Snippets

I’ve wanted to write another entry for a while, but all I have are snippets at this moment. So I thought I’d throw out a bunch of snippets for us to remember about dissociative identity disorder or multiple personality disorder from a husband’s perspective.

Putting first things first. When Karen and I first started on this journey, I contacted a therapist about my struggles, but her response was she wanted to do marriage counseling with us. Wrong! We are at the stage in our healing journey, that every week I see signs of healing in my marriage, but that is because we focused on healing the little girls first. Now, as they become more and more a part of our lives, they are naturally enabling Karen to do things that she never could do without them. As hard as it has been to put my/our needs for a healthy marriage on the backburner (yes, especially sex, guys), by putting first things first and focusing on the little girls’, their healing is now naturally finding its way into our marriage relationship.

D.I.D. headaches. For my wife, when an inside girl finally “decides” to move outside in a much more permanent fashion, everyone goes through a 3-4 day stretch of nearly debilitating headaches. I always get a mental picture of a piece of machinery that hasn’t been used for decades and when it is first restarted it runs very roughly until the lubricants get flowing and all the rust gets worn off the moving parts. Though Sophia has been a part of our lives from the first, she stayed inside most of the time except for her once-a-week bath and story time with me. Recently she “decided” to come out more permanently. Hurray, but ouch, it was a painful couple of days for my girls.

Taking care of Myself. I haven’t done very well at it. I have given 200% to helping my girls heal, and now I think I gave myself an ulcer from the stress and lack of regular meals. I had to realize that my health issues were scaring the little girls. So I’m trying to be a good boy now, and eat regularly and take my Prilosec and hopefully my stomach issues will be resolved. Otherwise, it’s off to the doctor I’ll go. Secondary trauma issues. I wanted to think I was unsusceptible to them, and I do think the experts are TOO cautious (I have to do what has to be done.), but my lack of care for myself caught up with me.

Be Careful What You Read. There are a lot of psychological ideas out there that are very unhelpful to the healing process of someone with d.i.d. It can be mind-boggling trying to wade through all the information. In the end you need to listen to yourself and to the loved one you are helping. The feeling of love, safety and acceptance each insider has is paramount. And your ability to cope with the self-sacrifices and self-denial necessary (something the popular literature rarely discusses) to help them heal must be closely watched too. If you are in a position of strength and emotional health, you will be able to do more for your loved one with less risk to yourself. So read, but do it with discernment because modern psychology seems to be predicated upon each person’s inherent self-ishness, but I believe for my wife’s healing, I can and must overcome that tendency in me (no matter how much it may hurt at times).

Be sure to Read Opposing points of Views. I subscribe to Jeanette Bartha’s blog (http://jeanettebartha.wordpress.com/), Multiple Personalities Don’t Exist, because if my position can’t withstand her criticism of d.i.d. and the treatment methodologies typically used, then I am on shaky ground. She has some valid points that ISSTD and company aren’t listening to. And we shouldn’t be shaken by the claims of the False Memory Society either . I normally find the truth somewhere in the middle, and these people have some valid points to make even if I don’t agree with all of what they say.

Reparenting. There, I said it. Actually Keith, a fellow-reparenter, said it first in a recent comment he made on this blog. If my methodology had to be given a name, it’s probably that. No husband or partner dreams of having to re-parent his spouse or SO, but from what I’ve read in the blogs and literature out there (meaning I hardly see anyone else doing it or espousing it), this method seems to make all the difference in the world with the safety of the journey and the depth of the healing for the one with d.i.d. This methodology will shoot to hell a lot of pop psych stuff so don’t sweat it if you often feel like you’re going down the wrong way of a one-way street, but always be sure to treat your spouse/SO with the respect and love s/he deserves as an equal even when dealing with the littles.

Don’t give Up. I have been reaching out to the last insider (that I have met) for almost a year with little sign of success. She has NEVER said a word to anyone, and I see her infrequently (saw her today!). But as exhausting as it can feel to have so little success to show for my efforts, that little girl needs to know I won’t give up on her. Moreover, I know my wife will never be truly healthy until all the girls are healed. So I may get discouraged, but I must not give up for her sake and our marriage’s.

