Excerpt from All of Me by Kim Noble, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

All of Me

How I Learned to Live with the Many Personalities Sharing My Body

by Kim Noble

All of Me
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Oct 2012, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2012, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Elena Spagnolie

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Excerpt
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 conversations while I was there seemed the weird end of bizarre, as well. I didn't really know what the therapists' agenda was, but I quickly got the feeling they were trying to nudge me down a particular path. I couldn't put my finger on it, so one day Valerie came out and said it.

According to her I shared my body with dozens of other people.

I waited for the punchline but it never came.

Even so, I think I still must have laughed in her face. Anyone would, if so-called professional came out with nonsense like telling me there are other people who take control of my body sometimes.

If this is what your research is for, I'd pick another career!

Obviously I accused Valerie of being crazy, but I didn't exactly storm out of the room. People had always spun me the most fantastical lies. Every so often, like with the acid and the fire, the stories seemed to be based in truth. But this one was too ridiculous for words. Valerie was testing me somehow -- I just needed to work out how.

The next time I saw her she was pushing the same line about strangers sharing my body. I was disappointed when Dr. Hale started going down the crackpot road as well. According to him I had something called Dissociative Identity Disorder.

"I've been diagnosed with dissociation before," I said. "And that was wrong as well."

Dissociation is different from DID, he explained. Lots of people -- people you'd consider "normal" -- suffer from dissociation to varying degrees. People who block out pain or bad memories by forgetting or compartmentalising their problems are dissociative.

"What you have is far more extreme," he said. "Your dissociation is so great you actually have different personalities living inside one body. Your body."

painting.jpg

It was too ridiculous for words. Yet I couldn't just walk away. I owed it to Dr. Hale to listen, even if I couldn't see the point.

"You're telling me there's someone watching me when I go to the bathroom?"

My old experiences of Warlingham left deep scars.

"It doesn't work like that."

"No, it's not like that," Dr Hale said. "You are not here all the time. Other people take control of your body. They have their own separate lives, just as you do."

Ridiculous as it all sounded, I couldn't help asking questions.

"So where do I go then?"

He shrugged. "It's as if you go to sleep."

"Why don't I fall over then?"

"Because someone else is awake and keeping the body going."

We went round in circles like that for ages every time I saw him. Sometimes I played the game. On other occasions I wished he'd call it a day.

Seriously, man, change the record!

I don't know what he expected me to say. "Oh yes, I get it, I'm just a figment of my body's imagination. I don't really exist!" But I didn't mind. I'd been accused of anorexia, bulimia, depression, attempted suicide, schizophrenia and so many other things I couldn't remember, and I'd managed to prove all those wrong. So what difference did it make if he accused me of having multiple personalities as well? It was just another name. 

Excerpted from All of Me by Kim Noble. Copyright © 2012 by Kim Noble. Excerpted by permission of University Of Chicago Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  DID and Art Therapy

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

In war there are no unwounded soldiers

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.