Who is Abigail?

Abigail is a unique individual who has her own way of living life. When Abigail looks into a mirror, a host of unique individuals look back at her. Although she cannot remember a time when she functioned as one solitary personality, she was not diagnosed with MPD (DID) until she was an adult in 1989.

Traumas began very early in her life and posed overwhelming challenges to her survival. Life continued to present seemingly insurmountable barriers but God had equipped her with a unique combination of talents and gifts, both within herself and in the gifts of other people He brought into her life; which have combined to not only make it possible for her to survive but also to enjoy the many blessings of life that come from loving and being loved.

Being born into a Christian family with two parents whose love for each other was only surpassed by their love for their Savior, Abigail was deeply steeped in the teachings of the Bible and the Christian faith. She made this faith her own when she was 9 years old, and it is her intense love for Jesus Christ that has sustained her and been her bright beacon when life’s storms raged around her.

The early traumas laid the groundwork for more traumas later in life, which have had far reaching effects on Abigail’s physical and mental health. Recovering from and coping with these effects has been a huge struggle that has had its victories and defeats along the way.

But Abigail’s life is not all trauma and drama. She attended college and got teaching certifications in Early Childhood, Special Education, and Elementary Education; and she completed all except one 3 credit graduate course in 4 years. She was a pastor’s wife and enjoyed working with young children and their mothers. Most of all she has enjoyed raising 5 of her own children into adulthood (and she is totally convinced that she is now married to the most wonderful man in the world). She is a mother of five surviving children and grandmother to 5 endearing surviving grandchildren (unborn babies not counted but dearly loved and missed). She has many creative outlets that we will also share on this blog.

So you may be asking, “How does a Christian girl with parents who were devoted to Christ encounter struggles and traumas so severe that she must develop different personalities to survive?” The answer to that question is what this blog is all about. Actually, the plan is to write a book that will tell the story from beginning to present, but you are invited to get some early information and maybe be a part of it all.

2 Responses to Who is Abigail?

  1. Joshua Snyder says:

    Hello!

    I’ve read a few posts recently, and I am fascinated by your story. One of my first reactions is to wonder how many people are in the same circumstances that you have, and I got scared to think of people who had the same syndrome (is that an appropriate term in this situation?) in years past–ancient times, the Medieval era, or early modern times when one of the only explanations would be demon possession (like that one doctor you ran into) instead of finding another answer for understanding.
    My question refers to the content on the “Roster” page. From PLEX and Beth’s profile, it seems as if there could be countless personalities that exist within countless personalities. Is that a good way to understand it? Are all these personalities from different stages of your life? For example, could you have two infant personalities, one from age 3.4-3.5 years old and another personalty from ages 4.5-4.8 years old?
    I love your attitude of seeing unity between timeless faith and ever-changing medicine. This is God’s world, and he’s given us tools to understand and work with it– I can see from your (all of you!) words that you trust him with all you have and are. From a person who can’t identify with your situation, I tell you that you encourage me to continue trusting God for his provision, and you help strengthen my conviction that he is involved intimately with his creation, especially his people. Keep writing!

    josh

    • Plex says:

      Wow, Josh, you packed a lot of wallop into one comment! I will take it a piece at a time. First, the term you were looking for instead of “syndrome” is “disorder”.
      I have also wondered at times about people in eras past who had to live their lives as a multiple without ever understanding themselves or being understood by others. In more recent history, people with DID were often misdiagnosed as having schizophrenia (because they would report hearing voices and professionals didn’t make the distinction between people who hear voices coming from outside of themselves versus hearing voices inside their mind), or other mental illnesses. They were frequently subjected to experimental treatments that would have been very traumatic for them; and it was common for them to be institutionalized for their entire lives. That was in a society that was relatively kind to people with mental illnesses. We will not even dwell on what less tolerant societies would have done.
      In terms of countless personalities being inside countless personalities, if you mean that alter personalities can have their own set of alter personalities, I have not ever read or heard of that happening. However, we have come close to it. Redeemed has separate parts of herself that are divided by age. I don’t think they are quite completely separate personalities, but they come close. I think what you might be referring to is what we described in the illustrations of cell groups. A cell group can be made up of any number of existing personalities who function and cope with life by cooperating with each other. Cell groups was our mind’s way of organizing and making practical functioning with so many separate personalities a possibility. I have heard of individuals with 500 or more personalities, but I know very little about them or how they function. It’s pretty inconceivable to us that so many individual personalities can exist in one physical body which leads us to question the validity of how they were identified as separate personalities. That being said, there are people who can’t comprehend how we could possibly have so many, either; yet the knowledge and skill of the psychiatrist who was the primary person identifying the separate personalities in us is unquestionably sound.
      Moving on, there are many different factors that determine how and when a new personality comes into being. Each multiple creates their own way of dividing based upon their own situations – there is no set pattern or process for anyone to follow. As new experiences, new types of trauma, new locations, or new perpetrators enter into the life of a person with DID, new personalities can be created. The result is that each individual makes up their own way to function within their own set of circumstances.
      Generally speaking, a new personality starts out being the same age that the host/birth personality is chronologically at the time the new personality is created. In other words, if I create new personalities based upon the type of trauma I am experiencing and my life experiences encompass two distinctly separate types of trauma at the same time (i.e. a geographic move may cause extreme fear of abandonment and a personality could develop to cope with the many distressing experiences involved in moving; and a new abusive person may be introduced to us who’s method of abuse or type of personality is new to our experience causing a new personality to be developed to deal with that new trauma. In that case two new personalities can come into existence at the same time, and they would both be the same age.) In our case, we have more than twenty infants in our internal nursery. There are also toddlers, preschoolers, etc. We had cause to develop significant issues related to fear of abandonment, and one of the ways we responded to that fear was to refuse to eat. Separate infant personalities developed to absorb/contain/relate to both of those situations. After a personality is created they can develop, grow, and change depending on the amount of time they have to experience real life (being “out”) in combination with the types and/or quality of experiences they have while they are out. Typically growth and/or maturity happens very slowly if at all for alter personalities, especially outside of the context of therapy.
      In closing, I can’t tell you how encouraging your words about God’s provision and our faith being a source of encouragement to you are for us. May God continue to work in your life, even as He continues to work in ours.

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