A Husband’s Definition of Dissociative Identity Disorder

When my wife first came home 3 ½ years ago from a counseling session and suggested she might have dissociative identity disorder, my mind was blank. I had absolutely no idea what that meant. Then when I found out it used to be called multiple personality disorder, all the whacked out ideas that Hollywood has promulgated assaulted my mind. Aren’t those kinds of people always twisted sociopaths? Fear briefly gripped my heart.

Since that baptism by fire nearly 3 ½ years ago, my understanding of this personality disorder has become very intimate. Psychological terms like alters transformed into personal relationships with wonderful little girls like Amy, Alley, Sophia, Shelly and KA. What used to seem like extreme selfishness and sometimes emotional cruelty in my wife began to make sense. And a hopeless marriage was given a second chance to have a “happily ever after” ending.

So what is d.i.d.? The first word is dissociative. A layman’s definition of dissociation would be something that is “broken, hidden, split apart, compartmentalized, uncommunicative, etc.” This is a critical difference between me and my girls. I often tell my girls that we both have multiple voices in our heads, but the key difference between a singleton and a multiple is that the voices in my head do not block out or lock up any of the other voices in my head. Sometimes it’s a free-for-all in my mind, but all my voices get a chance to be heard. That’s not the case for someone with d.i.d. For someone with d.i.d. the voices get separated and compartmentalized. And since they are compartmentalized, each voice learns to act independently and often without any regard for the others. Sometimes they don’t even realize that there ARE others about whom they should be concerned.

Right now the little girls like to watch the series Charmed with me. I pointed out to the girls that the 3 sisters in the series are stronger as they learn to work together. But whenever they are separated they are much weaker. That’s another key thing to remember about dissociation. Dissociation weakens each person (alter) within the network because he or she does not have access to all his/her mental faculties. Amy and Karen swim like a fish. Shelly and Alley sink like a rock. Dissociation or the literal dissolving of the natural bonds between a person’s voices means the mental faculties available to the whole person must now be divided up, often unevenly, among the various girls within my wife’s network.

The second word in d.i.d. is identity. This is the part everyone knows about. A person with d.i.d/m.p.d. has different people/personalities in the same body. It’s the “fascinating” part of the condition that people think is cool or delightful or that gives ignorant script writers a new breed of perfect killers.

But let me reiterate again that I believe most people have multiple voices in their heads. At least I do. I have a defending voice that is quick to note violations by others against myself. I have a voice that is full of self-loathing and self-recriminations. I have a voice that is full of lust and sexual desire. And I have a voice that desperately wants to be taken care of. But because my mind is not dissociated, or separated, my voices all act as “me.” They don’t act independently, so I have never named any of them. They are all part of Sam. And Sam, I am, not Sam, we are.

The last part of d.i.d. is disorder. First I want to explain what “disorder” concerning this disorder is not. I naively didn’t realize how offensive that word is until one of my blog subscribers voiced her strong objections to it. From her perspective I can understand that being constantly told you are dysfunctional would be offensive and unhelpful.

First disorder does NOT mean the person is crazy, dangerous or contagious. Once you understand what’s going on inside someone with d.i.d., all the manifestations typically associated with multiples actually make sense from their perspective. After she was diagnosed with d.i.d. I told my wife that everything finally made sense. Crazy is worshipping the ground my wife walked on only to be ignored by her and treated as non-existent. Fundamentally I believe someone with d.i.d. suffers from a broken heart starved for love, acceptance and safety, but “that ain’t crazy.” And isn’t contagious so there’s no need to keep one’s distance. And from what I understand, it very rarely makes someone dangerous: sorry Hollywood, go find another disorder to malign! Alley, my wife’s defender, hated me when she initially came out, and I NEVER felt unsafe before or after she made her presence known to me.

Second ‘disorder’ does not mean that the person is mentally handicapped or “stupid.” In fact, from what my girls tell me, often a person with d.i.d. will be in the upper ranks of the IQ charts. Amy loves to crow about the fact that she is literally a genius.

