In the writing of anyone’s memoirs, it’s very important to understand the difference between “truth” and “fact”. It may confuse some people that the recall of an event or series of events can be 100% truthful without being 100% factual.
It is commonly understood (and I ask you now to keep in mind) that if you have a sudden event occur with 4 different on-lookers and you asked each of those four people to tell you what they just saw happen, you most likely will get four different stories. In fact, these stories can potentially not only contain very different information, some of the information contained may even be contradictory. Even though that is the case, each of these people are telling the honest truth about what they saw. Everyone is telling the truth, even though no one is telling all of the facts, because the likelihood is extremely remote that every fact of the actual occurrence was both noticed and reported by anyone .
There are several reasons for ( and theories about) these inconsistencies. They will including the location from which each person made their observations, what details they focused on, and how what they saw may relate to some of their past experiences.Keeping this in mind, I hope you are able to understand that what I report in my memoirs is the truth as it has been recalled by one or more of my personalities.
It should also be noted that when a person is retelling the events of someone else as it has been related to them by the person who experienced it, there will naturally be additional discrepancies. It is not indicative of the story teller’s lack of intention to retell the story exactly as it was presented to them; but rather it is a natural phenomenon that takes place in the retelling of the experiences of someone else.
The more time that passes between the actual events occurring and the writing down of the recollections, the more likely details of the events will have been forgotten or incorrectly recalled. Thankfully, we have kept up a habit of journalism much of the time we have been in therapy (and in fact, much of our lives since childhood) so we have these writings to reference while putting them in book form.
When one personality is reporting the experiences of another personality, it should be noted that their reporting of an event can either be more similar to the second hand information, or alternatively similar to two different people relating their own version of an experience the two of them share.This is because the two personalities may or may not have been sharing consciousness when the event occurred. If the two personalities are sharing consciousness at the time of the event, their reporting will be more like two people viewing the same thing at the same time. If they do not share consciousness when the event occurs, it will closer resemble a retelling of the experiences of someone else.
As for The Many of Me, we have placed a very high priority on telling the truth. Intentionally giving false or misleading information, or intentionally misrepresenting an experience is something that all of us are deeply committed not to do. There have been times when we have recalled information in pieces, and we may report these events in pieces as we write them down to share with you.To give you one example, during the initial recall to the conscious memory of one trauma, all the people involved in the memory were disguised with beards and mustaches to hide their identity so that the facts of the memory could be recalled to consciousness separate from the identities of the individuals involved. It was not a choice that was made by any individual personality; but it was our brain’s way of letting the trauma of the event be experienced separate from the trauma of realizing who was involved in the acts being recalled. When this specific alteration to the facts occurred to us, even the women and children were disguised with beards and mustaches; so it was very apparent that identities were being masked, not facts being misrepresented. After the initial shock of the memory recall was absorbed, the masks were removed.
In the writing of the book, as is true of the web site, we will alter the names of people, places, and other identifying information to preserve our anonymity and to protect the identities of external ( “outside”) people who are involved in the various parts of our life that we write about. I have asked some of these other individuals to contribute writings of their perspectives to include with my writing so that you can have a little bit broader view of things. Most likely, when you read what they write, you will recognize some differences between what I recall and what other people are writing. So far as I know, there isn’t any way to rule out all discrepancies between what I write and what they report as fact. Again, I will just like to point out that we trust that they will share what they honestly think and feel as they recall it.
I don’t know if the priority we place on being truthful stems from being a multiple or not – it may just be a personal conviction stemming from my upbringing; but one of the few things that can be said about every one of my personalities is that we set a high priority on telling the truth.I must admit to some exaggeration in everyday conversation. For example, I might say something like, “It’s been raining nonstop for days on end!”, when in fact there were breaks in the rain over the days being discussed. Additionally, when discussing memories, a statement like, “It seemed like forever….” may also appear. While acknowledging these qualifiers, I can honestly say that no one withing this body will intentionally say a misleading or knowingly false statement about our past experiences.