Dissociative Identity Disorder: Fearfully And Wonderfully Made (15)
Psalm 139: 13 – 18
After Craig passed on, the alter Craig indicated through Pearl that he had more to say. He again blamed Jane for fostering him out and did not love him as much as she did Albert. Jane’s guilt over Craig, following his death, proved more deep-seated than originally anticipated, and this took a few extended sessions in a three-way conversation between Jane, Craig, and myself, for her to come to terms with Christine’s (her mother-in-law) decision to foster Craig out at his birth. Subsequently, Jane apologized to Craig, seeking forgiveness. In debriefs over Craig, Jane wept bitterly over the pain of her son’s demise.
After a month’s recuperation from her surgery, we met again and a new alter, Jolene, surfaced. Jolene is the older daughter of Eddy and Doreen, Jane’s foster parents. She was closest to Jane in the family. She enumerated the traumas that Jane underwent, especially with her mother and Fabian, and gave her side of the stories. Jolene, the real person who now lives in New Zealand, actually visited Jane a few months ago, and due to her age, that was to be her last visit to Singapore.
At the beginning of another session, Pearl cryptically mentioned that someone would like to talk to me. Aunty Isabelle, the younger sister of Jane’s foster parents and her father, spoke about her sister-in-law’s (Jane’s mother) suicide. Jane’s father was a gambler, and at one point in the marriage, he was stealing his wife’s jewelry and pawning them to pay his gambling debts. Whether it was an explanation for the suicide or a statement of fact, is immaterial, as the information cannot be verified. How Jane felt about it, if at all, ought to be processed. Isabelle said she had visited Jane at few times at Eddy and Doreen’s home, and knew that Jane was unhappy there, and wanted to bring her to her own home, but Eddy objected. She shared this with Jolene, who subsequently told Jane a few years ago.
An indication how some alters are totally not co-conscious with what is going on presently was this incident with Craig. He started talking about his isolation from the family when Pearl cut into our conversation suddenly, informing Craig that she has been informing all the other alters not to disturb Jane as she is recovering from surgery, and is now informing him. Craig said he was unaware of Jane’s situation, and also totally unaware that Jane is over 70 years old. But he knows that the real Craig is deceased. Fascinating how memory works! He apologized to his mother for all the pain he had caused her and the family in the past, and promised to let her recuperate.
Jolene came out again and mentioned that she had wanted Jane to make a trip with her to their hometown in Malaysia a couple of years ago, but Jane refused. She apologized again for all her mother and brother had done to her.
At this point, realizing that we are now progressing into another period of Jane’s life as an adult, I enquired from Pearl whether there was anyone else whom she knew inside, who had other information about Jane’s childhood, who had not come out to share about their experiences. For a few seconds there was silence, before Pearl answered that no one else would address Jane’s childhood issues anymore. I then followed through, “Can you ask each one that you had contact with regarding Jane’s childhood memories, whether there are other extant memories that they had not spoken about and would like to tell me or the others? Or should I talk to each one myself?”
“I can do that for you, just give me some time,” Pearl confidently replied. We then had a about 30 seconds of quiet before she spoke up. “There is no other information that they need to share.” Again, fascinating watching the memory system at work!
“Thank you Pearl for assisting us to get to know Jane’s childhood memories. Can I ask whether you and the others know anything about the process of memory integration?”
“No. What is it?” Pearl answered.
Her reply surprised me as I had earlier integrated Anne into Jane’s memory system, indicating that they were not co-conscious (i.e., in Episode 6). Why did I integrate Anne at such an early stage in the counseling process? Anne seemed to be keeping Jane’s specific emotive memories. That attempt at integration was to test whether these were the only memories Anne kept for Jane and no more, otherwise the integration will be unsuccessful. Anne did not surface again.
“O.K. Let me explain. God created our memory system to be totally and seamlessly integrated in such a way that Jane is able to access all her cognitive and emotive memories intact without them being kept by you all separately. The reason for this separation was Jane’s way of putting aside events that hurt her very much at the time of their occurrence, and not wanting to re-experience them again, she allowed you to keep those memories for her all these years. You are all part of Jane’s memory system as you share the same body and mind. The integration process would enable all of Jane’s painful memories to be re-integrated into her memory system, so that you will all have access to all of Jane’s memories, and Jane will also be able to access your memories without any barriers – you all will be able to listen and hear each other completely,” I said, taking a deep breath and expecting the alters to have further questions.
We will handle their questions in the next episode.