Update: How Things Look 4 Years into our Journey

When I began this blog 2 years ago about my wife and my journey thru dissociative identity disorder, we were 1 year into the journey. This blog quickly came under attack as naïve, unconventional, dangerous, without merit, and off putting, just to list a few of the criticisms. I was blacklisted from the wordpress dissociation blogroll as well as various d.i.d. groups around the country and the UK, and the few therapists I attempted to contact seemed to have a similar opinion.

So I kept pestering my girls for feedback to make sure they didn’t feel I was abusing or manipulating them and to make sure they thought I was a help and not a hindrance to their healing. I also kept a meticulous journal of their and my progress each day with the hope that some day our methodology might be validated.

But over the last 2 years, I’ve had a small stream of visitors who seem interested in the method I’m espousing. The few positive comments that I get from time to time have served as a lifeline when I have seriously considered shutting this blog down and stripping it clean. I have no desire to be a lunatic relegated to the fringe of the d.i.d. world like a “freak show” at a circus.

So to my internet supporters whose positive comments have literally kept me in the game when I wondered if I could make it another day, I wanted to give you an update to let you know that what I espouse on this blog really is working with my girls. I want to give a progress report if anyone cares.

At this point in the journey I can’t remember the last time any of my girls have had a major (or even minor) panic attack of any kind. Even though Tina joined us 4 months ago and was BY FAR the most deeply hidden girl of them all, she seems to have started on the healing foundation the other 6 girls provided. Yes, Tina has exhausted all of us emotionally by some of her other needs and the fact that she cannot talk (though she can sign the alphabet), but no panic attacks.

The first 6 girls are highly co-conscious with each other to the point that they no longer fight to be the one outside. I’m not saying they have ‘arrived’, but they are finally starting to work together as a group of friends rather than a bunch of individuals who have been handcuffed together against their wills. Here’s a little excerpt from my journal recently:

Quite honestly the fluidity between ALL the girls is one of the things that has me wondering what is going on beneath the surface because in spite of the fact that Tina has dominated the outside for the last 2-3 months, the other 6 seem to have grown closer together not further apart as they have waited for Tina to come to the place of joining the family and joining their group. They switch and share and finish sentences for each other and speak for each other using another’s voice and on and on.

The 5 oldest girls (including Karen) all consider themselves outsiders at this point and have no desire to return to the life of an insider, and every week little Sophia seems to move closer to that point as well. 3 of the girls I warmly call The Triumvirate in my journal because of how closely they have aligned themselves with each other and their voices have merged to the point that I have difficulty distinguishing them.

To the spouses who probably understand the heartache of a dysfunctional sex life, we are up to 2 times a week for the last couple of weeks, but unlike before the little girls entered our lives, now sex occurs without dissociation. Moreover, some of the little girls are beginning to join us to hopefully provide my wife with “tools” she never had available before in this part of our relationship. No, it’s not sex of my dreams, but it’s safe and loving for all of them, and I hope it’s a sign of better days ahead for ALL of us.

To those who understand the heartache of never truly having your spouse’s heart, who understand the hurt when your spouse asks repeatedly “do you love me?” but you know no matter how much you say ‘yes’ and no matter how much you try to prove it in your words and actions that she doesn’t really believe you, to those spouses I say I finally have 6 girls who KNOW that I love them, and I almost have Tina, the 7th, there as well. Karen could never give me my wife’s heart completely because she only had a part of it. But now I have won the hearts of the other 5 girls, and I’m in the process of winning Tina’s. How can one have a fairytale marriage if each spouse doesn’t hold the other’s heart in his/her hands? I’m almost there, finally…

When I read the blogs of others on wordpress, I know that suicide issues and depression are a huge deal, and though I don’t want to act like this journey has been a walk in the park, Karen has assured me suicide issues have never been a problem for them. And though there has been a lot of emotional stress for Karen and the girls, I think the emotional stability my son and I were able to provide them was able to keep them off the drugs, out of the hospitals and from any major self-injury issues.

Moreover, the general inability to cope with life and daily living that I see on so many other blogs simply isn’t part of my girls’ experience. The little girls RELISH life. They have added excitement and vigor to Karen’s emotional makeup. Again, Tina has stressed everyone to the limit as I have had to focus on her healing for the last 2 to 3 months, but the other girls have amazed me at the strength and patience they have displayed during this phase of healing. I really have been shocked how stable they have been after the hurricane of emotions that Tina unleashed when she first came out.

