe integration is the goal, considering that the insiders are not fragments but are people in their own right. a lot of folks disagree with that but i think that “working toward” integration can cause some hurt feelings on the part of insiders. also, i believe integration can also just mean that the amnesic/dissociative wall has come back up between insiders and the outside world.

    but in contrast, i also don’t believe that religion based therapies are particularly helpful. so if it works for all of the members of the system your wife is a part of, or at least you are convinced it is working for you all, then go for it.

    what i think i object to most is that there are people who will read your blog and attempt to use these methods themselves…as someone who believes they are counter productive and possibly re-traumatizing to some insiders, i would feel remiss if i didn’t share my thoughts.

    also, two of the youngest members of The Maggie want to share that this blog feels icky to them.

    -maggie

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 09, 2010 @ 09:12:13

      Hi Maggie,

      Well at least my blog continues to inspire passionate reaction: either negatively or positively.

      Yes, I understand exactly what could happen if I had sex and Amy or for that matter Alleylieu came out or was too close. If you go back and read my “What is Sex?” entry from awhile ago, you would see that it is I and not Karen who has lead a “zero tolerance” policy about having sex if I observe ANYthing that betrays switching. And I am REALLY good at knowing who is there. So good that I astound the girls when they think they are being funny and trying to fool me.

      I don’t know what a Dom and d/s relationship means. Sorry I don’t know the lingo. But as I told Shen recently, just because some people have problems with the term “daddy” they need to realize that is part of their personal trauma history. For my girls “daddy” holds all the magic that it ought to and Amy tells me I’m the best daddy in the whole world, except when she is sick or in the hospital. Then her real dad beats me hands down. And part of Amy getting healed is for her to experience the love and security a daddy represent which is done far better in a real-life relationship than cerebrally in a counseling session.

      I’m not sure why you would call what I’m espousing a “religion-based” therapy. It is a love-based therapy plain and simply. And everytime I share with my wife and girls peoples’ “concerns” or the outright attacks, they are always astounded (and sometimes angry) because they absolutely love how I treat them. If others would listen to the way of true selfless, sacrificial love they would NEVER do any wrong to a DID spouse or SO. But the real problem is what passes off for love in Hollywood and this world is mostly lust and personal fulfillment.

      Lastly, I’m sorry your two youngest think this blog is icky. If they lived in my house, I assure you they wouldn’t. They would feel cherished, safe, cared for, etc. It is easy to attack what you have never experienced and call it “impossible” or “icky.”

      Sam

      Reply

  14. Journal of Healing
    Oct 22, 2010 @ 21:34:14

    Hi Sam, I have DID and have made it this far into your blog from top to bottom and now I just have to comment. I am so impressed. I just sent this link to my husband; I recently had to separate from him in hopes that he will pursue treatment himself to learn how to be more supportive and to work through is own issues related to his past–as I work through mine. I hope he does. And…your blog gives me hope. Thank you.

    The reason I wanted to comment was to say this: I have read how people have judged your methodology. What people forget is this: DID requires unorthodox treatment because it is not conventional. We have DID because it is not “conventional” to abuse children. That is not normal. Therefore, how can we expect healing to fit into a box? DID is the most unique gift God could give us to survive trauma, and because of it, I think we have to apply the same intensity of uniqueness to our healing in order to truly overcome. So, that’s my two cents…if your marriage is thriving, your love for your wife undying, and she is healing while you are keeping your sanity, all the power to you.

