Thursday, January 22, 2009

Just a sample

My name is Tiffany Fletcher and I am the second oldest of six children born to a mother diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder. My mother was originally diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder in March of 1994. Later that year, however, the American Psychiatric Association changed the name from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD) to Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID). The change was made to reflect the medical understanding of the disorder, as it is not a personality disorder at all, but rather a dissociation from reality. Although my mother’s original diagnosis was MPD, I have used the more current term of DID to promote the name change and the professional understanding of the illness. In my attempt to promote awareness of Dissociative Identity Disorder, I have decided to share the first two chapters of my book, "Mother Had a Secret" for readers to enjoy. Although I am now 32, I lived in the trenches for 28 years, experiencing every mood, every alter, every heartbreak and every success. This book begins with my feelings of resentment towards my mother but then moves into understanding, respect, healing, acceptance and love for all my mother was and for all that her alters taught me. If you like the chapters, please leave a comment and then tell all your friends about the blog. Word of mouth is the only way I have to get the word out and the more comments I get, the more likely I am to get it published! So, please, if you like the chapters, tell your friends, post it on your blog, yell it from the mountain tops. Help me do whatever it takes to get people here. Thanks so much and enjoy.


Chapter One-Family Secrets

What happens in this house stays in this house. Although she was now dead, the words resounded in my mind as clearly as the day my mother said them. I hated the words for what they represented, a life of hidden suffering. While relatives and friends gathered outside the small bathroom of the funeral home, lining to view my mother in her last repose, I stood looking at my reflection. My eyes were swollen and glistened with new tears. “They glistened like Tiffany diamonds,” Mom would say, “That’s why I named you Tiffany.”
I stared at a small window at the far wall of the bathroom. Twenty-four, I thought. It was the number of panes in the window. I had an incessant need to count things ever since I was a child, which only grew worse as my nervousness increased. Whenever I was nervous I found myself counting things, not consciously. It was an involuntary habit like chewing on nails. My mother said she did the same thing when she was forced by her father to…I couldn’t think of it. Instead, I splashed water in my face from the running tap in the sink I stood next to.
I looked back at the window, trying to refrain from counting any more of its symmetrical features. It was the only source of light in the dismal bathroom. It was about five feet off the ground with just enough clearance to squeeze light through, but not much room for a person, unless that person were desperate. I was certainly desperate. I wanted to runaway and avoid what was to come.

I splashed more water on my face in a futile attempt to bring back my senses. What’s wrong with me? I couldn’t just leave my own mother’s viewing. What would people think? That was the ultimate question; the question that kept us in our social lines of what was acceptable and right. Who would dare stray from the accepted norms when the neighbors were watching?
There was nothing I hated more about myself than the need to be perfect in the eyes of others. Although I often told myself that I didn’t care what they thought, the truth was that my life was ruled by how I thought others viewed me. Like a harsh slave master, propriety kept a watchful eye over me, as it did everyone. If I stepped out of line, it would crack its whip of ruthful public scorn and I would file back to my proper place and once again take up the labor of maintaining the community fa├žade.
Mom also tried to maintain that conformity despite her secret, a secret she insisted we preserve as well. The same secret, which I now had the freedom to discard like an unsightly thing. Yet, somehow I was not willing to toss it aside. Was it my duty as a daughter? Was it the pressures of family? Did I really care what they, outside the door, would say? I knew what their question would be. “How did Vickie die?” they would ask. What I did not know was the answer. I knew how she died, but would I tell them? Could I tell them?
I splashed more water on my face and glanced again at the window. Maybe a running start would help, I thought, amusingly.
“Tiffany,” said a voice from behind the door. It was my sister, Lydia. “Umm…one of your children needs a diaper change.” She paused for a moment. “Oh, and Grandpa’s here.”
The words shook me to an awakened state of duty. I quickly wiped the mascara from under my eyes, took one last look at the mirror, and started for the door. I paused a moment and looked to the ceiling. “You have to help me with this, Father” I said. “I can’t do this on my own you know.” There was no reply, but I knew He was listening, perhaps even cracking a smile.
I stepped outside to find Lydia standing, waiting. “Where is he?” I asked.
“In the outside foyer,” she said.
“Duty calls,” I said, mostly to myself.
Four feet from the door to the foyer, it happened, what I had been avoiding. Since I received the news that Mom had died, I had been preparing myself for this moment. Now that the moment was here, I was just as uncertain as I was before. She was an acquaintance from church and although she was not a close friend, she came along with the rest of them to offer her support of the family and to pretend with us that this death was unforeseen.
“Tiffany,” she said, “I’m so sorry.” She put her hands on my shoulders and looked into my face. She mirrored my mourning expression and then embraced me. Pulling back she asked, “How are you holding up?”
“We’re getting by alright,” I replied. I felt the need to talk on behalf of the whole family as if I represented their collective feeling.
“This came so suddenly. I couldn’t believe it. When I heard I…” A look of shock replaced her words as if she were miming the rest of the conversation.
“It was a surprise to all of us,” I said. That was a lie. I promised myself I would not lie, but there it was blatant and unobstructed. It fell out like all lies fall into a conversation. They were the fodder from which we grew our deceptively perfect lives. I felt guilty that I had contributed to it. Shame stricken, I began to excuse myself when the question came, just as I had seen it in my head a thousand times.
“How did she die?” she asked. Her lips seemed to move synchronously with my thoughts. Though she spoke the words, I heard them more than with just my ears; I heard them with my heart, like steady precautionary beats.
I did not see Mom when she died, but I could imagine how it must have looked from the descriptions I had been told. She was kneeling by the edge of the bed, her head and arms sprawled across the blankets. The vision was horrific like a gothic painter’s depiction of the saints lying prostrate before their God.
I looked at the woman and her expectant eyes. Her question was artificial like everything else at the funeral. She did not care how Mom died. She was testing me to see if I would divulge those indiscretions of my mother—if I would tell her secret. I smiled and said, “She died on her knee’s praying.” And that was the truth.



