Dissociative Identity Disorder: Fearfully And Wonderfully Made (9)
We will handle a few of the alters that kept Pearl’s emotional memories.
How do we know who keeps what memories? By probing and asking questions based on memory feedback over events in Jane’s life, and understanding the coding aspect of types of memory as a result of traumatic experiences. Thankfully, Pearl seemed to know quite a few alters with whom she is co-conscious. As we meet them, Pearl would interrupt these sessions from time-to-time and talk about missing pieces of information and who keeps them. She appears to be the one who has some control over these alters.
The first to appear was Mike (about 35 years old). I had not heard any mention of Mike in the past and my immediate reaction was, “Hello Mike, I have not met you before, nor have the others talked about you. Is there a reason for you to come out at this time?”
“Pearl told me to come out now!”
“Oh, I see. Thank you for keeping some of Jane’s memories for her. Would you like to tell me what you know about Jane,” I replied.
Immediately, Mike talked about the three abortions that Jane had undergone when she was around 32 to 35 years old. These were bitter experiences for her and she had sleepless nights thinking through before loosing her unborn children. Again, I asked permission for Jane to be able to listen in on our conversation. I was curious how this man knew so much about Jane’s struggles, which most women would rarely talk about openly.
“Mike, can we stop here for a moment. We will come back to what you are sharing later, as it is important. Can you tell me a little about yourself and how you got to know Jane so well?”
“I was the handyman at the hotel owned by Thomas’ father. Sometimes, I would help serve in the bar too. I had been working there a long time and I know the whole family. I have a room at the rooftop, and Jane would often bring the children up there to let them run around. We would talk about many things while her children played on their own. She would share with me her problems as she knew no one in Singapore, except Thomas.”
“Yes, Jane had come from Malaysia, so she was quite lonely. I am glad she was able to talk to you and share things that were quite personal. And you seemed to be quite a caring person and willing to listen to Jane’s problems.”
“I pitied her because we all know what Thomas was up to behind her back. But I enjoyed playing with her children, especially Albert, as he is the oldest. We played a lot of football together. I watched her children grow up until the hotel was sold. Thomas just ignored his children – not a good father at all,” Mike went on.
“One day, I arrived back from work and found Jane crying on the rooftop alone. I do not know how long she had been there. She did not see me as I quietly watched her from a distance, not knowing what to do. Being a single man and an employee, I had to watch my place. And she is a married woman after all. I sat in a corner and watched for an hour or so. I felt so very sad for her even though I did not know what was happening. Then she got up and was making her way to the stairs, when she saw me. She felt very embarrassed when she saw me because her eyes were all puffed up and she was still drying them. I asked her to wait for a minute, while I got a glass of water for her. We did not talk as she slowly sipped at her water. Then after about five minutes, she opened up to me and cried some more.”
“Jane had just had her third abortion at a private clinic a couple of days earlier. Thomas did not go with her, nor went to fetch her home. She felt very afraid and alone even though it was her third time. She wanted to have her babies, but Thomas insisted she aborted them and threatened her. She was feeling very depressed at what she had done, so she went to the rooftop to cry.”
“Mike, I am so glad you were around to give her a listening ear as she had no one else to turn to for comfort,” I interjected.
“I liked Jane. She is a simple lady and she tells you what is on her mind. She is kind and gentle, and she loves her children very much.”
Knowing that ‘Mike’ was a part of Jane’s memory system, I asked the inevitable question about their relationship and its level of intimacy. “ Mike, was there ever any romantic relationship between the two of you?”
“No. We enjoyed each other’s company. And as I have no family, I love playing with her kids. And when we talk, we would joke with each other and exchange stories. That was all. Jane was very proper in relating to me.”
After Jane came out of her trance, I checked with her what she had heard from Pearl and Mike concerning her abortions. As she was going over the details with me, tears rolled down non-stop as she described her struggles and pain of those years. Mike was a real person, and it is likely Jane dissociated her memories soon after talking to him, not wanting to feel those bitter disappointments again.
Suddenly, in the middle of this exchange, another new alter muscled his way into the conversation.