The Ugly Side of D.I.D.

A number of the d.i.d. bloggers I follow and many I visit from time to time share their struggles with suicide. This seems to be a pervasive issue among those who have dissociative identity disorder, more commonly known as multiple personality disorder. But it’s not only suicide. It seems that non-suicidal depression is ubiquitous necessitating the constant use of anti-depressants. Self-injury and eating disorders are prevalent. Hosts talk about the horrible experience of recovering memories.” Triggers and panic attacks seem to linger well past the end of therapy when a person is considered “healed.” Is wordpress only a venting site for all the dark things surrounding d.i.d.? Does anyone with d.i.d.  have a minimally happy life that he/she rarely shares here on wordpress?

I confess my ignorance concerning the statistics on this ugly side of d.i.d., but it seems many struggle greatly in this area. So a couple of days ago I asked Karen, “Do you girls ever have suicide issues?” “No,” she replied, though she said one time in the beginning Alley had wanted to cut them but didn’t. The worst self-injury they’ve done is biting their hands, rarely breaking the skin. They’ve only taken stress pills for 3 dentist appointments in the last 3 years. And I can move the girls past a trigger or panic attack fairly quickly (hour or two tops) on the very rare occasion that they have one.

Honestly, the girls react to things more like a well-adjusted child than a former trauma victim at this point: they get scared. We talk about it. I hold them for a little bit. It’s over, and they move on. I told Alley this past weekend that at this point in their healing journey they (Amy, Alley, KA, Shelly, and Sophia) are some of the happiest people I know. Obviously our journey isn’t over, but the sun shines most days for my girls.

Are there others who have had a similar experience as my girls? Have you relatively quickly gotten through the darker, uglier side of d.i.d. with minimal issues? I would love to hear from you, if you are out there. Did we just get “lucky” not to go through most of those things? Or was my wife only slightly traumatized during her childhood compared to others? Or is our healing methodology the reason why my girls haven’t experienced the ugliest issues commonly associated with d.i.d.?

I really would love to hear from others whether their journey has been filled with the ugly or if it has been similar to ours. I think the general expectation of the experts is that these ugly things WILL be part of the healing journey. But is that creating a self-fulfilling prophecy on the part of the therapist and patient? Moreover, are these things the result of therapy strategies that are less than ideal? I’m not suggesting our journey has been by any means easy. It’s been incredibly hard. It’s been the hardest thing I’ve ever done (sometimes I wonder if it’s been harder on me as I am the one who has struggled with suicide issues and have occasionally taken OTC anti-depressant medicine). But I would not characterize our journey as overshadowed with the ugly side of d.i.d. (maybe just ‘peppered’). Maybe my girls would disagree.

So I ask again: would you be willing to share why you think you didn’t experience the uglier things connected with d.i.d. if your journey has been like ours? What things have helped ease the healing the most and why? I also welcome the opinions from those whose experience has been “ugly”: what would have helped things go better, if you struggle with the dark things? Was there a voice that always begged for some missing “ingredient” in your therapy/healing journey? Are the healing methodologies commonly used for people with d.i.d. actually damaging and traumatizing those with d.i.d.? I don’t believe there is only one way to get healed, but I believe there must be better, less-re-traumatizing ways than the popular methods which bring so many to emotional ruin. The cure should not be as bad as the original trauma or resultant disorder itself.

Thinking and rambling…

Sam, I Am

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22 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bunchofpeople
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 02:13:21

