A TRUE STORY
Multiple Worlds of a Hypnotherapist
by Don Spencer
Whatever is true, whatever seems you
Is true for you, and you are true
I first met Jane in a class that I was teaching on hypnotism. Actually her name was Joan, but I didn't realize it until Francis felt safe enough to allow Marge to tell me. That's when the saboteur Tanya began to destroy helpless Lisa.
Multiple personalities. To be part of the healing process of an individual who is a multiple personality is an honor and a privilege. There is much to be learned from the colorful "lives" of them. When I say "them", I also refer to you and us collectively. It has been my observation on some level that we all singularly may become the many, at any time, in any instant. Or your many, may become the singular, that focused state of being in the moment. Think about your own personality alterations. Think about how you seem to wear different faces, feel unusual feelings and perceive the changing world around you as maybe not changing.
Much has been written on MPD, and studies have been undertaken. I remember back to my days in abnormal psychology, learning that the best treatment for this mystifying experience known as MPD was hypnotism and psychotherapy. I also remember that other studies said that hypnosis caused MPD because hypnosis is a dissociative state. I also remember wondering how my instructors taught that which they had never been.
Then I became curious about teachers. Has that ever happened to you?
Anyway the idea that hypnosis could cause MPD would be like looking through a telescope only to discover a larger universe. It's good to know that as we become more "grown up" we can make new choices on what is true or not. The world is not flat and wet toads really don't cause warts.
There is an agreement however,that MPD is caused by early childhood abuse, so traumatic that the personality can no longer function in the unreality of their environment, so that an alter ego or identity is created by the mind to provide safety to the organism.
A survival feature you might say. The crystallization of duality or multiplicity. The lucky ones learn it, to split off from pain. The unlucky ones may end up institutionalized, or undiscovered in the midst of an uncaring & undisciplined society, they become hapless victims of their own misunderstood past. Some will end up dead. Death, the final frontier.
Life, meant to be so beautiful and full of dreams, becomes shattered by a vision so totally foreign to oneself that even a mirror reflection becomes an "intimate" stranger. Imagine driving down the road to the store, you've done it countless times before, only minutes away, but this time you "wake up" two, even three hours later, miles from nowhere.
Or making it to the store only to purchase your groceries, walk outside to get into your car and find it missing because another part of yourself, the little one perhaps, that fragmented part of yourself that was trapped in an hostile and alien environment when they were just small, perhaps 1 or 2 years old, does not know where you parked! Instant panic so terrifying that your body freezes solid into a catatonic death grip.
Death, the final frontier. A resting place for the young & the old, those innocent tormented human beings in search of peace.
How did we as a civilization come to this? How did we not hear the cries of suffering? How could we turn our deaf ears from the violent screams next door? Why did we let it happen? We saw Johnny, Mary & Ruth, with bruised bodies and scared eyes, looking downwards, when they came to play with our children. Deep inside ourselves we knew, but we turned our heads. We heard Bob, Lori & Frank, but of course they were probably just playing to loud. Again we knew, but we adjusted the volume on our television sets, tuning out the torture and suffering.
We felt the psychic pain of every child in our neighborhood. Even in the grocery store, a refuge for nurturing our minds and bodies with "food", we witnessed the brutal acts of grown up human beings slapping and pulling and shouting at the young ones! Yes the young ones, the children who were to grow up and govern our land. The young ones who become the dysfunctional child who grows up with dysfunctional ways to police our community with dysfunctional behavior. Our leaders of tomorrow. God bless them each and every one, for they need it. The saga continued as the disease spread rampant.
And we turned away.
We believe, no we hope, that it will be okay tomorrow, that today was just an "incident", and will not happen again. An accident, an err in judgement. Foolish humans that we are. Blind and arrogant. Cold and calculating.
Who can help the grown ups? Who is well enough to nurture our pain, our cries for help? Who can help us understand that which we have not understood? Who can give us compassion? Who is there to listen and guide? Remember. The grown ups of today are the remnants of yesterdays follies. Who?
In the community of healing broken spirits there seems to be a re-awakening to our possible selves. I read of the blending of old traditions with new technology. I am encouraged. I sit in workshops and listen as the re-emergence of familiar voices and ideas, all shadows of the past, echo in my head. An old saying floats into my mind. "Many are called, but few are chosen." I think it is a remnant of my distant past life which happened in LA. I believe it to be my early spiritual upbringing. I know it to be one of many disciplines that have shaped my journey. I now become an observer. I now ready myself to the call of spirit. I prepare myself for the path of action and must be strong, a warrior.