Third ‘disorder’ does not mean that everything about d.i.d. is negative. I don’t have space to rehash a large portion of my blog in this entry. If someone asks, I will try to find the links to the most relevant posts on this point, but d.i.d. is NOT the black-hole, bottomless-pit, untreatable disorder that some therapists feel it is. Actually when I found out my wife had d.i.d. I nearly said, “Praise the Lord!” not because she had d.i.d., but because intuitively I finally knew how to bring about her complete healing. D.I.D. has many, many positive points to it both initially as it helps children cope during unbearable trauma and also as it relates to a person’s eventual healing.

I recently noted in my personal journal that the natural delightfulness of my wife’s insiders is probably what helped tip the scales in my willingness to stick out a sometimes one-sided marriage and see my wife thru the healing process. D.I.D. also has enabled me to literally give my wife the happy childhood she didn’t get originally. I have reasons to believe when we are done on this journey, she will be more emotionally well-balanced than most people I know. What other disorder gives you that hope???

However, ‘disorder’ does mean dis-order. After 3 ½ years of helping my girls 24/7, I believe there are two points which most negatively affect my wife. Your loved one’s experience may be different so keep that in mind.

The first point of dis-order comes from the dissociation. As I pointed out previously, dissociation means that each person in the network (or system) is actually weaker than he/she would be as a singleton because the mental faculties of the person are split and compartmentalized among the various people/voices of the network. My girls are finally at the point that they realize they really, truly need each other. During the first two years they would constantly block each other out and try to do things on their own, no matter what the task was or how bad the results. Many, many mistakes and failures occurred because of those attempts.

But finally, they are starting to realize that Karen is the best seamstress. Shelly can comprehend technology better. Sophia holds the ability for deep, restful sleep. They still don’t always act upon that knowledge. They still don’t always want to be part of a “team.” But they finally are acknowledging there is a problem and having a common goal among them is the only way to fix it.

But here’s a note of caution and frustration. Just because you or I can see that the lack of “team work” is causing so much of the dis-order, doesn’t mean we can force them to work together. A person who is dissociative has spent a lifetime being uncommunicative with others in the network. A while ago I discussed ways to encourage greater cooperation, but it’s not something that can be forced. In fact when I tried to encourage the girls to work together more, they resisted it more. So I had to take a more subtle approach that helped them to see the benefits of cooperation on their own.

The second point of dis-order most notable in d.i.d. is the “freezing” of the mental abilities. It’s not only the dissociation of their mental abilities that dis-orders my girls. When the trauma occurs, a child’s mind is broken up into pieces to quarantine the impact of the trauma. When that happens, the mental abilities associated with those “frozen” areas of the mind are never given the chance to develop properly. (Again I’m not talking mentally handicapped, but more like mental suspended animation)

So, my wife was a “klutz” because it seems that Amy controlled areas of the brain that controlled a lot of motor skills that never got developed when Amy got frozen. My wife was sexually dysfunctional because the inside girls clearly control various aspects that are critical to this area of a person: absolute trust, fun, daring, desire to be sexy, desire to please, animal attraction, etc. It is readily apparent to me which aspect each girl controls, and as they have healed and matured, all mental capacities under the control of the insiders have once again begun to develop and mature naturally. Slowly those traits are working their way into our sex life with a positive influence.

Dissociative. Identity.Disorder. Hopefully by defining the terms I can not only remove misunderstanding and offensiveness but also help promote our capacity to help our loved ones heal. Moreover, helping my girls on this healing journey has taught me a lot about myself and my own voices. The divide between multiples and singletons isn’t nearly as wide as either side would like to believe.

Blessings,

Sam, I Am

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44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 12:05:45

    Hi Sam,
    You “liked” my post on my current struggle. So I decided to pop over and see what you were all about. I just read this post and your “about” page. I have to say that, even though I don’t know you or your girls, how proud I am that you are sticking by your wife. That is rare.

