Dr. Colin Ross explains Multiple Personality Disorder


The True Meaning of Procrastinate

For definitions I always turn to my favorite linguist, Daniel Webster’s wife, Merriam. Here’s the way she defines the word in question: pro– forward + crastinus of tomorrow: to put off intentionally and habitually something that should be done.

My own multi-linguist definition begins with the “pro” at the beginning of the word. “Pro” implies that the person professing to procrastinate is a professional (say that three times fast). In other words, it takes a professional to be very good at putting things off. Amateurs need to “work” on their procrastinating skills, thus eliminating themselves from the group.

Procrastinators start early and stay up late. To truly become an expert one must do it all day. This involves sacrifice. You can’t go out, you shouldn’t get dressed or bathe. Brushing your teeth is optional. Lastly, ordering Chinese is the mark of a true professional.

By definition procrastinators can’t have a goal, but if they did, it would be to forget everything they have to do so they can relax and take time off.  And remember the procrastinators slogan: Procrastinate spelled backwards spells etanitsarcorp, which sounds like “ain’t it a sack of crap.”

Turkeys Queuing up for Badminton

I have to admit I was ignorant about the abilities of turkeys. There have been so many jokes about these birds I just figured they must be as stupid as people say. However, last spring I had the most amazing experience. I saw a flock of turkeys walking across our backyard, and I ran to get my camera. I got the shot of the birds, never even noticing they were headed for the badminton net.

Later on, I looked out and I was astounded when the turkeys began gathering around the net. From out of nowhere they produced racquets and birdies. They separated into two teams, males and females and began volleying the birdies across the net. It was amazing how good they were. Who would’ve thought? And you wouldn’t believe the noisy gobbling!

The female turkeys won three games to two. They celebrated by pecking the male turkeys all the way home to their nests in the woods. Unfortunately, none of the pictures of the turkeys playing badminton turned out, but I have this one to prove that turkeys will line up to play.

Do you have any anecdotes involving turkeys that you’d like to share?

Are you an Oxy Moron?

Is the expression “just plain crazy” an oxymoron? I am nominating it, because people are either plain or they’re crazy. How can someone be both? If you’re crazy you will automatically do many things that show that you are not plain: such as stopping in the middle of the sidewalk or the mall and turning around quickly and going the other way. Plain people don’t do that. They continue on for a few feet, pretend to stop at a store window and then slowly meander back the way they came. In other words, they are just as insane as the crazy people, but they know how to cover it up.

Perhaps all plain people are crazy people who know how to “act” plain.

How about people who talk to themselves? The plain people only do that when they are at home by themselves, so no one can hear them. Crazy people do it whenever they feel like it. That way they can hash out any type of inner argument from any angle. I’m sure lawyers must do this a lot when they are preparing for a court case. At least I would. Or course, I’m not a lawyer, I’m a crazy person.

Actually I once learned that it is healthy to talk to yourself when you’re alone, because part of your brain is listening and figuring out if what you’re saying is true or not. How many of us believe that one?

Another sign of being crazy is sharing way too much personal information at the first meeting. A plain person waits until the second or third meeting and then blows their new friend away with a whooper. I believe the term is TMI, too much information.

How about the person behind you in the check out line who gets too close? Are they oxy morons or just plain crazy? I have learned several defenses against these people who are  breathing down my neck.

1. I turn slightly and stick my elbow out so they can only get as close as the end of my elbow. Ha!

2. Leaving my groceries where they are on the conveyer belt, I move up to the front of my cart and let them hover around the back. That’ll teach them.

3. If the just plain crazy person still comes up behind me I turn around and glare at them. If I had more courage I’d say something like “Back off lady.” (These boundary breakers are usually women, aren’t they?)

Actually I would never have the nerve to say that to anyone. They might hit me. Glaring is about as violent as I get, oxy morons or not.

The Multipologist

During my first ½ year of blogging about multiple personality I have made up several words that need attention from Webster’s wife Merriam and his daughter, Kory.

Multiple – a person who has more than one personality. The aforementioned person may or may not know about it. The psychiatric community diagnoses these unfortunates as having Dissociative Identity Disorder. They may consider themselves insane, crazy, deranged, a kook, or a nut case. In my case, I knew I was crazy from the age of four, but doctors of psychology didn’t find my “alters” until I was fifty. In other words, it is very hard to diagnose a multiple.

