We’re a multiple
We were born in Minneapolis, MN in July of 1959. We went through a very abusive childhood, including sexual, physical, mental and spiritual. We graduated high school in 1977 and went on to college that year at St. Mary’s University of MN. We attended three years including a semester in Norway, and then we became pregnant with our first son.
We and our boyfriend got married in June of 1980 and moved to Chicago, and then Oak Park, IL. We had three sons within four years. We stayed home with the boys and my husband had a small Victorian house painting business that was fairly successful. We bought several more houses/homes in Elgin, IL and moved while the boys were still young.
We started being counseled in 1984 because we were having troubles with depression and anger. At times we became suicidal, and our husband was frequently absent, drinking or using recreational drugs. We found a steady therapist for 1985-87, but then he changed practices. We became engaged in the boys’ school systems through volunteer work and enjoyed finding people with similar interests.
But, by 1990 the marriage was very dysfunctional and we ended up hospitalized at Rush-St. Luke’s in Chicago for 7 weeks. When the insurance ran out, my husband put me on public aid. The hospital could see problems between our spouse and us and recommended that we complete our original plans to go back to school at St. Mary’s to finish our senior year, so we could obtain work.
We left for school that fall, but we were soon depressed and overwhelmed and at Thanksgiving time while we were home, our husband stated that if we went back to school he would divorce us, lock us out of our home and we’d never see the boys again. We went back to school, but within days were locked up at the local hospital psych ward. We were pretty much out of our mind(s)
My then sister-in-law convinced her husband, my husband’s brother to come and get me and bring me closer to home because they were unsure what to do with me other than send me to a MN state hospital. My husband flew up with my BIL, but it was primarily the BIL we were able to talk to and he had made arrangements to get us to the University of IL – Chicago psych unit.
There we met Dr. Woollcott who was the head of their psych department. He had us come to a big meeting where there were about 30 staff members, and he talked to me throughout the meeting. We were then asked to leave the room, so they could make their conclusions. This is where we were diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) as well as Severe Depression, PTSD with anxiety and obsessive tendencies.
We remained at UIC psych ward for 2 months and the doctors told us, we wouldn’t be released until we found housing separate from our husband. We did separate within our 18 room Victorian house because it had separate entries. We remained under Dr. Woollcott’s care for 7 years and through the divorce. Surprisingly, we ended up with the kids though with not much financial or emotional support.
We raised the kids and our ex had them every other weekend with his new wife and her family. In 1997, we came to another end. The boys’ father wanted one of his sons and the costs of going through court were astronomical. We had secured a house, but we lost the house, the boys, the job we had, and even our dog through bankruptcy and all.
We were re-hospitalized and told once more now with boys given to their father that we should go back to school in MN which we did. One of our favorite nurses stated we were at the bottom of our life cycle and there was nowhere to go but up. We lived in a homeless shelter and then got government housing.
We graduated in two years, but had been in and out of hospital psych including Mayo Clinic where we had received electric shock treatment. A friend of twenty years – a Christian Brother had sexually abused us, which nearly finished us. We had the help of the psychology department chair (we have a BA in psychology) to graduate.
Before we left our job in Chicago (while we had the boys), we met Rich our life partner who had been our boss. We fell into a romantic relationship that seemed to continue while we were alone in MN. He was married. After we graduated in 1999, he assisted us in getting another job in Chicago which we held for twelve years.
We were a mix of social worker/counselor for adults with developmental disabilities and we managed a case load of about 24 people, worked on program development, maintained a weekly group for all clients, trained staff, and was put in charge of the center’s accreditation. We were a biggish fish in a very small pond – about 50 clients total.
Part of what got us through those years, was that Dr. Woollcott who had retired, had paired us with another psychiatrist, Dr. Marvin and he’s been with us now about 17 years.
We did well for a good amount of time, but then we started to have real trouble with our administrator – a Catholic nun past her 80’s. The Sisters were in the process of replacing her, but a lot of damage was done first. She added not only a tremendous work burden on us, but as well was very psychologically bitter and emotionally destructive. We left the agency in 2011 with suicidal behavior again (hadn’t been acted out for 8 years), and we gained an ulcer.
We were by this time living with Rich in our Brookfield apartment. His marriage had ended in 2007. In January of 2013, Rich and we found a home in Sandwich, IL where he could be taking care of his elderly mother – four miles away. We continue driving bi-weekly the 60 miles into Chicago so that we can see Dr. Marvin.