Becoming a "warrior healer" is not without its risks. Part of the responsibility in becoming, lies in becoming detranced, removing oneself from the cultural trance that has been imposed upon us from conception and from beyond, in our genetic/spiritual origin of being. This can become a trance in itself.
Think about it.
A trance being that in which we believe at any given moment in time. Trance, a natural state of mind. Trance, an emotionally charged system of beliefs that suspends our attention for a time, (through relaxation, fear, necessity, guided awareness, boredom, guilt, love, etc.), creating behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes, until another trance state of eomotionally charged energy interrupts and suspends our attention with another system of beliefs, creating new behaviors, beliefs & attitudes which create a different perspective.
Again the echo, "many are called, but few are chosen." Perhaps it should reverberate, many are called but few chose!
In the macrocosm of planet earth, from the perspective of the unknowing space-entity, all is one, complete and whole; a gestalt. A revolving blue sphere of unmatched beauty and eloquence.
Here on earth in our microcosmic awareness, the beauty becomes tainted with environmental pollutants.
In the macrocosm of humanity, from the perspective of the "warrior healer", you the human being, are perfect, whole. You, a finalized organism of flesh and bones, with a spirit strong, almost tangible because of its radiant beauty. From inside you, your inner awareness, your inner universe also becomes tainted with memories enmeshed in an array of unseemingly bizarre stories.
We must know you not as you appear, but as we together dream you are. We together will step into your trance and then gently and calmly bring you back out of the trance that has suspended your evolvement on this your chosen path. Our spirits will unite for a time, and then, as we blend our energies, I will help to empower you to become that which you once knew yourself to be.
That You, that had become enslaved by the natural forces of your own mind. That You, that learned how to survive by becoming all the possibilities that your humanness could give to you to cope with foreign concepts -- uncertainties, judgements, criticisms, condemnations.
I know that you can now wake up. I know that it may take time. Sleep can be a very deep, peaceful & neutral sanctuary. As your integration now takes place, each part of your fragmented self, perfect in its ability to respond to your deepest needs, will now unite their abilities with love acceptance and approval, encouraging you onward towards a more perfect whole.
Integration, which is a recognition of the evolving nature in which we may express ourselves without shame, is a welcome step into a new trance, maturity.
Copyright © 1992 Don Spencer, SleepNow Productions, Inc.
As a therapist I have had the opportunity to participate in this adventure many times
with many "MPD's". I say adventure because it truly is. You
never know what's behind the closed door of the fractured mind. But
I do know, that whatever we discover together, we can seek out to understand,
to find the perfect positive intent of each "alter" experience,
and allow spirit to guide us towards an integrated understanding. I
say perfect positive intent because if one knew how to do it differently,
they would! Think about it. How many times in your own life have you
participated in strange or unusual behavior until you learned how to
do it in a more socially accepted way? And if you can be really honest,
what is it about your personal life that you now hide from others, by
hiding from yourself, pretending not to know, playing the games? Keep
your judgments to yourself and create honesty. Then you can create a
new world that really does work, for everyone!
I wish there was a magic wand that one could just pass before an MPD
and presto, they are now one, but there's not. It's not that easy. I
think that perhaps the pain and suffering of clients can be a great
healing mirror for our own lives as we allow ourselves the opportunity
to learn to be real, to be honest. Then that magical healing moment
can occur! That magical healing moment of pure love, acceptance and
Not only for the client, but for the therapist and all involved as they
allow the perfect beauty and perfect integrity of the individual(s)
to come shining through.
The following pages reveal the story of "Lacy" and her inner
struggle to reclaim her spirit.
Below are the list of players in this drama. The names of all involved
have been changed to honor their autonomy, integrity and sense of worth.
Lacy Richards -- original personality
Inside Lacy -- Same age as Lacy. This is the emotionally wounded grownup.
Julia -- early 30's. Sophisticated, very much a woman.
Angie -- Teenager. Age 16 and knows how to raise hell.
Fayzie -- 4 yr. old. Little girl who likes to play and have fun.
Lena -- Evil(wounded?) personality. Most multiples exhibit at least
one "alter" state that is mischievous to the extreme of destructiveness.
