Insider Roles

If you’ve followed this blog at all, hopefully you’ve picked up on one of my fundamental beliefs concerning the healing of multiple personality disorder or as it is now called, dissociative identity disorder. I believe it is extremely important to treat all the insiders like real people. I don’t ever refer to them as parts, alters or any psychological term that would suggest they are anything less than a normal girl (or boy).

And yet the reality is when the girls first came out, most of them were only the shell of a person. Beyond the role of defender, inside mother, helper, etc, the girls had few interests. Shelly’s sole desire when she came out was to gaze at the pretty scrapbook paper in the craftroom I had made for the bigger girls. KA’s only desire was to cross stitch. Sophia’s only desire was for me to make her clean by giving her a bath and then slathering her from head to toe in baby lotion so she smelled clean. And Alley confessed she had no likes, no desires, and she never had any friends. Amy alone seemed a somewhat complete little girl though she was definitely developmentally limited.

But I never let these deficiencies affect my attitude toward them. I always called them by name, and I always treated them like I would a typical little girl except in giving them allowance for their trauma issues.

As I treated the girls this way, I noticed they began to fill out their personalities. They discovered new likes and dislikes. They began to developmentally grow and acquire new skills. And they also became more attached to the outside world and to me and our son. They expanded beyond the small confines of the “role” they had within the network or “system” and found that there was a world of enticing things on the outside to be engaged.

“So what?” you may ask.

I recently made a comment on another blog about “insider roles” as I realized that those initial roles for my girls were very restrictive and were not conducive to healing. When an insider is very narrowly defined by his or her function within the “system,” there is little impetus to change, and without change there is little hope to grow and heal. But as I’ve interacted with my girls and purposely stimulated them to develop and become “real little girls” (as I like tell them), they realize that they don’t want things to stay how they were in the past.

I thought I was simply obeying the Golden Rule by treating these girls the way I would want to be treated. But looking back I see that moving them beyond their predefined insider roles to become real little girls was extremely healing. Here are a couple of examples.

1) At first each girl insisted on trying to do everything herself. But the girls are finally realizing that they each have strengths and weaknesses, and if they don’t work together, they lose out. Here’s an example. Two girls can swim like a fish, and 2 sink like a rock (and almost drown me in the process!). After repeated attempts to swim on their own, the two who lacked swimming ability finally came to the realization that they need the ones who could swim. It’s a strong motivation toward co-consciousness because everyone loves the water especially snorkeling.

2) As I inundated them with happy experiences, they became anchored outside and are losing the desire to be insiders. The inside world is illusory, but it held powerful attractions for the girls in the beginning. But the more they experience on the outside, the less attractive pull the inside world holds. Slowly they were drawn to the reality of this world. It’s another strong motivation toward co-consciousness because everyone can’t be outside at the same time unless they share. Last Saturday we went to Amish country and either all 5 girls shared the experience or some would miss out. They are slowly learning the better option is to share co-consciously.

3) As I recently wrote on this blog, the girls are developing aspects of my wife’s personality that have been dormant or undeveloped. This might not have occurred if I hadn’t moved them beyond their insider roles. Alley and Shelly especially seem to have a number of personality traits that were completely dormant in Karen. As these two girls “became real” those missing traits have begun to flourish. These are traits all the girls have learned to enjoy but also ones I find attractive in my wife.

4) I believe even the desire to get healed of the past memories has been connected with moving them beyond insider roles. Everything used to be about protecting the host and the “system.” But as they have discovered their own likes and dislikes, they began to have a gage for joy and pain. And once they realized they had pain in their hearts, they wanted it gone.

My girls’ DID network was developed during childhood, and as a result it had childish and limiting functions. Everything was about safety and protecting Karen. But keeping one’s self in a perpetual foxhole as they tried to ensure their safety is a poor way to live. In fact, it’s barely existing. So as I gently took them each by the hand, led them out of their self-imposed fox holes and showed them the world around, they realized there was so much more to life: things their narrowly defined roles couldn’t contain. And those enticements have had a profound impact on the healing and development of each girl. It’s been amazing to watch each girl move beyond their limited insider roles as they found limitless opportunities in the outside world.

Blessings!

Sam, I Am.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeffssong
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 10:09:09

    Excellent, Sam. More psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors should be reading your ‘articles’ – as they are (IMO) some of the BEST guides on the internet about “handling” folks with DID/MPD – and some of the best work I’ve (or we! with love) – have seen for and with a DID “victim”.

    As always – give our best for Karen & the girls – and take some for yourself.
    Sincerely and with kindness and consideration,
    Jeffery & Friends

    Reply

  2. victoriarebel
    Aug 14, 2011 @ 04:01:27

    Hi Sam
    You might remember our comments under email that starts with internal….etc…
    You asked at some point if we had a blog. Well now we do under two of insiders names for anonymity. Hopefully you know who we are etc. We felt the need to start blog so we can be honest and safe at the same time because noone can connect us to real name.
    Anyway, reading your blog always makes us jealous of your girls in a good way. Wish someone would allow us to have a little bit of childhood and let us heal on our own terms.
    Feel free to stop by our blog. Your blog is on our blogroll

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 14, 2011 @ 09:25:49

      Hey,

      thanks for telling me who you are. I hope this means things are at least a little bit better for you now. I need to start a blogroll. But I will definitely hop over to yours so I can follow it.

      Sam

      Reply

  3. jules
    Aug 27, 2011 @ 08:37:07

    Hi Sam, this is a lovely blog. It’s so nice to hear of the progress being made…we are having difficulty working together at the moment, it’s still early days, so it really is nice to hear that things can move forward.
    I have kinda withheld us writing properly on our blog about us, scared of peoples reactions i guess but maybe its time to start moving past that now.
    It makes the world a much nicer place when there are accepting people such as yourself and Carol (silk road) in it 🙂

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Aug 27, 2011 @ 09:05:29

      Hi Jules,

      You are very WELCOME here, and any insiders that might feel safe enough to venture out. Right now my life is filled with Karen, 4 little girls everyday, and Sophia comes out once a week for bath and story time. I love the little girls and we have wonderful times together…and Karen says those wonderful times are more healing than her times with her therapist. Blessings to you as you start this journey.

      Sam

      Reply

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