A SELF-HELP APPROACH TO MULTIPLICITY by Ralph B. Allison, M.D. Presented At A Course on Multiple Personality At the Annual Meeting of The American Psychiatric Association Chicago, Illinois May 13, 1979 ========================================== A SELF-HELP APPROACH TO MULTIPLICITY by Ralph B. Allison, M.D. The story you are about to hear is true. Last year I received a phone call from a young man whom I shall call Zev Baxter, asking for help in finding a therapist. A number of months later, I received another call from him stating that he had done his own therapy at home. I asked him to write out for me how he did it. This report is a revision of his own document. He subsequently visited me at my home in Davis, California, where we cleaned up a few loose ends left over at that time. Here is his story: ============================================= "My name is Zev Baxter. I am 27 years old. I have brown hair and a beard, brown eyes and small, round, wire-rimmed glasses. My problem started in November, 1976. I had just broken up with my girlfriend, and I was feeling a little depressed about it. I was playing the piano that night in a dinner show. A couple of old friends of mine, George and Jill, were sitting in the audience, and they invited me over to their house after the show. While I was at their house, I thought about a girl I knew named Linda, and how much I would like to phone her and ask her for a date. It would sure help get my mind of Pam, my ex-girlfriend. I went to the kitchen phone and dialed Linda's number. I heard a voice: 'Hello?' 'Hello. Is this Linda,' I asked. 'No it isn't . . . hold the line a minute, okay?' I started to wait... "Suddenly I found myself standing in the aisle of a liquor store. I looked at my hand. The phone was gone. So was the whole house. 'What happened to the phone?' I asked myself. I walked to the front of the store. George was buying something at the cash register. 'Where are we?' I asked George in a whisper. 'At the liquor store.' 'But how did I get here?' 'You rode with us, don't you remember?' 'No, I don't.' 'Well, we are going back to the house now. Your van is there. You won't have any trouble getting home. Don't worry.' "We rode back to the house. I said 'good night' and drove home. I went straight to bed. Maybe when I wake up in the morning I will be able to remember the phone conversation and the ride to the liquor store, I thought to myself. I dropped off to sleep." "The next morning when I woke up, I looked around the apartment, puzzled. 'What am I doing in Zev's apartment?'--I asked myself. 'Where is Zev? He must have sneaked off during the night while I was asleep.' I was only ten years old. Zev was 25 years old and he wasn't there. I knew that I would have to go to Zev's job for him, because he was gone. I knew that no one would believe me if I tried to explain that I wasn't Zev; I was in his apartment and wearing his clothes. I felt very sad and alone." "A couple of days later I woke up thinking I was a woman. I knew the little boy was still there, and that Zev was still gone. I was furious." "'You see what kind of a person Zev really is?'--I asked the little boy.--'You thought he really cared about you, but now look at what he has done! He has gone away and left us here! He has abandoned us! He is no good! He's just like all other men, you can't trust them. They are no good!'" "Furthermore, I was jealous of Zev because lots of people liked him but nobody liked me. Zev had a lot of pictures of mountains, forests and lakes in his apartment. Those pictures reminded me of Zev and made me even more furious. I wanted to destroy those pictures. I had the same reactions to his books and to his piano playing." "A couple of days after that, I woke up as myself, Zev. I had been asleep since the night I had driven home from George and Jill's house. I had been dreaming that I had been watching and listening to an angry woman and a little boy talk about me in my apartment. When I heard the woman tell the little boy that I had abandoned them because I was no good, I protested, 'Don't listen to her! I never went away, I am right here! Don't listen to her!' But, apparently they couldn't hear me. I seemed trapped behind glass that was soundproof in their direction. I pounded my fists on the glass as I yelled, but I couldn't break through." "After I woke up as myself and as I drove to work, I kept feeling as if the woman and the little boy were watching me from the back seat. I was scared." Zev saw Linda at the college where they both worked and asked her if she could remember his calling her. She answered but he couldn't remember what she said. Linda was moving to another city, and he tried to get her new phone number from Information. But when he called, he couldn't remember her name, which was Everett. A strange thing happened at work, where he was a sign language interpreter for deaf students. One day his supervisor asked him, 'Well, where were you at 10 o'clock this morning?' 'What do you mean?' he asked. 'Why didn't you interpret the class at 10 o'clock this morning?' 'What class? I didn't have a class at 10 this morning,' he said. 'I asked you earlier this morning if you wanted to do it and you stood right there in front of my desk and said, 'Yes.' Where were you?' Zev couldn't remember where he had been. During the next month, he kept switching into the woman and the little boy and finally decided to see a psychologist at the school. When he did, the little boy was in control, very nervous and very scared. He tried to explain that he wasn't Zev and that there was a woman who took over sometimes, too. At the next appointment, the woman was in control. When she saw the doctor, she fumed, "At last you're here! Come on Doc, let's get into your office and get on with it!" Inside, she tried to explain why she was so angry with Zev and with everything else. When the hour was almost up, the psychologist asked her when Zev had broken up with his girlfriend. It was just before all of this had started and he had not thought about it even once after he woke up in the liquor store. This sudden realization switched him back to Zev and he said, "Thanks Doctor" and left the office. He then reviewed how he had gotten involved with Pam in the first place. He had met her at school but she wouldn't give him her phone number because her mother didn't allow her to receive calls from boys who weren't also Jehovah's Witnesses. She called him up and they made a date. After the date, she introduced him to her mother, who refused to shake hands and left him without saying a word. He felt sorry for Pam and wanted to rescue her from her mother's domination and her church's control. She said she wanted to get away from her mother and the church, and he suggested she get a roommate and move out. She said she had already tried that, but her mother always made the prospective roommate feel guilty for robbing her of her daughter. So he suggested that she move in with him, since her mother wouldn't make him feel guilty, but she said, "If I lived with you, the church would ostracize me for living with a man I'm not married to. My friends at church won't be allowed to speak to me." When he suggested they elope, she thought that would be wonderful. The next day they made plans to drive to Las