Meeting Emotional Needs Emotionally

In the midst of the brief saga of trying to buy Shelly a ring to recognize her entrance into my family, I was a little amazed and frustrated with the other girls. Each of them acted like it was NOT very important that I get Shelly exactly what she wanted. They had forgotten how very important it was for each of them that I do EXACTLY what they wanted and felt they needed when they first came out. The ring was an emotionally felt need of Shelly’s to validate her belonging in my family (“because that’s what the other girls got”). Yet the other girls acted like they would just reason her out of this need. But I have learned that I have to meet the need as it is presented. Then after the need has been satisfied and whichever girl has been relieved of the grip it held upon her, I am able to reason with her more easily.

I really think this is the strength of the “therapy” that I am doing with my girls. I told Amy over the weekend, “I know you girls don’t recognize it, but I see myself as your main therapist.” We all recognize that needs of the body MUST be met physically: food, shelter, adequate sleep, etc. But for some reason so many of us, as the girls illustrated, quickly forget that needs of a person’s heart are best met emotionally (unless, of course, they are our own emotional needs!). In the past, like most other people I would try to “argue” (or rationalize) my wife out of the emotional needs she expressed. But now I understand that it is far easier to simply meet the emotional needs my girls express exactly as they are expressed no matter how irrational they may seem from my perspective. Once I do that with the girls they are released and healing occurs.

It is a much harder route to go to rationalize a person out of a felt need especially in my position because the girls do not accord me the respect that they give their therapist and the ladies on their forum. I’m just Sam or Daddy to them. In their opinion I’m not a wise and experienced guide through the DID lands. So I accomplished more with that ring I bought Shelly than I could have with hours spent trying to explain to her she “really is part of my family” no matter how she may feel.


Sam, I Am

dissociative identity disorder, dissociation


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. facebook
    Feb 17, 2011 @ 12:07:22

    i love it


  2. jeffssong
    Apr 13, 2011 @ 09:49:59

    We have had this problem (okay . . . clearing mental throat for clarity, LOL, Elvis on board.) By “WE”, I mean the Controlling Entities, of which there have been 3 – M1, “little Mikey”, M2, Matthew, the sullen teenager, and M3, the one who married our/my (gee, messy, ain’t it?) -wife. About 2 weeks ago we finally started ‘coming together’ under the guidance of Jeffery, a ‘new’ alter – and the only one with full love and compassionate understanding for us all (we LOVE him, which is why this has worked – he is a wonderful guy). But for instance, M3 (the fixer & doer) – wanted to get that ‘darned yard mowed! Shin high weeds! Grass!) – and we agreed: 2 pm, Saturday. (Crowd nods, sighing: yes, we agreed.) We broke the agreement; M3, being an ‘old pro’ at handling us, sighed and agreed – but we remade the ‘promise’ and honored ourselves (self?). We also promised the children that we would go to the beach to find something like our Paradise Island last week during our 25th wedding anniversary – it almost looked like we wouldn’t – but dangit! A promise is a promise, even if the hurt children were willing to let it go – so firmly, we kept it – shooed the wife away and sat on a log under palms looking at the ocean.
    The point is: our souls or ‘selves’ must learn to recognize – and meet – each other’s needs INSIDE. Little girls can be jealous; and abuse victims are used to disappointments and broken promises. Getting each other to honor and recognize the ‘others’ needs is vital towards getting the system to work together smoothly. I’m glad you kept you word. It meant more than you will probably ever know to that little girl.


  3. bunchofpeople
    May 15, 2011 @ 00:52:08

    I had never thought of this. Usually we just try to get calm enough for the host to take over again, but the insiders all have needs, yes, and the littles have specific needs. I’ll have to think more about this. I’ve considered getting a toy box for the littles to play with when they are out, and we have a cat, that they like to play with. But it’s not the same as having someone big around to teach us and keep us safe and love us.
    Wow, pronouns are difficult sometimes.
    I think my littles like your idea.


    • Sam Ruck
      May 15, 2011 @ 01:23:22

      I think littles are pretty awesome. I have 4 little girls that I spend most of my days with now and I take great delight as I meet their needs and see them radiate with pleasure as my love for them literally transformed them from broken little girls into vibrant, exuberant little girls.


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