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Today I'm Alice: Nine Personalities, One Tortured Mind [Paperback]

Alice Jamieson
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2009

When Alice was a teenager, strange things started happening to her. Hours of her life simply disappeared. She'd hear voices shouting at her, telling her she was useless. And the nightmares that had haunted her since early childhood, scenes of men abusing her, became more detailed . . . more real. Staring at herself in the mirror she'd catch her face changing, as if someone else was looking out through her eyes.

In Today I'm Alice, she describes her extraordinary journey from a teenage girl battling anorexia and OCD, drowning the voices with alcohol, to a young woman slipping further and further into mental illness. It was only after years lost in institutions that she was correctly diagnosed with multiple personality disorder. When her alternative personalities were revealed in therapy she discovered how each one had their own memories of abuse and a full picture of her childhood finally emerged. As she learned to live with her many 'alters', she set out to confront the man who had caused her unbearable pain.

Moving and ultimately inspiring, this is a gripping account of a rare condition, and the remarkable story of a courageous woman.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sidgwick & Jackson (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 028307101X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0283071010
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 185,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Alice's book, Today I'm Alice, is a compelling account of the strategies she has used to survive more than two decades of grotesque sexual, physical and emotional harm... Her book tells this story in the manner of a curtain being drawn back.'
-- Times Online

'This isn't a misery memoir, but an account of mental illness that's so beautifully written it reminded me of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar. Jamieson survived 100 overdoses, alcoholism and cocaine addiction to find love with a church warden. You won't be able to get her story out of your head.' -- London Lite

'an intelligent, first hand account of mental illness, written by a remarkable woman still learning to live with herself.'
-- Financial Times


'Alice's book, Today I'm Alice, is a compelling account of the strategies she has used to survive more than two decades of grotesque sexual, physical and emotional harm... Her book tells this story in the manner of a curtain being drawn back.'

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
By Mr. A. J. D. White VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am really struggling with what to write as a review for this novel, I finished it nearly a week ago and have sat down to review it half a dozen times and failed each time....

The novel itself is amazingly well written, its humorous and tragic, thought provoking and terrifying. But at the same time I felt that I couldn't really connect with Alice, in some ways I think the disconnect was the horror of what had happened to her and simple manner of fact description of the sexual abuse, which I found in no way prurient or sensationalistic. In some ways the descriptions where to clinical/dispassionate for me, I found many other parts of the novel to be far more emotional such as the descriptions of her travelling and her relationship with her grandfather and mother.

Reading other reviews I have seen many mentions of 'misery memoir' and feel that isn't a label I would apply to this book, in no way does the author dwell on her pain or suffering (although it often mentioned) that isn't the focus of this novel, that was her mental health problems and her relationship(s) with the NHS and various health professionals, which is where my biggest criticism of the novel comes in, I wish a little bit more time had been spent on this and the book had investigated how and why she reacted to the various professionals in the manner she did. I don't mean this as a criticism of her actions but more to enlighten as to the problems she faced and how she thought/thinks things might be improved.

At the end of the day this is a horrific tale of the struggle of a girl/woman to come to terms with what was done to her, its her personal tale and not a case study / medical text book. My heart goes out to Alice, which is how I would expect any reader of this book to react.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Multiple Personality Memoir 14 Nov 2009
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Reading the title of Alice Jamieson's book, "Today I'm Alice: A memoir of multiple personality disorder," I thought that this book would focus mainly on MPD. However after reading Alice's story, mainly centred around sexual, physical and emotional abuse, I have realised that MPD is a coping mechanism Alice developed from the age of 2 to protect her from the pain of the abuse she suffered in the hands of her father, which lasted throughout her childhood years. Jamieson along with Clifford Thurlow sensitively explore Alice's life from horrendous suffering to self-harm, alcohol and drug addiction to finding love.

