The Difference is the Price of the Toys…

There’s a current saying that the difference between men and boys is the price of the toys. I’ve never cared for that saying having very few toys in my life right now. But one of the greatest struggles I’ve had as I have tried to guide the little girls’ healing journey is this: how do I help them grow up?

I joke with Amy that she is like Peter Pan who never wanted to grow up. She has always associated herself with her age VERY strongly. When she joined me on the outside 3 years ago she was age 6. Then I got her to have one birthday to age 7. But then their counselor told her birthday’s weren’t necessary (sigh) and so Amy has stagnated at 7. And even though Karen and I both observe Amy growing up in her mannerisms and abilities, Amy vigorously proclaims she is STILL 7!

The other 4 little girls all voice a desire to grow up. Yet often when they are presented with an issue that requires them to be more mature, they will tell me, “I’m still just a little girl.” Sigh.

Now all the little girls are growing up in spite of how they view themselves, but the self-perception and feeling of being a little girl is thoroughly ingrained in them. And that’s understandable. Unlike me, my wife’s little girls have been children for 40 years. They don’t know anything else. They are unlike a normal child who can’t wait to grow up, who can’t wait to become a teenager at 13, then 16 so he/she can drive, 18 so he/she can vote, 21 so he/she can drink alcohol. It’s a race to get through childhood for most children: but not for my wife’s insiders. They still feel “little” even the two who act nearly like teens.

But this week I bought the 5 girls who love to scrapbook a top-of-the-line die cutter for Christmas. It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow, and none of them pretend to be able to wait until December 25 to open their gift. All 5 girls are ecstatic that I would do this for them. KA and Karen are dreaming of how they can pursue their artistic desires with it, but the other 3 are just as excited.

As my wife’s healing “guide” I have been playing this up as a “big girl toy” especially to Amy. We have talked that she doesn’t have to stop playing if she grows up: her toys will simply change (e.g. her die cutter). She doesn’t have to give up all her current toys in order to “play” with her big girl toy either. I’ve also emphasized that such a toy has a learning curve and she needs to be willing to cut back on the hours each day she and the other little girls spend playing webkinz and such so she can use this toy properly. A fact she acknowledges.

I don’t know. It’s too early to tell. And this big girl toy is simply one component of many, many things I have done to help the girls grow and heal, so I realize I can’t take it out of the context of everything else that has happened these last 4 years. But the way the little girls are acting right now, I wonder if this “big girl toy” will be the thing that finally releases them to grow up in the way they perceive themselves.

I’ve never been much for big boy toys, but maybe there will be healing power in a “big girl toy” for my girls. Maybe the difference really will be in the price of their toys.

Blessings for now,

Sam, I Am

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11 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Abby & Ents
    Nov 05, 2011 @ 00:19:59

    Why do the little girls have to grow up? If they want to have the understanding of an adult fine, if they don’t want to grow to an adult image of themselves what’s the harm? I would never try to force growing up on my internal children, it’s bad enough my external kids had to grow up but now my hubby who worked shift work (swing) throughout most of our kid’s growing up years is thoroughly enjoying getting to be a Daddy to my children who never knew what a real dad is supposed to be. He plays games with them, he talks to them, buys them cotton candy at the fair (biggest bag pease) and they always get poccorn and pepsi at the movies when the movie is one that is approriate for little children. I enjoy getting to see life and their litteral way of seeing things it makes us grownups enjoy life more. But then I guess you are comitted to Karen integrating, we in our house choose not to and my Hubby supports that choice although we may have had some of the more fragmented ones blend into someone else but that is what they chose for safety.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Nov 05, 2011 @ 01:06:41

      Hi Abby and the Ents!

      thanks for visiting and thanks for an honest question: why do the little girls have to grow up?

      I facetiously tell Amy when she asks that question, “Only dead people never get older.”