Chapter 2 – Accidental Discovery

I remember screeching. That is what everyone remembers of a car wreck. It is a horrid sound that pierces the ears and assaults the attentions of spectators who otherwise move fluidly through their daily activities. It is a surreal experience that unhinges the coherence of what is normal and suspends it for moments after the collision. Like most other spectators, I stood doing nothing, an outsider looking in, unable to interpret the event. Without the acknowledgement that I was a part of this intrusion, I would have remained an outside observer and nothing more, but fate would have it differently. God wanted it differently.
It was the spring of my senior year of high school. I had my first job working at a burger shop not far from the house. Though it wasn’t the most glamorous of jobs, it was a source of money and for me that meant a source of freedom. Just having something to occupy my time, other than home, was a nice reprieve from the usual responsibilities I took upon myself. It was an escape of sorts or so I thought, but soon I would know there would be no escaping. Like always, my home life would crash into the rest of my life, leaving me to deal with the consequences. I would never be normal.
The comprehension that something was wrong came long before the collision. The car was moving much too fast, much too conspicuous. The sight of it was an irritation, like a sliver prickling the senses. My stomach tensed and heart beat faster. Though I was viewing the accident from behind the counter of the restaurant where I worked, I felt a part of the event as if I were riding in the car. It was a sickening sensation of dread and fear.
As the cars approached each other, time seemed to stretch to fill every sensation that was about to erupt. First was the screeching, which quickly faded as the explosion of impact struck me like the beating of a snare drum and then the crumpling and whining of metal that had been compressed beyond its capacity to give. The metal folded into rough angles as shattered glass scattered across the road. The random shrieks of evasive cars poured out their last objections to the abhorrence. Then, a silence settled like the slow exhalation of breath. A few more beats of the heart and time sped up again.
I gasped as the realization to breathe came back. I stood a few moments longer trying to realize what had just happened. My manager took action first, rushing to call the police while the rest of the patrons and I continued to flow around this minor interruption. A few customers glanced subtly at the accident, trying to satisfy their hungered curiosity while others gawked blatantly, feasting on every sensual enticement of the anomaly. The accident presented nothing more than a minor distraction that filled the otherwise stale conversations of the patrons with a new freshness.
“I just witnessed that accident,” I said. “What should I do? Should I go out and tell the police what I saw?”
“No, there were plenty of witnesses,” the manager replied. “They don’t need you as much as we do. Your job is here. Just take the next order.”
I nodded in agreement. Taking a few short breaths first, I then took the next order, but something still seemed out of place. Despite my attempts to focus on the customer, my eyes continued to wander to the scene of the accident. I had a clear view of the car wreck from the large bay window of the restaurant. My scattered attention had nothing to do with curiosity; it had to do with a feeling. In the back mechanisms of my mind, I was still processing the accident.
Something had triggered a thought that was now constraining my attention. I could no longer resist. I looked at the cars, which now rested some distance from each other. The police had arrived and were approaching both vehicles. One of the cars had a female passenger who seemed to be slightly dazed. It was then that I recognized what had been plaguing my thoughts. The feelings of the accident rushed back like a tsunami. The woman in the car was my mother.

