am 20. April 2000
Until this book I hadn't really understood how powerful denial can be for multiples. I am a multiple. I've known and not known over and over again. I've doubted and explained away. This beautifully written book is a wonderful addition to the "multiple memoirs." I've read them all. Searching for familiarity, hoping for some shred of hope, some secret healing trick, and simply for COMPANY.
I find it interesting that reviewers wished for less talk about "denial" and more about the author's life. Another wanted to hear about integration and resolution. I appreciate that this is a tall order and valued the "work in progress" view of MPD. Many of us don't resolve our conditions through integration.
The book is so TRUE, about day-to-day life (even name brands), and about the condition. More "flamboyant" multiples have inspired stories because of their uncontrolled switching and blackouts. I've always feared this was the inevitable occurrence, and waited for the other shoe to drop. Cam's story was reassuring to me because he had complete amnesia until adulthood, and he remained co-conscious with his other selves. Truly every person with this disorder is unique. It's all about a child's need for survival and the creativity and power of the mind to assist.
Cam and Rikki, thank you. For daring to risk exposing your lives you have helped and enriched others. May the criticisms roll off and the raves warm your hearts.
am 10. April 2000
I am a pretty tough customer, someone with a short attention span. So for me to read this book every chance I got speaks volumes. I saw Cameron West on a morning news program and rushed out that day to buy the book. From the moment I picked it up, I could not put it down. I even brought it work and read it during lunch. What a wonderful, amazing piece of writing. I am anxious to read it again from cover to cover. Several of the personalities are disturbing and cause you to keep the lights on at night, but I believe I am a more intelligent person having had the experience of reading -- and loving -- "First Person Plural."
am 24. Februar 1999
First, Oprah warned that the book reads like fiction, but it isn't. I find that real hard to believe. His, West's verbose details of events that he wasn't even there prove this--example when "Rikki" and her friend, "Tanya" are at the restaurant having margarita's and nachos. West went into vivid detail explaing the surroundings-- If West would cut out the insignificant menusha (i.e. "Fillers") of details that leaves the reader asking "and your point is"--the book would make up maybe a good magazine article in Vanity Fair, Esquire, et al.
This book, diminishes those that truly do suffer from "DID". It truly is hard to believe that in his state of mind, given the fact his wife has a degree in Psychology, and supposedly worked with children--she wouldn't know how to refer her husband to a licenced Psychiatrist!! Moreover, when West decides to call up a psychologist, from the Yellow Pages, she was able to diagnose him immediatly---It became clear to the reader, that "Arly" had seen "Sybil", or "The Three Faces of Eve" one too many times--Oh, and the fact that Arly couldn't recommend a psychologist in California (of all places), yet gives West the international association of DID suffers--c'mon!!
I question the monetary motives behind West!! 1) Get on the Oprah show - equals automatic, 2) Bestseller; and 3) Of course, the Movie rights(which none other than, the infamaous Robin Williams already has bought---the book, the movie = megabucks.
Too bad, because there are truly some people out in the world that are affected by "DID"--and the book diminishes the consequences of the disease. Pitiful!!!!!
am 14. April 1999
I saw Dr. West on Oprah and was excited to hear of his book. I also have Dissociative Identity Disorder. This excitement did not last long.
The author gives a very simplistic description of Dissociative Identity Disorder. A great opportunity has been lost to share with others the inside world of a Multiple.
The pages are filled with endless "rules" and "whining" on the part ofthe spouse. The author leads the reader into great detail about his spouse's experiences and anger. Such detail leaves the reader pondering... "who is telling the story". Empty handed, the reader walks away with the impression, having D.I.D. is a burden to those around them, rather than a wonderful wayin which the mind copes with horrendous trauma.
One may indeed wonder how Robin Williams will take such a book and truly illustrate what a person with Dissociative Identity Disorder experiences.
am 28. Juli 2000
This book was insanely (no pun intended) wonderful! I could not, not put it down. It tought you so much about Camerons life. I had never heard of DID, but now Im incredible facisnated. His use of language is wonderful, and you feel like you are with Cam all along, urging him on through his personal battle. This was a wonderful movie, and I commend him for writing it, and for never giving up!
am 21. Mai 2000
Its hard to say this. But this book definitely tells it like it is. Multiplicity is something that is scary to outsiders, and even fascinating, but the underlying factor is the fact that there are children out there being abused everyday, to the point where they can't handle their lives, and split off a part of themselves in order to save what they have of their existence.I know. We have it. DID is something that isn't a game, it's not a fun stage show. There's no way to explain how you went to the grocery store and walk out with $50 worth of candy. Or how hard buying a simple DRESS is, since everyone has their favorite color, style, fabric, and dollar amount, and the marathon arguments that consume time and energy. Or what to eat. It is hard to get monominds (those who are not DID) to understand. They see us as having three heads or something. We think maybe writing here would help us because people just dont understand that it's REAL. It's not a game, it's not a joke, and the hardest thing to accept is that we have this because there are some people in the world who think its right to hurt a kid. And it's not. We know that now. The switching is hard to deal with. Imagine sitting in the store and suddenly, oh no "POOH BEAR! " shouts out of your mouth. Everyone turns. Looks. I smile and try to act like I heard it too and dont know where it comes from. That's one of the better less embrassing quirks of having this disorder. I hope there are therapists reading this because we have been turned down by several, saying that the insurance we have is not worth the trouble, and especially NOT the diagnosis. We thank Cam West very very much for writing this book, which is nothing like Sybil, or any of the others. We know other DIDers who agree that this book tells it like it really is. It's not debilitating, it's not a game, it's real. Its not something I'm embrassed to talk about either. We're people in here. Created for a reason. With a purpose. For a sick reason, but that makes us no less real. It's also not as RARE as they say it is. Sadly enough. It's not as rare, and we thank Cam West for the effort and strength to write this book. Both for those of us who know we have it, and those who are afraid to say it.