But to be fair of our situation, I’m struggling how to extricate myself from the role of daddy and a platonic boyfriend and move them to desire becoming my wife with Karen. I firmly believe that I fulfilled a deep need that these girls had and that it was therapeutically beneficial for me to be in those roles, but they seem to have plateaued. But Tina has so dominated these last 4 months that she may be skewing what’s really occurring on a foundational level.

And I really struggle in my role as “pathfinder”. I have no one to ask when I have questions. Karen said we aren’t doing things the traditional way, or even the way her counselor did them when she first got involved with d.i.d. patients. And my hope to connect with other spouses thru this blog has rarely happened and always been short lived. Sigh.

In summary I find myself caught in a paradox: my girls have come so far that it’s really amazing, and I’m so proud of them, and yet it seems to have barely affected my marriage. Things are still mostly one-side and I do that vast majority of giving with very little receiving. Maybe things could have gone better and faster, but I seem to be on my own with no one to go to for answers to my questions. And I’m so tired; so very, very tired.

Blessings,

Sam, I Am

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31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeffssong
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 11:33:39

    I really feel for you Sam – it sounds like care-giver burnout to me a bit. But on the other hand, I have believed you are on the right track enough that I have sort of adopted it; albeit in a more limited fashion. “I” tend to keep my ‘selves’ more to ‘myself’ – but have been allowing them to get out and about when the wife is around; and she has learned a little bit about ‘handling’ them. She knows when my littles get control of me – the patterns and changes in behavior, as well as recognizing the ‘teen’ . . .

    What has it meant for us? My wife and spouse and I? She says I am more fun to be around; seem ‘more whole’, cut up more, seem happier all the time. She’s not as sophisticated as you either in her mind nor her approach (an old country girl, raised up on a farm) – but she says she prefers ‘me’ with ALL my pieces intact, ‘up’, operating at a functional (and fun!) level . . .

    One of the major differences, however, is that several of my little children were trained to have sex – WANT to have sex – and very into giving pleasure. “I” can make love without them . . . but with them (or at least one) – ‘he’ makes it much better. (The teen is more into ‘wild’ sex, not hetero at all; that’s not happenin’, LOL!) But in the end the child wants to be held . . . as the abuser used to hold him in the end, and sometimes I might suffer from a small bout of depression. (“13” doesn’t like sex, that is.) (shrug).

    But personally I think you ALL have come far given the amount of time it’s taken – and how long (and hard) the professionals struggle with such things, often with a LOT less success (I’ve seen several ‘systems’ broken; the occupants hurt, destroyed, shut down – NOT a very good thing at all!) And it sounds like some parts may be headed towards more integration (the cooperative co-conscious sort of thing).

    I do hope that your wife’s system isn’t running into the problem of creating ‘new’ alters in order to try to protect itself. That can be a ‘problem’ with me; ‘we’ are very flexible and able to create ‘new ones on the fly’ . . . though ‘they’ are for the most part temporary personalities which may be dismissed . . . however, if ‘they’ hang around too long ‘it’ can become permanent (hardwiring in the brain?) Old habits die hard some of the time, and ‘systems’ are into protecting themselves.

    I really like the way things seem to be going – overall – but on the other hand I recognize what a strain this must be to you!!! You have given and given and given . . . a new ‘problem’ (alter) comes up . . . you ‘give’ some more . . . it’s a raw deal, Sam, I know that now. I wish your ‘wife’ could do more of the giving. I guess it’s cuz’ she’s different than me – ‘she’ didn’t want the abuse, resisted it . . . whereas I, as a child, went along . . . wanted it in other words. Maybe it’s just a “man” sort of thing.

    You are always putting together good posts, Sam – and know you’ve got our backing as well. Some things work good for some folks, others for others. You and Karen have chosen a road, a ‘path’ that seems to be working as long as Karen goes along . . . and BTW, wonderful job with the ‘others’, the little girls who (it appears) are well on their way towards becoming women, beautiful in their own ways . . .

