Cover of: The magic daughter | Jane Phillips

The magic daughter

a memoir of living with multiple personality disorder

Published by Viking in New York, N.Y .
Written in English.

About the Book

Jane Phillips began writing The Magic Daughter, a memoir of her experiences with Multiple Personality Disorder, as a suicide note. She wanted to leave behind an account of her existence with a fragmented mind: the daily struggle to maintain consensus among a variety of selves; the awkwardness of encountering people who seemed to have "met" her but of whom she had no memory; the constant fatigue brought on by having to complete tasks several times in order to satisfy her various selves that a job is done; and the fear that somehow she will blow her cover and appear as something other than the college professor that she is. Instead of dying, Jane Phillips became fascinated with the task she had set herself. Instead of dying, she wrote this exquisitely crafted account of her life as a multiple and her journey toward being "just-one." In The Magic Daughter, she describes the day-to-day experience of living with this disorder as well as her work with a remarkable therapist over the course of nearly a decade, trying to decode the workings of her mind and the reality of her past. Together, they uncover the memories of violence, abuse, and manipulation by her brothers and parents, who saw her as the long-awaited "magic daughter" who could save this dysfunctional family. She learns to sleep through the night without waking in terror as memory after memory surfaces; she teaches herself to differentiate between remembered pain and current illness so she can explain her condition to a doctor before her other selves can take over and her symptoms disappear; and she makes the astonishing discovery that even in her mid-thirties, she has no understanding of what being a woman really means. She uncovers The Kids, JJ, and numerous other selves who protected the young and adult Jane, and, with help of her therapist, she achieves a newly dawned sense of gender, chronology, and unity.
As moving and inspiring as Nobody, Nowhere and Girl, Interrupted, this unique and intensely personal memoir describes how Phillips has learn ed to live with a fragmented self, and investigates the compelling human side of a disorder which has long fascinated psychiatrists and readers alike.


Dewey Decimal Class
616.85/236/0092, B
Library of Congress
RC569.5.M8 P48 1995

The Physical Object

xv, 238 p. ;
Number of pages

ID Numbers

Open Library
Internet Archive
LC Control Number
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