“Stand back, Miss. No one is allowed beyond the sidewalk,” one of the police officers said.
“But that’s my Mom in the car,” I said. I had rushed out the door, leaving the customer without his order. The thought that I might lose my job, which I had only just started a week prior, never crossed my mind. The sight of Mom replaced all other thoughts with a single imperative: I had to take care of her.
“You’re her daughter?” he asked.
I nodded my head.
“She’s not talking clearly. We can’t understand what she’s saying, something about your father. She has sustained some serious injuries and we need to get her to the hospital, but she won’t let us touch her. We think she might have a concussion.”
“I can talk to her,” I said. “I can get her out for you.”
The officer looked at his partner, who was trying to coax Mom out of the car. He turned backed to me and asked, “Is she on any medications?”
This question alarmed me. “The doctors have prescribed her a lot of different medications,” I said. “I am not exactly sure which prescription she has taken. If you let me talk to her, I can get her into the ambulance for you.”
The officer directed me to the car where his partner was still trying to talk to Mom.
“Mom,” I said, “Are you okay?”
“Tiffany,” Mom said. Her voice was slow and lethargic. “What are you doing here?”
“I was at work Mom. I saw you hit the car in front of you and came out to make sure you were okay.”
“I was going somewhere,” Mom said. “You’re father’s going to be mad. He’s going to leave me. Please don’t tell him about this. I don’t want him to know.” She was pleading like a scared child.
“Dad’s not going to leave you, Mom, you just need to get checked to make sure you’re okay,” I said.
“No, I need to go. You’re father’s going to be mad at me.” Mom pointed to the police officer standing beside the car. “He won’t let me go. I told him I need to go, but he said I couldn’t.”
“Mom, he’s just trying to help you. You can’t go anywhere in this car. You were just in an accident and you totaled it.”
“I didn’t. I was just going somewhere. Where was I going? I can’t remember, but you’re father will be angry with me when he finds out.”
“Mom, the police are trying to get you out of the car and if you don’t come, they are going to be mad at you.” I tugged on her arm. She resisted. “Now, come on, before they get really angry,” I pleaded.
“Why are they mad at me?” Mom asked. “Did I do something wrong?” Her speech was still slurred, her eyes glazed, her mouth gaping, and her face void of expression.
“ Mom, you just need to listen to them. Okay.”
“Okay,” Mom agreed. “I’ll come, but your father’s going to be angry.”
By this time, Dad had arrived on the scene. Previous to my arrival, the police had called him at home.
“Vickie, what happened?” Dad asked. “Are you all right?”
“George, don’t be mad, okay. They wouldn’t let me go. I’m sorry. Please, don’t be mad at me.”
Dad reassured her that he wasn’t mad but Mom continued with her pleadings long after she was placed in the ambulance.

