The Method in my Madness

I recently wrote one of my cousins who sometimes has the opportunity to work with d.i.d. patients where she is employed. I wanted to publish most of the letter because I was forced to figure out the method in my madness as I tried to explain it to her. What follows is in response to her question why I believe Karen won’t ever change on some food issues in my opinion, and why I don’t see that as a problem:

Hi H…,

…So I will try to explain how I have come to understand d.i.d. and as a result, how I help my girls heal from it. I hope that I don’t fail too badly in the explanation to you. Of course, everything that I’m saying is just my experience with my girls. Maybe it’s different for others with d.i.d.

When I approach any of the areas in which my wife/my girls is dysfunctional (and it’s fairly systemic), I have to remember the dysfunction can come from 3 different and separate root causes.

1)       the original trauma. Sometimes my wife’s (food) issues are caused from past events that hijack current events. These are associated with triggers and such.

2)      Sometimes her (food) issues are caused by the fact that each girl can control or share control of different aspects of the eating (or any) experience. Karen literally does not FEEL hunger pangs. Karen also does not appreciate the “experience” of eating. She eats to live; she does not live to eat or even take pleasure in the experiences associated with eating, like holidays, a romantic date, etc. The other girls mostly control those aspects of the eating experience.

3)      Sometimes my wife’s issues are caused by an undeveloped trait. When the little girls stopped coming out during their childhood, they were essentially “frozen” inside. It created a personality “stasis” of sorts. Since they each controlled different aspects of a healthy person’s traits and abilities, when they went inside for the final time (until I “awakened” each), they took those traits inside with them and the traits never went thru the natural maturation process that the rest of us experience (think of adults and “acquired tastes” in the food arena).

I’ve tried to deal with these root causes on my blog somewhat, but the important thing concerning food issues or anything is to realize that each issue can be affected by various girls on multiple levels. Sometimes Karen simply doesn’t eat because she never ‘feels’ the hunger. However, in the beginning Amy would gorge because of past trauma that my mother-in-law inflicted on her, plus she hadn’t learned to listen to her body yet and know when enough is enough. KA enjoys the “experience” of eating. She and John LOVE to eat out: she loves the romance and atmosphere of eating out; something that Karen has zero appreciation of.

My wife’s progress on food issues depended on the access I had to ALL the girls. When I wrote the entry that you read on my blog about food, we still had 4 girls mostly hidden inside. That means that every ability and perspective that those 4 controlled or influenced with regard to food/eating/body image (and everything else) was essentially “off limits” for my wife(the whole) to access.

Now your specific question about why Karen will never change her opinion about food and body image has mostly to do with #2 above. Karen simply controls different aspects surrounding the entire eating and body image aspects of my wife’s personality than the other girls do. Moreover, because she was on her own (without the help of the other girls) for so many years, the areas that she controlled became out of whack. The desire to look good and control her life became an obsession because the other girls couldn’t add their perspectives on these issues to my wife as a whole.

So in the beginning, when I made a “win/win” solution for the girls, it was my attempt to minimize the panic and triggers that Karen experienced. So while I was minimizing the trauma she was feeling, it also gave the other girls a chance to come out and join us, heal where they needed healed, and strengthen the traits they controlled and then add them to the general mix. Karen told me, in response to your recent letter, that she really does have a MUCH better attitude about things now, but what she doesn’t realize is her better attitude is because of what the other girls have added to her in general as the dissociative walls continue to break down and there’s more and more “bleed thru” between all the girls.

So when I approach any issue with my wife(the whole), I always have to keep in mind that it’s not all about trauma. A lot of her dysfunction is about (1)the dissociation and (2)the subsequent stasis of her traits and abilities in the other girls. Healing d.i.d. means I just have to be willing to accept where she’s at on many issues like food, sex, her sense of humor, crafting/artistic endeavors or whatever(it truly is a systemic dysfunction), understanding that until I have broken down the dissociative walls between each girl, there is literally nothing each of them can do in the areas that the others control. All the counseling in the world will not enable any of the girls to be able to access the traits/abilities/perspectives that the others control until the dissociative walls are sufficiently broken down and renewed neural pathways have been established. That doesn’t mean that counseling is useless, but it does mean its usefulness is limited to the scope of the traits that are currently accessible by the insiders who have moved outside.

Karen’s food issues are resolving as the walls are coming down and the other girls can now consistently add their traits and abilities to the mix. But it is only this past year in which I was able to move Sophia and Tina more fully outside which means last year was literally the first time my wife(the whole) even had a chance to access all 7 girls’ strengths: and even then there were still a lot of dissociative walls and hoops she had to jump thru to get all 7 to influence a situation.

Moreover, there are no “splinters” in my wife. Every girl, no matter how little she controls of my wife’s personality, has control of critical things that have contributed to my wife’s overall healing once I got the girl “anchored” to the outside and talking/interacting with the others. Even then it was still a process that has taken years of undoing the dissociation (by making new neural pathways) that kept them separated for decades.

Again, this is just what I’ve learned from helping my wife. I know it doesn’t always line up with what the professional literature suggests, but my girls have made it thru so much with so little secondary trauma that I feel somewhat validated in my assessments.

I hope this isn’t information overload…and…I hope this answers your questions.

Sam, I Am

dissociative identity disorder

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. missmultiple
    Jan 25, 2014 @ 17:26:56

    Thank you for this. I had never really thought about how DID related to how I(we) eat. There are days when I literally forget to eat. I just don’t feel hungry. Fortunately, I have someone in a similar capacity to you who reminds me.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Jan 27, 2014 @ 19:28:55

      Welcome to my blog and thank you for taking the time to comment. I’m glad you have someone to help you on the journey as well. I believe it makes all the difference in the world when I read those who are trying to heal on their own.

      Sam

      Reply

  2. heavenlyhotharley
    Jan 22, 2015 @ 16:28:58

    Very helpful. Thanks for directing me to this link! – Harley

    Reply

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