    But I worry about the wear and tear on your own heart, Sam I am. And am sending some ‘love and hope’ for you and yours.

    XOXO <- from my little kids.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 03, 2012 @ 00:54:46

      Hey Jeff,

      you are right about the wear and tear, but either I go full throttle and we get thru this as soon as possible (without taking any shortcuts) or I just delay any chance of having a healthy marriage and we are already looking at 24 years of marital dysfunction in a couple of weeks.

      I don’t think they are creating any new alters. Everyone who is with us, we’ve known about almost from the beginning.

      Yeah, sometimes I’ve read your posts and wondered if the difference in sex attitudes is the difference between a man a woman who has a past history of abuse, but who knows.

      Sam

      Reply

  2. lifeslittleexperiences
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 11:42:41

    Be encouraged. I love your postings. You are to be commended for being there for your wife and be open about how you are helping her in her recovery! My husband has stood by my side now for almost 33 years. My ‘war’ with my different girls is all internal. My own personal hell. They argue, yell, etc. about everything that goes on in life. Yet, I have one who gets us up every morning to deal with the day. I use to be a magnificent ‘multi-tasker.’ I am no longer able to do that as my disassociation has lowered and I am getting to know some of my other parts better. I have a long ways to go and I know there is continued healing in the process. Our relationship is not like yours at this time. However, it brings tremendous encouragement when I read your posts and this is an example of something I would long for and can see the benefits of it.

    There are two books that have brought tremendous healing to my life – one is titled
    ‘Released From Shame’ by: Sandra Wilson. Perhaps it would be an encouragement to you as it talks about how ‘shame based identity’ starts in children and how it effects our relationships.

    The other is another that was just introduced to me from another woman that I met that has DID. We have had one social meeting time together as couples. I am involved in their Bible Study on the weeks that I am able to make it.

    The book is titled: Multiple Identities – Understanding and Supporting the Severely Abused. It is written by Diane Hawkins. It has a ‘bucket load’ of information. I am reading it and discussing it with my therapist. Diane shares about her personal journey with DID and how her husband helped her along the way.

    Then Tom Hawkins, her husband, has written a book: Dissociative Identity Disorder. I haven’t read this book yet – it’s a little more technical but offers effective strategies for resolving complex DID.

    So stay strong and continue to walk down this journey. You are a fine example to so many couples who struggle silently!

    Blessings

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 02, 2012 @ 22:26:27

      Thanks for the book titles. Would the Hawkins approve of what I’m doing or are they more mainstream? Maybe I will check them out sometime.

      And thanks for your kind comments about my blog.

      Good luck to your and your husband!!!

      Sam

      Reply

  3. lifeslittleexperiences
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 11:51:51

    P.S. I love your description of DID and the process – ‘they are finally starting to work together as a group of friends rather than a bunch of individuals who have been handcuffed together against their wills.’

    Totally amazing description! You know your wife well!

    Reply

  4. bunchesoffamily
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 17:48:27

    Our host’s husband is our dady! We wuvs him! We tinks you do good job and be good dady to your giwls. But you no wat? I not want to be his (host’s husband’s) wife, ewwwwwww! I tink I is always goin to be wittle giwl 🙂 Mabe your giwls not can be your wife? I not no, mabe dey can. I jus say dat becus dat is wat I tink. I hopes it is ok I say it. But you no wat, we not wikes wots of men becus dey hurted us, but we tinks you is nice man. Bye bye 😀

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 02, 2012 @ 20:56:30

      Thank you so much for being brave and writing to me! I love my little girls. And I love being their daddy. Amy is the biggest “daddy’s girl” of the whole group. But I told her how lucky she is because unlike her first daddy, she won’t ever have to leave me even though she is growing up (in spite of her attempts to not grow up). I will never make the little girls be my wife unless they grow up and decide they want to be.

      I’m so glad you’ve got a nice daddy now! I hope you tell him you love him lots and lots!!!