Seeing the Big Picture. There are times when my girls absolutely cannot see the big picture when it comes to what is most healing for them. So sometimes I have to act as their experienced travel guide on this healing journey. BUT I’m not always right, and sometimes they simply aren’t quite ready for something that I know will help them heal. So I try to listen to them lots and lots for feedback and I don’t allow my ego to be insulted when they disagree or refuse to follow as I guide them along the healing path. Be a humble guide.

Patience. I was told as a new Christian to NEVER pray for patience. I was foolish and didn’t listen. Since then I’ve often begged God to let me take back my prayer as it pertains to my wife’s healing, but alas, He seems unwilling to do so. But patience seems to be key to a thorough healing for all my girls. They have been hurting for 40+ years. Do I want their healing done quickly or do I want it done thoroughly? Do I want a Rolls Royce or a Yugo when my wife is done healing? As much as Karen and I are BOTH so tired of this healing process, when I keep asking her if she wants us to change what we are doing, we both understand that what we are doing is creating a masterpiece out of her shattered childhood. I’m just not willing to be impatient and push the girls faster than they are able to go.

Mental Trauma vs. Physical Trauma. I have come to realize that my girls in many ways are no different than someone who was in a life-threatening car accident and sustained massive injuries. We need to understand that trauma victims need the same kind of comprehensive care at first whether the injuries were physical or emotional. 3 years ago my wife had emergency surgery and it took 3 months of me caring for her but also pushing her toward independence before she got there. Now I often see myself as carrying the little girls and Karen on my back, so to speak, while they are convalescing from their emotional trauma. It’s a good thing for me to be their crutch in spite of what others may say. But my goal is their full recovery when I no longer have to carry them. So I gently push them toward that goal.

Well that’s enough snippets for now. If you celebrate Christmas, I wish each of you a special time of the year. It’s fun to have so many little girls in the house right now. If you don’t do Christmas, holiday blessings to you and I wish a better year for all of us as 2012 approaches.

Blessings,

Sam, I Am

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Abby & Ents
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 01:03:13

    I must respond to the whole false memories issue Sam, I was told bymy mother that what I was going to a shrink for was just false memories implanted by the shrink. She had heard all about it on some talk show, she watched and great amount of tv and would read simulataniously as she herself dissociated from life. The only prolem is that the memories I went to see a shrink for were memories I carried since early childhood. Secondly what telling a trauma patient with PTSD does to them is make them worse. False memories is guilty parents way of shifting the blame to the victim. It makes the victim feel like they are crazy. Let’s be honest, who the hell is going to want to dream up being sexually or physically or mentally abused? Can a person lead a child to say things that may not be true? Yes, it is possible to tamper with memories but not to create false trauma memories. I am not talking only about folks with DID it applies to singletons too.Implying false memories for the traumatized is traumatizing itself. I also am not sure what subscribing to the views of people who do not believe that DID exists does for the healing of your spouse. I and my Entourage would find that very disturbing. It would feel to us that by reading stuff like that it opens the door to doubt your spouse really is a multiple. If DID doesn’t exist what are they saying about people like your wife or myself. How do they explain the physical, and emotional changes that accompany different insiders when they come out. I have ones who talk like children because they are children. I have one young man who walks very differently from the rest. And then there is Angie with green eyes and most of us have various shades of blue. There is a little curiosity as to how these naysayers explain phsiological changes when a multiple changes between people but I also feel that such talk could be harmful to the multiple.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 16, 2011 @ 10:51:46

      Abby,

      I understand that this is a lightning rod topic. When I read Jeanette’s blog, I often find it very hurtful and invalidating BUT that doesn’t mean there isn’t a science of memories out there that should inform us intelligently. Yes, I believe that the FMS uses the fallibility and malleability of memories and twists it to invalidate ALL or MOST claims by the victims of childhood abuse. And that is a travesty. Obviously I believe in d.i.d or m.p.d. So the question is how should the scientific understanding of memories affect those of us in the d.i.d. camp? Unless we come up with an acceptable answer to that question we are no better than the FMS at handling scientific evidence: they twist it and we ignore it. Neither is acceptable to me.

