Living with Multiple Personalities: The Christine Ducommun Story

  • by Christine Ducommun
  • Narrated by Andrea Ways-Mewman
  • 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Christine Ducommun was a happily married wife and mother of two when, after returning to live in the house of her childhood, she began to experience panic attacks and night terrors. Says the author, "I sought therapy, and there I discovered, to my shock and horror, that I had been sexually abused at the hands of my father at a very early age. I surely didn't want to believe it. But as my mind began to release bizarre flashbacks, my alters began to show themselves. Suddenly I lived a life even I couldn't understand: I was a devoted mother, wife, and church leader but also a convicted thief, a promiscuous alcoholic, and a prescription drug addict. Things got much worse before they got better."
Christin was eventually diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID), and her story details an extraordinary 12-year ordeal of coming to grips with the reemergence of competing personalities her mind had created to help her endure her early years. Therapy helps to reveal the personalities, but Christine has much work to do to grasp their individual strengths and weaknesses and understand how each helped her cope and survive her childhood as well as the latent influences they've had in her adult life. Fully reawakened and present, the personalities struggle for control of Christine's mind, and her life tailspins into unimaginable chaos, leaving her to believe she may very well be losing the battle for her sanity. Christine's only hope to regain her stability is to integrate each one's emotional maturity while jettisoning the rest, until at last their chatter in her head could cease. This task, taken on by her gutsy therapist, proves to be the major struggle of her adult life. It takes her on a journey that few with her disorder have the courage or fortitude to travel. A candid look at the effects of sexual abuse, this elegant book shines a bright light on the fragility of the mind and the durability of the spirit. A story of courage, healing, identity, and hope.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

very accurate description of how D.I.D feelings

very touching , very inspirational , and I recommend it to anyone , esspesicaly those struggling with D.I.D themselves .
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- Haley

A story that fails to rise above.

This is the story of Christine Ducommun's abuse as a child, descent into mental illness, and partial recovery. The story is fascinating, if only by the sense of darkness and suffering it conveys. The writing, while not artistic, is coherent and orderly. The performance is much the same.

If you are looking for the inside view of living with mental illness, of its complicated and broken relationships, and the fallout of childhood sexual abuse, this book delivers. One could read it as a case for compassion for the mentally ill. It might have been the foundation of a substantive feminist critique of the culture of Christine's childhood. Indeed, as a portrayal of the suffocating misery of women who are trapped in unfulfilling and unfaithful marriages, the book could have been both powerful and poignant.

And yet, it is the "could of been" that I sensed most strongly when I reached the end. I wanted more. I wanted more for Christine, because the book never tells of a return to employment. There's no restoration for her family, or even the establishment of a new and healthy romance. And in the end, I wanted more of the wisdom that can develop in a life of suffering well.

Christine was shunned by a religious community. She mentions the deep issues of faith it raised, but it seems only in passing. The book never addresses them. A life in the grip of mental illness typically spirals out of control, and Christine's was no exception. But where is the insight into what her family, social agencies, or her church might have done?

It seems that the book opts out when it comes to leaping from Christine's story to the bigger story of what it takes to support each other in family, community, and faith. Ultimately, I sensed that the book fell short because Christine's own story did. To quote her psychologist, "Christine, you are the victim." So very true! But it is in rising above victimization that our individual stories lend meaning to The Story we all write together. It is in this failure to rise above, that the book came up short for me.

I wanted so much more for Christine, and so much more from her story.
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- The Professor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-23-2016
  • Publisher: Bettie Youngs Book Publishers Co., Inc.