Nov 11, 2008

"My Own Worst Enemy"

Just for the record, I wanted to point out the fallacies used as a basis for Edward/Henry's "split personality" in the new television series My Own Worst Enemy. The plot is something like this:

Edward, as an adult, gives his consent to undergo a technological creation of a personality split or alter ego. Edward is the spy who tortures, kills, does whatever to complete his assignment for the agency for which he works. Henry is the loving timid family man who wouldn't hurt a fly. This "program" intended for Edward always to be amnestic for Henry's activities and vice versa. But Edward and Henry are leaking over into each other's mind space. The ongoing message is that "he doesn't work anymore" and "must be terminated".

There are similarities to someone with multiple personalities and some very misleading plot lines. First of all, it's only a diagnosis of "multiple" for two or more distinct personalities who take over control of the body. "Split personality" is not a synonym for DID or multiple personalities. I don't know where that came from and didn't feel like looking it up since it is irrelevant. It is rare that someone with DID only has two personalities. That is more likely the case for someone who is dissociative, but not to the extreme of a diagnosis of DID.

Before Edward knew his alter ego Henry, neither had conscious knowledge of the other. In DID terms, they were both dissociated from one another. By having shared consciousness, they are no longer completely dissociated. They are sometimes co-conscious. At this point in the show, they each know when they are "switching" to the other. They leave each other messages on the cell phone or some handheld device. Alters can do this as well--write messages, draw pictures, run errands, help out and/or disrupt the life of another dissociated state. In such cases, the alter knows when s/he is taking over but, until the survivor begins to heal, s/he is amnestic for all activities conducted by an alter.

Edward agreed as an adult to have a dissociated self state created. I have no idea if such technology exists today. Since you can see in the show that the objective is something along the lines of a Manchurian Candidate, let us all pray it is not. Microchips are being implanted in people under the guise of safety but what else can the implants do? The only known way to have DID is to be traumatized physically, emotionally, sexually, or medically over a period of time as a young child. DID does not happen in adults. DID is usually diagnosed in adults but it is there because something horrible happened when the person was a child.

In one episode, Henry finds evidence of his childhood which he believes proves he was not created because Edward's agreement to an experiment. The woman who heads the tech lab where minds are routinely tampered with, shows Henry she is aware of his past because she "implanted" a lifetime of memories in him. This is the most distressing aspect of the show. It is doing great harm to the world of survivors and furthers the propaganda of "false memories". The claim that therapists can implant memories in a survivor is beyond far-fetched. An unscrupulous therapist might try to implant a hypnotic suggestion to take advantage of a client but no one has the ability to implant a lifetime of anything in another person.

Actually Henry believes he had a childhood because he found photos of what he believed was himself as a child. Often survivors recall their childhood history as shown repeatedly through pictures or slides the perp parent(s) showed over and over again throughout their lives. It becomes the conscious history. What is claimed to have been used against us to create such horrid memories of abuse was used to try to create a childhood timeline to allow us to recall childhood "highlights". Most people don't delve much further than those surface nontraumatic memories.

The mind naturally tries to fill in the blanks. Growing up with very little conscious memory of childhood seemed normal because my mind connected the dots that were there. The mind is incredible. The fact that we can heal from such horrific abuse is a miracle. I'm not sure that was part of the original plan. And Edward's mind is doing something that was never supposed to happen. For Edward, it means death. What kind of message do you think that delivers to survivors who are just beginning to heal and their fear is at such a heightened state from the recalled death threats "for telling"? I don't think the show was written by the good guys. Or the bad guys used their money and bought a big chunk of propaganda.

Enjoy the show. Please remember what is true and what is false. Just because it's on television doesn't make it so.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grace-this is ladyblumoonmist1
I have tried once again to "twit"
you on twitter and cant.
I like your blogs and was going to follow you on twitter but ?
I dont know what I am doing wrong
I am new to twitter.
I also am a survivor.

Grace said...

So sorry that happened. Can you do a new twitter name that's similar? I'll know it's you. I have to remember I have the "follow me" on my blog. Thanks for following my blogs! Hope they provide some validation & answers for you.