Dating the Insiders

In previous entries I wrote about letting the insiders define the relationship that each one wanted to have with me and also about meeting their felt needs. In doing so Amy adopted me as her daddy, Sophia wanted me to give her weekly baths and now bedtime stories, and Alleylieu just wasn’t sure what she wanted. So I always tried to be the friend that she never had. I worked 24/7 to meet the needs of the inside girls and satisfy the longings of their broken hearts.

But as I did this, my hope was also that I might win the heart of each insider for myself. I didn’t want the scenario in United States of Tara where Buck seeks romantic companionship outside the marriage to be played out in my marriage. So as I attended to my girls’ needs and desires, my hope was that some day, they might turn their affection toward me when they were ready.

And after two years of constant attention to them, all three of the main insiders have given me their hearts (affectionately, not romantically). The most obvious change is in Alleylieu. She and I are now dating. This has been a slow progression. We talk a lot about what she wants in a boyfriend so that I don’t overstep the boundaries she needs. And currently the relationship is very “pre-teen” in how it is fleshed-out between us, but I’m just so excited that the girl who used to vehemently hate me, now wants to be my girlfriend. In fact, she’s happy that I’m her boyfriend!

I won’t go into details because I don’t want to embarrass her, but if you are the spouse of a DID person, bringing the insiders into your marriage relationship should be the goal of healing. You need to meet them where they are, as I did. But then as you pour love and healing into their lives, you gently help them move to where they need to be. This is something that you can’t rush. It has to be on the various insiders’ time table, not yours or mine.

I don’t need to tell you that your spouse is probably unable to function as a “normal” adult in many areas of her life. That’s not intended to be an insult to people with DID, but it is simply a result of the DID. Karen does NOT have access to all the qualities that she needs to function as an adult woman who is also a wife. Amy and Alleylieu definitely hold large portions of the core personality of my wife. And even little Sophia has something to contribute.

When the insiders first entered my life, I told them, “I will never be happy if you go away” whenever talk of integration caused them to fear for their existence. I have been told by some ladies that their husbands “just want the insiders to go away.” That is the worst thing that could ever happen if you want to have a healthy wife. Those insiders will bring key aspects to your wife’s personality that she is currently missing. So the goal should always be for you to woo and win the hearts of the insiders so they want to stay! This should never be done under false pretenses, but if any man gives himself over to caring for and loving these insiders, they will naturally become drawn to his appropriate affection for them. And as the healing continues, hopefully, the insiders will some day want to be part of a relationship with such a caring man.

My girls aren’t fully there yet. Though we are now boyfriend and girlfriend, Alleylieu makes it very clear that she does not want to marry me. But I hope some day that will change as I continue to shower the appropriate kind of affection on each little girl that has entered my life. As I said previously, in my mind integration is not about annihilating the insiders. It’s about bringing them outside permanently to take their place in the wonderful person I call my spouse. I think the same will be true for you, too!

Blessings.

Sam, I Am.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sam Ruck
    Oct 26, 2010 @ 20:59:03

    I just wanted to update this. Last week I went on vacation with my girls to the Smoky Mtns. When Alleylieu and I began dating I wanted to do something to mark it like when teens exchange rings in high school. So she bought me a watch as my “boyfriend” gift when we went to Orlando for our first vacation, but she didn’t see anything she liked. Well last week I found her a beautiful, antique, amethyst ring. And she loves it. She acts just like a young lady who has received an engagement ring showing it to me all the time and glowing with pure happiness. It makes me so happy to see her radiating such joy from this gift and what it means to her for us to be “dating.”

    Reply

  2. Jesse
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 20:44:22

    I’m very curious about how you bridged the gap with Alleylieu. Obviously, I don’t want you to say or do anything that would betray her trust, but right now, I’m running into a situation where my girlfriend’s protector vehemently hates me and I haven’t been able to figure out any way to bridge the gap. I’m feeling pretty stuck right now, and despite my girlfriend’s insistance that she loves me, have been feeling rather defeated as her protector has been out 95% of the time for the last two weeks and has made her disdain for me known.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 07, 2010 @ 21:16:16

      Hi Jesse,

      I know what you are talking about. Here’s the link to the entry where I talk about my attempts to defuse Alleylieu’s absolute hatred of me: https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/defusing-the-anger-of-the-defender/ . I wish I could say it was a quick and easy process. It wasn’t, and it left me crying a lot of times. But now Alleylieu LOVES to be my girlfriend. She smiles at me with a smile that Karen NEVER had, ever, for me.