Vegas. Then she decided to tell her mother first. When he called Pam's home the next day, her mother answered the phone and said she had no objections to Pam marrying him, as long as they got married in the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall. This meant that he had to make the church think that he was considering becoming a member. He attended one meeting with Pam and her mother and gave the impression that he liked the church, although it really appalled him. During their premarital physical examinations, Pam found out she was pregnant. She then told him that she had had sex with two black men at a recent party and that the baby might be black. He told her he didn't care. That night they were planning to meet with both sets of parents, pass the wedding rings around, and then they would tell them about the baby--except for the possibility of its being half-black. They figured that if they told them in front of each other, that neither family would get angry. After the announcement was made, Pam's mother began weeping hysterically and said she was upset because Pam had hurt Jehovah. Pam went into the kitchen crying and Zev's mother followed her. She told her that "God is love and can't be hurt." Pam's mother wanted them to drive to Las Vegas and get married as quickly as possible. He told Pam he would call her the next day and went home. The next day he tried to phone Pam but got only a strange voice telling him that Pam was home but did not wish to talk to him. At school, she told him that she didn't want to get married yet, and she didn't know if she ever wanted to marry him. She said, "Some church members came from the church after you left the house. They have been with me all day and night ever since and they have convinced me that I was wrong to turn my back on the church." He felt like Pam had been brainwashed and to him the church seemed like a coven of witches. He told her he never wanted to marry her and left. To get her off his mind, he called Linda to ask for a date but woke up in the liquor store instead. Some pertinent history is important to review now. His mother was a devout Christian Scientist and this caused problems whenever he was sick or injured. In 1968, he had injured his left hand at an amusement park and the nurse at the first aid station said he needed stitches or he might lose the use of his hand. Since he was a piano player, he didn't want this to happen, but he also knew that his mother would not let him have stitches because "going to a doctor is like not believing that God takes care of you". He phoned his mother from the first aid station and she refused permission. The nurse bandaged his hand and he ran away from home to stay overnight at a friend's house, where he could cauterize the wound with boiling water. In 1968, he developed a severe infection in his right leg. A nurse friend advised him to go to a local hospital as soon as possible, where he saw the Emergency Room doctor. However, since he was still under 18, the doctor said he could only examine and explain but not treat him without his parent's permission. He said he had an abscess that needed to be drained before he developed gangrene and, if nothing was done, they might have to amputate his leg. The hospital administrator phoned his mother, who refused to give her permission to operate. Finally, a friend asked the administrator to phone the police, who told them that if the doctor was willing to say death was imminent they could immediately have him become a ward of the court, and this is what happened. The administrator had to phone his mother to inform her that he was temporarily out of her custody. Once she talked to him on the phone she was furious and told him that it was too late to save him now. Then she told him that she wanted to take Zev to a different hospital. Once he was outside the range of his friends' hearing, she flew into a rage and told him that he would probably never walk again because he had doubted God's ability to heal his leg. She told him that this was the worst thing he had ever done. He decided to lie to her and told her that he agreed that he had been bad and wrong and that he would never again do such a terrible thing as go to a doctor. She did drop him off at the hospital and drove away, returning later to pick him up. Shortly after that, he made friends with a sailor who told him that in the Navy he could have free medical care without his parents' consent after he was 18, whereas he could have to wait until he was 21 as a civilian. He joined the Navy right after graduation from high school. However, on the first night in boot camp, he was awakened by a noise. He saw somebody going through a footlocker of the bunk in front of his. He asked the sailor in the bed next to him what the man was doing and the other sailor could not see the man or the footlocker. When he looked again, both the man and the footlocker were gone. Later, when he was sent to the Naval School of Music, he developed a habit of seeing officers giving surprise inspections down the hall and would warn everyone, but nobody else ever saw the officers there. He was sent to a psychiatrist because of this. On the second visit, he was put in the closed section of a psychiatric ward for a few days. After he was led to the door of the ward he was told to follow an intern with blond hair into a small interview room. An intern with dark hair followed them in and closed the door. When the blond-haired intern asked if he wanted to get a discharge, he said "No." He asked one question, to which he replied, "Why don't you ask him?" "Ask who?" "The guy who followed us in here and shut the door." "There is no one here but you and me." He turned around and saw that there wasn't anybody else there but the two of them. He was recommended to discharge but his lieutenant refused the discharge and a new appointment was made at the hospital for a month later. While at work mowing the lawn, he was asked to talk to an FBI agent about money that had been stolen from a truck parked near where he was working. He gave the names of four friends that he had seen there. He then realized that he did not want his friends to get in trouble, and he told the agent that he didn't think his testimony was very good because he had a history of seeing people that weren't there. The lieutenant who had refused his discharge confirmed his story and the FBI agent tore up his report. From then on, the lieutenant harassed him until he was suicidal. The last time he saw the psychiatrist he told him that if his discharge would be refused again he would kill himself. Also, wishing to put on a convincing act, he told about the imaginary friends, but he told them that he really thought they were real people, which he didn't. His discharge recommendation was refused again, so he bought two bottles of sleeping pills. Before he had a chance to use them, the lieutenant called him to say he had reconsidered his last refusal and was sending him home. After leaving the Navy, he stopped seeing people who weren't there. Six months later, he started smoking marijuana and, seven months later, he was dropping acid. He slowly became a hippie. He also became an interpreter for the deaf, a transcriber for the blind, and he started writing music. Two months after