    Stephanie

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 13:39:40

      Hi Stephanie,

      I regularly search wordpress for “dissociative identity disorder” and your blog came up today. Blessings to you on your current struggle. That’s been a huge area of grief for me and my wife over the last 23 years, but as I hinted in this post, the little girls have received enough healing that they are beginning to affect Karen in this area who is the only one who has any expressed interest in sex right now.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Sam

      Reply

  2. Abby & Ents
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 17:06:47

    Good post Sam, We like the way you explained the dis-order part. Makes it a lot less hurtful to hear used on oneself. Humanity has put such a negative spin on anything related to mental health, that for those of us with mental health issues it can hurt a lot and sometimes cause additional trauma, and you know first hand that we multiples don’t need any more trauma. I am glad that the healing of Karen’s littles are helping in the sex life. I have so many that we are hitting another group of about thirty that are finally reading to start talking. Hopefully their healing will help us in the bedroom too. I hope Karen is getting to be more present, it sends us red flags when the body is there but the rest has checked out for the most part. That’s the way it was during the abuse for many of us who were sexually abused.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 11, 2011 @ 19:35:56

      Hi Abby and the Ents,

      I’m glad this post made sense and took some of the offensiveness out of the word “disorder.” I don’t know about other mental issues, but I meant to include in my post, that I have NEVER seen my wife as a “mental patient.” Once she was diagnosed with d.i.d. any craziness from my perspective ceased. Like I told someone else today on her blog, craziness (in my opinion) was related to my ignorance of what was happening not my wife’s issues.

      I really see my wife as having a broken-heart issue and as I heal the various girls’ broken hearts, the “mental” issues are disappearing. The mental issues are just a symptom. They really aren’t the root issue in my opinion, ignorant as it is.

      If you mean Karen being more present during sex, that is the ONLY way I will allow us to do it.When we took our 7-month hiatus from sex last year to give Alley a chance to heal, it signalled the end of Karen EVER dissociating during sex because Alley relearned to trust me.Once we (sloooooowly) restarted having sex, I told Alley to “gently claw me” on my forearms if she EVER got scared when Karen and I were having sex. That way it gave Alley a way to communicate with me without having to come outside fully because Karen is not trustworthy to tell me if someone inside is getting scared when we are together (Alley’s only done it once). To be fair, Karen is trying to please me, but I put a premium on EVERYONE feeling safe during sex whether they are the ones outside or not (only Karen is out right now). I will stop in the middle no matter what if I perceive things aren’t right on the inside for someone. And I still have to watch closely because Alley doesn’t like to stop us, so she’ll just move her head away (for example) if I’m kissing Karen and she, Alley, is feeling “smothered” because she also is not wanting to spoil things for me and Karen.

      It’s hard to be the one in charge of making sex 100% fear-free for everyone because it means I don’t enjoy it as much. I’ve actually taken a play from the d.i.d. book where I have to let part of myself watch everything to make sure everyONE is ok while the rest of me tries to please Karen (while throwing in specific forms of physical affection the other girls enjoy, too, without trying to call them out!). But I think it is definitely worth the effort on my part because Karen is learning to actually, finally enjoy sex for itself, and the little girls, because they NEVER feel scared when it’s happening, are able to influence Karen even though they are still technically inside.And my hope is that if I put Karen and the others first, eventually I will enjoy the benefits as well.

      If you mean Karen being more present just all the time, we are working on that right now. The inside girls have come far enough in their healing that they recognize the need to start sharing on a higher level especially as Karen is being traumatized from spending so much time inside (she feels disconnected from me and life). So we are re-arranging schedules and priorities to make sure Karen gets out more, and all the girls (Karen included) are trying to share co-consciously more.

      Sam

      Reply

  3. mysticreds
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 11:57:03

    Sam, I am amazed by your blog. I’m glad you found me on here, because I’ve been diagnosed with this for 7 yrs and still don’t have the calm understanding that you have. I’m going to enjoy reading your posts, and I agree that it’s not disorder, it’s dis-order. I will probably change this on my page, because that is exactly what I meant. I wish I had someone in my life as sweet and understanding as you seem to be. Someone that totally gets you is important. I wish you and your wife the best.

    –Heather

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 13:23:15

      Hi Heather,

      Thanks for stopping by. “Calm understanding” may be a little overstated, lol. It’s a very hard journey for both of us, but we’ve both come a long way. I wish you the best on your journey!