Deranged – A crazy person with no ability to think clearly. Blogger.

Derangement – Rearranging the furniture until one feels deranged and/or nauseated.

Multipology – The study of patients with multiple personality. One could possibly receive a degree in multipology, i.e. a BS in multipology (not a Bachelor of Science degree.)

Multipologist – One who feels apologetic about studying multiples, or is an expert in the field of multipology.

Multipoligamist – One who is married to a multiple or several multiples.

Weirdom – A state of being weird and unable to do anything but type.  May closely follow an episode of derangement. Seek professional help.

Lastly but not leastly, here is the dictionary definition: Multiple personality n (1901) an hysterical neurosis in which the personality becomes dissociated into two or more distinct but complex and socially and behaviorally integrated  parts each of which becomes dominant and controls behavior from time to time to the exclusion of the others.

I recently came across a blog I love. It is called Harmless Drudgery, and the writer, Kory Stamper, claims that she is seeing life from inside the dictionary, mainly because she works at Merriam-Webster. I can’t imagine a better job than being around words all day, except that, since we think in words, it might become difficult to think clearly after lunch. Perhaps Kory receives visitors on the job, and I could bring her my list of words.

The conversation could go something like this:

“Hi Kory, I’m Nancy and I made up some words for the dictionary.”

“I’m sorry, Nancy, but we can’t put words into the dictionary until they are commonly used.”

“They are commonly used. I use them all the time.”

“By commonly used, I mean a lot of people must use them in common conversation.”

“Maybe they do use them!”

“Maybe they don’t.”

“Well, I do, and I want them in the dictionary.”

“Too bad, until they come across my desk as being in common usage, Merriam-Webster doesn’t put them in the dictionary.”

“Well, humph! Do you happen to have the address for Funk and Wagnalls?” (I leave the office feeling somewhat deranged).

My Personalities Switched Again

Have you ever gone to the doctor for a physical condition that seemed serious to you, and when you got home, you can’t remember what the doctor said about it? That happens to me quite often, and last week I figured out why.

My husband Bob took me to the dermatologist last week because I had a suspicious spot on my arm that looked like it could be cancerous. The doctor was a young man, probably still in his twenties and he is the younger brother of my previous dermatologist, so I trusted him.

He came in with his nurse and questioned me for several minutes about the spot on my arm, diagnosing it as pernicious eczema. We were chatting pleasantly as he came around the exam table and picked up my other hand. He rubbed his thumb over the back of my hand, checking for possible skin cancers. I remember feeling his touch and thinking it was sexy. I think he felt it too, because he quickly withdrew his hand.

He asked me a few more questions and gave me two samples of a cream to use to fight the diseased spot on my arm. The nurse wrote down the instructions for me, so I wouldn’t forget them. The doctor talked to Bob a few minutes, answered some questions, and then we left.

Later, after Bob and I got home, we were talking about the doctor visit. I mentioned that I thought I might have a spot on my neck and that I wished I had asked the doctor about it.

“The doctor examined your neck,” Bob reminded me.

“No he didn’t,” I said, frowning.

“He walked all around you and lifted up your hair, and looked at your skin. Don’t you remember?”

“No!” I thought this was very strange. I didn’t remember the doctor checking over my left arm, my face or my neck.

“It just happened a few hours ago,” Bob said, looking at me strangely. “How could you forget?”

“I don’t know,” I answered, thinking back to my visit to the doctor. “I remember he checked my right hand, and then it was time to go.” Bob and I seemed to realize what happened at the same time. I had dissociated during the office visit. One of my other personalities had come in and taken my place, while the doctor had gone around me and checked for cancers. The excitement I felt when he touched my hand must have triggered fear and caused a personality switch.

I was really amazed as I stood talking to Bob. How could I switch so easily and not notice? I’ve been in therapy for years, and my personalities are still dissociating.

I’m hoping most of you do not have alternate personalities popping into your conscious mind without permission, but I wonder if some of you have forgotten what the doctor said during a visit. Is it because of my age or does it happen to young people occasionally?

Exposing “Sybil Exposed”

            Journalist Debbie Nathan’s book Sybil Exposed is Ms. Nathan’s effort to prove that Sybil, the best seller and TV movie from the 70’s, was not true.  Ms. Nathan discovered transcripts and plentiful records of Sybil’s therapy sessions collected by the author of Sybil, Flora Rheta Schreiber. These were found in 2008 at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City.

