#1 Common DID Myth

Myth # 1: It’s easy to spot if someone has DID (Multiple Personalities)


This (like this picture) is what you’d expect if you believe the depictions of DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder), former MPD (Multiple Personality Disorder) in movies or TV. They are weird looking, weird behaving, and easy to spot. And if you take the latest movies featuring a main character with DID (Glass, Split) you better be careful, because THEY are lethal on top of being weird.

I’ve just released the psychological thriller GIRL FROM THE TREE HOUSE about Elise, a woman with multiple personalities who’s fighting for her sanity and freedom as she is accused of murder. A friend of mine said the other day, “Watch out, soon you get a movie contract for the book.”

I had to disappoint her because, movies especially, sell bizarre, exaggerated, sensationalized portrayals with heaps of horror, blood, preferably good looking young girls stabbed to death…and perhaps even a landing of an alien spaceship thrown in. So I’m not staying awake waiting for Hollywood to knock at my door.

The reality of living with DID is much more mundane, much more subtle. Often friends, colleagues, or neighbors don’t have a clue. Even professional health providers don’t always notice. People with DID can spend years in the health system without being diagnosed. Co-morbidity is high among them. Topping the list are severe depression, PTSD, eating disorders, and substance abuse. If treatment focuses on the latter, the person with DID will not get much better.

My aim with my book is to debunk the myths about DID and show the heartwrenching and heartwarming struggle they call ‘life’ as well as show pathways of recovery…all wrapped into a thrilling plot. Sorry, no human monsters, no silence of the lambs. The ordinary, daily life delivers excitement enough.


I think I achieve it, going by the reviews that are coming in, for example:

What an incredible story! Stepping into the world of a person with multiple personalities was fascinating. This psychological thriller will keep you on the edge of your seat. Beautifully written, hauntingly powerful, and a true testament to the power of the human spirit. Highly recommended. (Leeanna Morgan, USA Today bestselling author, BookBub)

Easily the best book I’ve read about DID (dissociative identity disorder, or multiple personality disorder) with clear insight into how, why and when the personalities surfaced and interacted with each other, and how it affected the life of a young girl in New Zealand.
This helped me understand much more about how the disorder can consume the mind and life of people and how their emotional well being is further constrained by society’s stigma and their own fear of being hospitalized.
Well written and engaging, I look forward to the next book in this new series.
Thank you to the publisher and author for sharing this e-book ARC for review. (Dorie, Goodreads)

What do you think? If you haven’t read it yet, get your copy and let me know if I achieved what I set out to do. I love hearing from you.

Moving Past Sexual Abuse Group Starting Soon

Raeburn House, Auckland, New Zealand, is running another Moving Past Sexual Abuse group. In the past the group was organised as a support group in which participants would be surrounded by survivors who understood their experiences and sharing one’s stories and supporting each other was the strongest emphasis.

This new Moving Past Sexual Abuse group is about discovering ways of how to leave the abuse and the legacies of the abuse behind oneself. Rather than concentrating on what happened in the past the emphasis is on having a life worth living NOW, today, and the days to come.

You will be shown how it is possible to regain control and reconnect with joy, wisdom, and peace of mind. You will find that the capacity to live in wellness has always been dormant within you waiting for you to connect with it. The Moving Past Abuse group is geared to help you realise that potential!

You can expect that we will address how to deal with anger, difficult emotions, social connections, relationships with self and others, depression, perceptions, thought, and in general how not to be ruled by the past.

Here are the starting dates and details:

When: Mondays, 8 weeks, Starts 30 July
Time:·7:00pm – 9:00pm
Total Cost: $80
Facilitator: Gudrun Frerichs
Venue: Raeburn House, 138 Shakespeare Road, Milford

For more information contact Raeburn House, phone: (09) 441 8989 or emaillearning@raeburnhouse.org.nz.

Find more interesting groups run by Raeburn House by going to their website.

Looking for the good in people

Good samaritan I came across an article about Human Goodness this morning, that got me thinking about how difficult it is for many survivors of abuse to hold on to the goodness in people. You only have to watch the latest news on TV or open the newspaper: you see human cruelty, mayhem, and disaster wherever you look. You only have to let your mind drift back in time to when you have been hurt … and think about all the other millions of people who have been victimized. Looking through this kind of a lens is producing a dark, grim picture.

