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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Book Review: All of Me - Kim Noble

Well hello there! I put the call out on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram about whether there were any bookworms out there like me reading Southern In Law - and it turns out there are! 

So I decided to share some of my favourite books with you - the types of books that you can't help recommending to everyone and pass around to all of your friends.

I'm actually contemplating a Southern In Law book club, if anyone's interested (let me know!).

First up is an excellent read - All of Me by Kim Noble. It's the kind of book that sticks with you and lets you peer into a totally different world. Everyone I have shared it with has found it fascinating, regardless of their regular book choices. 

Kim Noble isn't your ordinary author, in fact, you may be inclined to say authors. You see, Kim Noble has dissociative identity disorder (DID) and she is, effectively, over 50 people in one. This is because Kim has numerous personalities - the exact number is unknown. Each of her personalities are unique and have their own names, ages, mannerisms, behaviors and quirks.

Kim Noble's current dominant personality is Patricia who is also the one who collected all the stories for the book. It sounds like a confusing read, but it is so intriguing you won't be able to put it down. I read it in one night and didn't stop until I turned the last page!  It's an incredibly honest book which makes you realise just how amazing the human mind is.

It is safe to say that the original Kim no longer exists. Her mind fractured after she went through unendurable trauma and abuse that no one will ever know the extent of or understand and she became hidden and has never reappeared again - however "Kim" is still a fully functioning human being and mother who has held stable jobs and raise her daughter Aimee.

Kim switches between "alters" around three to four times each day. Different personalities present themselves in certain situations, such as Judy, a 15 year old bulimic personality who appears at mealtimes.

None of Kim's personalities have any knowledge of Kim's past and have no memories or flashbacks - the breaks in her mind were clean and she protected herself through these different personalities. As a child, Kim never knew why she had constant memory lapses or why others complained of her erratic behavior that she had no knowledge of. 

Memory lapses are a classic symptom of dissociative identity disorder as when a person switches between alters, the new personality taking over has no knowledge of what has happened before the switch. This means keys are lost, calls are made with no knowledge, bills are hidden and often personalities find themselves places where they have no idea of how they got themselves there.

Each personality has their own individual life. The have separate email addresses,  passwords, hobbies and even buy their in clothes to suit their individual style and personality.

Throughout periods of Kim's life, different personalities have become dominant that suited her needs at that time. Dawn was the dominant personality during Kim's pregnancy with Aimee however, following the trauma of Aimee being taken away, Dawn retreated and another personality Hayley (who had been the dominant personality prior to the pregnancy) returned and began the legal proceedings to get Aimed back. Once the court case started, Hayley once again retreated and more confident personality Bonny, underwent the court battle.

It seems absurd to let a woman like Kim Noble look after a child or live a normal life, however, Patricia and Kim's treatment team all agree that "the body" would never allow Aimee to be harmed.

Kim receives no medication for her DID and only undergoes therapy which she has since her diagnosis in 1995. DID treatment is generally long term and involves a lot of work as the therapist works to tease out the separate personalities and treat them as individuals in order to try and help each personality come to terms with what has happened in their past. Therapists working with DID also have to work on getting each personality to accept tat they have DID so that they can understand their lives better. Kim's current dominant personality, Patricia, denied the diagnosis of DID and thought it was ridiculous until she began to realize the puzzling aspects of her life all made sense when considering she ad dissociative identity disorder.

Kim painting in her studio - Source
 One of the things that really intrigued me about Kim Noble was that she's an artist. After encouragement from the treatment teams, all personalities tarted art therapy and more than a dozen of them paint regularly. In the book, there are copies of each of the artwork and the difference between each personality is incredible. Their brush strokes, styles, subjects and even their choice of colors are completely different. For Patricia, the individual artworks make it easier to understand the other personalities that she shares Kim's body with, whereas previously she didn't even know they existed.

Kim's Paintings by different "Alters" - Source
 From the second you read the first page, this book will have you hooked. You will cry, you will laugh and you'll be in awe of the stories in this book, all the while gaining incredible respect for each personality and identifying them as individuals. I finished "All of Me" wanting more. I want to know more about Kim Noble and her personalities - I didn't want it to end! I even went as far as to email Kim telling her how incredible her story was. I read the book just after it was released, back in October 2011 after seeing Kim's story on Oprah. I couldn't even wait until I could get a hard copy and immediately bought the kindle version.
I have recommended this book to so many of my friends and family and encouraged the local library to stock it. It is a must read for all and gives you a deeper understanding of the human mind and a look into the world of those with multiple personalities or dissociative identity disorder (DID).

All of Me by Kim Noble definitely gets a 5 star rating from me!

So tell me, book club - yay or nay? 
and what's the last book you read that you couldn't put down?  


  1. hi i also haVE THis disorder however as far as i no not as drastic.people seem to know i have a problem but dont care to know what, they just beleive that im mental and most avoid me,perhaps i dont remember somethings and then then other times, remeber stuff but why, not everyone is completlty perfect i know im not

    1. I hope you can find someone very soon who understands you - I know exactly how it feels to feel like no one understands what you're going through! Keep your chin up! :)

  2. I have also been gripped by this book, I read it last year and, like yourself, have also contacted Kim. What an amazing story by an amazing lady... can't wait for book2!!

    1. It's incredible! I read it in a day because I was completely absorbed by the story (that's when you know it's a great read). Fingers crossed a second book comes out soon!

  3. Thanks Kirsty and the support. Anonymous take care and I hope you get the help you need and deserve if there is anything I can do be contact me. Kim

  4. sorry *for the support*


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