Many older readers remember Sybil, the book and the movie, which recount the struggles of a young woman whose mind, divided by childhood sexual abuse, broke into seventeen personalities. We now know that Sybil’s real name was Shirley Mason and her parents were Mattie and Walter Mason, who lived in Dodge Center, Minnesota.

Ms. Nathan has certainly done mountains of research, which is to her credit. However, it seems to me that she begins with a bias against multiple personality disorder, which never really disappears from her writing.

The main premise of Debbie Nathan’s book is that Shirley’s psychiatrist, Dr. Cornelia Wilbur, forced Shirley to remember events that were not true. Ms. Nathan claims that because Dr. Wilbur used overdoses of drugs on Shirley, the girl came up with “false memories.” Ms. Nathan adds that many of Dr. Wilbur’s techniques were questionable, including a deep bonding and close friendship between the doctor and Shirley, which is forbidden by the oath taken to become a psychiatrist and broke the boundaries between patient and doctor.

Ms. Nathan claims that Shirley Mason made up her personalities and her abuse, which seems to be a very callous judgement about a woman who lived most of her life in psychiatric treatment. Since very few people even knew about multiple personality disorder, how could Shirley know how to pretend she had it? At one point in her therapy with Dr. Wilbur, Shirley wrote the doctor a letter saying she had made up all the personalities, so I can see how Ms. Nathan came to her conclusion. But why would Dr. Wilbur continue treatment with these personalities? Ms. Nathan claims it was for the fame and the money.

Ms. Nathan goes on to say that Shirley was diagnosed with pernicious anemia when she was about ten years old, and that the disease was probably the cause of Shirley’s craziness. Ms. Nathan writes,

“Soon Shirley would not know the difference between the bad feelings in her mind and the malfunctions in her body. All would combine, into a performance that eventually would become one of the most dramatic productions in world, with help from Dr. Cornelia Wilbur and her ‘pure science.’” Sybil Exposed, p.220.

Ms. Nathan also includes several pictures of Shirley and notes she wrote calling her mother “good mother, bad mother,” because Mattie was kind to daughter on some occasions and tortured  her on others (Mattie Mason was once diagnosed as a schizophrenic). One picture shows Shirley as a young girl. She is grossly underweight, her right eye looks black and blue and her smile looks like it’s pasted on. In a picture drawn by Shirley, she writes that her mother thought she was “too fat,” and she wasn’t permitted to have lunch. Isn’t that evidence that Mattie was overtly cruel to her daughter?

Since I have Multiple Personality Disorder myself, of course I don’t agree with Debbie Nathan. I felt hurt by this book, which seems to claim that all multiples are just imagining their abuse, that it never happened and that they are making up their alternate personalities. Unfortunately there is no one to ask about the truthfulness of either Sybil or Sybil Exposed. All three women are now dead.

For those who really want to know the truth about Sybil. Dr. Patrick Suraci interviewed Shirley Mason before she died and wrote a book entitled Sybil in her own words: The Untold Story of Shirley Mason, Her Multiple Personalities and Paintings, Nov. 2011. I am planning to read that book soon and I will report on it.

I wonder if Debbie Nathan set out to prove that Sybil was normal, but proved instead that her psychiatrist was crazy. Claiming that multiple personality is a hoax takes away some hope for the children who are being sexually abused now. Are they just imagining it? Are they play-acting to get attention? Are they just making it up to vent their hatred for their parents? Or, are they simply victims of pernicious anemia?

Here’s another link about Multiple Personality



Scientists Discover Funny Bone

Recently, two scientists from Weir Leary Research Labs in Berkeley, California were found rolling on the floor of their laboratory giggling and laughing out loud. They professed to have found a picture of a funny bone on their x-ray screen, and they could hear it laughing. See below.

The scientists, Morton Jibberish and Phemius Phullhardy received a million dollar grant in 2012, to explore their hypothesis that the funny bone exists in many humans, but is entirely missing in others. When present in the human body, the bone is located between the true ribs and the false ribs, and has been named the mockternal articulation. A third scientist, Alred E. Gone, who worked with Jibberish and Phullhardy for several years, has been admitted for treatment to Shaky Grounds, the local mental hospital.

Who Pulled the Plug on Cyberspace?

