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Taking the reader through an extraordinary world where the very nature of reality is different, this personal narrative tells the story of one woman’s terrifying battle to understand her own mind. From the desperate struggle to win back the child she loves to the courage and commitment needed to make sense of her life, this account recalls Kim Noble's many years in and out of mental institutions and various diagnoses until finally being appropriately diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID). Described as a creative way some minds cope with unbearable pain, DID causes Kim's body to play host to more than 20 different personalities—from a little boy who speaks only Latin and an elective mute to a gay man and an anorexic teenager. Sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting, this brave illumination of the links and intersections between memory, mental illness, and creativity offers a glimpse into the mind of someone with DID and helps readers understand the confusion, frustration, and everyday difficulties in living with this disorder.

Published: Chicago Review Press an imprint of Independent Publishers Group on
ISBN: 9781613744734
List price: $13.99
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I was originally fascinated by the concept of a first person perspective of just one alter. I was immediately struck by just how much "victim" language was in play e.g. "I was only little. What choice did I have?" Even though Patricia was never abused she was clearly profoundly affected in all parts of her life by the abuse.The second part of the book sees a profound shift in mood as Patricia describes her coming to terms with her DID and her resultant life successes. It felt a little uncomfortable reading about her need to make choices about things like whether to display the work of other alters - how could you possibly know what they would choose?Another fascinating aspect to the work is the idea presented of "the body" making choices related to self preservation, for example, a non-driver not being allowed out while the car is in motion, and a switch taking place when someone tries to commit suicide. Additionally, Patricia refers to never having really gotten around to looking in mirrors and to not noticing that the "chat room" she was involved with was actually a Word document in her own house. She managed to avoid seeing the truth by simply not seeing all the details. How does this occur? Who/what makes these things happen? The alters have no awareness of each other and yet subconsciously an aspect of the self allows different alters to be triggered by their preferred environments, such as good or water. How does this happen?The more disturbing question for me is one that Patricia doesn't raise until the end. The alters have no awareness of when they're going to be replaced by another alter, and some dominant personalities have already "faded". What is the possibility of reaching the end of life, not only prematurely, but without even any awareness of death? Presumably all but one alter will be absent at the moment of death and won't know anything about it, unless the body suffers a long, drawn out illness. That is a scary thought.All in all, not quite what I expected, but very thought-provoking.more

Reviews

I was originally fascinated by the concept of a first person perspective of just one alter. I was immediately struck by just how much "victim" language was in play e.g. "I was only little. What choice did I have?" Even though Patricia was never abused she was clearly profoundly affected in all parts of her life by the abuse.The second part of the book sees a profound shift in mood as Patricia describes her coming to terms with her DID and her resultant life successes. It felt a little uncomfortable reading about her need to make choices about things like whether to display the work of other alters - how could you possibly know what they would choose?Another fascinating aspect to the work is the idea presented of "the body" making choices related to self preservation, for example, a non-driver not being allowed out while the car is in motion, and a switch taking place when someone tries to commit suicide. Additionally, Patricia refers to never having really gotten around to looking in mirrors and to not noticing that the "chat room" she was involved with was actually a Word document in her own house. She managed to avoid seeing the truth by simply not seeing all the details. How does this occur? Who/what makes these things happen? The alters have no awareness of each other and yet subconsciously an aspect of the self allows different alters to be triggered by their preferred environments, such as good or water. How does this happen?The more disturbing question for me is one that Patricia doesn't raise until the end. The alters have no awareness of when they're going to be replaced by another alter, and some dominant personalities have already "faded". What is the possibility of reaching the end of life, not only prematurely, but without even any awareness of death? Presumably all but one alter will be absent at the moment of death and won't know anything about it, unless the body suffers a long, drawn out illness. That is a scary thought.All in all, not quite what I expected, but very thought-provoking.more
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