When she arrived at the hospital, blood tests had revealed elevated levels of narcotics and her stomach was pumped. Mom’s demeanor changed also and she lashed out violently at the doctors. Because of her erratic behavior, she was admitted into the psychiatric and behavioral unit. After two days of evaluation she was discharged. I waited for Mom to be brought out, not knowing why this was happening and hating her for allowing it to happen.
“How could she?” I said.
“Now, lets not jump to conclusions,” Dad said.
“How can you say that? You know this whole thing is her fault.”
“Let’s just wait and see what the doctors say.” This was not like my father, he should be angry. He was a good man, but patience was the least of his virtues. He knew something, he was not telling me. Why?
“Mr. Young?” An older woman in scrubs stood above my father, a clipboard in hand. “George Young?” she asked.
“Yes,” my father replied. “That’s me.”
“You’re Vickie’s husband.”
My father nodded.
“Vickie was admitted to the behavioral unit for psychiatric evaluation.”
“Yes. They told us.”
“I have some news about her condition.”
“Is she alright?” I asked. Although I was angry, I was still concerned.
“Your mother is fine,” the doctor said. “She sustained only a slight concussion.”
“Why is she under psychiatric evaluation then?” I demanded.
The doctor looked at my father, who was extremely calm given the circumstances. He knew why?
“What’s going on Dad?” I felt alone and confused.
My father nodded and the doctor turned to me. She paused as if to collect her thoughts. “We believe your mother has Dissociative Identity Disorder. She seems to be a classic case, although our diagnosis is somewhat preliminary.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“When a person experiences severe trauma, there are several different ways the mind copes with it,” the doctor explained. “In your mother’s case, when she was forced to deal with the trauma of her father’s continual molestation, her mind dissociated with reality and created a separate persona, or alter, who would deal with the trauma for her so that she didn’t have to. For this reason it is called Dissociative Identity Disorder. In the instance of her father’s abuse, your mother dissociated from the situation and Sam, a three-year-old boy, came into being. From that time forward, Sam was the one who faced the abuse and suffered through it.”
I stood saying nothing. The words revolved in my mind, Dissociative Identity Disorder. It seemed surreal. I had known about my grandfather sexually abusing my mother and that it had caused her irreparable trauma, but I had no idea how much. Mom often jumped from one mood to another erratically, like a flickering light. We thought she might be bipolar, but her mood swings were more than just the bounding between limitless depressions to heights of manic excitation. They were even more random and often contradictory.
Mom rarely remembered what she had done during the episodes and was often disoriented. At one moment she would be a loving caretaker, while at others she would become violent and angry. She often acted as a small child forcing my sisters and me to take care of her. Though the diagnosis fit, it was still difficult to accept that she had multiple alters. The thought of each of these moods being a distinct person seemed absurd.
“How many alters are there?” Dad asked.
“We are not sure of the number, but we know there are at least three: Sam, Bill and Vickie, your wife. Our main concern right now is Bill. He is extremely violent and we had to restrain him. We believe there are even more residing in her body, but Sam doesn’t talk much and all Bill does is make threats. We are sure that through extended psychotherapy, we can interview more of them, but it will take time to draw them out. That is the problem.”
“What do you mean? What is the problem? Why can’t you help her?” My father became agitated.
“Normally a person with a disorder like this one would undergo several months—even years worth of evaluation and treatment,” the doctor continued. “The diagnosis itself, and identifying the individual alters could take several months. Unfortunately, your insurance will not cover it. If you would be willing to pay the…”
“I don’t have that kind of money,” my father said. “I’m just a mechanic. I’m working two jobs as it is.”
“I’m sorry,” the doctor said. She placed a hand on my fathers shoulder. “Without further treatment, there is nothing more we can do. I am more than willing to work with you in getting her treatment. As I said, she is a classic case and I would love to work with her and learn more about the disorder, but this will require funding.”
“But what if I can’t come up with the money?”
“I’m sorry, Mr. Young, but my hands are tied,” the doctor said. “Without proper funding, I will not be able to treat her. I truly am sorry.”
“Then what will we do?”
“The hospital has decided to release her into your care.” She handed the clipboard to my father. “I will need you to sign these papers. By signing them you acknowledge that I have talked to you about her condition.” She began to walk away, then paused. She looked at my father. “I really am sorry.” The doctor left Dad and me sitting alone.
My father remained despondent, looking at the clipboard. While the news came as a shock to me, it was not completely unforeseen. I knew mom was mentally ill. I just didn’t have a name for it.
As a family, we had faced mom’s alters, even the violent one, many times. Though we did not call them by their names, we knew when they were there, like haunting specters lurking behind her eyes. We had dealt with mom’s problem for many years, but somehow giving them a name made them new and more foreboding to us. The question remained between my father and I: How were we going to take care of her?
I was angry, just angry. There was no meaning to my anger. It expanded until it filled everything and with it came hate, hatred for my grandfather, the doctors, even my own father, but mostly toward my mother. Although this news changed my perception of her, I still could not keep myself from hating her. She was the object in which my anger took shape. I hated her and, yet, I cared for her. They were two opposing emotions struggling to sustain the same space within my heart.
I felt guilty for hating Mom now, in the face of her illness, but I could not help but blame her. In my head, I felt that somehow she had given up being a mother and allowed this to happen to her. I believed that God gave everyone the option to choose to be or not to be who they were. Such an idea is easily accepted by many, but when we are confronted with those who fall outside of that perception we are faced with a dilemma: Do we blame them for being the way they are or do we accept the fact that sometimes things remain outside our control?
I already faced a world outside my control and needed the hope that somehow we all have control. I hated my mother for what she represented—helplessness and the possibility that every effort I made to change, even control my life might be worthless. Was I like her, just a creature of fate, unable to break the cycles that bound me to this existence?
As the nurse wheeled Mom out, I found no words to say to her.
“I’m sorry, George,” Mom said. Her pleas of forgiveness were as a little child who had just broken their parent’s favorite vase. “I won’t do it again. Just don’t make me stay here.”
“You’re not staying here any longer, Vickie,” my father said. Though he seemed tired, he spoke lovingly.
“Are we going home?” she asked.
“Yes, Honey, we’re going home.”
She smiled. “Thank you. I really am sorry.”
“It’s okay. Let’s just get you home.”
“You’re mad at me,” she said. “You hate me, don’t you?”
She often acted like this. I would learn later that my mother had many child alters. One of them was Vicki, a seven-year-old girl. She spelled her name without the ‘e’ because she said she hated the ‘e’ at the end and voiced her opinion every time she saw it. When Vicki came out, Mom acted like what Vicki was, a child. She was always very negative and constantly saying we hated her. With the exception of Bill, none of the alters bothered me more than Vicki. Like many of Mom’s alters, I hated her.
“We don’t hate you, Mom,” I lied. Though Mom had many alters we called them all Mom, except for one, the violent one. He made sure we knew his name. He struck fear into our family and for that reason we spoke little of him.
“Did the doctors talk to you, Vickie?” Dad asked.
“Yes. I don’t like those doctors.” She yawned. “I’m tired. Can we go home now? I want to go home.”
“I have to sign some papers then we can go,” my father said. “Did the doctors tell you why they were keeping you here?”
“They said I was sick.”
“Did they tell you what that sickness was?” my father asked.
She hesitated for a moment. “They said I had other people inside of me,” she said, “but I don’t believe them.”
“What do you mean, you don’t believe them?” I asked.
Mom looked at me as if to be offended by my question. “I don’t think they know what they’re talking about,” she said.
“They’re doctors, Mom, I think they know what they’re saying.”
“Why are you upset with me?” she asked.
“You wrecked Lydia’s car,” I exclaimed. “Do you remember that?”
She looked at me confused. “You hate me,” she said. She looked at my father. “You both hate me.”
“We don’t hate you,” Dad said. He handed the clipboard to a nurse sitting at check-in, took the handles of the wheelchair and directed Mom to the car.
I followed a distance away, still thinking of the doctor’s words. They did not want to care for her. My father didn’t even want to care for her. He would go back to working his two jobs and then who would be left to care for her, my sisters and me. Until my sisters left home, then it would just be me who would take care of her. That was my job. That had always been my job.

104 comments:

Amy said...

I want to read more! Thanks for sharing this much of it! I can't wait to buy it when you get published. Will you sign my copy?

Lissagerl said...

I want to read more!!

Deidra Smith said...

Wow. I can't even imagine growing up that way. But, I appreciate your willingness to share it definately helps more of us to be aware of the things people face. One of my roommates in college actually had a father that had to deal with this too and her strength to endure her trials growing up amazed me. I hope you get published. You definately have a talent for writing.

Joy Candrian said...

Wow, what an interesting story! I really hope you get this published. I would love an autographed copy too. I think that the National Book Festival audience would enjoy hearing your story. Here's to seeing you there in 2009. Let me know when it's published.

