Interacting with Insiders

I have taken a lot of flak from others because of the real-life relationships I have with Sophia, Amy and Alleylieu. Amy tells me that Sophia refers to me as Daddy inside her head though she, Sophia, has never spoken that to me. Amy and I interact as father and daughter, and now Alleylieu and I interact as boyfriend and girlfriend. In this blog I only try to offer my insights based upon the healing journey I am on with my wife and girls in case what we are doing might help you and your spouse heal as well. Take what applies, but feel free to leave the rest.

I have always based my interactions with the insiders upon the premise that they are normal, little girls. But one friend of mine who has DID told me that her insiders “froze” in time, and I think that is a good way to look at it. When the dissociation began, my wife’s brain “froze” the various insiders with various traumatic memories. And as I have interacted with the girls, it also became glaringly apparent that these girls were “frozen” in various stages of emotional and social development.

I’m no expert, but I always hear how people get “hard-wired” as they develop as children. In the same way a person with DID gets “hard-wired,” and so the trauma became a major component of each insider girl’s hard wiring. Hence, for 20 years before the girls entered my life, no matter what I did, Karen never believed I loved her, never thought she was attractive, often felt all bad things were her fault, couldn’t cope with crisis situations, etc., etc.

Now as the girls have begun healing, they have begun “thawing.” They are no longer stuck in their development and the interactions that my son as “big brother” and I have with the girls seem to literally be “re-wiring” how they interact with us. Again, I’m not an expert, so I can’t cite studies and large groups, I can only tell you what is happening in my wife’s life as I fill the various insider’s with normal experiences and interactions no longer under the pall of trauma.

Now when bad things happen, the girls understand they are not necessarily at fault. When people reject them, they know that they are deeply loved by me and my son so there must be something wrong with the other people because as Amy told me, ‘Who wouldn’t like me, Daddy? I’m delightful!’ The girls also are learning how to interact appropriately with someone of the opposite sex. They are learning that it isn’t always the man’s fault when there are bad relationships. And they are blooming just like a normal girl would do.

Yet I am constantly told the impossibility and un-advisability of interacting with the insiders in such a capacity. All I can say is my wife’s insiders have developed emotionally and socially the more they have been outside with me and my son. They seem to have a capacity for understanding that I have different relationships with each of them, and they don’t seem to let that bother them. Karen and Amy “hate” that I give Sophia baths. Amy regularly tells me, “Daddy, I’m so embarrassed. You’re going to see my privacies.” And yet she is the first to remind me if I have not given Sophia her weekly bath. Likewise until Alleylieu began dealing deeply with the negative sexual experiences she and I used to have (unknowingly by me), she would encourage Karen and me to spend time together intimately. She knew I needed this with Karen though she (Alleylieu) would have no part of it.

I have dramatically altered how I live in my house because of their presence, and yet the girls understand we live together in the same bedroom. I still get dressed while they are in the room. I just try to be discreet, always leaving my shirt on while I change bottoms, and if they are changing, I turn my head or turn around. Amy will screech dramatically if she gets a glimpse of “my privacies” as she calls them, but it’s the screech of a normal daughter not one of a traumatized child. My interactions with them have proven that I am safe with them. I am not a predator, and so when something inadvertent happens, we all take it in stride even if it gets commented upon.

My son and my real-life interactions with the insiders, in my opinion, have been critical to the healing of each girl. When the girls first started coming outside, they were very “primitive” in their emotions, social skills and even their thinking skills. But as Karen and I allowed them to be out the majority of each day, Amy and Alleylieu, and even Sophia, quickly developed into emotionally and socially typical children with extraordinary mental abilities. They show no signs of confusion as I relate on different levels with each girl possibly because the girls share more and more information among themselves the longer they heal.

And I get the joy of seeing my girls blossom and bloom. I never had any daughters, but now I get to have a “sweetheart” in little Sophia, a “daddy’s girl” in Amy and I’m watching Alleylieu become a young lady in love for the first time. These are joys that are making this healing journey a delight in spite of the painful neglect of my needs. And these are the things that show the spring thaw has entered the hearts of my girl(s), and healing is well underway.


Sam, I Am.


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