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we have all heard stories...

Tuesday, July 4, 2017
... about people with multiple personality disorders, along the lines of the story 'The Three Faces of Eve'. I think the movie based on the book had Joanne Woodward as the leading character, who  struggled with some serious mental issues, lots of different personalities teased out by the psychiatrist who wrote the book. It was based on his actual office notes of a patient, who of course remained anonymous for many years. A really fascinating story of an individual who seemed to be, over the time the doctor and woman met, living with a disordered brain occupied by many different individulas, as she struggled to regain her sense of self. I don't recall the details, but I think the determination was that her illness was a response to some history of abuse: physical, sexual, mental maybe?

I read the book years ago, and thought of it recently. I have had moments of feeling like I have been leading lives for three different people. Not actually inhabiting the persona of another, rather feeling overwhelmed by the necessity of wearing so many different 'hats' to meet the needs of all the people in my life that require attention. An auntie who is (thankfully) in assisted living, being cared for by a willing staff, rather than living a life of fear, doubt, chaos when she was at home alone. A man who is in declining health, and often in denial about his needs. Thankfully, temporarily, in a place where all the problems in his life are being attended to by trained healthcare professionals.

And me: feeling like I don't have a life, due to being so amenable in allowing others' needs to supercede. I would like to believe I am coping remarkably well, consoling myself with the hope that all this is only temporary. And the knowledge that these other people have needs that are greater than my own - plus I do believe my health is pretty good, and far more stable than those family members who are currently feeling they are incarcerated.

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