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Herschel Walker, Jerry Mungadze and DID

April 15, 2008

As I started to mention briefly in a previous post, I have been reading and watching the story about Herschel Walker and his new book about his battle with DID. I am also looking at the comments made by Jerry Mungadze and by Herschel’s ex-wife. It is going to be interesting to see how this pan outs. Will it help those with DID to be more understood? Or will it just create more stereotypes, thus making it more difficult? I really don’t know.

I have a difficult time, admittedly, listening to anything Jerry has to say. It is not that I do not believe him. It is just that I have had a negative experience with the man. While I do not doubt the experiences of Walker, I cannot help but notice that Jerry writing the forward in the book will definitely help to put his hospital and program on the map. It does bring him into the limelight, as it were. Nope…not gonna give you a link to his site. You will have to find it yourself.

I have met him in person…Jerry, that is. I have communicated with him via phone, IM and email. I am not impressed. Oh, at first I was, when I met him at a conference given by a friend. He seemed to me then like a pretty awesome guy and I was very won over by his personality and his kindness. He very graciously offered to help me out with something then…and again later. The first offer did not pan out…no fault of his. The second, I simply did not ever take him up on.

I stayed in contact off and on after that and then did ask him for help with something, to which he again graciously agreed. I don’t know if he changed in the time between meeting him in person and actually ending up trying to work with him; or if I just did not see him as he really was back then. All I know is that I happened to disagree with him about something and it all went downhill from there…fast. Is it him? Is it me? Is it both of us? I don’t know. What I do know is that I had a very negative and hurtful experience with him and have no desire to see or talk to him again. Although, if he is willing to answer the questions I kept posing to him and have a real dialog…I would at least think about it. **smile**

Anyway, back to the book! I sincerely hope that the publicity brought about by this book will do good for those who struggle with DID. I truly hope that the only motivation for publishing the book is to help others. I don’t know Herschel at all, so I cannot speak for his sincerity. As for Jerry, who it would seem encouraged him to write it since it has been stated that it was an important part of Herschel’s therapy, well…I just don’t know. There was a time when I would have thought I knew…but not any more.

I pray that those in society who have DID will not end up paying some kind of price for this notoriety. I have to say again that a very big concern I have is that Herschel openly says, and Jerry affirms, that he has a “murderous” alter. I would hate for people to think or believe that this is typical of people who have DID. From what I have seen, learned and experienced…it is NOT. So, that really concerns me about all the publicity surrounding this book. Many multiples have a tough go of things as it is. The last thing needed is for them to be painted as being murderous…or even just plain wierd.

It also concerns me that Herschel identifies himself as being mentally ill. Dissociative Identity Disorder is not a mental illness. It is a normal coping mechanism to an outrageously abnormal and horrific situation. I also do not like Jerry, or anyone else, saying that people ARE DID. People ARE NOT a disorder. They HAVE a disorder. **sigh** It always irritates me when people identify themselves as “being” DID…instead of “having” DID. I am so disappointed that Jerry did that same thing when talking of Herschel as “being DID”. Come on now, Jerry…you, of all people, ought to know better than that! You are the “expert”!

So, again, it will be interesting to see how this unfolds. I wish everyone involved well.

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