Lorena said...

Good luck getting published, I would definitely like to read more! Very interesting story to be told.

guerry girls said...

I would also like to read more, thank you for sharing

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read more. I enjoy true stories about other people's lives. It grabbed my attention from the very beginning and kept it. I wish you well in getting this published and can't wait to read the entire story. Thank you for sharing your talent and courage.

Ruth J said...

I would love to read more about this!! I am with Amy, I want my copy autographed. :-)

Anonymous said...

Very interesting. Would like to read more.

Michelle said...

Gripping. I want to buy the book now!

mykidsmylife said...

I look forward to reading the rest of your story. Honestly though I do wish it was had a little more detail, but other than that it was very well written. I think more stories like yours should be shared. I think people need to be reminded not to be so quick to judge others. That they never know the whole story behind what they see. Thank you for your bravery and willingness to share your life with a family secret. Best of luck to you on getting it published! (Ill keep my eye out for it on shelves)

Anonymous said...

I would love to buy the book to finish reading this! Very intriguing!!

angie c. said...

wow, this is interesting, sure id like to ck it out!! Id buy it. thanks gl.

Katie S said...

Wow, this was very interesting. I want to read more to see how you overcame all of this to become such an awesome person & mother! Let me know when it's published so I can buy it!

Anonymous said...

I really hope this gets published - I would love to read more!!!

Anonymous said...

This is a story that needs to be told and others need to read. I hope it comes to pass. I'll be among the first, standing in line!

devante9901 said...

Hi Tiffany! You write really well. I am curious about what steps you've taken to find an agent or publisher. It takes a lot of perseverence, a thick skin for rejection, and mainly an eye for the correct market. Are you writing as a memoir? A novel? Is your book completely finished? Have you re-written and revised to make it as good as it can be?

Good luck to you!

Paul & Ashley Justensen Family said...

It sounds like a good book and I can't wait to read the rest. Good luck!

Briggs: Party of Six said...

Tiffany, I was pulled in from the beginning. I have heard parts of this story from my mom, but it was captivating hearing from your perspective. It makes me know your family and your history so much more.

I want to read the whole book!

Stephanie said...

Knowing the person that she is now, it is amazing to learn about Tiffany's past. It is inspiring and astounding to learn what she and her family dealt with and how they have overcome the challenges they faced. An excellent book (I, too, was able to read the entire manuscript), wonderfully written, that can teach us many life lessons.

SandyKay said...

Hi Tiffany ~ I am Kadie's sister-in-law and she forwarded this link to me. I am completely captivated and want to finish the story. I wish you much success and can't wait until I'm able to have the book in hand.

Natalie and Quin said...

Very very interesting! I would love to read more about your situation!

UDaBestChel said...

Tiffany,

Wow! Not only is the story compelling, the narrative and the way in which you tell the story is fabulous. As an avid reader, I look forward to seeing your story in print.

I have taken the liberty of forwarding the blog on to some folks I know in the book business.

Best of Luck,

Machelle Lake

Anonymous said...

You know what - I can tell that your book is going to be awesome - because you write what you really feel!!! Can I get a copy before it goes to print??

Dave Ridley said...

Excellent book - the first two chapters sound honest, creative, and original. It sounds like someone who has really been there!

StrongerFamilies said...

This could be a valuable therapy resource for people who grew up in similar situations and who have gone through this kind of trauma. Abuse can be amazingly complex and have increadible effect on those who experience it through their early years. First hand, honest accounts that are full of healing and triumph rather than blame are hard to come by. Keep Writing!!

DHR said...

Hey, how much do you think your book is going to cost? If it's available in softbound, I want to know if I can use it in therapy sesions - do reading assignments for people having gone through the same issues. Once it's published, of course.

Cindy B said...

This is going to be a very interesting book to read...thanks for sharing ... Best wishes!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I would love to read more. I truly hope that you get published. This could help so many people.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I cant wait to read more!

Zak and Kellee said...

I read about your book on a friend's blog. I find your book really interesting, especially since I'm currently having student nursing clinicals at a psychiatric unit. I would love to read more when your book comes out.

Charlotte said...

I cannot wait to read more, your story will touch so many lives. I will be sure to purchase your book.

Nordhoff Family said...

I would love you read more. You are an amazing writer. I would definitely buy it!

M.Stanley said...

After reading these two chapters I think this book should be published. It is very well written, and I would like to read the rest of this book. Since we are talking about changes this year, I think we all need to look at ourselves. Clear out the closet's of our lives and sweep out those hidden secrets, so that innocent lives can be saved.
"Saving Face" is not the answer, no matter how much you care for a family member. If someone is doing something wrong, families should not cover up for them. That individual needs to face the consequences of their actions and be punished or get the help they need.

Rich said...

I think that these two chapters are very well written, and I hope that you get this book published as soon as possible.

Jared said...

Wonderful! Can't wait to get a copy when it goes to press!

sandy marr said...

i would love to read more. it got me right from the start.

Anonymous said...

This is right up my allie of reading. I am really into to true crime but have found my self getting bored with it. We need more books about lives of true people that we may or may not know, we need to know what others face everyday so that we may appreciate our own trials. Thanks for sharing this little bit and I truely hope you get published, i will be the first in line to buy and read this book. Good luck to you and God Bless.