    yo sam,
    look i think it’s interesting the way u see ur wife and her insiders. but one thing i noticed is that u said the little girls are usually out all the time. most of us i think dont have littles out all the time, i dunno how things would be different if kitty was out all the time for us, or lilith. but one thing the others’ therapist keeps saying to main girl is that at some point she’s gonna have to get angry cuz the anger isn’t happening and that’s what’s keeping her so depressed. but u are sorta right too, cuz the therapist believes that people can heal even without exploring all every single bad memory ever and re living it.
    i said not every single one, cuz she thinks there has to be SOME admitting and knowing stuff that happened that was trauma.
    i dont think ur way is bad and i don’t think our way is good or the other way around but i do think that ur healing little girls and we are trying to heal adults.
    if amy is out alot like most of the time and u are spending like all ur time with her then arent u sorta healing amy and not karen? i dunno, i think theres a lot of good stuff that ur girls get to experience.
    but just like, i was thinking this ok, the therapist, lol she’s not MY therapist but whatever they talk about me, thinks that if nutella didnt need the sex part of our relationship then i wouldn’t be out as much or like hardly ever. so like i think that alters can be out more or less depending on what people need or want, or even like, what’s easier.
    is it better for me to be out and not main girl? or worse? i dunno, but i guess its not working toward us all being “one” EWW I HATE THAT.
    did u know that the host can change? lol i didn’t know that! but i was wondering if maybe the host had changed from karen to amy? i dunno, i guess, the one that is out most.
    about the suicide stuff, i have never been suicidal. main girl has, tho, and i end up dealing with it. flashbacks and shit, wanting to die, it’s rough sometimes. but like if we could stay home and just let kitty play with the cat and stuff i dunno how things would get better either.
    but like i think u have good ideas i just dunno.
    the therapist says that some of her patients she does parent role play with them and treats them like they are a little kid and reads to them and stuff like a mom, but like, only with some. so like why some and not other patients? i think cuz everyone needs differnt things to heal, like some people get better if they go on vacation and other people get better if they stay home and bake.
    if ur wife is healing good ur way then awesome but i think that like every trauma program ever has a point where people have to talk about the difficult feelings and feel them so they can get it out in the open and heal.
    i say that but it doesnt mean i think main girl is ready to do that. i just know that if she wants to not want to die she has to accept some stuff that happened and not block it out but like, deal with it. the trauma doesnt make her want to die, dude, it’s blocking the trauma that does that.
    but like, lol, my advice and stuff is all pretty hard to take seriously anyway cuz i’m not even a real person, lol.
    -J$

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 21:59:00

      Hey J$,

      you packed so much into your reply. I will try to answer what I can.

      My girls ARE dealing with the anger, but the inside girls were the ones traumatized, so they are the ones who had to deal with the trauma and the anger associated with it: mainly Amy and Alley.

      I focus my efforts on the little girls because the areas of my wife’s personality that they control got “frozen” with the trauma. So those areas never got the chance to develop and mature: not just sex but many other areas. I have to be careful not to ignore Karen (dealing with that right now), but the areas she controls of my wife’s personality did get to grow up. So we’re trying to help the little girls play “catch up” with Karen.

      And not to dis’ Hats’ therapist or anyone else, but if anyone ever said any of my girls weren’t real, they’d better be ready for a fight! I treat ALL the girls in my wife’s network as real people. Sometimes I wonder if that entire attitude isn’t part of the problem so many have with suicide. You may not care; you seem pretty laid back. But my girls ALL see themselves as real people, but if some therapist invalidated them and said “Only Karen the host is real and the insiders aren’t” I could understand why that might cause suicide issues. It’s a terrible attitude in my opinion.

      So do you think Hats’ main problem with suicide is not being able to cope with the flashbacks? Because Karen is never forced to recover the trauma memories, she doesn’t have that issue. Alley was clear that since the inside girls hold the trauma memories, there was no reason to traumatize Karen with those memories until the insiders had purged the memories of their emotions. And thus far, it seems like it is working.

      Thanks for your imput, J$

      Sam

      Reply

  2. undercoverdid
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 10:32:00

    Well, the short story is we have dealt with suicidal stuff. For us it is linked back to a few things in childhood. A part of it is the mother becoming pregnant with us was the worst event of her life and we were told that every single day and how she should have taken the other option (rather than resulting in a baby) which was fully paid for. So we have believed all along what our T calls the “Don’t Be” script of we should not exist and the world would be better without us.

    That said we also believe there is another reason and we are coming closer to knowing what it is but still don’t know the details- but it has to do with either outliving the primary abuser or not living past a certain age (we were never supposed to live to see 18). As we get closer to knowing why we are not supposed to still be alive at age 36 the harder it is getting inside and many are resisting this knowledge.

