The Truddi Chase Story
Truddi Chase, Author
Truddi Chase was born on February 22, 1935, near Rochester, New York, and is the author of the book When Rabbit Howls. The autobiography takes the reader through Truddi’s experiences after being diagnosed with Multiple Personality Disorder, now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder. Truddi was violently sexually and physically abused by her stepfather, and it wasn’t until therapy that she discovered her mother had physically abused and neglected her during her childhood and teenage years. It was discovered during hypnotherapy sessions with Dr. Phillips that she was surviving with multiple personalities.
When Rabbit Howls was the first book written by a person with multiple personalities and unlike many people diagnosed with MPD, Truddi chose not to integrate her personalities. Instead, the personalities worked together as a team and became known as ”The Troops.” The book was later turned into a mini-series and aired on television as Voices Within: The Lives of Truddi Chase. Shelly Long portrayed Truddi Chase.
Truddi Chase was interviewed by many people about her story, but the best interviews were with Oprah Winfrey in 1983 in Baltimore and 1990 on The Oprah Winfrey Show. She wanted people to know that they didn’t have to live in fear or be ashamed of the abuse. She wanted them to know that they had a voice. Truddi’s passion for educating the public about the effects of child abuse led her to create the powerful and universal story Creature of Habit: A Journey. Dealing with her Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), she tied human experiences of pain into the ability to understand and empathize with one another.
Truddi Chase passed away on March 10, 2010.
The above information is taken from Truddi Chase Bio
A Description of
When Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase
For years the Troops created a world where she could hide from the pain of the ritualized sexual abuse she suffered at the hands of her stepfather—abuse that began when she was only two years old. It was a past that Truddi didn’t even know existed until she and her therapist took a journey to where the nightmare began…
Written by The Troops themselves, When Rabbit Howls is told by the very alter-egos who stayed with Truddi Chase, watched over her, and protected her. What they reveal is a spellbinding descent into a personal hell—and an ultimate, triumphant deliverance for the woman they became.” The book description above is from Amazon When The Rabbit Howls by Truddi Chase
Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), brings about some unimaginable situations such as making decisions. A Simple process? NO! Not when 92 personalities all have a say in the decisions.
Examples of a decision-making process between ”The Troops”
There was conflict. For example, what would happen when “The Troops” went to get their hair done? “We knew there would be people who would think we were weird, since for every action, like going public, there is a consequence, and that’s OK.
“But when it came time to call our hairdresser for an appointment, we were scared to even pick up the phone. Once we did, it was all right. She said, ‘Get on in here,’ and when we did, she hugged us and then gave us a tuna sandwich with something to drink.”
This brings up one of the problems “The Troops” have to face daily – what to do about food when not all the personalities like the same things. “Food was especially troublesome during therapy when the children (some of the younger personalities) wanted things like chocolate milkshakes and strawberry sodas,” Chase says.
“We gained 18 pounds before we agreed about who would eat what and when.”
Above information taken from Astraeas Web Chase
Further information and studies:
There are many cases you may have heard about but too many for me to mention in this article. Several cases have been documented and also listed on YouTube.
Kari Ainsworth Daughter to Truddi Chase
Growing up with my mother “Truddi Chase and The Troops”
“Wow! Your mom had multiple personalities?! What was that like for you?”
This was and still is the most frequently asked question when I tell people about my mother. The abuse she suffered as a child and in her life growing up trickled down into my own.
Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD), now known as Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is a condition wherein a person’s identity is fragmented into two or more distinct personality states. My mother had 92 distinct personalities. People with this rare condition are often victims of severe abuse.
It doesn’t matter how much humor I put into the stories of growing up with my mom, it always comes back to the horror and suffering, and I see that on each person’s face. It is a lot of information to take in, and I want to make sure people are ready for it. More than that, I want to make sure they know who I am first.
That was probably the hardest part growing up. My so-called friends would hear the story and abandon me. The top reason…F-E-A-R! Their parents would tell them that my mother was crazy and that I must be crazy too. I don’t think the parents thought that my mother would hurt their children. I think their biggest fear was that my mom was telling the truth, and back then, you just didn’t talk about that stuff out in the open. That may mean that there was some truth to it, and it was just too horrific to believe.