his problems began he had gone on a camping trip with some friends who had LSD. The drug made him desire sex with women so strongly that he criticized himself for not having brought a woman with him to the mountains. A week later, he was feeling depressed and took acid so he could get his mind off his problems. He was alone in his apartment when he took it. Suddenly he became someone else--it wasn't the woman or the little boy--he felt as though his body was increasing in size slightly and he wanted women. He wanted to have sex with women, he wanted to have sex with Linda, and he was disgusted with Zev for not taking advantage of the opportunity when he had the chance. All Zev ever wanted to do was sit around the house and play that stupid piano to take his mind off his problems. Zev never wanted to chase women but he did. He decided to chase women without Zev. He tried three women that he knew, but none of them were home. He became frustrated, thought about making love to Linda and masturbated. Afterwards, he remembered that Zev was somewhat bisexual and realized that he wasn't. While trying to figure out just what there was about women that was so exciting to him now, he heard a voice say "guns and knives". He thought, "Who said that?", and then he realized that it was his mother's voice he was remembering. "They'll use guns and knives on you because they are no good." He remembered that when he was about nine years old he was riding in the back seat of a car while his sister was behind the wheel learning to drive. His mother was in the passenger's seat, talking about men to his sister. "Men use guns and knives on girls. They hide in dark places and kill women sometimes. You have to be careful." He had been afraid for his sister's safety when she married her first husband. Then he thought about the fact that all but one of the males in his family seemed non-masculine to a degree. The one exception was his oldest brother. He seemed masculine but Zev had lived with him for the first 18 years of his life as his sister, when he went through a sex change surgery. Then he heard his mother say, "You just can't trust those men." "Those men? Wait a minute, us men." Bells and buzzers started going off in his head and he realized that the person he had become on the acid was the epitome of the kind of person his mother had been describing in the car . . . "Us men!" He had been programmed. Suddenly he got angry with his parents, especially his mother, and then angry about something else, too. When he was five years old and in kindergarten, he could see fine but, in the first grade his vision became impaired. In the second grade, they told his parents that he needed glasses but mother said that he had perfect vision because God didn't let anyone have bad eyes. His vision was so poor he couldn't tell if there was schoolwork on the blackboard and he couldn't hit a baseball at recess time. One day his father let him wear his glasses, and he saw the whole world clearly and thought everything looked beautiful. After that, he often sneaked a peek at the world through his father's glasses, whenever he left them around the house. He felt like he hardly had any friends and that the kids laughed at him at school, so he lived in his own little world and developed his mind instead of his emotions. Finally, when he was in the sixth grade, his mother gave in, got him a pair of glasses, and he was the happiest kid on the block. Now he found himself back in the apartment, getting angry at his parents for all these things. The anger had switched him back to Zev, but then he got worried that maybe his sexuality could only be unlocked with acid. The next day, he told his mother he was angry because she wouldn't let him have glasses when he was a kid. She answered, "But you never needed any. I don't remember you needing any." He was also angry with her, he said, because she made him go to the police to have surgery. She denied the police ever took him away from her. His mother started to get a little hysterical and his uncle and brother, who had been his sister, took him into the kitchen. His uncle whispered to him, "You probably didn't miss much all those years." His brother said, "I had problems, too, it wasn't just YOU." The next night he was thinking about a TV program he had seen several months before. There was a little girl lying on an operating table while the doctor told her that she could go home. The little girl protested frantically, saying she was scared to go home to her mother. He had wondered if the little girl's parents could be Christian Scientists also. "What movie is this?" he asked some friends he was visiting. "Sybil," they said. He knew that Sybil was about a woman with 16 personalities and when it came out he said, "Oh come on now, how could anyone have that many personalities?" Now he realized that he seemed to have four personalities himself. He bought a copy of Sybil, to see if he could find any clues that could help him. He started reading it and found some similarities to his own situation., but then it scared him too much, and he couldn't read any farther. A month later he got a terrible stomach ache and drove himself to a university medical center, where the doctor examined him for appendicitis and found nothing wrong. He told Zev he wanted him to see a psychiatrist right away. Zev was afraid of that, remembering his Navy hospitalization. The doctor told him no one was going to lock him up, and turned him over to a lady with a stack of papers to sign. He asked what they were and was told to just sign them. He said, "Not until I know what they are." She said, "Very well. If you refuse to sign them, then you show yourself to be too sick to sign, which means we no longer need your signature." Then she had a nurse and a male guard take him to another building and he ended up behind locked doors, in the Psychiatric Ward. He was finally allowed to meet the psychiatric staff and put on a convincing performance to get himself discharged as an outpatient. He decided that no matter how frightening life had become with three other personalities, he would never allow himself to be in hospital care. Whenever his stomach started to hurt he would stop whatever he was doing and lie down until it stopped. Also, he stopped looking for female companionship, since falling in love would only lead to another blackout. About nine months later, he met Suzie, a Japanese woman who invited him to stay all night and make love. They stayed together after that and she was a perfect person to be with, a woman who wanted to live and sleep with him, and who didn't care if he was in love with her or not. He also felt some attraction to the gay life and went to a gay bar and attended a gay church. He joined the church choir and eventually became the piano player for the choir. His girlfriend had no interest in God but no objection to him going to a gay church, or even his occasional evenings out with the boys. This did not resolve any of his problems, it just pacified them. He felt that he could never fall in love with a man the way his gay friends did, but to fall into love with a woman would invite mental dissociation. While in this state of mind he visited some deaf friends who were watching TV and found that Sybil was again being