In the last several days I have been having difficulties connecting with Suzie. It is not that she or I don’t want to, but almost every day something comes up to interfere with our plans, or happens just as I call.
Today we spoke about the labels they have put on her in the clinic, and I could reaffirm her that the debacle is not because of her, or that she is not willing but it is simply that they did not have the right tools. I pointed out to her how she fought to get there. They told her she is rebellious, stubborn and all of that. I know she is NOT and wants to get free.
So I prayed through the things you mentioned, and it felt something happened.
Because of an interruption we could not connect with Giver. We will try again tomorrow.
I feel like I am having trouble getting traction here.
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OK, Sally, we have a couple of layers here.
First there is the natural. Anytime you are working with SRA/DID it is going to be an uneven, uneasy journey. Your primary responsibility is to pick a position and be consistent with it. Your position can be anywhere on a line from owning almost all of the responsibility to owning almost none of it.
The former you usually only do when you are dealing with acute suicide ideation. If you have decided it is your battle to own, then you will take the initiative several times a day to stay in touch with the person, and you will specifically pursue when they are silent.
I usually position myself on the other extreme. I take almost no initiative at all. If someone cancels, I acknowledge it politely and leave the door open for them to initiate when they want a fresh connection. I am willing to let them go silent for days or months, since I don’t have any sense of competition, and I am sure they will be back sooner or later. If they get well by themselves and don’t need me anymore, that is fine too. I simply don’t do ownership.
Now, let me repeat. The important thing is not where you position yourself. It is that you become consistent in your posture, so she knows that if she cancels, you will be available again tomorrow at 9:00, or you will call her to reschedule, or she has total responsibility to reschedule. Don’t leave ambiguity. The devil can really yank them around with “does-she-love-me-anymore-or-does-she-wish-I-would-go-away?” By being consistent in your stance, you add a solid piece to the life of a survivor who is bouncing around their own world.
So that is the answer in the natural. You may just adopt a waiting game, letting her get settled in at home, working out the details of reentry into domestic life. Possibly some space would do her good.
On the other hand, someone who is walking with a survivor has the tool of intercession at all times. With Suzie we have frequent schedule glitches. That suggests some possible demonic agitation. You could press in on the Canaanite curse, or 6th head. You could pray for peace in the home over all. You could sanctify the times you have set apart. You could pray for her place in the community of the home to be reestablished and secured and honored.
Ponder what you know about her domestic situation and determine whether you want to pray wide, about a number of things, or press in on a single item with a vigorous prayer trigger. For example, every time you get interrupted or cancelled, you could invest in intercession all of that hour that was set aside for ministry to her.
Pray for her husband, since he is the primary support person for her, that he would find the grace to keep on going day after day with all of the disappointments of life with a survivor. Bless her Giver spirit from a distance with being able to step up and reestablish good community for the family around the dinner table. Deal with jealousy in the family picture. I know her kids must be hurting too. Are any of them jealous of the fact that she is hurting enough to get a lot of attention while their pains are ignored? Cover jealousy at home in every possible configuration.
Then when you have established a prayer focus, watch to see how soon things shift. Right now there is major devouring of the schedule. Will it clear up in two days? If so, you had just opportunistic varmints. If nothing moves for two weeks, then there is some deeply entrenched demonic power we need to look at more closely and develop a more painful strategy to dislodge.
Copyright March 2015 by Arthur Burk
From the Lab