    I wouldn’t say your wife’s experience is greater or less than anyone else’s. I believe everyone’s experience is their own and there is no real scale to measure against someone else’s. Our experience has shaped and molded us and while we do deal with the suicidal and self-injury stuff it is smaller than what I hear many others experience. For the most part, our life is fairly stable and goes along fairly smoothly (I say fairly because it sure does have it’s bumps) but all in all, I feel like I am fairly lucky that I have a family and am able to find ways to contribute to the household and to the world outside the head.

    I hope this makes sense- I didn’t want to go through the whole long story though I think you have read most of it on the blog. But also there was a LOT of noise inside (good noise- wanting to chime in) because there are many different answers and understandings on this topic just within us.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 22:00:32

      Hey LH,

      I guess what I’m wondering is how much does the stability the partner or spouse provides help with the suicide and other darker issues? A little or a lot in your opinion since you’ve been dealing with d.i.d. in a lot of different situations (single, struggling marriage, stable marriage)

      Good to hear from you. How’s your daughter doing in school? Are you still helping?

      Sam

      Reply

      • undercoverdid
        Oct 04, 2011 @ 22:17:36

        Hey Sam
        I do believe stability and that would most definitely include that which a spouse can provide can most assuredly help with the suicidal and self-injury issues. Just like on the flip side, an unstable home can breed it. I know for me when we came into a stable relationship with H so many issues went from really loud and in the face to a dull roar if that. The stability has helped a ton. Sure we have ups and downs and from those we know we aren’t “all better” but it’s a great leap from where we were when we were single and had no attachments (that was probably the worst in our adult life). I hadn’t thought of it, but I guess we have “tested” DID in various forms of relationships 🙂

        My daughter is doing very well in school. Her best friend in school had to have a serious surgery but we are working through that- she has recovered fine and should be back to school soon so my daughter is for sure looking forward to that! She has been a bit lost without her I think 🙂 We have gone to her home and visited her and I’ve gotten to know her mom quite a bit which has become a good thing!

        I’m not getting to help really this year. I’m at home with one more still, she’ll start half-days next year so then I’ll look at helping out more I think. I’m kinda taking this year off because circumstances just won’t work out this year and I’m not going to force it. There is quite a bit on the plate so trying to work on that for now.

        Good to hear from you and see how things are going. I miss being here as much and hope to find my writing voice again soon 🙂

  3. Abby & Ents
    Oct 04, 2011 @ 21:52:29

    Hey Sam,

    Abby and the Ents putting in our two cents. I think a lot of whether or not DID is a curse or a gift is attitude. For us, DID is a gift, that is how we choose to accept it. It is the reason we could survive what we went through. While there have been times when suicide was considered and by some more so than others for us the attempts have not caused any physical harm and no one has been typically the wiser. Sophia, in the early days of her coming out did feel that she should end her life so that her scrapbooks of our history would not cause our husband any additional pain, he and the T helped her to see otherwise. For the most part we have progressed quickly and realatively easily. Why? Perhaps it is attitude, a powerful desire to heal emotionally, a desire to victor over the abusers whether they are still alive or not. It is definately a desire to claim the life and person we should of had if we had not been abused. I used to look at other people’s stories and think gee we didn’t have it so bad, what are we upset about. But a victim cannot compare their story to another’s it just doesn’t help the healing process

    . I think who is healing and in need of makes a difference, our little ones are learning what it means to have a loving and safe Daddy thanks to our husband. We are blessed with a spouse and three adult children, two of whom have spouses of their own and all are accepting and supportive. So our little ones like to play games with our spouse, they like to go to the fair, the beach and they get to talk without anyone shutting them down, or degrading them.

    The teens inside are also growing and learning and healing. They are learning to be independant, and capable young adults with our husband taking on mentor, and teacher typ of roles. They too enjoy being out when they feel the need. They are working on self-esteem and confidence.

    The boys especially Germ are learning to be okay with being fellas in a woman’s body.

    Us adult women who are wives are learning that intercourse isn’t suppose to be a source of manipulation. Loving making with our spouse must be desirable and non-triggering. He has learned that when he puts constant pressure on to have sex that we feel that all we are good for is serving the physical needs of people who force control over us. For a long time in our marriage while Dolly/MOM was out that was the way it was in the marriage. It is not so any more.