    Good job loving your wife so well, Sam. You are to be commended.

    ang, insider from “Journal of Healing” (asafeplacetomelt.blogspot.com)

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 23, 2010 @ 06:24:41

      Hi,

      I’m sorry you had to separate from your husband. I hope you understand that this has been the absolute most difficult thing I have ever had to do as a husband: helping Karen and the girls heal. It has meant an absolute self-denial for the last 2 1/2 years. But it has also been the source of the greatest joys, and there is hope!!! Unlike my detractors, many of whom have been in therapy for decades, I think we are already turning the corner and the insiders are experiencing deep, transforming healing, not just management and coping skills. And I believe that is possible because I have done ANYTHING necessary to meet the needs of my girls and make them feel loved, safe and accepted into my life and family. In fact, I just bought Alleylieu a girlfriend ring this week while we are on vacation here in Gatlinburg. This is the girl who used to hate me with all her being. Now she is falling in love with me. And as she does, I’m finally getting my wife back, too. I can’t say too much yet, because I don’t want to embarrass her, but let’s just say Karen and I are slowly beginning to restart intimacy now as I have finally won the heart of Alleylieu and proved to her that she and all the other girls (including Karen) are safe. And it is so wonderful to see Alleylieu bloom and blossom as I continue to date her with Karen’s approval.

      If your husband would like to contact me, I would love it. One of the most frustrating aspects of this journey has been the lack of companionship by other husbands in my position. It would have been so much easier I think if I had had other husbands to encourage each other. It is HARD, and yet wonderfully rewarding to be so deeply involved in the healing process of these girls.

      Oh, I wanted to add after I had already posted this in case your husband reads this. This blog is NOT my place to rant and vent. So I have only hinted about the anger, hatred, suicidal tendencies and other issues I have had to work through on my own while I helped the girls heal because I really want this blog to be positive and helpful. But Karen and I have had a very stormy 22-year marriage because I didn’t understand her issues and expected her to act like “a normal woman.” But if others come away thinking I’m unhuman and bigger than life, they may think “I could never do what Sam did.” On good days it is my love for Karen and the girls that keeps me going. On bad days it is my vows: “for better of for WORSE.” But there really is hope on the other side!!!!! Everyday I’m seeing more and more light. The worst of the night is over for us, I think (I hope), and I think we are finally going to make it.

      Sam

      Reply

  15. Journal of Healing
    Oct 23, 2010 @ 11:46:05

    I will definitely give him your email…you guys sound so much like us. We have been married 11 years, and my husband was also destined to go in the ministry…in fact I married him because i thought he was. but, both my past and his caught up with us and he has worked blue collar jobs until recently, actually. I began meeting insiders almost 3 years ago. I think he really does want to help. In fact, i know he does. I just think his own “stuff” has gotten in the way of him being able to learn about DID, believe me about my past, and respect my new need for privacy and space. I do hope we work out…though, i’m in limited numbers in here. All of our protectors/Defenders are pretty angry at him…he has so much to learn and make up for. And, I don’t know my role. whne I say, ” I can’t be a wife right now in hardly any capacity”, i am met with comments like, “then you aren’t doing what God wants” or “well, it’s because you are choosing not to.” He just doesn’t get it. I don’t think the separation was a bad thing. Our journeys weren’t lining up, and I didn’t separate to give up on my marriage, but to give it a one year break so that he could get some help while I continued to work on what is working well for me. I hope he does. It has been a month and a half now, and he has at least seen a therapist. It’s hard tho…i hope he does reach out to you. I really, really do. How does he contact you? On the sidelink under your section “about”?
    Thanks again for your detailed response. I have hope.

    ang from Journal of Healing

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 23, 2010 @ 12:18:36

      Hi Ang,

      if you didn’t find it yet my email is samruck2 at gmail dot com. Yes Alleylieu was the defender and she hated me. Fortunately I didn’t have a lot of my own personal baggage from my childhood so I just had to deal with all the disappointments from not getting into ministry and not understanding what marrying a broken wife truly would entail to help her. But once the girls came out it was like the light clicked on for me. Not that there wasn’t a lot of pain and hurt for me to work through, but I suddenly got it when Amy and Sophia came out. I knew I had to protect them and nurse their hurts no matter how deeply I personally hurt. Alleylieu came out a little later. And it took so much work and a lot of tears as she lashed out at me, but I was finally able to defuse her anger. Now she is an excited girl who loves to be my boyfriend. It’s totally platonic, but this week I gave her a girlfriend ring and wrote a long pledge making it clear that I “get it” now and she will never have to defend everyone else from me. She’s known that for a long time and been working at healing our clashes from the past (that I didn’t know I was having with a little girl), but each thing I do to reassure her brings a little more healing. And this week on vacation Karen and I have started reconnecting. I haven’t seen her much for two years because we let the other girls take the lionshare of the outside time so that I could fill them with love, joy, safety and being part of the family. Now it’s hopefully time to begin reconnecting with Karen as Amy and Alleylieu become more and more co-conscious with her

