Jennifer and Her Selves by Gerald Schoenewolf
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It is hard to say a book like this is enjoyable when you are dealing with the unraveling of a life full of pain and abuse, but it was captivating. Jennifer was subject to physical and emotional abuse and to cope with the pain, she dissociated into 7 different personalities. Each personality was "born" as a response to a horrifying situation that the child, Jennifer, was not able to cope with. In her creative mind, another personality emerged who was able to bear the pain and betrayal. While these alters enabled her to cope with her situation, they eventually began to cause her problems. Jennifer was unaware of the alters, but she was aware of losing time. When she would awaken, sometimes in an strange location, she would find that days or weeks had disappeared. Frequent suicide attempts and "cutting" brought her to mental hospitals and new therapist until she finally arrived at Gerald Schoenewolf's office.
Shortly after she began work with Schoenewolf, her personality changed so drastically that he finally became aware that he was dealing with a multiple personality. The book deals with the portion of her therapy that dealt with exposing all of the alters and eventually integrating them. The story is a fascinating look into the way a creative and intelligent mind protected a vulnerable child from abuse that she could not cope with.
View all my reviews