shown. So, he told his deaf friends that he would interpret it for them and he soon was acting out 16 personalities in pantomime. The next day his girlfriend Suzie wanted to go to her friend's house. When they arrived there, he found that Linda lived with the friend and was an old friend of his girlfriend. She and her roommate had both watched Sybil the night before and he then decided to finish reading the book. After that, he had a strong desire to talk to Dr. Wilbur, Sybil's psychiatrist. After what he read about her, he felt that she was the one doctor that might be able to help him and never try to lock him up. He found her name in the directory at the local library, called her and talked to her about his situation. She urged him to get help right away. She told him to call me, since I lived in California, and, when he did, I gave him the name of several psychiatrists in his area of the state that might be able to treat him. I also advised him to buy a notebook and write down everything that was of any unusual nature, so he would know what happened. Shortly thereafter, a psychology instructor saw him on campus and asked him what he had been arrested for. "Arrested?" he said. "I haven't even been in jail." But the professor said he had gotten a letter from a probation officer who had named some people who needed psychiatric help in connection with their problems and his name was on the list. Later he decided this was a notice from the medical center. Then Dr. Wilbur's words came back to him--"I urge you to get help before you find yourself in jail." He decided he had better buy a notebook. Another strange thing happened. Some friends from the church said they had heard him play piano in a bar one night and they commented on how great he sounded. He couldn't remember doing it. He had never seen a piano in the bar. They told him a piano had been placed there, just next to the jukebox, and that he had played it for hours. Still, he had no memory of it. He called me on the phone and told me about these two incidents and I urged him to find out if he had been in jail or not. He was too scared to call the Probation Department to see if he had been arrested. He got enough money for one visit to one of the psychiatrists on my list but, after an hour, the man didn't seem to have any answers and Zev couldn't afford to go back for more. He felt maybe he would take some more acid, since drugs at $2.00 for several hours were cheaper than doctors at $60.00 for one hour. He called Dr. Wilbur again but she was getting exasperated with him and urged him to get back to the doctor, get a diagnosis and stay off drugs. He did stay off acid, began writing in his notebook and decided to call UCLA and make an appointment. That night at home, he was wondering if his other personalities had any names. He thought about the angry woman and wondered what her name was. "Daphne"--a voice said from somewhere in the back of his head. He had only known one woman with that name and she was a character in a high school play, but there was something very interesting about her. His brother, Don, had played the lead in the play and Don's girlfriend had played the other lead. There was a scene in which the girlfriend was sipping tea while Daphne, the maid, carries a tea tray off stage. A photographer had printed a picture of this scene in the yearbook and, with Daphne having a snobbish expression, the caption was "And I hope you choke on it". Several months later, Don's girlfriend was killed in an auto accident and his mother warned Zev not to tell him that night since he had to perform in a play and that would ruin it. So, when Don came home, Zev couldn't tell him what he was so upset about. Here is his description of how he didn't get along with Don: "When I was a kid, before my parents let me wear glasses, Don used to throw darts and lighted matches at me when our parents left us alone together. After I had glasses, he would get them away from me and hide them, and then throw things. One time he locked me in a small pantry for a long time with no light. Another time he sneaked up on me and poured steaming hot water on my head. He pushed me down stairs, tied a cord around my neck and choked me, locked me out on the balcony so I had to get sunburned, and even made the cat scratch my face while I was asleep. He usually did these things when no one else was around and when my parents came home I complained but he always denied it, and they always believed him." Thinking about this, he suddenly realized that Daphne was the part of his mind that hated Don and was glad that he had lost his girlfriend. While he, Zev, felt sorry for him, Daphne was glad he was suffering. Next he turned his attention to the man he became on acid, wondering what his name was. "Tom"--said a voice from somewhere. He looked just like a friend named Tom that he was jealous of, for the same reason that he was jealous of the personality Tom; they both related easily to women. Next, he turned his attention to the little boy. "Tommy"--the voice said instantly. Why of course, he had played all the music from the rock opera "Tommy" on the piano because he identified with the story of a little boy who goes deaf, dumb and blind because of his parents. In fact, every song in the opera reminded him of something that had happened to him. A few days later he was thinking about the Tom personality and thought that he reminded him of the son in the play "The Glass Menagerie", by Tennessee Williams. He and Don had often commented on how that play reflected their home life, with the son and mother yelling at each other while the sister cringes, and the son's name in that play is Tom. When he remembered this, his stomach started to hurt. He laid down to relax. As he relaxed, he slowly started to realize that the Tom personality was scaring him and making his stomach hurt. He had picked that name because of his unconscious identification with the son in the play. As he accepted this identification, the knot in his stomach went away. Shortly thereafter, he visited a neighbor and found her talking with another woman about multiple personalities. The woman had been a Hot Line worker one night when a girl called in, screaming "Help! My other personality is trying to take over!" At this point the other personality did take over. The worker had helped this person get to a psychiatrist who diagnosed her as a dual personality. The Hot Line worker said she had been interested in multiple personalities ever since and said that he could call her if he wanted to. He put her phone number in his wallet. The next morning he looked in his wallet for her phone number but it wasn't there. He looked everywhere but he couldn't find it. Later that evening, he found a piece of paper inside one of the glasses in the kitchen. This had the phone number on it and he felt like someone was trying to hide it from him. He decided not to call the worker because someone didn't want him to. When it was almost time for his appointment at UCLA, he started counting the days, but he blacked out on the day of the appointment, a Monday, and all of a sudden it was Tuesday. He made a second appointment. The morning he made the second appointment he went to a coffee shop for breakfast. The waiter gave him coffee he never ordered