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The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor's Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder [Paperback]

Olga Trujillo
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

2 Feb 2012
Olga Trujillo's childhood was marked by such extensive violence and sexual abuse that she developed the ability to observe scenes from her life as though they were happening to someone else. Blocking herself from the terrors of her real life, Olga began to "go away in her head" and create alternate senses of herself, or "parts"-distinct personalities that allowed her to compartmentalize and temporarily forget her father's attacks so that she could make friends and attend school like any other child. Dissociative identity disorder (DID) had taken hold. Formerly known as multiple personality disorder, DID helped Olga to function, but this disorder is associated with horrifying flashbacks, suicidal thoughts, mood swings, memory loss, panic attacks, and the confusion of not knowing one's true identity. The Sum of My Parts is the story of Trujillo's courageous struggle to understand and overcome the psychological aftereffects of her abusive childhood and an inspiring look into the remarkable power of the human brain to protect itself at all costs. After years of relying on a complex network of fragmented memories in order to function and survive, Olga learns to integrate her parts through psychotherapy and begins to see the whole picture of her life for the first time. Today, Olga Trujillo is an attorney, speaker, and advocate for victims of domestic violence and child abuse. This memoir of triumph over the most devastating conditions will enlighten and inspire anyone whose life has been affected by violence, abuse, or trauma.


Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: New Harbinger; Original edition (2 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572249919
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572249912
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,006,149 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"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 Wannabe"s and other books and internationally recognized expert on youth, social justice, and ethical leadership

Book Description

The incredible true story of Olga Trujillo, whose childhood was devastated by sexual abuse and violence. This memoir follows Olga as she splits herself into "parts" and develops dissociative identity disorder to cope with the abuse, and then struggles to merge these parts and overcome the disorder in adulthood.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating 5 Jan 2013
By Kat
Format:Paperback
Told in a straight-forward, slightly detached manner, The Sum of My Parts is an emotional, intriguing and haunting read. Olga's openness about the horrendous abuse she suffered as a child is admirable, and she has done her best to reach a medium of revealing enough of her story to make an impact on the reader, whilst respecting the feelings and potential reactions of other DID sufferers.

The psychology and treatment of her condition make for fascinating, gut-wrenching reading, from spiraling into agoraphobia, her struggle to keep her career and to save her marriage. As Olga relives the memories that she has compartmentalized in order to keep herself from falling apart, she also discovers a side of herself that she never even knew existed.

I really enjoyed this book - it was very emotional and quite disturbing in parts, but it was also uplifting and inspirational. If you have an interest in psychology, or in real people overcoming huge adversity and using it to their advantage, this book is for you.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Recommended 9 Oct 2011
By Tammy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ms. Trujillo has truly written a tour de force in her ground breaking book The Sum of My Parts. She gives us an unflinching account of the childhood abuse she experienced at the hands of her parents and siblings. Her story is compelling. She tells it in a raw and honest manner, yet without gratuitous or sensational detail. Just as important is the story of her hard fought recovery. This is an informative and inspirational book, especially for those abused as children or who work with this population. This quintessential book is a must read for survivors, loved ones of survivors, those who work with survivors or anyone seeking to increase their understanding of this phenomena.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A mind-blowing eye-opener! 22 Oct 2011
By Blue Bonnet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I met Olga when she came to our city as a presenter at one of our domestic violence seminars. I knew she was an amazing woman from attending some of her sessions, but I have been waiting for her book to be published to learn more. I could not put this book down. Olga's account of her childhood abuse is heartwrenching...it is very hard to think about the things that happened to her as an innocent little child. There is no wonder she had to dissociate herself from the horrific abuse in order to survive. The miracle is that Olga survived with only the support and love she was blessed with by people outside her family. I work with survivors of violent crimes,as an advocate, on a daily basis and I thought I knew how important it is to empower the survivors. Olga's book really illustrates how empowering every kind word and encouragement is to a person who lives in an abusive home. Thank you, Olga, for baring your soul to the world in order to encourage other survivors and educate those of us who work in this field. I hope Olga writes another book to answer the questions I still have about her recovery process.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Sum of My Parts 12 Mar 2012
By Jennifer A. Kracaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For personal reasons, I started reading this book at Chapter 8. It is truly captivating regardless of your start point. When I was ready, I read the book cover to cover without stopping... and then I read it again.

While reading "The Sum of My Parts", Olga Trujillo--at the tender age of three-- immediately became my hero. She endured horrific abuse at the hands of people that should have been trusted family members. This is an amazingly incredible, haunting read and one that I will surely never forget. Her memoir takes the reader from the depths of an emotional pit, one that you think she couldn't possibly survive, and she ends her book with an uplifting and final message of hope. From a healing standpoint, reading this book is quite possibly the best decision I have made.

Olga's book details her life of abuse at the hands of her father, brothers and outside perpetrators and chronicles the events to present time. She endured a life of abuse, panic, agoraphobia and consequently DID. Olga has gone on to become an accomplished attorney, advocate and author.

I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Olga recently and I can say that I am truly amazed and humbled at the person she has become as a result of abuse of this magnitude.

Please, if you are an advocate for childhood abuse, a teacher, a parent or a survivor...this book is a must read. Thank you, Olga, for shedding light on this subject and educating us on DID. You are my hero.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down 14 Feb 2012
By Cristina Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book for my Kindle to get more understanding and information about my diagnosis of D.I.D. I searched everywhere for a personal story that I could relate to.

The beginning of the book - as the author points out, graciously - can be extremely triggering for sensitive readers but she intuitively points out where to move forward to, to skip the tough spots.

She definitely knows her stuff.

I read this full book in about 6 1/2 hours. As my review title says, I couldn't put it down. She expertly describes how the various 'parts' of her personality were formed and played out later in her life. I was so grateful to have such an informative and riveting read about my diagnosis and anticipated journey.

Thank you!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From The Aussie Zombie 28 Jan 2012
By Kat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's been a while since I read a non-fiction book, and when I saw this one I was excited by the synopsis. I read another book on DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) about 10 years ago and found it to be incredibly moving and inspirational, so I was really looking forward to reading this one.

The Sum of My Parts is broken up into two halves - Olga's retelling of childhood and pubescent trauma and abuse which cause her DID, and her treatment and life after her initial diagnosis.

Told in a straight-forward, slightly detached manner, The Sum of My Parts is an emotional, intriguing and haunting read. Olga's openness about the horrendous abuse she suffered as a child is admirable, and she has done her best to reach a medium of revealing enough of her story to make an impact on the reader, whilst respecting the feelings and potential reactions of other DID sufferers.

The psychology and treatment of her condition make for fascinating, gut-wrenching reading, from spiraling into agoraphobia, her struggle to keep her career and to save her marriage. As Olga relives the memories that she has compartmentalized in order to keep herself from falling apart, she also discovers a side of herself that she never even knew existed.

I really enjoyed this book - it was very emotional and quite disturbing in parts, but it was also uplifting and inspirational. If you have an interest in psychology, or in real people overcoming huge adversity and using it to their advantage, this book is for you.
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