      Sam

      Reply

  4. jeffssong
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 14:36:32

    This was a very good post, Sam – it helps give non-DID people some insight into DID – and help them realize we aren’t as different as they think we are (though to be honest, we find ‘singletons’ and ‘monominds’ amazing and different as well – sometimes even seeming ‘crippled’ to us – however, sometimes it’s quite obvious we’ve been the ones ‘crippled’ by this disorder – or diagnosis – or disease – or whatever you want to refer to it as. (Today it doesn’t make much difference to us… which lead us to the next statement.)

    You were right and absolutely correct when you say that when “one” of the “persons” is missing, there is a part of that person missing as a whole. “Some” have talents others don’t have; others are made to endure things ‘others’ can’t stand – it’s a variety show sometimes . . .

    But as we often tell people sometimes, “we” are built like a tinker toy – one of those kits you get out of the toy store or something. When a “piece” goes missing a ‘part’ of us goes with it – maybe some emotions, some joy – or anger and hatred – we never know.

    But we do know that when “someone” goes missing – or in our case here lately, a “lot” of someones (“they” are somewhere ‘off’ in my head) – “we” get damnly near non-functional – no feelings; flat sometimes – unable to feel joy or rage – or anything (to a certain extent; there are ‘ghost’ feelings, like something far away – remembering emotions perhaps.) . . .

    And that’s an important thing to remember when dealing with a DID being, in our own opinion, for when the shrinks and the world says “go away” – you have too many ‘voices’ or ‘others’ in your head – when you are forced to ‘shut them down’ in order to survive – you lose a bit of something; perhaps a LOT of somethings – as we once did when we were little kids (happened quite a lot, as a matter of fact, sometimes) – and then again when we were 13 (a conscious decision on our parts, or a part of ‘him’; him being the one who shut us down at that time). Then we went for about the next 10 or 12 years trying to understand why we were all ‘so alone’ and mad at the world….that decision affected a lot of us.

    But … once again (we are rambling) – a good post and a good comparision of “DID victims” to normal – again showing what a compassionate man you are in your putting up with and being so patient with this thing. We think the wife is learning (but we are not sure) . . . so we’ll see. She sure has been comforting for some time (the past few days) while we’ve been ‘zoning’ – that much is clear…

    It’s good to have someone who can understand . . . and love you despite yourself. Or selves, as the case may be.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff & Friends.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 12, 2011 @ 21:59:22

      Hey Jeff and Friends,

      I’m glad this post resonated with all my friends with d.i.d. Now if I could only get the spouses and people supporting them to read this blog!!! lol

      I’m glad to hear that your wife is learning about you guys. I know I’ve offered in the past, but now that she is actually sticking her toes in the water, so to speak, if she ever needs to talk to someone about what’s going on, have her give me a holler; email or on the blog is fine.The girls and I will be on vacation next week to the Smokies (Gatlinburg and area), but I will still have limited internet access, hopefully).

      Take care!

      Sam

      Reply

  5. jeffssong
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 21:00:35

    🙂 We went to Gatlinburg just this last Sept 9-11 (11 is my birthday). Nice area; lots of fun stuff to do, lots of stuff the girls will enjoy. The Aquarium is a ‘must’, and the Mirror maze is a trip into some psychedelic art and effects that begs to be gone through slowly – not quickly as a challenge as some folks do. We stayed at the Greystone Lodge, right off the strip – it’s a “must”, too, if you and the wife enjoy pools. They’ve got a gorgous indoor one with waterfall, deep diving pool (with resting area on the waterfall’s lip), and warm ‘minipool’ – each a bit warmer than the next. We had a good time. Wonderworks is good for fun, too, if ya’ll are into that kinda stuff. (Science and all – and I dare ya to take the Rope Walk to the top – crossing all the “bridges”, LOL!!)

    Anyway – you have fun, enjoy – you folks all deserve a well earned break. And permission to “Tweet” this entry? We always ask …. respecting folks privacy and all – only if it’s all right with you. One of the better entries we’ve seen which describes the differences – and similarities – between “DID” and normal. Sad as it seems it sometimes happens; you’ve helped us see that despite the DID – there are disadvantages as well. Goes both ways. Sometimes I think its gotta be like getting hit in the knees when you were young: you spend the rest of your life trying to obtain what ‘normal’ folks have and take for granted: a certain ‘oneness’, surety, and certainty that we don’t have – even in our everyday run. I don’t know, having never seen it from “the other side” – meaning yours. Kinda makes me wonder what would had happened if we hadn’t gotten so broken as a child and during life. . . your post reminds us of just how ‘separate’ we are – and yet dependent “we” are on one another for something, sometimes . . . a fractured being; a polyglot of beings which must learn to get along and communicate at some level. And we come in all shades . . . it’s strange sometimes, Sam – it really is.