Although this book would be in the category of "tragic life stories," Alice does not seek symapthy or focus on her suffering but explains her memories simply, clearly and in a matter-of-fact way. From reading this book I have a clearer view of MPD and mental illness and I would recommend this to anyone who has an interest in the subject or who would like to read a powerful story of struggle and survival.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tortuous Journey 5 May 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was so moved listening to Lesley Joseph interviewing Alice Jamieson on Radio London, I went straight out to get the book. Alice makes us understand in clear, uncompromising prose, how a child tries to handle horrific abuse; in her case, pretending that the bad things were happening not to her but to 'others.'

You feel that you are right there with Alice as she is growing up, trying to make sense of her bad dreams and her compulsive washing and running, as she tries to cleanse herself of--she does not know what. How she finally acknowledges her abuse and comes to terms with how it affected her personality takes many painful years.

Books like this are important because children cannot protect themselves from abuse and adults must be more vigilant to telltale signs that abuse is taking place. This is an extraordinary book, beautifully written.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alice's Life 9 Oct 2012
I think this is a beautifully written book which explores her journey step by step as she did herself. I do not think the book should be criticized for being "graphic" or "depressing" - it was her life which was horrific. It says "Terrifying scenes of abuse" on the back, if that doesn't warn you I don't know what will!

I found the book absolutely fascinating. At times, of course, it was disturbing, but why shouldn't she tell her story like everyone else?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written but very sad 6 April 2011
By Missy
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book because I find DID really fascinating; how it operates and what it can teach us about the human mind. However, there were some very graphic accounts of abuse in this story which made it very disturbing indeed.

There was an overwhelming sense of sadness in Today I'm Alice. It's been said that the most personal experiences are the most universal, and I found it to be true of this book. It was so well written and profoundly personal, peppered with slightly dark humour, that it was easy to get absorbed in the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read 4 Feb 2011
By Tor
Today I'm Alice tells the story of Alice Jamieson, who was abused as a child and went on to develop multiple personality disorder. The content is disturbing and, because of that, the memoir is not an easy read. In fact, it has taken me a while to write a review for this book because of the challenging nature of what Alice went through. However, the book's piercing narrative and seamless prose offer the reader a genuine opportunity to gain insight into Alice's inner life and the link between child abuse and subsequent mental health problems.

Well done Alice Jamieson for being so brave. Well done Clifford Thurlow for bringing such skill and sensitivity to the process. This has to be the definitive personal account of multiple personality disorder.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down
this book although quite disturbing was extremely enlightening and interesting, seeing the world through Alice's eyes was truly fascinating and heartbreaking at the same time.
Published 1 month ago by victoria
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow - very informative
This poor woman; how brave of her to write her story - I hope it helped her to do so. I work with children who have been abused and this helped me understand such a lot, thank you
Published 2 months ago by janeydawse
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW
As a psychology student I have found myself reading a lot of these DID and abuse survivor stories and I can honestly said this is probably one of the best and most detailed and... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Debora
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
I wonder if the author is aware, intentionally or not that she wrote the book in different styles.... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Angie
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing, but brilliant in its honesty.
This is a hard read but Alice has told it exactly as it happened and this means it grips you throughout. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mrs. P. Barber
3.0 out of 5 stars Good
The first half is easy to read but then it gets a bit difficult, the flow isn't as easy. Not sure what I expected, but I had read other books of people with MPD. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Gewitter
5.0 out of 5 stars Draws you in and kicks you around
This book lets you in on something you couldn't possibly imagine. The horror and desire to help overwhelmed me at times - I just wanted to pick Alice/Alice 2/kato/Shirley/billy etc... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Mrs Chicken
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
i will repeat: this book is a great read for all grown ups... amasing experience to read something of this sort... highly recommended for anyone in helping profesions
Published 18 months ago by pera
5.0 out of 5 stars Today I am Alice
A truly heartbreaker account of one young women's journey following childhood sexual abuse. It will make you cry and marvel at human endurance.
Published 18 months ago by julie knowles
5.0 out of 5 stars Raw, powerful & moving.
Alice is a remarkable woman, a true inspiration. I was immediately hooked and enjoyed following her staggering journey; an account which is consistently insightful, honest &... Read more
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by Mrs F
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