      I don’t see becoming an adult and being able to enjoy the simple pleasures you describe in your comment as mutually exclusive. I realize that many, many adults have forgotten how to do this, but I make it clear to Amy that I will be VERY disappointed if she grows up and loses her zest for life. Both your husband and I seem able to enjoy life on the level of the little children insiders within our wives and we are “all grown up.” I do many similar things you describe your husband doing. I just got done dressing the girls’ Ken and Barbie dolls this morning with them. But I know many adult who have lost that ability.

      But I do think that it is important for the little girls to have the ability to channel those childish joys and pleasures into adult activities as well whether that be scrapbooking like 5 of the girls love, or bedroom activities, or sports and leisure (we hiked nearly 40 miles in the Smokey Mtns. last month while on vacation and they all loved it but it required the dedication in them to do ardurous hiking to receive the rewards of spectacular mtn. views).

      As long as they perceive themselves to be little children they will NEVER be able to do some things especially in the bedroom which is an exclusively adult activity and one in which it is clearly apparent that Karen will never be able to fully enjoy without the other girls’ help. As I recently wrote in another post it is VERY clear to me (even if Karen cannot yet see it) that each of the little girls control aspects of my wife’s (all of them) character that is extremely important for someone to have a healthy sex life. So unless they “grow up” my wife (Karen, but also all of them) has little hope of health in that area.

      As for integration, all of us are 100% agreed that we are NOT seeking integration. I wrote a post on it awhile ago. What we are seeking is cooperation between all the girls and Karen in a way that precludes ANY dissociation (locking each other out). I am teaching the girls how to listen to each other when there is a disagreement among themselves and how to find the best possible solution so that none of them feel like they “lost” the discussion.

      I hope that makes sense. I’m not sure we are as disagreed as it may seem.

      Sam

      Reply

      • Protector
        Nov 06, 2011 @ 17:39:55

        SO, in the end it all ends up being about big game for big boys – s e x
        You want little ones to grow up so it would happen for you. Don’t you think that having that experience in childhood might be enough for them to never enjoy it in adulthood even if they are let be kids now and allowed to grow up all over again? Who will take that big scary monitor from their childhood away forever?
        Why is is not possible to let kids be kids, let them have internal world as well as external, and come up with way to protect kids from bedroom activities with Karen and Alley when she is ready? Even if you showing them that external world is everything they need, when one of the girls is out with you, others have to be somewhere and that somewhere is still in their internal world.
        And are you sure you know all insiders? I have yet to hear about a system where no boys are present. How will the boys fit in you grand final goal of having bedroom activities?
        Sorry if I come cross. Not looking for fight, just got irked a little or a lot when I realized from comment above your final goal
        Protector ( one of the males inside female system, btw)

      • Sam Ruck
        Nov 07, 2011 @ 01:23:17

        Hi Protector,

        Thanks for your comment and honesty. I’m sure you are not the only one to feel that way.

        First, no it’s not all about sex. If it was I would have simply left my wife a loooooooong time ago. I love her and saved myself for her. I’m terribly sorry that your experience of others was so different, but not all men or people are that way. My final goal is a healthy wife in ALL RESPECTS, not only in the bedroom. You read something into my comment that was not there. I could have just as easily used our 40 miles of hikes in the Smokies to explain how important it is for the little girls to grow up. Karen is a MUCH better hiker than the little girls but they wanted to enjoy the hikes and most of them wanted to DO the hikes, but children don’t understand about enduring discomfort (a 10 mile hike) for the benefit of the end result ( a wonderful waterfall or fantastic mountain vista). These little girls are learning that growing up enables them to enjoy MORE of life while I encourage them to never give up the best of a child’s perspective.

        As for who else may or may not be in my wife’s network. I understand that my wife may not have as many insiders as the “typical” network of insiders. I don’t know if that’s because of the way that we are approaching her healing, but when others try to warn her that “other insiders must still be hidden inside” I tell her that we can only deal with who is part of our life now. I personally don’t expect anymore insiders to join us other than the 2 that are currently still inside and have yet to join us. But if others come, so be it.