    I think there will always be unexplained crying jags for us, there will always be a certaing degree of anxiety, and for the long term we will need to use anti-depressants. Why, we are grieving for nearly 50 years lost to being pushed so deep inside, we are grieving for the innocents of childhood we were deprived of, we are grieving for the parents we didn’t have and we are grieving for all the dreams we had that were destroyed. We will make new dreams, and work for new goals but like losing anything of value, like losing a child or spouse the pain will get easier to bear, the work to reclaim what we can of what was taken away will continue to occur till our own natural death. Some days are a struggle, especially now that the grey, cold wet of fall and winter is settling in till hopefully next spring and not last through next summer which is not uncommon for where we live. I don’t think there is a point in time where a person is healed from emotional trauma. You just learn to manage and keep working towards healing. Does one ever completely heal from the loss of a child, spouse or devoted pet? A relative who showed you what real love is all about? No not really. We work for healing and know it is a life time journey. A journey that will continue to improve as we heal. Finally we have to come back to attitude. Look for the good and beauty in your life, in DID, in every little victory.

    We used to say we were a realist (my father was the greatest pessimist I ever knew) till we realized a realist is a pessimist in denial, we would rather be an optimist. Yes there are some down sides to being an optimist but, it makes life a whole lot better. It’s attitude and everyone gets to chose what attitiude they will use to live life.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 04, 2011 @ 22:12:54

      hey Abby and the Ents,

      thanks for your input. Yeah, I don’t want to compare stories other than try to figure out why my girls are doing so well and what others are doing also if they are doing well, too in case everyone’s stories might help others who are NOT doing well. I read so many blogs that nearly make my heartbreak as the suicide struggles seem constant and overwhelming, and it makes me wish for them an experience like ours. I’m glad your experience has been as “positive” as a disorder can be expected to be. Ours has too. That’s all I wish for others who might feel hopeless.

      Sam

      Reply

  4. AlaskanSunflower
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 19:06:42

    Emotionally for us I dont think having a stable place really mattered when we were suicidal, when experiencing despair nothing mattered and we were convinced all who loved us or cared were better off without us. We have the most loving and supportive husband anyone could ever wish for and a wonderful safe home environment and everyone in the system is free to express themselves and are well received by our family but during our dark times this has brought upon us shame for having thoughts of ending it all and that we are even more hopeless because we knew we had support but it didnt make any difference in wanting to end our life. When we’ve been in the darkest recesses of our mind we were unable to see any light, we lived second to second to keep ourselves from acting on our wishes to end it all, there was no affirmations that helped us or any reassurances from our hubby or therapist that things were going to get better that ever helped, we were absolutely hopeless during those times. Discussing it was not an issue because we retreated from everyone and hid what we were going through because we felt like such a burden already and we needed to be disposed of. We lived and breathed agony and despair with the hopelessness of never feeling anything else. Suicide becomes as a means of escape from all of it, you arent capable of contemplating any other way when you are this far down in the black hole, the people who are trying to help you become obstacles in trying to keep you from ending it.

    Physically, during our dark times it was very important to have a stable home, our husband can be accredited to saving our life, he took leave from work to watch over us, he could get us to eat something, possibly take a shower, he had many sleepless nights while watching over us to be sure we didnt kill ourself during the night, he walked on egg shells day & night. He gave up so much so we could keep a little of our dignity that we had left and not be instituitionalized, we already had experience of being hospitalized from previous attempts and knew it was only temporary and what we were feeling at the time felt like would last an eternity, until we were the ones to end it all. Like I said before, the more acts of kindness from others the more shame and guilt we felt and thought of being undeserving for having a life.
    No one or anything were conceptualized as being beacons of hope, it was only time that enabled us to regain what was left of our broken mind and spirit and having a belief in ourselves that we could keep going. Also being medicated helped to pull us out enough to see reality and what was capable.
    Suffer for sufferings sake was also a way for us to keep going, we used it as a punishment of sorts…even though it wasnt healthy but none the less did save us in its own way.

    Hope our experience helps to better understand what it can mean for others who are going through depression. For us, depression was a state of being, there was no miracle method, if there were there wouldnt be so many successful suicidal attempts and the world would be a better place for those who suffer. I’ve never heard or read that professionals think that people with DID WILL experience depression but I guess it goes to show that we are all different in our healing journey and there’s no cookie cutter way of living or experiencing DID.