Although the house is a mobile, it is double wide with 4 bedrooms which gives us room to have sleepovers with three of our older four grandchildren and periodically our sons – who are thankfully successful. Our Marine son now works for Lockheed Martin in Japan, one owns a karate dojo and teaches, and the last is a technician working toward management at Comcast. The fourth room gives us a sewing room for the quilting that we like to do with family and friends.
We are on disability and don’t leave the house often other than doctor appointments. We have a service dog who keeps us company and grounded. We are getting back to online work in the area of Multiplicity, we have written a book, maintained a blog for 13 years, and we’ve completed a half a masters (before it became too much).
Throughout all, we consider ourselves very happy. We’ve been with Rich for 22 years and time is spent primarily working on keeping a good balance. We still have times we’re depressed and physically, we’ve lost most of our mobility skills through diabetes, weight and back issues.
But, I think if we were to summarize our lives to this point, I would have to still say we’ve been blessed. We’ve made the most out of our adversity, maintained our sense of humor, and we feel good about what we are doing day to day. We like us and those in our life.
And, we feel special – to be here Ann’s – September 2016
As an update … July 2017
The boys, Rich and our animals Dakota and Missy are still well, and we continue seeing Dr. Marvin. Thursday will be our 18th anniversary with Dr. Marvin.
Life is still good! We’re still living in Sandwich. We’ve done a lot of updating to our home. So far, we put a new roof on, replaced the windows, upgraded insulation, and put new siding/shutters on including the house, garage, sunroom and breezeway. And, we remodeled both bathrooms, the laundry/storage room, kitchen and dining areas.
We still blog quite a bit, and utilize certain programs and apps, focusing on not only mental, but our physical shape. Part of that is in accepting more doctors than a handful to fine-tune one thing or another. Other than effort, the spine injections and C-Pap machine have helped us make the most physical progress. We have lost our first 30 pounds with a low-carb diet and now participate in a gym group at the YMCA called, “Enhance fitness,” especially for older people with arthritis. We want to be alive and more mobile.
We are part of a movement called, “Quantified Self.” There are other names for people groups who track with technology to gain self-knowledge. How about these? Auto-analytics? Body Hacking? Self-Quantifying? Self-surveillance? Personal Informatics? Just simple Self-reflection? Numbers are for not only health wellness, but as well personal and professional productivity, and value through gamification and encouragement to share experiences.
The programs that we get the most use for Quantified Self “tracking” and our additional online interests are:
Evernote, Microsoft, Simplify Days, GTD, Blogger, WordPress, The Brain, Adobe Creative Cloud, Co-schedule, Google search and calendar, Old-fashioned AOL emails ;), Youtube, myfitnesspal, RescueTime, Trello, Snag-it, ScanSnap, Fitbit, Dreammapper, and Yunmai, Ancestry.com, Audacity, Feedspot, Facebook, Twitter and Tweetdeck, Buffer, Pinterest, Linkedin, Speakerdeck, Learnist, and Merriam-Webster Unabridged.
Oh, and of course our manual diabetes tester and blood pressure band, AND who doesn’t love Amazon, and have access to her Kindle and Audible? Alot? Giggling. Yup, yup ok, and we wouldn’t forget Amazon’s Echo – Alexa and Look, and of course, Pandora – that keeps things moving wherever we are.
Rich? He likes to fish 🙂
In general, we keep-up through updates to our web/blogs and email/Evernote, and everything else, just helps! And, we actually enjoy statistics 🙂 We work to get through the daily needs by curating knowledge in the areas that interest us. We’ve tuned into many programs/sites that contribute positive information on health, multiplicity, reading/writing, politics, social media, etc. all the things that keep us attuned to a larger world. CNN rocks! And, for the first time in our lives finances are secure – thanks for the help Mom, Rich, Eric and Dave Ramsey!
We’re looking and feeling better – Inside, outside and around the corner! Thanks life!
3 thoughts on “About Us”
Ann’s, I really appreciate your writing, and all that you have been through. I have DID as well, and my sister/brother had it too. Long story. Thank you for all you do. Healing is happening for us too, although I think everyone’s healing looks different. Peace to all of you from us.
