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A seriously thought provoking book. A compasionate exposé of a destructive childhood and an insight into the damage caused by abuse. It is also a compassionate and revealing exploration of Multiple Personality Disorder. Are we all actually one person?
I was gripped by this book from cover to cover. It's not exactly easy reading though it's not too difficult either.
It seems, reading a number of reviews, that the book is mostly seen in the light of the psychological condition of MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) - or DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) or in the more general domain of sexual abuse and the damage it causes.
For me, however, these are by no means the sole significance of the book. It is much more a philosophical issue and a human one. Truddi Chase, the author, and the physical "person" (forgive the shorthand) was seriously abused by her stepfather and as a consequence she developed what are referred to as multiple personalities. The human aspect of this story is the extreme tragedy. That human beings have to endure such incredible terror and distress is, for me, bewildering. And that Truddi Chase managed to survive and come some way to terms with it is phenomenal. The endurance and courage are stunning and the commitment to make some sense and some purpose of her life against such odds is encouraging in the extreme.
The philosophical aspect is that the various personalities are indistinguishable, in their perception, from individual people in the "real" world. The book transported me into their world just enough for me to realise that in some deep philosophical way we have no more ability to comprehend our relationship to each other than they have to comprehend the outside world's view of their relationship to each other. Put simply - one of them sees the world the same as one of us. So how could we tell the difference? That then begs the question: "Am I one personality in a multiple personality?" The odd thing is that I am tempted to realise that this is necessarily true. It is only what many religions ultimately conclude.
I recommend this book to any one with an interest in finding themselves and improving their own experience. This is a seriously thought provoking book.
Truddi Chase sadly died on 10 March 2010 aged 75. She had been suffering for some time with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).