        Sam

  2. jeffssong
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 07:38:26

    Growing up. It’s a hard thing to do. And to tell you the truth, Sam – I don’t know if it can be done. Not completely.

    Our littles inside have access to all types of information – ALL of it sometimes. In a way. LOL, just wish the shoe went all the way around – WE don’t have all the information they have (sighing … this is complicated.) So the boys ‘know’ things – things that regular normal little boys wouldn’t know. It bothers them (sometimes) – and grosses them out (sometimes) and the adult body (hairy ugly thing, scarred all over, aches and pains, LOL!) . . . the list goes on.

    But can they ‘grow up’? That’s a good question. They are ‘stuck in time’ – stuck with a perception I can’t share (okay, I CAN share it, but it’s . . . weird. Hard sometimes). However, I enjoy their uniqueness and their ‘zest’ for life. Their strong drive in curiosity, the refreshing ‘newness’ of their views – having seen the same thing time and time again (say a single leaf) – and then seeing it as “all new” again – can I shake that? (To ‘me’, M3, it’s rather amazing: have they forgotten the first time they saw ‘it’ – whatever ‘it’ may be?) And yet ‘tapping into’ them I feel that incredulous wonder sometimes . . . at something I must have seen a thousand times before. It’s like they are incapable of ‘learning’, of ‘growing up’ – just a remembered desire and not the real thing. I don’t know (and don’t think) ‘they’ can ever become adults – not really. Karen must ‘absorb’ them (I reckon; just guessing here) – until they come such a part of her that they ARE her in a way. But as you say: it’s been 40 years. She may be ‘broken’ forever – however, that does not mean you cannot share the joy of love and sex – as well as the childlike nature they can bring.

    I know for ‘us’ sex is a ‘hard thing’ sometimes – really some issues in there! I guess we were lucky; we weren’t “raped” in the classic sense of the word (though there was some pain) – most of our multiplicity comes from the *other* abuse – the hitting and ‘things’. Trauma, near-death (or perceived near death) experiences . . . kinda does something to you in childhood. Breaks the mind. And, of course, such would sex be to a small child: a ‘near death’ and/or ‘traumatic’ experience – so we can feel for “you” (whoever you may be who has experienced this).

    However, we have learned to ‘put our littles away’ during sexual intercourse. We have to be very careful in that thing; sometimes Mikie has gotten out – he’s a precocious child (sexually speaking) – but some things gross him out some of the times (repelling, repulsive sort of stuff in his mind). However, he likes to ‘please’ . . . since this means ‘love’ to him – or at least ‘gets him love’ – when the fact is, it isn’t the case – our wife loves us regardless (I’m suspecting).

    Really tough question and issue right there, Sam: Can Littles Grow Up? I don’t know (frustrated sighing right now). If they did wouldn’t they become “me”? (M3, the more adult being.) Could I ‘absorb’ them – integrating them? And if I did, would I lose something along the way? I don’t know . . . (asking them, they are somber on this, thinking in my own mind – questioning their own answers to the “do you want to grow on up?” issue …..)

    and the answer is a begrudging ‘no’, sort of … they want to stay ‘there’, trapped in my own mind . . . trapped ‘in there’ – at that age and things . .

    cuz’ they don’t wanna grow up no more. Too much pain in there (being a grown up being).

    LOL (and sighing at the same time). They want “me” to handle the adult responsibilities – while ‘they’ go on to ‘play’ – really twisty sort of ‘hurt’ in there – a little bit of bitterness (resisting the ‘grown up’ thing) . . . not wanting to ‘go there’. And Matthew . . . he’s wanting to grow up BAD – being a teenager for such a long time is sort of hurting him – but on the other hand he’s “got to take care of his littles” – which means I gotta take care of him – AND them ….