    AlaskanSunflowers

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 22:26:51

      Hi AlaskanSunflowers,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. I am sorry for the struggles you and your husband have gone thru and the depression. I hope this post didn’t seem to belittle your struggles or anyone else who has had to deal with depression and suicide. That’s certainly not my intent (especially as I’ve had my own struggles that continue even today). I don’t want to be the kind of person that blames the victims. What I had hoped was to see if anyone else has been able to sidestep the issue completely like we have (and see why they think they did), or maybe find others who got caught up in it but then was able to find a way out by some specific means other than medication.

      What I’ve done with my girls isn’t a “miracle.” But I wonder, maybe naively, if the principles I have laid out in this blog have been the reason my girls have had so few struggles in this area when others struggle so greatly. It’s hard to be scientific from a study of one person (my wife). So I was trying to find out the experience of others and if they have wondered “why” their experience was as it is. (if that makes sense)

      Sam

      Reply

  5. Abby & Ents
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 21:14:20

    Maybe it would help if we quit calling it a disorder. I mean really who has the disorder the perverts that abuse children or the child who learns to hide inside, who learns to split their personality to protect themselves? Yes, there are programs to help us and they call it a disability, the shrinks call it a disorder but truly didn’t it bring order to a situation that was way out of hand, and certainly a life that was existing in nothing but disorder. Yes, ignorant people may call it a disorder but really we need to quit thinking that way. As for suicidal thoughts and attempts don’t you think that it is a way out for anyone who has gone through severe trauma. They see it as a way to end their pain, especially when you are told you are sick because some asshole beat the crap out of you, raped you, starved you, degraded you in every way possible. That pain and feeling of worthlessness is enough to drive anyone to at least consider it. Now we just talk about it as we seek help. I don’t accept it as a way out due to my religious beliefs but not everyone is so lucky to have a faith and religion that was their safe haven. For some that was the source or one of many sources of their trauma. If a person is blessed to have never experienced abuse they have a very difficult time truly understanding what it does to the victim. It isn’t something that happened to you, it is what made you what you are today. Healing is taking back what was stolen from the survivor. Now we have to learn how to survive well and not continue to be the victim in our heads, hearts and bodies. We may be multiples but we DID and will come out the other side than a singleton might. We have a whole group of people to help us figure things out to excell in life. We have to quit looking at the others inside as a problem. Perhaps the internal ones out to hurt our bodies are just little ones at heart that have been hurt so bad they don’t know how else to be. My monsters (those that would do self harm) ended up being nothing but little monsters desperate to be loved. They get attention anyway they can. Now my little monsters are The Adorables. Quite cute dressed in little animal costumes and sleeping in pig piles. If we try to understand why children (internal or outside children) behave the way they do then we can do something about helping them to grow and flourish.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 06, 2011 @ 22:10:10

      Hey Abby,

      thanks for the comment. It is apparent that my use of “disorder” is offensive to you. I’m sorry. That’s not intentional. I doubt you’ve read my entire blog, but over and over I try to show the side of d.i.d. that IS a blessing. And yet d.i.d. is also destructive, not allowing a person to function in many healthy ways. My friend Jeff who has d.i.d. tried to capture both sides of this in a post he wrote today. Here’s the link: http://jeffssong.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/did-when-its-a-diagnosis-and-when-its-a-disorder/

      The little girls in my wife’s network are totally adorable. I think if you had the time, you would see my blog takes great pains to take as positive a position as I can on something that has caused me so much pain and heartbreak.

      Sam

      Reply

  6. Abby & Ents
    Oct 05, 2011 @ 21:20:39

    I see I missed a word, when I talk about how we might come out it should be better than a singleton as we have an internal support system. It is a lack of external support system that makes it much more challenging. It is hard to see DID as positive when so many call it a negative. That needs to change. Remember that there is still a lot of negative astigmatism connect with anyone not demonstrating “normal” mental health. Whatever the heck that is.

