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.
In her memoir, All of Me: How I Learned to Live with the Many Personalities Sharing My Body, Kim Noble (a name given to her at birth that she has now learned to respond to) describes, with great honesty and a bit of a dramatic flair, her experiences living with DID. Readers learn about Haylee, an assertive, no-nonsense woman; Judy, who suffers from bulimia; Bonny, the responsible mother; Salome, a Catholic zealot; Sonia, who eats paper; Rebecca, who has attempted suicide; Ken, a 21-year-old gay man; Dawn, a woman who is in constant search of her baby Skye… the list goes on. (Reviewed by Elena Spagnolie).
...at once jarring and deeply moving.
This is the best multiple personality biography in a long time
Starred Review. Noble paints a remarkable portrait of a fractured world slowly pieced together by a tenacious set of people.
The Independent (UK)
Though I cannot even begin to imagine horrors Kim faced as a child, I am struck that neither the abuse nor its devastating consequences have destroyed this woman's spirit, humor, or capacity to love. [S]he is one terrible, exquisite, and beautiful work of art.
John Morton, fellow of the Royal Society and professor at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of London
Kim Noble is the ... gold standard for the extreme end of dissociative identity disorder.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) "is a dissociative disorder involving a disturbance of identity in which two or more separate and distinct personality states (or identities) control the individual's behavior at different times. When under the control of one identity, the person is usually unable to remember some of the events that occurred while other personalities were in control. The different identities, referred to as alters, may exhibit differences in speech, mannerisms, attitudes, thoughts, and gender orientation. The alters may even differ in 'physical' properties such as allergies, right-or-left handedness, or the need for eyeglass prescriptions. These differences between alters are often quite striking."
In the case of Kim Noble (the name of the body who is host to her many personalities), 14 of her alters have been drawn to art therapy specifically painting as a way of coping with DID. Amazingly, each of them has his/her own distinct and unique artistic style. They each use completely...
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