    Really gets exhausting, lol (notice the lower case, lol, cuz’ it ain’t much fun some of the times) – but I’m glad to have them . . .
    because without them I would not be ‘me’, LOL!

    I think – and here it is in a nutshell – Karen is gonna have to learn to ‘manage’ her littles a bit better – getting them in a cooperative mood – ‘shutting them down’ (or putting them to sleep is a better word) – during ‘adult time’. It means a part of her will be missing – but on the other hand, sometimes it feels good to ‘be alone’. We just have to be careful with that thing. It can hurt you as well. A manner of management – sending some ‘off to their rooms’ (to get some sleep and play) while you and Karen … ‘have fun’.

    But that’s just our point of view – and it’s rather messy. It doesn’t always work that way. We try. A good ‘for instance’ was this morning; kissing the wife off to work – no one wants to ‘kiss her on the lips’ (at least none of the littles, except sometimes Mikie will – a ‘chicken peck’). And I couldn’t ‘switch’ to the more adult ‘conclusion’ that it was okay … so we just sort of endured. (we have trouble with kissing on the mouths sometimes. Incestal issues right in there. We didn’t like it then and we don’t like it now.) But that’s the way the ball rolls, cookie crumbles, that sort of thing.

    LOL’ing, totally useless, this comment here – haven’t really cleared a darned thing up for ya, Sam & Karen – sure wish I could. But (frowning) – I’m wondering the same as you:
    Can littles grow up? Or are they ‘stuck in there’ – stuck in time – and you’re just gonna have to deal with them along the way? Will Karen be able to ‘control them’ over time to the deal / point where you can get along together in the way you wish you would? I don’t know.

    Until later, Sam…. you’ve given us quite a puzzle to work on – because we’re refusing to say it can not be done. But it certainly is a handful – will be interesting to see where this is going over time.

    and only time will tell. :/

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Nov 07, 2011 @ 10:46:58

      Hey Jeff,

      Thanks for your comments and input and even for the “rambling.” It helps me understand that this is a bigger issue than I realized. For Karen and me her complete healing has always been an issue which is why we let the little girls be outside the majority of the time. And it’s paying off in our opinion. The little girls ARE growing up in their perspective.

      We understand completely about the kissing issue this moment. Alley typically dislikes me and Karen kissing. It’s a huge issue for me and Karen, but I try really hard to respect Alley’s feelings right now because I feel ANY discomfort on the little girls part will keep them “frozen” in the past. On the other hand KA just two days ago asked for me to give her her “first kiss.”

      I don’t know where this will all end. Just this last week Karen told me how much she is struggling on her d.i.d. boards because she no longer fits with the other ladies because she is so much further along than even those who consider themselves “healed.” They still get triggered for days over the littlest of things whereas even on the rare occasion that any of the little girls get triggered, I can get them past it just like a normal child would.

      Just rambling…

      Sam

      Reply

  3. Keith (@keith1y)
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 13:44:23

    Hi Sam,

    glad to see you are still doing a great job, remember me? We are on the same kind of path, but I may be a little ahead of you. I thought I would go over some of what the Lord Jesus taught me on the front line. I know I might have said some of this stuff to you before, but your readers might find it to be of interest.

    As you know each of the littles is a real person. If you look through the window of a house you see the whole house, some people are like a house with one big room, some have lots of smaller compartments, in some the doors are open between the rooms etc.

    Each of the littles are the whole person, I know you never treat any little as anything less. Their personal limitation is that their individual knowledge of their identity, their experience of the world is only available to them through the memories that they can connect to while in that state of mind. For various reasons the continuum of other memories is inaccessible due to amnesia. The littles are one person in a different states of mind, but from each state of mind only certain memories and experiences are accessible. Your memories of who you are, are what defines your identity. The littles derive their identities from their own memories of who they are from their own perspective.

    Like doors and walls, there are two barriers between the memories of the parts, between the rooms. The doors are an amnesiac barrier, when one part does not know what is in the other rooms the doors are shut. This is how the mind has learned or been forced to cope.