    Reply

  7. jeffssong
    Oct 07, 2011 @ 15:32:36

    Sorry being late to the party . . . Sam inspired us to do a post on this. (Two, actually: http://wp.me/p1t0dv-p5 and http://wp.me/p1t0dv-oY ). Just goes to show it’s a hot topic among us in the DID crowd. To sum those rather lengthy blog pieces, here it is:

    When is it a diagnosis? When you are okay with it and the ‘system’ is running well. No destructive behaviors (external or internal), ‘everyone’ is getting along. There is/are no major depression / sadness, running wild, or suddenly ‘switching’ or acting like a stranger when you don’t want to.

    When is it a disorder? Why, when the system becomes disordered, of course! When ‘others’ don’t communicate their needs; when someone gets ‘locked out’ of the system, or when the ‘system’ begins to attack itself – or act in a destructive manner (either towards existing relationships – internal as well as external), engaging in destructive behavior, either through physical cutting, attempts at suicide, et cetra – or by spending too much money; engaging in irresponsible behavior patterns which may end up hurting other relationships (the old “screwing around” routine) – or other things. Anything which adversely affects you.

    And finally: when is it a disease? When it (the above “disorder” section”) becomes chronic . . . when it happens over and over again. Then it’s become a “disease” and is no longer just a “condition” or (my favorite one for systems which are getting along) – merely a “diagnosis” . . . meaning something may be wrong – has the POTENTIAL to go wrong (just as in diabetes) – but it can be handled and managed with the right approaches and/or therapy sessions (the proper ones, of course!) And the proper ones, in my own opinion, based upon what you and Karen and the girls seem to be doing – are the ones that work based on the “client’s” (or in your case Sam, beloved one’s) wants and needs.

    Now lets turn to the question of why, Sam, it seems you read about nothing but the “bad” side of DID. The truth is: happy people don’t complain. The ones with DID who are happy with it – been getting along fine with it all along – they don’t come online seeking a solution or somewhere to express their feelings. After all: they are fine and they are happy with it (or at least okay). And some – if not many – people have DID to some degree or another I think – though we can not be sure.

    And finally: shrinks. “The Pros”. I’m not disparaging them – but they only know what they’ve learned. Most of them really want to help someone. That said, get this:
    Most of them do not understand – or not very well, in any case.
    A good example would be what a shrink told me, which is what his teachers told him when I told him I was MPD:
    “Oh! You mean you think you have many people living in your head.”
    Problem is: that wasn’t it, ain’t it, ain’t it at ALL!
    As I told him:
    “No. I don’t ‘think’ I have many people living in my head. I AM many people in my head!”
    and the truth is (subtle difference here): If it was “I”, why would I think in terms of “we” sometimes (lots of times … okay, most times, since we are being honest) . . .
    and the truth is, none of us want to “die” (or go missing for awhile).

    For the truth is, Sam, and as you have sussed out – the fact is: most of those ‘parts’ are parts of the original personality. If you ‘snuff out’ any of them – you *might* be snuffing out part of that person’s personality. You’ve read the prognosis of the ‘disease’ when ‘naturally treated’ – letting the therapists handle it . . . if they succeed they’ve got (at best) a rather “flat person” – and THAT’S their definition of a ‘success story’, by the way – a person who is emotionally flat and dead as hell . . . that’s no condition to be in; not as a human being . . . missing ‘parts’ and things (frowning and laughing both at the same time) . . .

    Well, that’s my twentyfive cents worth and then some …. keep the change, Sam – take the girls out for some ice cream sometimes . . . and lie and tell ’em:
    the treats on me.
    LOL!
    Until later,
    the ‘system’
    ran by ‘someone’ today 😀

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 07, 2011 @ 20:11:53

      Hey Guys,

      thanks for the comments.I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. From an outsiders’ perspective my wife has always had a “disorder” I just didn’t understand what it was until we got the diagnosis. For the first 20 years of our marriage, I tried desperately hard to romance her, win her heart, start “sex in the kitchen” as the popular phrase goes. I have written her an album of songs, dozens of poems, personally renovated our house according to ANYTHING she specified, always spent my free time with her, etc, etc and yet she was always sexually unresponsive to me, she undermined my vocational goals (which I had before I ever met her), and had ZERO interest in meeting my personal needs sexual or otherwise. In fact she would argue that if she met my needs it would invalidate who she was as a person.