and then neglected to take his order for breakfast. When he finally asked him about it, the waiter claimed that Zev had told him he wanted coffee but no breakfast. He didn't remember doing this and he wondered if Daphne was playing tricks on him because he made another appointment at UCLA. He then went to the library to do some reading on multiple personalities and writing in his notebook. When he went from the library shelf where he had been reading to the table where his notebook had been, the notebook was gone. He started looking all around and finally found the notebook lying on the table in a part of the library he hadn't been in. He wondered if Daphne was trying to hide the evidence? That night he decided to try talking to the other personalities. He sat in his empty bedroom and told them that if they would stop interfering in his attempts to see a psychiatrist, he would ask the doctor to help them, too. "It isn't just for me," he told them, "it is for all of us." That night in his sleep it seemed as if he heard voices telling him, "All right, we'll let you go, but you had better keep your promise." This time he arrived for his appointment at UCLA and was given an outpatient card. He was sent down the hall to the Neurology Department. When he arrived there he found his card was gone. He went back to the Registration Desk and the girl at the window said, "Oh there you are. I wondered what happened to you. After you left, I found your card on my side of the glass. Now why did you slide it back to me? Don't you want it?" One question the Neurologist asked was "Have you ever seen something appear in your apartment without your putting it there?" He remembered one time when he had been in the Navy he had read The Story of Z, about a Greek political figure who was a victim of a government assassin. He identified with it because he felt like a victim of the Navy and because his name starts with Z. Z is the first letter of the Greek word "zei", which means "he lives". The letter was painted on the walls of the cities of Greece after the assassination by sympathetic Greeks. When he got out of the Navy and was living alone, he went to see the movie "Z" and when he came home he found there was a piece of paper lying in the middle of the card table. The paper had the letter "Z" written on it in pencil. It looked like a child might have written it--large and jagged--not his handwriting at all. He thought someone must be playing a joke on him. He couldn't figure out how anybody could have gotten into the apartment and out again when it was locked. Also, he hadn't told anyone about seeing the movie. Now he was wondering if this was one of his personalities trying to claim "Z--he lives--I am still here, you can't turn your back on me." The neurologist sent him on down to the Psychiatry Department, where he saw a Dr. Martin. While sitting in her waiting room he started writing about "Z" in his notebook. As soon as he started writing, his stomach started hurting. He immediately stopped writing, and lay down on the couch. As he was allowing the knot to untie itself, he realized that what was really bothering him was that he was finking on whomever it was who had left the mysterious "Z", and he was afraid it would make him or her angry. When the doctor saw him lying there, she asked him what was wrong and he handed her the notebook. He went into the office while she read about the "Z". Then she gave him back the notebook and said that he explained himself just fine and that he didn't need to give her the notebook to do it for him. He made another appointment to see her but he wasn't sure how he felt about her. Afterwards, he was seated in an armchair with his right hand in full view of his face while he talked to a friend. While talking, he noticed his fingers move, spelling out the name Everett. Ever since he had learned sign language he had become aware that his right hand often spelled out messages in the manual alphabet without his knowledge. He had come to regard this phenomenon as automatic sign language, akin to automatic writing. He was never aware of what his hand spelled. The only time he knew what was happening was when other people noticed it and told him. He explained, "My hand just spelled out the name Everett." "Who's Everett," his friend asked. "I haven't any idea." A moment later it happened again, Everett, Linda Everett. His hand was spelling the name that his unconscious mind had been unable to recall. He had tried to get her new phone number. Was Tom calling for Linda? This was the last incident he wrote about in his notebook. He gave it to Dr. Martin and she still has it. When he went back to Dr. Martin she told him that she had only read parts of it. He started to feel that she really didn't care what was bothering him. He never went back to Dr. Martin after that. Then one day he asked himself why he was so embarrassed to admit to himself that he thought he had other personalities. Didn't they really bother him? What did they do that bothered him? They interfered with his love life, that's what. Well, wasn't that a legitimate complaint? Of course it was. Well, then why did he feel embarrassed about trying to solve the problem? He decided then that he had nothing to be embarrassed about. He attacked his problem from then on. He had noticed that Sybil had consistently resisted trying to understand her problem because she was scared. Well, he decided that, scared or not, he had to face his problem for what it was, or else remain forever trapped by it. It was obvious that Sybil could have gotten well much sooner if she had not resisted so much. Well, he did want to get well. Then, something very revealing happened. He was looking at a deck of cards and happened to glance at the Queen of Spades and a chain of recollections poured through his mind: When he was younger he used to play solitaire constantly to take his mind off his problems. In his imagination, he saw himself making friends with people in the card game. The fortune telling books described each of the face cards, Kings, Queens and Jacks, as representing various types of people. In his imagination he saw himself and his friends as represented by various face cards. Whenever a car representing him landed next to a card representing someone else, he imagined that they were making friends, in spite of what took place in the real world. This activity reached its peak when he was in the Navy. He played solitaire every day during the lunch break. This was at the point in life when he had his to imaginary friends that followed him around. Suddenly, he realized that the Queen of Spades represented the imaginary friend who later became Daphne. This was because the fortune telling books had described the card in a way that most closely resembled the imaginary friend. He felt as though the Queen of Spades had jumped out of the cards and become an invisible, living, breathing, autonomous entity. Then he realized that Tommy had been represented by the Jack of Clubs and he (Zev) had been represented by the King of Hearts. Then he thought about Tom. He had no imaginary friend whom he could have sprung from, but he remembered all those high school heroes that he had idolized at the time. Whenever he imagined one of those high school heroes as a playing