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.
All of Me
After four months in Arbours, which felt to me like a fortnight at most, my money ran out. I'd hoped that by the time we reached that point my health care provider would have stepped in, but they had been utterly intransigent, which is a polite way of saying they were complete bastards about it. There was no way they would pay. After all the places they'd locked me up in against my will during my life, now here I was showing some interest, yet they wouldn't lift a finger.
At least my house was finally ready to move back into, after the insurance company had paid for some redecoration and repairs, and the fire brigade had given the all-clear. And finally I could get going with my weekly meetings with Valerie Sinason and monthly appointments with Dr. Hale at the Portman Clinic.
The meetings came and went very quickly, like so much of my life. I was sure Valerie said she worked in fifty-minute blocks, but I barely seemed to arrive before I was home again. The ...
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).
Full Review (1269 words).
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 ...
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