      All this occured when to everyone else outside the marriage, she would have appeared perfectly normal. She would have been in that supposedly stable zone you described for people with d.i.d.

      I believe you pointed out that part of the problem for someone with a disorder to recognize that they have said disorder is for them “disorder is normal.” They don’t realize that everyone else isn’t just like them (of course most people are self-centered but that’s another topic). My wife told me she used to dissociate during sex, but didn’t realize that everyone else didn’t do the same. A child with d.i.d. typically is so young when they develop this that they have no reference point other than the disorder.

      Jeff and all, I know you understand how much I push to see d.i.d. in a positive light, as a wonderful gift during a hellish nightmare no child should ever have to experience and validate each and everyone person within the network, but as I help my girls heal, I realize I am taking them on a healing journey for which they have NO reference point. I think that’s part of why it’s so hard for someone with this to heal. What the rest of us naturally develop during childhood, now the girls have to grasp while in an adult body with adult responsibilities.

      So I have to somewhat be the “knowledgable” guide for their healing journey all the while not acting like it to them and while trying to stay humble and deferential to their feelings and current ability to receive my NON-omniscient advice. I don’t EVER demand that they do what I suggest. I don’t EVER pout if they decide NOT to accept my suggestions. But I just keep gently moving them in the direction that I think they need to go.

      There’s a lot more I want to say, but you and Abby make me wonder if I should try to say it in a new post.

      Have a great Friday!

      Sam

      Reply

  8. mysticreds
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 19:14:42

    I’ve had a small bit of ugly with my disorder. I’ve never tried to commit suicide, but I have thought about it. But I have a young daughter and I would never, ever leave her or hurt her in that way. When I get those thoughts, I typically contact my therapist and talk it out. Sometimes I am able to just lay down and play soothing music. I have a part who is mostly encouraging. She helps through these thoughts. I did go through quite a few years of burning myself and cutting. It wasn’t until my daughter realized what I was doing did I stop. She was so heartbroken that I would do that, and I would do anything to make her happy. I quit smoking cold-turkey when she expressed how it upset her. There are two of my parts that continually want to cut, but I have promised my daughter I would not, and I do not break promises to her. I’ve tried snapping rubber bands, holding ice, and other things to replace it, but they are just other ways to hurt myself. I want to stop hurting myself, not just replace it with a safer version. I am very proud to say it has been 2 years since I have cut. I can’t say I haven’t hurt myself, though. I hurt myself daily emotionally, which really upsets my child parts. I’m working hard to stop.

    I think part of my problem is that I don’t have a good support system. My daughter doesn’t know about my having D.I.D. She’s just not old enough to understand. My parents are in denial and don’t want to hear anything about my parts. They never know who they are talking to and don’t care. My parents won’t even acknowledge my childhood abuse, and continue to maintain a relationship with my abuser’s family as if nothing happened. That hurts. I have one good friend, but I don’t want to burden her with any of my issues. So, I have no one to turn to for support. I have a really good therapist, but they can only devote so much time to you. I don’t want to be a burden on anyone. So, I keep most everything inside. I write and that helps, but it’s just not enough. I have a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety, and get headaches almost everyday. So, maybe I do have a lot of ugly. But I am making progress. Sometimes I wish my therapist would slow down and not push me so hard to make large leaps, but I’m glad she keeps moving me forward. Sometimes, I’m just not ready, and I feel like I’m letting her down.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 20:14:21

      Hi Heather,

      I don’t know how old your daughter is. Our son was 17 when the girls first came outside and it made all the difference in the world to have his help and influence with them. I have seen a video of a d.i.d. family and the two daughters were probably between 8-12 (I think, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen it). And both were very involved with their mother’s insiders. Children are pretty amazing and it might be a great blessing to both of you.

      In the beginning my wife tried to keep the girls a secret from our son, but it only divided us as a small, close family. Besides, he had already figured out most of what was going on a loooong time before Amy introduced herself to him. Trust me, just because you “think” she doesn’t know anything doesn’t mean that’s the case. My wife’s insiders had the judgment of children in the beginning which means they weren’t nearly as “sneaky” about keeping him in the dark as they thought they were. Maybe you should talk to your therapist and get her input and help. My only concern for my son is that he doesn’t have anyone to talk with if anything is bothering him.

