I Didn’t See that Coming…

…because I closed my eyes to the signs, sigh.

Well we have now officially finished up 7 years on the healing journey that my wife and I are taking thru her dissociative identity disorder. Over three years ago Tina joined my life and my wife’s network, and I announced later that she was the last insider because it seemed as if there weren’t signs of any others. In the past I’d always been visited by other girls sporadically even if they hadn’t yet decided to join our family. Alley would come out to reprimand me whenever I screwed up (couldn’t miss her, lol).  Shellie would come out to gaze at her beloved crafting card stock. KA would come out silently but clearly when we visited the Smithsonian Museum of Art, plus Amy talked about KA regularly. And Tina would come out and immediately try to get away from me no matter where we were…even if we were in a speeding car. These 4 girls made their presence clearly known to me and our son even if they hadn’t yet joined the family and day-to-day life.

But a couple of weeks ago my girls’ counselor got a call from someone who spoke of Karen in the third person, and none of the other girls admitted to the call. So I began to review the last 3 years, and it was apparent, in retrospect, that I had simply been ignoring this girl’s presence because of how overwhelming the healing process for Tina has been. The subtle signs were there. I’d even noted them in my daily journal, but I had simply chalked them up to other things.

The entrance of another girl into the group has many of the girls upset. They were finally coalescing with each other, and now that balance could disappear. Each girl has different concerns, but the unknown seems the greatest concern. And that is where we as supporting loved ones can help the healing process in a way no one else can.

Karen is concerned about the time loss that invariably will return with the emergence of a girl to whom NONE of them is connected. When time loss happens, I am the anchor and point of reference for all of them. I never let anyone completely dominate things on the outside; so no one loses days or weeks like I read in other experiences. But I’m also able to fill in the gaps and when necessary, I am happy to repeat an activity, over and over so that no one fills cheated.

Another thing that I do when someone joins the group is attach them to me first. I push attachment theory on this blog as most know. When someone new decides to join us on the outside, I do whatever it takes to help her feel safe and loved by me. I make sure she has things she can call her own. And when she is ready, I always give her a piece of jewelry like I did Karen when I married her into my life. At that point the girl is emotionally attached to me, and I act as a stabilization in her life. I am a safe harbor for any emotional storms she may have, and I am also her primary attachment figure.

I don’t understand it fully, but somehow in the attachment process, I’m kind of like the sun, and I snag the dissociated and free-flowing girls (planets) in my wife’s (solar) system doing what I said above. I guess I’m kind of a temporary ‘sun’ for them while they are shaping their own personality  system. Once I connect them to myself, it gives each the stability and proximity (to the others) to begin the hard work of connecting to the others. I act as a mediator when the inevitable misunderstandings and selfishness threaten group healing and harmony. And being mediator means I also pass along a lot of messages until the girls learn to talk to each other and care for each other. I also spend a lot of time reassuring the “old” girls that they will not be replaced by the “new” girl. I never, ever play favorites with anyone which is also an important part of the healing and connecting process for each girl. Moreover, she needs to know I love her and consider her important in her own right. Each of them wanted to know if I would love her regardless of Karen.

So that’s where we are right now. I tell the first 7 that I’m in a ‘dance’ with the new girl. I have begun to engage her in the many ways that I have mentioned on this blog, and yet I’m always careful to keep the pressure low. I seek to engage her, and yet always leave an escape exit for her to use until she is ready to engage me again.

But since I’m writing, I thought I’d give a couple of updates. Earlier this year I wrote about my attempts to connect Tina to the other 5 here. The magic mirrors did NOT work. But we eventually landed upon the idea of adding cctv’s inside so that Tina could see the others in a way that feels safe to her. It worked. But the process has been slowed by Tina’s unwillingness to let me help her connect to the others. But we have begun a play group of Tina, Sophia and Shellie, and Tina is getting used to seeing Shellie in close proximity. I wish it were faster. I think I could safely speed the process, but this is all that Tina has allowed, and my hands as a husband are sometimes tied.

And one more thing of interest: names and d.i.d. With the new girl’s entrance we’ve been discussing names for her. She hasn’t told us her name, and I HATE saying ‘hey you.’ I suggested a temporary name but the other girls don’t care for it. Then Alley told me about a name they used in elementary school that no one else currently uses. Alley suggested that might be the new girl’s name. Then Alley informed me that Karen really doesn’t like her name. Internally Karen uses a different name for herself according to Alley. So I offered Karen to use the name she prefers. As the host Karen doesn’t want to be a bother, and so she has told me she is ‘fine’ with the name I’ve always used for 26 ¾ years of marriage. But I kind of like the new name, and so we’re going to give it a try for a while and see how it ‘feels.’