am 4. Juni 1999
One of the most enlightening and thoroughly enjoyable read this year! First Person Plural serves as a beckon of hope for those living with Dissociative Identity Disorder. It provides insight into the inner workings of the dissociated self, while captivating the reader with the reality of day to life as a multiple. In reading this book, I'm reminded of the number of people I've encountered whose behavior, in retrospect, could have been attributed to DID. The homeless woman pushing her cart and engaged in full conversation with an invisible friend; the elder uncle who rambles constantly to an audience of himself. Chances are, at some point, these individuals had some contact with the mental health professionals; I can't help but wonder if they were equipped to recognize the symptoms of DID or did they simply medicate and dismiss without further investigation. Its my hope that by publishing his life experience, West will draw attention to a mental illness that is often misdiagnosed and misunderstood. The fact that he is able to work through this condition, perservere to obtain a doctorate in psychology, and write a powerfully candid book is a testament to the strength of the human soul. When wrapped in the cloth of love and acceptance, the human soul is indeed unbreakable. My highest regards to Dr. West, may God bless and care for you and your guys.
am 12. Mai 1999
After watching West's interview with Oprah Winfrey in my Abnormal Psychology class I had to read his book. This man touched my heart with his determined spirit and made me realize how difficult some of us make our own lives. His book is a straight forward explanation as to how just how complex the mind can be and how amazing and forceful the mind is in protecting itself. It shows aspects of his private life that are evident of the strong bond that is shared between himself and his wife, and how important their family unit has been in accepting all his alters and their individuality. Reading this book helped me understand Dissociative Identity Disorder in a new light, the disorder became more than just a definition in one of my textbooks. Dr. Cameron West is a true survivor and somebody that I know I will never forget. I read the book in two days and I have already given the book to three people who have also read it in the same amount of time. It's intriguing and lively, while being very educational. I highly recommend this book to anyone, be you interested in Dissociative Identity Disorder or not. The book gives inspiration to overcome all difficult stages of life in a constructive and self-respecting manner. AMAZING!!!
am 23. April 1999
Genuine gratitude to Cam West for sharing his experiences on the journey to healing and living with DID. In revealing the inner world of being a multiple, and the challenges that must be faced in the "real" world, shows the creativity and strength of mind and spirit to survive the unthinkable! By taking us inside the minds of alter personalities and their roles and functions, he allows us to see the need for their creation. Once inside this system, we meet very human people--both children and adults who had no other choice, but to figure out a way to continue their survivalin an atmosphere of extreme abuse. The alternatives to DID are death or insanity!! Thank God I'm "only" DID! In his testimony, Cam West gives credibility to the very existence of this disorder. Denial does'nt make it go away! But, he has also shown the difficult road to recovery. More importantly, knowing we are not alone, and that successful treatment exists, encourages the quest to seek it! To perpetrators of child sexual abuse--our healing is the best revenge! As a parent, I rejoice with Mr. West that the abuse stops when we refuse to allow OUR children to become victims. This is a difficult task when it involves protecting them from their own relatives. I commend and respect his wife, Rikki, for her courage in supporting her husband, protecting her son; while being an active and loving part of the process needed to heal. In her candid account of what DID can do to a family,her painful yet honest experiences will help spouses and children to understand their own feelings and not blame themselves. They too, need to know that this is NOT thei fault.
am 17. März 1999
First, I would like to say that I have never before taken the time to actually read reviews of a book, until now. Nor have I ever videotaped Oprah while being at work, until now. All I saw was a 15 second, "Here's what's going to be on Oprah tomorrow²; a shot of Cameron West; and a brief description of the content of the show, and I knew that this was going to be a show worth taping. I was right. Cam West seemed a perplexing man, even before I read the book! I have done extensive reading on DID/MPD, and the subject alone seems to keep me enthralled. Cam's strength was visible throughout the show, and made me want to know more about the man, and not just the disease. The mere mention of a book telling the story of his life in more detail gave me chills, and sent me running to the bookstore. From the moment I opened this book, I felt completely absorbed in the happenings of this family and it¹s dealings with this horrible disease. I felt as though I was Rikki; trying to understand the horrific effects this abuse would have on a person; then wondering how I would have dealt with it. After learning his childhood realities and going through a long period of time with DID, I cannot fathom how Cam could have come to these amazing conclusions---marriage and family intact; self-esteem preserved; his health in good shape. I feel sorry for the kind of people that would have the gall to say that he made this story up, and his only vision of an outcome was the profit. They need to learn to think and speak with an open mind, and become more knowledgeable about the goings-on in our minds, our bodies and in the world. This personal story has affected me. Not only because of the intense story of the West¹s lives, but Cam¹s writing style is wonderful! Other reviews have stated that he gives too much detail about the unimportant things in the book, but it is the detail that makes this book worth reading, and gives it so much character. It¹s incredible how a person with a DID can be so charismatic and humorous! Cheers to Cam, Rikki, Kyle, and all the guys for contributing to the work put into this book, and for making me feel honored to have shared in this family¹s experiences.