    Each little was created in a certain situation, and they trigger into the conscious mind to handle any situations which feel similar in any way, because the feelings subconsciously and instantly retrieve any other memories that feel the same, and in those memories the identity remembered is the one that handled the original situation. They only handle so much emotion each, but when they do, they are able to protect the others; since the others have amnesia to these memories. The second type of barrier is more complex, even after the amnesiac barrier is gone and the littles know about each other, each identity retains a sense of self and remains distinct not sharing their past memories with the others. Even in a house with all the doors open each room retains its identity and character as a room.

    Let’s look at the amnesiac barrier first. It is present because it is needed, and if it is removed, or broken through too quickly or in the wrong order, this can cause a lot of emotional instability. When littles are created by overwhelming trauma, they can only take so much before being overwhelmed and fragmented once more; so each little exists having as much as they can cope with, but no more. If you try and remove any amnesia prematurely, or as the amnesia fades in adulthood, it results in one fully loaded little becoming aware of more difficult stuff, and if that exceeds their capacity to cope then emotional breakdown is the logical and unavoidable result. A roller coaster is set in motion, dealing with Doctors, hospitals, lots of strangers, forced medication, and encountering other people with problems all adds to the burden, more memories and fears get triggered, and more often than not new little are created as a result, even in adulthood.

    If the memories of one little are so bad that they are relived as flashbacks or body memories, even the fear of re-living a memory can be overwhelming enough to create additional littles to cope. These protective littles have a focused job of making sure that you never access the real trauma. These guys may have very little knowledge of the world, they have one job. These are the guys who run rings around conventional Doctors and many therapists. If they can pretend they have a different problem and let the therapist think they fixed it, then the therapist may plant a flag of success and not go digging for the real problem. They will try all sorts of things, distraction, addiction, even lying. If they think that pretending to be a demon will work, then why not, the humiliation of rolling on the floor is a safer option than allowing someone through.

    These guys are really really clever, only gifted therapists or those who are intimately involved on a day to day basis can develop the levels of trust needed to get through. Even then, these defence mechanisms are not consciously worked out, they have been put in place as instinctive reactions. Because of this there is no reasoning with them, counselling will not work, it rarely does; only the Lord Jesus can diffuse these instinctive strategies effectively. In the past secular practitioners have ended up using crazy approaches like truth serum and hypnosis with disastrous consequences. Under hypnosis these protective parts of the mind can be tempted to spin any yarn they like, and be believed. This is why hypnosis is unreliable.

    It is often supposed that therapists may make suggestions to vulnerable patients under hypnosis, but it may also be the patients who are making suggestions to vulnerable therapists! A competent therapist has nothing to gain by suggesting anything, it should never happen. On the other hand, for these protective parts, the stakes are extremely high; if they fail they fear complete emotional meltdown. This explains one possible source of all the false memory stuff that you hear about in this field. It is not malicious, it is not even intended, it may be the product of a child’s sheer terror, a vulnerable internal little with very little knowledge of life. Its instinctive role is simply to make sure the real problem never surfaces.

    The traumas that the littles remember directly hinder them from freely emerging from the subconscious into the conscious mind. When they come out, they either fully remember, or they are vulnerable to being triggered. The bigger the traumas the more they are re-lived rather than remembered. If the hurt is still present in the background, the emotions of it may be recalled without the memory content. In many situations the hurts, fears, or any number of tens of other emotions from the past, get overlaid on present situations. Experiences of the present get interpreted and felt as if it was the past. This prevents new experiences in the present from being new positive learning opportunities, which contribute to emotional growth to maturity.

    In other words the presence of trauma is what inhibits natural emotional growth. Growing up is not free to happen until most if not all the trauma is resolved to complete preace and calm. As traumas are successfully resolved through therapy, the amnesiac barriers begin to lift away. The littles can share more with each other without becoming overwhelmed. They can emerge more and more as and when they want to, they are no longer triggered into action by involentary emotional associations with the past. They can begin to come out and enjoy life, they can communicate with each other, and they can also be co-conscious with each other, experiencing things together. Each little grows up as they experience the world, while they are co-consciously observing or fully out, in the conscious mind, living life.

