Who Is the Best Parent for Insiders?, Part 1

When Karen and I first began this journey we made a decision to focus on meeting the needs of the insiders no matter how much those needs were opposition to our own. We decided to let our healing path be directed by the ones who were traumatized most (the insiders) and these girls (3 out of 4) chose me to be a daddy to them.

And this concept, me being the girls’ daddy, has become a lightning rod that largely blasted my blog into obscurity. Last week I was reminded again how unacceptable a concept it is to the DID community in general that I am the inside girls’ daddy. I am regularly told that my ability to be the insiders’ daddy is based on a lie while the person with DID can properly parent their own insiders.

And the light clicked on… I finally understood that what has been so deeply healing to my girls (me being their daddy) is directly contradictory to the presupposition in DID land that ONLY someone with DID can “re-parent” themselves into healing.

I remember the day Karen told me discouragedly, “Somehow I’ve got to mommy myself.” But we need to be honest with ourselves. It is no more dishonest that Sophia, Amy and Shelly consider me their daddy then it is that they call Karen their mommy. Over and over I’m told by others that I can’t be the girls’ father because “it’s just biologically not true!” And yet no one seems to grasp that by the same reasoning Karen (and all other people with DID) should be excluded from being “mommy” or “daddy” to their own insiders.

So let’s be honest and consistent and say that NO ONE except one’s biological parents can parent one’s insiders if DNA is the determining factor. However, since I suspect that most DID sufferers will find such truthfulness equally unacceptable, then maybe we need to figure out what is the BEST determining factor for who should parent (or re-parent) the insiders of someone with DID.

I would like to humbly suggest that having someone with DID “parent” their insiders is not only NOT the best therapeutic choice, it is actually detrimental to the healing process. But before everyone jumps on me to burn me at the stake, can I at least have a chance to defend that statement?

Concluded tomorrow with part 2….


Sam, I Am

Dissociative identity disorder, dissociation


15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kay
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 12:10:25

    I’m interested to read Part II. As a system we don’t re-parent ourselves, nor do we allow any one else to do so. Our inner kids know that they had a Mommy and a Daddy who didn’t give them what they needed. They can still have that safety, love, and healing without anyone having to be a “parent”. Besides, our lils are the wisest members of the entire crew.

    Our kids are not interested in having someone else be a good parent to them. They would like if the parents that they knew were good parents, but recognize that this is not a reality that will happen.

    You’re right that it’s a hot-button topic within the DID community in general. Personally, every system is different and while most systems have the overall same needs, how we need to have those needs met is as unique as the systems that hold those needs.


    • Sam Ruck
      Feb 16, 2011 @ 19:43:31

      Hi Kay,

      I don’t push the insiders for any kind of relationship with me. In an earlier post, I explained that I always let them define the relationship that they want with me and how they want it. But as the relationships grew and as they receieved A LOT of healing, they naturally began to change the relationship.

      If the insiders in your network aren’t interested in any kind of parent figure, then they shouldn’t be forced to have one. And yes, you are correct that EVERY network is unique. I try to put disclaimers, etc to make sure that I don’t “speak for everyone” but sometimes I forget. But me being a daddy figure to the insiders has been extremely healing and because it has been GREATLY misunderstood in general, I wanted to try to explain why I think it has been so healing in case others have any interest in it.



      • Kay
        Feb 17, 2011 @ 08:11:40

        For us alot of the benefits you talk about your girls having we get, without it being a parent-child relationship. There’s a lot we could write about the whole idea – pros and cons. At the end of the day though, we are glad it works for you and has been healing for all of who your wife is.

      • Sam Ruck
        Feb 17, 2011 @ 20:45:43


        I really think it is all about learning from each other and learning to benefit from what might apply to us from another person’s life without feeling threatened by other things that would NOT apply to our lives, if that makes sense.


