This is a collection of thoughts, feelings and short anecdotes by individuals diagnosed with MPD. It was put out by Sidran Press in 1991, edited by Barry Cohen, Esther Giller and Lynn W.

The book was written at a time when this diagnosis had finally been accepted as a "real" diagnosis, and there were many conferences going on to teach therapists more about it so they could diagnose and treat patients better. It was gradually being seen as something that came out of enormous childhood trauma, instead of a one in a million occurrence, like Sybil or Eve. It was also to assist people in understanding that the symptoms of MPD cover a wide spectrum and a lot of people really do have it. The book was compiled from questionnaires answered by MPD patients (the questionnaires were sent out in 1990 to subscribers of a couple of professional journals to reach this population) and the point is to support people that have it, their friends and family and therapists.

It was nice reading parts of it again, it's always nice when you feel like part of a group, and you're not the only one. I read the extremely short chapter on integration. Seems like back in 1991 people were not necessarily integrating but leaving it open, as a choice. I don't agree with that, unless the person doesn't have a choice, which could happen of course. But if you have a choice, you should try and integrate. This way of life is primitive and disruptive and alienating. It's also, of course, a very powerful survival tool that has allowed me to accomplish a lot in my time on earth.

A lot of things have changed in the mental health community, one of which is the disorder's name has been changed to Dissociative Identity Disorder, I think to better reflect the reality of the wide spectrum of dissociation that people experience.
Excerpts That Have Spoken to Me From Multiple Personality From the Inside Out Edited by Barry M. Cohen, Esther Giller, Lynn W. Sidran Press

Chapter 9 "Other Voices"

Dedicated to my best friend and cheerleader.

p. 206
"Living with someone who experiences MPD has changed, enriched, and deepened my life. She is wonderful in many ways. She is one of the most creative people I've ever met. Living with a person with MPD demands integrity on the part of the significant other. A person with MPD will mirror those parts of yourself that need work. If you accept the challenge to change, they will accept nothing short of your best effort. I suggest that significant others look within themselves for answers when problems arise in "the relationship." MPD may not always be the reason for the relationship dilemma. In fact, MPD may become the scapegoat for areas of personal weakness and immaturity in the "normal" partner. It has been said that relationships "sand us down to the core of our divinity..."

by Elizabeth M.

p. 222
"MPD is just something to work through, like depression, or alcoholism, or any of the other difficult things that go on in this world. It is not a death sentence, you will survive. And most importantly, so will the person with MPD. Make sure you let them know that -every week, every day, every hour, if necessary. Always keep hope, even in the face of doubt, sadness, fear, and rage. My significant other is the best thing that has ever happened to me. If it weren't for her ability to survive horrible, unexplainable, inhumane torture and abuse, my life would not be so rich. She is a gift, a wonder-not just to me, but to all the people whose lives she has touched."

--a friend of Lisa's

Sidran has a great web site at www.sidran.org.

Cast of Thousands, chapter 12

Gail came drifting in from the living room. "There's rosemary, that's for remembrance; pray you, love, remember: and there is pansies, that's for thoughts. There's fennel for you, and columbines: there's rue for you; and here's some for me: we may call it herb-grace o' Sundays: O you must wear your rue with a difference. There's a daisy: I would give you some violets, but they withered all when my father died: they say he made a good end." She waved her hands grandly as she declaimed this speech, and ended it by flinging herself dramatically across a chair.

"Romeo and Juliet?" Joyce guessed.

Gail shook her head sternly. "Hamlet, one of Ophelia's crazy speeches. Act four, scene five."

Joyce shook her head, smiled and sighed. "Soon we'll have two insane teenagers in the house."

Gail tossed her head, and then laughed. Joyce passed her a jar of spaghetti sauce. "Here, make yourself useful."

Gail whipped the lid off and poured the contents into a saucepan. "She must be just about old enough to start seeing some Shakespeare, don't you think?"I think she's been ready to handle that stuff for a long time," Joyce answered. "I don't know whether she wants to, though. It's not exactly light reading, and she's more into regular young adult books."

"Or younger," Gail said, grabbing a wooden spoon for the sauce.

"Hm," Joyce said, reserving judgment. "Call her, will you? Dinner's just about ready."

Gail went to the foot of the stairs and shrieked up, "Hey, shrimp! Come and set the TABLE!"

The "shrimp" sat on the top stair and bumped slowly down, smiling angelically at Gail, who was standing in the hallway tapping her foot pointedly.

"Very mature," Gail said as she reached the bottom step. "Now go, go, before the pasta is overdone or cold!" She chased Jessica into the kitchen.

For a few minutes, chaos reigned, but soon they were all seated and eating.

"So, Jessica, how was your day at school?" Joyce asked.

"Um...." Jess said vaguely. "I don't know. What did I do at school today?"

"Went, I hope," Gail said drily, systematically mashing her squash up with the tines of her fork.

"Hmm." She ate a few more bites of potato, then bounced up and down in her chair. "Oh I know! I had art class and we drew a picture of a dollar bill and then colored it in!"

"That's wonderful, honey," Joyce said approvingly.

"I brought it home, even, so you can see! I'm going to work on it some more so it will be really pretty. The teacher said it was... um... all playful and stuff." She took another helping of squash. "Oh and then I read all the kids' books at the library. And then I came here!"

"So that's where you were all afternoon," her mom said. "Well, that's a nice place to spend a Friday."

Gail finished mashing her squash up and decided she was done. Kitten immediately took over and began sculpting it into elaborate shapes on the plate. Jessie watched with great interest and looked thoughtfully at the food that remained on her own plate.

"Don't you dare," Joyce interrupted her. "Kitten, you too. Either eat it or put it in the fridge. If you keep fooling around with it it's going to get tough and dried-out." She pulled Kitten's plate away a little. "Honestly, first we have two sarcastic teenagers in the house, then two little kids!"

Jessie giggled, shoveling butternut squash into her mouth quickly. She nearly choked, covering her mouth with both hands as she giggled lest it overflow and spill half-chewed squash onto the table. She finally got it under control, gasping, swallowed, and exclaimed, "I thought squash was going to come out of my nose for a minute!"

That started Kitten giggling too. Joyce sighed amiably and took her dishes to the sink.

Jessica calmed down and followed suit. "Hey, Mom, can Marcy come over again tomorrow? We're going to do our social studies homework," she added virtuously.

"Sure, I don't see why not."

"And will you help me with my German homework tonight?"

"Sure, honey. And then you can show me the picture you made in art class today."

"Oh, okay. But I don't know why you'd want to see that old thing. It's kind of a mess."

 

Chapter 13?

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