And here’s some more name confusion that comes with d.i.d…We recently bought a newer car. The credit report the girls signed up for informed them that they use 5, yes 5, different legal signatures, lol! When we signed all the papers for the new car, they didn’t use the name that matched all the typed paperwork, ooy vey! The lady didn’t want to redo the 20 pages of signatures, so she submitted the papers anyway to see if the state would accept the mismatching signature of my wife. Apparently they went thru. Amy informed me the 5 different signatures are because each girl signs her name differently. I’ve always been aware that my wife’s signature constantly changes on our personal checks, but it just another one of those things that are part of life with d.i.d. but you don’t realize it’s related until someone points it out.

Anyway, that’s all for now. Blessings to each of you on your own healing journey.

Sam

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12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. victoriarebel
    Apr 15, 2015 @ 23:37:04

    Hi Sam
    I know it’s tough to go through this all over again and I applaud you doing it.
    I never realized this before reading your blog but reading your entry now suddenly left me with question. Normally in DID sYstem it is very unusual that new insiders come out one by one without overwhelming gash of new insiders appearing all at once. I hope I am explaining it clearly. I wonder how does it happen that each new to you insider appears only after you won the previous insider over and incorporated ( for lack of a better word) her into your guys life. Have you ever met several new insiders to your wife’s system at once? Could it be that Karen’s system knows in its core that you are a safe person and allows you to repeat work needed with each emerging insider before allowing a new insider to present herself to you? Just thinking outloud. And also, it is not usual that all insiders share the same gender as a host. Have you thought about possibility that you will eventually have to deal with boys as well? And how will it be different than girls?
    Still admiring your work from afar.
    As for me, I am finally free of my abusers following me – couple years now, and my relationship with my husband came to a bitter end, after he refused to help me, and instead became an abuser himself in that he refused to let me heal and kept re traumatizing me over and over again in order to meet his own needs. He is out of my life, and I am trying to stay stable enough to raise my kids, and not to give in to despair that I am doomed to be forever alone as I will never be well enough to have an intimate relationship again, nor will I ever be able to trust another human being after my husband betrayal of my history and manipulating or disclosing it to his own benefit only without regard to my feelings. I am better off alone but it does feel lonely, and that yearning inside for safe love and acceptance will never be fulfilled. I am envious in a good way of your wife and her system, of your love and commitment to each other.
    Remember, you are one of a kind out there and even though it is difficult, you will get what you been working for for last 7 years selflessly and you will feel happy and loved. That day will come when hard work will be over for both of you and all that will remain is unconditional reciprocated love.
    I am not sure I am saying right things and not sure if I should be saying them. Please forgive me if I am saying wrong things…
    Victoria

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Apr 15, 2015 @ 23:51:55

      Hi Victoriarebel,

      It’s good to hear from you again! You are always welcome to make whatever comments you want as I am rarely offended except for the few times people have purposely made personal insults.

      To answer your questions. I have wondered about your observation: that I integrate each girl outside and help her thru the major part of her healing before the next one comes out. Shellie and KA came out almost simultaneously but neither of them suffered trauma. They were ‘support’ insiders for the others. KA the inside mother to Amy. And Shellie the little sister/moral support for Alley. But Amy, Alley and then Tina each came out one at a time after the previous girl was heal and established outside. Sophia was different than all the rest as she came out slowly over the last 7 years. When she and Tina connected and became sisters 2 years ago, it seemed to give Sophia the strength she needed to finish moving to the outside…

      Yes, I’ve been told before that it’s unusual there are no boys in my wife’s network. I don’t think it will change anything that I do if one should arise. I would still love him, try to make him feel safe, make sure he had things to call his own, and ‘marry’ him into our family. People within a d.i.d. system may see themselves as individuals, but from the outside looking in I hold two views simultaneously. I engage each girl individually however she asks me, and yet I also realize that each of them is part of my wife, Karen Marie. So a male person within the group would still, ultimately, be part of my wife; just a male aspect within the whole. Hope that makes sense.

      I am glad you are finally away from all the abuse in your life. I am deeply sorry that means loneliness for you right now. I hope your children can fill some of the yearning you have for love and attachment though I know that’s not the same as a spouse ought to do.

      Take care and I hope to hear from you again.