The article reminded me that there are lots of little moments – and probably big moments as well – that might go unnoticed when we see through glases coloured by hurt and negativity. Maybe people are intrinsically good and we get distracted by the stink of a few rotten apples?

How about you conduct your own research and spend the next few weeks looking for the signs of goodness in people: the smile of a sales person, the driver that gives way to let you join the traffic, the friend who rings you up to see  how you are, the person who texts you 'thinking of you', the stranger who bends down to pat a dog tied to a tree.

The outpooring of compassion for the families of the lost miners in Southland has been one  of the examples where human goodness is so boldly visible. Go onto the facebook  site 'supporting the Pike River Miners' – 101600 people have shown their support.

I love to hear about your experiences of having found the 'good in people'.



Victim or Survivor?

_heart Nobody likes to be the victim. It’s a powerless role and people get rather upset when it is pointed out to them that they are in a ‘victim role’. In fact, being called a victim is often seen as an insult.

Being in the victim role is very much a child like state. Children are helpless and without power. If the adults around them don’t do the right thing, they have rarely any means to change their situation. They have to endure being treated badly, being victimized. They may complain, give up, or act out. Nothing will change their situation.

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Identifying Personal Responses to Conflict Situations

Conflict g When it comes to dealing effectively with conflict situations, knowing about your own conflict style will come as a great help. Everybody reacts differently to conflict. Basically, how we react to conflict, what triggers conflict, and what constitutes vulnerable areas to could lead to conflict depends very much on a person’s history and his/her formative experiences in childhood. For example, growing up in a family where conflict often led to violence might cause a child to grow up dealing with conflict either by acting violently or by avoiding it altogether.  

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What is Conflict

Most people have a clear idea what conflict is. Most people don’t like conflict. In most cases conflict is difficult and hurtful for all parties involved.

Social theorist Axel Honneth explains the significant role conflict plays for a person’s healthy sense of identity and individualisation as follows: Individuals learn about who they are through interactions with others. Thus they derive a sense of self and identity through social processes of approval and recognition.

Any forms of disrespect, for example rudeness, insult, humiliation, the withholding of care or support, the withholding of rights that are enjoyed by other members of society, discrimination, marginalisation, the lack of appreciation or acceptance for one’s way of life, abuse, rape, or torture cause a threat to a person’s integrity and self-development and could bring the whole identity of a person to a collapse.

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Achieving Co-Consciousness: Healing Narcissistic Self-Parts


In general I have a great aversion against labels – certainly against psychiatric labels that put a person into a defined box. Labels often have a stigma attached to the, for example DID, borderline, bipolar, or narcissistic. I am going to use narcissistic self parts here because if anyone wants to read up on this particular point, you can go on a google search and find plenty of information out there.

Narcissistic wounding, like other emotional wounding, often occurs early on in childhood. These wounds usually affect a person’s behaviour and personality throughout her/his life unless healing of these wounds is taking place.

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How To Deal With Anger

ANGER(3) Anger is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a normal reaction to being abused, betrayed, hurt, or otherwise disrespected. The important question is how to deal with anger appropriately. It is really important to remember that:

for many (survivors of abuse) anger is associated with strong feelings of fear, anxiety, guilt, or shame because often abuse was accompanied with anger and survivors don’t want to be like their perpetrators. This is, according to my understanding, often the reason why survivors to repress or suppress anger. However, the refusal to be angry (or give your angry parts room to express anger in appropriate situations, is in many ways the source of many anger problems.

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What Is Passive Aggressive Behaviour

Anger(6)Conflict situations with an angry person are characterised by noticeable contact in the form of friction or even collision. The angry person’s point of view and wants are generally obvious whether they are unrealistic or not. This is very different when dealing with passive aggressive behaviours. Like pathological anger, passive aggressiveness is caused by a person’s inability to express anger healthily. 

The anger could be repressed or suppressed to such extend that the passive aggressive person is not even aware of his/her anger. When confronted with being called angry, the passive aggressive person may be convinced the other person has most certainly got the wrong end of the stick.

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What Is A Pathologically Angry Person?

Anger(4) How will you know whether you or a person close to you is a pathologically angry person? A sure sign is when you notice a pervasive behavioural pattern that can range from being negative, irritable, bitter, resentful, or having temper tantrums on one side to being hostile, aggressive, self-destructive, furious, or having regular rage attacks on the other end of the continuum of anger.

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