Joseph -- Lacy's husband
Sarah -- Lacy's sister
Joey -- Lacy's older brother
Bill -- Lacy's older brother
Nathan -- Lacy's younger brother
Mary -- Lacy's best friend
Erik -- Lacy's first son
Excerpts from the book
I am not sure why I am sending these to you. Lena said you needed to read
them and that you would understand. So I am sending them.
I am really doing very well. Not only am I lighter in pounds, I am also
lighter in heart.
I'll see you next week. Thanks for all,
I first met Lacy in
1989. I was a part time instructor for the College of Southern Idaho's
Adult Education Program. She heard about me through a weekly radio program
that I hosted called the Master Mind Hour. Lacy and her best friend Mary
joined my class of 25 students who were learning the dynamics of the mind.
The class is designed to teach people skills to help themselves make positive
changes in their lives. This is a good place to begin personal empowerment.
Lacy was 42 years old with penetrating clear blue eyes and short light
brownish hair. At 5'9", she had a quiet and soft demeanor about her.
She was raised in a small southern Idaho town in the LDS religion. As
an adult she incorporated other belief systems that were alien to her
upbringing. She was married with children. I remember noticing her in
class. She was hungry for knowledge. That is the sign of a good student.
It may also be a sign of deeper emotional needs looking to be fulfilled.
But that's another book.
About a month after the class ended Lacy arranged for a private consultation.
She had experienced years of depression and the inability to lose weight.
She also had difficulties concentrating, had emotional upsets, relationship
problems, stress and lack of motivation. Sound familiar?
She also mentioned that her grandfather abused her when she was 13 or
are the inner thoughts of Lena to Lacy.
When you were a very small child, in fact an infant, your father was hurt
in an accident and he had to be taken away to have surgery. You were taken
to your Grandma and Grandpa Larkins because your mother couldn't take
care of you and deal with all she had to deal with. (Your fathers surgery,
the ranch and three other children.)
Your Grandparents were so good to you, they wrapped their lives around
Especially your grandfather.
He rocked you and sang to you,
fed you and bathed you and loved you with a love stronger than he had
loved his own children. You were left with your Grandparents until you
were nearly a year old. You only saw your brothers and sister and mother
occasionally. They were in fact strangers to you and you would cling to
When you were taken home it was a foreign place - you didn't know the
people, you didn't know the sights and smells and your security was literally
jerked away from you. You were so miserable and you cried and hurt and
wanted to go back to your grandparents. Your mother thought that your
grandparents had spoiled you and so when you cried she would put you in
your bed and just let you cry.
And yes, I was with you!
Your brothers and sister didn't like your crying either and you were a
very unhappy baby. You never learned to love your mother and she never
learned to love you. In fact, she hated me. Because of that it was very
easy for her to take things out on you. You could never do anything to
please her. I'm sure she even wondered why she had you.
I know I always wondered why.
You really never got to know your father. When be did come home, he was
still in a great deal of pain, and it was hard for him to deal with all
of his children, especially you being a baby. He couldn't lift you to
hold you and he couldn't stand your moving around the way a baby does.
When you were nearly two, your father had to go again for another surgery.
You were taken back to live with your grandparents. You started to blossom,
you loved it in their home. You were again a happy loved child.
Your grandparents potty trained you, something your mother didn't have
the patience or love to deal with.
Your grandfather would praise you and love you and you felt so special.
On your second birthday your grandparents had a party for you and invited
all the aunts and uncles, cousins and your brothers and sister. You were
so cute. They had dressed you in a frilly little dress with bows in your
curly hair and you were truly a beautiful, happy child.
But your sister saw that and she was so jealous.
She sat near your mother and both of them glared at you.
And yes, I was there!
Your father came home again and you were taken home again. By now you
were walking and talking and so cute and lovable. Your father instantly
loved you and you loved him. You had such a strong relationship with your
grandfather that it was easy for you to love your father.
But your mother didn't like that and neither did your sister. This just
gave them another reason to pick on you.
And you needed me even more - off and on during your childhood!
Your father had to go for checkups and you went back to your grandparents.
Just for a few days or a week, but you were always grandpa's beautiful
special little girl, and you thrived on his love and attention. He
gave you toys and clothes and hugs and kisses and you loved him with all
And he loved you.
But I was always with you and I loved you too.