    Ahh well, water down the drain. As an old man used to say to me when his life was short: “Tough titty said the kitty, but the milk was still sweet . . .” meaning despite the hard times in life and all – life had been worth living. A good thing to have . . .

    Anyway: enjoy. Eat ice cream and pancakes for brunch; have fun, be safe, and look forward to ‘talking’ to you again.

    Sincerely,
    Jeff & Friends

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 13, 2011 @ 21:11:52

      Jeff,

      you are welcome to tweet this, and thank you for the compliment. Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing any good.

      We have a time share at the Westgate Resort in between Pigeon Forge and Gatlinburg right there on 441. We like to hike the most, but because of the drought the bears don’t have enough food and so they have been VERY actively approaching people trying to get food. So we may have to scale back some on the hiking. We’ve been to the Aquarium and it is nice. And the mirror maze IS nice. That’s where Amy first introduced herself to our son. Haven’t been to the other places. We’ve done Dollywood a lot and of course the shopping.

      I hope some day with your wife’s help you guys can experience “normal”. I really don’t think it is beyond a multiple’s grasp. And though I would NEVER have chosen this path willingly, I think once I get my girls thru this, I will be a better and deeper person for it. I think that’s true of a multiple as well. There’s a lot of shallow people out there that I do NOT envy.

      Have a great week!

      Sam

      Reply

  6. Trackback: DID and Me | A Song of Life: Being DID
  7. justifymylife
    Oct 15, 2011 @ 11:42:59

    Hey 🙂 You left a comment on my blog, so I thought I’d check back to yours.
    What a wonderful husband/father/boyfriend you are! There are not many people that would stick by their spouse at and through the diagnosis of d.i.d and it is so wonderful that not only have you embraced Karen and the girls as they are, that you’re helping them through and as you say, aiding the healing. It really is a great thing that you’re doing.

    It must have been awful before she got diagnosed, not knowing what must’ve been going on when she had such a condition.

    Good luck in the future and I’ll look forward to reading more of your posts 🙂

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 16, 2011 @ 21:16:59

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. Yeah it was so hard before we understood what was going on. On one level (Karen) we were such good friends, but on another level (Alley) she was so unresponsive not only sexually but in so many ways. We have made SO much progress in the last 3 1/2 years, and we are finally starting to see the fruit of this journey.

      Sam

      Reply

  8. Sandy
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 10:14:55

    Hiya Sam,
    Oh my gosh! This post brought up something I never even considered. The different “parts” affecting brain parts. The “klutz” is certainly a good example that I deal with – but it gave me an ah-ha moment. Thank you so much.
    Sandy

    Reply

  9. SD
    Oct 19, 2011 @ 15:12:21

    you dont write me notes no more i get sad with no notes SD

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 20, 2011 @ 23:01:34

      Hi SD,

      I haven’t heard from you for a very long time. I was just trying to respect Seraphina’s wishes. I am very happy to hear from you again.

      Sam

      Reply

  10. Elizabeth Owens
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 09:00:02

    I love this…..It is nice to know that there are understanding husband’s out there. Tell your wife she is lucky….

    Reply

  11. tattooedmultiple
    Oct 29, 2011 @ 15:27:36

    Brilliant thank you writing this blog you help so many partners of D.I.Ders .

