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The Sum of My Parts
A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder
Average: 3.5 (4 votes)
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By the first day of kindergarten, Olga Trujillo had already survived years of abuse and violent rape at the hands of her tyrannical father. Over the next ten years, she would develop the ability to numb herself to the constant abuse by splitting into distinct mental “parts.” Dissociative identity disorder (DID) had begun to take hold, protecting Olga’s mind from the tragic realities of her childhood.

In The Sum of My Parts, Olga reveals her life story for the first time, chronicling her heroic journey from survivor to advocate and her remarkable recovery from DID. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, DID is defined by the presence of two or more identities. In this riveting story, Olga struggles to unearth memories from her childhood, and parallel identities—Olga at five years old, Olga at thirteen—come forth and demand to be healed. This brave, unforgettable memoir charts the author’s triumph over the most devastating conditions and will inspire anyone whose life has been affected by trauma.

Publisher Reviews
  • “In The Sum of My Parts, Olga Trujillo reminds us what living with integrity and courage really means. In spite of brutal abuse she experienced by her family, the story of her survival is truly extraordinary and an inspiration to all of us.”
    —Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes and other books and internationally recognized expert on youth, social justice, and ethical leadership

  • “In The Sum of My Parts, Olga Trujillo generously gives us a rare look into the power of community. Olga shows us how one person can make a difference. In her compelling account of her survival she illustrates the true meaning of resilience and healing. A must-read for all.”
    —Shelia Hankins, associate director of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community

  • “Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this book. I don’t feel alone and I can use it to help others understand what my life is like. It makes me proud to feel like I’m a part of your secret club.”
    —Mary, survivor with dissociative identity disorder

  • “The Sum of My Parts clearly shows the resiliency of a child's mind. As a survivor diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder, I found parts of this book easy to relate to. Some of it surprised me, some of it made me cry, but overall one thing stuck with me: one caring person in a child’s life can make a positive difference. I am very glad Olga had the courage to come forward and tell her story.”
    —Beth Cassell, survivor with dissociative identity disorder

  • “Olga’s memoir portrays the complex and often misunderstood experience of dissociation with clarity, dignity, and respect. Compelling, educational, and grounded, she conveys the immense intelligence, courage, and willpower it takes to survive childhood rape via dissociation. For those of us on the dissociative identity disorder continuum, this book serves as a guide for reclaiming our lives. For others, it offers understanding of a diagnosis that is too often ignored or sensationalized. It is a gift of immense importance.”
    —Christine Stark, author of Nickels: A Tale of Dissociation and coeditor of Not for Sale

  • “In The Sum of My Parts, Olga Trujillo gives us a rare and courageous look inside the psyche’s response to trauma. This deeply moving book carefully reveals how Olga developed, lived with and eventually healed from dissociative identity disorder, and comes to thrive. It is a truly inspiring account of one woman’s quest for happiness.”
    —Carole Warshaw, MD, director of the National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma, and Mental Health, and executive director of the Domestic Violence and Mental Health Policy Initiative

  • “The Sum of My Parts is a compelling book that captures the reader from start to finish. Its unflinching portrayal of the reality of sexual assault is balanced with the author’s insight and hope. Readers will be taken through a journey deep into the author’s thoughts and see just how she survived. Unlike any book of its kind, The Sum of My Parts intertwines the cultural influences in the author’s life, abuse, and healing. Importantly, it also illustrates the far-reaching impact of sexual assault. It’s a must-read for anyone, especially those working with assault survivors from communities of color.”
    —Condencia Brade, executive Director of The National Organization of Sisters of Color Ending Sexual Assault (SCESA)


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