      Sam

      Reply

  5. bunchesoffamily
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 18:02:06

    Hi Sam, I’m the host and I wanted to add something to what our little one said. I have had a lot of trouble being a “wife” to my husband, but that is slowly changing. Though the little ones don’t want to be married to him, my ability to be a wife is increasing and our marriage is becoming better. I have hopes that my husband and I are going to get our “happily ever after” marriage yet, and I hope the same for you and your wife 🙂 We think you’re doing a great job!
    Blessings,
    A

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 02, 2012 @ 22:15:48

      A,

      I’m very happy for you and your husband. None of the little girls want to marry me yet either. I can’t even get my two girlfriends to kiss me more maturely. Sigh… But I’ve noticed that as the little girls have gotten healed, as they have become properly attached to me and as they have grown and matured in the outside world (we don’t push it, it’s just happening the more they spend time outside) things are getting better for us too.

      They were getting better last fall, but then we added Tina which threw us back for a couple months as I had to help her thru the transition phase and the other girls were inundated with her emotions…but now things are getting better again.

      Please, don’t ever be afraid to drop by and let me know how things are going for you all. It encourages me to hear from fellow travelers.

      Sam

      Reply

      • bunchesoffamily
        Jun 10, 2012 @ 16:01:52

        Hi Sam, I’m so glad that things are getting better for you all. I’m sorry it’s been hard with Tina coming into the family. So glad things are starting to smooth out again. I know there are so many emotions and new things to work through with each new family member who comes out.

        I usually don’t comment b/c I’m so overwhelmed so much of the time. We are dealing with many memories and that’s sapping all my strength it seems. But we always look forward to reading your posts. I wish you and your girls the best. Take care.

      • Sam Ruck
        Jun 11, 2012 @ 12:21:23

        Thank you for your comments. They really are a lifeline for this blog when I struggle with whether to keep it going or not. Tina really is doing so much better, finally, after 5 VERY hard months. She and the other girls are still not fully co-conscious, but they are beginning to make the connections thru Sophia, and hopefully that is a sign of smoother sailing seas in the very near future.

        I hope you and your husband continue to see progress as well.

        Sam

      • bunchesoffamily
        Aug 04, 2012 @ 20:47:32

        Hi Sam,
        We’ve missed seeing your posts. It’s been awhile since the last one. Hope you are all doing ok. How have things been?
        Challenging for us. Lots of struggles with the family of origin lately so it’s been hard, but we’re making it.
        Take care!

      • Sam Ruck
        Aug 14, 2012 @ 20:02:10

        Hi,

        thanks for stopping by. I’m sorry it took so long for me to reply. We left on vacation to Colorado the day you left your comment and just got back yesterday.

        Vacation was nice and everyone shared outside time well, but as soon as we got back last night, Tina began dominating the outside again which makes it very hard on me and the other 6 girls. I’ve been struggling so much trying to help Tina get healed and move past the old rules of hers that have kept her alone and separated from the other 6, but though she is FIRMLY connected to me now, she still is NOT connected to the others except Sophia some who acts as the go between for Tina and the other 5.

        I’m sorry things have been hard for you as well. I hope things get better soon!

        Take care and I hope things will get better soon for my girls, especially Tina, so that I have some more to write about.

        Sam

  6. bunchesoffamily
    Jun 02, 2012 @ 18:16:02

    Hi Sam,
    I am the husband/daddy/friend of bunchesoffamily. I think you are doing great. We’ve appreciated your blog very much. I think the method you are using makes very good sense (and seems to be working well). After reading your blog I have adopted a similar approach (being daddy to the kids who wanted me to be). It seems to be working well for us too. We have really appreciated your blog. I’m sorry for all the trouble people seem to have given you for your approach to helping your girls heal. And I’m glad you never took your blog down. I never would have found it then.
    May God bless you and give you the continued strength and courage to help your girls heal.

    PS. My kids always like that you sign your name “Sam I am”. One of them will many times pop out and start giggling when they get to the end of your posts and they see that. 🙂

    Reply

  7. jeffssong
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 10:32:06

    LOL, gotta agree with bunchesoffamily. The “Sam I Am” moniker really helps my ‘kids’ identify with and/or like you – they were Dr. Suess fans from long time ago. 🙂

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 03, 2012 @ 10:49:00

      You know, I appreciate both of you telling me that because I was actually attacked for using that “sign off” on another blog when I initially began this blog. Sometimes I have wondered if I just sounded a little moronic for using it. Thanks for the affirmation from both of you!!!