    Reply

  12. Trackback: Guest post: Sam Ruck on dissociative identity disorder in the media « Sound Mind, Sound Media
  13. quinnmcb
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 02:49:07

    I am new to all of this. I am not even sure if I have DID or if my psych has misread me, but these blogs are helping me see areas that may be in fact alters. I haven’t started therapy, and I have so many questions. It is hard. Reading your post has given me hope for my relationship though. He seems like a stranger to me even though I know that I was clearly in love with him. I can’t look at him sexually, I am simply incapable. I for some reason hold on, not sure why. He is a good man, so kind and loving. I think he must be a masochist to put up with me right now. I am hopeful that with therapy I can find that part of myself again and return his love. I want to love him. Part of me does I just can’t express it. It is weird. I sometimes get the feeling that I want to hold his hand, but my is repulsed by it, or my mind simply won’t let me. I am not sure if I am reading all this material correctly, if I am understanding it all correctly. I have never been called another name and my mother says the doctor is wrong, but I know that I have a keen sense of when certain parts of me hide. I went through a trauma a few years back and instead of dealing with it, I just let it go. I was strong and worked and was like a well oiled machine. Now I don’t have a choice but deal with it as I am bombarded with the memories where I am back in that bed reliving every detail. Does this sound like DID? I am so confused. I have no clue. I don’t even know why I am writing this. I hope to get your opinion but then part of me feels guilty for thinking that you should take time out of your life to answer me. By the time I wake up tomorrow this won’t even matter most likely. My memory is crap now of days! I write everything down, in fear that if I don’t then I will forget things. When I had my appointment he started a sentence and I didn’t finish hearing him. I want to know so badly how that sentence ended.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Nov 14, 2011 @ 11:22:45

      Dear Quinn,

      thanks for being brave enough to share. As much as I can, I understand your confusion and do I hear disbelief, too? Karen at times STILL doesn’t want to believe this is true either, and yet I tell her repeatedly, and all the other girls, that the best thing that has ever happened in our marriage is when the other girls finally entered our lives because it finally gave us the chance to save and heal our marriage from a lifetime of unhappiness.

      I don’t know if you have d.i.d. or not, but the thing that I recently wrote as a guest blogger for another person, is my wife seemed normal to everyone but me for the first 20 years of our marriage. We were best of friends, and I had female relatives wistfully ask me to teach their husbands to be like me, but they never realized how dysfunctional our marriage was when it came to sexual intimacy. Now, Karen always liked physical affection outside the bedroom because she felt safe, but as soon as there was a chance that it might lead to sex, that’s where the disconnect came no matter how hard I tried to make sex feel safe and loving and gentle to her.

      I never called her any other names and she rarely lost time in a way that alerted me or our son (who was homeschooled for his entire academic career…so she was never alone much to have a “secret” life) to anything unusual (however Alleylieu has since confessed to being the one who watched the entire Friends series–that my son verifies she did–and which Karen still maintains she has NEVER watched because she found their permissive morals offensive).

      When Alleylieu first came out, she did NOT like me to touch her or hold her hand or anything physical. She was VERY angry at me because for 20 years anytime Karen and I had sex and it wasn’t 100% perfect (which is very difficult for someone who has sexual issues) then Karen would “go to the seashore” while Alleylieu had to put up with me during sex. So Alleylieu viewed me as abusive. But if you see my article about how I defused her anger toward me, now she and I are dating and she loves to be held (snuggled) tightly by me. but she still doesn’t like kissing (sees it mechanistically lol) and only watches me and Karen having sex (to make sure Karen is always safe). Here’s the link to the entry: https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/defusing-the-anger-of-the-defender/

      Anyway, in my opinion d.i.d. is a great blessing because it is giving me a chance to help heal my wife very deeply and completely, BUT that is because of the way I am doing it. I think therapists have a key role in the healing process, but your (partner, boyfriend, husband) will be able to do far more than a therapist just by virtue of the relationship and time he is with you. My wife has told me the truth of that statement repeatedly. I follow many blogs of ladies who either don’t allow or don’t have the support of their husbands in the healing process and their progress is very slow. So my counsel to you, if you want it, is LET your significant other help you if he is willing.

      Sam

      Reply

  14. twilighttreasuretrail
    Nov 30, 2011 @ 12:54:34

    Hi Sam,

    Wow! I’ve ventured over after your name popped up in liking my post. What a treasure you are to ‘your girls’! And it’s so wonderful to see that others are being helped through your blog. What a great description of D.I.D! Do you know there seems to be such a lack of literature on dissociative disorders – maybe you should publish your experiences in a book at somepoint!
    I loved how you brought out the positive aspects of dissociation – both in the coping mechanisms it provided to survive the past and also in the hope it gives as something which can be healed – I know when I was told dissociation was probably part of my diagnosis and read ‘Stranger in the Mirror’ by Marlene Steinberg, it gave me such hope that in healing the dissociation I could be healed of the recurrent anxiety and depression I’ve had in the past which were probably linked.
    I also found your explanation about the difference between I am and we are really helpful.
    I’m touched by how you care for your girls – you’re an inspiration.
    I’m intrigued by what you said -that the diagnosis brought hope because you knew how to bring about her complete healing – What’s your recipe for that?