Hi Lisa – Thanks for stopping and commenting! It’s a pleasure to have you visit. I feel empathy for you and your siblings Multiplicity as to probable cause, but feel appreciative that Dissociation has helped you and yours too. As stated, can be a process of healing. I’d love to hear your story! Do you have a page or blog? Our site is just at its beginning. We hope to do so much more with it. Love to have you here on the ride 🙂 Thanks for being you! And, yes, we did get your email and will respond there too 😀
Candy LIttleSeptember 28, 2012 at 11:22 PM
Hello Ann! I am so glad to find a survivor on Bravenet Blogs. I’m not new to the blog, just new to trying find others like me. Today I’m coming off of a bad migraine so I haven’t read much here but I have you bookmarked and want to come back when I feel better.
You are very brave to post your life this way, I have a website at http://didlegit.com and have done allot of healing through my writing. I hope you’ve done the same with your writing! I wanted to just say hi and that I will be back. This is the first time that I’ve commented on anyones blog so please excuse me if I fumble around.
Can’t wait to get back here and read more.
Stay safe, Candy Little
Ann MarieOctober 5, 2012 at 5:50 PM
Hi Hi!!! I am so glad to know you and we wanted to thank you for not only finding us, but in commenting so that I knew you were here. It’s been a life-long ambition to be anything BUT invisible! It is probably why we extend and express so much through this blog and our news blog
I’m hoping that you are feeling better and that you come back soon. I have you on our regular cycle of “getting out there to read blogs,” and I’ll look forward to seeing your next post. I try to comment on most the blogs I read because I think it is so important to validate each other and our experiences. I’m not as fast or efficient as I would like to be, but I do get around 🙂
I do want to point out that all the blogs in this blog’s sidebar and the sidebar at the News blog are written by other multiples like us who are also writing and reading blogs. At this blog, they are sorted alphabetically, and at the News blog they are sorted in last posting date order. Reading and commenting on blogs is a tremendous part of what I am trying to do now in “this life.”
I’m so proud of you for making your first comment. It is just way over the top cool! The next part for us is to figure out a way to make more sense out of the curated/ annotated quotes found from everyone’s blog so that we can train our minds to think through the information we are reading and then understanding the new sense of knowledge we are picking up, so we can contribute back through the sharing efforts. We’ve got high ambitions and so much to learn from one another and their experiences! Not sure how I’m going to do this yet, but where there is a will there is a way!
Looking forward to your return,
Always our best,
Amy MurphySeptember 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM
Ahhh, we have a number of similarities, biological age (just turned 50), abuse starting in infancy (currently dealing with these issues), not being aware until teens or 20s, multiple hospitalizations :), a rare apology from a perpetrator, amongst various other things.
It’s wonderful to meet yous. Thanks for finding my blog. I plan on doing a lot of reading on yours. All our best, Amy
Ann MarieSeptember 15, 2013 at 12:03 PM
Thanks for the comments on our blog Amy … we are always so glad to get them, but even moreso by another multiple blogger WITH so many similarities! It particularly hit me too, because my Grandson “with Asperger’s” is here this weekend with us. This morning both of us have been busy on our own computers, but we’ve spent so much time and laughter – especially going over the role plays he likes to create spontaneously with us, and then discuss the psychology of the dialogue played out … It’s one of our favorite things with him. As well, we’ll look forward to getting to know you too! Really happy you found us!
Anuj AgarwalJune 22, 2017 at 5:07 AM
My name is Anuj Agarwal. I’m Founder of Feedspot.
I would like to personally congratulate you as your blog Ann’s Multiple World of Personality has been selected by our panelist as one of the Top 25 Dissociative Identity Disorder Blogs on the web.
I personally give you a high-five and want to thank you for your contribution to this world. This is the most comprehensive list of Top 25 Dissociative Identity Disorder Blogs on the internet and I’m honored to have you as part of this!
Also, you have the honor of displaying the badge on your blog.
Ann MarieJuly 2, 2017 at 9:00 AM
Thank you for the award and for what you have done with Feedspot. The site is really impressive. Your attention to us through the award – lots of internal excited screaming!
We are so happy to have been selected. This blog has meant the most to us as “our work” for the last 14 years! Our attention has waived over the years, especially with challenges, but never in understanding the value of blog writing, which seems to be communication for us internally, but as well communication to the “outside world.”
It is our footprint 🙂
Writing a blog as “us” and for people with Multiplicity and those interested in Multiplicity, that is a pure love of our life. We feel more connected to those with Multiplicity through this medium/perspective – though, we know so few personally. We feel a sense of the Multiple world – through study and admiration, but mostly in effort of trying to understand ourselves.
We’d like all the ability to express the best of us – maybe quietly, but respectfully out-loud!