Kristina said...

This is good stuff. I sincerely hope you can get this to an editor and a publisher. Children of people with DID will appreciate this a lot. Thanks very much for writing it.

DebbieDBee said...

Great book and I too would love to read it in it's entirety. I was diagnosed Severely Depressed, PTSD and MPD/DID in 1992 and have been in therapy on and off since then. Currently I see a therapist and a psychiatrist for my anti-depressant. While I am so much better than when I first was diagnosed I am still plagued by the results of the childhood sexual abuse. I have a lot of co-consciousness and yet not always. While there are similarities there are also differences in each case and this is why I love to read of others and how it is manifested as well as how others deal with it all.

DebbieDBee

Justina said...

First off, we are not an illness.
We are a multiple-system, a community of insiders ("parts" or "alters") living in a body/mind person. Our Psychiatric Diagnosis is currently Dissociative Identity Disorder.

We have varied degrees of communication and cooperation inside and with the "host", "front", or "body" person.

Starting any book with negative first two chapters is a turn off.

While we like the idea of a book about DID written from the Multiple's child's perspective; unfortunately the market does not support "Survivor memoirs", of any kind, at this time.

Work on your writing, you will get better. You are very clunky in your style now.

Good Luck.

Justina,
On behalf of Cassandra-System

Justina said...

Market does not support "survivor Memoirs" at this time. We do like the idea of a book written from the perspective of a Multiple's child.

We are not an illness. We are distinct individuals within a multiple-system. We are also known individually as "alters", "parts" and "self-states" of the "Host", "Front" or "Body" person (Mind & Body.) Our current Psychiatric Diagnosis is Dissociative Identity Disorder.

We are sorry your mom didn't get better treatment, it must have been hard on you all.

Starting any book with two downer chapters is a turn off. Also, you need to work on the mechanics of your writing.

Good Luck.

Justina,
On behalf of Cassandra-System.

Eva Manhattan said...

Hi Tiffany. I hope that you get published. This is a really compelling story. I would like to read the whole book. Best of luck.

Andrea said...

I love reading stories just like this one. Thank you for sharing your story. I hope it gets published as well.

Anonymous said...

Tiffany,

Your's is the first book I've seen from the perspective of the child or children of someone with DID.

As someone with DID, from the time I gave birth, until today I've always wanted them NOT to have my life, my kind of past. They do not.

But, they suffered and saw me do the same. I think your book has potential to go somewhere new in this subject which is often treated with more sensationalism than truth. This hurts us all.

I do think the first two chapters being so grim - with no hint of anything improving for you are a difficult way to "sell" this read to a buyer. I felt apprehension as I read it and had to push to not stop. I don't think that is just because i have DID also. I'm an avid reader and the topic appeals greatly to me because I care about how this affects my precious two daughters.

Keep going and don't stop; you have a book with real potential.

Thanks, Leslie

lavitadajessica said...

Tiffany I certainly hope you get your book published. Thank you for being so brave. This is an important story and it needs to be told.

Amy N. said...

I want to read more of it-and that says a lot because I rarely read books!

Sarah said...

you are truly amazing my friend!! Through John's recent deployment i often said, "what dosent hurt you will kill you and what doesnt kill you will make you stronger. So either way you will end up dead or strong" Crazy way to think of it I know. But you really do become stronger. You are very strong to be willing to put this out there and let the world hear your story. It is a story very worth being heard. I was diagnosed with mental illness myself shortly after returning home from the mission. First came the ADD then the depression. Although I have never been ashamed to tell anyone i am a titch on the crazy side. I feel like the more people know, the more people will seek help for themselves. Keep writing and keep fighting. As I said earlier the world needs to know your story.

treeling said...

I think this book may help me understand someone very close to me. This person doesn't have the same disorder, only bi-polar, but in being close to them I don't understand some times. Good luck with the publishing.

Jennie Forsyth Davis said...

Wow! I always knew you were good a writing, but this is amazing.
Like everyone else, I really would like to read more and I look forward to the time I can. Thank you so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I totally will buy this book - memoirs from people who live with mental illness in one manner or another are inspiring and so fresh since the topic has been taboo for ages.
Please remember that for every one of uswho comments there are many others out there who will find this book vital, from social workers and students to church-goers and generally anyone wanting insight into a brave struggle.

Anonymous said...

I really liked the chapters that I read and can't wait for the book to be published. It is a story that needs to be told so that others will understand and learn.

dianna said...

This is scary. One of my children could be writing this. I truly hope you get this published, because people need to hear the TRUTH about those of us with DID. We're not crazy, we're not psycho, we're victims/survivors of hell, and our minds have done the best they can to help us survive.

Keep writing, keep telling her story. The world NEEDS to hear this.

jbimom said...

I can't wait to read more. I think that there should be more information out there about mental disorders. I have been diagnosed with DID and several other disordered that seem to go along with that. I really do hope that this book gets published.

Anonymous said...