    Looking forward to learning more from you, and hoping that as I start out on my blog it can help others as your has!

    Thanks again,

    Twilight

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 01, 2011 @ 01:29:24

      Hi Twilight,

      Thanks for the praise of my blog. Unfortunately, in spite of the wonderful progress my girls have made in the 3 1/2 years since the little girls joined us, those who adhere to the ISSTD methodology have largely marginalized me and what I’m advocating. So “buyer beware.”

      I hope I didn’t make it sound like I had some kind of revelation on how to bring complete healing to my girls. But there were a couple of key things that I think have made our journey different.

      First, the first 15 years of our marriage, I searched the Bible for what was required of a good husband and marriage. I think that helped prepare me for the personal sacrifices that would be required to help the little girls heal. It’s the Heaven on Earth link at the top of the page.

      Second, I listen lots and lots to all the girls including Karen. I try to let them direct the things we do at home and together that will help them heal the most.

      Third, Karen and I made a decision from the start to treat the insiders like REAL PEOPLE. That means I love them, care for them, buy them things to call their own, and treat them just like I would normal little girls. We are VERY insider-oriented which goes against a lot of the experts out there, but I’m telling you, I think it’s the reason why Karen has never needed medication, has few depression issues, NO suicide issues and minimal self-harm issues. We’ve largely moved past “trigger” events at this point too, so there’s little need for “coping skills” as most d.i.d. patients understand that phrase.

      Fourth, I never do anything with one girl that would be upsetting to another unless the others are completely safe inside. This is especially important when it comes to physical affection and intimacy, and sometimes it frustrates Karen when she wants to have sex with me but Alley(our shadow in the bedroom right now) voices her objection. Alley also doesn’t like me open-mouth kissing Karen a lot. So I defer to the “weaker” girl in each situation even if it frustrates someone else. But as I told Karen, some day we hope the little girls will have grown, matured and will join us in all aspects of our marriage, but if they don’t feel safe with me now when they are starting to peek at marriage activities, what makes us think they would ever feel safe to join us doing more.

      Any way, welcome to my blog. I’ve got about 70 entries which spell out most of the principles I keep with the girls. Those would give you much more specific things that I do.

      Sam

      Reply

  15. bodester (@bodester)
    Jul 21, 2013 @ 09:44:33

    Stop referring to your wife’s alters as “little girls”, it’s demeaning.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jul 21, 2013 @ 10:07:35

      Hi and welcome to my blog,

      you obviously are new here. I ALWAYS refer to my wife’s insiders as little girls: that’s how they prefer it. They HATE the term “alters” because it is dehumanizing and makes them feel less than human.

      Sam

      Reply

  16. Jeff
    Jan 22, 2014 @ 08:21:58

    Hello Sam,

    My name is Jeff. My wife has been diagnosed with DID after we were married less than 6 months. And this is ALL new to me. I got to say it didn’t scare me the therapist said that i am intrigues me. We have been married now for a year and a half. We r still seeing the therapist; i need more help. I like what you wrote and was wondering if you could help. I will keep reading ur blogs but maybe some ono or one.

    Thank you,
    Jeff

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jan 22, 2014 @ 15:50:24

      Jeff,

      I have a gmail account that I use for this blog it’s samruck2 at gmail dot com. If you want to write me there, I’d be happy to respond, just remember, I’m just a husband, not a therapist, and if you read enough of my blog you’ll see we aren’t doing things the “typical” way. I believe it’s made all the difference in my wife’s healing: no need for anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, in-hospital stays; very little self-injury stuff and no suicide issues: all things common with how things are typically done. but I’m super involved and so it’s a big commitment from me which means I needed a support network. Anyway, all that just to let you know my perspective and I’d be happy to answer questions, give advice or just swap victory stories and struggles with you. We haven’t finished the journey, but we’ve come a long, long way and I think we’re getting close to the end…hopefully.

