Helping Insiders with Impossible Dreams

As I’ve said repeatedly insiders are essentially little children stuck in an adult body. And as such some like to dream just like any other child. Now I could be a stick in the mud and crush their dreams and try to make them get a realistic view of life, but I am of the opinion that it is more healing to help them dream and dream with them, and when appropriate gently redirect impossible dreams.

Amy and I have an exceptionally deep bond. She and I spent the entire first year of this journey getting to know each other. One of the most bittersweet things she shared with me is this: “Daddy, I want to have little hands.” She has repeatedly, repeatedly said this to me. Amy literally sees herself as a 7 year old and so she desperately wishes her body was the size it “ought” to be. When we walk through stores, she is heartbroken as she sees all the princess outfits for little girls her age knowing that she is unable to wear them. And when we visited the huge Disney store in Orlando last year, we looked through every rack of princess clothing just in case there would be one outfit in a large enough size to fit her small frame.

Another thing she tells me is, “A little girl loves to have her daddy carry her.” So anytime I’m willing she loves to be carried upstairs to our bedroom or rocked in our big rocking chair. For awhile on our walks around town I could be seen carrying her on my shoulders. I’m sure we made quite a sight. Fortunately my girl is a wispy one.

Many nights I come home to Amy watching Little Miss Perfect and the other beauty pageants for little girls on tv. She dreams so much of being in a pageant like that herself. “Daddy, I want to dress up like these girls get to.” I respond, “Maybe you could do the pageants for the mommies.” And when they have special competitions on these shows involving a daddy and his little girl, she says, “Daddy, I wish we could do that!” And I respond, “Yes, that would be nice!”

Some nights she and I have snuggled while watching tv as she shares her dreams with me about her boyfriend on webkinz and how some day she is going to marry him. And I dream right along with her. A few months later we were dreaming about this again, but this time she recognized there was a problem: me. How could she marry someone else, when Karen already was married? So I tried to help her the best I could without spoiling her dream. I gently suggested, “Many little girls want to marry their daddy’s. Maybe some day that would be ok.” It was a less-than-satisfactory answer to her, though we are still working on it.

In a previous blog entry I wrote about how I try to make the insiders’ dreams come true. But sometimes insiders dream the impossible just like we do. I obviously cannot shrink Amy’s body back to the size of a 7 year old, though she recently wished she could find a sorcerer to do the trick for her. And though I have offered to buy big girl outfits of princesses and fairies, Karen isn’t too hot on that idea: she’s afraid she would end up parading around in local stores with them on (lol!). So the best I have come up with is dreaming with my girls and empathizing with them as deeply as I can. I can’t make everything right for these girls. But I can let them know how much I care and that I understand how deeply disappointing it is to them that some of their dreams can’t be fulfilled right now. And my hope is that the knowledge that I love them and I care about their dreams that can’t be fulfilled will be enough to help them through the unfulfilled dreams.


Sam, I Am


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. undercoverdid
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 07:11:43

    I think you are handling their dreams well. Even for those not DID, dreams are not all met, but some are and some are in creative ways. Listening is powerful, especially to someone that not only was ignored but not heard despite the pleads for someone to listen. I cannot fulfill all of my daughters’ wishes either, but like you, I can listen and sometimes I can help.


  2. roguesophia
    Aug 12, 2010 @ 14:59:56

    I know how hard it can be to fufill everyone’s dreams. SO HARD! It’s hard to even fufuill one person’s dreams, much less 16 on this end. When the numbers go down it will be easier on us, but for now, the sheer numbers make it difficult. We have started a shared journal and we hope that it helps un, but with 100p, that’s only 6p/person!

    Everyone has specific challenges, and that you can help them with theirs is amazing. They are really lucky to have you.


    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 12, 2010 @ 20:02:50

      Yes, meeting everyone’s needs and not letting any of them feel neglected is a constant juggling act. I struggle the most with Karen because the girls were so needy when they first came out. In fact just this week, I asked Karen what I could do to help her feel like I was paying attention to her. So we are going to reinstitute our daily walks (at least we’re going to shoot for 3 times a week because Amy and Alleylieu hate them).

      Thanks for the comments!