      Sam, I Am, lol

      Reply

  8. Rage of Those Interrupted
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 20:42:19

    I don’t have much to add; the others here have said it all. I think that what you’re doing is great! If I could be half as far as your girls seem to have gotten, I would be happy. But then, I don’t have a support system like they have. I really think that what you’re doing is making all the difference for them, and I wish you all the best of luck.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jun 11, 2012 @ 22:50:57

      Thanks for stopping by. I hope some day you can find someone in your life who would be willing to help you heal, too. I wish my blog got a bigger hearing because I really do think having one or two people outside to help can make all the difference.

      Sam

      Reply

  9. world0called0erin
    Jul 07, 2012 @ 01:38:10

    Sam I Am,

    From Tommi:

    Your blogs have been a great encouragement to me. My internal family is also on an unorthodox journey by refusing to integrate (in the sense that we disappear into one personality). I always look forward to reading your posts because you eloquently describe things to which I empathize and relate. I have been encouraged reading about the things that are working and the successes you have had, because I feel that if it works out for you and your Girls, maybe me and my internal family will be okay too. This blog has also helped me realize that I wanted parents that are supportive of me and love me where I am, and I’m on that path with the body’s dad and mom.

    From Morrigan:

    For me, this blog shows me there is a very possible positive future ahead. It shows me that there may be someone out there who will be willing to work with me and my internal family. I worry constantly if I will find someone who will be understanding enough of my internal family to love and embrace who I am with them. Your willingness to work with Karen has given me a renewed hope in having a happy and healthy marriage.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jul 07, 2012 @ 09:10:15

      Hi Tommi,

      I’m very happy that your mom and dad are becoming supportive of you. I am sure that will be a huge help if they are safe and accepting.

      Hi Morrigan,

      I don’t think I’m totally unique, so I wish you the best. And you’re a lot further ahead in the game than Karen and I were. We had 20 years of tension that I had to deal with first because of our ignorance of her disorder. I only wish I had understood what was happening when we first got married: I’m sure the healing process would have been a lot faster if I hadn’t had to undo a lot of things between her and me before I could start helping them undo the original trauma.

      Thanks for stopping by!!

      Sam

      Reply

  10. maureenpowers
    Jul 23, 2012 @ 14:46:17

    Sam, wow! Your ability to share despite all the resistances is something I applaud.
    I know it’s not easy being on the fringe of what is acceptable it takes great strength and courage to move on the path of healing with little support. One must follow their heart, their inner wisdom as they blaze the unfamiliar trail to growth. Sending you love, peace and harmony.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jul 23, 2012 @ 20:40:07

      Hi Maureen,

      thanks for stopping by. “The path less traveled” has made all the difference in my wife’s healing, but it is really hard sometimes. So I deeply appreciate you taking time to offer some encouraging words.

      Love, peace and harmony to you as well!

      Sam

      Reply

  11. manyofus
    Aug 25, 2012 @ 15:01:47

    Hi and thank you for continuing on the journey and I am sure your wife is really appreciative of you not many husbands would do the work you are doing

    Reply

  12. Larry
    Oct 06, 2012 @ 18:14:44

    I have been in an on and off again relationship with a female with DID- and when I finally figured out why we had such difficulty I was emotionally overcome with sadness and cried for the hurt she was in… but at least finally i understood the problem as it was finally so clear- I had never even considered this was real or that I would come face to face with it. Though my feelings are very strong for her i can still walk away- she hung up on me in our last conversation and takes a VERY long time to give in and contact me… it is so hard for me to not stay in touch and try to help her but I am so hurt by her emotionally and don’t think I want to have the torture associated with emotional hurt for a long time… at least the incredible confusion she caused in me now has an answer… want to help her so bad but I am not a selfless person though i am very compassionate.. not sure if i can handle a continuation of any relationship if it’s going to include so much emotional pain

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Oct 08, 2012 @ 04:50:42

      Hi Larry,

      thanks for stopping by. I can definitely understand your feelings. Sometimes it hurts like hell to be with someone who has d.i.d. There’s a lot of self-denial of one’s own needs. I wrote a entry awhile ago about my reasons for staying:
      https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2012/05/17/why-i-stay/

      I’m hoping some day that my wife and I will both see happier days and that’s what keeps me going. I wish you well whatever your decision.

      Sam

      Reply

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