    I say all of the above to highlight the intense complexities involved, and to point out the importance of the home relationships outside of formal therapy. The therapists view can be very limited, a two hour session is perfectly able to open a pandoras box of stuff. There is no therapist in the world who can open a box like that and fully resolve everything that pops-out in just one session, or even two or three. In most cases the more difficult issues get processed at home in the day to day environment. The real therapy happens in the process of handling day to day life while new issues are surfacing. Couch based therapy is not the whole story by a long chalk.

    As well as resolving trauma on a regular basis in therapy, the Lord may suggest specific interventions outside of therapy, for healing specific amnesia problems, short-term memory loss, fatigue, tiredness and physical or hormonal issues, all of which hinder experiencing life to the full. There is so much more healing that happens in every day life.

    Traumatic events are not the only type of trauma, take for example “the absence of good things”. This is an entirely different type of trauma, and if this is to be healed there are no short cuts. The solution is, to experience good things! To be successful this invariably requires enablement, someone to facilitate, within a family or an intentional community setting.

    This is the key to full recovery; what the Lord wants is to enable everyone, all the littles, to experience life to the full. While the amnesia and short-term memory loss is still an issue, scrapbooking healing experiences is really needed to support the therapy. Not only does it help each little to remember their own healing, but it also allows others to connect to and be aware of what has happened to their colleagues in a safe way. Secondly we have been encouraged to celebrate anything and everything, not only birthdays, Easter, firework nights, the 24 days of Advent, Christmas and New Year, but also any significant healing or opportunities for overcoming any adversity. Holidays have also been a very important part of the healing process, we take 5 or six a year!

    Some littles may have a very limited role in the mind and may remain very hidden for a long while. First of all, day to day life needs to be safe and fun for them to even consider coming out. Inside they are frightened very shy children, over time these celebration events may become an avenue for encouraging hidden littles to talk, express themselves and find healing. One strategy is not enough, if you use chocolates as a fun gift it may work well, but it will not feel fun for a little that doesn’t like chocolate! Encouraging littles to talk will work fine until there is one who doesn’t know how, or is too afraid to talk. We encourage as many other avenues of expression as we can think of, arts and crafts, abstract painting, dancing, collecting things, tree-hugging, paddling in the sea, building sand castles, the possibilities are infinite.

    The only way of knowing if all the littles are out is if the Lord Jesus specifically tells you that they are.

    The second barrier, the lack of integration between the memories due to the distinctness that the individual identities intrinsically have. When the time is right a little may elect to merge with another part, the process called integration. Effectively the ownership of the memories and the identity contained within the memories is under the sub-conscious control of each little. They may at some point voluntarily let go of those memories, releasing them to be owned, and recalled under the awareness of another part, probably the adult. As the adult becomes aware of these new memories, the aspects of the identity of the little contained within these memories become merged into the adult, since the adult’s overall identity is encapsulated in the spectrum of memories that they have of being themselves.

    The process of merging parts, may also produce a traumatic episode if there is a discontinuity as one part, whose existence is intended to only cope with so much, suddenly has to cope with remembering all the stuff from another part, and the modifications to their sense of self. It is important to know which part is the bigger main part, the one with the most life experience, the one with the most emotional stability. This part may not be the obvious eldest one, if this part is one of the younger ones, then she will need to continue to grow up first in her own right before she will be ready to cope with bringing on board the experiences of other littles.

    Many experts in DID, advocate integrating littles as soon as possible. According to the above understanding this is not to be recommended. These “experts” are rarely around to help handling the aftermath of opening pandoras boxes, even if they could. The process is an intensely personal one of re-adjustment.

