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Truddi ChaseAugust 30, 1987|By Cheryl Lavin.
There have been books about people with multiple personalities. The Three Faces of Eve and Sybil come to mind. But When Rabbit Howls (Dutton) is by Truddi Chase, who has, not several, but 92 distinct personalities.
Q-In many cases, multiple personalities are the result of child abuse. Is that so in your case?
A-Yes, it started at age 2 and went on for about 14 years. There was sexual, physical and emotional abuse from the stepfather and physical and emotional abuse from the mother.
Q-How different are your 92 personalities?
A-Very. They differ in terms of age, background, sex, intelligence, wants, needs, attitudes, backgrounds. The youngest one is Lamb Chop, a little girl who is 5 or 6. Then there are Catherine and Elvira, who are both 28 but are completely different. Elvira believes a sense of humor can get you through anything; Catherine believes the way you get through things is by putting on a wonderful facade and keeping your sarcasm under a cloak. Ean, the Irishman, is a poet and a philosopher. He has been called a literary genius and claims to be more than 1,000 years old. Don't ask us where he comes from. We don`t know. And Ten-Four is a sharp businesswoman.
Q-What first brought you to Dr. Robert A. Phillips, the therapist who unraveled your personalities?
A-A case of what a counselor called "extreme anxiety." I was a real estate broker, living a wonderful life, totally unaware of these other personalities. But then everything blew up, like a pressure cooker that had been on the stove too long. We suffered the dissolution of a business partnership, a robbery and blackmail by someone we considered to be our dearest friend. One of these would have been a lot to take, but all three of them happening together totally undid us. We were unable to contain our feelings and emotions as the walls between us began wearing thin. It was enough to make you think you were losing your mind.
Q-Are all these 92 personalities still alive in you?
A-Absolutely. We have no plans to integrate. It is as if we have only recently become aware of our individual and collective abilities, and each of us would like a chance to experience those capabilities with a feeling of self-worth. If you had 92 T-bone steaks, would you grind them up for hamburger? There is a growing body of mental health experts who are beginning to understand that there is not one single resolution that works for all multiples. With some very good therapy, we got into our own mind and began to understand that there is unlimited power there.
Q-To whom am I talking?
A-The Interpreter. She's the woman who explains things.
Click here for our review of When Rabbit Howls