      Or I hope you will take a chance with your friend. Let her set the boundaries of how much she can handle. But again, my girls have always moved ahead positively whenever we brought someone else into the “inner circle.” It makes ALL the difference.

      I included the link in case you want it about my son’s involvement. I think my son and I are the single greatest factor in helping my wife avoid most of the “ugly things” of d.i.d. When I read other people’s blogs and their struggles to do on their own things my son and I can accomplish with the insiders with ease, it truly has made all the difference in the world.

      I could talk a long time on this subject. I won’t bore you unless you would like to continue the discussion.

      Sam
      https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2010/07/06/involving-your-children-in-the-healing-process/

      Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 21:58:38

      Heather,

      I wanted to reply to your original comment again. I’m at work and try to maintain this blog during my breaks and slow periods, so I don’t always have time to read carefully.

      I wanted to praise your accomplishments. Congratulations on not cutting for 2 years! And for quitting smoking!

      I hope someone comes along in your life that could help you on your journey and help refresh you because I can hear the tiredness in your post.

      Sam

      Reply

  9. Trackback: DID and Me | A Song of Life: Being DID
  10. Leslie
    Oct 22, 2011 @ 18:06:21

    Sam, great post and questions…

    Yes, I have experienced the bad things i.e. thoughts of self-harm (I never did it, but I was very tempted, I did use rubber band popping and a red marker on more than one occasion.), also I had suicidal ideation pretty bad for about two months. I chose not to use an anti-depressant, or anti-anxiety med.

    For me it was not self-fullfilling prophesy, because I didn’t know those things were coming. Looking back, my therapist didn’t seem surprised, but then if he was I don’t think he would let it show ;).

    No, I don’t think that the methods of therapy caused any of it. I started therapy because I was having anxiety attacks….so the stress of with-holding all the memories was already taking a toll on me.

    I don’t think there is any easy way through it (I don’t think your experience with your wife and the girls sounds easy either :)). My philosophy is that as traumatized children we repressed the memories of things that would have otherwise made us go insane or commit suicide. Now as adults, there comes a time when we have to deal with those memories…you can’t repress it forever. I think the process would unfold eventually even without therapy. I don’t think therapy is THE cause, I think it is a help, a lifepreserver in the storm.

    I have been working through this for almost two years now. Most of my days are pretty good. The urge to self-harm, or suicdal thoughts are not completely gone, but getting farther and farther apart. I can sometimes a week at a time feeling happy.

    I think (and I imagine you will agree) that each person, each journey is different. In the beginning, I kept looking for some kind of road map…something like the first year you will feel…….the second year you will…… but of course that is impossible. I really can’t say why some struggle longer with self-harm and suicidal ideation, but I don’t think therapy is the problem. 🙂

    Leslie

    P.S….on my blog, I don’t mention DID, but yes, I have it. People I know in real life read my blog, and I’m not completely ready to “go public”. I don’t talk about suicide for the same reason. I do talk about Dissociation, and PTSD though. I try to share the happy moments along with the bad. You can come by if you like. 😉

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 22, 2011 @ 23:18:16

      Hi Leslie,

      thanks for your willingness to share. It’s hard to get a feel for where others are, but I read a lot of blogs that make me about heartbroken for the struggles they are going thru even though you are correct that our journey hasn’t been easy either. I’m on vacation right now, but I hope to get back into a little more normal visiting other peoples’ blogs etc. once I get back.

      Thanks for visiting my blog!

      Sam

      Reply

  11. tattooedmultiple
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 15:57:57

    Hi Sam love the blog. Yes we blog about good and bad verbal diarrhea most off the time I have to delete them. I think the good goddess that my knight in shinning armour came into our life, he knew we were a we before he physically met us. He accepted every single one young and old, this means the world to us belief, love, support and understand.
    I truly never thought anyone would fall in love with someone as damaged and broken as us. But he did 🙂 you help your wonderful lady and her crew more than you will ever know

    Reply

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