      I hope the best for you and your husband.

      Sam

      Reply

  16. Steph
    Nov 06, 2010 @ 17:38:24

    I’m DID, my therapist doesnt recommend our littles calling my husband daddy so we try not to blur the line that way but the reality is we have lils call him daddy any ways, it just comes out that way. I think listening to the littles wants and needs come before anything else. I dont see a problem w/ Amy calling you daddy, she knows what the reality is, she has a need and you and Karen are more than willing to fullfill it. I cant believe all the negative flack you’ve been getting, it reeks of ignorance. Calling you daddy is not a method of healing but an emotional want and need that seems to be handled very carefully by you and Karen. No matter what anyone else says, expert or not, it is working for Karen and the system so why not continue w/ something that Karen knows best.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 00:56:14

      Hi Steph,

      I don’t understand the reticence of some in the professional community to meet the needs of the insiders. They are the ones who are traumatized, and at least in our situation, as I meet their felt needs, it has allowed them to release their stranglehold on the past traumas and lies and receive the healing they so desperately need. Some have voiced the concern that if I focus on each insider individually it will increase “separateness.” I have found just the opposite to be the case. As I meet the individual needs of each girl it releases their “obsession” of trying to meet those needs themselves and then they naturally gravitate toward greater unity.

      I know my experience is limited to my wife, but my only thought in starting this blog was to share what is working for us, and others are free to pick and choose if they find anything I’ve said that they might like to try in their situation. I would NEVER suggest someone trying to mimic everything I do. Each person is individual and each trauma experience was as well. So the path to healing will always be unique.

      It sounds like you have a good support in your husband and you and the insiders are very fortunate in that. I hope to hear from you again!

      Sam.

      Reply

  17. Steph
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 14:52:12

    The only person who can have a significant approach to separatism is your wife and the insiders; I wouldn’t worry too much about what professionals say. My current therapist told me that my lils couldn’t say to my husband daddy but when I asked her about my teens having a sexual relationship w/ him she said sure go for it if they’re feeling amorous, that’s very mixed advice she gave me because as far as I’m concerned the teens are children as well…my therapist is among the ISSTD and she is an expert in dealing w/ clients who have experienced childhood trauma and those w/ the diagnosis of DID, so even the supposed experts can have it all wrong, the only person fit enough to make decisions on what’s right and wrong is the actual person w/ DID. Wives, husbands, friends and therapists are only supporters not enablers, your wife and her system are the ones who get to do all the hard work of figuring out what’s best for them. You and your wife are the experts on dealing with the issues that come to hand, you live it and breathe it every day and you know what’s best in your situation, since communication is one of the key elements to any relationship and it would seem you and your wife w/ the insiders have that already, you’re bound to being doing the right thing no matter what some outsider might have to say about it. There are so many relationships out there that are living life with no support from a loved one and it’s very sad but you and your wife are doing what you see fit by standing side by side and living this sometimes precarious life together and trying to deal w/ what life has laid before you in a loving, positive and supportive way.

    Reply

  18. nique and gang
    Nov 24, 2013 @ 16:42:01

    Our little ones call our husband “husband” or by his name. However, his role seems to be in no way different than the one you have for your little ones. And I say “your” little ones not to convey ownership but in that they are part of your family, the same as I would say “your son”.

