A SELF-HELP APPROACH TO MULTIPLICITY
Ralph B. Allison, M.D.
A Course on Multiple Personality
At the Annual Meeting of
The American Psychiatric Association
May 13, 1979
A SELF-HELP APPROACH TO MULTIPLICITY
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. Is this Linda,' I asked.
'No it isn't . . . hold the line a minute, okay?' I started
"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
'What class? I didn't have a class at 10 this morning,'
'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
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
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
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?"
"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
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
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? 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
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
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
"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,
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
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
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
"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
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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
"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
"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
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
"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
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.