I hope you get this book published, too. I would definitely read it. While it needs some refining, it is also very refined.(i.e. - the conversation where the doctor tells you about your mom doesn't flow well).
I understand there is hesitancy to publish because you're not well-known. That maybe in part due to the memoirs A Million Little Pieces and the Holocaust love story that was just nixed after being debunked. But trudge on because even the stories that are debunked inspired and helped people.
Seemingly, some of the bloggers with DID don't like that the story starts on a downer, however, I like that you put the truth out there from the very 1st sentence. Tell it like it was.
Good luck!

Ms. said...

Wow, I absolutely want to read more. I can't wait.

Anonymous said...

I definitely want to read more! Absolutely beautiful writing! Thanks for including me and I hope to see it in print soon.

~Linn Allen

Andrea Grover said...

Incredible story. I'm glad you want to bring awareness to this disorder and its effects.

Joslin said...

So far, I'm impressed! If a book doesn't hook me in on the first two chapters it's harder for me to read. With this book, I was hooked before the end of the first chapter. Please get this published so I can finish reading. you're a great author. I can't wait for the rest.

Alyssa said...

Definitely interested in reading more! Would like to see this book published.

Jerry & Gemie said...

I have just studied briefly this disorder in an "Abnormal Psychology" class I am taking. I would love to read the rest of your book.

Wonder-Rachel said...

It's amazing how things come into our lives right when we need them most. I've been dealing with my own mothers mental illness for decades. I too feel more like the mother than the daughter! She just had another cycle of self destruction and crisis - we had to rescue her again. It gets so tiring and I just don't want to do it anymore. Your story shows us we're not alone in our trials. Thank you thank you for sharing and I wish you luck in your quest at publication (another thing we have in common). I joined the facebook group and as you mentioned there, I'd love to post a link to my little blog and blogroll. I hope to read the entire book someday soon!

Kayalyn said...

I think you are off to a great start and I can't wait to read more. I am 28 years old and have two alternate personalities due to some very tragic and horrible child abuse. I also have three small children who so far do not know the difference. Since the main goal is to protect our children at all costs, we may not ever tell them.

I do not believe it was a bad thing to start with the difficult things. What you went through growing up is a journey, and sometimes we can see the journey clearer through the bad things.

I will be bookmarking this page and following closely!


Sarah, Kayalyn, and Elizabeth

Anthony LeRoy Lovato (Pollock) said...

Thanks for sharing that with us. It was great. I was intrigued throughout. I'm very interested in reading the rest of it. I hope somewhere in the story you reveal how your mother died, it was great the way you put it in at the beginning, it will surely keep readers wondering until you finally reveal it.

nachobeanos said...

Hey Tiffany,

My sister (your former roommate) gave me information to find this blog. Being your close friend in college myself as well as one of your bridesmaids, I was truly shocked to read first that you, your mom, and your family had to endure through this trauma and second that your mom died a couple of years ago. I'm sorry I didn't keep in touch. I wish I could have been there for you and your family during this hard time. The fact that you didn't tell me of this trial in your life goes to prove how hard it was for your to devulge this struggle. I'm glad you are doing so now. I, like many others, have been able to get to know you well and know you are so beautiful, positive, strong, etc., etc. It's hard to believe what you've had to go through to become the amazing person you are now. From a personal standpoint, of course I want to read more to understand you more and find out your whole story. Again, I'm sorry I wasn't there for you when it seems you needed a friend that wouldn't pass judgment the most. I love you Tiff, and I'll be in touch soon. Cause as I remember, once on the drive home to Utah from college, I talked to you about wanting to continue to have a best friend into my adulthood. I'm glad writing has been an outlet to you and that you want to share your struggles and triumphs to help others. I know I have always enjoyed the spititual and Christmas poems you wrote and gave me in college. Love you,

Lindsey Nochebuena

Anonymous said...

Thank You!

ginger said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more!

Tisha said...

If for some horrible reason you are unable to publish, I would still like to read the rest of your story.

Carlseen said...

That is amazing! I have to read more!
I understand that while the main purpose of this book is to bring to light realities that are kept secret, the style of writing keeps everything so real and so easy to relate to- FOR ANYONE.
Being a very outspoken literary critic, I can only say that what I have read so far exceeds that of even some of the most prolific authors.

This is truly an inspiration. I see this being a great help to thousands of people who suffer in silence from a variety of things.
Please, please, please let me know when I can get a full copy.

Wight Family said...

What a page turner. And some publishing company won't publish you? You're a brilliant writer and your story needs to be told. Don't stop with one publisher dear, keep going. Really!! Are you part of a writer's group? If you aren't you should be, they support each other through this kind of injustice!

Publish this story!!!

Aside from that, my name is Vicki and that part is a little disconcerting! ;) But I'd buy your book in a heart beat!!!!

I'll link your blog on my book review blog TODAY. Hopefully that will help you some.

Good luck!
Vicki
mommabookworm.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an amazing story. I can't wait to read the whole story, I hope you get published soon. Have you heard of Gibbs Smith Publishing in Kaysville UT? My cousin is an editor there, along with one of my Mom's best friends...I will be calling her first thing Monday morning.

This is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

Wow! I was very intrigued! Thanks for being willing to share your story. You have a gift for writing.

Anonymous said...

I would like to read the rest of the story. I hope you can find a publisher and a good editor to help it become a polished book.

Diane said...

