For most of us, the varied parts of our personalities are woven together and unified by our memories. But what happens when we have no memories? What happens when the components of memory (facts, feelings, and body states) are split apart and no longer relate to each other? When this story began more than 40 years ago, doctors and psychiatrists were mystified by patients with more than one personality. The diagnosis at the time was Multiple Personality Disorder. Lillian was afflicted with this condition owing to severe abuse during her childhood. Her mind held each trauma separately. Each personality took over her body, developing a life and personality of its own. Lillian's aunt, Jean, became friends with 22 personalities. She played hide and seek with four-year-old Mary, taught five-year-old Amy to write, shopped for undergarments with Robin Jean, and communicated endlessly with each of the others. In the process, each personality revealed its beginnings. Over time, each personality revealed its own memories of their trauma and eventually became integrated. This is an exquisite and beautifully written story of poverty, transgenerational abuse, mental illness, and the healing power of love, science, and spirituality. As one reader puts it: "You will laugh, cry, turn away and come back again to its compelling truth."
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