      Sam

      Reply

  2. twilighttreasuretrail
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 06:04:25

    Take care of yourself Sam!

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 16, 2011 @ 10:39:58

      Thanks, I get so consumed with helping my wife heal now that we finally understand what has been going on all these years…with the hope that both of us may finally find happiness…that I know I’m not very good about it.

      Sam

      Reply

  3. jeffssong
    Dec 16, 2011 @ 15:24:55

    We’ve got what you would call “recovered memories”**. Generally, we discount them – period. And then there are the events that we remember because we never forgot the thing.

    Took a look at Mz. Bartha’s blog – and I agree: the shrink industry has some bad clowns. One of our shrinks was trying to have us believe our entire neighborhood had some cult thing going on in it; we doubted, discounted, then dropped her butt. Some are shrinks because they got sick and were looking for a cure – and found one in making their patients dependent upon them, etc. However, she cannot totally discount DID either just because of her experience. Some people ARE multiple, some people are made that way. There is no “firm line”, no absolute “this or that” in these kinds of symptoms. DID is as individual as the individual is unique, and each DID ‘system’ or being comes about due to a unique set of circumstances. No two persons undergo the same kinds of exposure; everyone’s life is different. DID comes in flavors, as you are aware.

    And just as DID comes in assorted flavors, so do the cures and “so-called” cures. I know we tried the route of psychotropic drugs – made things worse. As you have observed, shutting down or off parts of the system shuts down part of what keeps that person alive – the ‘wonderful being’ you are now discovering. But I am also wary of “feeding the Bad Wolf” by reinforcing the symptoms – but nothing else has worked. We tried the traditional routes – and face it – they were a disaster. Now that we’ve gone more for the philosophy of “giving up” (or giving in, depends on your outlook) – and “embracing our SELVES” – things have gotten a lot better in us and around us. Our wife says we act 25 years younger and are fun to be around – like we shed years or something by “letting loose” and “letting go” and embracing the souls within . . . (wry smile). Works for me, works for them . . . but even still, as ‘host’ of this system (the adult one) – I’m very cautious about things. Have to be (LOL!) – it’s been trouble before (the system). And Matthew is hard.

    Anyway: love the tidbits – and yes, Sam: the Rescuer MUST save themselves (and take GOOD care of themselves) FIRST in order to save others – even if that means taking a time out or two. I try to protect my wife from most of my ‘stuff’ (tho’ she senses when things ahve gone a bit awry) – and I do understand her need to talk, get out among friends – take a break – be an adult. I’ve shown (and explained) some to her – how my inner kid see’s her as a mom (perhaps Matthew, too – which might explain some of HIS raging) . . . keeps life . . . weird, but okay.

    You have a Merry Christmas; celebrate the Birth of the Bride, and have a nice Christmas Mass. always used to enjoy those things; the pomp and ceremony and ritual – very beautiful, the Birth of the Lord… enjoy 🙂

    (** Most of our ‘recovered memories’ seem to deal with some kind of military stuff without any evidence nor proper references – linear or otherwise – to support them, as well as some cult-ish stuff – so we discount them. As a friend once told us: “You’ve got to learn to accept there’s some things (about you) that you may never know,”, and according to some others (including some pros) – “If ‘They’ did ‘Their’ job right – there’s no way you’ll ever know. Not for certain.” Hard concepts to wrap our (and our child’s mind) around … still questioning the value of ‘those things’ and ‘those memories’ and visions in our head. oh well :/

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Dec 17, 2011 @ 23:05:17

      Hey Jeff and all,

      It’s always good to hear from you. I’m glad things are going better as you embrace everyone. That’s what we’re doing.

      I hope you and yours have a great holiday season.

      Sam

      Reply

  4. Tonya Griffith
    Dec 25, 2011 @ 21:09:21

    I really like what you wrote Mr. Sam.
    You really understand.

    Reply

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