Suddenly, a few weeks back, my Cyber-world disappeared. I was shocked. Where was my bright little screen that connected me to all my cyber-buddies? No blogs, no Facebook, no email, no internet. It was awful. I couldn’t even play Freecell.

Since then my blog has become a clog, and I am not a word plumber. My words have all stuck somewhere in my mind and can’t seem to come out. Help me please. I am spouting word glue! I need some “Brain Draino!” or a bottle of “Liquid Mind Plumber!”

I have decided the only way to clear my mind of word glue is to spew out all my fears at once and then move on. I hope it works. Here goes:

I am afraid of the dire prediction that time will end on December 21, 2012. What if we lose all our electricity and we never get it back? Aloha to the Internet and all our blogs. Can you see us printing them up by hand? (If there’s no electricity, there will be no copiers or printers). If we could print them, we would have to go house to house to distribute them.

We would be the nomads of the world, going from neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city, and country to country, handing out our blogs. We would become the news carriers of our areas, but how would we survive? Who would feed us? Where would we sleep?

People would say, “There goes another poor traveling blogger.”

And what if people didn’t like our blogs? Would they stone us or incarcerate us in dungeons? (If so, we will probably be joined by many “D&D gamers” who would finally rejoice that their game had become real.)

The conclusion to this mind drainage is this: Without electricity blogging would be no more. Wanh! (That’s the sound of me crying.)

Who will replace the Lunatics?

Last week the US government made a decision to take the word “lunatic” out of all federal laws. I applaud this decision because as a representative of crazy people, it makes me uncomfortable to be called a lunatic. It comes from a very old word that originally referred to someone who is ruled by the phases of the moon. In later years the word meant someone who is wildly foolish, insane or commits an extravagant folly.

I think the lawmakers who came to the decision to leave the word ‘lunatic” out of legally binding law realized that we all are sometimes wildly foolish, we may be insane and we have all been guilty of committing extravagant follies. So that didn’t leave anyone to prosecute in case of wrong doing.

Mr. Webster defines the LUNATIC FRINGE as “members of a political or social movement espousing extreme, eccentric or fanatical views.” Doesn’t that describe most of our politicians and lawmakers today?

The question before the American public is this. What word will we use to replace “lunatic?” I have put forth several suggestions. Let me know which one you prefer.

MAD MEN – Unfortunately the TV series has given us a warped idea of what a mad man is, leaving it almost impossible to distinguish between “normal” and “mad.” The words MAD WOMEN are still applicable, and therefore females can still be considered crazy.

DERANGED – Having one’s brain de-arranged by others or by terrible circumstances.

OUT-TO-LUNCH – This term is not connected with eating at all, but refers to someone whose thinking is not clear. Their thinking is out of touch with reality, as in the sentence “the President is out-to-lunch.”

TURKEY – This is my best choice for a word to replace lunatic. Although some people may get confused or deranged enough to think that this refers to the bird cooked and eaten annually in November, it really refers to a stupid person. The person is stupid, not crazy. If the government takes my suggestion to heart and changes lunatic to turkey in all the laws, there will be a lot of arrests of real bird turkeys and a lot of confusion as to who is stupid and who is smart. Obviously, a smart person would need to make the arrest and incarcerate the turkeys. However, remember the old saying “It takes one to know one!”

This post is making me deranged, so I’m going to stop while I’m still sane, I think.  Who are all those men wearing white coats?

Held Captive by the Food Chain

The food chain is a description of the way different species survive on the earth by feeding on a food source from another plant, animal or organism. Grass grows by sucking the nutrients from the soil, cows eat grass, and people eat cows, and so the chain proceeds from microbes to elephants, each having its food source.

One could describe the food chain as a cycle of “I’m bigger, so I’ll eat you!”

Being of unsound mind I always envision a chain made of food when I hear this phrase. I imagine it is made of noodles and looks like the construction paper chains we made in grade school to decorate Christmas trees. There are many foods that would make good food chains: bagels, pretzels, cheerios, green and red pepper rings, hamburgers(with holes in them), over-the-hill carrots and my all time favorite, donuts! Can you imagine sitting down to watch TV with a long chain of donuts? YUM!

However, we must stand firm against being held captive by the food chain. We can eat microbes and bacteria if we want to. Arise America. Eat whatever you want, no matter where it is on the chain, or if it’s the chain itself.

P.S. I once tasted a popcorn chain that had been on my Christmas tree for a few weeks. UGH! BLAW!

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Other Multiples

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