Top positive review
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Validating and Practical Guide for Multiples and Those Who Love Them
on July 5, 2006
I was recently diagnosed with DID after years and years of struggling with my system and believing that I was quite literally insane and needed to be locked away... For years I have been diagnosed as having Major Depression, bipolar disorder, dysthymia (sp?), PTSD, etc... I had a major, disruptive depressive episode five months ago and I'm just now partially recovering. I was fortunate enough to find an intelligent, articulate, and warm therapist that I trusted enough to tell the secret that I've been holding for 20 years. I told her about The People Who Live Behind My Eyes, Joan, Jessica, Erica with a "c", Michael, Little Kara, Adarin (pronounced a-duh-reen), and Mmemnon. She lent me Amongst Ourselves and suggested that I read it and that we use it in therapy.
This book has been a profound and virtually divine gift. Not only is it written well and from the perspective of one who has alters (who speak in the book too), but it has helpful and practical exercises for those who might or have DID.
You may find some of the exercises to be childish or cheesy, but give them a try. They really help. I admit I haven't completed every one, but I hope to. Among my favorites are the ones that deal with "losing time" and regaining/connecting consciousness with your alters. Little Kara misplaces things a lot and it makes us frustrated sometimes... But, having this as a resource in addition to a wonderful therapist helps us to have consciousness with one another so that we don't lose things or forget who we are talking to.
Common media and conventional thinking have distorted MPD/DID and those who live with it. In addition, there are people, scholars and laypersons alike, who believe the condition doesn't exist. These types of portrayals have negatively colored many people's perception.
This book helps to clear some of the mystery and myth away from DID by validating it and by presenting it as a survival mechanism that some develop in response to highly traumatizing and prolonged events (i.e. , ritual abuse, physical, sexual, emotional abuse and domestic violence).
The authors basically argue that those who have DID are exceptionally intelligent, articulate, and creative people who often function "normally" in daily life. That is, multiples have successful careers, have professional degrees, families, and are relatively well-rounded individuals. The exception is that we process information a bit differently. When multiple people share one body, information-knowledge and behavior is bound to be quite different from the "singleton" experience...
One other thing I like about this book is that the authors don't advocate one therapy over another. Karen seems to lean more toward "living as a committee/family," rather than "integration." Personally, I like this approach. Whether you're working to establish communication with your alters or working to integrate them into a whole personality it's all about your perspective and how you want to live.
This book is useful for those who may think they have DID, those living with it, therapists, and family-friends of a multiple. It has a section for therapists and a section for family-friends, which provides insightful and easy-to-read information about DID and how to understand your role in relating to and interacting with someone who has DID.