card, it had always been the King of Clubs. Now that all those heroes were long gone, the King of Clubs was still present, in the form of Tom. After he realized that Daphne had come from the Queen of Spades, he started to wonder where the idea of the Queen of Spades had come from. So he asked, "What do I know about her?" The answer was, "All I know about her is that she hated my brother Don." So he asked himself, "Does anyone else I know hate Don?" And the answer was, "Yes, my mother." He remembered fight after fight between Don and his mother while he stood listening in agony. Each time he felt like Don was so horribly cruel to her, as Don had been to him, that he had to protect her. It now started to make sense. After he had started hating his mother the day the police had to take him out of her custody, that part of him that liked her sank into his unconscious. On the day Pam and he had broken up and he had to get his mind off of her before he went crazy, the part of him that was sexually attracted to her sank into his own conscious and the next girl he tried to contact became a trigger mechanism for the fugue. He then started reconstructing even more of the past. He realized that, when he felt like he was being good, he felt like a little boy, because men were bad. When he felt angry he became a woman, because in his family only women got angry. He even had the strange idea that his mother had once been a little boy and his father had once been a little girl. Also, his parents exchanged sex roles once on Halloween. When he was in kindergarten, he gave his father a Mother's Day gift because he liked him better at that time and Mother's Day came first. To be fair to his mother, he gave her a Father's Day gift but he didn't put as much of himself into that present. This was also connected with his reactions to his older sister, the masculine behavior preceding her changing sex to a male. He also became aware that his attitude toward his other selves was changing from resentment, to concern, to sympathetic understanding, and even to love. After all, they were a part of him and, if they did things to hurt him, it was only because they had mental problems, too. He knew from reading about Sybil that all his personalities had to make friends with each other before he could become a whole person. He decided to try a little self-hypnosis to see what happened. He realized, as he tried to deal with Daphne, that he was also trying to deal with his mother and that it was easier to make Daphne listen to reason that his mother. He closed his eyes and relaxed in an armchair whenever he wanted to talk to the others. When he asked Daphne why she hated Tom, she replied, "Because all he thinks about is himself. He doesn't care about us at all. All he thinks about is his own selfish pleasure." When he asked Tom why he hated Daphne, he replied, "How am I supposed to make friends with her when all she does is bitch and feel sorry for herself?" "Well, what about Tommy? He doesn't bitch or anything," he asked. "Yes, but I don't have time. I'm not a therapist. I can't help it. The rest of you have problems. If you want to help Tommy, go ahead, but count me out. I never wanted to be anyone's big brother." When he asked Tommy why he didn't come closer to the rest of them, Tommy replied, "Because all they do is fight. I get so upset when I have to listen to all that arguing. I don't want to come closer until they stop fighting, but I am so lonely, too." Soon after that, he had a dream in which Daphne turned into his mother, Tom turned into his father and Tommy turned into his oldest brother. They were sitting at a table playing contract bridge, something that they did in real life. He and his brother were partners. His parents were their opponents. As the cards flew onto the table, he saw the faces of the Queen of Spades, the Jack of Clubs, the King of Hearts, etc., land and be scooped away. They were trying to work out their complex relationships with the most complex card game in the world. Quite often in the dream, as in real life, his mother sharply criticized his father for playing the wrong card or for bidding incorrectly. Since he knew it helped when Sybil started to accept her other personalities enough to send Dr. Wilbur Christmas cards from the various personalities, he had an idea--he would sing to his personalities. Since Daphne seemed to be making the biggest efforts, he began with her. Just before he started to sing to her, he said, "Okay Daphne, I am going to sing you a song, and Tom, I would sure appreciate it if you would sing along with me. Daphne needs your acceptance even more than she needs mine. Somebody has to take the first step. We can't solve our problems until we make friends with each other. And, don't try and tell me that you don't have any problems. When was the last time you had sex? So, come on and sing along." With that, he sang Daphne a love song by John Denver, "Lady, are you crying? Do the tears belong to me? Did you think our time together was all gone? Lady, you've been dreaming; I'm as close as I can be; and I swear to you, our time has just begun." He had sung this song before to other girlfriends but never did he get so many goose pimples from singing it as he did then. Perhaps the reason he was reacting to strongly was the feeling of forgiveness that he felt toward Daphne. Daphne and Zev felt close after that. Tommy was pleased, but Tom still had a "so what?" attitude, so naturally, Zev turned his attention to him. One day he got an idea that had to do with the Glass Menagerie, because that was where Tom's identification seemed centered. He remembered that at the end of the play Tom finally has the final argument with his mother (who seemed like Daphne's bad side) and he leaves her and his sister (who seemed like Daphne's good side), never to return. He ran off to join the Merchant Marines, just like Zev had joined the Navy. So, he told Tom (when he was home alone), "Tom, the rest of us would like you to do us a favor. We are all trying to do our part to help each other. It is your turn now. All we want you to do is read the final speech of the play to us. You don't even have to think about it. Just read it out loud, and that will be enough for today. Will you? It won't kill YOU." Suddenly he felt Tom speak with his voice, although it dropped an octave in pitch. "Oh, all right, if it means that much to you." The scene began just after the last argument with the mother. Tom runs out of the tenement flat, never to return. As he is also the narrator of the play, his final speech is directed toward the audience. He tells about how he traveled from city to city, how the cities swept about him like dead leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. He says that he would have stopped running but that he was pursued by something that always came upon him unawares and that suddenly his sister would touch his shoulder and he would turn and look into her eyes. He says, "Oh Laura, Laura. I tried to leave you behind me, but I have been more faithful to you than I intended to be." At this point he had to stop reading because he was crying so hard, but they were Tom's tears, tears he had never shed before. This was new. Tom was crying, as he realized that he had turned his back on Daphne, Zev and Tommy. He realized how tragic the ending to the play was, and he didn't want his life to end so tragically. