Dissociative Identity Disorder: Fearfully And Wonderfully Made (12)
Psalm 139: 13 – 18
At our next session, Jane said there was a lady Pearl knew who wanted to talk to me. Jane did not know her name. Once I got Jane into a trance state, Aunty Doreen (5 to 21 years old) spoke. Doreen was Jane’s foster mother, the wife of uncle Eddy. Immediately, she apologized for the pain she had caused Jane during her stay at her home. As usual, since she attempted to talk to Jane all through last week but was rebuffed, I requested permission from her to have Jane listen in on our conversation.
“Thank you Doreen for keeping these painful memories for Jane all these years. Jane had earlier spoken about them. Can you share with me what happened between you and Jane, and what exactly you were so apologetic about?” I began.
“When Jane first arrived at our home, I was very upset, as we were not rich people, and I had three young children to feed. I begged Eddy to have Jane returned to her father, but he never came back for her. So, I trained Jane to do all the housework,” she spoke matter-of-fact.
“Jane was perhaps only about 5 or 6 years old. How did she manage to keep up with an adult’s load of housework?” I replied.
“I forced her to work in the afternoons and evenings, after she returned from school. Against my objections, Eddy wanted to put her through school. She would clean the house before she went to school, and after she returned, wash the dishes and help me do the cooking, clean up after it, finish washing the clothes and iron the previous day’s load. On the weekends, she would do the gardening and help me prepare all the spices for the week. If she broke a bowl or a cup, I would cane her. If she did not cook a dish properly, I would push her face against burning coal, or rub chilly in her eyes. She was not allowed to play or mix with our neighbour’s kids or speak with them.”
“You were extremely strict and cruel with her, and that was a lot of work for a child, besides, she was your niece,” I felt burdened listening to the details.
“Yes, but she had to work for her food. She would have the leftovers after we finished our meals. I had to make sure she was well trained in the housework. Eddy and I used to quarrel whenever he heard me scold or beat her. But I told him not to interfere as his brother left her with us.”
“How do your children react to Jane, after all they are around her age?”
“My two daughters felt sorry for her, especially the older one and she would talk to Jane each evening. They were quite close. She was the one who noticed that something had happened to Jane before we found out that my son had violated her.”
“How did that happen as you were quite a tightly knit family unit?” I asked.
“Jane was working at the local post office in town and was on night shift that evening. Eddy sent Fabian to fetch Jane home. He had done this many times before. On the way back, he forced himself on her. She kept this to herself. It happened twice. My daughter noticed that Jane had been crying by herself a lot, and that was when she probed, and after a few days she found out what had happened.”
“That was an evil thing Fabian did to Jane. What happened after you knew about it?” I enquired.
“I was angry with Jane and blamed her for it. Eddy sent Fabian away immediately to live with one of his relatives in another town. We were afraid our friends and neighbours would find out. It’s shameful!”
“Without Eddy’s permission, I enquired from our relatives how we could solve this problem. That was my mistake. Soon the whole village knew what happened. Then I visited an old lady who owned a brothel and discussed terms for selling Jane to her.”
“That was rather a cruel thing to do, Doreen.”
“We had no choice. That way, Jane would move to another village and Fabian can return home. But when Eddy found out about the brothel deal, he was mad at me! I had to give up the idea.”
“How was the problem solved eventually?”
“A few months down the road, Jane had a Singapore pen-pal who wanted to marry her. We encouraged her, and wanted to see the man. Eddy wanted to make sure she was not being taken advantage again. Eventually, she left with the man and we never saw her again.”
These traumatic incidents from 5 years old to 21 years old, caused Jane to dissociate her memory of particular events in such a way that several alters were created to ‘house’ them. Again, we need to be reminded that these were Jane’s uncorroborated perspective of episodes. Many of the actual persons are already deceased, and those who could collaborate are nowhere to be reached at the time of treatment.
Concurrently, Eddy and Mike resurfaced during our sessions with Doreen.