The Need for Grace during the Healing Journey

In my last entry I wrote about how I have to carry my girls through many parts of our marriage while they are healing. Maybe this should go without saying, but there’s a definite need for me to quietly and often invisibly offer my wife and the girls grace during this time.

Since the inside girls have entered our family life, many, many things have had to be changed. It’s really not any different than when children enter the family except that those children happen to be living in the body of my adult wife and they need extra grace while they heal from major emotional trauma.

I understand that I would expect a normal child to do chores around the house and clean up after him/herself. But right now I have put a premium on filling the inside girls’ wounded spirit(s) with love and joy. So I overlook many things that I wouldn’t if these girls were outside daughters. So a lot of my day I spend acting like a butler and cleaning up after them or running petty errands for them.

But this has created a corresponding dynamic with my son. As I’ve said before he is wonderful with Alleylieu and Amy, but he gets a little frustrated with the fact that they don’t help more around the house. So I’ve also had to extend grace to him concerning chores and responsibilities. I have a hard time demanding him to help me more around the house when his mother does so little. Right now our household operates on the principle of taking care of the necessities and many other things we just don’t worry about.

Another thing I have had to do is learn to extend grace to Karen. And sometimes this is the hardest because I want and need her to “act” like an adult, but as she told me one day, with Amy, Alleylieu, Sophia and the others so close to the surface nowadays, they are playing havoc with her personality and emotions. Right now she literally cannot act like an adult most of the time. I wish it were otherwise, but to demand it of her would be to demand the impossible.

Currently everything is all stirred up inside and the girls and Karen are swirling, bumping, churning, grinding, and mixing together like a tornado. The floodgates have been opened wide, and everything that used to be “neatly” kept separate is being shoved back together. There’s a lot going on, and though I so deeply miss the adult companionship of my wife, I have to view this as a time of convalescence just as if she had been in a major car accident or had a major fight with cancer and was incapacitated for months or maybe a year or two.

One definition of grace says it is generosity of spirit, a capacity to tolerate, accommodate, or forgive people. I think that’s a good definition. Everyone has his or her pet peeves about how a household should be run. But if you’re going to create a safe and loving environment conducive for healing to someone with DID, you definitely will need to graciously overlook many things that you would normally find annoying and intolerable. You will need to become a person full of grace.


Sam, I Am.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brianna Lea Pruett
    Aug 25, 2010 @ 16:07:32

    Sam, I love this post. It sounds like Karen is doing great. Good for her, swirling and mixing! It seems hard now but it will get better. See if maybe the girls will like to do some chores with you, that is what I do. I write notes to my little girls and give them jobs, like making calls I cannot get to, or cleaning out the tub. Though sometimes they do not want to, many times they are happy to help. Great job wanting more independence in your lovely wife! Brianna


    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 25, 2010 @ 21:52:35

      Hi Brianna,

      Thanks for the suggestions. Amy is always the “weak link.” Karen and Alleylieu want to do a lot more, but Amy tells me, “I’m just 7, Daddy. I’m just 7.” But maybe you’re right and she would be willing to work WITH me.



  2. undercoverdid
    Aug 27, 2010 @ 22:10:32

    I agree with the other poster, even my 3 year old wants nothing more than to help me out. Both my 3 & 5 year old often help me fold clothes, load & unload the dishwasher, vacuum, wipe the table, etc. Not so that it’s overwhelming but as a way of spending time cleaning together and having fun doing it. Just a thought. I have a hard time balancing everything and so I have to set priorities and one of my priorities is my “outside” kids so the house goes a bit. However, with the kids help, it’s staying a bit better at least for now.


    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 28, 2010 @ 09:07:48

      Hi LH,

      Thanks for visiting and for your comments. I think you both have a valid point that I NEED to do better about trying, but I also think I was trying to emphasize that sometimes we husbands get a little imperial and dictatorial and nitpick because we expect our wife to “act like an adult” and want a well run household (especially when she’s a housewife!! without an outside job), so I have to overlook a lot of minor annoyances just like I would if these girls were outside girls and just in the process of learning to do household chores.



  3. undercoverdid
    Aug 28, 2010 @ 20:26:46

    I agree with the grace aspect. I am hyper responsible so I can’t not do things around the house, my husband has to actually get me to slow down and make sure I spend time with the kids and even go to sleep at night. I’m glad you can overlook the small things- it’s an important lesson for everyone to learn and I’m sure it helps your girls tons!


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