Author(s): OLGA R. TRUJILLO
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 Ms. 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.