      Sam

      Reply

  17. katt
    Feb 10, 2014 @ 13:20:56

    Being a multiple myself,its wonderful your wife has such a supportive husband. And I love the way you shed the light of matter on medias perception of the disorder

    Reply

  18. Gina
    Mar 06, 2014 @ 04:40:52

    Thank you Sam for sharing your experience. How did your wife get diagnosed? I believe my husband has DID, he had never been to therapy and his life is becoming more chaotic and there are several incidences of cheating. He had severe newborn
    And early childhood trauma but he had never sought diagnosis or help. Due to his most recent cheating incident which leaves me distraught and damaged and confused, he has agreed to see a professional but this takes weeks to set up due to referral and timings etc but I am concerned about the diagnosis process as I am convinced he has DID. But my husband is very cunning and I wonder if he will try to deceive the professional in an attempt to avoid confrontation of his condition. Please can you help.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Mar 06, 2014 @ 16:34:34

      Hi Gina,

      thanks for stopping by my blog and thanks for the questions. Just remember that I’m a husband not a therapist, so I’m giving my opinions and experiences with my wife’s disorder.

      Before healing starts d.i.d. is all about deceiving. It’s a defense mechanism of a little child against overwhelming odds and so the only thing the child can do is dissociate, deceive and other passive things to try to escape the trauma. But as the child matures, the mechanism gets out of whack and becomes a way of life in dealing with anything unpleasant or painful.

      Fortunately my wife had a VERY perceptive counselor because she rarely manifested the typical signs the experts look for when they look for d.i.d. I even did a blog entry about it here: https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2012/10/11/how-could-i-have-been-so-blind/
      What kinds of things make you believe your husband has d.i.d.? And believe me, I think it’s even far more common than the d.i.d. experts think, having lived with a woman who nearly perfectly hid it for 20 years!

      You are welcome to email me at samruck2 at gmail dot com if you want to ask more specific questions. I’m sorry for the pain you and your husband are going thru.

      Sam

      Reply

  19. Heathers Helpers
    Sep 09, 2014 @ 18:01:12

    What a wonderful blog! My husband is not comfortable writing or sharing his feelings so it is REALLY nice to hear what it is like from a husbands perspective. He is a wonderful man and very accepting but he’s still in the trial by fire stage as am I. Your wife’s “system” sounds so much like mine and it is nice to see the non-Hollywood version put in to words. Please give your wife and the girls my/our best and keep writing! You have a gift.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Sep 09, 2014 @ 19:18:39

      Hi Heather,

      thank you for the complement. If your husband ever wants to correspond with a fellow husband, I’d be happy to do so here or at samruck2 at gmail dot com. The point of this blog was originally to connect with other supporting spouses, but it doesn’t happen much for various reasons. But no matter what, I wish both of you blessings on your journey together.

      Sam

      Reply

  20. alongfortheride2015
    Aug 05, 2015 @ 06:42:06

    nice…

    Reply

  21. suan13
    Jun 25, 2016 @ 21:11:09

    Sam You have saved my life, a man who is married to a multiple and loves and cares. Mine wants to be safe with me, loved and accepted. We have been married for 47 years with 2 children 3 grandchildren and the Help of God

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 27, 2016 @ 07:18:16

      Welcome to my blog. I’m not sure what I have done, but I am glad that you found something of value. It’s a hard road we travel when our mate is gripped in the clutches of d.i.d. I wish you luck and blessings and healing to you and your wife!
      Sam

      Reply

      • suan13
        Jun 29, 2016 @ 00:52:35

        Sam, that is YOU are the man referenced above who loves and cares! I am a woman married to a man who suffered severe repressed childhood sexual abuse and have found understanding in your posts.

      • Sam Ruck
        Jun 29, 2016 @ 06:48:32

        Oops, I’m sorry for the misunderstanding…I wish you well with your husband!

  22. Mangojuice4u
    Jun 02, 2017 @ 19:50:38

    Well written. I’m so impressed you know so much about your wife’s DID and love her enough to understand and help her.

    Reply

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