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," he cried to Daphne repeatedly. From that day forward, Tom and Daphne were friends. Even Tommy whispered to Zev, "Mommy and Daddy are happy now." It was time for the next step--learning to function as one person. The following incident will show what that was like: One day Zev felt like smoking a joint at home but he felt an internal rumbling, knowing that the others wanted to say something. So, he locked the door, took the phone off the hook, closed all the curtains and sank into the armchair. He closed his eyes and said, "Well Tom, what do you want to do?" "Go to the weight room and lift weights. We're getting a little out of condition." "That sounds fine to me. I like to lift weights, too. What would you like to do, Daphne?" " I'd like to go to the library and look at the art exhibits. Maybe they have some new ones by now." "That sounds like fun to me, too. We will do that next. What about you, Tommy?" "I'd like to stop at the park and look at the trees for a few minutes. You know that's something we never got to do because we couldn't wear glasses." "That's just fine with me, Tommy, and when we get home I will have a smoke and relax." He opened his eyes and felt fine. He opened the curtains, put the phone back on the hook, left and had a beautiful day. There were no more internal rumblings. Everyone got what he or she wanted. As he sat in the park looking at Tommy's trees, he felt like Tom, Daphne, Tommy and Zev were all sitting together, almost like a family picnic. On his birthday, he had gone to his parents' home for dinner. Tom wanted to talk to them but Daphne kept begging him not to be too harsh on his mother. Tom assured her that he would control himself but that Zev needed to stand up to them. It was beautiful. They had a three-hour confrontation and Tom enjoyed himself immensely. Daphne held her peace because she knew Tom was right. He kept telling his mother that he didn't want to tell her what was bothering him because he never discussed mental or physical problems with Christian Scientists. "Can't you forget that we are Christian Scientists?" his mother asked. "That was for when you were a kid. Now that you are an adult, you can do what you like. If you have mental problems and don't want Christian Science, then you should see a psychiatrist." "Whatever makes you think that I am an adult?" he asked. "As a matter of fact, there is a part of me that has never grown up." Daphne said, "You see, she is coming around. She is becoming more like a normal person." "Yes," answered Tom, "but what hypocrisy. While Zev was growing up, she never said such a thing." "Now don't start fighting again," he said to them within himself. "Let's just all stay aware of both these things." Before the evening was up he had told them about his having three other personalities. "You mean just like the Three Faces of Eve?" his mother asked. "Yes, that's right," he said. His mother asked what the other personalities' names were but he was not ready to tell her their names. His parents seemed a little more helpful that night--not a lot, just a little, but even that was a big step. Shortly thereafter, he went to the library, feeling like he was ready to learn more about his condition. He found a book entitled The Five of Me, by Henry Hawksworth, a man who had been a multiple personality. His main personality, Dana, was like Zev; Johnny was like Daphne, but male; and Peter was like Tommy. However, Phil was a little different from Tom, although they both regarded themselves as free from neurosis. He was reading the introduction by a psychiatrist, and he noticed that the name of the psychiatrist was Dr. Ralph Allison. He took the book home and decided to read it. I said in the book that Mr. Hawksworth had gone through fusion therapy, that he was now one, and Zev had to find out what I meant by fusion therapy. He soon finished reading the section about my therapy of Mr. Hawksworth, which consisted mainly of hypnotic age regression combined with automatic writing and self-hypnosis. He was surprised to learn how much of it he was already doing, except for the automatic writing, and as long as he could talk directly with Tom, Daphne and Tommy, he didn't think he needed that. He started to notice that it seemed less and less like three other voices and more and more just like himself. However, he had more emotions than before--especially rage. One day he flew into a rage about his financial problems, and he realized that what he was experiencing was that which had formerly belonged to Daphne and was now his. The day he flew into a rage he was hitchhiking home from church when a car pulled over. He was overwhelmed by Daphne-type feelings. The rest of him was calming her down and handling the situation for her. As he got in the car, the driver looked at him and said, "Well Zev, don't you even remember me?" He looked and couldn't remember, yet he knew it was Daphne trying to remember someone she had never met. The pieces came back together; it was an old friend he had seen a long time ago as Zev. His rage dissolved. After that, he was doing three things with his self-hypnosis sessions in the armchair: First, convincing Tom that it was okay to be in love; second, convincing Daphne that it was okay to be a male; third, convincing Tommy that it was okay to be an adult. The only problem he had was with Tommy. "Why don't you want to grow up, Tommy?" "Because then I won't be able to play baseball or football, or anything. I couldn't play those games when I had bad eyes." He remembered how Dr. Wilbur had dealt with Peggy Lou's fear of being too old to watch TV by telling her that adults watched TV, too. "But Tommy, adults play baseball and football, too. I have known several grown people who played baseball regularly in neighborhood leagues. I can find friends to play catch with and then let you take over and enjoy it." "Promise?", asked Tommy. "Yes, I promise." "Okay then, I will grow up whenever you say." Again following Dr. Wilbur's example, he told Tommy that by midnight that night he would have caught up with the rest of them in age. He did the same thing to Daphne's gender as he did to Tommy's age. He told her that she could have a mental sex change and still be able to do anything she wanted. He told her that every man had a female part to his personality and, in fact, a very basic part of his character resulted from his adjustment to his feminine side. She also cooperated. Mr. Hawksworth's book gave him several insights. For example, it said that multiple personality resulted from an overly sensitive child being born into a family where everyone took sides against each other, and that the conscious self never attempts to decide between right and wrong, while underneath, the unconscious selves take all the sides. Soon he realized that not only Daphne hated Don and defended his mother, but that Tom hated his mother and defended Don. He allowed these two parts of himself to filter back into his conscious awareness. He faced the fact that he liked and disliked both Don and his mother. It was from about this time on that Tom was no longer turning his back on them and