    The choice to call Brian “husband” was started by the first little girl to come out. Kimmie didn’t have a negative view or our father. He wasn’t abusive (unlike our mother) but was neglectful and never protective. Her choice was because she saw a husband as being protective and loving as he was such to her, he was her husband. I am sure that the fact that the “big girls” called him husband also played a role. That set the stage for how the others viewed him as they came “outside”.

    As best as I have been able to discern, aside from Karen, there were no teens or other adults within her system, right? If that is the case, then it seems most natural that a group of young girls would look at the older, protective, loving, supportive male family member would be “daddy”.

    As long as the little girls understand that “daddy” is simply a name and not reality, where is the harm? As the girls progress in their mental and emotional growth, it seems natural that the relationship you have with them will also go through a progression from “daddy” to something that better reflects that progression.

    I think it all comes down to the need of each person involved. If Kimmie or the others had needed to call Brian “daddy” to feel loved, protected and safe, or to feel closer to him it would have been promoted and accepted. It is absolutely essential that anyone dealing with DID understand that every system is unique, that every relationship is different and that every approach needs to be tailored to that uniqueness. What works for us isn’t exactly what works for you and vise versa.

    Finally, I think one of the objections from those on the outside is that you are promoting an incestual relationship with the girls. I can see where caution would be needed for the little ones whose past involves abuse from their fathers. But again, it needs to be individualized. I wish that less therapists had a “one size fits all” mentality. This approach is like a doctor who gives out penicillin to everyone who has an infection. Thank god my doctor takes into consideration my allergies to medication before writing a prescription and my therapist takes into account my needs before making suggestions of what I should or shouldn’t do.

    Strategy AND tactics need to be employed on a case by case basis. If an army approached every terrain in the same manner with the same tactics their level of success would be dramatically limited.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Nov 25, 2013 @ 20:27:45

      Thanks for your reply. I appreciate it! I’m glad you understand our situation. Fortunately most of my detractors have moved on. I feel badly for them that they obviously had no one to help and assist them like you and my wife do. I think they were scared and angry about things that they were ignorant about. I guess that’s often typical of all of us. But hopefully by leaving up their protests, it will allow others to thoughtfully consider what I’m suggesting.

      And yes, Karen is still the only adult one in the group. I’ve been trying to help the littler ones move on from viewing me as daddy to husband and help them understand that a husband is “better than” a daddy because little girls have to leave their daddies but never a husband and a husband still takes care of them like a daddy. Hopefully some day that will click.

      Sam

      Reply

  19. Elizabeth Schechter
    Dec 14, 2013 @ 17:11:01

    I think many people interact with their partners to some extent the way they interacted with one or more parents. That’s one reason why why some people who were abused by a parent end up marrying abusers. It’s not like the partner and the parent role are complete opposites, anyway; yes there are huge differences, but there are also significant points of overlap.
    So I’m not really much troubled by the “daddy” thing. Actually the only risk that occurs to me is that the girls (surprising so many people object to that phrase, I know lots of women who refer to their grown sons and husband as “my boys”) will always continue to think of you as someone whose job it is to take care of them, rather than coming to think of you as someone who is equally be taken care of.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 15, 2013 @ 12:49:10

      Hi Elizabeth,

      thank for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment. The entry you commented on was when I first started this blog three years ago. Maybe I should do an update for others. So here it is: three years later the little girls are beginning to realize that they need to reciprocate with me. They still don’t relate to me as my wife, but they are trying to do non-sexual things to care for me around the house. I wish it was more, but this disorder is systemic and so I have to help my “wife” (all of them) rebuild their connection on every single level. So it just takes awhile and they’ve come a long way, but we still have a way to go. I always believed that if I poured myself into them and their healing eventually they would begin to return my love and affection just like a normal person…and so far that is proving true. It just takes time with d.i.d. because none of them hold all the personality perspective that a non-dissociated person does so I have to reconnect them before they begin to be outward focused.

      Thanks again for your comments.
      Sam

      Reply

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