Most look at me with their mouths hanging wide open when I speak of the atrocities that “The Stepfather” committed against my mother. You can read her story in her first book, “When Rabbit Howls.” It truly makes you wonder how someone would come up with such ideas to hurt a child. Only in the movies, right? No, only in real life. What is even harder to deal with is the fact that someone’s reality is based on fear so deeply embedded that they are mentally paralyzed for the rest of their life. You can’t imagine, or maybe you can if you are the child of a multiple, watching a person be scared of their friends, spouse, child, and shadow.
For instance, a glass crashing on the floor could send my mother into a tailspin and loud screaming. People would ask why she was so jumpy? It is just a glass, no big deal. She would be full of embarrassing apologies and try to brush it off. What we weren’t seeing was her mother ready to beat her for breaking something, or “The Stepfather” snapping a twig underfoot as he snuck up behind her to do whatever it was that he felt like.
Now you and I know that sitting in an International House of Pancakes wouldn’t be the place for a decrepit old man to come and terrorize a fully-grown woman, but in my mother’s mind, that is exactly what was happening.
She didn’t see the waitress drop the glass. She wasn’t aware of her daughter sitting across from her in the booth gazing out the window overlooking the traffic. At that very moment in time, my mother was no longer the adult with her child having chocolate chip pancakes with whipped cream. She WAS the child, in an old farmhouse, being chased by a smelly, filthy, sick-minded …
So, it was a memory you say? For many people, it would be just a memory. A picture in your head that might bring about a feeling of being at the beach with friends, a first kiss, or your parents yelling at you for staying out too late. No, this was so much more than that. In her mind, she would be transported back in time. As I said, she didn’t see the walls and booths of the IHOP. She felt the knotted wood of the barn under her fingers. She heard the dog barking because he was tied up in the yard and hadn’t been fed in three days. She could smell the sweat dripping from his face into hers as he leaned over raping her.
Maybe a rape victim could come close to understanding this? Or another survivor of child abuse? But not the average person and even though I heard about the abuse, read about the abuse, and saw the effects of the abuse, I could never truly understand my mother’s reality. No one can.
I have many stories to share about growing up as the daughter of a multiple, some funny, some sad. I am currently writing a book about my life with Truddi Chase to share these stories with you.
For those who have an MPD/DID parent
I know many of you may be frustrated and might not understand what is happening to them. The diagnosis sounds strange, and you can’t grasp the concept of having “multiple” moms or dads. Maybe they hurt you mentally or sometimes physically growing up. As children, we like to think that our parents are there to take care of us, love us, and teach us, but when they never received care or love and were only taught abuse, this doesn’t transfer well into parenting.
For someone with MPD/DID, memories have been suppressed and may not return until we the children do something to trigger it. The adult reacts, possibly lashes out or retreats, and the child is left not knowing what is happening. Time lapses wreak havoc on schedules and oftentimes find the child waiting to be picked up from school or activities grows to resent the adult. All too often, the child feels neglected and that the parent doesn’t love or care about them. These examples just scratch the surface of what it is like growing up with an MPD/DID parent.
I feel very fortunate
I had a great relationship with my mother. I hear from many MPD/DID sufferers that their adult children won’t speak or associate with them and this saddens me. If you are an adult child of an MPD/DID, I hope that you will find someone to talk to. Please. My mother and I didn’t have a perfect relationship, but we worked on it every day. I didn’t always understand what was happening, but through therapy and communication, I was able to support her, and in turn, live a “normal” life.
I have updated the Truddi Chase website, so please check out her artwork and get updates about my story, coming soon.
Posted in: April 2021 Sexual Assault Project, D.I.D Series, Resources
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Thank you for posting Truddi Chase’s story. I have someone very close to me with DID. Most people have no understanding of what this means. Like Truddi Chase’s daughter writes, most people think someone with DID is crazy. My daughter is a clinical social worker and has helped me understand much more about DID, as well as other personality disorders. I think if we can bring these types of disorders out of the darkness and shine the light of truth and understanding on what is really happening in the mind of the person, and why they are the way they are, it would be less traumatic for not only the family and loved ones, but also the one living the disorder. Thank you so much for posting. Blessings to you <3
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Thank you for your compliment, and I will forward it to Truddi’s daughter. The first few postings for this month have been about D.I.D. I think you might like those stories as well. My goal is always to provide information that is helpful and encouraging. Thank you again for visiting, And He Restoreth My Soul Project.
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