Daphne was no longer angry or female. After they assured Tommy that he wasn't alone anymore and, that if he needed help, they were there to help him, love him, he was no longer sad or little. Zev could no longer tell the personalities apart; their voices sounded alike after that. It simply became his own thinking voice. From then on, whenever something was bothering him and he couldn't tell what it was, before he could ask his other selves what was wrong, he had to use age regression. He allowed his mind to go back to the time before and then he would speak to the other selves. There was one thing still puzzling him. Which personality had taken him to the liquor store? He had to find this out before he was ready to relate normally to women. He age regressed and waited for the selves to separate. Then he asked each of them whether or not they had taken him there. Daphne said she enjoyed watching him struggle with his ambivalent feelings at the time because back then she still hated him. When she knew he was getting too involved with Linda, she just laughed. Daphne didn't know who had taken him from Linda. Tom was hoping they could go to bed with Linda. He was greatly disappointed that someone had prevented it. Tommy thought Linda would make a nice sister and was disappointed that they never finished the call. Zev decided to try automatic writing to see if he could discover the answer. He turned down the lights, shut the curtains, locked the doors and took the phone off the hook. He took out a sheet of paper and wrote across the top of it "What happened when I went to the liquor store?" Then, with his hand still holding the pen above the paper, he laid his head down on the desk and started to drift off to sleep. As he repeated the question over to himself in his mind, he started to dream that a fog was lifting and revealing the interior of a restaurant. He saw a man with blond hair dressed in a suit and tie, sitting on top of a piano. The hair had a wave and the forehead reminded him of a photograph of someone he knew, but he didn't know who it was. His hand started to twitch involuntarily, as soon as he saw the blond man. "Who's that?"--he thought to himself. Instantly his hand felt as though someone else was moving it. As the message was written, he saw the words form in his mind immediately afterwards. "My name is Richard. I have blond hair. You never met me. I am your Jerry personality." (Jerry was the name of the inner self-helper that appeared to Henry Hawksworth in The Five of Me. His function was to explain everything and answer all questions.) "I have been watching all of you but none of you ever knew me." He heard Richard's strangely new voice say, "I'm new but I'm not new." "Why do you have blond hair?" Zev asked. "Because you thought blond people were intelligent. You thought that dark-haired people were stupid because the kids at school told you you were stupid, and you had dark hair. But, I am the part of you that never felt stupid." "But why do you wear a suit and tie?" "Because that's how you pictured intelligent people." "Why is your name Richard?" "Because the first person you ever thought of as a true friend was your friend Richard, in high school. You liked him, partly because he had blond hair." "Yes, but Richard later forgot all about me. He didn't stay my friend." "That's why I had to take over. I became a better friend than he had been." Suddenly Zev remembered that Richard had been represented in his solitaire game by the Jack of Hearts and, after Richard, anyone whom he thought of as a true friend was represented by it, especially friends who were nothing special. The fortune telling book described the five cards as follows: The Kind of Hearts (Zev), an overly generous man who wears his heart on his sleeve. The King of Clubs (Tommy), a person who must face a task before him, being at the bottom of the heap. The Queen of Spades (Daphne), the dangerous woman. The King of Spades (Tom), a man of high station with little affection. The Jack of Hearts (Richard), a secret helper or friend. At last he was playing with a full deck. Richard said, "I am the part of you who never had any problems." "But I always had problems." "No you didn't, Zev. Don't you remember when you were five years old? You had always been happy until then. It was only after your eyes went bad that you felt unhappy." Instantly he remembered that this was true. He remembered running around completely happy when he was five years old. Richard continued, "After your eyes went bad, you thought you were lazy, stupid and uncoordinated, not knowing that you were really legally blind. That's when I submerged, 21 years ago." Suddenly he remembered who this was a picture of ... that Richard looked like a picture of him that had been taken in a Hollywood studio. He wore a suit and tie, his hair had been parted on the side, giving him a wave in the forehead. When he had seen that photo, he had been pleased at how intelligent he looked. Richard looked like him, only with blond hair. "But what have you got to do with the liquor store?" he asked. "When you started to phone Linda, you had no idea that Tom, Daphne and Tommy were around, or that the separation between you and Tom had occurred because of the breakup with Pam a few days before. I knew then that an affair with Linda would also be a disaster and that none of you were practical enough to stop it. So, I looked for a way to stop it myself. I heard Linda's sister say 'Hello?' . . . and you say, 'Hello, is this Linda?' I knew that you hadn't told her who was calling. I knew that if I could interfere with the call before you had time to give your name, then she would never knew you had called and all would be well. Just then, I heard your friend George say 'Does anyone want to go to the liquor store with me?' At that moment I took over. I immediately hung up the phone and got in George's car. I talked normally, just like you would have, so nobody could tell the difference. After I was inside the store, I walked down an aisle and let you wake up, knowing that I had safely prevented the entanglement with Linda. I knew you had to resolve your conflicts before it would be same to form such a relationship. But now, you have resolved them quite a bit. I can slip back into being part of your conscious awareness, and you can be as happy as you were when you were five." During the next few days everything he looked at made him react, "how beautiful", instead of "big deal, what good is it?" Each time, something made him feel good. For example, looking at trees, he felt five years old for a few seconds and five years old would dissolve into 27 years old. He soon realized that the Richard voice had also dissolved into his normal thinking voice. He has never felt like a multiple personality since. He felt reborn into the newness of life, just like it was before he had problems. He knows he is capable of falling in love without blacking out but, for now, falling in love with himself a little bit is plenty to keep him happy. A few months isn't very long when you're suddenly free to do anything you want without interference from within. Every day is a new opportunity for self-realization. He started writing music again, started living and loving again. 

  Copyright© 2018 - Ralph B. Allison