    Only God himself is expert enough to know for certain how to safely untangle all the protective mechanisms, to encourage all the littles to come out to play, and to resolve all their traumas, through to integration in a safe order. I have seen integration of some littles occur, but only after the Lord Jesus has specifically said that it is right time.

    Pretending to be prematurely fully integrated is a sure fire way of putting a therapist off track before they get too deep, it may not even be consciously done. Those inner protective littles are very clever! When therapists claim they have a silver bullet and pronounce very rapid results there is a very real the possibility of them being duped. There is more, there is always more.

    I believe that the Lord desires integration to take place in an optimally safe manner. This requires there to be as little discontinuity between the merging parts as possible. Several years of being co-conscious will allow littles to have many shared experiences with the adult. If the littles can grow up to being a similar emotional age as the adult then the discontinuity is minimised. This whole process may take 10 years or more.

    This can only be achieved if the home life is very supportive and enabling. In the absence of good support, the more painful, more risky rapid-integration approach, currently in favour, may be the only available option. This is simply because enabling the emotional growth and growing up needs loving, compassionate, kind, dedicated, knowledgable, and supportive people. It involves undoing the damage of the past and rebuilding the whole life from scratch, effectively re-parenting. The intensity of this supportive relationship is beyond the reach of any conventional treatment options.

    The only person who can enable the necessary emotional growth, belonging, purpose, and maturity lessons is the Lord Jesus, but even then it is only possible if He can get the staff! Since the damage was caused through whole life experiences, full healing must be truly holistic, it also has to be encountered through whole life experiences.

    Keep up the good work Sam!

    best regards, your servant

    Keith

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Nov 08, 2011 @ 19:35:04

      Hi Keith,

      glad to hear from you again.There’s a lot of good stuff in your reply. So I’ll just pick a couple to respond to.

      Reparenting: I think you and I are both definitely agreed that it’s the way to go. Everything I do with the little girls has that in mind. I purposely make life experiences for them that help them to grow up experientially and emotionally.

      When we were on vacation, we did a lot of arduous hiking, and the little girls would complain some, but they wanted to be the one outside to do it even though they all admitted Karen was the best hiker (she complained about all the bruises they made from the slips and falls they took). But when we got to the tops of mountains or waterfalls, they would rejoice that THEY had made it. One had a rickety fire tower we had to climb to see above the trees. The little girls were terrrified to climb it. I gave them the option of stopping, but they wanted to see the view and as we came back down, even the littlest (Shelly) crowed triumphantly the SHE had climbed it! Those are the kinds of experiences that are so very important (IMHO) if someone wants to be wholly healed of d.i.d., not just be “jammed together” in ISSTD’s version of integration.

      I also think the strength of reparenting is that it tips the scales of the little’s perspective so that they no longer live “in the pall of the trauma.” In the beginning the trauma outweighed everything else in life. It colored everything they experienced. But now my girls no longer act like trauma victims. Yeah, they still have some stuff to deal with, but their mannerisms and spirit and emotions are such that you can see they’ve moved beyond the trauma as the defining thing in their life. They rarely have panic attacks and are too excited about life to be depressed or think about suicide. But that’s because I have purposely FILLED their lives with happy experiences. That in itself is very healing to them. Unlike you and your friend, my girls NEVER discuss the past trauma with me, and yet they claim that what I do with them day in and day out as I fill them with a happy LIFE is more healing than what their theophostics facilitator does. She’s important, but I’m reshaping them from “trauma survivors” into normal little girls. When we are done, the trauma will NOT define them; it already barely does now.

      I hope some day therapist understand that the BEST thing they could do in regard to d.i.d. patients is become facilitators who would help and encourage the patient’s friends and family to give the necessary support to fully heal. Again, I believe there is a place for traditional “therapy” sessions, but it is a small place. As you pointed out, by its very nature therapy sessions only occupy 2-3 hours a week at most anyway. So people need to understand it’s just a SMALL part of the entire healing process.

