The Greatest Home Run Ever

With my husband in the next room watching the Boston Red Sox play the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series, my mind goes to back to the day I heard the greatest home run ever,

It was in 1960, and I was an art student at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. I was working on one of my projects on the third floor of the Fine Arts Building, and I had my radio on, listening to the World Series. The interesting part was that the seventh game was being played less than 1/8 of a mile from the University at Forbes Field. The Pirates were playing the Yankees.  Since it was a nice day, the window was open and I could hear the crowd cheering when things went well for the Pirates.

The series was three games to three and the score was 9 – 9 and it was the bottom of the ninth inning.

Roberto Clemente was my favorite player (God rest his soul), but Bill Mazeroski was at bat. The bases were loaded and the count was one ball and no strikes. I was listening, hoping Mazeroski would get a hit and WHAM he hit a home run over the left field wall, winning the series. The crowd went wild, and I was thrilled to hear the cheering from the radio and the stadium at the same time. I will never forget the joy and exhilaration I felt during those moments. I feel like I was especially blessed to hear the cheers for the greatest home run ever played.

If you watch the ball go over the fence you can see the buildings of Carnegie-Mellon in the background.

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Confusion can be an effect of Child Abuse

How well I remember the embarrassing situations of high school. I was often called crazy, scatter-brained and flighty, although I didn’t really think I was any of those things. It was not until I was fifty years old and diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder, DID, (originally known as Multiple Personality Disorder, or MPD) that I realized I surely did deserve these descriptions of myself. I was not only confused, I was thirteen times more confused than normal people, because I had thirteen personalities.

During my therapy, I found that confusion was at the root of creating my alternate  personalities.

The original definition of the word ‘confuse’ means to make embarrassed, or abash. It also means to make ashamed, which is how it became connected to child abuse and then to multiple personality, one of the major effects of child abuse. If a child is being abused, the confusion can help him/her to believe they are someone else, doing something else, in another place. The confusion becomes an ally for the child so they won’t have to feel the shame, pain, nausea or anguish of the abuse.

Having sex with a child degrades the child to such an extent that the child may create an alternate personality to deal with it. That way he or she can imagine themselves as someone who is not being abused. They can also imagine that their secondary personality is somewhere else, doing something relaxing and fun. The stronger their imagination is, the greater the chance that they will create another personality, or even several, to take the abuse. Their confusion becomes a way out. It is one of the ways I dealt with sexual abuse when I was four years old.

If my mind can jump around from one idea to another, it is not hard to believe I can jump from one personality to another. I’m not sure if sexual abuse causes children to become more creative or if creativity comes to their rescue by inventing an “alter.” What do you think? Have you been abused? Have you been diagnosed with DID?

From my heart

My husband’s cancer is gone and he is fighting his way through six months of strong chemo-therapy. It is so hard on him. His body is hurting and he is nauseated most of the time, but he’s very strong and I have no doubt he will pull through. He’s a fighter.

As much as it hurts to see him in this condition, I am excited because I’ve decided to go out into the world and speak about child abuse. Having been sexually abused as a child gives me a unique ability to discuss abuse. I am happy to say I have a date to speak to a church women’s group in November. The topic will be “Recognizing the Signs of Child Abuse.”

I was very happy being a writer and I think I could write all the time and still love it. However, every time I read the submission guidelines for a proposal to an agent about MULTIPLE, the agents want a list of my speaking engagements.

“What speaking engagements?” I ask. I spent weeks trying to figure out how writing a memoire would enable me to speak in public. Who would want me to come talk for an hour about me?

So I did what I usually do in confusing situations, I prayed. Sure enough, over the last few months the Lord showed me what I can speak about – child abuse. As I thought about it, I realized there is a market for this information in our society right now. Mothers are scared their children will somehow be abused and they won’t know about it. So I am going to help them by telling them the signs of child abuse. They will find out how to recognize child abuse and how to talk to their kids about it.

I feel so good. I actually have something to say! It was just a matter of looking at it from a different point of view. Thank you Jesus!

I would like to continue blogging, sometimes being silly and sometimes being serious. I’d like to keep writing and I’m hoping you will keep reading. And if you’re a believer, please pray for me. I also want to thank Jane Friedman for her guidance about blogging.

Film “We Are Mary” documents Multiple Personalitiy Disorder

In Athens Ohio we began our celebration of Mental Illness Awareness Week, (October 6 – 12), with the viewing of a new documentary, We Are Mary! The film is a thesis movie by Julie Wiles for her master’s degree at Ohio University. The film documents Mary Clarise Robinson’s life and mental illness, and is stunning and thought provoking.

Mary’s story is one of sexual abuse throughout her life, beginning with her father and continuing with various perpetrators into middle age. The documentary explains how Mary dealt with the abuse – she formed alternate personalities – more than twenty of them. At the beginning of the movie she says that she lost her original self too early to have any memory of her. That in itself was so painful to hear, and by the end of the film, when Mary’s many personalities had been explained, I was deeply moved.

Mary is now an older woman and she has had years of therapy documenting her many personalities. However, modern technology requires her to say she has Dissociative Identity Disorder not Multiple Personality Disorder. I think this is a big mistake made by modern psychiatrists and I think it needs rectified. If we have multiple personalities, could we please call them multiple personalities?

Julie is quite a colorful character too. She spent almost four years making We Are Mary, and is now back at Ohio University as an instructor. I am proud of Julie and Mary for their devotion to making this film, and their hard work and enthusiasm. Julie did a great job directing the film, giving us all the information in an understandable sequence. The camera work and the sound editing were also sensitive and well done.

Julie Wiles is on Facebook and is planning to polish-up We Are Mary in hopes of entering it  in documentary film festivals around the country and in Europe. She is also seeking donations to continue to show the film to as many people as possible, and spread the word that living with DID is extremely confusing and difficult.

I commend Mary for her bravery in allowing her mental illness to be documented on film. Her reward is that she is now a MOVIE STAR, and is also on Facebook.

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them