Jan 02, 10
Read in January, 2010
Author Casey (a pseudonym to protect her privacy) is/was a person with Multiple Personality Disorder, a disassociative disorder. Many people are familiar with the disorder from ‘The Three Faces of Eve’ or ‘Sybil’. This book is unique in that it tells the story of her treatment and integration from the POV of one of the personalities.
Joan Frances Casey was abused terribly when she was a child, both sexually by her father and physically and emotionally by her mother. Her personalities emerged to allow her to deal with these assaults. Very intelligent and a high achiever, she entered college early and got her bachelor’s degree very quickly. But her marriage ended, and, feeling like a failure, her primary personality came to consciousness on a window ledge. She decided she needed to try therapy one more time.
Lynn Wilson was a psychiatric social worker for the college who realized something that Casey’s previous therapists hadn’t: Casey was a multiple. Knowing that the personalities had emerged because Casey had never felt safe in her childhood, she started on a path of re-parenting Casey, allowing the various personalities to feel safe and to know it was all right to feel and express the emotions they embodied. Wilson did not have any training in this; she did it all intuitively. And it worked- Casey integrated over about 4 years, much more quickly than most MPDs do. Most therapists think she went over the top with the case, bringing Casey into her own family and ‘adopting’ her as a fifth daughter, but it worked. For both of them, and for Wilson’s husband, who became a co-therapist.
It’s a very interesting read. We not only see things from the main personalities POV, but Wilson’s diaries are interspersed with the main narration, allowing us to see both sides of the therapeutic process. It’s a much more personal book that ‘Sybil’ or ‘Eve’ or the other books on MPD. Recommended.