      Sam

      Reply

  2. mrmarshall03
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 10:48:03

    Hi Sam,
    Glad to see you posting. I don’t think there have to be males parts in a female DID system are a rule. I think it all depends on the type of trauma and how the person dealt with it. Also each DID case is unique and kind of like a snowflake.My wife has more A type personalities within her system but not male.
    I always worry that there are more in my wife’s system. It seems like as soon as we as spouses get comfortable, another one shows up. I know this sounds selfish but it is not easy accommodating and changing constantly.
    I like your attachment theory posts but I do not know how to apply that theory to my situation. Maybe I need to reread.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Apr 16, 2015 @ 17:26:01

      Hi Mr. Marshall,

      I’m glad to hear from you again. No, this life is not easy in the slightest. Many days I write in my journal: “I hurt, I hurt, I hurt; I always hurt.” And you and I don’t get the benefit of dissociating it away. We have to find a way to cope and keep moving forward in spite of the blinding heartache.

      I’m sorry my blog is not more organized. I tried to put the various articles under general categories up at the top, but I know they are not sufficient. I hope some day I could go back and organize everything. I’ve got over 200 pages in my master copy of these articles and that’s simply too many pages for anyone to find the information they need without it being better organized.

      I would be happy to try to brainstorm with you if you want to write me at samruck2 at gmail dot come. When it comes down to it, attachment theory to me means attaching my wife in every aspect of my life. We do very little alone whenever I’m not at work and even then I spend all my breaks calling home to keep connected to them. I’ll be honest: right now it’s a VERY one-sided relationship. But I keep hoping if I put the work into it now, we will both finally reap the results.

      I wish I had a better answer for you,
      Sam

      Reply

  3. luverley
    Apr 16, 2015 @ 16:46:52

    Wow I wish somebody understood us like you understand your wife. Even my therapist doesn’t get us.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Apr 16, 2015 @ 16:54:44

      Hi Luverley,

      Thank you for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment. The thing to remember about therapists is that most of them only have ‘clinical’ knowledge of d.i.d. And so they have a sanitized view of what it’s really like. As a husband I’m in the trenches 24/7 and experience it with my wife/girls in all aspects of life. Sadly most therapists don’t understand that; but that doesn’t mean they don’t have a valid place and I’m thankful for the role my girls’ counselor has.
      Take care,

      Sam

      Reply

  4. flowerofthewoods
    Apr 17, 2015 @ 13:35:34

    Sorry, but I had to chuckle at this post. My life for the past couple years has been all about working to get someone happy, having a couple of days to a month of peace, then somebody new begins to emerge and we start the whole process all over again. After about five repetitions, we finally learned to just go along with the ride.

    I do hope that you keep blogging.

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      Apr 17, 2015 @ 17:24:30

      Hi Flower,

      thanks for taking time to comment. It’s been a hard day… Thanks for the encouragement.

      Sam

      Reply

      • flowerofthewoods
        Apr 18, 2015 @ 15:21:12

        You’re doing a fantastic job, so don’t ever doubt that.

        You’re definitely a lot more careful and methodical than the rather cavalier approach that my husband and I have taken, so while you may not be enjoying certain immediate benefits that we have, I’d say that you and your wife have a very strong foundation to build on. It’s admirable!

      • Sam Ruck
        Apr 20, 2015 @ 15:37:26

        I can do cavalier, 🙂
        Thanks for your vote of confidence. I do hope it’s worth the effort for both of us…

  5. Logan
    May 26, 2016 @ 13:59:38

    Hey Sam,

    I just recently found your blog and am very happy that you have shared your experiences.
    I have one brief, yet headache-inducing, question:
    You mentioned that one of the girls used to try to get away from you immediately as she popped out.
    My wife’s newest personality has been like that. I managed to get to talk to her, it was an interesting experience, but currently she pretty much seems to hate me/wants to sabotage the marriage.

    Any advice or experience with becoming friends with the girl that tried to run away?

    Thank you very much for your time and for sharing your experience!

    Reply

    • Sam Ruck
      May 26, 2016 @ 14:32:57

      Hi Logan,
      thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment!

      I think you may be referring to Tina, who was terrified of everyone, and that’s why she tried to get away from me. That was a different problem than my wife’s defender, Alley, who used to hate me. Maybe she’s more like the one you are currently dealing with. So I gave you a link to that entry. In the end I essentially had to ‘date’ or ‘court’ each and every girl and start wherever she was at. The defender hated me, so I had to deal with my past transgressions before I could begin building a relationship with her: now she and I are pre-engaged and regularly being physically intimate: so there IS HOPE if you are willing to work at it. Tina was terrified of me and everyone in general. So she presented me with an entirely different set of issues that I had to overcome. And now Jenny, the girl that this entry you commented on has a different set of issues than either Alley or Tina.

      If you use the site index tab at the top it gives you a complete list of all my blog entries and may help you find entries directed more closely to the issues you are experiencing and give you a starting point for any specific questions you may then have.
      Sam
      https://samruck2.wordpress.com/2010/07/02/defusing-the-anger-of-the-defender/

      Reply

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