      I also find your take on how insiders/littles react to traditional therapy interesting. Our theophostic facilitator reparented her first d.i.d. patient(who was also an s.r.a. victim). Neither of us force the girls to “recover” memories. Lots of people tell us “there have to be more insiders.” But I wonder if the gentleness of our approach has limited the “need” for so many insiders. There are 8 girls that we are aware of. 5 are now outside girls. 1 is currently on the move to the outside. And I’ve been reaching out to one for nearly a year (without much success). I don’t want to speculate too much on why there are so few girls in my wife’s network, but I will be shocked if any more show up other than the ones we currently know about. If there are more, it won’t matter to me, but there is little evidence of them.

      Anyway, thanks for stopping by and sharing. I hope your friend continues to get better as I’m sure she will.

      Take care!

      Sam

      Reply

  4. Keith (@keith1y)
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 14:04:39

    Birthdays for littles.

    Annual Birthday celebrations for littles are not necessary per-se, however instead what you can do is you invite each little to ask Jesus how old they really are emotionally. I keep a sheet with all the littles names on it, their ages and the presents they have received.

    When it becomes clear that a significant milestone is being reached, then it is party time!

    The Lord may well expand process a little more, setting goals for the future, by saying things like, you are 15 at the moment, but after this holiday, or some other adventure, you will have grown up a little bit more. So on the occasion of the event itself, or shortly afterwards, out comes the cake!

    Once things get going progress can be quite fast, they can grow up 4 or 5 years per year.

    cheers

    Keith

    Reply

  5. Keith (@keith1y)
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 09:21:14

    Hi Sam

    > Unlike you and your friend, my girls NEVER discuss the past trauma with me,
    > and yet they claim that what I do with them day in and day out as I fill them with
    > a happy LIFE is more healing than what their theophostics facilitator does.

    You are basically correct, the past trauma is really a minor part of the problem. When we began the biggest trauma took 2 weeks to work through, most took about an hour. Now whenever something comes up we can sort it in less than 2 minutes while driving in the car. At the current rate we do about 5 minutes of praying in six months in relation to past-trauma issues.

    Past trauma is not what we pray about these days, day to day life has enough excitement of its own. The things we have learned in praying apply to lots of other areas in a day to day manner, like praying for sicknesses. In particular resolving problems and my mistakes has become the biggest discussion point.

    Being analytical about this, the littles are either present or they are not, it took about 6 years for the home environment to feel safe enough and the trust relationship to be sufficient enough for some of those littles to come out.

    My concern is that when you do not know all the information, potential problems lurk around the corner. I went to visit my mother for one weekend, and while I was away everything fell apart, and it took me 3 years to recover the situation.

    So I personally think that it would be extremely unlikely for the therapy relationship to be deep enough, for those littles to come out. I don’t think that therapists are available enough to catch very subtle issues arising.

    For example, while I was away my friend became very insecure about her accommodation and moved out! Over two years I watched out for small comments each of which indicated that a little was feeling unsettled, and each of which needed discussion and prayer. I must have caught 100s of little things, just in relation to that one issue that a therapist might never get to hear.

    If there are other littles inside, the only way to know all the information is to ask the Lord to reveal it to her. If he says no then no it is!

    regards

    Keith

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 07, 2011 @ 22:10:34

      Thanks for stopping by Keith. We’ve been very fortunate to suffer no major setbacks thus far, but I know many do. My son (almost 21) has been a true godsend, though, a number of times, when the little girls were very shaky and he came thru for them like a champ. I don’t know how one person truly could do it 24/7 unless that was his/her fulltime job and even then I bet he/she’d burnout.

      I wish therapists would understand what you and I do: that there’s no way a therapist can ever do what a caregiver, friend, spouse can do. So a wise therapist would become more of a facilitator and team up with the person(s) who are living with the d.i.d. person and coach and offer advice as required.

      Sam

      Reply

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