  3. Ellie
    Aug 13, 2010 @ 09:52:25

    Ok, so just to be clear, no one has a problem with the line:
    “I gently suggested, “Many little girls want to marry their daddy’s. Maybe some day that would be ok.” It was a less-than-satisfactory answer to her, though we are still working on it.”
    I’m all for listening to littles dreams, but to mix up your role as husband/daddy in such a way has got to be confusing for Amy.

    Was Karen abused by her father? If so, you’re telling a little that she may have to marry her new “daddy”, with all of the associated implications of marriage. How can that not be confusing?

    It’s interesting that Amy views her body as an adult form. What healing methods did you use to create this reality check? Most littles see the body as their own age. I’ve had littles unable to reach items on high shelves because they perceive the body to be 6 or 7.



    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 13, 2010 @ 10:12:35

      Hi Ellie,

      welcome. No Karen was NOT abused by her father. Alleylieu has said categorically that he wasn’t the perpetrator. At this moment Amy sees me as Daddy, and even though I’m being accused of fostering “unreality” the fact of the matter is some day when there is greater healing Amy WILL have to be part of my wife. So I very gently broach the subject with her from time to time. But what I am trying to do is meet Amy where she is at today (needing a daddy) and as she is ready move her toward becoming part of my wife. Right now I readily admit that she finds it confusing so I go very slowly and stop lots and lots when I see the confusion rise. She wants a daddy. But she dreams about getting married. I can’t force it, but I’m trying to gently direct those dreams toward me. Does that make sense or add to the confusion?

      About Amy’s perception of her body. Maybe I didn’t say it clearly in my entry so I’m glad you brought it up. Amy lives in between two worlds. She WANTS her body to be little like it OUGHT to be in her opinion, but she does understand that it is a big person’s body. The reality for her causes a lot of distress that I have to constantly empathize with her about.

      As far as healing methods, maybe the fact that she and Alleylieu are out about 85-90% of the time right now (for the last 2 years). They live outside in the real world most of the time so it would be hard for them not to have a reality check. I will say, though, that Amy is the family “klutz.” She is constantly hurting herself to the consternation of the other girls. I try to talk to her and say, “I don’t know why you have so many accidents, but that’s why you need to let the other girls help you because they must have something that you need.”

      Thanks for your comments



  4. Kay
    Feb 17, 2011 @ 08:24:37

    Some of our lils want to be princesses – and while costumes aren’t an option, something that all princesses have are pretty shoes and costume jewelry. It’s helped for our younger ones to have things like that in regards to their princess longings.

    Other things like our husband handing them in and out of the car or taking them on an outing where we go in disguise is of great fun.


    • Sam Ruck
      Feb 17, 2011 @ 20:43:11

      Yeah we are all learning to make concessions. My girlfriend (Alley) wants me and her to be “hip” so we bought each other NICE hoodies for Christmas. So on the weekends we are often found as very well dressed 40 somethings with hoodies on as we try to look cool in her opinion. And the little girls wanted pretty pajamas so they made some little girl pajamas that are part of the mix of what gets worn at night. I’m more flexible than Karen or my 20-year old son, but even he will give in to the little girls sometimes to please them.



  5. chi
    Feb 18, 2011 @ 13:15:01

    my two youngest littles want to be picked up and spun around. when they fall asleep watching tv, they always ask my hubby to carry them to bed. they want to go down the slide at the park and play in the ballpit at mcdonalds. they don’t think it’s fair that they’re stuck in this big grown-up body where they can’t do any fun kid stuff.

    as for confusing the husband/daddy role, i can understand that being an issue if your goal is full integration. personally, my goal is full cooperation and communication. but even if someone is working towards some form of integration, wouldn’t the enormous benefits and help they receive now by having a safe parental figure far outweigh the future possible complication of distinguishing the husband from the daddy?


    • Sam Ruck
      Feb 20, 2011 @ 08:44:25

      I think people who see this as “confusing” have a pretty low estimation of the human mind, either that or they are just reflecting their own personal fears or inabilities. That isn’t meant to be a cutting statement, but I operate simultaneously on multiple levels with the girls and I don’t find it confusing and thus far neither have they. It just is NOT confusing in spite of what my detractors say. They shouldn’t project their fears or inabilities on my situation that has resulted in great healing for my girls.



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