It is a very compelling book. Thanks for having the courage to share your experiences. I can't wait to read the entire book as soon as it is published.

SSBenjamins said...

This is great my cousin's wife Amy Trimble sent me this blog link, I would like to post the link to your blog onto mine. This is great, I think we all need a better understanding to these mental illnesses, my grandma has scizophrenia and I love her dearly and sometimes do not understand what others have said about her based off the fact I have never seen her in the mean demeanor she has at times.
I wanted to be a social worker for the mentally ill, my path did not lead me in that direction: maybe someday, your book would be great for so many out there, I would for sure buy it, I want to keep reading. Hang in there and keep trying, great work and I am so sympathetic to what you have had to deal with in your lifetime.
Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I hope you can find a publisher quickly so you can put your story out there. What a difficult struggle for you and your family, and especially you dear injured mother. So little is understood by the general populace about all kinds of Mental Illness...the only thing people seem to know is the "Hollywood" version and that isn't much help when you are just trying to live (survive) your life I imagine. I hope you can get your book out there. k. hartvigsen boxpleat@earthlink.net

Mamma Hen said...

I would like to read more please!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I look forward to reading more of your book. I have a good friend who's family has a lot of mental illness and have realized how important it is to talk about and not keep secret. Thank you again for being willing to do this and to help us, who don't have family members suffering from these illness, to better understand those who are affected, in all ways, by it.

Ashlee said...

Wow, what a great story and you are a great writer. I can't wait to read the whole thing. Good luck!

Annie & Mike & 3 Musketeers said...

Tiffany,
Your story truly touched me and I'd like to read some more. I am sorry your mom passed away and that you and your family has to go through such a traumatic experiences. This disease is interesting and I'd like to know more about it so I can understand it.

Thank you for sharing this story and looking forward to it being published!

Annie

Tanya said...

I would love to read more! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Publish this. It's great

Aaron Driggs said...

You are a very gifted writer Tiffany! We really hope your book gets published. we would love to read the rest of the story! Good luck and we will tell our friends about it!

Anonymous said...

Tiffany -- Check out YouPublish.com. I really think you'd be interested in publishing your first two chapters there. The least it could do for you is get you more exposure!
Best of luck!

Anonymous said...

i can only vaguely understand what you went through growing up. my mother suffered sexual abuse as a child but was not as traumatised as your mother, but does suffer from some mental illnesses. the experiences in your writings in a way hit home. i love your writing and hope to someday buy a copy when it is published. thank you for putting these chapters out.

Anonymous said...

Knowing you & your family, I must say that you handled your mothers illness w/such grace. It's not easy dealing w/loved ones that struggle w/mental illnesses, but I know that with the strength of family, friends, God & LOTS of prayers, there eventually comes a peace. I agree w/you 100% that we've been silent too long in regards to keeping abuse(in all it's variety) & mental illnesses "hush hush". I'm here to support you. Thanks for sharing such personla aspects of your life Tiff...you are going to help numrous individuals. You are amazing!!!!

michelle manning said...

I will buy your book!

Yaker621 said...

Really, REALLY good!!! This needs to be published!

Anonymous said...

Wow. I would love to read more, so I say publish it!

Melody said...

Thank you for writing this. You have a gift for expressing yourself. My mother has schizophrenia, and I have wondered if she at times if she had multiple alters. I know they are different diseases. I have wanted for some time to write a book about my life experiences, but have not yet been able to do it. I will do it when I am ready. Thank you for writing this. I would love to read the rest. I hope you are able to publish.

Cherie' said...

This is an amazing story, and I cannot wait to read the rest. You are also a very good writer. I grew up with a mother whom suffered from severe depression from being abused as a child so I really understand a lot about where you are coming from. Good luck with your book!!!

McGraw Family said...

I would love to read more!

Maggie said...

I would love to read more. I love your writing.

Anonymous said...

I think that you have a remarkable story here. Best of luck with all you do. I will be looking for your book on shelves soon.

Amanda Goldsmith said...

Wow! I was very intrigued. Thankyou for sharing and I will honestly buy your book when it is published. Way to go!

The Thomas Family said...

Very interesting. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I'm sure it wasn't easy. I admire you very much!

Laura said...

I so want to read more.

Anonymous said...

I hope this isn't a final draft.

Wendy said...

Thank you Tiffany, for putting yourself out there for all to see. You are a beautiful woman who has overcome so much. I feel you are a kindred spirit. I know this book will bless the lives of all who read it, whether they were abused or know someone who was abused or not. There are powerful life lessons here. I look forward to reading more.

Chelsie said...

Beautifully written. I hope that I get to read more soon! you are a wonderful brave women and I thank you for sharing this part of your life!
Chelsie

Anonymous said...

very well written! It completely drew me in!

Meghan said...

Wow what a story, what a life. I truly hope I get the chance to read the rest.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on having the courage to write about this sensitive topic. It's a good effort. It could do with some editing and, as another poster commented, more detail; however, the story shows strong promise. It certainly left me wanting to read more...

Anonymous said...

I would love to read more. I was very pulled into your story, and would love to see how you pulled through and what your strength was.

One suggestion- I would have that first chapter as a prologue- pulling your audience in. Then starting the book when she was diagonsed. But it was written very well and I can't wait to read more.