This week’s Thursday Album is British superstar Brian Eno’s Here Come the Warm Jets.
This week’s Monday poem is Edgar Allan Poe’s The Sleeper. I hope you like it!
Unless you have it, Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously referred to as Multiple Personality Disorder) probably isn’t what you think it is.
Alternatives to A Frozen Mouse (Feb’ 2017) by AJ Mouse
This wasn’t my life to begin with. It wasn’t my body either.
I inherited both, and more, from Mouse.
Mouse created me. She had created another life when she was four so she knew how. That’s what people with Dissociative Identity Disorder do.
You see, terrible things happened to Mouse when she was very young, so she decided to simply stop growing up when she was eight. Her body aged but she didn’t. At eleven, when something even more despicable happened, Mouse froze herself in time, leaving her life, body, and name to me. Mouse remains an afraid and damaged young girl, living in The Deep inside of us. But don’t worry, she isn’t alone.
My name is Jade and I am an alternate personality – the main personality but an alternate nonetheless. I live in this body with Mouse and the other alters: Peter, Neil, Jane, Zen, Nancy, Ray, and Lucy. For over twenty years there had been no more splitting, no one new. Then Anne came along, making alter number ten.
This book is the first part of our journey integrating Anne into her new life. It was her idea to write about it and both our ideas to dedicate this book to Mouse …
Our Frozen Mouse – the author of us all.
Writing under a pseudonym to protect her identity, A. J. Mouse decided to publish her personal struggle with DID in order to impart the truth about living with this condition… DID/MPD has been explored many times in film and television, but what is it really like living with this condition and what causes it? Author A. J. Mouse rejects the dangerous myths and misconceptions created by the mainstream media…
In the book, A. J. Mouse explores the origins of her DID and speculates on how the ‘splitting’ first began. When faced with unbearable trauma, the brain splinters to protect itself so that it can survive. Each alter has their own reason for being and their own story. But all lives stem from Mouse—the original…
This book aims to give readers an insight into the reality of this condition and open up the discussion about mental health in our communities. Head to www.ajmouse.com for more information. – InHouse Publishing
Disclaimer #1: I received a free paperback copy of this book so that I could write a 100% honest review.
Disclaimer #2: I wouldn’t have chosen to review a book with this subject matter on Examining the Odd if the authors hadn’t contacted me. I don’t feel that it’s right to present this book as ‘strange’ in the way that I would talk about a weird fiction novel or surreal fantasy adventure. Having said that, this book is strange, surreal, weird and unlike anything I’ve read before.
Disclaimer #3: This is the first time I’ve reviewed a book about real, living people and I sincerely hope I do not offend any of them.
Seventeen of the chapters in Alternatives to a Frozen Mouse are written by Anne, the newest identity to come along in over twenty years. She’s an adult woman suddenly ‘born’ into a new body which she shares with strangers.
Anne decides to document her journey, aided by Jade (the ‘main’ personality) to help herself to understand her new life. Jade fills in the gaps, authoring alternating chapters, and we also get sneak peeks of the others through emails, notes and stories. Anne and Jade have very different personalities, as well as separate writing styles, so the book stays clear throughout.
The personalities as a whole have a good job and a nice house, they’re married, have a son (who sounds incredible), a dog and a cat. They drive a car, make food, do chores, etc. In other words, they’re probably not like any fictional character that you may have come across in books or films about those with DID. But they’re probably nothing like you either.
Potential readers may think that this is a book for those with DID, or for their friends/relatives, but I think that this is a book for all. It’s like reading an excellent piece of fiction, bolstered by the fact that you know it’s all true.
You know when you’re watching a film based on a true story and every so often you turn to the person you’re watching it with and say “bloody hell, this actually happened!”? Yeah, it’s like that.
I would be very interested to read reviews of this book written by others who have DID. I don’t necessarily feel as though I learned a huge amount about the disorder through reading this book, but I did learn more about the different ways that people cope with stress, trauma, abuse and depression.
It’s an excellent reminder that no two people react in the same way to difficult situations, and in turn, no two people will deal with the aftermath in the same way either. I found myself reacting to the reactions of the different personalities, rather than just accepting that that’s how they deal with situation/person ‘x’. That’s ok when I’m reading the book, but I would never dream of confronting someone about their reaction (unless it put themselves or others in danger).
The body which houses the personalities is a 50 year old female, but it contains a little girl, a man, a lion and seven very different women, all born at separate times over the last two to 50 years! During the book, I felt that I got to know a few of them really well.
Jade and Anne are pretty normal women, with Jade being the more feisty of the two! I was a little disappointed when the book ended and I still felt that I didn’t really know Peter, the male (human, not lion/man) personality.
I would be over the moon to discover that some of the other personalities had decided to write additional chapters, or even books! But, the book has shown me enough to know that a couple of them would never even entertain the idea.
However, I would certainly buy Zen’s self-help book, read Nancy’s blog rants and watch Ray’s practical joke YouTube channel if they existed! I wonder if Anne plans to write more in the future as she gets to know the others better. Hint-hint.
This book deserves to be shared, talked about and read by thousands. It’s funny, heart-breaking, very strange and non-stop engrossing. It’s a bold statement, but reading this book sort of feels like you’re the eleventh member of the body. This is a compliment to Anne in particular as she manages to portray what should be an unimaginable scenario to anyone who may be reading the book. Yes, she’s confused, angry and upset, but she also has a new life to get on with.
I would like to thank Anne and Jade for sharing, not just their story of DID, but also of their experience of coping with abuse, depression and attempted suicide. Yes, it will make readers cry, feel sick and possibly even give them nightmares, but I think it’s wonderful that someone can share experiences like this and help others through the process.
Jade and Anne don’t sugar-coat and they’re not embarrassed to say what they have to say. I’d love to spend some time with them if they didn’t live on the other side of the world!
The cover was created by Neil, one of the personalities: a sort of lion-man with the voice of Liam Neeson. I think I got some strange looks on the bus with it as it probably looked as though I was reading a children’s book. Don’t let it put you off – I completely recommend this book to all.
We are not dangerous serial killers. We are real—all of us. I am. We are. – A.J. Mouse
Available in paperback (274 pages) and for Kindle.
Polka dots can’t stay alone. When we obliterate nature and our bodies with polka dots, we become part of the unity of our environments. – Yayoi Kusama
“She was my best friend. Like a spider, my mother was a weaver… Like spiders, my mother was very clever. Spiders are friendly presences… spiders are helpful and protective, just like my mother.” – Louise Bourgeois. The piece at the Tate was entitled Maman.
Last night I watched the Coen brothers’ comedy Hail, Caesar! (2016). Starring George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton and many more fantastic faces, Hail, Caesar! presents a day in the life of a Hollywood studio fixer in the 1950s. I haven’t heard many good words about it, but I thought it was fantastic!
Hollywood, the ’50s. Capitol Pictures is making prestige picture Hail, Caesar, A Tale Of Christ’s Life when its star (Clooney) disappears. Studio fixer Eddie Mannix (Brolin) has to bring him back, while also dealing with other daily issues. – Empire
This week’s Sunday song is The White Stripes’ The Denial Twist.