  2. Karma
    Feb 16, 2011 @ 19:03:10

    Hello. As I said In another comment we left for you. I am one of the insiders in our little bunch. ( We have DDNOS not DID)
    However, I don’t disagree with the idea of re-parenting littles. I do agree it is probably necessary. I don’t think anyone ( someone with or without DID/DDNOS) has the right to judge you or your wife for your techniques. Many do understandably have trouble with the reparenting ideas due to their past traumas which often were handed out by their parents.. and being that, fear is understandable which I suposse can cause then to react negatively to your and Karen’s techniques with her little ones inside.
    However, I need to say that everyone with DID/DDNOS has completely different systems,system structures and past traumas that caused the systems to be as they are.. Therefore, everyone’s system’s healing techniques may be completely different as well.

    Just our 2 cents..


    • Sam Ruck
      Feb 16, 2011 @ 22:07:39

      Hi Karma,

      thanks for the vote of confidence. Unfortunately not everyone else has that attitude. My attitude is I read what others are doing and I keep what I think would work in my life and just leave the rest behind. But I guess people feel threatened when someone comes along and does things differently than the “prescribed” way even though my wife is making phenomenal progress according to her counselor and everyone else who is helping her. They all say she is years ahead of people who have been at the healing process for much longer than she has been at it.



  3. chi
    Feb 17, 2011 @ 15:04:03

    Sam – thank you so much for posting this! i’m so glad someone gave me the link.

    i have DID and my husband acts as a “daddy” towards the 3 little girl parts. i’ve experienced a lot of contraversy for allowing this, especially on DID support blogs. for my system, the 3 little girls know that my husband isn’t biologically their father. i really had no father growing up. but we, as a family, feel that having a safe and loving father figure is what we need to heal.
    most of the people who disagree with our decision to allow my husband to parent the littles are people who have major daddy issues and/or have been abused by their father during their childhood.
    but the world (especially those in the DID community) needs to understand that every system is different and has different needs!
    thank you for understanding this and for having the courage to share!


    • Sam Ruck
      Feb 17, 2011 @ 20:50:48

      Welcome to my blog, Chi,

      even some of my most vigorous detractors have admitted that their littles found my site appealing. I would suspect that is because there is a part in ALL of us that will always need a mommy or daddy. In the beginning while Alley (then Alexis) hated me, yet she let the littler girls be out with me who most definitely wanted a daddy. And yes, every network is different. I wish others didn’t feel threatened by what my wife and I are doing. Sometimes I come away from a book with only ONE good idea, but that one idea was worth the reading.



      • chi
        Feb 17, 2011 @ 20:56:10

        i’m not sure if you can see my email addy or not, but if you can please email me or add me on msn. i’d love to talk more.


    • Karma
      Feb 20, 2011 @ 16:13:38

      hi Chi hon =) thought you may like Sam’s blog glad you checked it out =)


  4. Karma & Sadie
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 00:05:08

    Thank you and I agree wholeheartedly about your techniques. Facts are:
    1. Everyone and every system are different.
    2. Everyone’s environment and experiences are different and percieved differently to each of the system.
    3. Just because penicillin fights off many illnesses – it doesn’t mean that there arent some people allergic to it. The same techbniques wont help everyone the same way. It may make it worse for some.

    People need use their common sense and critical thinking skills more before they assume things.
    sorry sadie got on a rant.
    Karma &Sadie


    • Sam Ruck
      Mar 22, 2011 @ 21:08:11

      Hi Karma and Sadie,

      thanks for your kind words especially on a day when I also got attacked. I’m not sure why people feel threatened by different methods of healing. To me these blogs are all about sharing and learning from each other.



  5. Karma & Sadie
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 00:08:55

    Also wanted to say congrats to your wife and their progress. We are still new to thisreally. Because we are still discovering more..occassionally.


    • Sam Ruck
      Mar 22, 2011 @ 21:11:42

      Another insider is starting to join us regularly on the outside. That’s always cause for celebration. But there are still at least 2 very lonely little girls on the inside that need loved and to feel safe. One I’ve never met. I’m struggling to connect with them. So although so many of the girls have come a long way, we still have a ways to go.



  6. Trackback: So You Wanna Be an Insider’s Daddy… « Loving My DID Girl(s)

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