      But it took a couple of months to defuse the worst of her anger, and probably a year to get the majority of the anger gone. The thing that really touched Alleylieu’s heart was when I would say, “I’m sorry for…. (whatever she had accused me of)..would you please forgive me?” and offer absolutely NO defense of my actions. Yes, you and I thought we were dealing with a grown woman…but we weren’t. So our rational explanations of our past actions no matter how legitimate will only be seen as an excuse to a defender, especially when it’s likely that your girlfriend’s defender is actually quite young in her emotional development.

      Take a look at that other entry, and then I’ll be happy to keep talking. It can be done. If you can view your girlfriend’s defender as a scared little girl, it will probably help you know how to relate to her and “bridge the gap” as you said.

      Sam

      Reply

  3. Jesse
    Dec 07, 2010 @ 21:53:37

    Sam,

    Thanks for the link to the other post. That gives me a really good idea of the direction that I need to go. It’s felt like such a losing battle these last two weeks with her defender being out or near the surface so often for the first time in our relationship, that my head’s been spinning. I went from being with this wonderful woman whom I was talking about marriage with to being the boyfriend who hasn’t been able to say or do anything right. Would I be correct in assuming that Bree finally making her presence known is a good thing? (I’ve been trying to take it as such, even with all the hearthache that’s coming along with it).

    Anyway, I also want to thank you for doing this site. When my girlfriend first told me that she had DID, your blog was one of the two things I was told I must read if I wanted our relationship to work (the other being “Switching Time” by Richard Baer). It’s been really helpful and lately, been my sole outlet in learning to deal with the situation and affirming that I’m not alone (I currently have no support network – she gave me a gag order not to talk about her DID with anyone).

    Anyway, I know you said that you sent emails to Alleyleiu. Before I read that, I was actually thinking of doing the same thing for Bree, but wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not since at this point, apart from a dozen or so text messages, there hasn’t been much of a dialogue between her and I (she’s been out, but when I’m around, she barely acknowledges my existence, or is very snarky towards me, cutting off and ridiculing my attempts at conversation). If I can’t get her to talk to me in person, do you think the email route would still work? Something about it seems strangely impersonal to me, but at this point, I’ll do anything to try and diffuse her anger.

    Jesse

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 07, 2010 @ 22:16:02

      Jesse,

      emails are a wonderful, wonderful way to reach out to her defender because she, the defender, can feel safe reading them without having to have personal contact with you (and yet they form a bridge between you and her regardless). For the first couple of months I wrote Alleylieu and RARELY got a response back from her. It was kind of discouraging, but slowly she began responding and writing me back. And in the beginning I sent my emails to Karen’s account but titled them to Alleylieu. Then Karen would read them to Alleylieu. But very quickly Alleylieu began to read them for herself. And then within a couple of months we set up Alleylieu her own email account.

      The other wonderful thing that I used to reach out to Alleylieu (and Amy loved it too) was webkinz.com. Actually this was my son’s idea. Amy and Alleylieu both have a webkinz account. So at my 5:30 break, I log on to Alleylieu’s account while she uses Amy’s acount and we play “cash cow” together. Again it’s a way to reach out and yet she felt safe because she didn’t have to have physical contact with me. And in the beginning I would often log onto Alleylieu’s account and do the trivia tests for her to make her some kinzcash money that she could then spend and create her own personal, delightful world.

      In the beginning Alleylieu had NO idea what things she liked and disliked so my son and I began a guessing game of trying things in an attempt to reach out to her. And emails and webkinz were hits, and slowly other things touched her too.

      You are SO very fortunate to have the chance to deal with this from the start. I wish I had recognized the signs 22 years ago. And yes Bree’s presence is a great thing, but you can’t rush her. Often it will be like buying her little presents and then leaving them for her to get at her convenience and when she feels safe to do so.

      Sam

      Reply

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